Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


What high-end products have you not been able to find drugstore alternatives for? What haven’t drugstore brands been able to do as well?

Temptalia's AnswerI think finding a really good eyeshadow primer can be difficult, but there are a couple out there.

Thanks to Yasmin for today’s question!

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101 thoughts on “What high-end products have you not been able to find drugstore alternatives for?

  1. For me, concealer. Nothing compares to my Amazing Cosmetics Concealer.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rae Rae

      Psst – I thought the same thing, until I met Hard Candy Glamoflauge! It’s amazing ;)

      • Courtney

        Ditto on Glamoflauge, it rocks! It’s the most pigmented concealer I’v ever found in a drugstore. Very similar to amazing cosmetics or MUFE

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Fitrah Fitrah

    I’ve been researching cream bronzer for a while and though I’ve talked myself down from the ledge of buying Chanel’s bronzing base, I haven’t found anything comparable (based on reviews, etc.) to the Too Faced Aqua Bunny bronzer, which is probably what I’ll end up getting.

  3. Yasmin

    Foundations and concealers! I have tried so many, but always return to my high-end products that I can count on. I also find bronzers difficult to find in the drugstore.

  4. Most definitely eye shadow primer. Besides that, cream eyeshadows in either pot or stick form that don’t crease. Like Benefit’s creaseless creams or Urban Decay’s new pencils.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Fitrah Fitrah

      ooh! forgot about cream eyeshadows. definitely never found one at the drugstore that can be worn alone.

    • Jessica

      I actually think Jesse’s Girl primer is fantastic. IMO, it’s just about comparable to UDPP.

    • Paz

      Actually I really like the elf one! It does seem a bit sketchy with it being $1 and all, but compared side by side with udpp and too faced primer potion it stood up fairly. I definitely recommend even just a try. You have nothing to lose for a buck.

  5. Julia

    My Soleil de Tan de Chanel is undupeable at the drugstore!

  6. John

    I can’t seem to find a drugstore alternative to Laura Mercier’s Silk Creme Foundation. :] I always mention this. Haha.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lacey Lacey

      I thought the same, but then I,tried covergirl natureluxe.,its a great dupe

      • John

        I’ve tried that too, and though the texture is similar, it provides nowhere near the same level of coverage (the LM is significantly more pigmented) and the finish is different as well (the LM doesn’t dull down the natural luminosity of the skin). Furthermore, the lasting power and oil-control aspects can’t compete with the Laura Mercier. Definitely not a dupe for me. But if it works for you, then yay!

  7. Maybelline eyestudio master drama cream pencil better then urban decay 24/7 liner or mac eyeliners
    Nothing compares to my bobbi brown concealer

  8. mumtaza

    this is random but, lip palettes. i love lip palettes, nars, senna, cle de peau, lancome, ysl, chanel. the best i have is from 3 custom color specialists ( my favorite make-up line!!!!!) i almost don’t touch my stick lipsticks and wand glosses any more. i tried nyx but it was awful! everyone here seems so lucky! i can barely really dupe anything high-end i like at the drugstore in a way that really performs and satisfies me. now i feel like i’m not doing it right…frown…

  9. Leah

    Really good concealer and foundation are worth the extra money, IMHO! I heard that Hard Candy has a good concealer, but it’s only available at Wal-Mart and I refuse to shop there.

  10. Face primer… Drug store ones are ok but not great

  11. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Atanza Atanza

    Eyeshadow primer, and… as weird as it sounds… eyeliner. My UD Zero is my HG, and the only thing I’ve found that comes close is Loreal HIP eyeliner, but it still smears. I’ve tried SO many drugstore eyeliners and can’t find one that really works. Recommendations would be great!

  12. Kate

    Foundation. I have trouble finding pale enough foundation even within the high end brands. The only drugstore foundation light enough for me is Maybelline FIT ME in Porcelain, which doesn’t really work for me.

    • Courtney

      Try ordering foundation from an Asian brand. They usually have lighter shades. Also, Maybelline makes a BB cream but they only sell it in Asia (you can get it on ebay or Sasa.com or other online stores though) and it is pretty light and adjusts to your skintone. It’s one of my favorites. It also isn’t super yellowy. Have you tried Tarte’s new amazonian clay foundation in fair? It’s really light.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy Amy

      Ah…yes I feel your pain. I have harder time finding a pale enough foundation in high end brands more than drugstore =-= At least Fit Me and Loreal True Match came kinda close. You should try Graftobian’s Ultra Lites Creme Foundation (I wear the lightest neutral shade since I’m a fair Asian), Tarte’s Amanzionian Clay foundation or any of theirs that are sold on QVC cuz they run really light, or if you’re REALLY EXTREMELY PALE and none of those work for you then just buy the lightest shade that matches you with a formula you like and a white foundation that has a similar formula and you can just add into that. For a dewy finish I recommend the white Face and Body foundation from MAC and for a semi-matte to matte finish I recommend Zero – from Face Ateilier :D hope this helps.

    • Ana

      Same for me! Drug store ones are generally too beige, too. So’re most higher end ones, too, but now I’m looking into Asian brands, like Courtney suggested. If I don’t luck out, I’m going to try some mineralbrands and mix colors until I make something light enough, hah.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of artemis artemis

      i know :( same 4me

  13. This is probably obvious, but perfume. I’m not a fragrance connoisseur by any means but the drugstore dupes (“if you like Chanel No. 5 try…”) are pretty heinous.

    Even the stuff at Bath and Body Works which is cheap as drugstore can’t really compare to the high-end stuff. Mind you, I still love Warm Vanilla Sugar, Sensual Amber, Black Amethyst as nice scents to spray!

  14. Tigress

    Nothing for me, but my mom only uses Clinique skin care produts.

  15. Crystal

    Concealer! I haven’t been able to find a formula that doesn’t accentuate the fine lines in my undereye area. It’s also difficult for me to find a shade that works well for me.

    • Jane

      Although I have to use a primer to keep it around and nothing at all ever covers my violet circles, I do like the new Maybelline Age Defying concealer. Luckily the color worked for me. Now if I could only depot away from that icky felt wand!

  16. Krista

    I agree with the primer because I use my Paint Pots as one. However, I do find some drugstore eyeshadows such as Wet n’ Wild’s Color Icon line not needing primer and yet I get amazing results some higher end eyeshadows won’t be able to give me. :)

  17. Maureen

    Sometimes you find dupes in the oddest places. I recently ordered a NYX eyeshadow palette and found that one of the colors in it is a 100% perfect dupe for MAC’s Mega Metal Peacocky eyeshadow, “Mating Call.”

    I haven’t found any drugstore liquid eyeliner I like, actually.

    • Angel

      Which NYX palette? I’m looking for dupes to the Peacocky eyeshadows.

      • Maureen

        Strike a Pose. It’s slightly worse quality, but I’d say that’s negligible. There’s a purple color in it that is basically Mating Call.

    • lacey

      ive heard that the revlon one ( i think its revlon) is pure gold. I do just fine with my one from LA girl from the dollar store, at least for plain black

    • meme

      I only have a tiny Rite Aide and they don’t carry NYX so I feel really left out when folks write about that brand and Miliane often

  18. daphne

    An eyelash curler. Shu Uemura love! ;)

  19. dangerk

    Highly pigmented matte blushes comparable to Bobbi Brown and/or Nars (personally I think BB makes the best matte blushes and is underrated), lipglosses without shimmer (perhaps excluding NYX because the Ulta near my home doesn’t have a good supply of their lipglosses), soft pencil eyeliner, and foundation (just because I am of South Asian descent and my skin is impossible to match even by brands embracing a wide variety of skin tones – incl. MAC!)

    • Courtney

      ELF (eyes lips face) has some really nice pigmented blush in their studio line for only $3. Some of them have shimmer but I think they also have some matte shades.

  20. Liz

    hm… becca beach tints perhaps? *good* stains that work well on dry skin in unique colors (not slightly-lighter-pink and slightly-darker-pink, although I really can’t think of any drugstore stains that have a more gel-like consistency rather then a liquid one… plus BBTs are waterproof).

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of jackie Jackie

    colored mascaras, lol. they are never as bright/vibrant as my estee lauder or ysl ones

  22. Jessica

    concealer!

  23. Mia

    Foundation for me, definitely. I haven’t found a drugstore equivalent in the right shade that my skin’s happy with.

  24. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lacey Lacey

    My chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation is irreplaceable, anddrugstore bronzers never,work. To shimmery, to orange, too sheer.,problem after problem lok

  25. Yazmin

    the things that i cant find are paint pots, i love mac paint pots but missed out on the really vibrant colour ones, all the ones that are permanent are just different nudes with a shimmer or matte finish.
    The one thing that is terrible in the drugstore range for me are face basics like foundation, concealer and powder. the uk drugstore market doesnt really stock makeup for anyone with a darker skin tone, i think the one that has really made a break through in foundations for everyone is sleek makeup, which im really eager to try, but everytime i go the display stand is very messy and unorganised :(

    • mumtaza

      Try MAC’s gone but not forgotten section. They will ship you what they still have at retail cost. Also cosmetic outlets, not sure if they have those in UK. Finally, eBay. They’re selling artifact, coral crepe, rollickin’, delft, the Alexander mcqueen ones, etc. And the ones I’ve gotten have all been authentic. This was a problem for me, too. But now I have quite a few. I absolutely wish (MAC are you listening?) We could have new brightly colored paint pots!!!!!!!!!

    • Lucy

      There’s the option to buy a foundation sample pack on the sleek website; that might help narrow down your choice.
      I get what you mean about the display too, I’m guessing you were in superdrug?!

  26. Friederike

    Foundation (never find a really good color match in drugstores) and Mascara – I always return to Lancome for Mascara, as I am always so disappointed with the results from drugstore brands:(

  27. Amy

    Foundation, concealer, and eye liner.

  28. Yasmin

    yayyy, this is my first post at the blog, thanks christine for posting my question.
    I have been looking at this site for a while and I learned that you don’t always get what you pay for, I mean there is always great and awful items even at the same brand, but what I mean is there a certain item (like foundation, councelor, etc) that drugstore makeup will never be able to make really close to high end brands?
    here were I live in the middle east even drug store makeup is really expensive, for us MAC is luxury, so a have to really have a good justification to expend such a fourtune for an MU item.

    regarding eyeshadow primer, I have found one that I think it’s considered drugstore brand it’s called Artdeco and it’s a German brand that I know it’s not available at US but I find it impressive noting that I didn’t really tried alot of options but I heard that it’s as good as UDPP.

    • Alisa

      I have heard the artdeco primer is good as well but I havnt been able to find it yet, the only one that I have found in the DM store downtown is from a brand called P2 (another German brand) and that primer/brightener got mixed reviews so I didn’t even want to bother with it..plus the P2 primer was like this odd pink color similar to my loreal studio secrets face primer, people said it creased pretty fast though :( I ended up just going to my Px and purchasing the eye primer from clinique in a color called canvas and so far so good. It has been on all day and has not creased!

      • Lilac

        Alisa, the store called “Müller” and also Douglas-Perfumery (also online) stock Art Deco :) and usually all other perfumery-store-chains, too, depending on which ones you have in your city. It is not listed at DM or Rossmann.

  29. condesa

    Foundation by all means. NO drugstore foundation equals a Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, Shiseido, you name it. I have been unsing foundation for the last 25 years (I was a teen when I started) and trust me, I have tried a few, both HE and Drugstore. Even when I am broke, I will save all my pennies for a good high end foundation.

  30. Kristabelle

    There are a lot of drugstore products I love, but I just can’t find a good cheap face primer. Love my CoverFX Clear Prep, but the price really makes me wince. Also, cheap eyeshadows don’t even come close to something like Urban Decay.

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lily lily

      Have you tried the Monistat anti-chafing gel as a primer? It’s almost an exact dupe of smashbox photofinish with the same ingredients. It also received good reviews on makeupalley.com. I know the “monistat” label kind of makes is strange but i think it works just as well.

  31. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mariella Mariella

    A few things – foundation (Clarins and MAC are my go-to liquids), concealer (since Revlon discontinued the one I used to use) and a few skin care products…eye cream, moisturizer with SPF and makeup fixing spray (Clarins Fix Makeup) and shadow primer (not that I’ve tried – there aren’t too many drugstore ones here in Canada).

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sandy Sandhya

    Foundation and concealer. I would spend the $40- 50 to get high end foundation over and over. Plus, since you can’t try out drugstore foundations, you’d probably end up spending a lot of money on products you can’t use unless you get lucky and find a perfect match the first time or the drugstore has a good return policy that the staff actually follows.

    • Just a quick question… What’s with this ‘can’t try drugstore foundation’ thing? You can try pretty much all foundation in Sweden O.o

      • Hope

        USAs apoteken (till exempel: CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid) vanligen säljer förpackad kosmetika. Det är olika än en kosmetikbutik (Ulta, Sephora). Apoteken har inte “testers” (hur sager det på svenska?).

        Jag vet inte, men tycker jag att Sephora kan sälja dyra kosmetika eftersom det. Jag ska resa till Sverige – min första resa! – och jag vill köpa kosmetika på H&M.

        (Jag studerar svenska på universitet och hoppas jag att min svenska är okej. Det är lite svårt att practicera det här i sommar.)

      • Ashley

        In the US, most drugstore makeup companies do not provide testers to the retailers. It is a huge deterrent from buying drugstore products :(

  33. Mertle

    Mac Blot Powder!!! It’s the only thing I wear on my face now, besides a little concealer:) I find that it is the only powder that really controls oil like it says it will.

  34. emi s.

    I’ve heard that NYX high definition concealer is almost an exact dupe for UDPP.

    For me, I can’t find drugstore foundation/concealer that are a perfect match. I’m sure they’re out there, but I’m not willing to buy 15 shades to get the perfect one. It’s actually cheaper to just try things on at Sephora and buy the one that matches perfectly.

  35. I don’t really know yet, I am intimidated by high-end brands! That said, there are many drug store products that I’m unhappy with, and I’m curious to see what everybody else leaves in the comments so I can try to look for guidance on what high-end stuff to try that might be better than my current drug store items.

    • meme

      I am not a high end snob – but also don’t want to throw away my $. I found that things I bought at the drugstore ended up getting tossed away when I went through my makeup for clean out due to non use. Eventually I have just stopped looking and buying ds brands because I don’t want to throw away my $.

  36. Lulee

    i would say my laura mercier hydrating primer, chanel rouge allure laques, and chanel pro lumiere.

  37. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Laurel Laurel

    Primers, eye and face, are difficult to find in good quality at the drugstore. Concealers are another thing that I haven’t found a good inexpensive alternative for

  38. Rebe

    Laura Mercier Secret Concealer.

  39. Rayna

    Foundation for sure. Even if I can find a match (Hard for the super pale) the quality is almost always lacking. I’ll spend the money and get my Dior.

  40. Foundation: Ive tried onhigh end foundations, and I’m actually prefferring my drugstore Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Toffee..its a hard shade to find in the store sometimes, but the product itself its amazing. Perfect coverage, lightweight, feels soft to the touch.

    Primer: Again, for oily skins/combination skins, its hard to find that perfect primer high end, because alot of them are oily..I found a drugstore one that is simply amazing the NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer. It’s my favorite and best primer i’ve tried!

  41. Courtney

    I’ve noticed a lot of people said primer. A lot of people I know love the Loreal Studio Secrets Primer. It’s not for me b/c I can’t do heavy silicones but it may be worth a shot if you haven’t tried it. I know there are women in NY that stockpile it like mad.

    • meme

      There is a Tarte primer with no silicone in it that many sensitive to silicone say really works for them. I don’t use a primer often. I have a few bottles left of when Dr. Perricone made one. It did not do much in my book. I also have a Mally one that frankly I don’t use but at night to lock in my nighttime moisturizers from them going into my pillow!

  42. slick

    I’d also say foundations and concealers. I could live off drugstore color products easily, but I would be lost without my MUFE foundations! I’ve tried the NYX HD foundation and it was OK, so I guess I could live off NYX if I absolutely had to!

    Its also harder to find good drugstore brushes, IMO. There are good drugstore face brushes (elf studio, ecotools) but I have yet to see a decent 239 or 217 dupe in a drugstore!

  43. lexi

    chanel bronze universel!

  44. Paint Pots! What’s up with that? I want paint pots available at a drugstore near me in many bright and tempting colors.

  45. Anonymous

    Foundations, concealers, and eye brushes. I have bought many cheap dupes of these but they are always below par. When I think about it, all the money I spent on dupes could’ve already afforded me the ‘real thing’. lol. Seriously…it all adds up..$5 here, $8 here.

    • meme

      I found when I was trying to buy dupes, or spur of the moment products at the drug store, they were all going back for return. I think Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS still take cosmetics on return right? I have not tried in quite some time to return as I don’t buy many cosmetic items at the drug store. – sort of limited to cotton pads and now thank goodness, Essie polishes!

  46. meme

    Agree with concealers. I don’t even try drugstore brand ones anymore (and this is the lady who wore nothing but something (I think it was MaxFactor) that came in a lipstick bullet all through high school and college – showing my age here). I love Tarte concealers. Her original in the pot is great. But she is trying to up her ingredients to make them more earth friendly…she has a great new one out (right now only on QVC due to she has trouble getting the ingredients as of now in enough quantity to retail it widely. It’s a waterproof and has this amazing Maracuja oil in it that is better than Aragon oil folks! people who have oily skin can wear Maracuja oil even..it’s so skin balancing. Also, I don’t find the quality of eye shadows in drugstore brand that I do in UD and other higher end brands. Most drugstore shadows are grainy, full of talc and not the stay power.

  47. shruti

    lorac baked eyeshadow

  48. Ellie

    For me, eyeliner is something that I struggle with. I always try to find one that is comparable to the Urban Decay 24/7 glide on pencils, but nothing ever comes close. They are so smooth and silky and last all day long.

  49. Nikoline

    I think it would be Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base, that stuff is amazing. And probably Bobbi Brown Corrector, makes my extremely dark circles go away in two seconds. And skincare if that counts.

  50. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mandy bxboricua

    concealer (although I’ve tried high end ones that were terrible too)…my Eve Pearl concealer is irreplaceable and UDPP is the best eye shadow primer for me – the drugstore ones that I tried didn’t work for me

  51. Brushes. There are some good drugstore brands, like the elf studio line, but nothing beats the high end ones

  52. Em

    Urban Decay Primer Potion, MAC Paint Pots, Benefit Creasless Shadows–actually cream shadows in general. I haven’t found a decent one at a drugstore yet.

  53. Shalimar

    Foundation
    Concealer
    Setting powder
    sunscreen (drugstore sunscreen are horrible on my face)
    primer
    skin care products

  54. Michelle

    Brushes! They are the one thing I will splurge on consistantly. I find the performance of certain products can be affected by the brush you use. Eco tools brushes are nice but not readily available at my local drug stores.

  55. katie

    concealer. liquid highlighter. benetint and other cheekstains.

  56. Audrey

    foundation. i can never find one at the drugstore that matches me because of my strong yellow undertones.

  57. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of artemis artemis

    mac saint germain :( the dupe i found is drying :(( oh well
    any pale-nude lipstick….drugstore ones are brown
    hmmmm….a good foundation that won’t clog my pores? when will i ever find that? i read bad things even about high end ones

  58. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Chandra Chandra

    I would have to say def brushes. I can dupe almost anything but I can not dupe brushes. It has to be Mac or Nars. That said I can say that I am usually not nearly as happy with a drugstore product. I don’t know if it’s more in my head or what but I am never as happy. Especially with eyeshadows. Lipsticks though I can do just fine.

  59. Alexis Boyle

    DiorShow Mascara by Christian Dior. It’s the only mascara I’ve ever used, that people ask whether or not I’m wearing artificial lashes–everytime I wear it.

  60. Alexis Boyle

    NARS Foundation Primer

  61. Same as you, Christine – in the bathroom. Although I’d really like to have a vanity in my bedroom.

  62. Chelsea

    I think highlighters are one thing. I only found one drugstore highlighter.