It’s probably the inner university student in me that absolutely loves a bargain, I’m not and will not apologise for the fact that I’m a sucker for a value for money. And not only do I absolutely love a bargain, but I also love a product that really exceeds my expectations and is on par with more luxury makeup.
Most days I’ll use ‘drugstore’ products. Disclaimer- while we are here I’ve gotta say I hate the term drugstore when describing affordable make-up and skin care products but how else do you describe boots and superdrug? They sell so many different things that I’m not quite sure which category they fit under. Pharmacy? Affordable make-up and skin care heaven? IDK.
But anyway, if I’m just going to work, or nipping out locally, I will wear a lot more affordable make up. This is purely because its so much easier and cheaper to replace, once the product runs out. And more recently brands like Rimmel, L’Oreal and Maybelline have really upped their game.
So I thought I’d share with you my top 7 drugstore make up must haves, that I really feel are up there with brands like Nars, MAC and Urban Decay.
The Ordinary- High Spreadability Fluid Primer. £5.50.
Up until this year I had never tried any of ‘The Ordinary’ products, and wow what a mistake that was. Ngl, I’d say it was up there with the mistake those women made in the clothes store scene in Pretty Woman…big mistake, HUGE. But when I was doing my latest Beauty Bay order I thought I’d give this a whirl, because it was so cheap and I wasn’t losing much at all if it was rubbish.
I’ve never really tried a primer like it before. Usually I stick to either a water based primer, depending on what foundation I’m using. But this little guy seems to be a combination of both water and silicone, as well as a serum, so it works well with numerous foundation types. I use it as the last step in prepping my skin before I put my make up on, as indicated on the bottle. Typically, I use two or three drops from the little syringe applicator and then spread it evenly all over my face using a flat foundation brush.
Not only does this product work really well in terms of preventing my make up from moving, especially after a long day. But the packaging is super quirky too. I love that the products are a representation of the brand, with the tagline being “Clinical Formulations with Integrity” you really get a sense of what the company is about with their packaging, which is of course using chemistry and biochemistry products to help boost your skins integrity and quality. The little bottles are so minimalistic which is really on trend right now, and actually reminds me of bottles of acids and alkali’s we used to use in school chemistry lessons, what a throwback. I love this and couldn’t recommend it enough to someone wanting to try out a new primer.
L’Oreal Paris- Infallible 24HR Matte Coverage Foundation. £9.99
Having heard so many great reviews about this foundation last year, I thought I’d try it out and see what the buzz was about. I couldn’t actually believe this was a drugstore foundation when I first tried it and ever since it has been a staple in my everyday make up collection. As I’ve said time and time again I’m a full coverage kinda gal, and this is what you get. I’ve worn this on nights out, for long days at work, for concerts, even to the gym (after work ofc) and it seriously does not move from my face, I’m just so obsessed with it.
It’s waterproof and steam proof, so it’s great for everyday use, but even better for evening events because it is such full coverage and you don’t have to worry about touching it up. Sometimes I’ll also mix this foundation with the Huda Beauty Faux Filter foundation and the end result is so dreamy. Its 100% worth a try if you’re a lover of full coverage foundation but don’t want to spend a fortune.
L’Oreal Paris- Infallible More than Concealer. £9.99
Because I was so impressed with the L’Oreal Infallible foundation, I also decided to try out the concealer too. For as long as I can remember my trusty, go-to concealer has always been the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer. But I was ready to branch out and try something new.
As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m not a huge fan anyway of high-end concealers, as I go through them like they’re going out of fashion. But one, I must admit I do love is the Tarte Shape Tape concealer. It gives great coverage and complements all different skin types and tones really well. This boys and girl, is the ultimate dupe for that concealer, I swear everything is the same, even the container!! The L’oreal version is just a bit more on the affordable side. It really is a must have if you ask me.
Real Techniques- Mini Miracle Complexion Sponges. £7.99. (x4)
I always say your either a make up brush kinda person, or a make up sponge kinda person and I for one am definitely the latter. I love the result of using a sponge for your foundation it just creates a really flawless, skin like base. So more recently I’ve been loving using these mini miracle complexion sponges by Real Techniques for blending in my concealer and contour.
They are so small and tiny, which is exactly what you need for blending foundation and concealer into smaller areas like the corners of the eyes or round the nose. I really don’t think you can go wrong with getting 4 of these little guys for only £7.99.
Maybelline- Lash Sensational Mascara. £8.99.
For the past two years I have been getting classic eyelash extensions. A habit which I started when I went on holiday and what I thought would be a summer fling quickly turned to an unhealthy relationship that just continued to flourish. But as a daft 2020 resolution, I promised myself I wouldn’t get my lash extensions infilled or re-done until I secured a full-time job using my degree, which luckily for me has quickly payed off. As daft as it sounds it deffo kicked me up the bum too actively and continuously apply for positions I’d be interested in.
But as we all probably know job applications and interview process’ can be lengthy procedures so I had to find an alternative. Though I love strip lashes, I always reach for the Ardell Wispies because they mimic lash extensions perfectly, I just wanted a mascara that would be great to put on for work.
The Maybelline mascaras always used to be my fave, as I love voluminous lashes, so I picked up the Lash Sensational mascara when I last nipped into Boots and it hasn’t been out of my make up bag since. My lashes were surprisingly in quite good condition despite only having a few breaks from extensions over the past 2 years, so the curved brush really lengthened my lashes but also created really voluminous curls too. I was really impressed with this product, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Maybelline. If you’re in the market for a new, affordable mascara, look no further.
L.A. Girl- Pro Concealer in Espresso. £3.96
I can’t remember the last time I reached for a powder or cream contour kit. Don’t get me wrong, these are great kit essentials for someone just starting out in the world of make-up. But after time you begin to realise that you really don’t need that extra dark mucky brown colour, or an unnaturally yellow toned highlight. When you really get used to finding out what works best for your skin, it is so much easier to buy one product that really works for you and going from there.
I love the LA girl Concealer in the shade ‘Espresso’ for my contouring, rather than it being grey based and cool toned, its very warm toned so its great for me, having naturally warm toned skin. I use a pea sized amount and a large fluffy brush to accurately place the product on my cheek bones and temples. Just using a swiping motion I blend the product towards my hairline, which creates a really subtle, but build able contour that works day and night. What i really love about this product is how a little goes a long way. For £3.96 even if you try it but don’t love it you have nothing to lose, so why not.
LanoLips- 101 Ointment Fruities- Coconut. £7.99
Winter always plays havoc with my skin. From breakouts to just all round dull dry skin, I do not look cute in the winter. My lips also tend to face the wrath of the cold months so its really important to keep up with my lip care. Chapped lips begone.
Finding a lip-balm that works for me is really difficult to be honest, traditional products like Vaseline or Carmex don’t do anything for my lips whatsoever. But over Christmas I received a sample of the Lanolips 101 ointment balm in the flavour coconut. Ever since using it my lips have been in such good condition, and they really stay hydrated day and night. I use this almost every morning, its a factor I’ve worked into my every day make up routine, and most nights I’ll use this before bed.
From the cute packaging and the thick consistency of the balm itself, to the incredible smell I honestly can’t fault this product at all. I’m not actually sure where I got my sample from as it came in a gift box, but Cult Beauty stock the entire Lanolips collection so if you’re like me and suffer from chapped lips then this product may be your lip saver.
So now you know what my go to drugstore (ergh makes me cringe so boots and superdrug) products are, I’m dying to know yours. Leave a recommendation down below because I’d love to try some of your faves too!