Monday, June 10, 2013

Makeup Dupes and Cruelty Free Replacements

This post contains both products purchased by me, and products sent for consideration

Makeup Dupes and Cruelty Free Replacements

Last summer Urban Decay denounced their cruelty-free status in order to sell their products in China. They then reversed their decision and decided to remain cruelty-free. However, the brand has since been sold to L'Oreal, a company known for animal testing. While Urban Decay has remained on the cruelty-free list, many people do not want to support the brand due to the fact that their parent company is one that tests on animals.

I used many of the brand's products prior to this news. Everyone has different thoughts on what makes a brand cruelty-free, and it is up to each individual to decide what they want to purchase. I am not wasteful, and will continue to use the products I have. As I use products up, I have looked at other brands for replacement products.  I found some great replacements, and in some cases lower cost alternatives to products I was previously using.  I challenged myself to search my stash as well as test out new products to find things I truly love.

This is not exclusively a dupe post, as not all of the products I mention are close enough to be considered a duplicate. Not all of the replacements I've chosen are cheaper, though many are. It is always nice to know you have options.  In this post, I will share with you similar product types, that can help achieve a similar look.

Here is a look at some of the products I've found to be similar to Urban Decay:

Finishing Brushes: Finishing brushes are pretty easy to find. I used the Urban Decay once pictured in the middle for personal use. The first brush pictured is the Bdellium Tools 955 brush. It is a professional grade brush.  The brush to the far right is the Alima Pure Kitten brush, and is great choice for personal use.

Eye Primer: A pretty obvious replacement option is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I actually prefer it to the Urban Decay Primer Potion.  Many brands make eye primers now, making it easier to find a cruelty-free replacement.

Black Eye Liner: I'm very excited about this one, because I thought it would be very hard to replace Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Perversion (below middle). I love how black it is, plus it's waterproof. The replacement I found is something I like even better! As you can see from the below swatches Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Onyx is even darker! 

 Above (left to right): Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero, Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Perversion, Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Onyx

White Eye Liner:  I loved Urban Decay's 24/7 liner in Yeyo for the waterline. It can help brighten up the eye. While Yeyo leans a bit more silver, I prefer the stark white of these replacements. Plus, the two white liners I found from NYX are completely water proof and much more affordable.

 From left to right: Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Yeyo, Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Pearl, NYX Slide On, Glide On, Stay On & Definitely A Turn On Water Proof, Extreme Shine Eye Liner in Pure White, NYX Retractable Eye Liner in White (water proof)

Shadow Pencils: This is another replacement product that I am really excited about. I was able to find good replacements in brands like Tarte Cosmetics, Stila and the affordable Milani. I swear the formula of the Milani Shadow EYEZ pencil feels identical to Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil for a fraction of the price. The only thing you may struggle with is finding an exact color replacement. However, I found many that were quite similar, or at least gave a similar effect. For example, Milani Shadow EYEZ in Champagne Toast is a great dupe (lower cost duplicate) for Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Sin. 

 Pictured above (left to right): Milani Shadow EYEZ in Almond Cream (matte, water resistant), Milani Shadow EYEZ in Champagne Toast (metallic finish, water resistant), Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Champagne, Stila Smudge Crayon in Kitten

 Pictured above (from left to right): Milani Shadow EYEZ in Cafe Au Lait, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Wasteland, Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Gold, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in JUJU, Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Gunmetal, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Mercury, Stila Cosmetics Smudge Crayon in Dazzle

Mascaras: These are not dupes at all, but products that I found I prefer to the ones I was previously using. Everyone needs a good mascara, and a good waterproof mascara.  For me, those were Urban Decay's Big Fatty & Cannonball.  I've replaced Big Fatty with IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes*! I prefer the brush shape, and find it easier to get the inner and lower lashes.  For professional use, I always go waterproof. I love the lengthening power of Tarte's Lights, Camera, Splashes!

 Above: Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara, IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes!
Left: Urban Decay, Right: IT Cosmetics:  The thinner wand, with ball-shaped end makes it easier to reach the inner lashes.

Above left: Urban Decay Cannonball, Right: Tarte's Lights, Camera, Splashes! 

Brow Gel: For personal use, I used Urbanbrow setting gel. I now keep a tube of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel in Clear in my personal and professional kit

Eyeshadow: Eyeshadow colors are pretty easy to duplicate. Without going through the entire Naked Palette, I decided to just select a few of my favorite shades.

 Pictured Above: Urban Decay ABC Gum, Tarte Foam (from Brewed Awakening Quad)
 I find ABC Gum & Foam to be nearly identical when applied to the eye.
 Above: Urban Decay ABC Gum (left swatch), Tarte Foam (right swatch)

 In some cases, I didn't need an exact dupe, just a similar shade. NYX eyeshadow in Aloha when applied with a damp brush, gives a very similar result to Urban Decay's Sin.  Tarte's Raw Sugar leans more coppery.  Layering Aloha over Raw Sugar, leaves the swatch on the far right.
 Shimmery browns (above, left to right): Urban Decay Smog, Tarte Espresso, Stila Golightly, Milani Caramel Brown
 Below (left to right): Milani Pearl, Stila Starlight, Urban Decay Virgin

(left to right): Milani Pearl, Stila Starlight, Urban Decay Virgin 

Blush:  I loved how effortless Urban Decay's Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tint in Score looked on my skin. It's peachy-pink hue looks good on many skin tones.  Luckily, NYX Stick Blush in Hibiscus gives a very similar effect. For something a little brighter, try Stila's Custom Color Blush in Self-Adjusting Coral
Bronzer: This Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Toasted is the perfect shade for a natural looking tan. Luckily IT Cosmetics Vitality Glow Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer is nearly identical in color. 

Above: Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Toasted (left), IT Cosmetics Vitality Glow Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer

Lip Liner: Nude lip liner is important to have. I was able to find low cost alternatives (Milani), and higher end brands that met the criteria I was looking for. What I liked about Urban Decay's lip liners, is that they are creamy and long lasting. If you were a fan of Urban Decay's lip liner in Ozone (clear), Too Faced Borderline Lip Pencil, which is a nearly identical dupe. 

 Left to Right: Urban Decay Naked, Milani Nude, Urban Decay Illegal, Too Faced Perfect Nude, Urban Decay Heavy, Milani Easy Liner For Lips in Most Natural (retractable)

Setting Powder & Loose Mineral Powder: I really enjoyed the color match I had with Urban Decay's Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup, as well as the finely milled texture of their Razor Shap Ultra Definition Finishing Powder.  I replaced the loose mineral powder with Lavera's version. For finishing powder, I use Too Faced Primed & Poreless or CoverFX Matte Setting Powder. 

 Above (left to right): Urban Decay Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder, Cover FX Matte Setting Powder in Light, Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Priming Powder & Finishing Veil

Lip Pencils (Jumbo): Urban Decay's Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color combines the ease of a lip gloss with the precision of a pencil.  Last year, my cousin introduced me to Milani Lip Flash Full Coverage Shimmer Gloss Pencil.  These two products feel exactly the same to me in terms of texture. They both last the same amount of time on my lips. The only difference I see is in color selection. 

As mentioned above, the items mentioned in this post are not necessarily meant to be identical color duplicates for Urban Decay. However, the transition to these other products was seamless for me. It was important to me that I not only match color, but also quality. It is important to note, that while Milani is significantly cheaper than Urban Decay, I personally have not found any difference in the quality of product.  
If you've found any great cruelty-free dupes, I'd love to know! Tell me in the comments below or on Twitter @MakeupMatters1

*This post contains both products purchased by me, and products sent by the company for consideration. This in no way alters my review. I do not get paid to write reviews. I do not get any commissions if you purchase any of these products. I simply write reviews, and make product suggestions in hopes of helping my readers make good purchasing decisions.


  1. Oh wow Liza this is an incredibly useful post! Thank you for doing it :) I definitely need to add these to my Cruelty-Free Dupe List

  2. Thanks for the great dupe ideas! I love the Milani shadow sticks and never really even thought about how similar they re to the UD until I read this! They really are pretty similar in terms of texture. LOVE the IT mascara and the Too Faced Primed & Poreless powder too - another good dupe is the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores finishing powder. I think they're even better than UD! :)


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