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How to Find Dupes for Your Beloved Discontinued Lipsticks

Finding a lipstick that you absolutely love is hard. Parting with a lipstick that you’ve fallen in love with is devastating. Through the limited-edition collections of so many cosmetic brands, where products are brought into your life only to be taken out, heartbreak is a reoccurring theme. Luckily, there’s a way to ensure that you don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite lip colors forever.

Temptalia is a makeup blog that was founded in 2006 by Christine Mielke, who has become known as the Queen of Dupes. According to her website’s Dupe List, “a dupe is a similarly-colored (and often similar in finish) shade compared to the ‘original shade.’ It might be cheaper than the original, better-performing, permanently available, or by a brand more available to you in your area.” And for National Lipstick Day, this dupe search is specific to lipstick.

MAC Cosmetics has long been recognized as the leader in lipstick, curating one of the largest ranges of colors, finishes, and collaborators — especially when it comes to Viva Glam. As a staple to the brand, the Viva Glam Lipstick rose from a 1994 campaign with drag icon RuPaul, where the purchase price of the product went to the MAC AIDS Fund, which has since raised over $400 million. The campaign has continued on, with a number oflegendary collaborations and lip colors.

While you’ve fallen in love with many of the Viva Glam lipsticks that have since been discontinued, Christine has curated a few high-end and drugstore options for getting your hands on almost identical versions.

Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick
(Photo: MAC Cosmetics)
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 5

Best high-end dupe: MAC Amplified Lipstick, Chatterbox ($17, maccosmetics.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick, Pink Sugar ($6, walmart.com)

Viva Glam Nicki 2 Lipstick
(Photo: MAC Cosmetics)
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 6

Best high-end dupe: MAC Cremesheen Lipstick, Love & Cherished ($17,maccosmetics.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: NYX Turnt Up! Lipstick, Playdate ($6, ulta.com)

Viva Glam Rihanna Lipstick
(Photo: MAC Cosmetics)
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 7

Best high-end dupe: Guerlain ‘KissKiss’ Shaping Cream Lip Color, 328 Red Hot ($37,nordstrom.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick, Cherry Frost 514 ($4,walmart.com)

Viva Glam Rihanna II Lipstick
(Photo: MAC Cosmetics)
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 5

Best high-end dupe: Urban Decay Metallized Vice Lipstick, Studded ($17, sephora.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: ColourPop Lippie Pencil, Wet ($5, colourpop.com)

Viva Glam Ariana Grande Lipstick
(Photo: MAC Cosmetics)
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 15

Best high-end dupe: MAC Liptensity Lipstick, Burnt Violet ($21, maccosmetics.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip, Mamacita ($6, colourpop.com)

Viva Glam Ariana Grande II Lipstick
(Photo: MAC Cosmetics)
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 16

Best high-end dupe: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, K-Dub ($20,katvondbeauty.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick, Vibrant Violet ($6, target.com)

Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 23

Best high-end dupe: Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon, Pink Lady ($24, sephora.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick, Mesmerizing Magenta ($6, walmart.com); Milani Color Statement Lipstick, Hot Pink Rage ($4, walmart.com)

Viva Glam Miley Cyrus II Lipstick
(Photo: MAC Cosmetics)
Photo: MAC Cosmetics

Available dupes: 30

Best high-end dupe: Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick, Volatile ($32,nordstrom.com)

Best budget-friendly dupe: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick, Craving Coral ($6, walmart.com)

If you didn’t find the discontinued lipstick you were looking for, Christine has some tips on how to pin down a dupe.

“When I start looking for possible dupes, I try to remain close to the depth, undertone, and finish of the product I’m trying to dupe. The harder a color is to dupe, the more I’ll expand my parameters to go from matte to satin or matte to cream (a little shine), but I try to keep dupes what we’d call functionally the same, where they’ll work and appear quite similar in practice,” she says. “If you have a decent dupe but want something more exact, consider mixing or layering; you can take a beige eyeshadow to mute another or a touch of something darker to add more depth.”

As for the rest of your makeup solutions, Temptalia has got every beauty junkie covered —from palette comparisons to shade matching, recommendations, and reviews.

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