As beauty enthusiasts, we have to admit that the supposed holy grail beauty products can sometimes come with a hefty price tag.
But what’s a beauty junkie to do, especially when said products are worth their salt?
If you find yourself nodding along to this, well, you’re in luck because we’re pretty sure we have the ideal solution for all you (broke) beauty lovers out there: dupes.
For the confused out there, a beauty dupe is actually a skincare or makeup product that is often similar to its more expensive counterpart in terms of performance and availability. Yes, they exist, and yes, they work just as well (if not better!) then said OG holy grail products.
If you’re ready to start saving some money, here are the best holy grail dupes for both skincare and makeup that beauty enthusiasts have shared online.
1. La Mer Creme de la Mer V.S. Nivea Creme
Who hasn’t heard about the legendary face cream that costs more than S$500 per pop in Singapore? That’s right, the La Mer Crème de la Mer is often regarded as one of the best moisturisers of all time, thanks to its ability to renew and rejuvenate dry skin effortlessly.
For the rest of us who can’t part with that kind of money on a beauty product, we are lucky to have a product that pretty much provides, reportedly, the same effect without the ginormous price tag: the Nivea Crème. Ingredients wise, it doesn’t have the same magic Kelp that the La Mer Crème de la Mer contains, but there are reviewers who say it has the same texture, consistency, and performance that its more expensive counterpart provides. Nice!
Still feeling apprehensive? Check out this article where a reporter slathers on La Mer Crème de la Mer on one side of her face and the Nivea Crème on the other for a whole month. The clear winner will probably convince you otherwise.
Of course, there are also many die-hard fans who will never give up their La Mer cream for anything. And if you’re impartial, we urge you to try the Nivea one for yourself, especially if you’ve used the La Mer cream before, just as a fun experiment and make your own conclusion.
The La Mer Crème de la Mer is available at La Mer counters. It retails for S$525.
The Nivea Crème is available at major supermarkets, departmental stores, and all Guardian and Watsons outlets. It retails for S$5.45 (250ml). Note that there’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so check the links for the latest prices.
2. Glamglow Supermud Cleaning Treatment V.S. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
A good clay mask is essential for drawing dirt and impurities out of your skin (as well as closing up those pesky pores), which is what made the Glamglow Supermud Cleaning Treatment so revolutionary when it was first released. This product even helps with blemishes, redness, and scars, leaving behind a clear, smooth complexion that skincare junkies couldn’t seem to get anywhere else.
Well, that was until the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask came along. Widely regarded as one of the best holy grail dupes around, it is formulated with mud, collagen, green tea and charcoal and supposedly mimics the exact effects that the Glamglow Supermud Cleaning Treatment does to your skin. Plus, it’s six times cheaper – consider us sold!
The Glamglow Supermud Cleaning Treatment is available on Sephora and retails for S$92.
The Elizavecca Milky Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask is available on Althea.kr and retails for S$15. Note that there’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so click on the link to get its latest price.
3. Tatcha The Water Cream V.S. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
Oily skin types love lightweight, gel-type moisturisers, which is precisely what elevated Tatcha The Water Cream into holy grail status within the months from its release. This moisturiser from Tatcha also contains soothing Japanese botanicals, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin.
A moisturiser that does the job just as well? The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. Considered a cult product in its own right, this baby does pretty much everything the Tatcha does, with its gentle formula being suitable for all skin types as well. Yes, and at more than half the price of the aforementioned Tatcha, while containing 20ml more product, too. You’re welcome.
The Tatcha Water Cream is available at selected Sephora outlets and retails for S$102.
4. beautyblender V.S. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
The beautyblender changed the way we apply foundation – this humble-looking egg is an award-winning tool that even top makeup artists are obsessed with.
But paying S$32 every time we have to change our beautyblender can be too much to bear, so beauty junkies threw up a much more affordable option: the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
Many reviewers have compared these two, and their conclusion is that the dupe from Real Technique is just as good – if not, outperforms – the OG sponge. Die-hard fans maintain that it requires less time to blend, thanks to its ability to pick up and pat down makeup product much more easily.
However, there are many true-blue beautyblender fans who would never go through a makeup routine without picking up their beloved makeup sponge, of course! So, is it worthwhile to go for something that’s literally half the price of the beautyblender? Your call!
beautyblender is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$32.
5. Pixi Glow Tonic V.S The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Glycolic acid toners are downright magical when it comes to keeping breakouts, wrinkles, dullness, and congested skin at bay. It is precisely why so many people have cemented it into their makeup routines, which promptly propelled the Pixi Glow Tonic into holy grail status. Packed with glycolic acid, it refines pores and texture while brightening it – there’s really everything to love about it. In fact, you’ll know how much we love it by reading our Pixi Glow Tonic review.
A product that does just as well as the Pixi lotion in this regard? This Glycolic Acid product from The Ordinary. Just like the Pixi product, it offers a gentle exfoliation effect to reveal more radiant skin and smoother texture. Coupled with its affordable price (almost one-fifth of the former’s price), it certainly serves as stiff competition to the famous Pixi Glow Tonic.
The Pixi Glow Tonic is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$48.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is available at Beauty Bay and retails for ~S$11.
6. Sunday Riley Luna Night Sleeping Oil V.S. The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
Sunday Riley products have been making waves for how great they are since they’ve arrived in Singapore (we even compiled a list of Sunday Riley’s best products, which you can check out) but there’s no denying that most of their products come with a steep price tag.
The ever-popular Sunday Riley Luna Night Sleeping Oil is no exception. This night oil supposedly works through the night to deliver radiant, luminous and even-toned skin, all while reducing the appearance of pores and wrinkles – whoa!
And while that might sound impressive, The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalone actually reportedly does just the same as its more expensive counterpart. Little wonder then, that this Sunday Riley’s dupe has garnered rave reviews from beauty junkies and newbies alike for its effective formula AND affordable price. Score!
The Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil is available at selected Sephora outlets and retails at S$153.
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalone is available on Beautylish. It retails at ~S$8.90.
7. Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying V.S. The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution
Tea tree oil is a life saver when it comes to saving oily, acne-prone skin. The Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying is an effective tea tree product that clears skin buildup and allows for a smooth, clear complexion. With the addition of salicylic acid and cucumber seed oil in the mix, blemishes are instantly banished when it comes to this well-loved product.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution is just as effective, though, combating blemishes and mattifying skin amazingly well. Plus, it comes with 15ml more formula, and costs almost a-quarter the price of the former. If that isn’t a steal, we don’t know what is!
The Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying is available at selected Sephora outlets and retails at S$121.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution is available at all The Body Shop outlets and Shopee. It retails at S$33.
8. Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk V.S. Biore UV Perfect Face Milk
Uh, you know the products are pretty similar when even their names are close to identical. The competition isn’t surprising, though, considering how Japanese sunscreens are among the most sought-after ones in the market because of how sophisticated the market is when it comes to sun care.
You can’t talk about the best sunscreen in the market without mentioning the Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk. It is sweat-proof, water-proof, and provides long-lasting protection against the sun’s rays, with it coming in at SPF50+ PA++++.
All of these benefits are extraordinarily similar to the Biore UV Perfect Face Milk, which even has Anessa’s characteristic lightweight texture that is easily absorbed into skin – interesting! It does come with slightly less product than the Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk (40ml to 60ml), but looking at how it close to half the price, we’ll say it may be worth a try.
It is important to note, however, that the Anessa sunscreen claims to have its sun protection ability strengthened when it comes in touch with water. This is something that the Biore version doesn’t claim to have.
The Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Milk is available at selected Watsons outlets and retails for S$41.90. There’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so click on the links to see latest price.
The Biore UV Perfect Face Milk is available at all Guardian and Watsons outlets as well as at major supermarkets. It retails for S$15.90. There’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so click on the links to see latest prices.
9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade V.S. NYX Professional Makeup Tame & Frame Tinted Pomade
A brow pomade that glides on skin, gives you great pigmentation, and stays put all day? Well, you can get all of that with both the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and the NYX Professional Makeup Tame & Frame Tinted Pomade.
The NYX one is widely regarded to be one of the best holy grail dupes out there, though, as it enhances your natural brow shape and adds dimension effortlessly. Do note that it has a more limited shade range as compared to Anastasia’s— but we foresee that while having only five shades in the range can be rather limiting, it won’t pose much of a problem to most.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade is available at selected Sephora outlets and retails for S$35.
The NYX Professional Makeup Tame & Frame Tinted Pomade is available at all NYX boutiques, selected Sephora outlets, as well as on Lookfantastic. It retails for S$13.
10. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara V.S. L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise
Who hasn’t heard about the legendary Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara? Referred to in many circles as the best mascara of all time, this mascara volumises, separates, and curls short, stubby lashes so that they look long and luscious in an instant.
The price tag can be a bit of a turn off, especially since you are recommended to change your mascara every three months, so you may want to consider its dupe, the L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise instead. As one of the best holy grail dupes out there, it creates out of this world volume and length that is guaranteed to have heads turning your way every time you so much as blink.
The Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$42.
11. KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner V.S. Maybelline Hypersharp Power Black Liner
A liquid liner that glides over your lash line to give a crisp, sharp line is what we’re looking for when it comes to eyeliners. Oh, and did we mention that they should also be smudge-proof, water-proof, and have amazing staying power to boot?
Luckily enough, both the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and the Maybelline Hypersharp Power Black Liner are more than up to the task. Of course, the Maybelline one comes at a fraction of KVD Beauty’s price and works just as well, so if you’re looking to save some moolah, this is a worthy option out there.
The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$32.
The Maybelline Hypersharp Power Black Liner is available at all Guardian and Watsons outlets, as well as at major supermarkets. It retails for S$20.90. There’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so click on the links to see latest prices.
12. Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer V.S. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
The similarities don’t just lie in the packaging and colour scheme, but in terms of what it can do for your skin, too! Both Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer and the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser work to minimise the appearance of pores and fine lines, giving you a smooth, even canvas, all ready for your makeup routine.
The Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer comes in a little more at 22ml worth of product (Maybelline is at 20ml), but the stark price difference between both is more than enough to make up for 2ml worth of product.
The Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$56 (22ml).
The Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser is available at all Guardian and Watsons outlets, as well as at major supermarkets. It retails for S$21.90. There’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so click on the links to see latest prices.
13. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Moonstone V.S. Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Lunch Money
There’s nothing that can quite get your glow on like a great highlighter. A particular favourite amongst beauty junkies? The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlight. The shade Moonstone is known to be super flattering on all skin tones, giving a beautiful, subtle pop of bronze on your cheeks.
For those strapped for cash, you’re in luck; the Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter does the exact same job, and is almost six times cheaper. Reviewers say they pretty much come in the same texture and consistency, too, though the Colourpop one is a hint more buttery than the Becca.
The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Moonstone is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$60. Note that Becca Cosmetics is closing down so stocks for its products will be low.
The Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Lunch Money is available on its site. It retails for ~S$10.70.
14. Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette V.S. NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette Warm Neutrals
The iconic Urban Decay Naked Palettes are always at the top of the list when it comes to holy grail makeup items any beauty enthusiast should own. Availability aside, of course (R.I.P the Naked Palette), they’re also notoriously pricey for a set of twelve shadows, going up to S$83 just for a set.
Thankfully, there are more than enough affordable dupes going around when it comes to these babies. Our favourite pick has to be the NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette in Warm Neutrals. It is an almost exact shade match for the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, cementing its spot as one of the best holy grail eyeshadow dupes in the market right now.
The Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$83.
The NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette in Warm Neutrals is available on Lookfantastic. It retails for S$29.
15. Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Liquid Foundation V.S. Maybelline SuperStay 24H Full Coverage Foundation
The more expensive the foundation, the better it is, right? Wrong! These days, drugstore foundations are truly stepping up their game to provide high coverage, long-lasting, and weightless formulas that truly rival their luxury counterparts.
One such example is the Maybelline SuperStay 24H Full Coverage. Those who have tried it says it’s identical to the luxe foundations by Huda Beauty in terms of performance, though we’ll give it to Huda Beauty for having more shade variations. Still, a great option when it comes to being one of the best holy grail dupes there is!
The Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Liquid Foundation is available at Sephora and retails for S$61.
16. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer V.S. LUNA Long Lasting Tip Concealer
For some of us, concealer is an essential makeup product that we can’t do without, because it works so well in covering our blemishes and dark eye rings.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is widely-acknowledged to be the holy grail concealer for its high coverage, long-lasting properties, and delivering an even application that doesn’t crease. But for something that we use so often, it does hurt our wallets a fair bit to part with S$46 so frequently.
LUNA’s offering is often compared to its NARS counterpart – some even prefer this over the holy grail because it suits their oily skin better! It is said to give a matte finish, instant brightening effect, and does not budge even when in contact with water. Sweet!
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is available at all NARS boutiques and counters, as well as Sephora. It retails for S$46.
LUNA Long Lasting Tip Concealer is available on Shopee, and retails for S$23.30. There’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so click on the links to see latest price.
17. Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Lady Balls V.S. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red
High pigmentation, amazing staying power, and all with an easy-to-use applicator tip? Yup, beauty enthusiasts draw parallels between the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Liquid Balls and Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red.
The shade is identical as well, barring from the more luxe packaging courtesy of Too Faced. Honestly, you won’t be missing out on much by purchasing the Sephora Collection one instead.
The Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Lady Balls is available at all Sephora outlets and retails for S$35.
The Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red is available at Sephora and retails for S$20.
18. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Lotion V.S. Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer
Now, which self-respecting beauty enthusiast wouldn’t have heard of Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Lotion before? This eyeshadow primer is well-loved for helping eyeshadows remain crease-free and highly-pigmented throughout the day, so that your eye makeup stays perfect for hours on end.
While not all of us can bear to part with S$35 for a 10ml product, K-beauty brand Etude has one that does just as well, if not better – and at one-seventh of the price!
Many users swear that this dupe from Etude helps heavy eyeshadow hold up on even the oiliest eyelids, and even has been their go-to for years!
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Lotion is available at Sephora and retails for S$35.
Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer is no longer available at official Etude stores in Singapore, but you can still find it carried by retailers on Shopee for around S$5.
19. NARS Orgasm Blush V.S. e.l.f Studio Blush in Twinkle Pink
NARS Orgasm Blush is the universally-acknowledged gold standard in blushes. While the peachy pink shade may be flattering on all skin tones, sadly, the price tag is not as inclusive.
Luckily for us, drugstore brand e.l.f has a blush dupe that serves up a gorgeous coral pink with gold sparkle. Many reviewers have compared their swatches and find the two shades to be extremely similar.
NARS Orgasm Blush is available at all NARS boutiques and counters, as well as Sephora. It retails for S$52.
e.l.f Studio Blush in Twinkle Pink is available on Shopee and retails for S$9.
20. Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Vinyl Cream Lip Stain in #407 V.S. A’PIEU Water Light Tint in RD03
One of Yves Saint Laurent Beaute’s best-selling products is this lip stain, and shade #407 is sold out so often that you should consider yourself lucky if you ever manage to get your hands on it.
Thanks to A’PIEU, you can still get what seems to be the exact same red bean paste shade, same comfortable texture, same glossy finish, but at only tiny fraction of the price!
But be warned – A’PIEU’s dupe of YSL Beaute’s holy grail lippie is so popular that it does run out of stock sometimes – thankfully, the brand stocks up on this shade quite often, so you don’t have to be put on a long waiting list.
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Beaute Vinyl Cream Lip Stain in #407 is available at all YSL Beaute boutiques and counters. It retails for S$55.
A’PIEU Water Light Tint in RD03 is available on Shopee. It retails for S$6. There’s a discount going on at the time of writing, so click on the link to see latest price.