Beauty dupes: are expensive products worth their price tags?

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In many cases, beauty brands are selling expensive packaging or profiting off the name of a celebrity rather than selling true quality products. Brands tend to make such similar products—in similar shades—so, I decided to put them up against one other. 

Does the price truly matter? Is the extra spending worth it? Is there a sufficient alternative? 

To start off my investigation, I made a big purchase: the Dyson Air Wrap. The Dyson Air Wrap is a hair styling tool similar to a product I’ve reviewed in the past, the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer, but has a smaller, rounder brush head. Both of these tools definitely have been successful in giving a desirable blowout; the process when using them, however, has been vastly different. 

The Dyson hair tool has multiple detachable heads whereas the Revlon tool provides just one attached round brush head. With the Dyson one, I’m able to start my blowout with their smoothing brush head and then continue later on with the round volumizing brush. Also, towards the end of this process, I’m able to accent with easy curls by utilizing another one of their attachment heads: the air-wrap barrel. Because the Dyson Air Wrap comes with six interchangeable attachment pieces, it’s obvious that it would be more expensive. But here’s the catch: the Dyson Air Wrap costs nearly ten times as much as the Revlon One-Step. The Revlon drying brush retails for $59.99; the Dyson Air Wrap costs a whopping $550. The Revlon dryer is definitely a much simpler tool, though it is much louder than the Dyson and also much hotter—making it more likely to then damage the hair over time. However, due to the fact that the end blowout is basically the same, I would recommend the Revlon One-Step in consideration of the drastic price difference.

Lastly, I present a bronzer face-off. The Tom Ford Soleil Glow Bronzer goes head-to-head with the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer—who will come out with the overall win? ”

Next in line is the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit versus the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kit includes an ultra-matte liquid lipstick and a matching lip liner, retailing for $29. Though I do enjoy the Kylie Lip Kit, I have found the lipsticks to be noticeably drying. NYX lip products are by far my favorite in the lip department from the drug store; the liquid lipsticks and liners are just phenomenal, so I thought these two would be a pretty good match. The NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream definitely won this round for me; the product is affordable, comfortable, long-lasting, and even nourishing while costing just $6.50.

Moving forward, I sought out a pricier mascara: the Tom Ford Emotionsproof Mascara ($46). This mascara is simply not worth its price. The packaging is luxurious and heavy, but the product itself just didn’t do it for me. One thing I noticed off the bat was how quickly the formula clumped up which made the application process somewhat time-consuming. This mascara is not an on-the-go type of mascara as I had to continuously sift through the lashes and play with it to get my desired end look. Also, I noticed that after wearing it all day, it became flakey. One of my favorite drugstore mascaras, which is not only better quality than the Emotionproof Mascara but also rings up at $9.95, is the L’oreal Paris Voluminous Makeup Lash Paradise Mascara. The Lash Paradise Mascara gives loads of volume while thickening and lengthening the lashes. This product does not flake, it does not clump, and it does not smudge. It’s such an accessible mascara as it’s found in many drugstores and holds its own against several pricier mascaras.

Lastly, I present a bronzer face-off. The Tom Ford Soleil Glow Bronzer goes head-to-head with the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer—who will come out with the overall win? 

Let’s start off with the pricean undeniably important factor. The Soleil Glow Bronzer retails for $70, and the Butter Bronzer costs $15. The Tom Ford Bronzer is gorgeous; the pan size is huge, so I’d say the product given is a decent amount in regards to the amount of money spent, and the packaging is sturdy and classy. I purchased this bronzer after seeing a beauty influencer using it on YouTube and was pleasantly surprised. This powder lays smooth on the skin, the application is easy, and the overall warmth added to the face after use gives the perfect bronzey tone to the completed look. I purchased this bronzer in the shade Terra which worked really well on my skin tone; however, there is an additional shade called Gold Dust which has a little bit more of an orangey hue. The Butter Bronzer is definitely the best drugstore bronzer I’ve purchased and is honestly a great dupe to the more expensive Tom Ford one. Being $55 cheaper, the Butter Bronzer is still creamy, smooth, and radiant as well as super easy to blend out and build on.

Price aside, several products are marketed falsely when it comes to beauty products; in other words, what they allegedly are supposed to do differs from what they actually do.

When buying new makeup products, it’s important to check reviews listed by others, compare prices, and even sample products if possible. One thing I’ve learned, and continue to learn, is that each product works differently for everyone. We all have different hair, we all have different faces, we all have different bodies. We all have different nails and so on. We are all different.

The only real way to see what works best is to go out and try new products. Though from what I’ve found, the extra spending is not necessarily worth it.