Clients regularly ask me for 'drugstore' makeup product recommendations and when I think of these my mind automatically goes to product affordability and accessibility. In fact, most definitions cite it as makeup that can generally be found in drugstores (or chemists in Australia) and supermarkets. However with an increase in the range of beauty and makeup product choices in Australian and around the world, I feel as though the scope of what may be considered drugstore has widened and comparably priced products can be sourced from a variety of stores (including online only retail).
Since becoming a makeup artist I have looked to using professionally geared products to fill my kit and by default have incorporated these products into my own routine. This has meant that, for me, using drugstore makeup products has been very few and far between.
Growing up in a small town did I have access to high end products? No.
Did I only use 'drug store' makeup products? Yes.
Did they work for me? I can't remember.
So, me being me, I committed to researching and asking my Instagram followers what their favourite affordable makeup products were. I'm not going to lie it was super overwhelming but I managed to narrow down a small list to test out and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Did everything work for me? Definitely not. Were there some killer products that I fell in love with? Hell yeah! Let's talk about them.
Milani Baked Blush was one of the most recommended blushes for me to try and it didn't disappoint. Out of all the products I tested this was by far my favourite. It is super pigmented and blends easily and smoothly onto the skin. I also thought the packaging was great for someone who does their makeup on the go, or who may not own brushes because the compact came with brush and mirrored compartment.
MCoBeauty Xtendlash is a product I will repurchase. I am a fan of tubular mascaras and this one did not disappoint. Most mascaras smudge on me, but this one didn't move and it was super easy to remove. The product was also easy to build on. If you want the versatility to have natural looking lashes as well as adding some drama to them, you can simply layer to create additional volume and length.
Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Longwear Liquid Lip was another highly recommended product I loved. It was incredibly long wearing and comfortable on the lip. The applicator makes creating a clean, precise, crisp edge easy and collects a sufficient amount of product to cover the entirety of the lip in 1 to 2 dips of the product.
Essence Tiny Tip Precise Brow Pen is an awesome product! If you're like me and love the laminated, hair stroke brow this product is perfect for creating that technique. The tip is very fine and saturated with product, making application quick, easy and pigmented. My only complaint about this product is the colour range. I would have liked to see a more versatile colour selection to suit a range of hair and skin colours.
NYX Suede Matte Lip Liner was also an impressive product for the price point. I was pleasantly surprised with how creamy the product was and how easily it glided on the skin. I purchased the colour in Free Spirit as it looked similar to my go to high end lipliner and the colour did not disappoint.
Other products that I tested, liked, but want to use for a bit longer to come to a decision include the Elf Hydrating Camo Concealer and the Elf HD Powder. I will say that these products did impress me in terms of how they sat on the skin, but being in lockdown I haven't been able to test their longevity and how they wear for longer periods of time.
There were also products I tested that I was a bit indifferent to the E.l.f Lip Laquer, E.l.f Makeup Set & Mist and the E.l.f Poreless Putty Primer. People rave about this primer, but honestly I don't use primer often on myself, as my skin doesn't react well to it regardless of the price point. It did do what it said and smoothed the texture of my skin so if you need an affordable primer it would potentially work for you. This lip lacquer and setting mist both did what they said, however they're not products I loved so much I would repurchase.
Products that made zero impression on me were the Maybelline City Bronzer and the Wet n' Wild Highlighting Powder. Look, if I'm being honest the bronzer grabbed at the skin and looked patchy and the highlighter didn't really do anything for me.