When Dupes Aren’t Dupes For You

I know how hard it can be when you are interested in a product that everyone is raving about but for whatever reason, you can not get the product.  That feeling is likely part of the reason why dupes are popular. I just feel like sometimes they narrow in on price and sometimes leave people out.  I’m not sure what I hope to accomplish with this post, but I do wonder if there is a better way to approach dupes.

I’m not going to mention any specific examples of videos are blog posts because I’m not aiming to shame anyone for creating dupe content or anyone for wanting dupes.  I definitely think that presenting alternatives can be helpful.  There are times when you can save some money and other times when you don’t want to or can’t purchase certain items.  I have even written some dupe-like content with my Buy High/Buy Low posts.  So again, I do see that there is value in this type of content.

elf ultimate blending brush vs smashbox blurring foundation brush
Buy High/Buy Low: Foundation Buffing Brushes | Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush
Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush
Buy High/Buy Low: Sheer Blush Brushes | Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush

Dupes can be especially disappointing when the options presented save money, but end up excluding skin tones.  I do realize that we can only speak to our own personal experiences and that all content creators are doing their best to provide helpful content for their audience. I can also appreciate that as content creators, we can see what content people are enjoying the most and some can even see the demographics of our audience. So some of these issues may purely relate to the demographics the creator is seeing represented.

Despite that, I still find it hard to understand the oversight that often happens with dupes when it comes to availability. I’m not just talking about dark skin tones either, sometimes there isn’t enough variety for most people. For example, in the past, there was a hyped foundation dupe but it only had 4 shades, but the product it was supposed to dupe had 40 shades. Then there is the inevitable comment of “I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this.” The limited shade range means limited access for a lot of people. I feel like the same thing often happens with highlighter and bronzer dupes. Shade ranges have come a long way, so I do think there is always some sort of alternative. But maybe we could all do better to at least consider if a dupe is actually widely accessible before making the suggestion.

Another issue that I’m not really sure how to unpack is that dupes can often disparage drugstore products. There are plenty of great products at the drugstore and I think they don’t always need to stack up against something that is higher end. I know that I compare product formulas quite often and it seems necessary to give you a point of reference in order to create context. But I hope I’ve been able to compare items without making it seem that a drugstore/affordable item isn’t as good simply because it happens to cost less. I also hope I haven’t made it seem like a product it better simply because it costs more.

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What Can You Do?

So let’s say you find yourself in that situation. You’ve learned about a dupe and wanted to buy it, but as it turns out there isn’t a good shade for you, you can’t use an ingredient in the formula, or you don’t want to support that company. What can you do?

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Beauty Sales: Let’s talk about where you can save money and why there is no rush

As I mentioned in my Makeup Low Buys and Decluttering post, this discussion on beauty sales was originally posted on my old blog (Sensitive Beauty Blog) on October 25, 2017. I wanted to give it a home here on this website because it will always be relevant.  It may be especially helpful now with the numerous Memorial Day sales soon to come if they haven’t started already.

Discussion on beauty sales, makeup rehab, makeup low buy

I don’t think sales on beauty are as rare as it may seem, so I wanted to talk about it.  Hopefully, if you are looking to save money this will help you find some avenues that would work for the beauty products that you like to purchase.  I also wanted to talk about it because it seems like people advise others to shop sales because they don’t happen often and I just don’t think that is true.  I think that years ago sales may have been rare, but that is no longer the case. In general, I find that 15-20% off sales are not as rare.  25% off and up are the types of sales that I’d look for if you do want to shop just because there is a sale.

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Makeup Low Buys and Decluttering

This was originally posted on my old blog (Sensitive Beauty Blog) on May 5, 2018. Since it was still getting some good traffic before I took it down, I wanted to give it a home here on this website in case it may be helpful to more people. I mention the age of the post specifically because if you follow Beauty YouTube you will know that decluttering and low buys are not a new trend. I doubt it was a new trend in 2018 either, but it was new to me at the time.

Also try to keep in mind that I am a beauty blogger and have been since 2013, so the amount I own isn’t typical. The way that I purchase products also isn’t always typical. I am however feeling that my beauty blogging days are numbered, so my purchasing habits should continue to decrease as my posts start to decrease. Enough disclaimer talk, let’s get into it.

Discussion on Makeup Decluttering and Low Buys (lipstick declutter 2021), makeup rehab
Discussion on Makeup Decluttering and Low Buys (lipstick declutter 2021), makeup rehab

One of the new trends in the beauty community seems to be not only decluttering, but also using decluttering as a tool to kick-start a low buy.  As I was sorting through my thoughts and thinking about what I learned about both decluttering and being on a “low buy,” I decided to write them down and share it with you.  I put low buy in quotes because I don’t really consider myself on one anymore and I didn’t start the low buy because I needed to control spending.  I originally decided to slow down on purchases because I was buying things solely for blogging purposes and got very overwhelmed.  I finally realized at some point that if I just purchased and used what I wanted for myself that I would still have something to blog about.  I also was just getting into makeup when I started blogging (2013) and so a lot of what I was buying was me figuring out what worked and didn’t work for me.  Now that I’m out of the experimental phase and know what I like, it has been naturally easy to buy less because I already have the things that I like.

It is impossible to write this kind of topic without it sounding like you’re expressing rules, but keep in mind that you should keep the advice that works for you personally and disregard what doesn’t.

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Limited Edition Love

Limited Edition Love

I just want to have a quick chat about removing the apprehension around purchasing products that aren’t permanent.  Don’t shy away from limited-edition releases.  If you’re an “average” makeup consumer (like you have a makeup bag or drawer), then you’re going to love that item and use it up.  By the time it is gone, you’ll either be ready to try something new or there will be a better product on the market. 

On the other hand, if you’re a makeup “enthusiast” or “collector”(you can’t imagine everything fitting into one drawer), then you may not likely finish that product anyway.  And if you do finish it, it’s still true that it will take a long time, and since you’re an enthusiast, you’ll be buying something new anyway.  Or you already have another similar item that can take its place.

Colourpop Disney Villians Dr Facilier Lipstick
Colourpop Sweet Talk collection Lipstick

If you watch beauty videos on YouTube, you have likely heard several people say they can’t keep or use limited-edition products because their audience can no longer purchase them.  Well, that circumstance does not have to apply to you.  You don’t have to adopt that thought process just because someone you like watching thinks that way.  When you find that someone is using a product you want, but can’t purchase, it can be disappointing. I understand that completely.  But the truth is, there is always something similar.  And since we all have different coloring, sometimes a similar item may work even better for you.  For example, if you see someone using a pink blush that was limited edition, you can just use any pink blush that suits your features to get that look.

What about discontinued products?

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Mac Studio Fix Sculpt and Shape Contour Palette in Medium-Dark/Dark Swatches (+ Why Isn’t There More Variety in What Products Are Reviewed?)

In a time when inclusivity in the beauty industry is front and center, I am often surprised that some products that have been on the market for years never make it into the conversation. The analytics prove time and time again that new releases are going to get the most attention. I think it would serve everyone better if we also took some time to shine some light on previously released products.

Trust me, I understand feeling left out of what everyone is talking about, but we also need to learn to do what is best for us regardless of the hype. We can not change who we are or how we look to suit a new release, but we can seek out products that already meet our needs. That is what I mean by product diversity, moving toward a time when you can visit different blogs or YouTube videos and see a variety of featured products.

There used to be a time in the “beauty community” of blogs and YouTube when everyone discussing the same products was the exception, not the rule. Seeing a better variety of products regularly helped people discover new items. This variety also offers a view of different product uses since needs and preferences vary. Of course, you can still find out about new products and techniques. My point is that if a product is not part of a PR blitz, you will be hard-pressed to find information about it.

Continue reading “Mac Studio Fix Sculpt and Shape Contour Palette in Medium-Dark/Dark Swatches (+ Why Isn’t There More Variety in What Products Are Reviewed?)”