15 Affordable Beauty Products That Are Just as Good as These Expensive Ones

·7-min read

I'm incredibly lucky that I get sent some of the most premium beauty products on the market to try out as part of my job. From £205 moisturisers to £109 facial steamers, I've had the chance to test some of the most luxurious formulations and beauty tools in the UK to find out what's worth the hype. So does expensive always equal best? In a word, no. Despite having access to extravagant products and high-end beauty brands, there are tons of affordable options that rival their more expensive counterparts. In fact, there are plenty even the most experienced of beauty editors would struggle to differentiate between once applied to the skin.

So whether you're trying to stick to a budget or you just don't want to spend excessively on a pricier counterpart when you don't have to, here are 15 high-end products that I love and their affordable alternatives that will do the trick just as well.

If you love:

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette (£43)

Try:

Rimmel Magnif'eyes 12 Pan Shade Palette in Spice (£10)

A dozen shades of amber-inspired eye shadows in metallic, matte and shimmer finishes but with a huge difference in price point. Disclaimer: I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay and think that its eye shadows are genuinely some of the best in the business. However, if you're not a regular eye shadow wearer or are just dipping your toe in the fiery-hued trend, this affordable palette from Rimmel offers amazing value—and the shadows are pigmented, blendable and long-lasting.

If you love:

Beautyblender Original (£17)

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Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£6)

To me, there is no better makeup sponge than the Beautyblender, particularly when it comes to creating a dewy base with your everyday foundation. However, I know that dropping almost £20 on a small sponge can seem excessive. If I were forced to pick a backup, then you can't go wrong with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. In fact, I know plenty of people who prefer this to the Beautyblender. I must admit that the flat edge is handy for slapping on foundation quickly when you're in a rush.

If you love:

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (£16)

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Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Face Cleanser (£4)

It almost feels like sacrilege to provide a dupe for the adored Liz Earle cleanser, but I really couldn't resist. Both are enriched with nourishing cocoa butter to hydrate skin and melt away makeup and impurities. I'd have to say that when it comes to scent, Liz Earle does cinch it with the spa-like aromas. But if you're looking for a purse-friendly way to cleanse and exfoliate, this Superdrug one really does measure up.

If you love:

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Highlighter (£22)

Try:

Revolution Pro Brightening and Tightening Under Eye Concealer Wand (£4)

YSL's iconic Touche Éclat is described by the brand as ''eight hours of beauty sleep in a click." For years, I wasn't entirely sure how to use it (was it a concealer or a highlighter?), but now I love applying it under eyes and onto my cheekbones for a subtle luminosity. I was pleasantly surprised at how similar this brightening formula from Revolution Pro is to the beauty icon.

If you love:

Sand & Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment (£34)

Try:

Revolution Skincare Balancing Pink Clay Cleansing Bar (£6)

You've probably spotted Sand & Sky's iconic pink packaging in your Instagram feed over the past year or so. Its pink clay skincare products launched to huge waiting lists and rave reviews, and its mask happens to be one of my favourites for treating acne. This solid cleanser from Revolution also contains detoxifying pink clay to absorb excess oils and offer up similar mattifying benefits.

If you love:

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£43)

Try:

L'Oréal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation (£10)

This foundation dupe has been a long-held beauty insider secret. Both come in around 30 shades and deliver velvety coverage to skin with a subtle radiance. With celebrity fans like Meghan Markle reportedly obsessed with the Giorgio Armani foundation, it certainly holds its own beauty gravitas. But for me, you just can't argue with the price point and results of the L'Oréal foundation.

If you love:

Nars Blush in Orgasm (£26)

Try:

Sleek Makeup Blush in Rose Gold (£5)

Trust me—the brand imagery doesn't do any justice to just how close in colour these blushes are IRL. Both deliver a subtly shimmery, peachy pop of colour to cheeks, and both are intensely pigmented. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the Sleek blushes are possibly the most pigmented cheek product I've ever come across—high-end or high-street.

If you love:

Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Lipstick (£19)

Try:

L'Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Liquid Lipstick (£9)

Long-wear lipsticks are set to be sticking around in all of our makeup bags this year. The YSL ones always feel decidedly luxurious, but these L'Oréal ones provide similar pigment, opaqueness and long wear for a third of the price.

If you love:

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup (£40)

Try:

NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation (£10)

I'm a big fan of both of these water-based foundations for their lightweight coverage and dewy finish. In fact, the NYX formula has to be one of my favourite drugstore foundations ever. If you're looking for a brightening base that looks like your skin but better, then both make energising options.

If you love:

MAC Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo (£18)

Try:

Barry M Lip Paint in Bombshell (£5)

I love a red lipstick, and MAC's Ruby Woo is about as iconic as they come. I have to say, though, that this £5 dupe from Barry M certainly rivals it. In fact, our social media editor gave it a 10/10 when testing out the best red lipsticks. It's matte, pillar-box red and lasts through a Pret sandwich. What more could you want?

If you love:

KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner Liquid Eyeliner (£18)

Try:

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner (£6)

Ask anyone who is obsessed with eyeliner, and chances are they will have tried Kat Von D's cult Tattoo Liner before. It's inky black, ultra-precise and smudge-resistant. This one from Maybelline provides a similarly long-lasting formula and an easy-to-use nib that even eyeliner novices (like myself) should be able to get on board with.

If you love:

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (£25)

Try:

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (£6)

One of my favourite concealers has to be this one from Nars. It's super-creamy, covers everything from under-eye circles to blemishes and feels like you're wearing nothing on your skin. However, for a quarter of the price, this Maybelline concealer provides a similarly radiant finish for a fresh-faced complexion.

If you love:

Oribe Shampoo for Moisture & Control (£44)

Try:

Beauty Pie Super Healthy Hair Moisturizing Shampoo (£6)

In my opinion, there are no better-smelling hair products in the business than the ones from Oribe. I don't know how to describe them, but they basically smell like you've just visited a fancy hair salon for an expensive blow-dry. So when a PR friend told me that the Beauty Pie haircare range smelt basically the same, I was over the moon. After all, this shampoo is only a fiver for members, so there's no need to save it for special occasions.

If you love:

Huda Beauty The New Nude Eyeshadow Palette (£56)

Try:

W7 Socialite Eyeshadow Palette (£10)

Another eye shadow palette with a sizeable price difference comes in the form of this 18-pan collection containing a mix of mattes, glitters and shimmer shades inspired by shades of nude. Although you really can't rival the Huda Beauty shadows in terms of pigment, wear and colour payoff, I think that the W7 dupe is a great alternative if you won't use every colour in the £56 palette.

If you love:

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum (£80)

Try:

Zara Gardenia (£15)

While the packaging of this Zara fragrance is definitely not as chic as this popular YSL perfume, the smell is decidedly similar. Both have fruity top notes, orange blossom at their heart and dry down to a creamy vanilla finish.

This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Next up, these budget skincare buys are just as good as the expensive versions.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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