Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Temptalia Asks You


Would you rather have the real thing or the cheaper dupe? If you have to pay for it, which would you rather? If it was free, which would you rather?

Temptalia's AnswerGenerally, I like supporting the people who actually create, rather than just copy others (so not coincidental duping). If it seemed like one brand was just copying another, then I’d want the original, whether I paid or not. It’s the same way I feel about designer products – buy the real thing, not the knock-offs (though it’s really a different, more serious issue that encompasses more far-reaching consequences). I totally get dupes, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying a dupe rather than the original. They can provide a wider group of people access to a product that is overpriced as well as provide an alternative when the original product was limited edition.

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122 thoughts on “Would you rather have the real thing or the cheaper dupe?

  1. ledz

    Generally I go for the real thing first. Dupes (whether cheaper or not) are second choices when I don’t have access to the original ones.
     
    Sometimes I get BOTH the original and the dupe, especially if I really love the color – like with nail polish for example, this allows me to “save” the more expensive ones for special occasions and the “cheaper” one for regular days.

  2. blueraccoon

    I’d always rather have the real thing. Food, purses, makeup, whatever, I’d rather have a smaller version of the real thing than a larger dupe, if that’s all I can afford, but if I can afford the real thing I’ll buy it. My mom used to say I had champagne taste on a water budget, which was fairly true, but now I have a larger budget so it’s easier to indulge my interests. The only thing I’m not really picky about are my clothes–I don’t need designer shirts or anything. 

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of MonicaP mpca66

      @blueraccoon .. I don’t buy expensive designer clothing either .. I’m an unintentional slob and if a spot on my clothing, forget to pre-treat it .. and find the stain after the clothing has been in the dryer .. well, it’s a cheap Target cardigan, I’m not going to boo hoo about it. IF I bought a more expensive cardigan at Nordstrom’s .. waaaaaaaaa!!

    • Jen

       @blueraccoon Thats funny about the champagne taste on a water budget. Ive always heard that saying as Caviar taste Tuna fish money.

      • blueraccoon

        @Jen – hee. The one I usually hear is champagne taste on a beer budget, but at the time i had NO money so it was definitely a water budget.

  3. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Abigail AbigailOD

    Amen to every word Christine! =)  Well said.

  4. Abbyu

    Depending on how unique the item is, I prefer to buy the original for the same reasons. At some point, paying for a luxury item is like buying an art piece and supporting the brand’s vision.
     
    That said, I totally get the appeal of dupes. I can’t say I felt 100% comfortable shelling out $25 for a Chanel polish, and there is a lot of satisfaction knowing that you didn’t pay out the nose for an item that looks and functions the same.

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

       @Abbyu “At some point, paying for a luxury item is like buying an art piece and supporting the brand’s vision.”
      That’s a beautiful way to put it!

  5. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Melissa divinem1

    I prefer the real thing. 

  6. Summer

    Love this question, Christine! I’m excited to read the replies. :) As for me, it depends on the item in question, the brand the dupe is produced by, the difference in cost, and the quality of both items.
     
    I know that Victoria’s Secret has a highlighter that looks the same on your skin as Guerlain Cruel Gardenia. However, I don’t want the VS version; I want the Guerlain on account of the high quality of the powder, the beauty of the flower shape, and the luxurious packaging. In this instance, I would rather spend more time and/or money to get the real deal than to get something that gives the same effect.
     
    Also, Revlon’s dupes of Chanel’s nail polishes have yet to impress me. (I’ve tried the Mimosa dupe Electric and the Paradoxal dupe Perplex.) Even though they look more or less the same, I hate Revlon’s formula! Also, Chanel has this special sparkle and shimmer that no one can produce. So again, I’d rather break the bank on a special color if it’s something special and high quality. 
     
    On the flipside, I know that Revlon has a lot of lipsticks that mirror MAC’s colors. I’m not particularly enamoured with the MAC formula; their lipsticks are nice, but nothing special. I would rather buy two $6 – $8-ish Revlon lipsticks than one $15 MAC lipstick, because I think Revlon’s formulas are just as good, if not better. 
     
    As a final example, I just discovered L’Oreal Voluminious in Carbon Black and really like it! It’s not an exact dupe for Diorshow Blackout (my HG!) but it’s pretty close. And it’s SO much cheaper ($7.49 at Ulta compared to $25 for the Dior) that it’s really a pleasure to use the dupe instead.
     
    So I guess for me, it matters if the original product is something so special and valuable that nothing less will do. In general, I’m not opposed to dupes at all! As a graduate student, I try to save money when I can. Even with my horrible makeup obsession, it’s nice to know that I can “get by,” so to speak, on something from a drugstore that’s every bit as good as the real thing! 

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

      Summer, if it’s any consolation, the packaging of Cruel Gardenia is crummy and far below what I’d expect from Guerlain.  Because it’s a screw topped “jar”, I have to be really careful to replace the lid carefully; it’s far too easy to gouge the pretty surface of the product when trying to replace the lid.

  7. it depends, but I must say that price is one of the biggest factor. if i really really like the original and I can afford it, i’ll go for it. I don’t care much for dupes because I know I won’t love them the same way like I would love the original one. though at times, the dupes are actually better or just as good as the original… and this is for makeup and skincare stuff.
     
    but when it comes to shoes/ bags/ clothing/ accessories, no dupes please. It feels like I am trying to be one of the fashionable/ rich sorta people when I am not, so I am very much okay with using unbranded items. If I want branded items, gimme the real thing!

  8. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Quinctia Quinctia

    I go for either version for a number of reasons.  I’m not going to pay twice as much for a nail polish color that has a dead-on dupe.  There are special, unique colors/formulas out there, but they are very few and far between.  Also, I have way too much nail polish to be breaking the bank on something that isn’t a magical one coat magnetic holo that doesn’t chip.
     
    Also, if there’s a dupe of, say, a cosmetic formula, I’ll often buy it in the basic colors on the cheap, and splurge on the unique colors.
     
    However, brands I follow, I tend to splurge on first and then go “darn” when dupes come out later.  I’ve got an UD Super-Saturated lip pencil that Milani duped.  Oh well, I had my product earlier?  At least I know they were similar so I could buy out the Milani version in colors UD didn’t make.

  9. guest

    I’d prefer the real thing. I want to mention that knock-offs =/= counterfeit goods. Example: Chanel creates a popular wool cape. A month later, mass merchandise stores produce cheap fleece copycats. Those are knock-offs and in no way “a serious issue that encompasses…far-reaching consequences”, as no one would mistake the copycats for the original, and the cheap fleece knock-offs do not compete with Chanel. I love to buy a cheap knock-off to try out a passing trend (say, colored denim.)
     
    Counterfeit goods are harmful, on the other hand. Counterfeit goods pose as the real item, and not only are they illegal, they are dangerous (whether by toxic materials, unethical production, or funding organized crime…or all 3.) I would never knowingly purchase or support a counterfeit operation.

  10. paneradfisk

    If you mean L’Oreal made a just as good eyeshadow in the same colour as a Chanel eyeshadow, then there’s nothing that’s stopping me from buying the L’Oreal one. 
    Counterfeit is a different thing, I would never buy fake MAC instead of real MAC only because it’s cheaper. 

  11. I like dupes if the original formula contains ingredients I don’t like or if it was sold out before I even had a chance to purchase it.

  12. Samnouska

    The real thing, definitely :)

  13. Kathy S

    I prefer to have the real item rather than the dupe. Generally, it’s a quality thing. If they were precisely the same in quality, then it wouldn’t matter.

  14. Dominique33

    It depends on the product ( blush, eyeshadows, lipsticks etc.. ) To me some Nars, Chanel or M.A.C products are not dupable except nail polishes. I don’t like dupes, I prefer the real thing with the notable exception of nail polishes ( but I pay attention to packagings too so I often prefer a Nars polish to a budget one ).

  15. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Karen kendo

    I’m more interested in a unique color than the whole ‘experience’ of buying a high-end brand; the height of a trend, packaging etc. just doesn’t carry much weight with me.  I don’t mind waiting a few months for a reasonably-priced dupe.  I don’t really think Chanel or Dior need my $25 for a polish, whereas I do!  :)

  16. Miss J

    Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby! *sings* I just had to. :)

  17. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    I think it rreally depends on the item. For something basic like mascara, eyeliner, blush, or lipstick, I don’t really mind getting a less expensive item to use as a “place-holder” until I can buy the “real” one. However, when it comes to eyeshadow, I’m very picky, and if I see a shade I like, I have to have it. Luckily, the brands I like aren’t *too* pricey (NARS, UD, MUFE), nor do they put out very many LE items, so I can actually save up for items I want.

  18. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Soleil soleil

    I guess the first question is – is it really a dupe? Was it really intentionally created to imitate another brand or was it just coincidental? Or it just so happened it was less expensive without really copying another brand? Dupes retain their own brand unlike fakes that also carry the exact brand like bags, shoes, etc.

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

    It depends for me on whether it’s something I will wear all the time (in which case, I will likely go for the original) or if it’s sort of a novelty item (in which case, the dupe will do).  All of this is assuming that the quality of the dupe (texture, blendability, pigmentation) are up to par. What’s always interesting is when the cheaper dupe is actually BETTER in those regards than the “real thing”.  Of course, being a makeup junkie, there are times when, despite all logic, I get obsessed with owning the real thing!

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

    To add to my earlier comment….can something be a “dupe” if it predates the more expensive product (I can’t really call it “the original”)?  So if I already have an eye shadow or a blush that is identical to a “new” product, (no matter which one is more expensive), can it be called a “dupe”?  

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Malia amalia22e

    I dont have access to a lot of the originals anymore, especially if their limited releases, but I dont go out of my way to find dupes of anything either.  
     
    That being said, my opinion on cosmetic dupes is totally different than designer knock offs, particularly handbags, scarves, etc. which are no way, no how, not in any possible interpretation, ok in my book.  

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sarah Sarah

    If they truly perform the same as each other then I’d rather have the cheaper one. Why spend more money on something exactly the same just for the name?

  23. fks

    Quality, quality and quality. Quality of the product itself is all that matters. By now I have enough knowledge of cosmetic products to understand the ingredients list. I have also enough enough empty packaging (some personalized, some high end, a lot regular line)  so if I do not like the “cheap” packaging I can always move it to a high end one. Since a well packaged product can raise the price point by a factor of 10 or more, I am making a conscious effort to avoid buying a product just because of its brand image or packaging.

  24. Kate

    Wow, I guess I’m in the minority – I’d much rather have the dupe.  Being a student, I don’t have a big income right now, so I’m always on the lookout for a drugstore product that performs at the same level as high-end products and that deliver a similar color.  Even when I wasn’t in graduate school, it always seemed insane to me to spend almost $50 on, for example, a Rouge G – so if there was a color Christine reviewed that I loved, I always paid attention to her dupe suggestions so I could get the color at a price that didn’t horrify me.  
     
    I also like dupes because they let you know if you don’t need to buy something – I was considering Coil from MAC’s Electric Cool collection, for instance, until Christine said it was a dead ringer for Golden Retriever, which I already own.  No sense in owning two of the same color!

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

      That’s sort of what I was trying to say.  A “dupe” doesn’t necessarily mean an attempt to copy something at a cheaper price point. At least to me, it simply means something that is very similar, very close to the colour being reviewed/featured.  So knowing that a new eye shadow that Christine reviews is really close to something I already have just means I may not have to purchase another eye shadow that is a close duplicate to one I already have.  The newer and more expensive product could be a “copy” of something I already own or I could already own a more expensive version of new item under discussion.  The real issue is whether they are close enough that you don’t need both.

  25. Daintynymph

    If there’s a complete dupe much cheaper than the original, I’m all over that! If a bargain brand can match a designer brand in effect and quality, I feel no remorse in going cheap. Sometimes expensive brands make a big difference, like for some products where formulation with expensive ingredients is important. If they can come up with something that no one else can match close enough, it’s also worth it for a lot of people. I think my favorite thing about dupes is that it widens the access substantially! I don’t go to department stores, but I do go to drug stores and beauty shops. If I can see something in person, I’m more likely to give in and buy it, rather than ordering a super pricey indulgence online. 

  26. As a person who, in my spare time, creates luxury accessories for the Blythe doll world, I have very strong opinions on this subject.  I, personally, will strive to support the original whenever possible.  My items typically sell at a premium due to their uniqueness, the fact they are handmade, and my concepts and designs are my own.  Recently, my work has been copied by another person, badly, and I have been completely outraged since copying is the easy way out and not a form of flattery.  I say, as an artist, come up with your own damn ideas and if you are so creatively talented, show me what you got!  Make my work look like garbage compared to yours!  Marketplaces are large enough for others to enter and stand on their own merit.  If you have something good, it’s going to sell!
     
    In any event–apologies for the side rant, I’m still seething about this obviously–this has filtered down in my thought processes to how clothing or makeup designers must feel when their work is mass copied for the lower end retail trade.  They must cringe when they see their designs ‘bastardized’ for lack of better term.  
     
    Of course, all of us cannot afford the price tag on designer duds and copying will inevitably happen.  I will not knowingly purchase something that is a direct ‘knockoff’.  I will, however, purchase things that may be similar, and inspired by the original, but are unique on their own.  I realize the lines are very blurry in a really big worldwide market, but I do completely respect the creative process and the amount of time and effort that goes into breathing life into something..!!!!!

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

      @wwendalynne On the one hand, I absolutely agree with you, in terms of “originality”. However, we live in a society of sheep & lemmings, and so many people follow absolute trends. I rarely buy clothing because I actually hate most things that are available off the rack. Every couple of years, designers will create wahtever trend is current, and I will buy clothing then, but for the most part, I don’t even bother looking. It honestly seems *every* designer follows the same trend at the same time. I really think alot of the fault (for lack of a better term) lies on the consumer. Even “alternative” fashion has become mundane & uninspired.

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

        @xamyx I totally agree with the ‘alternative’ part – I was bullied all through high school for dressing differently and the people who did it all look the damn same. What gives?!

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Susan Susan Dowman Nevling

           @xamyx  @ Sarah,  Don’t place your identity from high school experiences. Some kids were afraid to be different. If you weren’t more power to you. You were a more creative person and more adjuste, at least in some ways, than they were. No one is completely well adjusted in high school. Too much brain and hormone changes for that to happen, truly.
           

      •  @xamyx  I cannot argue with the sheep and lemmings comment which is so painfully true.  I may breed sheep, but I am certainly not one and prefer to surround myself with people who think for themselves.  There aren’t many.  Also sad to say.

  27. I look for quality and functionality first and foremost in a product. I’m generally unimpressed with designer labels as a whole because very raily they deliver the quality they claim to instill for the price point. I support camera ready/theatrical brand because I know they are striving  for quality and functionally over begin eye catching or prestige.
     
    It’s the difference to me of buying Winston Newton acrylic over M. Graham & Co. acrylics. I won’t say that Winston Newton is a designer brands but every one knows them and reach for them because of the exposure but M. Graham & Co. id a better mix of smoothness and quality at a lower price point that get’s over looked as it doesn’t have the prestige history of Winston Newton.
     
    I also come from and arrest background where designer makeup seems silly to me. Makeup is I like paints is supposed to be used not admired i what your create with them is important and the true piece or art. I’ll buy a high end brand if the performance of a product is warranted for the price but I’m not buying it just because is X brand with pretty packaging. 

  28. I think it depends, is the dupe a better product? is the original overpriced? As a student price is a huge factor in what I purchase. I’m willing to spend money on quality (if the original is really so much better) but if a dupe does a great job at a cheaper price I’d rather save my money :)
    http://nineteenoone.blogspot.ca/

  29. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mirian Vermeulen MIRIANV

    I tend to just drop the $$$ on the real thing. I always prefer to have good quality products. Yes this shade of blush is available from 4 other beauty brands, but the quality just isn’t there!

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Diana queen_frostine

       @MIRIANV I don’t think there’s always a correlation between price and quality though.  It’s not as if we never see C, D and even F grade reviews from Christine of products made by high end companies like Chanel, Tom Ford, Nars, etc. 

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mirian Vermeulen MIRIANV

         @queen_frostine I should have probably been a bit clearer. If they product is amazing and I love the way it feels, applies, looks, etc. I will spend the extra cash on it. The majority of the products I own are higher end because I’ve tried a lot of mid-range and drug store brands and I havent been satisfied even with dupes. I do extensive research on a product before a buy it because I want to make sure it is going to be worth it. If i can find a HG item for cheap, you’re damn right I’ll buy it, but so far i only have one and it’s lip balm.

  30. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lauren Lauren13

    I generally prefer the real thing.  I like to buy brands I trust and they tend to use higher quality ingredients.  I don’t care if a color looks the same if the performance isn’t the same.  If I look in my “junk makeup” drawer, it’s filled with drugstore stuff.  It’s rare that a high end product fall into that drawer – unless it’s something I bought without any research (i.e. my pre-beauty blog reading days).  Nowadays, I know which brands I like and if I buy an item from that brand, I will have researched it beforehand, so I know that I’ll love the colors.  And because I already know the brands, I’ll know that the performance and quality will meet my expectations.
     
    It’s sort of like high end fashion v. low end.  Sure, you can get the same look at Forever 21, but it’s likely to fall apart much quicker compared to the pricier item.  Of course, with fashion, I can’t actually afford true designer stuff, but I do like to spend my money for brands that make clothes that last, even if I pay more at the outset.

  31. phidias

    I think it can go both ways though. I mean, an expensive brand sometimes copies cheaper alternatives. For example, kohl and eyeliner have been around for thousands of years, so really the expensive brand is the true “dupe” even though the cheaper alternative is most likely the original.

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of MonicaP mpca66

    Outright copying to me is a big no as in Sigma brushes copying Mac. Sometimes a dupe may not wear the same as the original. I appreciate uniqueness and creativity in a product and I don’t seek out duplicate items to pay a lesser price.

  33. Liz9969

    I think it depends.  The way the term dupe is used here, it just means a smiliar colored/ textured products.  It’s not as if you are buying a knockoff.  You are choosing to get a color that you like a lower price point.  For example, I noticed in the dupe list Revlon’s Fire and Ice is listed as a dupe for MAC’s Lady Danger.  Well, Fire and Ice came out in the 1950s before MAC was even a company.  So technically the MAC is a dupe, even though it is more expensive.  Unless it’s a truly unique product, I don’t see how people can even tell which color came first.  I don’t do that much research into my buying to figure out which came first.
     
    To make a long story short, if two products are very similar, I’d pick to less expensive one. That does’t mean I go hunting for dupes.  I buy what I like.  In general, the less I can spend, the better.  However, when I find a more expensive product I like, I won’t go hunting for a cheaper version.  
     
    Last though… I remember a long time ago reading about how there aren’t really that many cosmetic companies.  A lot of brands have the same parent company.  So I’m not go to feel bad buying a L’oreal dupe for a Lancome product becasue it’s the same company.  

  34. I think the one thing that comes to mind is how Sigma Brushes and how they copied MAC’s brush change. The latter I have a much, much more of a problem with, because it was built on the success and popularity of someone else. Sure, they’ve diversified, renamed their products, but it doesn’t change how they started (and it wasn’t like it lasted a month but over a year, or years, I believe).
     
    I guess for me some of it links back to brand originality. Is a brand blatantly waiting and then reproducing another person’s work? Or is it just once in awhile? Are they like some clothing stores that rip off artist’s jewelry designs and mass produce them and sell them for $5? I like to support originals/creators/artists. I shop locally when I can, I buy from Etsy often, I prefer going to my local farm for produce than big box stores, etc.  
     
    Inspired by is very different than copying something, IMO. It’s a fine line, but it’s definitely there!

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of MonicaP mpca66

      @Christine (Temptalia) .. True, department store reps go to all the couture fashion shows and then re-create clothing items to sell at retail shops. This is done all the time for Oscar gowns, similar gowns are created although never exact dupes. Sigma created exact dupes right down to the numbering and then infiltrated youtube with their products, giving them away to makeup guru’s with high follower subscriptions. And although this was a brilliant marketing move, I personally have little respect for Sigma. I won’t purchase their products and I don’t watch Sigma sponsored youtube videos.

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

       @Christine (Temptalia) Didn’t Sigma used to use MAC’s exact numbering system (putting an “S” in front – so they had the “S239″ which was a COPY – different from a dupe, IMO of MAC’s legendary 239?)  I know they’ve changed in recent years and I wondered if it was because of threats of litigation from MAC.  I’m sure it made it easier for people wanting cheaper versions of certain MAC brushes to know what to order but that seemed rather sleazy, to be using their numbering system, especially when a lot of people seem to have found the Sigma brushes to be quite inferior (I’ve never owned a Sigma brush so I’m going solely but reviews and comments of others).

      •  @Mariella Yep. Same numbering system, and then the shapes of the brushes were like MAC’s of the same number. For all intents and purposes, they appeared to try very hard to be 100% the same but not always were.
         
        They have some aggressive marketing tactics (like the inundation/saturation of the YouTube market) that were a turn-off for me — nothing is worse than a brand that seems to inspire your viewers to think you’ve sold out — but did finally review them if only because I actually *had* all the MAC brushes and could compare one for one.  I remember the owner telling me that they had planned to change the numbers to their own system, but I don’t think they got my point that it didn’t change things – since that’s how they got their start and became popular in the first place.

        •  @Christine (Temptalia)  @Mariella  Also sad to break it to loyal fan that MAC duped a lot of pre-existing tried and true brush designs. They would claim the improved upon them which may be well in true but there is nothing original about their line either. Sigma wasn’t smart int heir number system because they where blatantly say hey we can do MAC brush.
           
          I’d rather put my money into Royal & Langnickle brush that have been making brushes for over 60 years under that name and makeup artist have been using for that long  as well (I’m sure even MAC’s creators used them a as well.)

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

           @Ani_BEE  @Christine (Temptalia) I’ve never heard of the brushes you refer to (I’m guessing their artists’ brushes rather than makeup brushes) but when you think of it, there are only “so many” types, shapes and designs of brushes until someone comes up with a “breakthrough”.  It’s like tweezers or lash curlers – most (not all, but most) look pretty much the same and work on the same principles but I don’t know that that makes it duping or copying.

    • yellowlantern

       @Christine (Temptalia) I see your point re: ripping off a jewelry design, but does that same logic hold when it comes to a cheaper brand coming out with a color that’s very similar or the same as a high end product? Neither Chanel nor Covergirl are little, local companies that need to be protected from copiers. People will buy Chanel because it’s Chanel and people will buy Covergirl because it’s cheap and accessible. Seems like both companies will do fine even with similar products to me.

      •  @yellowlantern I understand how the market works and that there are markets for both. I’m trying to explain why I do feel compelled to pay more for the original if necessary :)

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

          @Christine (Temptalia) @yellowlantern I feel, personally, at the end of the day, there are only so many shades a company can come up with, and they also follow trends. For example, if burgundy lips are on trend, there are only so many shades, that the average consumer will deem wearable, that companies can come up with, so naturally there will be an overlap. I actually have a bigger issue with companies coming up with shades that are *so* similar to shades they have in a permanent range, then marketing it as “LE” so people jump online and orrder it immediately, unseen (I think we all know who I’m referring to). I have several unintentional “dupes” that I plan to replace with other products, only because I happen to have them in palettes, but since I have them already, I’m placing them lower on my list of priorities. I swatched UD Buck & Naked with NARS Portobello, and since I use these shades alot, I plan to buy Portobello at some point; the same goes for Rated R, which I wouldn’t get too much use from, and though not *exact* dupes, I have the shades in a couple of KvD palettes, which are close enough.

        •  @Christine (Temptalia)  @yellowlantern Also you really can’t brand colour. That just silly as all cosmetic companies use the exact same  ingredients to make an eye shadow including the base pigments. What you paying for is the formulation and the brand difference.

        • yellowlantern

           @Ani_BEE  @Christine (Temptalia) I’m no legal scholar, but I thought you could to a certain extent? Maybe what I’m thinking about is a trademark? For example “Tiffany blue”? 

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Susan Susan Dowman Nevling

       @Christine (Temptalia) It seems to that many large corporations have purchased the smaller companies and produced the same thing in each of their brands.  Isn’t Clinique now owned by one of the major brands along with many others?

      •  @Susan Dowman Nevling But it’s not always the case :)  I’m fully aware that technology and products developed at their luxury brands will trickle down to their mass brands – but this is not always the case.  e.g. Sigma is not owned by MAC
         
        You will absolutely see major conglomerates and brands like Estee Lauder Companies, Shiseido, and L’Oreal have trickle-down products. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense and L’Oreal Infallibles is a great example of this.  

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Susan Susan Dowman Nevling

           @Christine (Temptalia) I’m not well versed in brushes and generally buy by feel, quality, and composition. I have never purchased a very high end brush and really like Sephora’s pro line of brushes. I do understand what you are saying tho and I just don’t know enough to recognize a knockoff. Might be a good idea for the blog if legal issues don’t prohibit.
          I learn so much from you in the few months since I discovered your blog. Thank you.

        •  @Susan Dowman Nevling Absolutely nothing wrong with that :)  Sonia Kashuk makes great brushes (haven’t really tried Sephora’s range), and ecoTools can be pretty good, too!

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Susan Susan Dowman Nevling

           @Christine (Temptalia) I also have both of those. One of my absolute favs is a Sonia Kashuk round ended blush brush. I keep a travel set of ecoTools in my purse for touch ups; which never happens. That’s why I carry a big purse, just in case I need something. ecoTools brushes are nice too. Actually, the amount of brushes I have is a sin.  I might have a problem but I really don’t have stacks of newspapers in my house, honest!  LOL
           

    • RetroActive

       @Christine (Temptalia) MAC copied from artist brushes and existing brands. As for Sigma’s numbering? I took it as MAC’s numbers becoming an industry standard. The only real legitimate pickyness is those brushes with the nylon white hairs sticking out above the black hairs. Useless brushes. 
       
      Numbers as industry standard is the biggest compliment imaginable! If you are declared the gold standard, why kick up a fuss? And MAC didn’t. Quite often copies are a stepping stone to the high end. Marketing people know this, and todays Sigma customer is tomorrows MAC customer, even though many of their brushes aren’t so hot anymore. I find I have to dig through all of the jar to find one made correctly. But then it’s a really good brush, even great in case of the 239, but that’s a reproduction of a Loew Cornell paint brush. Exact repro.
       
      You can get amazing brushes from brands you never heard of, and inexpensively too. There are pro lines catering to the cosmetics industry far predating MAC and also catering to cosmetology schools. Nars has pricey but magnificent brushes. So who’s duping who? And how much do the minor differences really count?

      •  @RetroActive I don’t know what MAC did or didn’t, since I’m not familiar with what artist brushes are or what brands they used, but I think what Sigma did was VERY different. If they specifically lifted brushes from other companies, I’d love to hear more! :)
         
        Sigma used the *exact* same numbering system and *exact* same brush heads (well, some more successfully than others) – and I don’t know of other brands that use the same numbers they do? Could you let me know all the other brands that do?
         
        I have the LC paint brush, and you’d really say it’s exactly the same? 239 is a little shorter, a little fluffier, and the material is totally different. I could easily see inspired by, but I’ve never felt they were the same.  I used the LC ones for a couple of years initially but found the density/fluffiness ratio to be different, plus softness (which is expected, paint brush vs. cosmetic brush).
         
        I don’t know if I ever said anything that implied you could not get brushes from other brands that weren’t incredible. I’ve definitely stated many, many times in the past that you can find excellent brushes from brands like Sonia Kashuk and ecoTools.

  35. Nicola

    I think I would have to agree with everything Liz9969 has stated. If I hear raves about a great drugstore product and how it’s a perfect dupe for a high end product, I’ll lean more towards getting the cheaper version. If after trying that, I find it just perform the way I want it to, I’ll go and pick up the higher-end version. Being a student, it’s important to budget my money right so inevitably if I can find great dupes that perform the same (if not better sometimes!) I will no doubt by the cheaper one. But that being said, it doesn’t stop me at all from buying expensive products. I buy what I like and to be honest, I don’t look into the products I’m buying enough to know who launched what, when, and who’s copying who.

  36. Moira

    I don’t really get this ‘real thing’ everyone keeps saying. As one comment states, Revlon’s Fire and Ice came out in the 1950s and is now listed on this site as a dupe for MAC’s Lady Danger. Is it the dupe because it’s cheaper? It came first! Isn’t that ‘the real thing’?

    • Revlon would be the real thing :)  The Dupe List, for example, isn’t about what is the real thing or not – it’s merely “Hey, I love Lady Danger, and Revlon is a dupe!” but you can search Revlon Fire and Ice, and Lady Danger will come up, too :)

  37. Snakes in the basket

    if i love it, know i’m gonna use it a lot & can afford it, i will go for the original one.
    i bought chanels rouge noir (nail polish), because i really love it  and use it often.
    but i did get a dupe for mimosa cause while i do like the colour it’s something i won’t use very often, maybe once or twice a year.

  38. JulieBundyDurnan

    DUPE. with out a doubt. Cost analysis:
    Dior Amber Diamond highligher ($50?)
    Physicans formula Shimmer strips in “vegas strip” about $10 with my $3 off coupon and store discount… I would rather spend that extra $40 someplace else, especialy for a product people will not be able to tell the differnce between. Very few “cult” high end beauty items I have purchased have ever been worth the hype.

  39. f0rtunefaded

    Lmao, I’ll go for the dupe cause being in college = not a lot of money.

  40. If the dupe is (almost) as good as the original, I’ll go with the dupe! Is it nicer to have the real thing? Yeah… But until I win the lottery (which I will… eventually), I don’t mind getting cheaper dupes now and then.

  41. yellowlantern

    Dupe to me just means the same color from a different product (both within and outside the brand). I see nothing wrong with picking the cheaper/more accessible option if that’s your preference. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a color so unique it would be wrong to copy it.
     
    Lets be frank here most cosmetics fall within a narrow range of colors (ie most lip colors made by major brands are some kind of red, pink, orange, brown, or purple mixed together to varying degrees) anyway so unintentional dupes are just going to happen. Even those Eyes to Kill eye shadows and some of MAC’s mineralize eyeshadows that look so unique in their pots, most don’t look nearly as complex when swatched. The biggest reason I might choose a more expensive version of a product is quality, but if the cheaper option is of higher quality then you better believe I’m going to support the company that delivers the higher quality item over a fancier brand with underperforming products. 
     
    If by dupe you mean things like when they sell fragrances meant to smell like a department store scents then I agree with you, I prefer the artistry involved in the original creation. Even if the quality was there in the dupe, I prefer to support the real perfumers (I care a lot less about supporting the overall company than I am about supporting perfumers).  

  42. I don’t usually buy an item specifically because I’m looking for a dupe–it’s usually by accident. The VERY few times that I have, however, always makes me want the original even more because I want to be able to compare for myself if it in fact really is a good dupe or not. So dupes, for me personally, are a waste of money. 

  43. ashtraygirl6

    I go for the original! I only check out dupes if a favourite product is discontinued, unfortunately, I still haven’t found dupes for the products I seek,like for example jest  my HG lipstick from mac

  44. My opinion? There are only a certain numbers of colors. Certain colors looks way better on human faces than others. Makeup brands will all use those colors, so dupes will and do happen. Do I research both options when I’m looking to buy a product? Yes, I do. The truth of the matter is that I often can’t afford the “trend setters” of the makeup world, so sometimes I buy dupes. 
     
    I don’t respect a brand that copies another brand, but I do find it hard to tell when that’s happening. The beauty industry is so trend-driven on its own that it seems like companies are just following trends rather than copying each other. I suppose you could find out by calculating who came out with the product first, but that can be hard to discern because brands ALSO follow pretty traditional industry PR schedules. 

    •  @annedreshfield Consideer that the fachion world set trend using the Pantone system it’s kind of expected that X,Y and Z brands have to make something for that season to match.
      Mac for the most part only takes that under consideration but I’d like them to maybe try promotion more of their permanent shade for the season actively rather then just a trough together on their sales site as they do have great permanent products.

      •  @Ani_BEE Absolutely. I didn’t even go back far enough in the beauty “timeline” of publishing to mention Pantone. After that, I suppose it’s who breaks their PR stuff first, and then whoever does it best. 

    • Liz9969

       @annedreshfield I was going to say the exact same thing about colors.  How unique can a pink lipstick be that you won’t find a similar product  made by lots of different brands?  
       
      I’d also like to add that a lot of the products we use are similar to products that have been around for a long time.  In fact, it’s my understanding that a lot of the modern makeup we have today was originally developed by Max Factor and a few other brands.  They were here first, so who is really being copied?  

  45. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Diana queen_frostine

    For cosmetics at least, I usually will buy the dupe over the original assuming that the dupe is really close to the original and is of good quality.  I just don’t see cosmetics knock offs the way I might knockoff art, fragrance, apparel or fashion accessories.  Crafting a purse isn’t the same as a nail polish.  It’s not a big company vs. little guy type of thing, it’s just hard to view the curating of color as the same level of craftsmanship you might for other luxury consumer items.

  46. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Susan Susan Dowman Nevling

    For cosmetics, I would prefer the real thing,however, now that I am retired, I must look for less expensive substitutes in some products.
    As far as clothing is concerned, I have never been small enough or rich enough to buy the real thing but I would go for a similar look not an actual knock off.
    I would never buy a knock off purse b/c I  really use my purses and they must stand up. I buy one or two good ones a year and have one I bought in 1976 that is still presentable. I think I have about 35 and have thinned the collection down by passing them on to my daughter and friends if the size was wrong for my usage. (I like large soft leather bags.)
     

  47. beachgal

    9 times out of 10 I would rather have the real thing unless I have found there really is no difference at all. But then also depends on the type of product. I would take the OPI Spotted a Lizard over Chanel’s Peridot – OPI got the formula better and only a tiny bit difference in color that only I would know and no one else seeing it on me would be able to tell. When it comes to foundations, most all skin care – I want the real stuff.

  48. Verladesh Gilles

    real thing!

  49. Michelle Young

    Don’t mind a dupe as long as the quality is still good. Nars orgasm or sleek rose gold? No contest. Sleek FTW.

  50. Michelle Young

    Don’t mind a dupe as long as the quality is still good. Nars orgasm or sleek rose gold? No contest. Sleek FTW.

  51. Lena Wright

    Dupe, as long as the quality is maintained. I just can’t bring myself to part with the high prices of designer brands.

  52. Mara Buenaseda

    Dilemmatic.

  53. Lit Cosmetics

    Will go with the Real thing, as you get what you pay for, plus a copy is simply a copy…. Just our two cents.

  54. Ashley Lauren

    It depends. If I can afford an original from time to time then I’ll go for it but I like making my money stretch and being able to not have to sacrifice my finances for the sake of one item in exchange for a few dupes ;-)

  55. Averill Pessin

    “Designer looks for less” are done all the time, in fashion (using similar pieces, not knock-offs). I think coincidental dupes are totally acceptable and I would definitely seek them out. However, more often than not, the similarities are not at all accidental, because manufacturers know we look for them …. The reality is that dupes exist in all industries. You can find a cheaper version of ANY consumer product or service. It drives the competitive market and is a basis of capitalism.

  56. Averill Pessin

    “Designer looks for less” are done all the time, in fashion (using similar pieces, not knock-offs). I think coincidental dupes are totally acceptable and I would definitely seek them out. However, more often than not, the similarities are not at all accidental, because manufacturers know we look for them …. The reality is that dupes exist in all industries. You can find a cheaper version of ANY consumer product or service. It drives the competitive market and is a basis of capitalism.

  57. L Muis- Bärenfänger

    But sometimes there’s a little thing what we call Brands. I’m for dupes sometimes, but sometimes I want the real thing. It’s sometimes different, if I put NYX lipsticks or YSL lipsticks, the brands sometimes make me feel different

  58. L Muis- Bärenfänger

    But sometimes there’s a little thing what we call Brands. I’m for dupes sometimes, but sometimes I want the real thing. It’s sometimes different, if I put NYX lipsticks or YSL lipsticks, the brands sometimes make me feel different

  59. Lena Chin-Hash

    I could not agree more. I go through this all the time with my business. Copycats can try, but they are no match for the creator/original.

  60. Hiddy Hidayah

    I’ll pay for whichever has the better quality, price point doesn’t matter if the original costs $100 but it sucks it doesn’t make a difference. Sometimes more expensive = just paying for the marketing campaigns, branding, fancy packaging or prestige.

  61. Heather Segura

    i try to get the original because i see it as an imvestment. but sometimes things are out of my price range.

  62. Kristy Marshall

    Always the real thing.

  63. Dominique Armarell

    ain’t nothing like the real thing baby

  64. Monica Romero

    I’d like to say thank you to christine for her eye makeup tutorials. I get many compliments at work from customers as well as co-workers :). I have yet to be able to afford high name brands used in your website so I settle for maybelline products and i find they work very well. But i cant find anything that works as well as tge blacktrack fliudline so that is the one exception I make and i save up for it. lol. :)

  65. Inge Thickening

    I don’t do dupes

  66. Mara Buenaseda

    Gold Coin vs. Swinger vs. Diwali . . . You’re the best!

  67. Andi Clapp Lockhart

    I like trying new colors using a dupe, that way if the color is way wrong for me, I’ve got the $$ to try again! If I love the color in a dupe, I’ve got no problem shelling out for the name brand!

  68. Andi Clapp Lockhart

    I like trying new colors using a dupe, that way if the color is way wrong for me, I’ve got the $$ to try again! If I love the color in a dupe, I’ve got no problem shelling out for the name brand!

  69. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Maureen maureenmojen

    This is a complicated issue. When it comes to a big company copying off a small independent artist or company I will not knowingly buy a knock-off. When a dupe can be reasonably explained by color trends then I want whichever has the best quality for my budget. If it is a dupe for an LE that is no longer available I have no issue buying the dupe. If it is “inspired by”…well, I am low income with a huge student loan payment due every month.
     
    When it is a blatant or obvious copy, I will abstain from buying altogether if I cannot afford the original. For example: I loved Chanel’s Spring 2012 Le Vernis collection – especially June – but I just can’t justify spending that much on nail polish right now. If there was a dupe that could be reasonably explained by colour trends I might buy it (if quality is there), but I would never by the dupe from Jessica because they released it with two other colours that were dupes for April and May. They could have at least acknowledged the Chanel collection, but they presented it as original when it is a painfully obvious copycat situation. I believe in coincidence, but releasing a collection of three that “dupes” Chanel’s collection of three is too much for me to consider it that. 
     
    The Jessica collection in question is reviewed by Scrangie here: http://www.scrangie.com/2012/04/jessica-bliss-is-this-bridal-collection.html

  70. zainab

    If it’s one of those really cheap brands stealing packaging ideas etc (like the fake Urban Decay palette I mistakenly bought on eBay) then I’d rather steer clear- if I want to buy the Naked palette I want the real thing, not a cheap copy.
    If it’s just a similar colour/finish then I will buy whichever one suits my budget and seems like a reasonable quality product for the price.
    I figure that there aren’t a huge number of truly innovative products in the beauty world- it’s rare for a brand to re-invent the wheel, so I tend to prefer going with a brand that doesn’t add on a huge markup to it’s products. If it’s a rare instance of a truly unique product being ripped off I’d probably want to buy the original, or avoid both if I can’t afford the original. 

  71. What a nuanced question! I think it depends on the type of product for me. For cosmetics, personally I’m okay with buying the “dupe”–as in the “get the look for less” kind of “dupe.” Something like the Sigma brushes encroach on knock-off territory for me and that’s where I’d probably draw the line from a purely academic perspective, just because I think it’s kind of lame to try to build a business  that is heavily dependent on flagrant copying and I would rather not reward that kind of behavior. At the same time, if the dupe that happens to be cheaper is also better quality than the more expensive “original” or contains ingredients or has a policy that I prefer, I don’t think there’s anything immoral about going for the cheaper one. If the other company puts their own work and money into creating a product that looks like someone else’s but isn’t an outright line-for-line copy, and it’s cheaper, and they do it better, why not buy it? 
     
    Also, if the cheaper cosmetic brand is actually owned by the same parent company as the luxury brand and uses the same manufacturer, there really is even less of an issue of morality to address! The copying might be a deliberate in-house tactic or it might be something that got under the wire–who knows.

  72. Pamela Chiu

    I’m okay with dupe as long as it’s not crappy quality. I do like originals but they have to be reasonably priced. i like to find dupes for Chanel/NARS nail polish.

  73. Renee Vaughn

    I’m half and half i think. Go for the real deal when you are buying perfume. Id also rather spend the extra money on my precious MAC makeup brushes. I don’t think it’s cute when 50 million black strings are stuck to my face and lips! Other than that, if it works just the same, I would be thrilled to buy the more frugal version!

  74. Brittany

    I normally would buy the real thing but if the real product is to pricey for my liking, I will go for the dupe instead. I really wanted Chanel Peridot but there was no way I could justify dropping 25 dollars on one single bottle of nail polish, so when dupes from Jessica, OPI ect started appearing I went for the dupe.  I’m all about saving money more money, so if you can find a similar product that’s just at good…I say go for it.

  75. RetroActive

    What’s the dupe though? I have several bottles of Revlon polish that were out long before the exact same colors by expensive brands. I hauled them in and checked after the girls at Sephora went nuts over my nails. On the other hand, XD, yeah that’s awful, lol, I couldn’t get Chanel Peridot and have had to settle for OPI Spiderman Lizard. Very cool polish, but not quite Peridot. And some times the wallet makes that decision anyway. 
     
    Certain name brands are such better quality I’d pay more for a better result, but the “Who’s Duping Who?” question is a weird one. In fashion many people seem to be in the mood for the same thing at once- zeitgeist. Collective thinking. At the bottom line is buy what works for you, color and price range. I adore Guerlain but not on my budget, and since I know what colors work on me I just do some things as investments and some cheap ones as flash in the pan fads. It’s very case by case.

  76. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of AS AS1929

    In some cases, the dupe vs. original may simply come down to which company is given/negotiates access to a particular pigment first.  For example, Chanel Peridot.  This color  was unique at first, but then multiple brands introduced extremely similar, if not completely identical, green-to-blue shifting nail polishes.  Was Chanel the creator of this pigment?  No, probably a company like BASF was.  They just were able to negotiate first access.  That’s a business/marketing coup, not a creative one.  

  77. HoneyJade

    I think a lot of you are confused on the difference between a dupe and a knockoff. A knockoff is what 98% of makeup on Ebay is. Its a fake claiming to be the real deal. Knockoff perfume for example, the 3 dollar a bottle toilet water claiming to smell like an expensive designer brand. Thats a knockoff.A dupe is a product that is mostly similar to its expensive coutnerpart. There are A LOT of good dupes out there. Some are almost better than the original. Just seems silly to me to spend a ton of money on something if you dont have to. Why on earth would you spend 30$ on a blush when the 10$ dupe works the exact same? 

  78. Mei A. Amolo

    It depends. What I usually do is read reviews of the original and if I’m satisfied, I’ll go and get myself one. If I’m not impressed but find myself still wanting it, I’d look for its dupe. Problem solved.

  79. Kia Thomas

    The original. But When it comes to makeup, we as makeup lovers can fall in love with different brands for

  80. Kia Thomas

    Different reasons.

  81. Kia Thomas

    Now when a product has stats and has proven to be the “golden product” we shouldn’t want a dupe. Like the clarisonic and the beauty blender. They stand tall and alone in my opinion.

  82. diamond_8806

    It depends really on how often I will use the product and how well it works for me.  If it’s a product that I will get constant use from, more than likely, I’ll purchase the original.  For instance, I only use MAC lipsticks because all other lipsticks I’ve tried dry my lips too badly.  I don’t mind spending the money because these lipsticks work best for me.  However, if I want a product that I know I won’t use as much, I opt for a dupe.  For example, I refuse to buy high-end eyeshadows (NYX Single Eyeshadows are my favorites) because I only wear eyeshadows a few times a month, and I feel wouldn’t get my money’s worth from more expensive brands.  When I want a particular product that is high-end but don’t want to spend the money, I just Google dupes for the product until I find one that I am happy with.  As others have stated, I find it ridiculous to pay more money for a product that I can get much cheaper with the same or better quality!  

  83. Jackie

    My priority is always getting the most out of my money.  I search for swatches of just about everything, before I buy it – both swatches and reviews, actually.  I also always look and see if the product has a dupe, and examine the same sorts of swatches and reviews for it.  Then I go with whichever product I honestly believe is the better deal.  In many cases, the dupe out-performs the original (or is either just as good, or very close).  If the dupe is actually BETTER quality than the original, in any aspect, then I’m 100% behind the dupe, because, even though the shade may have been copied, I feel like the company deserving of the money is the company that created the best-performing product.