I hope to do this often, as I LOVE makeup (obviously) but I don’t have an endless budget for it. Here is the first edition with some of my favorite drugstore products that work just as well (or better) than high end versions! Some of them I have comparisons for, some I just want to rave about!
There is something to be aware of: sometimes, “drugstore” products are more expensive, even though they work the same, due to ingredients. Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, corn starch, phthalates, all ingredients you will often find in drugstore products that high end natural products tend to avoid. That’s not to say they are “bad”, opinions differ on the subject and its truly a personal decision whether to use products with these ingredients or not- but its something to be knowledgeable on and explains part of the pricing gap.
Hard Candy Tiki Bronzer $9.00 – a good sub for NARS Albatross ($29), a touch less yellow- more golden than Albatross. While you need to use more of the product to get the super red carpet glow you might see and want to replicate, I personally find it to be too overwhelming for a day to day look anyways, so Tiki is perfect for me, giving just a hint of glow without looking like you are gold-leafed. I use a large fluffy brush and in the shape of a C, bronze my high cheekbone, temple, and eyebrow area. I will also often use this as an all over eyelid to browbone highlighter.
Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer $6.00 – better than Sephora Collection Perfecting Pore Concealer ($19). This is a HEAVY DUTY concealer. Believe me when I say a little bit goes a LONG way. In fact, its almost too pigmented for some of my spots that need concealing, so for those spots I mix a dot in with some of my foundation and voila, perfect application every time. I am not kidding when I say with the right color correctors you can cover anything with this awesome affordable and widely available concealer. I’ve used this to cover a tattoo with great success.
NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam $7.00 – a great sub for Benefit Cosmetics “High Beam”. I use it on my cheekbones, brow-bones, anywhere you need a touch of glow. Also comes in “Gleam” which is more of a golden peach color, like “Sun beam”, but Benefit, ironically. Benefit High Beam and Sun Beam are $26.00 each.
Monistat – Chafing Relief Powder-Gel $6.00 – an alternative to Smashbox Photo Finish Primer $36.00. I know, it sounds odd – but the active ingredient in the gel is Dimethicone (1.2%), the same as Smashbox primer and believe me- this stuff makes a difference if you are working with uneven skin, whether from acne scarring, or wrinkles. It “fills the gap” so to say. I use about the size of a pea, massage into my clean moisturized skin, and apply foundation as normal.
Some other fun, but inexpensive drugstore products:
NYX Wonder Pencil. Wow. Seriously, my favorite highlighting eyeliner EVER. And I’ve bought more of these pencils than anything else. Lining your lower waterline with these babies gives your eyes extra POW, makes them look more awake, and larger. NYX Wonderpencil goes on just right, and at $4.50 its a ridiculously good deal. It comes in three shades to match your skintone, I am (of course) light.
NYX Mood Lip gloss. This stuff not only feels great on your lips, glossy and shiny but not sticky, but it has a little trick to it… it goes on clear and within seconds begins to transform to the perfect pink pout. The color on me is like a sheer berry stained lip. $4.50, also great over liner or lipstick.
NYX Pump it up Lip Plumper. Make no mistake, despite its tiny price tag, this lip plumper packs a punch. The tingling might be too much for some, it lasts about 5-10 minutes depending on how heavy your application is, and you should keep this safely out of childrens reach, but the results are pleasing and visible. $5.50.
I could go on and on and on about NYX products (as you’ll soon see I own and use most of them!) and likely will again, but those are my three must haves and at under $15 for all three- you just must give them a try! Ulta, Longs/CVS, Drugstore.com, PacSun (limited selection), Target, and in Ogden – Peerless Beauty (4297 Harrison Boulevard, Ogden, UT 84403)
Wet N Wild Color Icon™ Eyeshadow Trio $2.99 – seriously. 2.99. HIGHLY pigmented. My favorite is “I dream of greenie” it’s hard to find a green that doesn’t skew blue, or brown. These are true greens. I use all three colors randomly, although not in the same look. There are tons of colors to choose from and for only $3.00 you can afford to try a few.
Wet N Wild H2O Proof™ Liquid Eyeliner $3.99 I use this with an eyeliner brush, not the brush provided, but I like the formula. It is waterproof- something that comes in use on hot sweaty summer days and also for someone with watery eyes like me. Smudges are my enemy! Now, I’m well known to have about 40 eyeliners. I LOVE eyeliners, and even still, I use shadow as eyeliners often! But, I really like this product and while I wouldn’t use it for a pro job, I think its great for day to day use. Grey eyeliner is flattering on almost everyone, especially those of us with blue or green eyes- give the grey a try!
What are some of your favorite drugstore brands?