Are Beauty Brands Focusing More on Dupes Versus Innovation?

Dupes have always been an interesting part of the makeup and beauty world. Everyone has always been on the lookout for a dupe of their favorite product. In most cases, people seek out these dupes for various reasons, but one of the more important factors lately is the quest to find a cheaper version of a luxury product. It’s a stormy market lately and prices have crept up in the beauty world and everywhere else. Gas, groceries, and your favorite lipgloss have increased prices. But before we focus on what drives beauty brands to create dupes we probably need to focus on some of the original reasons the makeup community loved them so much.
I think a few years ago we were pretty overwhelmed with brands releasing a lot of mega palettes. Tarte, Too Faced, and others were pushing giant palettes that all had us squealing in joy but even before the mega palettes we had MAC Cosmetics releasing a collection every few weeks, and rather than indulge in all these different eyeshadows, lipglosses, and lipsticks we all wanted to know, “Do we already have a shade like this in our collection already?” This for me, was where the need for dupes arose and super early bloggers like Karla Sugar were out there swatching up their arm so we could figure out if we had the shade already.
Later on, when mega palettes began hitting the scene we most definitely started seeing more and more of the same shades being pushed and dupes again, became a pretty important part of our world as we tried to find if the shades in those new hot palettes were ones we had from that other mega-hot palette that launched the week before.

Nowadays, with prices ever increasing in the beauty world, I think the main focus of makeup dupes is people just want something cheaper for the newest luxury beauty launch. Why pay Charlotte Tilbury $42 for a Beauty Highlighter Wand when E.L.F. is hooking you up with the Halo Glow Blush Beauty Wand for nine bucks? But copying and duplicating products isn’t new by any means possible. It’s always been around and it always will be.
But an interesting topic I was reading on Reddit arose about how beauty brands focus more on dupes versus actual innovation sometimes and I both agree and disagree with this. Oh some levels, brands like E.L.F. are most definitely not focusing heavily on innovation and are just copying the next big thing. From Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush to Milk Hydro Grip Primer E.L.F. has a dupe for everything and anything especially very popular products.
However many beauty brands are still out there trying to be as innovative as the market allows them to be. But they’re crippled in many ways because what is the NEXT big beauty thing that we need that hasn’t already been done? Super hydrating lip oils, pigmented eyeshadows, mascara that makes your lashes look super long, I mean, all these products have been done and redone again and again and again. That being said I think this is somewhat limited to color cosmetics. I do think skincare has a bit more of a playing field when it comes to innovation. There are still holes that need to be filled in the skincare world. For example, why isn’t anyone creating good eye serums? I feel this is an area that needs to be filled. There are a few but we could use a ton more. I’d love a HA eye serum I could apply before my regular eye cream! Someone needs to get on that.
On the other hand, I do think a lot of brands do sort of try to one-up each other. I’m not sure if this would be them focusing on dupes but more like, “Hey, we did this product better than brand ABC!” For example, Maybelline and L’Oreal as well as drugstore brands like Covergirl and Milani have always competed with each other when creating something new. If Maybelline does a lip oil of course, every other drugstore brand will do one too but they’ll try to do something bigger, better, with more shades, better packaging, etc..etc…! It’s all about who can do the most and not necessarily, “Hey, we duped this product from Covergirl at a cheaper price!” but more “Hey, we created a way better product than Covergirl!” E.L.F. is the exception here as they go right for the jugular when it comes to creating a dupe and slapping a sweet price tag on it!
How do you feel about the beauty world? Is it being innovative enough for you? Or is there some particular product that you’d like to see that hasn’t yet been created?

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