© Tetra Images/Getty Images; Heather Winters/StockFood Creative/Getty Images; Brad Miller/Alamy
Just fake it

 Some things just cannot be replaced. Take bacon, for example. It’s not healthy and we’d love a version that was a little easier on the heart. But although food companies have tried, fake bacon just doesn’t measure up to the real thing. But once in a while, the fake version of a product does quite nicely. In fact, on very rare occasions the knockoffs are even better.

We’ve come up with 9 imitations that are at least as good as — if not better than — their originals. Fair warning: Some of them are a little controversial. Take a look and see if you agree.

Read on for 9 knockoffs that are as good as the real thing.

Fake fur

© Brad Miller/Alamy
 Real fur is a no-no to many fashionistas concerned about animal cruelty. Luckily for them, making the switch to fake is easy because fake fur can be spectacular.

Check out the Rachel Zoe faux-fur vest, one of the fashion hits of the last year.

Fake fur has become so popular, in fact, that some clothing makers are using real fur but claiming the fur is fake. Neiman Marcus and two other retailers have been charged with selling real fur disguised as fake fur. The fake material may have actually been real rabbit and raccoon, according to news reports. The retailers settled the claims last month.

Fake Eyelashes

© RunPhoto/Taxi Japan/Getty Images

You weren’t born with breathtaking eyelashes? With a little glue and a little time, you could look like you were. False eyelashes are fairly easy to apply and can look great.

While many false lashes are made with synthetic or human hair, some designers are turning to real fur as an alternative. Consider Aura Lashes, which use mink fur for a more natural look. And don’t worry, animal lovers: The fur is collected from shedding minks and is cruelty-free.


© Richard Levine/Alamy

Calm down, foodies, we’re not saying that Velveeta beats out a wedge of D’Affinois. But for certain dishes, the processed cheese food is a better choice than natural cheese.

Queso dip? Velveeta. Piled-high nachos? Velveeta. Broccoli-cheese soup? Velveeta. You won’t have the oily separation and clumpy texture that real cheese can produce. You might also have less fat, sodium and calories, according to Men’s Health.

Fake Diamonds

© Tetra Images/Getty Images

Synthetic Diamonds are carefully grown in labs to be indistinguishable to the untrained eye. They look and feel exactly like a mined diamond, but sell for a fraction of the price, especially as the price of mined diamonds has soared.

Man-made diamonds are almost too superior, since they have fewer flaws and structural defects than mined diamonds. They’re perfect for engagement rings and anniversary necklaces. And they may carry a bit of moral appeal — there’s no chance you’re getting a “blood diamond” mined to finance some nefarious warlord.

The problem, though, is that they haven’t reached a decent level of social acceptance. “I wouldn’t dare buy a synthetic diamond for my fiancee without first checking to see if it was OK,” writes the Weakonomics blog. “She wants the real thing mined out of the ground because something just doesn’t feel right about diamonds ‘grown’ in a lab, and I can’t disagree with her.”

Fake Mashed Potatoes

© Sheri L Giblin/FoodPix/Getty Images

 OK, these aren’t exactly fake. A box of mashed potatoes does in fact have dried potato flakes in it, along with preservatives and other chemicals. And while those ingredients don’t exactly sound mouthwatering, plenty of people think that instant mashed potatoes from a box are just fine when you don’t have the time to create the real thing.

The Serious Eats site compared several brands of instant mashed potatoes and awarded first place to General Mills (GIS) for its Betty Crocker’s Yukon Gold, which combines starchy Idaho potatoes and creamy Yukon Golds. Add milk or heavy cream to the mix in place of some of the water, and you’re good to go.

Fake Tans

Applying spray tan (© Image Source/Getty Images)

 What’s not to like about fake tans? The sun-kissed beach glow is great, but not when it can bring about a case of basal-cell carcinoma.

For that reason alone, a tan in a bottle is far superior to the real thing. And companies have perfected the look with advanced materials that bring about a natural bronze. Estee Lauder’s Clinique adds mica and caramel particles to its tinted lotion, while St. Tropez uses allomelanin to mimic the natural melanin in the body.

Boxed Mac & Cheese

© Heather Winters/StockFood Creative/Getty Images

 If you’re a foodie, stop reading now. Go crack open the latest issue of Lucky Peach, because you don’t want to see this. Boxed macaroni and cheese is an easy knockoff of the traditional pasta dish, and it tastes great.

Oh, sure, if you want to hunt down Gruyere, Italian Fontina, Extra-Sharp White Cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano for this Martha Stewart recipe, go right ahead. But we’re betting the kids would much rather chow down on Annie’s  shells and cheddar, which costs a fraction of the price and will save you hours.

What do you think?

Tell us your thoughts below