Makeup: Where I Spend, Where I Save


Happy Monday, guys! Today I want to write about (I’m sure you’ve guessed by now) where I spend money and where I save when it comes to makeup products. I’m definitely a sucker for beautiful packaging and super luxury, quality things, but, there’s something thrilling about a great, affordable product that gets the job done just as well, if not better, than its high-end counterpart.

Let’s talk mascara first. I run through mascara faster than any product; it’s something I use essentially everyday, and a lot of times twice a day if I’m feeling a little afternoon lash touch-up. Even if you don’t wear mascara daily and go through tubes as quickly as I do, it’s a product that you don’t want to keep around for several months because of hygiene reasons and bacteria that can transfer into the tube. Seeing as I don’t have unlimited funds, I can’t exactly afford to spend upwards of $30 every time I need to replace a mascara. And, with such great drugstore options, I never feel the need to! Two really amazing drugstore mascaras I’ve found are L’Oreal Lash Paradise (I opt for the waterproof version - I find it holds a curl for longer, and, never winds up smudged underneath my eyes), and L’Oreal Unlimited. Lash Paradise adds incredible volume without clumping, and Unlimited is really great for lengthening. Liner is kind of in the same family, so quick shoutout to my favorite, super black, super pigmented, super long-lasting drugstore liquid liner from Joah Beauty! Also, how cute is the packaging - I love the gold cap!

Eyeshadow can be tricky - so many drugstore shadows I’ve tried are really powdery and have a ton of kick-back, little color-payoff. This is something I typically will spend more money on because of those reasons, and, lasting powder that higher-end brands have, like Nars, Charlotte Tilbury, and Too Faced, to name a few. BUT - I think I have found a few reallllly amazing options at the drugstore - Milani’s Eyeshadow Palettes, Almay’s color quads, and L’Oreal Infallible Shadow (not pictured here). The Milani Pure Passion palette, shown above, is a warm shadow lover’s dream! The formula is so buttery, so pigmented, and all shades blend so, so beautifully. The top two rows are great for variations on everyday looks, and the bottom two are perfect for experimenting with a bit more color. It’s a really solid palette that, in my mind, rivals Naked Heat and CT’s Stars in Your Eyes palette. The Almay shadow is less pigmented, but the formula definitely isn’t powdery. This is really nice if you are looking for something easy to apply - something that you can apply with a finger and blend over the lid, and not really think about it. L’Oreal’s Infallible shadows are definitely on the shimmery side of things, but they are sooooo pretty, and have a really lovely formula. My two favorite, one-wash-wonder shades are Iced Latte (a more pale shimmer), and Amber Haze (a really nice bronze-amber shimmer).

When it comes to foundation and concealer, I usually stick to my tried and true products (aka, It Cosmetics CC Cream and Bye Bye Undereye Concealer). However, one base product from the drugstore that I have loved for a long time, and that I just recently repurchased, is Maybelline’s Age Rewind. This stuff really is the perfect concealer consistency - not too thick or tacky, but not drying, either. It glides on under eyes really nicely, and blends out with a beauty blender (my tool of choice for under eye blending) like a dream. After using this guy again for the past few days, I have totally fallen back in love AND - I think that it creases less than other concealers I’ve used - including the one by It. I’ve also been using Revlon’s Photoready Candid foundation for the past four days, and although I don’t love it as much as my favorite high-end foundations, it is a good affordable option. It blends out to a nice seamless finish, but, I find that it gathers in my problem areas after about 5 hours of wear (cheeks, around the nose).

Ahh, lip products. Hello, I’m Sarah, and I am a lip product addict. Can you tell? Thank goodness the drugstore has so many wonderful, affordable lip product options! Lip Liner’s are not easy to get right - I want something that isn’t too creamy (I don’t want it bleeding outside of my lip lines), but I also don’t want the formula too be toooo rough, in that it can pull my skin. NYX’s lip liner’s are the perfect, not too creamy, not too hard formula, they have great lasting power, and a lot of gorgeous neutral options. My favorite (above) is the shade Sugar Glass. My favorite drugstore lipstick formula is Revlon’s Super Lustrous formula - creamy, not too thick, lightweight, good color payoff. This lipstick is so comfortable, when I apply, I forget that anything’s there. I haven’t tried out any of the deeper shades from this line, but a couple of my go-to everyday colors are Bare Affair and Pink Truffle - both are perfect for everyday. If you want more of a lip creme - a sort of liquid lipstick-gloss hybrid, you need to check out Revlon’s Kiss Plumping Lip Cremes! Really comfortable, gorgeous creamy, lip enhancing formula that doesn’t accentuate any lip lines. If you’re more of a gloss girl, get after elf’s plumping gloss, Milani’s plumping gloss, and Revlon’s ultra hd lip lacquer - I truly think that all three are just as good as any high-end glosses I’ve tried.

Now, what do I prefer to spend more money on? Products that I haven’t found great drugstore alternatives for are all in the cream formula family: cream blush (my current go-to is Stila’s Lillium), cream highlight (right now I can’t live without Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Light Wand and rms’ Champagne Rose), and cream contour (Tom Ford Shade an Illuminate is my everyday contour product). I will continue on my search for great drugstore cream products but, for now, there’s no replacing these for me.

To round this all out, here are my favorite shades of the affordable products I mentioned:

  • Lip Liner - NYX Sugar Glass

  • Eyeshadow - Milani Pure Passion Eyeshadow Palette

  • Lipstick - Revlon Bare Affair, Revlon Pink Truffle

  • Lip Gloss - Milani Luminoso, Milani Prismatic Peach, elf Sparkling Rose, Revlon Sandstone

  • Lip Creme - Revlon Nude Honey, Cashmere Creme, Fresh Petal, Peony Buff