Years ago I did a dupe post which did well and contained a few dupes from Aldi, since then though, the German supermarket chain has really upped their product range. They have some amazing things on offer, for a fraction of the price of the the products they’ve taken inspiration from. And in some cases it’s pretty obvious. If Cuthbert the caterpillar has taught us anything it’s that you can get sued if your products bear more than a passing resemblance to something else.
Anyway, I digress. I was in the market for some new beauty products (am I the only one whose products all run out at the same time?) so went to my local Aldi to see what I could find. And I have to say, for around £25, I got a pretty decent haul.
I will caveat these reviews by saying that in most cases, I haven’t tried the ‘original’ listed, so I can’t comment on what they’re like side by side with their pricier counterpart, but I can tell you honestly how I found them as products, and whether I would buy them again or not.
Lacura Miracle Cream £3.99 (Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream £14.95)
This surprised me. I expected it to a cream or even a serum, but it’s actually more like a gel or Vaseline. As such it’s quite thick and although it says to apply as often as you need to, I put it on in the evening after shower to let it sink in and then apply night cream right before bed. It’s really good for cracked heels and after only 3 applications my dry heels were looking loads better. It’s got a bit of a strange smell, cinnamony perhaps? Not unpleasant but quite distinctive. I would buy again, but not entirely sure it’s earned a spot in my daily skincare routine.
Lacura Glow Recipe dupes (various prices all under £10)
I’d never heard of Glow Recipe until I realised that all the cute stuff I’d been buying from Aldi were dupes of this brand. They’re all fruit based; avocado eye cream, banana soufflé day cream etc etc and of course I don’t have anything to directly compare to like for like, but what I have used I really, really like. The avocado eye cream is particularly impressive and I can see a real difference in puffiness in my under eye area almost instantly after putting it on.
The banana face cream smells like actual foam bananas (a really bonus for me but appreciate that might smell too sickly for others) and the pineapple overnight face serum is easily as good as the Boots no7 oil I’ve used previously at only a fraction of the price.
Not that it relates at all to what they’re like as products but I really love the colours and the way they look in the bathroom – superficial I know! And they’re all glass jars not plastic so makes them feel way more high end than the price would suggest.
Lacura original hot cloth cleanser £2.99 (Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser £28)
I just use miceller face wash to wash my face on a daily basis, for taking of make up or face cream or whatnot however a couple of times a week I like something a bit more creamy like a scrub or a mask. This cleaner is ideal for that, it smell lovely and feels really high quality. I usually use it before applying a full face of make up for a night out and it means my make up tends to sit nicer and my face looks much fresher. For only £2.99 you really can’t fall off.
Lacura healthy glow tonic £2.99-£3.49 (Pixi glow tonic £18)
This has become part of my daily morning skin routine and I’m not sure how I ever lived without it. I can definitely see a difference since using it, it smells lovely and really wakens up my skin before putting on all my other lotions and potions. Despite it being glycolic it doesn’t feel too harsh or acidic and is also good for those puffy under eye areas.
Lacura highlighter and bronzer £4.99 (Benefit Cookie Highlighter and Hoola Bronzer £28.50 each)
As stating previously I genuinely don’t know how they get away with this, especially when the packaging is so similar to other high end brands, however get away with it they do. I like the highlighter way more than the bronzer, mainly because the bronzer I a bit too dark for me. However pigment wise they’re both pretty decent and, not that I tend to need make up that lasts all day these days, I’m too old to be rolling in at 3am – they both last well.
Lacura snapshot ready primer £5.99 (Smashbox photo finish primer £29.50)
I’m on the fence with primer in general to be honest. Once I’ve put on my toner, eye cream, moisturiser, SPF50 and colour corrector serum it feels like I have a face full of prouduct before my foundation even goes on. So I tend to find primer quick heavy and sticky in general and this one is no exception. I like the way it makes my foundation apply easier but other than that I’m not a fan. Whether that’s this primer in particular or primers in general I’m not sure, someone who’s more used to wearing them might like it. I’m not sure i’ll be replacing when it runs out.
Lacura Too Legit mascara £5.99 (Benefit They’re Real mascara £22.50)
This is one of the few products where I have actually used the original and I can honestly say I can’t tell any difference between the Benefit version and the Aldi version. Which is great because what used to be a mascara that I only kept for best I can now use every day.
Lacura Vanilla Honey Golden Back Nectar £5.99 (Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille honey bath £33)
Honey is one of the few things I simply can’t abide, the smell alone makes me retch. So I might not be the best person to review this, however the Aldi version at least is quite heavy on the vanilla and light on the honey so it’s just bearable. The honeypot packaging with the wooden dipper is such unbelievably cute so looks great in the bathroom, however the bubbles last approximately 20 seconds before dissipating into nothing so it’s quite disappointing all in all. If the Laura Mercier version does the same I’d be heartbroken to have dropped 33 sheets on bubble bath that doesn’t work but I’m sure Dave would argue I’ve wasted more money on less so who am I to judge?!)
Hotel Collection reed diffusers and candles – both £3.49 each (Jo Malone £65 for a diffuser and £130 for a large candle)
We have an Aldi reed diffuser in almost every room in our house and at first I never really thought they made much of a difference, until we went on holiday for a week and when we came home the house smelled incredible. I guess you just don’t notice it as much when you’re in the house every day. I think these are sets of items that I cannot be convinced that the Jo Malone versions are better and certainly not worth the money. £130 for a candle?! Talk about literally setting fire to money!
And of course, the ultimate Aldi dupe:
Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake £4.99 (Marks and Spencer Colin the Caterpillar cake £8)
How could I not mention Cuthbert and the furore he caused when M&S tried to sue Aldi for copyright infringement? The funniest moment of all? Last Christmas’ advert which saw Cuthbert being lead away in handcuffs by the police. Marketing genius. After a short hiatus whilst he sorted out his legal struggles, Cuthbert is back. And at £4.99 against the original £8, what’s not to like? The chocolate covering and butter cream in the middle is lovely and creamy, the sponge in the middle however ever so slightly on the dry side for me.
The only thing that annoys me about Aldi dupes is that they’re here then they’re gone in an instant. You can try your luck online if something in store is out of stock and some of the make up products has stuck around for a while now but the Glow Recipe dupes for example I can’t find for love nor money now and I really loved that avocado eye cream. Hopefully they have something up their sleeves though that will be along soon that’s even better!
All things considered though, when you look at the massive price difference, how can you grumble?