‘A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true’ – Demosthenes
If there’s one thing you need to know about me it’s that I don’t like paying full price for anything. Most of my clothes are second hand from eBay, charity shops or high street sales and our supermarket shopping mantra is the rule of ‘second crappest’.
The problem is, I also have champagne tastes and beer money. I love my Kate Spade purse (a present from my Mum & Dad) and sipping prosecco all afternoon with my friends (in Wetherspoons where it’s only a tenner a bottle). Thankfully though, supermarkets and high street shops have started to up the ante in terms of dupes that are available and i’m not just talking about Asda’s Puffin chocolate bars which are poorly disguised Penguins.
Over the last couple of months I’ve naturally discovered some of the best high street dupes out there, and it wold be churlish of me not to share them with you:
Aperol (£15) vs Aperini/Bitterol (£6.99)
I put this first because it’s super trendy right now. I first discovered Aperol on a hen do last year and as someone who can’t stand Pimms, it’s the perfect summer drink for me. Problem is it’s £15 a bottle in Tesco and you need half a bottle of aperol per bottle of prosecco you use. That’s not a cheap cocktail. Problem solved; Aldi and Lidl do their own versions, Aperini and Bitterol which are only £6.99 and £7.99 respectively. And they taste exactly the same as Aperol.
Jo Malone Reed Diffuser (£62) vs Luxury Peony Blush reed diffuser (£3.99)
Aldi have a huge range of Jo Malone knockoffs from candles (which Jo retails at an eye watering £300 – honestly I’ve been on holidays that have cost me less) to room spray, to reed diffuses. I got this one (No11) in May and you could still smell it in August. The packages and style is almost identical to the Jo Malone range, so similar in fact that it’s incredible they haven’t been sued yet. Long may the copies continue because I would have to be a very rich woman before I considered spending £300 on a candle.
Elnett Hairspray (£6.70) vs Carino Natural Holding Hairspray (85p)
No, there’s isn’t a decimal point missing there, that really does say 85p as in 85 pence, 85 English pennies. And you know what? It’s exactly the same as Elnett, which we all know dons the fair heads of Claudia Schiffer and Cheryl Whateverhersurnameisnow. I’m the type of person who has an emergency can of Elnett for when I go out but rely on cheap Bristows from the pound shop for day to day. This Aldi copy means now I have an all in one; it keeps my becahy waves beachy and wavy without going crispy and doesn’t stink of poisonous CFCs. All for 85p. What a time to be alive.
John Frieda Frizz Ease (£6.99) vs Style Expertise Anti Frizz Serum (£2.99)
I’m a massive fan of Superdrug’s own products which I think are far superiors to Boots’ own range and Have written before about how much their hair range rescued me in transitioning from a short poker straight bob to long natural beachy waves. I have really fine hair so even the smallest amount of product tends to make my hair look greasy. This Superdrug little bottle of wonder is perfect for me though; it keeps my curls sleek looking without looking like I’ve dipped my head in a chip pan. And is a good fiver cheaper than Frizzease.
Nip & Fab Glycolic pads (£13.59) vs Superdrug daily cleansing pads (£2.49)
Years ago I went for a facial and was told I should invest in some glycolic products to help hydrate the area around my eyes. Everyone always raved about these Nip & Fab pads but much as I would never spend £300 on a candle, I’m not a massive fan of spending over a tenner on high street beauty products that, I’ll be completely honest, I’m not convinced make much difference. The price point of these Superdrug dupes sits way more comfortably with me, are nice and refreshing and I do actually think they make my skin looks brighter the next morning.
Bath & Bodyworks Sweet Pea body mist (not available in the UK) vs Body Fantasies Signature Sweet Pea body mist (£3.99)
I was first introduced to Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea range by my lush American friend Meagan who wears it all the time and the smell of it always reminds me of her. I would always stock up every time I visited the states, or asked her to keep me in full supply. So imagine my glee when I found this body mist in Superdrug which smells exactly the same! You can keep your fancy Jo Malone scents, because even at £3.99 for 100ml the smell lasts pretty much all day and I always get great compliments when I wear it.
Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution lipstick (£24) vs Makeup Revolution renaissance (£4)
One of my dreams is to one day being rich enough to be able to afford a makeup bag full of Charlotte Tilbury stuff. Sadly however there’s not enough web content about Dentists I can write that will enable me to be in a position to spend £23 on a lipstick. Make up revolution do some pretty good dupes though and this red is my fave. It has a really nice pigment and is surprisingly well lasting given it’s price.
Liz Earle cleanse and polish hot cloth cleanser (£7) vs Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Face Cleanser (£2.89)
I’ve never really bothered with hot cloth cleansers because the cloth always gets super manky on first use and I don’t like it lying around the bathroom with a weeks worth of foundation on it. Steph told me about the Liz Earle cleanser she uses and raves about. But I don’t like spending £7 on anything (unless it’s wine) so tried this Superdrug version instead. I have to say it melts make up off and leaves my skin feeling lovely and fresh. I use it a couple of times a week as an alternative to my normal Simple cleanser.
Weetabix (£2.55) vs Asda Wheat Bisks (£1.36)
I mean, i know I mentioned Asda Puffin bars at the beginning of the post but Steph insisted I included these as she’s a bit fan. I’m not a big breakfast eater at the best of times let alone a cereal eater but I am assured by Steph that these Asda versions of Weetabix are every bit as nice as the real thing and only a fraction of the cost!
Tommy Hilfiger jumpers (£90) vs H&M block colour jumper (£5.99)
Funnily enough it was my mum who spotted this jumper in H&M recently and commented that it looked like it could be from Tommy Hilfiger. As soon as she said that I knew I wanted it, because I’ve always been a Hilfiger fan, and more for their 90s appearances on the Backstreet Boys than their price tags. I mean, obviously this hasn’t got the quality of some of the second hand TH things I have, but for £5.99 I wouldn’t expect it to, it’s thin enough to make a nice spring jumper too so think it will be getting quite a few outings this year!
What do you think about dupes (or blatant rip offs in some cases!)? Excellent money saver or lazy an unethical?