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Meg Pryde

Meg Pryde is the founder and CEO of Brandefy

If you are anything like me, at some point in your life you’ve scoured the internet searching for the perfect makeup and skincare dupes — I have to admit sometimes I catch myself fast-forwarding beauty guru vlogs just to see if certain product is good or not without having to sit through a 20 minute video. But fear not, as Brandefy is here to solve all our skincare and makeup dupe needs.

Brandefy can help you find affordable dupes to your favorite products.

Brandefy is an app that helps find affordable alternatives to cult-favorite products through extensive comparative reviews.

Meg Pryde founded Brandefy while she was getting her MBA at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Meg started pitching the idea for a product comparison app in the Fall of 2016. The following year she joined UV’s Incubator program and launched Brandefy, releasing Brandefy’s beta app in April of 2018. In its inception, Brandefy compared all kinds of products, but as Meg soon realized: “consumers were just insistent on finding alternatives to really expensive beauty products.” Brandefy has been headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, as it is part of the Lighthouse Labs accelerator program.

Last fall Brandefy came out with their own subscription box "Bright Beauty Faves" offering four full-size products from participating brand partners for a monthly price of $15 (and $50 of value!)

We had the pleasure of connecting with Meg Pryde, and she was so kind to answer some of our questions about starting Brandefy.

Firstly, how did the idea for Brandefy first come about?

I spent 5 years in Marketing & Manufacturing at a major consumer packaged goods company, and learned that often consumers are paying for a lot of marketing. I was so surprised by this, and wanted to give consumers a way to determine when an affordable product is the same, without the markup for fancy marketing.

Brandefy offers a curated library of low-priced alternatives for popular premium beauty brands, with reviews and a dupe score that calculates the products’ similarity.

What prompted the pivot to just focus on the beauty industry?

Lipstick and skincare are so much more fun than your typical CPG categories, and the consumer demand was highest. I can't tell you how many times I would hear, "I wish you could help me find a less expensive version of this Skinceuticals (or another fancy brand) product."

Brandefy research: Meg trying out side by side an expensive product

and the affordable dupe.

What were some of the first steps you took to make Brandefy a reality?

I wanted to see if consumers cared, so I started with a blog on squarespace. It literally cost $10 a month, and I would compare ingredients, textures, and performance of two products like lotion. I would do this at 5am before class while I was getting my MBA, because it was the only time of day I could make it happen. I remember the day 12 visitors came to my blog organically - it was so exciting!

Brandefy partners at the 1717 Innovation Center in Richmond in 2018.

And what were some obstacles you had to overcome?

You have to get used to people saying you can't do it. Or, "I just don't see how." and listen to the people using your product above all else. In the end, it's their opinion that matters.

Be sure to check out the Brandefy app to find the perfect dupes (and save a lot of $$)!


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