Saving money is a common theme as we move into the new year, so it's no surprise that this time of year boasts a ton of new drugstore makeup launches. And there's some really good stuff out there! The drugstore used to be a source of generic, basic beauty pieces, but things have really evolved. We've said "goodbye" to the days of generic and "hello" to contour kits, setting sprays, and shadow palettes at an amazing price point. However, you do have to work through a number of not-so-great mishaps to find the drugstore diamond in the rough. But don't worry! I've already done the research for you. From time-to-time, I'll share with you a few winners I've found for less than the price of my lunch salad.
Before we get started, I should say that the golden rule of drugstore makeup is the same as Macy's and Bed Bath & Beyond...never shop without a coupon!! Shame on you if you ever walk out of the drugstore holding a beauty product that you bought at full price. The makeup is always either BOGO 50% off or there's a coupon. If you happen to catch that one day that it's not on sale, then wait. There's a really good chance it will be on sale tomorrow.
First up is the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. The Fit Me Concealer is a versatile liquid formula with medium, buildable coverage. It's often compared to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, which retails for over 4 times the price. If you're looking for full, opaque coverage you will probably want to go with a cream formula instead. However, I like liquid concealers because they are generally wax-free (like this one), which agrees with my acne-prone skin. The last thing you want to do when covering a blemish is further clog your pores. I find that liquid formulas also tend to crease less.
These shades all have warmth to them, even the fairest, which is good for under the eyes. Think back to the color wheel you learned in elementary school art class. The colors opposite each other will neutralize. Remember what was opposite of blue/violet? (hint: it's yellow/orange)
For blemish coverage and general face touch-ups, I use shade #10 Light. It looks dark when swatched on the back of my wrist, but it's the right shade for my skin when blended in on the face. I mix #10 Light and #15 Fair for under my eyes. Don't let the numbering convention confuse you, even though they numbered the Fair shade #15, it's actually lighter than shade #10 (go figure).
Grab a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone and use it as a matte highlight along your cheekbones and in the center of the forehead and chin (I use #15 Fair for this purpose). And if you're feeling really adventurous, grab one deeper than your skin tone and use it to contour (I've used shade #30 Cafe for this purpose). Dab a bit under the cheekbones (seriously, just a few tiny dots is all you need) and blend, blend, blend. If you're newer to contouring, I'd skip this and experiment with powders instead. I find that powders blend more easily and offer more control.
Next up is eye color. If you've checked out my Instagram, you've seen me rave about the Wet 'n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trios. Surprisingly, Wet 'n Wild does eyeshadow really, really well. It's surprising because these trios sell for around $3. The shades are super pigmented, and they hold up crease-free throughout the day when worn over a good primer. My favorite trio at the moment is called "Walking on Eggshells".
I did a little comparison between the Wet 'n Wild Walking on Eggshells trio and the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. Urban Decay shadows are amazing, but their palettes do retail for a steep $54. By no means are the swatches pictured here intended to be color dupes, but I wanted to show how rich the color payoff is for the Wet 'n Wild shades. They can hold their own right up there with the high-end swatches. These two palettes actually complement each other really well!
And lastly, I want to mention the the elf Blush Palette. I've mentioned this before, and you can read about it here, so I won't go into too much detail other than to say that I grab for this over high-end blush options all the time. Four bendable shades for about $6. Amazing.
I could go on, but no one signed up to read a novel today. I'm currently putting a few new drugstore products to the test and will report back when I find the next set of gems!