Makeup: Best foundation dupes – drugstore swaps for Sephora best sellers

Catherine Lockhart is an ex-Sephora employee and self-proclaimed “shopping addict” from Austin, Texas. The makeup enthusiast shares her makeup tips, purchases, and routines with her 84K followers on the TikTok account @catherine_lockhart.

After working in Sephora for years, the former employee claims to know the drugstore dupes that are just good, if not better, than Sephora’s high-end stock. She has shared the best foundations and lip products for a lower budget.

Catherine told followers: “I used to work at Sephora so if I use something in the drugstore, you know it’s got to be good. I have found a very specific selection of products at the drugstore that I think are just as good, if not better, than the products I love from Sephora.”

Catherine detailed her favourite budget base products, from foundations to blushers and powders, which she claims can rival the likes of Charlotte Tilbury. She suggests that Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream, which costs $8.99, is a perfect cheap swap for Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter, which costs $46.

The makeup fan said: “This is my go-to for light makeup days,’ she said. “It’s light-medium coverage, it doesn’t mess with my skin, and it’s absolutely perfect.”

What are her other top swaps?

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L’Oreal True Match Foundation ($34) vs. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk ($105)

Catherine loves the L’Oreal foundation but hates the packaging and application. She said: “The formula and finish are very similar (…) the only downside is this little dropper situation is atrocious. But I love her so I accept it.’

L’Oreal Age Perfect Serum Foundation ($37) vs. NARS Light Reflecting Foundation ($73)

Catherine said this is “a perfect dupe. Medium-to-full coverage, gorgeous kind of satin finish, it’s just a no-fuss foundation. I grab it whenever I know I want my skin to look really good and I want a little more coverage.”

Kosas concealer ($42) vs. E.L.F. 16-hour Camo Concealer ($14)

The E.L.F. concealer comes “very, very close”, Catherine said, adding, “It is full, full coverage. It doesn’t have as dewy of a finish as the Kosas one does, it sets down more matte, but it’s beautiful. (It) stays all day. Doesn’t crease on me. I love her.”

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Catherine then turned her expert attention to drugstore lip products that are just as good as the more expensive Sephora options. She started with the NYX lipliner pencils.

NYX Slim Lip Pencil ($5) vs. Makeup Forever Aqua Lip ($22)

She said: “These are fantastic. The formula of these is much harder of a pencil and it’s the most similar I’ve found to the Makeup Forever formula. Versatile Chestnut is one of my favourites from Makeup Forever and the Nyx Pencil in Nutmeg is super similar.”

LA Girl Shockwave Lip Liner ($6) vs. Rare Beauty Kind Words Lipliner ($15)

Catherine said of the former product: “I’ve never heard anyone talk about these and they are incredible. They are soft pencils. I would compare them to the Rare Beauty pencil.”

Rare Beauty is a makeup company founded by former Disney star and actor Selena Gomez. Catherine added: “Coquette is the best dupe I’ve found for Anywhere Caffeine by Makeup Forever.”

Revlon Super Lustrous Glass Shine Lipstick ($11.79) vs. Fenty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick ($24)

“Still sheer but adding a bit more colour these are the Revlon Super Lustrous Glass Shine Lipstick. I have Glazed Mauve on right now. These are the most similar in finish to the Fenty Lipshine that I love so much but they are a thinner formula.”

Fenty Beauty is a makeup and skincare brand founded by singer Rihanna Fenty.

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