Makeup Knock-offs & Drugstore Dupes

Some people are under the impression that you have to spend a LOT of money on makeup to get amazing, flawless results and quite simply, that’s not the case anymore. Like fashion pieces, makeup products can easily be mixed.  Pairing high-end and low-end products can give you results that are both fresh and fashionable.

These low-end matches to high-end makeup products are sometimes referred to as drugstore dupes or knock-offs, but whatever you want to call them, they are easy on the wallet and readily accessible at both drugstores and department stores.

Don’t get me wrong, there are LOT of makeup products that are just plain crappy. Eyeshadows that crumble. Glosses that are syrup-y. Mascaras that flake and run, etc. but, there are also hidden gems that might surprise you and online product reviews are a great way to discover them.

If you are ever in a pickle while traveling and realize you forgot your favourite product at home and need an inexpensive replacement, or if you have a daughter who wants to start to “play” with makeup, but you don’t want her using your products, or if you are a budget friendly girl, these are for you!

Here are just a few of my favourites (prices are approximate from websites):

Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot – Bare Study $24 vs Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal 24HR Cream Gel Shadow- Barely Branded $4.88 MPX804color-tattoo_barley-branded_pack-shot

This product is a great cream base and pairs perfectly with any eye shadow to give you a long-lasting effect. I use my ring finger to gently pat the product onto my eyelid. It doesn’t crease or smudge and is great if you need a little something to brighten your eye and go!

Geisha Ink Liquid Eyeliner – Black $30 vs Essence Super Fine Eyeliner Pen – Black $3.99 GEIS-0001-1Unknown

Although I do swear by Geisha Ink as my all-time favorite, worth-every-penny, I’d-use-it-on-everyone-if-I-could-product, for most people, $34 is a lot to spend. I personally prefer a liquid liner that is dispensed from a felt or pen-like tip, rather than a narrow brush, as it is easiest to control in terms of the width of the line you want. Essence’ eyeliner is truly inexpensive liner that really does the trick.

Dior Diorshow Mascara – Black $31 vs Loreal Voluminous Mascara - Black $6.72 s651323-main-heroCos36a_1_Large

The Diorshow mascara brush has a fairly wide brush that really coats the lashes and gives an instantly thick and full effect. For fractions of the price, Loreal’s voluminous mascara has consistently been a favorite of both the girl next door and Makeup Artists everywhere. Be sure to slowly wiggle the wand out of the tube to wipe excess mascara from the brush, then work the wand from your lash’s roots to the tips in a zig zag motion.

02.10.2014    Leave a comment    Makeup, Makeup Artist Tips

Wedding Day Makeup

Your wedding day makeup doesn’t have to be a total transformation from “everyday” you into an over-the-top glamazon version of you.  Many Brides I meet want to have flawless skin, with a focus on their best features, but ultimately, want to look very much like themselves.

During a consultation, I take the time to discuss what a Bride envisions for herself and how she pictures her total look on what will surely be one of the most photographed days of her life.  Retro glam?  Refined romantic?  Bronzed goddess? I encourage my Brides-to-be to search for makeup ideas from magazines, Pinterest, etc and share those photos with me if they are not able to put into words what they like or imagine for themselves.

Keep in mind that sometimes, a style of makeup that you see a picture of may not be best suited for your skin type or face shape.  If you love a sultry, smoky eye but never wear makeup, your wedding day may not be the best time to go extreme. Remember the Jennifer Aniston “Rachel” haircut back in the 1990’s?  I wanted that cut and some of you probably did too, but the reality was that my thick, naturally curly, brunette hair just didn’t work for that style.  The same can happen with a makeup look that you love.

There have been times when I’ve re-created a makeup look from a picture that was shown to me and then ended up doing something completely opposite because my Bride realized that she loved the idea of it, but didn’t actually love it on herself. That’s okay and ultimately, that is what consultations are for!

You should feel happy and confident when you look in the mirror at your makeup, and when you look at your wedding photos, know that you looked like your very best self, not just a made-up version of you.

Here are a few of my favorite wedding day makeup “looks”:

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Why hire a Makeup Artist for your Wedding Day?

With the expense of a wedding being so high, sometimes people find it hard to justify spending that little bit “extra” on a professional Makeup Artist.  Some may consider it to be self-indulgent or just plain unnecessary.  I’d love to share with you my perspective on why it’s a worthwhile investment.

Although you may think that this is just a scheme to self-promote, I am also a newlywed who has been there and “spent that” on her wedding day.  I do realize that everyone has different ideas of where it’s important to spend money on this once-in-a-lifetime event.  Photography was very important to me personally because I wanted to tell the story of our day through pictures and not only have captured moments to look back on, but I wanted to share those memories with friends and family.  I also knew that I would use these photos for Thank You cards, photobooks and more.

Photography on your wedding day may not be what excites you, though.  Perhaps it’s having a reception location that blows the socks off your guests’ feet when they walk through the doors?  Maybe you’ve envisioned yourself in a designer gown that will set you back a small fortune?  Or perhaps you are going all out with your catering from a world-renowned chef.  Whatever is most important to you is okay!

What you need to keep in mind is that whether you are inviting 10 or 200 guests, all eyes are on you, the Bride.  You are the focal point, the highlight and the person that everyone wants their picture with.  This is the time to show up, look more amazing than you ever have, and of course enjoy every minute of the day.


Here are some of the benefits of hiring a Makeup Artist:

  • A Makeup Artist uses professional products that are meant to last throughout the day and keep your makeup in place, through kisses, tears and many, many photos.
  • A Makeup Artist knows techniques and tricks to highlight your best features, keeping the focus where you want it, whether that be your eyes, your cheekbones, your lips or your flawless skin.
  • A Makeup Artist will apply your makeup in a way that looks good in both indoor and outdoor lighting, as well as colour or black and white photos.   Your makeup will look classic and elegant, not dated, many years down the road.IMG_2674IMG_2690
  • Having your makeup done by a Makeup Artist allows you to sit down, relax, reflect and enjoy what will be one of the best, but possibly the busiest, days of your life.  This is your “get pampered moment” and time of calm before the wedding storm.
  • If you hire a mobile Makeup Artist, all you need to do is wake up and let them get you ready.  No rushing around, driving back and forth or wedding morning chaos.  Relax in the comfort of your own home, hotel, or wherever you choose to get ready.
  • Let’s face it, you might be a little nervous and/or excited and today is not the day to test your skills with a new set of false eyelashes or perfect your liquid eyeliner.  Let a professional do it for you.

I never hear anyone say that they regret hiring a Makeup Artist for their wedding day.  In fact, it’s often the opposite… “I should have”, “I wish I had”, etc.  Take the time to research a Makeup Artist whose work you are drawn to and ALWAYS get a pre-wedding consultation.  Happy planning Bride-to-Be!