The best budget beauty dupes you can buy in Australia right now

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CHRISTINA KARRAS LYRICS




They layer up with some of your favorite cult products.

If you love beauty and makeup, you know all too well the financial hardship that comes with this expensive obsession. You head to Mecca or Sephora for one thing and end up walking away with over $100 worth of products – with an impulse buy or two in the register’s cleverly placed mini-products section.

This is where the humble beauty dupe really has its moment. I remember spending hours watching the (arguably) golden age of beauty vloggers share their sky-high errands that I, as a teenager, obviously could never afford. But the only useful information they often revealed was how the premium product fared compared to a cheaper supermarket or pharmacy.


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And for most cult beauty products on the shelves, there’s a more affordable equivalent somewhere. Some might be a bit hit or miss, especially when it comes to quality, but luxury doesn’t always equal better. So if you’re in savings mode, here are some of the best beauty dupes you can buy in Australia right now.

Mecca Max Off-Duty Cream Contour Stick, $18

Dupe for: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour, $46

Clinique’s Chubby Sticks have been the brand’s signature makeup product for years, helping hassle-free makeup artists and types achieve a bronzed, sculpted look in one swipe. And I consider Mecca Max’s own cream contour stick to be the more accessible younger sister of the OG product. Both achieve the bronzed, buildable “no makeup” look and blend well without any issues.

Get it here.

Face of Australia Translucent Loose Powder, $11.95

Dupe for: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $58

Run a quick Google search for dupes of beloved Laura Mercier set powder and you’ll find plenty to choose from, but I can’t get past Face of Australia powder. It’s equally finely ground with a perfectly matte finish that looks like an IRL beauty filter. Unlike other affordable powders, there’s no white plaster and nothing cakey about it. And it’s just over $10. What more could you ask for?

Get it here.

MCoBeauty Cheek & Lip Tint, $16

Dupe for: Glossier Cloud Paint, $24.77

Since Glossier is inexplicably always not available in Australia, I’m still looking for a good dupe. I got my hands on the American brand’s unique liquid blush formula in 2017 and have struggled to find anything like it since, but MCoBeauty’s cheek and lip tint comes pretty close. .

While the consistency differs from Cloud Paint’s light, watercolor finish, the slightly thicker lip and cheek tint has more than a few similarities. It offers an unearthly warm blush with just as much pigment, but just more of a radiant glow.

Get it here.

Super Mecca Max Wink Ink Mascara, $20

Dupe for: Kevyn Aucoin Volume Mascara, $42

It’s fair to say that Kevyn Aucoin mascaras are high on most beauty lovers’ wish list. This is perhaps one of the most talked about products, thanks to its tubular formula made up of lash-enhancing fibers. But for me personally, some more affordable mascaras with tube formulas work just as well – one being Mecca Max’s Wink Ink Super Mascara.

Both have lengthening and volumizing properties (as all good mascaras should!) and “flake-free” formulas. It even has a similar little wand, for the ultimate lift just off the lash line.

Get it here.

MCoBeauty Highlight and Glow Beauty Wands, $32

Dupe for: Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wands, $56

As far as dupes go, I can confirm this one is a winner. MCoBeauty has earned its reputation as an affordable Australian beauty brand that can hold its own against the luxury heavyweights. One of her new best-sellers is an impressive alternative to Charlotte Tilbury’s sold-out highlight and contour wands.

Not only in the product’s similar soft cushion applicators, but also in the range of liquid formula finishes and glowing shades, offering pink, peach and champagne tone.

Get it here.

German Nivea Cream, $19.40 for 400ml

Dupe for: Crème De La Mer, $730 for 100ml

An intriguing rumor began circulating among internet beauty circles years ago that the most iconic (and expensive) moisturizer on the market, La Mer, was exactly the same as a good old can of German cream Nivea. Although both are thick, rich and hydrating creams, Nivea and La Mer are not the same.

Ingredient analysis reveals that Crème De La Mer contains more antioxidants, algae and acids that are not present in the economy version of Nivea. But beyond that, they’re very similar, and for a tiny fraction of the cost of a La Mer bathtub (which sells for a mind-blowing price $1730 at largest size), definitely worth a try.

Get it here.

For more beauty dupes, head here.

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