All The Differences Between $54 Lipstick & $5 Lipstick

Beauty with Mi, hosted by Refinery29’s beauty writer Mi-Anne Chan, explores the coolest new trends, treatments, products, and subcultures in the beauty world. Follow along on her wild beauty adventures here.

If you type the word “dupe” into Google, the definitions that pop up are largely negative: “Noun. A victim of deception.” “Verb. To deliberately confuse or scam someone.” In the beauty world, though, the discovery of a dupe can be entirely positive. A dupe, or a product that resembles the color or formula of another, is a testament to the fact that in the big world of makeup, there are plenty of options — and you don’t need to spend a paycheck’s worth of cash just to get the look you want.

Tom Ford lipsticks are considered by many to be the crème de la crème of luxury makeup — they’re housed in beautiful brown-and-gold tubes, feel weighty when you pick them up, and slide on with a blast of creamy pigment that never feels (or looks) drying or crusty on the lips. The only catch? They retail for $54 each.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tested dozens of lipsticks in search for dupes to my favorite TF hues: Bruised Plum (a deep berry with a satiny finish) and Dominic (a deep, matte red). While none of them will give me quiiite the same princess feeling that Tom Ford’s lipsticks do, some are matches in formula, while others are near carbon copies of shades. And since Ford’s lipsticks aren’t designed to be ultra long-wearing, the alternatives hold up in the longevity department, too. See ’em all in action in the video above and subscribe to Refinery29 ‘s YouTube channel for more videos like this.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Bruised Plum, $54, available at Nordstrom; Tom Ford Boys & Girls Lip Color in Dominic, $36, available at Sephora; MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red, $16, available at MAC; Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Red Revival, $5.59, available at Target; ColourPop Lippie Penci in Bossy, $5, available at ColourPop; Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Control, $28, available at Sephora; Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Cherry Bomb, $2.49, available at Wet n’ Wild; E.L.F. Moisturizing Lipstick in Bordeaux Beauty, $3, available at Target.

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