Here’s a guide I follow in looking for cheaper products that perform almost as good, if not the same, as the real thing. Most of these tips, I picked up from the internet. Some, I’ve realized.
Check if the brand / product belongs to a big umbrella company
This is the most important tip, because there’s a BIG chance you’ll find the same product merely “dressed” in different label and packing.
Anyway, if a product is made by a big multinational company, and if it’s a high-end product, there’s high chance there’s a cheaper version of it in another brand, an would be Lancome Genifique and L’Oreal Youth Code (both brands owned by L’Oreal).
Incidentally, I stumbled upon a tweet (via @joshua_becker) of an infographic, which serves as a pretty good guide in looking for who made what and the other brands they make.
I was right when I suspected that Magnum Ice Cream and Cornetto IS THE SAME ICE CREAM — they’re both made by Unilever.
Google the first five ingredients of the product you’re trying to find a dupe for
I tried this when I was looking for a dupe for James Cooper Jazzy Cream Compact Foundation. I didn’t find a dupe available where I am, BUT I found out that the same (as in exactly the same) thing is sold in Russia under the brand Makeup Secret. Click the link to the online store. They sell it as a concealer, which I found cool because I use Jazzy Cream Compact as a concealer.
In the Jazzy Cream Compact box, it says “Made in France”. Guess what — in the Makeup Secret website, it says “Raw Material — France“. If you checked the website, you’ll see that the packaging of both products is EXACTLY the same.
Check for products with the same active ingredient and concentration
You might not find something that performs exactly the same but there’s a high probability that they will give almost the same result (save for placebo effect). More often than not, the significant difference in price of 2 products with the same active ingredient will NOT result in a significant difference in performance.
Check Forums and Temptalia
You might already know this, but Temptalia has a Makeup Dupe List page and forums like Reddit usually have a thread for makeup dupes. I’m not much of a make-up person so I haven’t really tried looking for makeup and skin care dupe threads in forum sites.
Google and Youtube
You’re probably already be doing this. Go to google or youtube and type in: ” Dupe”, you’ll be surprised with the results.
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I seldom buy high-end nowadays (except makeup) and it’s a bummer that Shiseido Sun Protection Stick Foundation doesn’t seem to have a dupe.
Enjoy dupe hunting!