Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of turning your nose up to drugstore makeup! 🙋🏻♀️ Haha! So guilty! I have to admit that up until recently when I thought of drugstore makeup I usually thought of my 7th grade self browsing the local drugstore for anything my mom would let me buy, having no clue how to really use any of it! Well, not much has changed because I still spend hours browsing the makeup aisles with only a slight clue on how to use everything! 😆 Haha, kidding…sort of! If you have been hanging with me for awhile then you know that I love to try new products so I thought what would happen if I only used drugstore makeup? Would it look as good as my higher end products? Would it save me a ton of money? Or would it be a total waste of my time? The short answer is yes to all of the above! Some products were amazing and outperformed my higher end products and some were just awful! So after a few weeks of only wearing drugstore makeup here is my honest review about each product I tried, how they compare to my usual products, and which I would and would not recommend:
The drugstore primer I tried out was e.l.f. poreless putty primer which is supposed to be a drugstore dupe for a Tatcha primer. After trying it for a few weeks I am split 50/50. While it covers your pores REALLY well, it doesn’t really help your makeup stay on any longer than if you weren’t wearing primer. However, my critique may not be valid since this primer never claims to help your makeup stay on all day, it claims to cover your pores! So if you are looking for a great poreless primer on a budget than this will definitely do the job! I will keep this primer in my makeup bag but because I want a primer that both hides my pores and helps my makeup last longer I will keep all my other primers in my bag as well!
I normally use Smashbox 24 Hour Foundation which I love! For this experiment I tried out L’oreal Infallible Foundation which had great reviews. After trying this foundation for a few weeks I actually love it! The only negative about this product is that if you prefer full coverage you will have to put on two layers instead of one. One layer will only give you medium coverage. However, it works just as well if not better than any other high end brand foundation I have used in the past. Plus at only $14.99 you can’t beat that!
Alright this is kind of a cheat but I love my Tarte concealer sooooo much that I couldn’t part ways with it. BUT you can get a mini Tarte concealer and mini highlighter for $10 so technically it’s still drugstore pricing! The Tarte shape tape concealer lasts forever, about 6 months, and a full sized bottle is only $27. I never thought I needed concealer but I use some of this everyday under my eyes and it makes a HUGE difference. It will literally brighten your whole face and cover any dark circles. Trust me, the hype is real! I wear shade light medium sand for reference.
Y’all!! I found a diamond in the rough! So a few months ago I was influenced by a very well known blogger to purchase Laura Mercier’s finishing powder. To be clear this powder is just used under my eyes to set my concealer. I tried out this finishing powder and hated it! Now to be fair it looks great on this particular blogger and she’s gorgeous but it’s not great for darker skin tones and it creases like crazy. I continued to use it because let’s be real if there’s an issue with the makeup it’s usually the person applying it (me 🙋🏻♀️) and not the actual product! 😂 When I decided to try only drugstore makeup the saleswoman at Ulta suggested Maybelline FIT Me Finishing Powder and it is soooo good! I wear shade Fair Light and was concerned that it would make me look washed out but it doesn’t. It makes my face look brighter, doesn’t look crazy in photos, and it never creases! 🙌🏼 This powder is only $8, comes in a huge package, and leaves your skin feeling so soft. It can be used over foundation as well for a more natural makeup look!
Smashbox is the brand I normally use for powder as well as my foundation but since I tried L’oreal foundation for this little experiment I thought I’d give L’oreal’s True Match powder a try as well! So what’s the verdict? I have no complaints. Is it the greatest powder I have ever tried? Nope! But it gets the job done and I have zero complaints about it! It’s perfect for your everyday wear and is only $10! My advice would be if you feel more confident in a higher end brand powder then stick to that but if you are into saving some money than this powder is perfect for you!
I will admit that I am new to the world of bronzer so I don’t have tons of experience with different bronzer brands but I do know when I like something! 😆 I have been using Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer in color Park Ave Princess and I really like it! I’ve had zero complaints. Had I not done this little experiment of mine I would have probably used it forever because it is really good! When picking a new bronzer I read review after review about how great Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer works and let me tell you it does! This is hands down my favorite drugstore find! First, it smells delicious and reminds you of laying out somewhere on a beach in Mexico! Second, this product nails it when it comes to giving the most natural glow that doesn’t look fake or like you’re wearing too much makeup! If you use bronzer this is a must!
As mentioned earlier I somewhat cheated and continued to use my Tarte Shape Tape. It’s just too good to part with and is without a doubt one of my favorite beauty finds ever! When used on the top of the cheeks and nose it gives the most natural glow from within. Even if you’re new to using highlighter it’s literally goof proof so trust me when I say it’ll look good on you! I wear shade Dream for reference.
Years ago I found a blush that I absolutely fell in love with so I knew whatever drugstore blush I tested out had big shoes to fill! I have been using iT cosmetics blush for years and will never part with it. Here’s a few things I love about it: as someone who loves the look of blush the color is perfect for me, it lasts all day, and is buildable so you can apply it to look like you barely have any on or you can go full blush mode! After reading tons of reviews I decided to test NYX Sweet Cheeks Glow and e.l.f blush at the recommendation of the sweet woman at Ulta. NYX had great reviews but I personally hated it. I found it to look cheap and well…something I would have worn in the seventh grade! 🙈 As for e.l.f blush, I loved it! The shade is lighter than my normal iT blush but I love it because it is great for everyday use or when you’re going for a more natural look. This blush lasts all day and looks like a higher end expensive blush! This e.l.f. product is a must and is only $6!! I wear shade Always Rosy for reference.
Let me get straight to the point! All the drugstore eyeshadows I tried sucked! 😂 If you know of one that is great then definitely let me know so I can share with everyone else. Otherwise, don’t waste your money! If you are looking for suggestions, my all time favorite eyeshadow is Smashbox Photo Edit Eyeshadow Trio. The colors are beautiful, it easily transitions from day to night, and it never creases!!! I wear color Nude Pic Light, great name huh 😆, for reference. I am loving all of Tarte’s palettes as well! My favorite is Rainforest of the Sea but it’s a limited edition palette so I’ll link another favorite of mine here! You really can’t go wrong with any of them though!
Is lash primer really necessary? One word, yes!!!! Y’all, you don’t know how much you need lash primer until you start wearing it daily! 😆 I recently discovered Lancome Lash Primer and fell in love!! 😍 This primer is literally everything! I feel like so many of us have that one eye with perfect beautiful lashes and then our other eye is just there! Full of wacky eyelashes that stick together and look..average! This Lancome Lash Primer is the only primer I’ve found to make both set of eyelashes look identical. It’s amazing! I tested out L’oreal Voluminous Primer as my drugstore primer and I swear it’s the exact same product! It does the exact same thing but at a fraction of the price! The only con about the drugstore find is that you have to be careful not to apply too much or you will see some left over white residue on your lashes after you apply your mascara which is something that will not happen with the Lancome Primer. Both primers are a lash conditioner as well as a primer! If you’re on a budget definitely try out the L’oreal Primer for only $9 otherwise Lancome at $26 might be a good primer for you if you’re always in a rush and don’t have time to sit there and make sure you don’t apply too much to the eyes. Either way you can’t go wrong!
If you’ve been here for awhile then you know that my absolute favorite mascara of all time is a drugstore find. For me personally, my top three in order are L’oreal Telescopic mascara, IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara, and essence Lash Princess. L’oreal Telescopic mascara is great if you are looking for a lengthening mascara. This mascara is only $11 and lengthens and separates lashes better than more expensive mascaras. I know from experience! If you’re new here I tested the most talked about mascaras on the market and rated them from worst to best. L’oreal outperformed all the higher end mascaras by a landslide! I wrote a whole blog post about it here if you’d like to check it out! IT Cosmetics Superhero is not a drugstore find but is great if you are looking for both a lengthening and thickening mascara. IT Superhero is $25 but lasts all day and gives you a super “clean” look! Essence Lash Princess is a great choice if you don’t like spending money on makeup and are looking for a thickening mascara. Essence is only $5 and lasts all day. Although this mascara passes the cry test my only complaint is that it doesn’t hold up well during a sweaty workout. But hey, for $5 am I really even allowed to complain? You can’t go wrong with any of these mascaras. I keep all of them in my makeup bag and use each of them depending on my mood.
I’ve used quite a selection of brow products over the years and my absolute favorite is Tarte’s Busy Gal Brows! This brow gel is only $18 and consists of a small brush that helps shape and fill in your brows naturally! Trust me, I’ve never been someone who has excelled at makeup application so I NEED products that are goof proof! A little goes a long way and will last you anywhere from six months to a year! A little tip from my makeup artist buddies, go two shades lighter than your natural brow color. Apparently brows that are too dark age you and a lighter shade gives a more natural look!
There are so many good lip products out there whether you are shopping at the drugstore or at the highest end makeup counter. If you’re looking for a lip scrub, overnight lip mask, or just every day chapstick my absolute favorite is Beautehacks Lip Mask! In my opinion this lip mask even outperforms the uber popular Laneige lip mask. If you suffer from dry or peeling skin on your lips this will take care of the issue immediately! I struggled for years with dry skin on my lips and within two nights of using this the problem had been solved. Trust me, it’s so good! For a little color my two favorite drugstore lip products that I found are NYX Butter Gloss and Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss. NYX Butter Gloss comes in twenty four colors and is only $5! Burt’s Bees doesn’t come in as many colors but this gloss lasts forever!! It goes on really smooth and doesn’t feel sticky like other glosses on the market.
Y’all know that I love Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray and I’ll never stray! I’ve been more loyal to this product than I have to some ex-boyfriends in my life! 😂 Kidding, but you know what I mean! I’ve literally fallen asleep in my makeup (which I don’t recommend) and have woken up to my makeup still looking almost flawless. The spray is the real deal! However, at $33 a bottle it can get pricey if you use it everyday! After doing a ton of research NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray had great reviews so I decided to try it out! Verdict? It works great..but not as great as Urban Decay! However, at only $9 it’s still a great deal and it still works ALMOST as good as Urban Decay. I would definitely still use this for everyday makeup and then use my Urban Decay for nights out.
So that’s it! Those are my honest opinions about all the new products I tried out! To recap I would definitely switch my foundation, setting powder, and bronzer to my drugstore finds. The bronzer is probably my favorite drugstore find and is definitely worth a try if you’re not already obsessed with yours! I will incorporate the drugstore blush into my makeup bag as well but won’t toss my other blush because I love both! And as far as eyeshadow we know I think they all suck!!! Haha! Anyway, hoping this helps you all out if you’re looking to save some money or try out some new products! Let me know if you have any good drugstore finds. Hope you all have a great day!