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.

Lip Gloss
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 โ€“ 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!

  • For me, L'Oreal is always a good place to start!

    Annabel โ™ฅ
    Mascara & Maltesers

  • I love the Revlon Super Lustrous Lispticks! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • i've just purchased the l'oreal true match foundation and i've liked it on swatching, and it's one of the few foundations that seems to match my skin. i use the maybelline fit me concealer and maybelline gel liner on a regular basis, they're really good for the price! i also really like the revlon super lustrous lipsticks even though i've only tried a couple! great post!!

    fashion, beauty and an existential crisis

  • I could not agree more with your comments on the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks! They are my go to for drugstore lipsticks. I also love the L'oreal True Match Foundation, it's the only drugstore foundation I've found that matches my skin tone.

    My favourite drugstore mascaras are from Covergirl, especially the Lashblast Fusion and the Clump Crusher mascaras.

    You put together a great drugstore makeup starter kit!



  • Love this post. I love L'oreal telescopic Waterproof and their Butterfly waterproof mascaras. I actually use both every day – I brush a quick coat of the telescopic through my lashes to hold the curl, then follow up with a coat or two of the butterfly to fan them out and add volume. It only takes a few seconds longer than usual and it makes me look like I'm wearing false lashes that hold their curl all day!

  • Great recommendations! It's always nice to have a few good old drugstore staples ๐Ÿ™‚

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

  • ok ok…i've heard toooo many great things about the Fit Me concealer within the last month so I guess that just means I need to head out to Target and buy one. Thanks for sharing…it's so easy to get lost in the heavily loaded makeup department.

    le jolie

  • I so need the honey bronzer! I have been struggling so much to find a shade that works for me lately, and I don't doubt that this would.


  • So glad you mentioned the Revlon Super Lustrous, they are great but I don't think they get enough credit! About the powder…I don't use it a lot, but I have the Rimmel Stay Matte and it's good, and I really want to try the Bourjois Java Rice Powder!

    New in Makeup

  • Powder?? Definitely Rimmel's Stay Matte powder in Translucent. I think I'm onto my fifth compact now! xx

  • I love the Body Shop Honey Bronzer, it's so great for us pale skin girls ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kate xo // http://www.beautybabbles.com

  • The Sleek Au Naturel Palette is the best! One of my all time favourite palettes, very budget friendly too. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Agreed, lately I've been splurging a bit more with makeup, but the drugstore will always have my heart! Great picks ya have here, I needs to get ma hands on the Tanya Burr glosses and Milani blushes! I love the Bourjois Healthy Balance powder, sets, adds a bit of extra coverage but never looks too matte or cakey.

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  • I really need to try that bronzer out. Lovely post x


  • really need to try this palette x

    Hannah | Heyitshannaah

  • I always go in for one makeup bit and always come out spending way more than expected! Lovely suggestions!

  • An oldie but a goodie.

  • That was the one I had most in my mind to try next – the Bourjois powder. I swatched it in store and it felt to fine and smooth. Good to know you like it!

  • It's pretty crazy how cheep it is. They're not quite as good as some high end shadows, but they're definitely still great quality.

  • I feel ya! My skin is so pale in the winter and that bronzer never looks too intense.

  • I looked at the Java Rice Powder and although it's nice I think it would be too much for me all over my face. There are definitely detectable bits of glitter. It would make a nice subtle highlighter though.

  • It's like the master of matching skin tones. Excellent bronzer.

  • It's funny because when I first tried it I thought it was fine, but nothing too special. But then it somehow because an everyday use item for me. It's so easy to blend and has a really nice finish. I dunno… it just does the job.

  • Thanks. Definitely. I don't really have the budget for too many higher end products.

  • Yeah the Butterfly one is really good for that – volume and separation. Plus I actually find that that curve shape helps to hold a curl.

  • I tried the clump crusher and was also impressed. Though I accidentally bought the brown one. I just wish all foundations would have a colour matching system like the L'oreal True Match. They make it so dang easy!

  • They do good foundations for sure… and mascaras… and lip products… and pretty much everything yeah.

  • Love your list of favourites, so many of them are mine too!

    Maddy, xo // UNSTITCHEDD

  • Like, like, like your blog! Every post is so interesting! You did a
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    Diana Cloudlet


  • Amazing post as always! I have been wanting the loreal true match foundation for a while, I might just have to buy it! Lovely post xx

    Beauty Girl

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  • Great picks. The RT brushes are so good! I don't have a favourite powder but the Rimmel and Bourjois ones are good.

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  • Iโ€™m with you on the majority of these products. The fit me concealer and the Body Shop bronzer are great picks! I would recommend the Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen, itโ€™s great for beginners.


  • For powder I love Bourjois Healthy Mix. I don't know if you have Bourjois over there, but it's available on Asos!

    I must be one of the few bloggers that never tried a mascara from L'Oreal? Haha I will have to change that soon. Also, totally agree with Sleek. They're the bomb. And the blushes are also very good quality. I do need to get myself some Milani, though!

  • I love the Bourjois Healthy Balance pressed powder! Keeps my foundation on perfectly, even though I have really oily skin. love this post x

  • Loreal foundation is the best so far ( from a drugstore) , loveing milani blushes ๐Ÿ™‚