How premium make-up brands are luring shoppers from dupes

By Jo Allen | Published: 14-Sep-2023

Despite their rising prices, prestige face and lip make-up is still preferred by consumers, even those who believe dupes are just as good

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As affordable swaps for designer brands when money is tight, make-up dupes offer a compelling proposition.

And it seems many consumers agree: a third of US make-up users aged 18-44 have purchased a dupe because of something they saw on social media, according to Mintel.

Dupes that work as well as their cult counterparts for half the price often do incredibly well.

A leading example is e.l.f.’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter, which is widely hailed as a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter, and has experienced significant success.

Given that the rising cost of living has hit consumers hard in 2023, it makes perfect sense that consumers would be trading down from prestige to mass market products and dupes. But in make-up, this hasn’t happened.

“You might intuitively think that prestige colour would not do quite as well during tough times, because people will look to save money by buying cheaper products, but in cosmetics, we’re not seeing that, even though a premium cosmetics product costs, on average, almost £12 more than a mass product,” says Matt Maxwell, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar.

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