Splurge vs Steal: ELF Makeup Dupes You Can’t Resist

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image source: sephora | ulta | babble
image source: sephora | ulta | babble

Who doesn’t love a bargain? While I can afford to splurge on my makeup items every now and then, I love to grab a cheaper dupe (or near-dupe) of a more expensive splurge. All of the steals that I’m sharing today are from Eyes Lips Face (aka, ELF), a brand with most products under $3. You’ll find the line online or at mass market stores like Target and Walmart. Even better, they’re cruelty-free!

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite ELF makeup dupes! Just try to resist them the next time you’re at the store. If you need help “splurging” you can also check out my favorite ELF products.

1. Baked Eyeshadow Palette

When Sephora released their Baked Eyeshadow Palette, it became a staple of many women’s makeup collections. The neutral, shimmery metallic shades have spawned many online makeup tutorials. There’s a great comparison of the two over at Musings of a Muse.

Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette (in California) $10
Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette $40

2. Perfect Liner for a Cat Eye

Sometimes, a pencil liner just won’t cut it and you need a liquid to get the intense line that you want. These liquid liners are well pigmented and come with a long flexible felt tip, which makes getting the perfect flick a little easier.

Essential Waterproof Eyeliner Pen (in Black) $2
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner $22

3. Invisible Powder

The more finely milled the powder, the easier it is to get a completely natural finish. These powders are identical and are the finest out there.

Studio High Definition Powder $6
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder $35

4. Glowy Blush

These liquid blushes are easy to apply (and blend) with your fingers. The result is a perfect glow, and there are more than a few dupes of the Make Up For Ever original in the ELF line.

Studio HD Blush (in Headliner) $6.99
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush $26

5. Cult Favorite Makeup Spray

MAC’s Fix+ spray has a lot of uses beyond simply refreshing your makeup with a light spritz. It works to dilute makeup, increase the intensity of shadows, and even doubles as a mixing medium (you can read more about how to use MAC Fix+ Spray or ELF Makeup Mist and Set).

Studio Makeup Mist & Set $3
MAC Fix+ $23

6. Multi-Purpose Sticks

The NARS Multiple has become one of those items that pretty much every beauty addict must have. These pigmented sticks can be used as shadow, blush, bronzer, highlighter, or even a lipstick. ELF’s All Over Color Sticks have a slightly different finish and texture, but are a great deal. While Spotlight and Copacabana look pretty different, once applied, they are almost identical.

Essential All Over Color Stick (in Spotlight) $1
NARS The Multiple (in Copacabana) $39

7. Pretty Pink Stains

These pretty lip stains can also be used as blush. They’ll last for hours on your lips and are perfect for layering under a gloss.

Essential Lip Stain Set (in Pink Petal) $2
Benefit Posietint $30

8. Long Lasting Gel Eyeliner

These black gel liners are indistinguishable. Apply with a stick brush for an intensely lined eye, or even use it on your lid as a shadow.

Studio Cream Eyeliner (in Black) $3
MAC Fluidline (in Blacktrack) $17

9. Pretty Highlighter

ELF’s blushes are a bit looser than other blushes, but many of the shades are dupes for more expensive options from NARS and MAC. Perhaps my favorite is a highlighter, Albatross/Gotta Glow. Check out great comparison pictures at Glesni’s Beauty Blog.

Studio Blush (in Gotta Glow) $3
NARS Highlighting Blush (in Albatross) $30

10. Best Known Elf Dupe?

The ELF Blush/Bronzer duo in St. Tropez has been touted all over the internet as identical to the cult favorite (and much more expensive) NARS duo in Orgasm and Laguna. While it appears they aren’t exact dupes, they are decently close, and St. Lucia can be a good substitute if you can’t afford the original.

NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo (in Orgasm/Laguna) $42
Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder (in St. Lucia) $4

11. Universal Coral Blush

Coralista is one of those blushes that just works for almost everyone. ELF has a near dupe of it as well.

Studio Blush (in Candid Coral) $3
Benefit Coralista $29

12. Rich Brown Shadow

Although the ELF is very slightly cooler, these two shadows are much closer than you’d think based on these images. They’re perfect for fall!

Studio Single Eyeshadow (in Coffee Bean) $3.99
NARS Shimmer Eyeshadow (in Galapagos)$24

13. Color Perfecting Powder

A swirl of these powders won’t make you look like a clown, I promise! Instead, you’ll get a mix of color correcting tints that only appear to be perfect skin once applied.

Studio Tone Correcting Powder (in Cool) $4
Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder (in Porcelain Pearl) $54

14. Skin Perfecters

Primers are a step that you really shouldn’t be skipping in your makeup routine! A few seconds with primer will make your foundation apply much smoother, minimizing pores and giving you perfect skin. Both of these primers are silicone-based, and they’re basically identical.

Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer $6
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36

15. Shiny Glossy Lips

Both of these glosses are a crowd pleasing pinky-peach that works for almost any occasion. There isn’t a lot of gloss in the ELF pen, but at this price, you can feel free to stock up.

Essential Hypershine Gloss $4.99
Stila Lip Glaze (in Apricot) $22

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