Beauty Influencer Tati Westbrook is applying makeup on one of her twin sisters, Erika Patterson.

Photo Credit: Tati Westbrook

Makeup shoppers should not worry if they want a high-end look but don’t want to spend the money to execute it.

Two makeup artists in Columbia, including a worldwide beauty influencer, have the inside scoop on why people should save their money and turn to affordable luxury cosmetics. 

Kina Riley, a master makeup artist and professional photographer in Columbia, said drugstore makeup can perform just as well as luxury makeup.

“You can totally look like a full glam diva ready for the red carpet any day with drugstore makeup,” Riley said. “Most makeup formulas are totally the same, you are mostly just paying for a popular name brand that may just have a more expensive product in it.”

Riley said that if you use the closest dupes, you can achieve any look. “It’s mostly about how you apply it.”

Riley’s tips for makeup shopping on a budget include couponing, looking on brand makeup sites for offers, checking your Sunday papers and going to discount department stores like Burlington, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross.

“These discount department stores always sell name-brand products for half the price,” Riley said. “There are websites such as Glambot, MUABS and MuEx that let you buy and sell your gently used makeup.”

In South Carolina, high-end makeup and some of it’s dupes can be found at stores like Sephora and Ulta. Local drugstores around Columbia, including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, offer these affordable dupes also.

Abagail Rucker, a traveling pro makeup artist and nurse-in-training, offers her makeup services in Columbia and other nearby cities, including Charlotte and Atlanta.

“I noticed Columbia, compared to Charlotte and Atlanta, wasn’t known as that type of ‘city’ for everyone to get all glamorous and that has all the popular makeup artists,” Rucker said. “My mission is to make Columbia that very place; the city known for its artists.”

Rucker said her heart fills with joy when clients look in the mirror and react the way they do. “Especially my clients who have personally told me they are working towards self love.”

You don’t need to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks, according to Rucker.

“Try drugstore products and keep practicing makeup techniques,” Rucker said. “Search for dupes of luxury products on YouTube or talk with a sales associate at Sephora or Ulta to find out which drugstore products are worth it.”

Tati Westbrook, a worldwide beauty influencer, shares her makeup expertise through videos and social media. She is a prominent face in the beauty community. With a subscriber count of nine million people on YouTube, Westbrook is able to target and inform a broad audience of her top luxury cosmetic picks and favorite drugstore makeup.

Westbrook is a dual CEO for her own beauty line, Tati Beauty, and her nail, hair and skin vitamin beauty brand, Halo Beauty. She goes by the name “GlamLifeGuru,” on Twitter and Instagram for searching purposes.

In a YouTube video Westbrook posted called, “Luxury vs. Drugstore Dupes on my Twin Sisters,” she applied drugstore makeup on her sister, Sabrina Phillips, and luxury makeup on her other sister, Erika Patterson. The goal was to achieve the same makeup look on both of her sisters without anyone being able to tell who was wearing the luxury or drugstore products.

“We are going to see what performs better. I have a full look totally laid out and full dupes. I’m going to give you guys the lowdown on everything,” Westbrook said. 

Westbrook’s luxury and drugstore dupe recommendations are as follows:

1. Primer 

Luxury and Drugstore Primer

Purchase the Guerlain L’Or 24K Gold Radiance Primer here.

Purchase the Physicians Formula 24K Gold Collagen Serum here.


2. Concealer

Luxury and Drugstore Concealer

Purchase the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer here.

Purchase the el.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer here.

Riley said that el.f Cosmetics is an underrated drugstore makeup brand.


3. Cream Contour

Luxury and Drugstore Cream Contour

Purchase the RCMA Makeup VK Palette here.

Purchase the COL-LAB Contour & Glow Cream Sculpting Palette here.


4. Foundation

Luxury and Drugstore Foundation

Purchase the Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation here.

Purchase the L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation here.


5. Setting Powder

Luxury and Drugstore Powder

Purchase the Scott Barnes Plush Pressed Powder here.

Purchase the Covergirl Advanced Radiance Pressed Powder here.


6. Bronzer

Luxury and Drugstore Bronzer

Purchase the SISLEY Plush Pressed Powder here.

Purchase the BOOTS No7 Match Made Bronzer here.


7. Blush

Luxury and Drugstore Blush

Purchase the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush here.

Purchase the BOOTS No7 Powder Blush here.


8. Highlighter

Luxury and Drugstore Highlighter

Purchase the Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold Palette here.

Purchase the Milani Stellar Highlighter Palette, priced at $12.99 here.


9. Lipstick

Luxury and Drugstore Lipstick

Purchase the LORAC Alter Ego Lipstick in shade “Bombshell” here.

Purchase the Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in “903C” here.

Rucker said that she is a fan of Wet n Wild. “I have some clients look at me and ask me if I really am professional when I whipped out Wet n Wild’s highlighter,” she said. “Their MegaGlo Highlighting Powder is nearly as good as the Anastasia Glow Kit and their Photo Focus Foundation performs very well.”


10. Eyebrow Pencil

Luxury and Drugstore Eyebrow Pencil

Purchase the Anastasia Brow Wiz, priced at $23 here.

Purchase the Catrice Slim’Matic Ultra Precise Brow Pencil here.


11. Eyeshadow 

Luxury and Drugstore Eyeshadow

Purchase the Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette here.

Purchase the COL-LAB Palette Pro Eyeshadow Palette here.


12. Eyeliner

Luxury and Drugstore Eyeliner

Purchase the Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner here.

Purchase the Annabelle Retractable Eyeliner here.


13. Mascara

Luxury and Drugstore Mascara

Purchase the Lancome Hypnose Drama X Chiara Ferragni here.

Purchase the Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara, priced at $4.99 here.


14. Makeup Setting Spray

Luxury and Drugstore Setting Spray

Purchase the MAC Prep + Prime Fix + Makeup Setting Spray here.

Purchase the PIXI Makeup Fixing Mist here.

Phillips, mid makeup application in the video, asked Westbrook, “Do you already know which one you think will turn out better?”

“Makeup will wear differently. Sometimes more expensive makeup wears better throughout the day and that’s the difference. Sometimes it takes longer to blend the drugstore but I think this is going to look the same,” Westbrook said.

At the end of the video, the finished makeup looks on Westbrook’s twin sisters were revealed for comparison.

“The twins still look like twins. I really love both looks and they are close to being completely identical,” Westbrook said. 

“Whether you’re looking for a new product review, tutorial, beauty tip, haul or perhaps even a giveaway, I hope you enjoy watching.”

Want to watch Westbrook’s full luxury and drugstore makeup video, with extra exclusive products, on YouTube? Click the video below.

Abagail Rucker, a traveling pro makeup artist in Columbia, is the person behind this makeup transformation look on Chanel Jasmin. Jasmin wore this makeup look in her debut on ABC Columbia’s morning newscast, “Good Morning Columbia.” Rucker’s makeup looks can be found on her Instagram @abbaemua. Photo Credit: Abagail Rucker

Kina Riley, a master makeup artist in Columbia, said that if she could only wear one drugstore makeup brand for rest of her life, it would be NYX. “They have really stepped up their makeup line. Their products just really work for my skin and they have made more variety in the foundation for all ethnicities,” Riley said.

Abagail Rucker, a traveling pro makeup artist and nurse-in-training in Columbia, said that if she could only wear one drugstore makeup brand for the rest of her life, it would be Milani Cosmetics hands down. “Their products are pretty much perfect,” Rucker said.


Kina Riley, a master makeup artist in Columbia, tells makeup-lovers that their “dream has come true,” when they don’t want to shell out money for expensive luxury products. She said that drugstore makeup can perform just as well as high-end products. Photo Credit: Kina Riley