In the past few months I’ve tried to push myself to invest in higher end pieces that I’ll get lots of use out of, but I still can’t help loving roaming the aisles of London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart and even Real Canadian Superstore (because it’s important to keep it classy). Drugstore makeup is my jam. Plus who doesn’t love a good hunt? Actually, to answer my own rhetorical question, a lot of people don’t. I have a few friends that I think tend to feel overwhelmed by everything out there, not knowing where to begin. So ladies, this one’s for you.
Not everyone needs foundation. If you’ve got clear, even skin, first know that you are one lucky bastard and then skip the foundation altogether. However if you do need a little extra something I would recommend trying the L’oreal True Match Foundation. It’s a great starter foundation because it provides light to medium coverage and has a satin finish that works well with dry or oily skin types. The line also has an incredibly simple colour matching system. It divides itself into cool (C), neutral (N) and warm (W) undertones and then into a numerical scale depending on low light/dark your skin is.
When you’re first starting out in makeup, you probably don’t want a ton of different concealers for different jobs. The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is a great all-rounder. It’s medium coverage with a creamy, bendable texture that never looks cakey. I find it works well under my eyes and over any areas of redness. It would just about cover blemishes, however if you’re really struggling with acne I think you’d be a lot better off spending a little more and heading to MAC for something like the Studio Finish or Pro Longwear Conceaer.
I think one of the biggest mistakes people make when they start using makeup is they try to make themselves look more tanned with foundation. I’ve been guilty of this. But friends, this is why bronzer is such a beautiful thing. If you match your skin correctly with foundation and then go in with bronzer on the high points of your face, you won’t get that dreaded mask effect and you’ll end up with a much more natural looking tan. While it’s not strictly drugstore, The Body Shop Honey Bronzer is a great, affordable pick because it’s not overly pigmented and it blends easily.
As much as I love cream blush, it’s not the most practical pick for beginners. The Milani Baked Blushes will give a similar glow to the cheeks, but with more blendiblity. The colour range is beautiful and they’re very affordable.
Brow powder and an angled brush is the easiest way to start filling in your brows. Most people have quite ashy toned eyebrows even if their hair colour is warm. The Nyx Eyebrow Cake Powder in Ash/Taupe is a good pick because it has that true grey undertone and, much like The Body Shop Bronzer, it’s not so pigmented that it’ll apply too heavily.
Sleek does some seriously fantastic eyeshadow palettes. The Au Naturel Palette is my favourite as it’s filled with exclusively neutral colours. The pigmentation of these shadows is excellent and you get so many shades to play with. I can’t recommend these enough, particularly as they come in at a remarkable $12.
Winged liner never goes out of style. I maintain that the easiest way to do this is with a gel liner and an angled brush. The Maybelline Gel Liner is my personal favourite. The consistency is so easy to work with. It doesn’t print on your eyelids as it’s drying and it lasts all day. For tips on how to perfect your winged liner I’ve got a 5 Steps To Foolproof Winged Liner post.
I talk about the L’oreal Telescopic Mascara a lot, but I know it’s not for everyone. The L’oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara is another great one that I think would appeal to a broader audience. It’s got a plastic comb that does a good job of preventing clumping and the curved shape of the brush pushes your lashes into a curl.
The Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks are a classic. They have loads of different finishes and colours and they’re good quality. To be honest there are tons of great drugstore lipsticks out there nowadays, but these are ol’ reliable to me.
The Tanya Burr Lip Glosses are another fantastic pick. In terms of colours, there’s not a dud in the bunch and they’re seriously pigmented. I mean seriously. They smell deliciously fruity and they’ve got good staying power for a gloss. Admittedly, they are slightly sticky, however that does seem to be the trade off for staying power.
No surprise here, Real Techniques is far and away the best option for drugstore brushes. They’re soft as a baby’s bum, they wash easily, they’re cruelty free and the sets are so thoughtfully put together. There’s a reason these brushes took the beauty industry by storm. The quality rivals a lot of high end brush ranges.
You may have noticed that there’s one category I missed – powder. That’s because I’ve never found a drugstore powder that I was truly blown away by. So I’m wondering if you guys have any suggestions. What do you like and why? Thanks!