10 Clean Beauty Dupes for Cult Favorite Makeup Classics
Even if you aren’t a beauty connoisseur, chances are you’ve heard of most of the cult favorite beauty classics. Who doesn’t remember Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizer’s cubed, yellow bottle? If a beauty product brings up fun or nostalgic memories for you, it’s a cult classic. If it has a devoted fanbase and has managed to keep its name recognizable for decades, it’s a cult classic. I’m talking about the holy grail, go-tos that makeup lovers always keep in their collections, even though so many new products have hit the market since they were first introduced.
Cult Classic Beauty Clean Dupes
These days, however, we beauty lovers are paying keen attention to what ingredients are in our products. The clean beauty movement has become a fast-growing industry and the demand from makeup addicts keeps growing too. Now more than ever, we want to know what’s actually in our skincare and whether we can trust it to go on our face and body. As a result, I got to thinking about clean beauty alternatives to some of our most-coveted favorites. I will always have a special place in my heart for Nars Orgasm Blush and Diorshow Mascara, but there are some amazing clean beauty alternatives that deserve a space on your vanity. Below are 10 clean beauty dupes for cult favorite makeup classics.
Want some additional information about clean skincare and makeup? Check out Erin’s video explaining how and why she made the switch here.
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#1) Nars Blush in Orgasm
Launched in 1999, the universal appeal of Nars Orgasm blush made it an instant makeup collection must-have. It’s so popular, that the brand has since built an entire collection around the shade. But have no fear, there is a clean dupe for Orgasm. Ilia Multi-Stick Cream Blush + Highlighter in “In the Mood” is a beautiful golden peach pearl that truly rivals the cult fave.
MAC’s classic matte red earned its status because it flatters all skin tones, and makes teeth look whiter to boot. But red lipstick maven Gwen Stefani, also known for her iconic, signature red lips, has given us GXVE Original Me Clean Matte Lipstick. It’s an intensely pigmented true, blue red that lasts and stays put all day.
#3) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
Did you know that Clinique was originally developed by a "Vogue" editor, Estée Lauder’s daughter, Evelyn, and a dermatologist in 1968? Their flagship product was the moisturizer, which reportedly sells a bottle every five seconds. Lotus Antioxidant Daily Moisturizer by Fresh is a lightweight, clean alternative that fights fine lines while protecting the skin from free radicals.
Prior to the contouring craze, Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick made sculpting and bronzing so easy. But Iconic London has upped the game with their gorgeous Illuminator in 4 shades. This clean, super concentrated shimmer plays nicely with other face products (you can add it to your foundation, primer or moisturizer), or can be used on its own to create a radiant glow.
Enriched with microfibers for lengthening, Diorshow Mascara has been a cult favorite for beauty lovers and fashion runways alike. Merit Clean Lash Lengthening and Tubing Mascara helps get you the bold, voluminous lashes of your dreams with a vegan, cruelty-free formula that earned an "Allure" Best of Beauty Award.
YSL’s all-over brightening concealer was a must-have for makeup collections when it came out in 1992. Touche Éclat’s ability to blur imperfections and create a lit-from-within glow is still so impressive, there are claims that a pen is sold every 10 seconds. Chantecaille’s Le Camouflage Stylo pen blurs just as beautifully while plumping the appearance of fine lines with a single moisturizing stroke.
Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder may be relatively new on the cult classic beauty list, but it’s no surprise since its silky, sheer coverage sets makeup for long-lasting wear. However, I’ve recently been more than impressed with Westman Atelier’s Vital Pressed Skincare Face Powder. The micro-milled formula boasts vitamin C, quinoa seed extract and probiotics (I guess that’s why it’s called “Skincare Face Powder”). Just a little bit sweeps away shine and sets makeup in a natural, yet radiant way.
Urban Decay’s Naked palettes have achieved cult beauty status, not only due to their quality, but their shade range. Naked 1 and 2 are great everyday nudes, Naked 3 has a rosy twist, and the new Naked Minis in Sin, Foxy and Half-Baked are fab for playful looks. Victoria Beckham Beauty offers richly pigmented clean eyeshadow palettes with her Smoky Eye Brick collection. There are 5 different ones to choose from, each featuring a range of matte or satin finishes that are easily blendable and great for our over 40 lids!
With its silk, gel-like formula, and the ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores, it’s no surprise Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer is a classic beauty favorite. However, I’ve recently switched to Vapour Beauty’s Matte Smoothing Primer, and wow! It’s pore-refining and shine-reducing, leaving a velvety matte finish on my sensitive skin. I often wear it alone with no foundation in the summer months to help control excess shine due to the humidity.
It’s hard to imagine a world where every beautiful Hollywood star didn’t credit their smooth skin to La Mer’s luxurious formula, but you don’t have to spend a small fortune for this fountain of youth. Tatcha’s The Dewy Skin Cream Plumping & Hydrating Moisturizer is a "Glamour" magazine 2020 beauty award winner for good reason. And, it’s a lot more affordable than La Mer.
Amit is a loyal subscriber turned contributor from Miami, where she founded and edited an award-winning lifestyle magazine for over 20 years. The loves of her life are her husband and their two fiercely independent and creative kids. She has been known, however, to proclaim that her favorite child is their Shiba Inu, Zac.
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