We all can agree that Sephora is a Wonderland for Cosmetics and Beauty Products. I like to envision myself in the middle of the store, spinning around like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. It’s just divine to walk in and down the aisles. To need absolutely nothing and walk out with 3-4 items you never even knew you needed, that’s Magic! On the other hand, the beauty section in large department stores scare me. You have people coming out from different angles offering to spritz you with all kinds of scents, the haze from them all ensnaring you like a Venus Flytrap. The counter ladies all wanting you to try their products… it’s just too much for me. But one place I seem to always find joy is the local drugstore. The drugstore can be a treasure chest waiting to be explored.
Being a mother of two, I always find myself making at least one trip every weekend to the drugstore. Whether it be to pick up medicine for one of my cutesome-twosome, wipes, school supplies or even a quick card for a birthday party, there is always a trip to our neighborhood CVS or Walgreens. During these visits, I’m guaranteed to venture into the beauty aisle. They make it so appealing and convenient. It’s always the first area you see as soon as you enter. The marketing strategy works. It is bait for beauty addicts alike.
There are SO many brands, products and price ranges. There is an advantage to drugstore buys. You can use coupons, expect weekly sales and always find BOGO deals. It’s too good to pass up. Besides, everyone wants to save where they can. Beauty shouldn’t have to break the bank. Right?? So, I put this theory to the test and did some investigating to see what goodies we could find. I wanted to see if I could actually ditch my higher end products for drugstore brands or dupes. I visited a local Duane Reade in NYC and purchased a few items. Here is a list of products purchased:
Base/ Foundation: I’m still wondering how I was able to pull off successfully color matching without testing the product. I have no clue. I have always been leery about shopping for drugstore foundation. At least in Sephora you have people able to assist you find a suitable match or you have testers available for your use. RULE OF THUMB: NEVER test on your hand! It is a common mistake. The skin tone on your hand varies from that of your face and neck due to sun exposure. Try your best at picking one closest to your natural skin tone. Most stores do have return policies because they know this choice can be difficult.
Cover Girl Clean Matte BB Cream (550) – I did like this BB Cream. It was very light and creamy on my skin and melted right in. Product retails for 8.99.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow (208) – Good Foundation. Light and weightless, but can be buildable if you are looking for more coverage. Product retails for 12.99.
*I must add that although both bases were good, neither did much for my oily T-Zone problem. In fact, the BB Cream claims to be matte, however, my shiny nose begs to differ. I would recommend both products are best suited for those who do not have oily or combination skin like me.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – AMAZING alternative to the popular Beauty Blender. Product retails for 3.57.
L.A. Girl PRO Concealer (Pure Beige) – I love this concealer. It is inexpensive and beloved by makeup artists. I cannot stress how good this concealer is. You can actually just use this to solve a lot of beauty problems, but we will save that discussion for another time. Product retails for 5.99.
NYC Individual Eyes Brown Eye Basics – This eye palette retails for about 4.99 and is absolutely fabulous. It had a combination of 4 powder shadows and 3 cream shadows. The powders were very well pigmented. I did not try the creams. My eye makeup came out pretty good and when I told a colleague at work I had used a drugstore product and the cost, she couldn’t believe it. It held up really well and I experienced no creasing or fall out.
Jordana Easy liner (Black) – Simple and inexpensive black eye liner. Does tend to bleed throughout the day. Product retails for 1.99.
Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express (Classic Black) – My new colleague suggested I use this mascara. I’ll admit to being a bit hesitant, especially considering how much I dislike the original Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. Some of you have just gasped in horror. I’m sorry, but I do not understand what all the hype is behind that cult classic. However, this mascara was amazing and I’m glad I took her word for it. It is HUGE and really layers the liquid on for a dramatic effect. Definitely a Must-Have. Product retails for 5.99.
Wet n Wild Coloricon Bronzer (Bikini Contest) – Shattered. Wish I could add a review but this literally shattered upon opening.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer (Park Avenue Princess) – I cheated and added a Sephora product, but in my defense, the product was free with my points. This was a small sample size of the Tarte Bronzer which retails for 30.00. It wasn’t as intense as I like my bronzers to be. I tried contouring but it wasn’t very effective for me. Boo. Whatever, it was free.
Milani Powder Blush (Romantic Rose) – Milani is one of my favorite drugstore brands. This blush is absolutely beautiful! The powder is shaped like a rose; just a lovely presentation. Milani never disappoints. This blush had good pigment and lasting effect. Product retails for 8.99.
Milani Easybrow (Natural Taupe) – A simple brow pencil with a spooly brush at the end. Did a good job. Product retails for 3.99.
Maybelline Colorsensational (Smoking Red) – The Colorsensational lipsticks are Maybelline’s famous seasonal lip color trends. I chose the color Smoking Red, a red with brown undertones. I really liked this lippy. It was hydrating, which I really like. The color was vibrant and bold, but will not last through lunch without you needing to reapply. Product retails for 6.99.
All in all, I was really happy with the results from my drugstore beauty experience. The prices were reasonable and the products were good. I’m not exactly ready to say bye bye to Sephora but… I know I can make wiser buying choices for some things. The one disappointing factor I did discover was the lack of low-end highlighting products. I found one major brand carrying what they called a highlighter and it was a bit pricey for a drugstore buy. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know by now how much I LOVE to highlight. So, you can imagine I was not very happy about this. As an alternative, I used the highlighter from the eye shadow palette. It worked just fine and I didn’t have to shell out extra or carry out an additional product.
Beauty should not be compromised or sacrificed. Yes, EVERY woman is Beautiful. I firmly believe that. I also believe and know that women love to feel special. Looking good makes us feel special. Babes on a budget can rest assure that there are comparable products out there that cost less and apply just as good as those pricey buys at Sephora or Department Stores. No need to get a second mortgage just to buy an eyeshadow palette, just walk into Walgreens. And for some of us corporate gals, if you find yourself in a pinch and need to jazz up for a meeting or after work drinks; realized you forgot to pack your makeup bag, head on over to the drugstore and pick up a few things with ease. Get your budget beauty on!
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