I love department store cosmetics. The gorgeous packaging, alluring fragrances and hefty price tags always make me feel like I’m bringing home something spectacular. While shopping at places like Sephora and Nordstrom is still at the top of my list when it comes to perfume and most other cosmetics, I also love a bargain and am thrilled when I find high-quality products at my local Walgreens. Here are my picks for fantastic drugstore cosmetics:
L’oreal Voluminous Mascara $7.99
This is not only a great drugstore mascara, it’s my favorite mascara overall. I’ve tried the various high-end mascaras and nothing exceeds the volume, thickness and length that L’oreal Voluminous gives. It never flakes and lashes feel soft and flexible to the touch with this mascara. Most others leave mine crispy and stiff. I love the original formula in black and also the carbon black version. Many celebrity makeup artists swear by this mascara.
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara 8.99
This mascara is a very close second favorite for me. Both the original orange tube and the purple Fusion version are fantastic products. This mascara gives buildable volume without clumping or flaking. While I despise chunky, spidery lashes, I also think the “natural look” with mascara is highly overrated. I love full, long, dramatic lashes both day and night. With several coats of Lash Blast I’m left with just that. Sometimes I’ll start with a few coats of this mascara and finish with two coats of the Voluminous for added volume. Did I mention I like dramatic lashes?
Wet n Wild Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner $2.99
I’ve tried department store liquid eyeliner and I keep coming back to this one. You can’t beat the price and it doesn’t flake. The brush is easier for me to use than liners with a marker applicator and this product dries very quickly.
CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Self Sharpening Eye Pencil $5.79
I use this pencil in Black Onyx. You can make a thin or thick line and it comes with a smudger on one end. I love pencils that you don’t have to sharpen. It gives rich color and it applies really well over eyeshadow.
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick $8.99
This lipstick in Candy Pink is one of my all-time favorite lipsticks. Allure voted it Best Pink Lipstick of 2011. It’s a scary, Barbie pink in the tube but it goes on very sheer and lovely. I lost mine recently and have been frantically searching for it at every Walgreens and Target in town with no luck yet. I may have to just order it online because it is such a wonderful lipstick. It’s the perfect bright but sheer pink for spring.
Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick $5.49
I love this lipstick in Airy Fairy. The formula is lightweight with full coverage color. Airy Fairy is a nude pink with a hint of gold shimmer. I hate frosted lipsticks and am weary of any with a lot of shimmer but this is a very muted and flattering color. All the lipsticks in this line have a smell that I can’t put my finger on. I don’t love the fragrance but the color and price are great and outweigh the slightly strange smell.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter $6.49
Lipstick formulas have really changed recently and they now appeal to a much wider audience. These Lip Butters have the pigment of a lipstick and the moisture and lightweight texture of a balm. Now that the weather has heated up and the heavier texture of classic lipsticks is too much for me, this is my go-to lip color. My favorite shade is Strawberry Shortcake. I also have Cupcake, but it’s such a pale shade of pink that it doesn’t flatter my skin tone. I also tried Candy Apple Red because it was getting rave reviews in the beauty magazine but it was too orangey-red on me. I gave it to a friend with dark hair and a slighty darker complexion than me. She has the same issue with the color. The Strawberry Shortcake shade is a gorgeous pink color. It has a bit of shimmer but the color looks more like a cream than a shimmer when I’m wearing it. It has a light shine and makes my lips feel soft and smooth. This line has no smell at all, which I really like.
L’oreal Color Juice Sheer Juicy Lip Gloss $8.48
This is my favorite drugstore lip gloss. It’s nearly the same texture as Lancome Juicy Tubes, one of my favorite gloss lines. L’oreal owns Lancome so this similarity would make sense. Berry Burst is the Color Juice shade I always pick. The smell is fruity but not overpowering and the gloss has no flavor on the lips, which I love. It’s a sheer, shimmery gloss that goes on mostly clear with a bit of sheer pink.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss $6.99
This is an extremely creamy and shiny lip gloss line. The texture and packaging looks and feels very high-quality. My favorite colors are Peach Petal, pictured above, and Pink Afterglow. Peach Petal is a peachy creamy nude with no shimmer. Pink Afterglow is a pink gloss full of shimmer.
Bonne Bell Lip Smackers $1.99
No list of drugstore favorites would be complete without Bonne Bell Lip Smackers! Not only do these classic little tubes give me nostalgic memories of childhood and make me want to buy some Lisa Frank folders, they are actually great clear lip glosses. They also double as a decent lip balm. My personal favorites are Dr. Pepper, Pink Lemonade and Cotton Candy. At that price point and having a big-girl job, I can collect all my favorites without breaking the bank.
What are your favorite drugstore cosmetics?