We like our high-end makeup as much as the next gal, but there is something about finding a fabulous beauty product on the cheap that is the ultimate score. Today, drugstore beauty junkie, Abby, is spilling all the products she’s accumulated this month and sharing her thoughts and reviews! If you love drugstore beauty, make sure to continue reading and don’t forget to share with us your latest and greatest drugstore finds…
The Basics: This foundation describes itself as a “soft-matte hydrating foundation.” It comes in a 1-ounce tube and is available in 12 shades.
My Experience: After hearing a multitude of great things about this foundation on blogs and YouTube, I picked up the shade 40 Nude to try. I really liked the shade, the texture and ease of application of the product. I found it to be medium-to-full coverage and easy to build up. That being said, I have very dry skin, even more so in the winter. After applying it, it seemed to highlight my dry patches, especially on my cheeks.
Final Verdict: While this foundation says it’s a hydrating matte foundation, it was not hydrating and moisturizing enough for my dry skin. If you have normal or oily skin, I have a feeling that this foundation will really look flawless on your face and is definitely worth a try. I’ll be keeping this foundation around to try again in the spring or summer—or once I get my dry skin under control.
The Basics: This serum-based anti-aging foundation features SPF 17, pro-retinol A+ and vitamin C. It comes in a 1-ounce tube and is available in 12 shades.
My Experience: After trying the Maybelline foundation, I decided to look for another formula that would suit my dry skin. I don’t necessarily seek out foundations that have anti-aging properties, but I do find that they typically have a formula that works well for dry, tired and dull skin (of which mine typically is in the winter). I picked up the shade Creamy Natural. I’ve been using this foundation for most of the past month and have really enjoyed it. I like the coverage, which is medium-to-full, and it really gives my skin a luminous and youthful glow. I also like the serum formula, which seems to work especially well on dry skin.
Final Verdict: I really like this foundation and would definitely purchase it again when I run out. This is great for normal-to-dry skin, however, if your skin is oily, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
The Basics: This buildable liquid foundation comes in a .51-ounce compact and is available in 12 shades.
My Experience: Intrigued by the particular form of this foundation, I picked up shade C3 Creamy Natural. Essentially, this compact is foundation in a cushion/sponge-like form that dispenses the formula when you press on the cushion. On the sign by the display, it said that one press would give you light coverage, two presses for medium coverage and three presses for full coverage. I found that one press dispensed a decent amount of foundation and could easily cover my entire face. Because I have a lot of redness in my skin, I ended up using two-to-three presses on the cushion, but I really liked the formula, application and overall finish of the product. To be honest, I haven’t found a full-coverage foundation that completely covers all my redness (that’s what concealer is for), but this did an excellent job for a buildable foundation and didn’t feel heavy on my skin at all. I used the applicator sponge that came with the compact, but I can see this working even better with a beauty blender.
Final Verdict: I absolutely love this foundation. It gives me the nicest healthy and luminous glow and it is so easy to apply. It’s perfect for normal-to-dry skin, but I can also see it working well with oilier skin when set with a translucent powder! I would definitely purchase this again.
The Basics: This is a loose powder to be used for setting and perfecting your foundation. It says it sets, mattifies, blurs and smoothes. It comes in a .21-ounce compact.
My Experience: I’m definitely wary of powders on my face, as the ones I’ve tried typically make my face look a little cakey. I heard this foundation was similar to the Laura Mercier setting powder, so I couldn’t resist picking it up and trying it for myself. After getting a little of the powder in the lid, I took a big fluffy brush and dusted it all over my foundation. I instantly noticed that most of my face looked smooth and airbrushed. It is such a beautiful finish. I did notice that it looked a bit cakey on my dry patches, so I just used it on my T-zone on my second try and it looked beautiful.
The Verdict: I really, really love this loose powder and I think it would work well on dry, normal and oily skin. I’ll definitely keep using this on my T-zone, and I’m excited to see how well it works in the hotter, more humid months.
The Basics: This tinted creamy, gel-based blush says it gives cheeks a nice natural tint. It comes in a .16-ounce tube and is available in two colors.
My Experience: I don’t wear a lot of blush because of the natural redness in my skin, but I wanted something light and subtle that would make my cheeks look a little bit more awake. I picked up the shade Pinking Of You. Overall, I like the formula of this blush as it seems to really sink into my skin for a very natural look. It goes on sheer, but is definitely buildable. To me, the packaging is a little odd. I guess you can apply it directly from the tube and sort of blend it in with your fingers, but I ended up taking a beauty blender and using that to apply it to my cheeks.
The Verdict: If you are looking for a subtle dewy glow to liven up your cheeks this winter, I would definitely give it a shot. I wish it came in a mauve color, but overall I liked the pink shade I tried.
The Basics: This contour palette from Maybelline holds a contour powder, blush and highlighter. It comes in Light to Medium and Medium to Dark.
My Experience: Having a rounder face, I’ve been all about the contour for awhile and was pleasantly surprised by a few of the contour palette options currently available at the drugstore. I picked up this Maybelline compact in Light to Medium and gave it a shot. I really like the shade and formula of the contour powder. It’s pretty finely milled and it’s not to ashy or too warm. The highlight shade is really, really beautiful and it gives the nicest glow to the cheekbones. I was really impressed with it for a drugstore highlighting powder. I didn’t think there was anything too special about the blush, but it is a nice shade. Also, the brush that comes in the palette was fairly useless—but I typically never use the brushes that come with products.
The Verdict: Overall, this is a really great contour powder palette and perfect for traveling.
The Basics: This brow gel mascara comes in a .2-ounce tube and is available in three shades.
My Experience: Having tried and loved the Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara, I was curious how this one would stack up. I think I like the L’Oréal formula slightly better. I feel like this one holds my brows in place better and the gel enhances my brows. One thing that’s significantly different between the two brow mascaras is the wand. While the Maybelline wand is round and spiky at the end, the L’Oréal wand looks more like a standard mascara wand. Ultimately, I do like the L’Oréal wand better and feel like it’s easier to use. My eyebrows are super thin, so I did have to clean up around the outside of my brows after applying it.
The Verdict: I would definitely recommend this as a great brow gel to use by itself or to set a powder or pencil.
The Basics: This pomade crayon is .04-ounces and comes in four shades.
My Experience: I ended up picking up this crayon in soft brown and thought it would be a great two-in-one product to replace the e.l.f. Brow Duo I’d been using consistently. As I mentioned above, I have thin brows, so I’m obsessed with filling them in, as I firmly believe they help define your face and features. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at filling in my brows, but I do it daily and like to think I’m pretty good at it. I really like the shade I picked and the formula of the crayon, which is waxy but not sticky. As you can see, the crayon is pretty thick, so it’s super easy to go too heavy-handed and look like you just drew on your eyebrows. Even though the crayon is thick, when I use it in small strokes and go over it with a brow mascara wand, it looks great.
The Verdict: I would recommend giving this product a try if you are looking for a new and inexpensive product to fill in your brows. Use it with a light hand though—you’ve been warned.
The Basics: This liquid eyeliner marker has a felt tip that works for thin and thicker lines and comes in jet black.
My Experience: A black liquid liner cat eye has been my go-to beauty look for years. I’ve found it a great way to define and lift my smaller eyes. First thing I noticed about this marker was that the color is really jet black. I’ve often found that some drugstore black liners come off more gray, which I don’t like. This one went on black and stayed black! Although I mess up on my liquid liner somtimes (who doesn’t?), I’d like to think that I can apply it with a fair amount of ease. This marker proved harder for me to apply because you can end up going too thick too fast or not getting close enough to the lash line if you aren’t careful. On the other hand, the fact that this marker has the opportunity to be thicker is really nice, especially if you like to experiment with your liner.
The Verdict: Great color and formula, but not for the liquid liner amateur.
The Basics: This is a skinny gel eyeliner pencil that comes in three colors.
My Experience: I picked this up in sharp brown hoping it would be an easy way to help define my eyes—specifically my lower lash line. While the pencil is nice, I didn’t really see anything special about it at all. I feel like it was just a regular sharp-tip eyeliner pencil.
The Verdict: A fine eyeliner pencil but nothing special. I probably won’t use it very often or buy it again.