We all love to save money and feel like we have found the deal of the century, hence why one of the biggest beauty blogging search key words happens to be "dupe". A dupe is perhaps best defined as an alternative and mostly likely cost effective beauty product; a product that rivals a highly lusted after beauty item, that may not be all that accessible: this can be due to cost, status i.e if it is limited edition or not, and of course if it is worthy of a splurge to begin with.
Ask yourself how many times have you personally sought out a dupe product? You've spent the hours of research Googling and pinning swatches and asking countless questions, you have decided that if you can't have such pricey product that your heart ever so wants, that an alternative but all the same product will be the next best thing? Chances are the answer to that question is countless times, I know that is the case for me. The first ever dupe I purchased was a seemingly perfect fit for the Urban Decay Naked Palette - money was tight and yet I simply needed an assortment of neutral eyeshadows. I purchased a budget friendly version and wasn't blown away, then I sought another and then another palette and before I knew it I had spent more money on seemingly affordable eyeshadow options than I would have, if I had just bought the Naked palette to begin with. As a further blow to my bank account I eventually purchased Urban Decay Naked anyway, a habit that seemingly goes hand-in-hand with seeking out dupe products - as it goes very seldom does anything live up to owning the original.
Dupes are great if you take them at face value or on the most part, especially in regards to more budget friendly options you don't expect the world. I'm in no way saying that this is true for all cost effective brands, however typically speaking something will have to give within the formula to allow for such discounted price tag - this could mean in the case of eyeshadows, that they aren't quite as pigmented nor as soft as you expected, lipsticks may be a little drier and in the case of skincare the more important and expensive ingredients are missing. That's not to say that there isn't plenty of great alternative products out there to rival the launches from high end brands because there is, I simply think it is important to keep in mind that a dupe may not be entirely identical and if that is your expectations you could well be disappointed.
On the whole I prefer accidental dupes, products that just happen to be similar and then stumbled upon, rather than those that outright copy mostly original innovations. Again I understand the need for more cost friendly options, the business of beauty is not cheap but I would rather see a little brand integrity rather than an outright rip off product. There is nothing wrong with building on an idea but personally I'm not all that comfortable when no original thought goes into the creation nor marking of such product.
I should quickly mention that the above photographs are simply that: a quick and pretty way to break up chunks of text. I'm in no-way indicating that I have a problem with any of the brands photographed quite the contrary.
So where do you weigh in - is a dupe ever enough for you or do you fall into the category of avoiding seemingly replica products as you know it will never measure up to the original?