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Three Beauty Dupes

As a self-confessed beauty and make-up addict, I am always scanning new releases online. I enjoy reading reviews and then, after the hype has died down, deciding whether said product is worth investing in.

I do love treating myself to some high-end items but also love it when the high street comes up with its own version which is often as good as, if not better, than its designer version.

Enter the following three products…

All are either dupes of high-end items or are just absolute bargains and have been raved about so much, I just had to try them.


First up some skincare. I used to be a ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’ girl but now include oils, serums and facial sprays in my daily routine and these little extras tend to be pricey. However, when Sali Hughes raves about a product, you know it’s good. This Simply Pure Hydrating Serum from Superdrug performs far better than its £2.69 price tag would suggest. My skin drinks this stuff up and I’m using it both morning and night at the moment. It is quite a thin consistency – somewhere between a gel and a liquid  – and I usually use around 3 pumps. It leaves your skin so smooth that it is a perfect make-up base as well as being a nourishing element in my evening skincare routine. Don’t let the cheap looking packaging put you off – I’m stocking up on this stuff!

Moving onto a primer now and this one is a bit of a strange one. I don’t know where this discovery started, but it gradually began appearing on beauty blogs and I was curious to try it. This is Nivea Men’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm and retails for around £5. Clearly aimed at men, this has been hailed as being better than a lot of primers currently on the market. I currently go between Benefit’s POREfessional (£25) and RMK’s Make Up Base (£28) so Nivea offers a much more cost effective option.


So…does it work?! Upon application, it is quite watery and has an obviously masculine smell. This does however fade pretty quickly. It applies well and leaves a slightly tacky finish which I personally quite like in a primer. I have to say I have been really impressed at how smoothly my foundation goes on over this and how long it lasts. I would say it can more than hold its own amongst higher end products and high five to the beauty blogger than accidentally found out the hidden wonders of this aftershave balm!

And finally a make-up brush I have been trialling. You may have seen the range of new-style oval brushes from the brand Artis – Lily Pebbles did a great video on the whole range. I think the foundation brushes start at about £50 so are not exactly cheap to try out. I found a dupe on ebay for a couple of quid so thought I would give it a try.


I like the idea behind this shape and do think it makes sense but at the same time, I love my buffing brush from Real Techniques and I’m also now a Beauty Blender convert so this new brush involves learning a third technique.



I read that you shouldn’t take the brush off the face as you’re blending in foundation and this definitely felt foreign to me. The application did take me slightly longer than usual and it also felt as if my foundation was just sitting on my skin as opposed to being blended in. However, after an hour or so, everything seems to settle down and I really liked the way my foundation looked.

So far I have only used this with liquid foundations and found the densely-packed brush head has meant I only need to use the minimal amount of product. I don’t fancy using this with powders as I don’t feel I could be light-handed enough but it’s certainly a nice addition for foundation application.

I like these mini-reviews of items I’ve bought and tried out – do you have any more high-end dupes to share?!


About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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