Google released a ranking of the most searched-for beauty product dupes, a testament to the power of social media, virality, and celebrity endorsement.
In beauty lingo, the term "dupe" refers to a lower-priced version of a popular, typically high-end beauty product. However, a dupe is not the same as a knockoff — dupes don't pretend to be the real deal; rather, they position themselves as a comparable alternative.
First reported by WWD, Google fields 16,200 monthly searches for dupes of Clinique's Black Honey lipstick, an apparently enduring lip color that originally launched in the '70s. From Gen X'ers to Gen Z'ers, customers swear by the product for its sheer, berry-tinted finish and subtle shine. In fact, 50 years after release, Black Honey went viral on TikTok, likely spawning searches for similar products.
Coming in second is Dyson's Airwrap, dupes for which generate 14,800 searches per month. Considering the heat-free styler's hefty price point ($599), it's not entirely surprising that shoppers are seeking out comparable alternatives. (When it comes to fashion, at least, price is the main motivator for customers buying counterfeit products.)
Also in hair, "Olaplex dupe" sees 5,400 monthly searches, likely thanks to the ever-powerful TikTok effect. The bond-strengthening haircare brand first made waves in the mid-2010s, thanks to an endorsement from Kim Kardashian. But in 2021, demand for Olaplex peaked as TikTokers sung its praises — it even snagged the title of Hottest Hair Brand in Cosmetify's 2021 Hair Report.
Tied for fourth place are dupes for Kylie Jenner's Matte Lip Kit in "Candy K" and Sol de Janeiro's Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, both of which generate 3,800 monthly searches.
The former is is a bit of a wild card. Jenner first launched Lip Kits in 2014 and by the tail end of the 2010s, over-lined, painted-on pouts appeared to be falling out of favor. In fact, Jenner admitted to dissolving her famous lip filler in 2018, essentially killing off demand for her most famous feature. Still, Kylie Cosmetics' Lip Kit category is 41-shades deep — evidently, her evolving pout hasn't totally deterred shoppers.
The latter, a skin-tightening body cream that boasts over 20,000 five-star reviews, is a favorite of celebrities including Hailey Bieber, Hilary Duff, and Selena Gomez, who posted a TikTok video of herself applying the moisturizer.
Google's findings are proof that viral products aren't just good for their original makers — they're also big business for brands that cash in on the hype by offering more affordable alternatives.