Makeup is all about trial and error. Some of the most luxurious, expensive products on the market can leave you sorely disappointed, whilst you could pick up the cheapest thing on the shelf in Superdrug and fall in love with it. This post is all about the latter. Whilst I admit I am usually a high-end junkie, especially when stocking up my freelance kit, there are a few little drugstore gems that I have discovered along the way that I couldn’t be without. These are products that I genuinely love and reach for over high-end products every day, whether it’s on myself or on my clients.
If your purse is feeling a little lighter than usual around Christmas or even if you’re just looking to try out something new, I really recommend giving these products a go. Need more convincing? December + beauty bargains = more money for mulled wine. Go figure.
Makeup Revolution Awesome Double Flick Eyeliner – £3.50
Every girl has experienced the winged liner struggle at some point in their life, myself included. It’s so difficult to figure out which technique suits you the best, and it’s even harder trying to find a product that makes it easier. Over the years I’ve tried so many different liners – from high end to drugstore, from gels to pens, liquids and pencils. You name it, I’ve winged it. And it’s kind of ironic that the cheapest one I have ever tried turned out to be the best so far, and has become an absolute must-have in my makeup bag. Makeup Revolution are a relatively new brand that are available in most Superdrug stores, and they are ridiculously budget friendly – almost all of their products are under £5. I wouldn’t blame you for assuming that the quality of the products are reflected in the price, but I can assure you that this isn’t the case with this eyeliner.
The liner comes in the form of a double ended felt tip pen. One end has a standard sized tip and the other end is super thin and fine, and this is the end that I usually use. It’s so precise and pointed, it gives me the perfect wing almost every time. One problem I’ve had in the past with pen liners is that they dry up really quickly and the product pay-off becomes really poor after a few uses, but the tip of this pen stays so saturated and black for months and months. I really recommend trying this is you struggle with winged eyeliner, as it makes it so much easier for me!
Maybelline Lash Sensation Mascara – £7.99
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the best mascara I have EVER used. I bought it on a whim a couple of years ago when I needed a new mascara, and this was on offer as it had just been released. And ever since that day I have never touched another mascara. It’s incredible! The curved brush is covered in tiny rubber bristles which reach every single lash from root to tip, and the formula of the mascara is so dark and pigmented. It adds volume to every. Single. Lash.
When I use this mascara after curling my lashes, the results are amazing. Sometimes I don’t even need to add falsies! I find that the formula works even better a couple of weeks after I’ve opened it – I think because the formula has dried up slightly it makes my lashes even more wispy and separated. Next time you run out of mascara please give this a try, I’ve recommended it to loads of people who now love it as much as I do!
NYX Shine Killer Primer – £11
I’ve been really impressed with this primer ever since I first tried it a few months ago, and it’s now something I stock in my kit and use on most of my clients. It’s a clear, lightweight gel formula which instantly mattifies the skin without feeling drying or heavy. I love applying this to the t-zone with my fingers and really working it in, and then I give it a couple of minutes to sink in before applying the rest of my makeup. I much prefer this to the Benefit Porefessional primer, and it’s less than half the price.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation – £5.99
I heard so many great things about this foundation since it was released by Maybelline last year following the success of the original ‘Fit Me’ line. Tons of Youtubers were claiming this foundation as their new holy grail, and I just couldn’t believe it could be such a staple for only £5.99. I had to give it a try! The time came to test it out when I needed a new tan-friendly foundation to take with me on holiday, so I picked up the shade ‘220’. If this foundation could pass the test in exotic Bali heat, I knew it was a winner.
The foundation is designed for oily skin, and claims that “it’s blurring micro powders refines pores while shine is being absorbed for a natural matte finish”. I would definitely agree with this, as my skin is noticeably less oily whenever I wear this. Whilst the formula seems quite thick when it first comes out of the bottle, its blends out really well and actually feels pretty lightweight on the skin. It leaves a really smooth velvet finish, and whilst it does a great job at controlling my oily skin, I feel like it still looks radiant and lets my natural skin glow through. I absolutely loved how it looked on holiday on top of my tan – it gave me good coverage and smoothed everything out, but still looked totally natural and let that good old holiday glow shine through.
I carried on using this foundation once I got back to the UK and was still impressed with the results. I’ve even used it on other people and it photographs beautifully. I genuinely prefer this over many high end foundations that I’ve tried for 5 times the price! If you’re looking for a backup foundation or are just looking for a new bargain to try, give this a go.
LA Girl HD Pro-Concealer – £5
Would it be a tad dramatic to say that these concealers have changed my life? Seriously – these are such a game changer. First let’s start with the price. You can pick up one of these for £5 on Beauty Bay, or even cheaper on Ebay if you really want to save your pennies. Next, the formula. It’s been dubbed a dupe for Mac’s Pro Longwear Concealer, and many people actually say that they prefer the finish of LA Girl’s version as it’s a little less sticky and sets to a more velvet finish. It’s super creamy, pigmented, and blendable. Finally, it’s probably the most versatile range of concealers you will ever come across. There are currently 27 shades available, covering every skin tone from your lightest Porcelain to the darkest Mahogany. They’ve also recently added a handful of colour correcting concealers in orange, peach, yellow, green and lilac, as well as a pure white to add to any shade for highlighting. I carry almost every shade in my kit because I can use them for correcting redness, disguising dark under eyes, highlighting, contouring and bronzing. Basically, the possibilities are endless!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Crème – £5.50
NYX are hands down my favourite drugstore brand at the moment, especially when it comes to lip products. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always found that the shade range of lip products in the drugstore to be a bit dated and basic – NYX totally changed this for me. They are constantly coming up with new, modern, on trend colours and their range of nude shades is out of this world. They just get it!
I really love their lip pencils and their ‘Butter Gloss’ line, but their standout product for me is the Soft Matte Lip Cream. There are currently 34 shades available, and the formula is amazing. When I first tried this, I expected it to be really uncomfortable and drying on the lips, but it’s just so lightweight and easy to wear. I was just about to describe it as ‘soft’ and ‘creamy’ until I realised that that is literally what the product is called, so I guess the name really does what it says on the tin! My favourite shades are ‘London’, ‘Stockholm’ and ‘Athens’, but there are just so many to choose from that I’m sure I’ll be adding some more favourites to that list soon.
I hope you enjoyed this post and end up finding a new favourite! Don’t be put off by the price of some of the products – drugstore brands have come a long way and are constantly improving and evolving. Give them a chance!