Members only:
Save on everything
Always cheap shipping
Extra savings with BonusCash
Members only:
Save on everything
Always cheap shipping
Extra savings with BonusCash
real techniques, sexy hair, alterna caviar, maybelline, bobbi brown, kerastase

Beauty Dupes on Luxplus – Save on Hair, Makeup & Beauty Tools

By Miss Makeup Magpie
A higher price tag doesn't necessarily equal higher quality. Read about how you can save money on good beauty dupes.

There is something so satisfying about discovering a beauty dupe, especially when the 'dupe' is considerably more affordable. If you're unaware what a dupe is, it's basically when you discover a product which performs the same way (or even better) than a higher priced alternative and there's always excitement within the beauty community when a new dupe has been unveiled. Thanks to Pinterest, a lot of the beauty dupes which have been discovered have gone viral but I'm always on the hunt for undiscovered beauty dupes so I have pitted four different beauty products against each other to see if we can find any genuine dupes to hopefully save you some money.

For my first two products, they're not technically a dupe in terms of their shape but they're both Blush Brushes. The budget option is the Cosmopolitan Perfect Finish Blush Brush and the higher end version is the Real Techniques Bold Metals 300 Tapered Blush Brush - one is under £5, whilst the other is over £15 although these are the discounted Luxplus prices as they are pricier elsewhere. Both brushes are blush brushes but they both have a completely different design... which one comes out on top?!

Cosmopolitan Perfect Finish Blush Brush

The Cosmopolitan Blush Brush features a white wooden handle with a pearlised finish, and a white aluminium ferrule with slightly angled natural goat hair bristles. The brush feels very lightweight in the hand, and even though goat hair bristles are typically quite stiff and scratchy, the bristles on this brush are relatively soft and I've not experienced any fall out issues whilst using the brush. The brush's bristles aren't particularly densely packed so I find that although the brush is good at initially applying blush to the cheeks, its bristles aren't very effective at then blending the product out as they feel a little too flimsy against the skin. I think this brush would be suitable for sheerer blushes and bronzers where pigmentation wasn't too strong, but it just doesn't do a very good job at thoroughly blending the product once you've applied it to the cheeks.

Real Techniques Bold Metals 300 Tapered Blush Brush

The Real Techniques Bold Metal Brushes really are luxurious, with the Tapered Blush Brush being made from rose gold metal for the entirety of the brush from the handle through to the ferrule. The Real Techniques brushes are all totally cruelty free, so the bristles are made from extremely silky Taklon bristles which are expertly cut to offer high performance for ultimate application of makeup, in a rounded shape which fits the apples of the cheeks perfectly. The handle of the brush is weighted for optimal control and is engineered for perfect weight distribution when tipped toward the face for use, and feels very nice in the hand during application. The bristles have the ideal density in that they pick up product and blend beautifully, and not only do they look stunning to look at, the brush is very effective and of very high quality.

Verdict – Real Techniques Wins!

I really wanted to love the Cosmopolitan Blush Brush as it feels very nice and it's considerably more affordable than the Real Technique Tapered Blush Brush, but unfortunately it's not a dupe. If you like your blush to be on the sheerer side, I think you would like the Cosmopolitan Brush but if you wear brighter blush shades, it's just not the best as the bristles aren't densely packed enough to be able to thoroughly blend the product on the cheeks. All is not not lost though, as although it's not my winner for a blush brush in this comparison, it's actually very good at applying powder highlighter or setting powder so it's still worth a try if you're in the market for a very affordable, fluffy angled brush. The Real Techniques Tapered Blush Brush is incredible and is now my absolute favourite brush for applying blush, and I would very much like to explore the rest of the Real Techniques Bold Metal Collection.

Whenever you use any heated hair tools such as an hairdryer, curling tongs, straighteners or heated rollers, it's essential that you use a hair heat protection product to reduce any potential heat styling damage. I find it rather difficult to find good heat protection products which fully protect my hair without weighing it down, and from past experience I've found that aerosol heat protection sprays are the most effective but they can be quite expensive. I have found two heat protection sprays which claim to offer adequate protection against hot tools, whilst also being relatively lightweight but which one will come out on top?!

Sexy Hair Healthy Soya Want Flat Hair Flat Iron Spray

This spray contains Soy Protein which works to strengthen and protect the hair from heat styling, Wheat Protein gives hair shine, volume and moisture and Cocoa Extract helps to smooth the hair and conditions. What I particularly like about this spray is that you can use it prior to using heat tools, but you can also use it lightly after you've styled your hair for long-lasting hold so you can use it in the place of hairspray. The bottle doesn't have the best spray dispenser as it doesn't dispense the finest of mists so I recommend holding it around 30cm away from the hair or it can leave your hair feeling quite wet, but it smells like a skincare product - it really does smell lovely and the scent lingers in the hair. In terms of protection, it does an absolute fantastic job and leaves my hair looking very shiny and smooth without being weighed down whatsoever.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Perfect Iron Spray

This heat protection spray is an heat-activated spray which contains the Alterna ThermoSeal Complex to seal moisture in and lock humidity out, leaving the hair smooth, shiny and frizz-free. The spray is said to protect the hair from damage from hot tools and reduce the styling time, whilst offering a light hold. With this spray there are clinical results which show that it protects the hair up to 450° F/232° C and reduces breakage by 80% which is pretty impressive. The spray dispenser is a little better in comparison to the Sexy Hair Spray and doesn't leave a 'wetness' to the hair, but it does work very well at protecting the hair and leaving it super sleek and shiny.

Verdict - It's a Tie!

Both heat protection sprays perform very well, with neither being better than the other. Both sprays offer great heat protection, without weighing the hair down and both offer a level of hold to the finished style. I honestly couldn't choose one spray over another according to the results although with the Alterna Spray, there are some clinical trial statistics to show it reduces breakage but it's not something I've noticed myself. I think the Sexy Hair Spray is considerably better value as it's more affordable and it contains 150ml of product whereas the Alterna Spray contains 122ml so it'd have to be down to personal preference on brand, but I would perhaps go for the cheaper option as you also get more product.

I'm a big fan of gel liner as it can take your makeup look from daytime to evening very easily. Gel liner is such a personal thing as some prefer a super intense liner, whilst others are more concerned about the longevity of their liner but for me, I'm somewhere in the middle. There aren't many gel liners on the market with a jar format, but I've chosen one from Maybelline and one from Bobbi Brown which I've seen some YouTuber's compare as being similar, to see for myself whether they are similar or one performs better than the other. 

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

The box contains a glass jar of liner, alongside a dual ended applicator - one side has a mini rounded brush for application, whilst the other side has a small blending sponge. The formula was recently reformulated, with the new brush as the old brush was just a one sided applicator, and the liner's formula offers upto 24 hours wear. The Maybelline Gel Liner is very creamy and easy to apply with the brush, and it picks up easily onto the brush. The brush isn't fantastic as it's not as precise as I'd typically like for applying gel for liner but it's definitely usable at a push, and the liner glides across the eyelid with very little effort. Once the liner dries, it has a completely matte finish and it does NOT budge once applied. I have never used such a long lasting gel eyeliner before, maybe admitting this is a little bit of a spoiler on which is the winning liner but nothing compares to the longevity of this Maybelline Gel Eyeliner but I would recommend using your own brush for a perfectly precise application.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

This particular set is a duo set which Luxplus have in stock which is exceptional value as you get two shades of liner (Black and Brown) as well as a mini Bobbi Brown Liner Brush. The liner is housed within a small, circular glass jar and the packaging does feel a little more luxe compared to the Maybelline Liner but you'd expect that from an higher end brand. The liner doesn't apply very well from the jar unless I've warmed it between my hands for a minute or so, as the warmth makes the formula a little more creamy. The brush within this box is a lot better than the Maybelline brush, but I still prefer a finer point to my eyeliner brush. The pigmentation isn't the best, and it does need to be built up for full opacity but it does dry down to matte finish like the Maybelline liner.

Verdict - Maybelline Wins!

This is the easiest contest from all the products, but the Maybelline liner definitely wins as it's considerably more pigmented and intense. Not only is the Maybelline liner better for pigmentation, it's also much more long lasting is also smudge-proof, whereas I find that the Bobbi Brown liner does have the tendency to smudge and transfer throughout the day. There really is no question... the cheaper option is most definitely the better option and indeed a genuine dupe which performs better than the full price alternative.

I find Salt Sprays to be so handy for the times where you don't want to spend a lot of time on your hair, but you still want it to look like you've made some sort of effort. Salt Sprays can differ so much, some are crunchy, some are matte, some are texturising and some are all three but I really don't like my hair to be crunchy or feel loaded with product so I've tested two different Salt Sprays to see which was better - the affordable option, or the higher end option?

TRESemmé Perfectly Undone Sea Salt Spray

The TRESemmé Salt Spray contains a lightweight formula, enriched with Sea Kelp Extract which is non-sticky and designed to help you create a sexy, tousled texture thanks to lightweight polymers for the natural salty texture minus the stiffness. The bottle has a pump dispenser which fires the product out quite forcefully, and not very evenly but it does have a lightweight formula which you can scrunch through damp hair or dry hair for natural texture and it has a strong fruity fragrances. I really like that this spray doesn't leave my hair feeling crunchy or matted, and it can be used on those with straight, wavy or curly hair whilst the majority of salt sprays are generally for those with a natural wave to their hair.

Kerastasé Spray a Porter Tousled Effect Spray

Spray a Porter is said to enable a sculpted ocean spray style without a sticky effect whilst also providing heat protection so your locks are shielded from damage when drying, with a lightweight formula. The pump is a lot finer in comparison to the TRESemmé spray, yet this spray offers the salt spray texture with additional volume and can also be used on damp or dry hair. I really like the natural volume that the Spray a Porter gives, and it has a semi-matte finish which looks really natural with the "just got off the beach" look but I do find that it weighs my hair down more than the TRESemmé spray does which I feel is its only downfall.

Verdict - TRESemmé Wins!

Yet again the budget options triumphs over the higher priced alternative. This is such a close call as the Spray a Porter really does tick all the boxes, but the fact that it weighs my hair down more than the Perfectly Undone Sea Salt Spray does, TRESemmé has to win. I really like both sprays, and I like that the Spray a Porter offers volume whilst the Perfectly Undone doesn't but as I have naturally wavy hair, I am more worried about my hair being left feeling lank and weighed down than I am about volume but it's down to personal preference but if you want to save money, go for the TRESemmé option.

Yes, it’s true

Yes, it’s true. Our member prices ARE way lower than the regular price. Buy at member price, and we’ll automatically create a membership. The first 14 days are free. After that, it’s £8.99 per month. You can cancel at the end of each membership period. Read more

Our member prices ARE way lower than the regular price. That’s because we buy a large range of quality products directly from major suppliers - and pass the savings on to our members.

Ready to say goodbye to overpriced goods? Buy at member price, and we’ll automatically create a membership with your first order.

The first 14 days are free. After that, it’s £8.99 per month – and you can cancel your membership at the end of each membership period. Read more