Are make-up dupes a way for people on a budget to access cosmetics they otherwise couldn’t afford or are they just a glorified copy of someone else's work?
Getting something cheaper than it should be is exhilarating for us students. Whether it’s spending just £6 on three trebles in Bijoux, or shopping at Grainger Market after blowing your student loan in Jesmond’s Tesco, it’s a true thrill saving tens of pounds. And it’s the same with beauty. Make-up dupes are, more than ever, storming our high streets with brands such as Make-up Revolution, Sleek and MUA shamelessly replicating products for those who can’t bare the extortionate prices of premium brands, including us students. Online beauty bloggers and beauty magazines are forever hunting for that cheaper alternative, and the internet is filled with articles about where to find the best dupes for beauty, fashion and skincare - it’s hard to ignore it!
Online beauty bloggers and beauty magazines are forever hunting for that cheaper alternative.
Just like Bijoux or Grainger Market, how can we complain if it’s a similar quality at a cheaper price?
Just look at w7’s ‘In the Buff Palette’ or MUA’s ‘Undress Me Palette’ as dupes of Urban Decay’s ‘Naked 2,’ a holy grail amongst make-up lovers. Alongside the shades, finishes and overall design of the palettes, even the names of each shade follow the same theme. Hurrah for us bargain hunting customers; saving us almost £35 of our hard-earned cash! But not so much for American make-up giant, Urban Decay.
As described by Debenhams, the Naked 2 palette became “the most anticipated sequel of the decade,” and as expected, this eyeshadow palette became every make-up-lovers best friend. But like many other premium beauty brands, Urban Decay will have spent months, or even years, perfecting Naked 2 before it flooded the shelves of Fenwick, Selfridges, and Debenhams. The theme, formulas and design will have been both an expensive and time-consuming task for the team at Urban Decay - the next big thing doesn’t happen overnight.
Premium brands are ‘premium’ for a reason and the price tag is down to the pure hard work and expensive ingredients in each product. So as make-up lovers, should we really be ignoring the hard work behind premium brands and neglecting them for the cheaper copies we see on the high street?
Arguably, premium brands have been known in the past to bump up their prices just because of that all-important logo. And arguably, affordable brands have also been known to be better quality than their expensive rivals. But, there are still some honest premium brands in the business and, at the moment, it seems unfair for low-end brands to obviously steal ideas and plant them on the high street at a fraction of the price.
Urban Decay aren’t the only brand to have been duped. Anastasia Beverly Hills’ DIPBROW pomade has also been famously copied by NYX’s ‘Tame and Frame’ alongside NARS’ ‘Orgasm’ blush by Sleek with their ‘Rose Gold’. And it doesn’t stop there. I love a bargain as much as the next person but before rushing for that next top dupe, do a little research, find out whether the premium version is fab or a fad, and take into consideration the fairness, the hard work and the expense behind that £40 product. And if you’re not convinced? Then dupe it.