“I just want to go over to the makeup section for a second. I don’t really need anything but I just want to check something out.” Fast forward twenty minutes later and it feels like two minutes have gone by. It’s the section of the store where time seems to stand still. And one of the benefits to snagging your makeup at the drugstore is that it is usually affordable. Who doesn’t love to save some dough? I know I do.
I am not a makeup snob. I will purchase a $28 mascara and a $2 eyeshadow without batting an eyelash. It’s all about how the products perform. I recall having a conversation with a couple of younger women last year who emphatically declared that they refused to purchase any drugstore eyeshadow as it was total garbage. Confused, I asked which brand were they referring to. They replied that they won’t even try any brand of drugstore eyeshadow. I’m sorry but that’s just silly (and honestly, a bit snooty). To prove my point, I once did a performance test with a friend. I put drugstore dupes on one side of her face and their high-end equivalent on the other half. She admitted at least 3/4 of the affordable products performed as well the high-end brands. And no one could tell the difference that she was wearing two different brands.
With the booming beauty industry, thanks in part to social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, makeup brands’ profits are soaring. This has caused brands to become even more competitive. It feels like every week a drugstore brand has a new lip product added to its line. It’s a liquid lipstick battle royal! Brands are not only constantly creating new products but they are also working to improve formulas.
Many major drugstore brands actually own the luxury brands that you are paying exorbitant prices to own. For example, L’Oreal owns: Maybelline New York, Garnier, Lancôme, Helena Rubinstein, BioMedic, Vichy, Biotherm, Shu Uemura, Kiehl’s, Soft Sheen-Carson, Redken, Matrix, Kerastase, Giorgio Armani, Inneov, Sanoflore, CCB Paris, Dermablend, The Body Shop, Skinceuticals, Ralph Lauren, La-Roche-Posay, and Yves Saint Laurent. In the past, I purchased L’Oreal products, when I was unaware that they aren’t cruelty-free, and many of their products quality was excellent at a more affordable price. Once I started going cruelty-free, I thought that my options at the drugstore would be almost down to zero. But I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few brands that are affordable, perform fabulously and are cruelty-free.
Due to some awesome sales, I had a mini drugstore haul. Here are the goodies that I snagged.
NYX Cosmetics Slip Tease Full Color Lip Oil
Oh, NYX! You’ve done it again! I got my paws on the Slip Tease lip oil in the shade Baecation earlier today. This is a new addition to NYX’s lip line. Slip Tease promises to set to a satin-matte finish while providing hydration to your lips. When I first saw this, I was very intrigued. A lip oil? Satin-Matte finish? Say what???? But I use oil to remove my matte liquid lipsticks. How could this be? You wouldn’t lie to me, would you, NYX? Oh, they most certainly did not! This stuff is AMAZING.
As soon as I applied the oil, I texted my friend Crystal gushing over how comfy the product felt on my lips. The wand has a long, paddle applicator that makes applying the oil easy. The product feels like oil when applied but quickly begins setting. After a couple of minutes, it had a beautiful satin-matte finish. I loved that it didn’t cling to any dry parts of my lips like some matte liquid lipsticks do. It was so comfortable and my lips actually felt hydrated. It has some slight transfer so it is not transfer-proof. It lasted a few hours and broke down slightly after drinking and eating. Re-applying was much easier than with a matte lipstick because it was less drying. I need to have these in all the shades that I love. Eeeeeeeek! A new fave! And for only $7, this is a major score.
I’ve been seeing glowing reviews about the affordable UK brand Makeup Revolution for a couple of years now but was always bummed because their products weren’t available in the United States. So, I was a little giddy when I heard months ago that they were now available in my town. Yippee Skippee! They have a pretty good variety of products and I feel the need to try them all. Restraint….restraint. So when I was in need of replenishing my cream blush, foundation primer and setting spray, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out Makeup Revolution’s options.
Aqua Prime Base Spray
I typically go with a silicone based primer. I like ones that fill in my pores and help to even out texture. But sometimes they can cause certain foundations or BB creams to break down faster on my skin. I had been sent a Smashbox’s primer water a few months ago and I was surprised to find that I really liked it. When I found out that Smashbox is not cruelty-free, I needed to find an alternative brand. Makeup Revolution’s Aqua Prime Base Spray performed just as well as Smashbox’s spray, yet Makeup Revolution’s only cost me $7.50 (yay!) as opposed to $32 (ouch). The spray covers my face and has a slightly tacky feel which creates a good grip for my other products to adhere to. My makeup applied evenly and it helped it to last throughout the day. One feature of the spray that I absolutely love is that it adds hydration to my skin. My skin felt more moisturized without feeling oily.
Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray
There are so many fixing and setting sprays in the beauty world that it can make your head spin with the amount of options. And did you know that there is a difference between the two? Yes, yes there is. Setting sprays are used to have your makeup layers settle into one another. Do you ever apply powder on top of your foundation and it instantly looks cakey? Spritz on some setting spray and it will help to meld your makeup together. It also helps to lock in moisture so you look less dry throughout the day.
So what does a fixing spray does? Well, it actually fixes your makeup in place. Most fixing sprays have a small amount of alcohol and that helps to keep your makeup from budging throughout the day. If you wear a setting spray under your fixing spray, your makeup will last even longer.
Many of the popular fixing sprays are quite pricey. Honestly, it irks me how pricey many of the sprays are when most are made with simple ingredients and the bottle sizes are relatively small. But Makeup Revolution’s Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray only cost me 6 bucks for almost 3 1/2 ounces so how could I go wrong? This spray is fantastic. It has a pleasant smell and keeps my makeup in place all day without drying out my skin. What I love is that it really does help to control the oily spots on my face. It has a spray pump which some people are particular about. For me, the spritz distributes just fine and dandy. It doesn’t drench my face with a tsunami of product. And for 6 smackers, this is now a daily staple in my routine.
Cream Blush Palette
As I am now a lady of a certain age (I’m sobbing in the corner of the room now), I have been gravitating to more cream-based products. They tend to not emphasize fine lines and creases as much as some powders do. This especially applies to blush. Cream blushes tend to make my skin look more glowy and hydrated.
Makeup Revolution’s cream blush palette has been my go-to daily blush recently. The formula is smooth and pigmented. It’s so pigmented that you can really go overboard quite easily and end up looking like you’re a part-time clown working at a circus. I apply a small amount to my cheekbones and blend with my fingertips. It blends so easily and provides a beautiful pop of color that looks healthy and youthful. You get 8 colors in the palette for around $8. You really can’t go wrong.
BH Cosmetics Luxe Lacquer Vivid Color Lipstick
I must admit that I ordered this BH Cosmetic Luxe Lacquer Lipstick thinking it was a matte liquid lipstick. Wrong. This is why I shouldn’t do online shopping at 4 in the morning. But when I got the product in my hands, I was pleasantly surprised. The formula of this lipstick reminds me of Anastasia Beverly Hills lip glosses. I ordered the shade Strawberry, a gorgeous pink with blue undertones. The applicator is a flat paddle shape, similar to NYX’s Slip Tease. The formula is opaque and rich and can be worn on its own. I even layered it over a matte lipstick and it provided a gorgeous shine. It’s not super long lasting but is easy to touch up on the go.
Best of all, it’s packed with some good for you ingredients: CoQ10 antioxidant, aloe vera, vitamin E, jojoba oil, coconut oil and olive oil. At $6 a pop, this is a great ordering mistake on my part.
Well, there you have it. Some fabulous finds from the drugstore. If you can’t find some of these brands at your local stores, you can snag them online. Happy makeup hunting!