Here’s a guide I follow in looking for cheaper products that perform almost as good, if not the same, as the real thing. Most of these tips, I picked up from the internet. Some, I’ve realized.
Check if the brand/ product belongs to a big umbrella company.
This is my FAVORITE, because there’s a BIG chance we’ll find the same product that’s merely ‘dressed’ in a different package–that, and fragrance or texture.
Anyway, if a product is made by a big multinational company, and if it is a high-end product, there must be a cheaper masa version of it. Example: Lancome Genifique and L’Oreal Youthcode.
Incidentally, I stumbled upon a tweet (via @joshua_becker) of an infographic. This serves as a pretty good guide in looking for who made which and what other products they make–not just of cosmetic ingredients but of food too.
I was right when I suspected that Magnum Ice Cream and Cornetto is the same ice cream. They’re both made by Unilever.
I tried this when I was looking for a dupe for James Cooper Jazzy Cream Compact Foundation. I didn’t find a dupe, BUT I found out that the same (as in the same) thing is sold in Russia under the brand Makeup Secret. Click the link to the online store. They sell it as a concealer, which I found cool because I use Jazzy Cream Compact as a concealer.
In the Jazzy Cream Compact box, it says Made in France. Guess what… in the Makeup Secret website, it says Raw Material: France. And, if you checked the website, you’ll see that the packaging of both products is EXACTLY the same.
Check for products with the same active ingredient.
You might not find something that performs exactly the same BUT there’s a high probability that they will give almost the same result (save for placebo effect). More often than not, the significant difference in price of 2 products with the same active ingredient will NOT result in a significant difference in performance.
Check Female Network’s Girltalk and Temptalia.
You might already know this, but Temptalia has a Makeup Dupe List page and Female Network’s Girltalk has a thread for makeup dupes. Other forum sites might have the same thread. I’m not much of a make-up person so I haven’t really tried looking for makeup and skin care dupe threads in forum sites.
Google and Youtube
This is common sense and you might already be doing this. Go to google or youtube and type in: “ Dupe”, you’ll be surprised with the results.
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I seldom buy high-end nowadays (except makeup) and it’s a bummer that Shiseido Sun Protection Stick Foundation doesn’t seem to have a dupe.
Enjoy dupe hunting!