Spring has sprung (well at least it has here in the Merry Old Land of Oz), and what better way to celebrate with new makeup?
Truth be told, my makeup desperately needed replenishing since quarantine mid-March. I had no foundation, brow gel or setting spray, and was using moisturizer as a primer (which honestly isn’t a terrible idea).
In recent months, my husband and I had a custom of window shopping on Friday afternoons. One Friday, whilst popping into the chemist to grab some brow gel, I found some amazing drugstore dupes for my favorite cosmetics.
We were on a budget and I was able to top up my entire cosmetics collection (and skincare) for less than $100. Cheaper than a bottle of Dior Sauvage men’s cologne that I very nearly bought my husband instead (because oh my God, have you smelled that?)
After getting my haul home and trying them, I've decided to switch to drugstore products. I’ve found new favorites that hold their own against their more expensive boutique counterparts.
If you want to freshen up your look for spring (or fall/autumn) on a budget, keep reading.
PRIMER: L'OREAL INFALLIBLE LUMINIZING PRIMER
I’ve been a fan of L’Oreal Base Magic for a decade, which is a blurring primer. However, I've hit my 30s and I’m looking for just a glowy, luminizing base.
This primer is so dazzling I use it as a liquid highlighter too. It's great if you want to give your skin a youthful, luminous glow but don’t want to spend your life savings on primer.
Rating: 4/5 stars
FOUNDATION: L'OREAL INFALLIBLE 24 HOUR MATTE
Shade: 22 - Radiant Beige/Shell Beige
While researching foundations for my wedding (I did my own makeup), I discovered Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation it changed my life. My skin looks flawless in my wedding photos.
But it’d want to for upwards of $50 a bottle, I guess. When it ran out, I sat up til 2 am Googling more affordable dupes.
That's how I stumbled across L’Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Matte Foundation.
This has become my ride or die ever since. It gives what I can only describe as a second skin-to-slight-powder finish and it will last a super long time. Obsessed.
I’ve tried different bases over the years but always come back to this one.
If you want a buildable, medium to full coverage foundation, this is the foundation for you.
You can sheer it right out with a damp Beauty Blender or build coverage for full glam. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to that Makeup Forever flawlessness.
Now here’s what I will say: because of its matte finish, it clings to dry areas. Moisturise and prime well if you’re prone to skin dryness.
Rating 4/5 stars
L'OREAL INFALLIBLE MAGIC SETTING SPRAY
Fun fact about me: The only time I’ve ever in my life gone to bed without removing my makeup was on my wedding night. I was so exhausted that I barely had time to take out my hair extensions before collapsing into bed.
The next day, I woke up looking as glorious as I did on my wedding day.
Seriously. There wasn’t even foundation residue left on my pillow.
All I had to do to get ready for brunch was slide on a fresh coat of lippy, sweep my hair into a chignon, give myself a spritz of face mist, wiggle into a 7-Year-Itch inspired white dress and I looked fresh as a daisy.
I credit this in large part to the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray I used.
Now, the purpose of this story is to tell you how magnificent this setting spray is, not to give you permission to spritz on some setting spray and make your makeup last a week.
However, the Urban Decay spray will set you back over $32. Lucky for you, I’ve found a dupe that works almost as well.
L’Oreal bought Urban Decay, so I like to think they’ve used their technology to create this epic setting spray, which I’ve found is a worthy dupe.
My makeup lasts way longer, doesn’t come off on people’s shirts when I hug them (awkward), and it keeps my face looking dewy and youthful. (If I do say so myself.)
GEL EYELINER: MAYBELLINE EYE STUDIO LINER
Shade: Blackest Black
God help me, but I just love a good thick winged liner in jet black. I always thought I couldn’t pull it off because I have hooded eyes, but I’ve decided that’s a limiting belief and over quarantine, I’ve been practicing.
I’ve tried both pencil (it just smudges everywhere) and liquid (a mess).
But by far my favorite product for a good wing is a gel liner.
You get the crisp definition of a liquid, with all the stability of a pencil.
It’s the best of both worlds!
I picked up this Maybelline liner because (honestly) it was on special and I’m a fan! It comes with a brush (which I lost after the first application, but don’t worry, I’ve got spares).
The consistency and durability is as good as the Estee Lauder gel liner I used and loved for years. And it’s a fraction of the price, too!
BROW PENCIL: L'OREAL MICRO TATTOO BROW ARTIST
Shade: 105 - Brunette
(Okay, at this point I feel like I must insist that this post isn’t sponsored by L’Oreal. I just apparently really love their cosmetics!)
I love the look of a defined micro bladed brow, but can’t commit to getting brows tattooed to my face in case I don’t like them. However, as I’m getting older, my brows are getting sparser, and I need a solution.
This micro tattoo pen seemed groundbreaking. It’s basically a liquid eyebrow pen with a three-pointed tip to draw on individual brow strokes for a microbladed look.
I don't want to go shouting from the rooftops about this product, honestly, but it does the trick.
The liquid disperses unevenly, coming out hardly at all and then all at once.
Sometimes I’ll end up with big ink blotches and barely anything else, particularly if I’ve got a full face of makeup on. It doesn’t seem to like going over the top of foundation, concealer, or even moisturizer/primer.
With a bit of practice, the result is a defined, but very natural and understated look. I like a dramatic, fully filled brow, whereas this gives that very natural, fluffy brow look that’s in right now.
If that’s your bag, and you’re a brow pro, I think you’ll enjoy this product, but I think I’ll go with a standard brow pencil next time.
BROW GEL: ARDELL BROW SCULPTING GEL
On my way out the door, I realized I’d forgotten what I originally went in for – an eyebrow gel to tame my curly brows, so asked the lady behind the desk if she had any.
She rung this little baby up for me.
(It’s already discolored from use.)
It’s lightweight, and disperses product through my brows for an even, natural but defined look. It doesn’t feel like I’ve got a heavy gel on, but I’ve yet to spot a wayward brow straying from the flock, so it does the job nicely too.
If you want to change out your products for fall/spring but don’t want to break the bank, you don’t have to! With a little research, you can find some amazing drugstore alternatives that can be just as good, if not better, than their more expensive high-end counterparts.
Now I would love to hear from you: what are your favourite drugstore makeup secrets/finds? Let me know in the comments below!
- keep discovering -
If you liked this article, you’ll find these useful too:- Trying A Vintage Makeup Tutorial / My #1 Beauty Secret Under $10 / DIY Natural Mosquito & Insect Repellent / DIY Brightening Natural Face Mask
- save some for ‘ron
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