If you hang around beauty and makeup blogs long enough, you start to hear the word “dupes.” Dupes are affordable beauty products that are nearly identical to a much higher end, pricier product from a different company. Naturally, finding dupes is a big coup for both bloggers and consumers–who wants to pay more when you can pay less? NARS The Multiple is a multi-purpose beauty stick for eyes, lips, and face that has had a cult following since it came out. It also has a big price tag for the average consumer–$39. I set out to find a dupe for this product…and got two hits!
At right is NARS The Multiple in Copacabana – $39. The gals at Sephora were nice enough to give me some samples so that I could take them home and compare to the other products I found. Copacabana is a pearly shade that’s meant to be more of an illuminator. At left is e.l.f. All Over Color Stick in Persimmon – $1. Yes, it costs $1 when you buy it from the e.l.f. site, that’s not a typo.
The e.l.f. is also available on Amazon for $5.95 (it’s an “add-on” product, which is a new thing Amazon is doing where they offer more products that are normally cost-prohibitive but if you spend at least $25 on other products, they’ll let you buy it), and in some drugstores and grocery stores for the $1 price (use the store locator to find out if a store near you carries the brand).
At left is the e.l.f. on the skin, and at right is the NARS on the skin. You can see that the e.l.f. brand has more pink in it. It’s definitely noticeable when next to the NARS brand, but you can hardly register the pink when it’s on the face. The other difference? Texture. NARS is creamier, easier to blend, and a bit lighter weight. Does this justify spending $38 more for the real deal? Not for me. If you want a cheap version of NARS The Multiple in Copacabana, e.l.f. in Persimmon is a great bargain.
In January I reviewed Andrea Pomerantz Lustig’s book How to Look Expensive. One of her tips was substituting NYX Cosmetics Tango with Bronzer Stick in Merengue Flush – $8.63 ($10) for NARS The Multiple in Orgasm – $39. Orgasm is far and away the most popular shade for The Multiple; Sephora can hardly keep it in stock. At left above is the NYX version, and then the sample of NARS is at right.
The NYX was difficult to get my hands on. The NYX Cosmetics site has been sold out of all but one shade of this bronzing stick for months (hello NYX, what’s going on there?), and I haven’t found it in any store, even stores like Ulta that carry the NYX brand. Finally got it on Amazon, but it’s another add-on deal so you have to spend $25 on other stuff. You can also find it on Ebay for $8.
This is a pretty amazing match. The NYX at left is more peach while the NARS at right is more pink, but it’s really, really close. Same deal with texture–the NARS is lighter and creamier, but I was really impressed with how closely these two resembled each other. Well worth tracking down the NYX to give it a shot if you’re a devotee of NARS but can’t justify the cost.
Hey! Have you discovered a dupe? Let us know about it in the comments! Or, if you’re looking for a dupe for a more expensive product you love, let us know that, too–we love a challenge!