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Michala Jackson

I Asked College Women to Share Their Favorite Beauty Dupes for Less

Let’s face it, being a beauty lover on a college budget isn’t always the easiest thing. Saying no to new launches can be pretty painful, especially when it seems like every single beauty influencer can’t stop posting about it. Thankfully, there are plenty of beauty dupes out in the world keeping our makeup on-point.

It can be hard letting go of that favorite brow gel or lip gloss, especially when you have to choose between that and another Grubhub order. Finding the perfect dupes can be tricky, but to solve this problem, I asked college women to share their favorites. Get ready to save on all of your beauty essentials, because these dupes are just as good, if not better.


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High-end: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in “Fenty Glow” ($18)
College Budget: Milani Ludicrous Lip Gloss in “120 She’s All That” ($9)
“They are similar in texture and shade, but the Fenty lip gloss is $18 and Milani is only $9.” – Shawna Zamiri, USF, @itsshawnaduh

High-end: Kylie Lip Gloss ($15)
College Budget: Revlon Ultra HD Lip Gloss ($10)
“The Revlon lip gloss is so much cheaper, has great color, and it lasts for a long time.” – Sam Golden, UF, @samantha_rayeee

High-end: BECCA Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Moonstone” ($38)
College Budget: Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in “Flexitarian” ($8)
“Colourpop’s Cheek Shock highlighter has a rich, creamy formula, good quality, and intense pigment. The pigment is actually better than BECCA.” – Nicole Weissman, UF, @nicole_samanthaa

High-end: Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer ($27)
College Budget: e.l.f.’s 16-Hour Camo Concealer ($6)
“I can pick up the Camo Concealer at Walmart instead of having to go to Sephora. Overall, e.l.f.’s is still a high quality product, but with more convenience and a lower price!” – Jackie Dowden, ACU, @jtdwn

High-end: Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade ($21)
College Budget: e.l.f. Lock on Liner and Brow Enhancer Cream ($3)
“e.l.f’s pomade has a super cheap price and good, smoothe quality.” – Brianna Savage, USF, @_alwaysbeenasavage

High-end: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation ($35)
College Budget: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation ($8)
“I love that it has a pump, it doesn’t feel cheap (glass packaging), it doesn’t have any obnoxious flowery smells, it’s long-lasting, it’s thick without being cakey or heavy feeling and there’s a super wide range of shades with different undertones.” – Angelica Reyes, USF, @angelica__reyes

High-end: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($25)
College Budget: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous X Fiber Mascara ($10)
“L’Oréal’s mascara has two different brushes on both sides and it lasts a long time.” – Delaney Toon, USF, @delaneyitoon

High-end: Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel ($24)
College Budget: NYX Tinted Brow Mascara ($6)
“The NYX Tinted Brow Mascara is such good quality for only being $6.” – Paige Hodapp, USF, @paitato

High-end: Glossier Lash Slick ($16)
College Budget: wet n wild Mega Length Mascara ($3)
“I love how long this makes my lashes, and it doesn’t smudge at all, which is so rare. Plus, it’s literally only $3!” – Michala Jackson, USF, @stepstoglow

Drugstore beauty is the best way to look flawless on a budget, so these student-approved favorites are the perfect additions to your next shopping list. 

Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Michala is currently studying Integrated Public Relations and Advertising at the University of South Florida. Michala is passionate about her faith, coffee shop hopping, and the world of beauty. To see more of Michala's work, check out https://instagram.com/stepstoglow and https://stepstoglow.com
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