Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beauty Reviews: Drugstore Brands vs. High End Brands

I've been asked a few times why I rarely recommend or review any drugstore brand cosmetics. I'll be honest - as a make-up artist I'm used to sticking with high end brands but that doesn't mean I think less of drugstore cosmetics. The drugstore is where I began my love affair with make-up and I still continue to buy a mascara or two here and there. Brands like Revlon, L'oreal, Maybelline, and Max Factor have gone above and beyond changing their formulations and packaging to match those of their higher end competitors. If you're looking to buy quality make-up on a tight budget, here are some recommendations and make-up artist favourites.

1. Foundations: "L'oreal True Match Super Blendable Makeup, and Cover Girl's Queen Collection Oil Free Liquid Makeup for darker skin tones

2. Tinted Moisturizers: Quo's Skin Tint SPF 15 and Wet n Wild Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

3. Concealers: MAX Factor's Erase Secret Coverup, Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer

4. Loose Powder: Revlon's Bare It All Lustrous Powder, Cover Girl's TruBlend Powder with Minerals

5. Pressed Powder: Physician's Formula Powders (they come in many types to suit your needs), L'oreal True Match Super Blendable Powder

6. Corrective Products (rosacea, blemish and scar marks): Physician's Formula, Quo's Bags Away or Colour Corrector Camouflage

7. Blush (powder, cream, or stain): Quo, L'oreal, Cover Girl's Cheekers Blush, Revlon's Limited Edition Pinch Me cheek stain, Wet n' Wild Twist Up Blush Sticks, Revlon's Cream Blush

8. Eyeshadows (powder, cream, liquid): Revlon's Limited Edition Diamond Lust, Revlon's Illuminance Cream Eyeshadow, Revlon's
ColorStay 12 Hour Eyeshadow Quad
, Cover Girl's Queen Collection for darker skin tones, MAX Factor MAXeye Shadows, Quo Stay Put Cream Eye Colour

9. Eyeliners (pencil, liquid, cream): NYC Liquid Eyeliner, NYC's "Miss Sparkle" Highlighter Pencil, Physician's Formula's Eye Definer Felt Tip Eye Marker, Cover Girl's CG Smoothers Eyeliner

10. Mascara:
Natural - Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
Volume - Maybelline Volum Express Turbo Boost Waterproof
Lengthening - L'oreal's Lash Out Mascara

11. Lipstick: L'oreal's Colour Riche, Cover Girl TruShine Lip Color for a sheer finish, Cover Girl's Queen Collection for darker skin tones, Wet n Wild Precious Metals

12. Lip Gloss:
High shine/sheer colour - Wet n Wild's Glassy Gloss Lip Gel, L'oreal's ColourJuice Gloss, Maybelline's Shiny-licious Lip Gloss ,

Plumping - Wet n Wild's Mega Plump Lip Gloss, Physicians Formula's Plump Potion Needle-Free Lip Plumping Cocktail

Shimmery Liquid Colour - Revlon's Super Lustrous Lip Gloss, Bonnebell's Lip LITES

Darker Skin Tones - Cover Girl's Queen Collection

Stain: Revlon's Limited Edition Just Bitten Lip Stain

13. Tinted Lip Balms: Bonnebell's Lip LITES Glossy Tints, Wet n Wild's Pout Protector SPF 15, Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers

14. Lip Balms: Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil, Neutrogena's Lip Moisturizer SPF 15, Aveeno's Intense Relief Medicated Therapy, any of the original Bonnebell Lip Smackers for yummy scents, Wet n Wild Jumbo Juicy Lip Balm

15. Lip Liners: Wet n Wild Creme Lip Liner Pencils, Cover Girl's Queen Collection for darker skin tones

16. Bronzers: Physicians Formula has a variety of bronzers to choose from, NYC Bronzing Face Gel, Bonnebell's Gel Bronze, L'oreal Glam Bronze Bronzing Powder

17. Highlighters and Body Shimmers: Revlon's Limited Edition Bare it All Lustrous Lotion, Wet n Wild's Mega Pump Shimmer

18. Multi-Purpose Products for Eyes, Lips, Cheeks: Wet n Wild's 3-of-a-Kind Twist Up Stick, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Face Illuminator, Physicians Formula's Bronze Gems Matte & Bright Bronzer, Highlighter & Eye Shadow

Tools: Quo has an assortment of tools, Revlon has a variety of tweezers and eye lash curlers

Brushes: Quo brushes are a favourite among make-up artists because they're affordable and quality brushes, buy Sonia Kashuk brushes if you're in the US, affordable and high quality. Her make-up line is also wonderful.

That wraps up my drugstore brand favourites! I hope this was helpful and I'd love to hear what your favourites are! Happy shopping!

*Quo is only sold in Canada at your local Shoppers Drug Mart. All other brands you can find at your local drugstore.


Toya said...

Great post! Readers who want to look into good drugstore brands should also read "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" by Paula Begoun. Great information!

Make-up Junkie in Canada said...

Thanks Toya for your comment! I will be sure to check out Paula's article! :)

Sugarshock said...

what a great, comprehensive list!
I know what you mean about high-end brands: While I'm not a makeup artist, I just gravitate to the high-end stuff cause they have such great pigments and good quality!
:) Kristen

Anonymous said...

Hi Makeup junkie!

I was wondering if you'd be interested for writing a column for

Let me know

I can be reached via email

guy @
(no spaces)

Thank you

Guy Gauthier

Jennifer said...

Hey Makeup Junkie!

I'm looking to buy less-expensive performance-quality make up (I'm a ballroom dancer). Are the pigments in these brands dark enough for that kind of use? I'd looove to save money by not having to buy from the more expensive brands, where a compact of foundation costs $36!

Thanks so much.