This story was updated in January 2019.
Being a beauty enthusiast and a makeup hoarder, I love nothing more than indulging in a swanky new foundation. However, over the years, I’ve realized that it’s not always the practical choice. Luxury does not always equal to value for money. The drugstore aka AFFORDABLE brands like L'Oreal, Maybelline or Revlon make some seriously underrated products that you need to try. Put these to the test versus their high-end counterparts and you won’t be able to tell the difference!
Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for high-end foundations but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to spend $60 on one bottle of foundation. The drugstore alternatives are AMAZING, sometimes better than the high-end products. And you look JUST as good (if not better) at a fraction of the price.
With some experience and a lot of trial and error, I’d like to bring to you 4 of the BEST luxury foundations I've tried and their drugstore dupes. The dupes are *very* close comparisons of their high-end alternatives like formula, finish, coverage, etc. While I'm not promising you that they're 100% identical, I'm telling you that it would be VERY difficult to see or feel any difference in formulas. For the money you're going to end up saving, give them a shot!
Are you ready to check them out?
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Base Light 44 Foundation: This foundation provides extraordinary coverage giving you a smooth and striking finish. Moreover it also keeps your skin hydrated. It tends to match a broad range of skin tones and is so effective that it can even cover tattoos. It offers a 24-hour wear and that is why it is worthy for its price. Its formula is paraben free and doesn’t have synthetic fragrances.
Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation Concealer: We are sure that Kat Von Foundation is superb but if you feel it is an unnecessary splurge then you can try Milani foundation. This Milani conceal is a 2 in 1 formula which give you an added advantage of a concealer too. It is water resistant and a solution for all the skin imperfections. You can undoubtedly go for this Kat Von dupe.
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation: This foundation by NARS blends too well with the skin that it seems magical. It stays all day so if you are looking for some low-maintenance product then here it is. If you have acne then this foundation can work as a concealer too and will help to mask them. As claimed in its title, this foundation does makes the skin appear luminous.
L'Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation: This L’Oreal foundation can be your go-to-product when you don’t want to buy a NARS foundation. It is so lightweight on the skin with its light to medium coverage. For a drugstore product this can be expensive but if you see it as a replacement for NARS foundation you will find that the price is practical as compared to the price of NARS foundation.
The Estée Lauder foundation: This was my mother’s favourite foundation back in the day, and I see why. The Estée Lauder Double Wear collection has some serious cult favourite products that have been around for years. This particular foundation offers full coverage in matte finish, which will last through the heat and sweat all day long. If you need something for long hour work days, you need this foundation! It’s perfect for people with oily skin, If you have normal to dry skin, just use a good moisturiser before you apply this foundation to avoid any dry flaky skin.
L’Oreal Paris foundation: Foundation similar to estee lauder double wear: The L’Oreal Paris Infallible foundation is everything that the Estée Lauder Double Wear is with a travel-friendly packaging. It wears for just as long as the Estée and gives the same silky matte finish. If you’ve been a fan of the Estée foundation, give this a shot. At 1/3rd of Estee’s price, it’s a steal ladies!
M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid: If you’ve ever had your makeup done professionally, there are high chances that the makeup artist has used this foundation! A staple in most professional kits, M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid is a cult favourite foundation and with a good reason. It’s been around for as long as I can remember, I’ve used it since 2004! The formula offers you full coverage in a satin finish and will stay even against rain or shine. While it’s not a foundation I would personally wear every day, I use this for special events and weddings. It photographs brilliantly and blends like a dream. The formula is suitable for all skin types. You have a LOT of choices in terms of shades, so you’ll definitely find your colour match in this range. The only con I would say is the packaging does not come with a pump so the bottle gets messy.
Buy M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 (Rs 2,500)
Revlon Colorstay: Revlon Colorstay is identical to M.A.C in terms of formula, finish, coverage. It stays on all day and has the same amount of SPF. The foundation is available in two variants: one for normal to dry skin and the second is for combination to oily skin. The only con to the Revlon Colorstay foundation is that the shade range is limited, so finding a shade that’s perfect for you can be a bit of a challenge. But at half the price of your favourite foundation, it’s definitely worth a shot!
Buy Revlon Colorstay (Rs 1,285)
Make Up Forever Foundation: This foundation was created especially for photography under a 4K lens. It is perfect for people with normal to dry skin. It's a lightweight formula that blends into perfection. If you’re a selfie queen, you’re going to love this one! It has the most skin-like natural finish I’ve ever seen in a foundation. With a medium coverage in dewy finish, you can build up this foundation without worrying about looking too cakey. If you plan to wear this foundation all day, I’d definitely use a good loose powder to set in place.
Make Up Forever HD (Rs 3,700)
L.A Girl Foundation: The L.A Girl foundation bears an uncanny resemblance to its luxury counterpart the Make Up Forever HD. Aside from the nearly identical packaging, the formula, consistency and the end result are identical too. The good news for your budget is that it is available at one third the cost of Make Up Forever. The cherry on the cake is that L.A. Girl is cruelty-free and the product is paraben-free. Win-win I’d say! I actually use a white shade in this foundation as a ‘mixer’ to adjust the shades on some of my other foundations.
Giorgio Armani Foundation: Want skin like Kim Kardashian? Well, this is the foundation she swears by! The Armani foundation is lightweight, easy to blend, offers a light buildable coverage and a luminous finish. It leaves your skin radiant with a healthy glow. It photographs well and looks like second skin. Nobody will ever know that you’re wearing any make-up. The foundation works best for women with normal to dry skin.
Buy Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (Rs 4,902)
L’Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation: Can you turn down a dupe to Kim K’s foundation especially when it’s so affordable? I know I couldn’t. The L’Oreal foundation is the most suitable giorgio armani foundation dupe if you are looking for a foundation similar to giorgio armani. While the two foundations are VERY similar. This L’Oreal foundation offers a sheer, buildable coverage and leaves your skin looking very glowy! My personal opinion is that this one has less coverage and has more of a glow as compared to the Armani foundation. I would recommend this to people with dry skin. If you have normal skin, you can still make this work for you if you set it all day. If you’re looking for a foundation you want to wear for 4-5 hours daily, then this could definitely be your pick. So now you have a Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Dupe!
Now that you’ve aced your base make-up, we’d love to know which dupes you’d like us to review next.