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Drugstore vs High-End Makeup Test with YouTube Blogger ItsMyRayeRaye

You’re standing outside of Sephora, striped bag looped over your wrist, red tissue paper tickling the back of your hand as you unfurl a comically long receipt. What have I done? you think, watching the seemingly endless list of items and prices dance in the breeze like the tail of a kite. Sure, inside the store, with fancy lighting and a pumping bass, that $80 contour cream seemed essential, even life-altering, but out in the harsh light of the real world, you’re starting to wonder whether you should have just popped into a drugstore and picked up something cheaper. It’s OK—we’ve been there, too. And so has blogger ItsMyRayeRaye.

Her latest video is titled “Expensive vs Affordable – Simple Everyday Makeup”, and while some might quibble with her definition of a simple application (YouTube bloggers live different lives than us, guys), she manages to cover just about everything you could want for your makeup kit in a very literal face-off between inexpensive brands and their high-end counterparts. Doing a basic makeup look, ItsMyRayeRaye used drugstore brands on one half of her face and prestige brands on the other to see how big a difference price really made in the payout. At around $90, the inexpensive products created a look that appears remarkably similar on video to the high-end version, which clocked in around $600.

Of course, as anyone who’s ever attempted the full Instagram-star beauty routine can tell you, looking good on camera and looking good in real life are two different things. Likewise, in the 16-minute video it’s impossible to tell the difference in how the products might wear throughout a normal day. Still, ItsMyRayeRaye comes up with some impressive dupes (the $6 Makeup Revolution London Baked Highlighter does look very similar to the much-loved $72 Pat McGrath Gold 003)—though there are some products, such as blush and false lashes, that the blogger freely admits she wasn’t able to find matches for.

As ItsMyRayeRaye points out, many drugstore and less-expensive brands have a lot in common with their high-end counterparts: Many are owned by larger corporations that also control prestige brands; others use nearly identical ingredients or are even made in the same facilities, as we found out with the big Kylie Lip Kit and Colourpop controversy earlier this year. So, price aside, drugstore brands don’t necessarily have the short end of the stick when it comes to quality formulas; as the blogger says, “You’ve just got to get creative and and come up with your own thing.”

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