When do you purchase the dupe of a product?

It would come down to the formula, I think — which formula I preferred, that’s the one I would get. The other instance is if the original product was no longer available (discontinued, in another country, etc.) then that would make it so the dupe would be the only way to get that type of a product or color.

— Christine
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31 Comments

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The most important factors for me are related to how good of a dupe it is as some dupes are great color matches but the textures are so different that it doesn’t work or the undertone is just a bit off or they smell terrible, etc. I of course will go with a dupe if the original product is not available or is way too pricey.

1. If the dupe is cheaper, but as good or better quality than the original.

2. The original is made by a company I don’t like.

3. The original is no longer available.

4. I have an allergic reaction to the original, or don’t like the scent or taste, etc.

1. If they’re wildly different in price.
2. Lack of availability (discontinued, limited edition, not sold in my country, etc.).
3. If it’s an eyeshadow palette and I only like one or two colors. I will search high and low for those kinds of dupes especially. Which reminds me, I’m still on the hunt for a dupe for Lavender Honey from the Dose of Colors Eyescream palette. It’s a surprisingly unique color.

Oh, and other people have brought this up, but if I don’t like the particular brand, I will search for a dupe within a brand I support. No Jeffree Starr, Mac, or Too Faced for me until those brands can clean up their acts. And if I can find two dupes from different brands I almost always have a preferred brand

If it was a LE item that sold out or an item that a brand DC’d, then I sure would and have done this! On one occasion, the brand restocked a particularly gorgeous red lipstick and even though I had already bought its less expensive dupe, I bought that LE lipstick anyhow. But I’ve also done so because the dupe just happened to be in a palette that I really wanted. That’s only a real issue when it becomes more than a third of the palette.

Try not to. The only time I can recall is I bought RT sponge, cause BB is too expensive for the amount of time it will be used.

For me, the 2 issues are availability (and since I don’t like to order online, especially sight unseen, so brands like Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford, Sleek, etc.) and price (Chantecaille, Tom Ford again, many other brands I think are simply gouging us for no discernible reason) as well as LE products I missed out on (sigh…MAC Modern Pewter and Moth Brown are two that stick in my mind).

…oh, and another thing – if I have a product I really like but prefer the texture or wear time of another brand, I’ll see if I can find a dupe for the former in the latter’s collection.

I purchase dupes when I only want a single color from a palette, and that shade is a palette exclusive. For example, I already own a lot of red shadows but I want Lumbre from Naked Heat, so I’m going to opt for the Colour Pop As You Wave single instead.

Formula and wear time for a product. If the dupe doesn’t perform as well, then I don’t buy it and just buy the other product.

The only time I can remember when I intentionally bought a dupe was when someone on YT said that Sephora’s Contour Color in Tranquil performed like Chanel’s LE Notorious. Indeed, Sephora sells it as a dupe for Notorious. I take it on faith when someone with a large collection and/or has a lot of history with available products on the market says product x is a dupe or a near dupe of product y. But, I’ve only actively sought to buy a dupe when I shopped for the Tranquil contour. If I’ve bought any other dupes, it hasn’t been with any foreknowledge for doing so.

If it’s a color product (v. a skin care item), I’ll decide based on cost, reviews, availability (i.e., is item in a store so I can swatch it, or if the dupe is available only as part of a palette, I’m not likely to get it), formula (e.g., shimmer versus matte may make a difference) and at the end, brand loyalty factors (for instance, for me Colourpop, Viseart, Beautylish etc are more reliable, for instance, so all else being equal, I’ll buy from them)

Also: when I wouldn’t buy from the brand that made the original (Jeffree Star, Lime Crime, etc); when the original is just TOO EXPENSIVE and I can find better-same formula for a lesser price. When the brand or the product isnnot available in my country (Bite, Milk Makeup, many ABH non-eyebrows releases, OCC).

Mostly only if I can find something just as good for a much cheaper price, or if I don’t like the original company (I refuse to buy anything from Kat von D).

If it’s significantly cheaper but of comparable quality, or if I have issues with one of the brands (racist founder, problematic marketing, history of uneven product quality that has made me lose faith in the brand as a whole, “drama,” seemingly-unethical business practices, stupid LE releases).

TBH, I’m more likely to be influenced by whether a brand “annoys” me versus the cost of the original. I’ll buy original ABH rather than a perfect dupe because I appreciate how they run their business.

I’m not usually into dupes. I never feel they are the same and I’d rather get that particular thing than another brands version, high or low end. However there are a few cult classics that are discontinued and I’m not willing to deal with the holy hell that is Ebay. So I will look for a dupe. I’m thinking MAC’s Cubic blush or their eyeshadows in moleskin or Samoa silk.

I usually only get dupes when I can’t justify the cost of the original. But something I learned on r/makeuprehab is that there are times people spend more money trying to replicate a dupe than the cost of the product they are duping! Now I try to only limit this behavior to limited edition or discontinued products.

Quite frankly, I don’t bother with dupes. If I like something, and it’s available where I can see it in person (or at least return easily), I may buy it. Otherwise, I move on. There are always new things to discover. Maybe I’m fickle, but no one product has had me so in love with it that I would be distressed if it was discontinued.

I agree mostly and I think with many dupes you are following hype and a name. If I want such and such NARS product, I’ll get it and not waste time finding its dupe. If there is an expensive product from a luxury brand and I cannot afford, I just won’t buy it and not bother searching for its dupe. There is good makeup in all price points and I don’t need to have things bc they are hyped and in demand. Not that I never get popular things but I’m happy my collection is unique and specific to me and I don’t just get things bc they are popular at the moment. Even when I have looked into buying dupes of discontinued things ex. NARS Douceur, MAC’S Cubic blush etc I have come to the conclusion I’m really just chasing a name. We act like like those things are so unique and cannot be replicated so we search in vain for a dupe. Why? I do have those colors. And even if not exact, I have makeup I’m happy with. I have products that are better. And in the end, no one is going to be like oh that’s no such and such product.

Price is the big factor for me. If I want to play with a new look that I am not sure will work, I might use dupes. If I decide to add the look to my repertoire, I will buy the better product unless the quality of the dupe is really good. I am playing with bronzes now and expect to replace the ColourPop gel eyeliner (packaging is terrible) but not the Wet N’ Wild bronzer. I also just ordered a Paula’s Choice dupe of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic because the PC is one-third of the price. However, it’s not an exact dupe because the form of Vitamin C used is not the same and the PC may prove to be irritating for me.

Depends on what’s considered a dupe. I may buy slightly different variations of a certain color (different undertones, depth, vibrance, finishes) for example.

Other reasons include being allergic to a certain formula, price, quality, my own preferences (i.e., does it work with my brushes, is the packaging more convenient to store/use/travel with)

If the original is outrageously and or ostentatiously expensive…(there has got to be limits!), I will buy a reasonably priced dupe.
If it is an item that I am only going to use every once in a while…I will buy a less expensive dupe.
If there is not any difference beyond packaging…I will buy the less expensive dupe.
If the original were no longer available…I will buy a dupe.
If the dupe actually appeals to me more, I will buy it.

I would get the dupe, only if the dupe is of the same or better rating than the original – but also less expensive.
Sometimes you can only get the dupe if the original product was unavailable.

I’ll look into buying a dupe if the product in comparison is:

– tested on animals or made with animal products
– out of my budget
– formula didn’t work, but I liked the color (especially true for nail polishes for me)

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