I can’t resist a good bargain! Whilst I apply the same principle to my makeup bag as that of my closet – quality over quantity – I find that when you know what you’re getting yourself in to, affordable makeup doesn’t have to mean you’re settling for something sub par. Having said that, as with all makeup brands irrespective of price, not all brands are created equal. And even less so when it comes to their products! Some excell at lip products whilst others might excell at foundations. So to help you demistify the beauty isles of Clicks and Dischem, I thought I would share my all time favourite drugstore beauty favourites.
Best Foundation- L’oréal
I think L’oréal deserves to win this one hands-down. They have a good selection of colours (although I did have to get my husband to source shade N2 from the US for me, I don’t think they stock it in SA) and their formulas are absolutely amazing with something for everyone. The Magique Lumi (which I think has sadly been discontinued) is my favourite, but the True Match is a close second. I haven’t tried the reformulated True Match yet, but the reviews seem to be predominantly favourable. As with all foundations, it is all about finding the formula that suits your skin type and L’oréal has no shortage for you to choose from.
Best Concealer – Catrice
Now I guess it all depens on whether you prefer using a liquid or solid concealer, as Catrice does the best solid concealers in my opinion. Some even say they are a dupe for the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealers. All I can say is that they blend well, last well and the lightest colour is a good match for me (I hate ‘highlighting concealers’). I often use only this to cover my very dark dark circles and it does not crease. For spots, I still prefer my Estee Lauden Double Wear Liquid Concealer but I’ve heard great things about the LA Cosmetic concealers and will definitely be trying them once I’m done with the Estee Lauder ones.
Best Lipsticks – Revlon
If you’re on the market for a particular shade or a MAC dupe, the Revlon counter should be your first stop. Their formulas are amazing (never drying) and their colour selection is uncomparable to any other brand. I loved their Lip Butters (Berry Smoothie was my signature) but it’s discontinued.
Luckily lipsticks are the one product which most brands do quite well, so honourable mention has to go to Maybelines’s ColorSensational collection (I love Mauve Mania), L’oréal’s limited edition reds with their spokesmodels and Catrice’s Luminious Lipsticks (lusting after shade 120) which has hyaluronic acid for a super comfortable wear and is under a R100.
Best Lipglosses – Essence
I’ve expressed my love for their XXXL Shine lipglosses before (here). They are extra comfortable, leave behind no sticky residue and the colour selection is amazing. I couldn’t find my favourite colours last time, but managed to snatch their Liquid Lipstick in the shade Beauty Secret. I don’t think it quite fits the bill of a liquid lipstick, but is a perfect opaque lipgloss. The shade Beauty Secret is my perfect MLBB shade and blends together pink and brown tones for the perfect shade. I might also pick up Make a Statement. Coming in under R50, they are an absolute bargain!
Eyeshadows – Essence (singles) and LA Girl (quad)
You can’t go too wrong with eyeshadows in my opinion as a good swatch before you buy will tell you most of what you need to know – color, softness and opacity. Although I have experienced terrible fallout from some eyeshadows, so I though I would include my favourites. I don’t like Essence’s quads but their single shado in Party All Night is all kinds of fabulous. It is a lovely shimmery metallic golden-champagne shade that would suit most. Going with a bit of a theme here, I love my LA Girl Nudes pallette. Whilst some of the shades do look quite similar when applied, they don’t slide down my face and by the end of the evening it generally still looks like I am wearing eyeshadow. I haven’t tried Wet ‘n Wild eyeshadows yet (I’m not big on having colour on my lids) but both their singles and quads have received rave reviews.
Eyebrows – Essence
Over the holidays I skipped wearing makeup, but the one thing I can never go without is doing my brows. I prefer filling them with Essence’s brow powder using an angled brush and always at least try to tame them with Essence’s Brow Gel. I used the Body Shop’s one before, but the Essence one is cheaper and just as good. I’m still on the market though for a good eyebrow pencil or powder that won’t look to obvious on me. So any suggestions are welcome
Mascara – Catrice
This one is easy, as I haven’t met a mascara I don’t like! Whether from the drugstore or beyond. My current favourite however has to be Catrice’s Waterproof Glam & Doll mascara. I won’t bore you with another review, but in short it is awesome just be sure to keep your makeup remover close by.
Highlighting powder – Essence
Sadly this is a limited edition product, but for evenings out or when my skin is feeling slightly lacking in the moisture department I love adding Essence’s Shimmering Highlighting Powder in I love my golden pumps. I guess there was more than one shade, but when I finally found it I snatched it up. It is subtle but noticeable no large shimmery chunks visible and in a beautiful golden shade. I start by dusting it on my highpoints and then basically just end up going all over. I’ve also heard it is a great dupe for the Mary Luminser.
Nailpolishes – Essence and Wet ‘n Wild
For solid polishes, Essence wins. I love the longevity of their The Gel range and their special collections always feature some great colours. I won’t bother on, you can read more about why they are my favourites here. For glittery polishes it is a different story. Wet ‘n Wild wins handsdown with a multitude of shimmery shades and two sizes of glitter specks.
My only gripe is that drugstore beauty products can be incredibly hard to find in a particular shade and they seem to discontinue lines sooner than beauty counter brands do. What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite drugstore beauty brand?