I'm a sucker for this kind of thing and I've always found Paula's reviews accurate. So--if you're not on her email list--see her latest list of cheap drugstore goodies.
If you can get past the misconception that "expensive equals better," we promise you'll feel just as beautiful and spend hundreds of dollars less on skin-care and makeup products that work!
Here are some examples of surprising Drugstore Doubles you can find on Beautypedia:
• Sonia Kashuk's Brightening Powder ($10) is nearly identical to Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder ($22). In fact, we actually prefer Kashuk's compact design—far less messy!
• Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation SPF 15 ($6) and Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup SPF 15 ($60) are both fragrance-free liquid foundations that perform nearly identically and offer the same broad-spectrum sun protection, but Rimmel's version is 1/10 the price of the Hourglass product! Of course, we also love Paula's Choice Best Face Forward SPF 15 ($14.95), as well as many of the more affordable options on our Best Foundations with Sunscreen list.
• Revlon's Just Bitten Lip Stain + Balm ($9) includes a clear balm rather than the tinted balm that comes with Smashbox's Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm ($23). Other than that small difference, these two products are virtually interchangeable, although the Revlon version performs slightly better!
• Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ($6.59) is every bit as fresh, foamy, and gentle as Laura Mercier's Foaming One-Step Cleanser ($35). Admittedly, neither is quite as fabulous as Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Cleanser ($15.95), but our list of Best Cleansers can always help you find the right cleanser at the right price.
• Cover Girl Lip Perfection Lipstick ($7) is a brilliant and beautiful lipstick that outperforms cream lipsticks from Dior and Chanel! Even better: The shade Hot is a drugstore double for M.A.C's Russian Red ($14.50). For beautiful lip color plus sun protection, check out Paula's Choice Sheer Cream Lipstick SPF 15 ($10.95).
• Were you a fan of Peter Thomas Roth's Un-wrinkle Day SPF 20 ($90), now discontinued? No worries! You can save big money by using to Olay's Complete Ageless Skin Renewing UV Lotion SPF 20 ($14.99) instead! If you want to be truly impressed by a brilliant moisturizer with sunscreen, you must try Paula's Choice Moisture Boost Daily Restoring Complex with SPF 30 ($20.95).
• The creamy pink end of NYX's dual-ended Push Up Bra for Your Eyebrow ($10) is interchangeable with Benefit's High Brow ($20)—plus you get a bonus brown pencil that's perfect for touch-ups on the go. Another tip: For a brilliant alternative to a traditional brow pencil, try Paula's Choice Browlistic Long-Wearing Precision Brow Color.
• M.A.C. Eyeshadow ($15) comes in a legendary assortment of textures and shades, but have you checked out NYX's Eyeshadow? For $5.50 you can enjoy the same velvety smooth texture, rich pigmentation, and vivid colors as M.A.C.'s—at 1/3 the price! You'll find the NYX brand at most Ulta stores.
• If you like Dior's Skinflash Primer ($42), check out Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Primer SPF 15 ($10.95). The performance and packaging are identical, but the Physicians Formula product offers broad-spectrum sun protection, too! Want to prime oily skin and keep it perfectly matte and protected from sun damage? Then Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15 ($20.95) is our first choice!
• We just couldn't resist telling you about this one…Paula's Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer ($22.95) is just as loaded with antioxidants as Clinique's Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer ($42.50), but the Paula's Choice option is half the price (and contains retinol)!
Now what are you going to do with all the money you save?