I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time and money trying A LOT of beauty products. I’m a bit of a junkie and not seeking rehabilitation any time soon. So I thought I would share some of my favorite drug store finds. I use these products regularly if not daily.
From left to right, top to bottom.
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. I was about to splurge on NARS blush in “Orgasm,” which has been touted as “The Blush,” by bloggers and beauty experts for years. In fact, NARS now has a whole collection of products in the coveted “Orgasm” color, including nail polish and lip gloss. Clearly this blush is kind of a big deal. But, before I shelled out $30, I did some research and found that Milani’s Baked Blush in Luminoso is allegedly very similar. I say allegedly because I personally haven’t compared the two. But, I do LOVE the Luminoso, which has become my go to blush. And that is good enough for me (I don’t really believe in dupes, tbh. Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliner has forever ruined me by showing the quality that can be found in a beauty product regardless of a duplicate color.)
Physician’s Formula Rx Concealer. This has been my one and only concealer for so so so many years. Every once in awhile I’ll try some new high-def or illuminating or currently hyped buzz-word concealer only to toss it in the trash and resume my tried and true routine. This concealer will take away dark circles, make you look 10 years younger, and cover blemishes without causing breakouts. I have read reviews that have called it drying or that it settles into creases. I don’t have that problem, but I do prime with either The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Skin Boost or Ulta’s Professional Matte Primer. Perhaps that’s the secret. Also, I should mention that Physician’s Formula’s Mineral Wear Loose Powder is awesome! (I use buff beige.)
Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine Top Coat. This is the only top coat I use. I feel that it really lengthens my manicure. Tip: apply a thick coat. It may take longer to dry, but its worth the extra days of wear.
O.P.I. Nail Polish. I love having painted nails. But, I cannot stand being in the middle of a meeting at work and look down to see my nail polished chipped! Especially if I painted them the night before! I have come to believe that only three brands of nail polish have enough staying power to invest my time (and money) in. O.P.I., Essie (my favorite color is “Wicked”), and CoverGirl Outlast. One caveat is that I will buy Butter London if on sale. And that is it. No more trial and error for these nails!
Sinful Colors Quick Dry. These quick-drying drops work just as well as the high-end brands. And it costs under $3! Unfortunately, the bottle comes with a brush, but I just let the product form droplets that fall onto my nails from the brush tip. I don’t recommend brushing onto wet nails.
NYX Matte Lip Cream. The darker shades form a stain even after the product has started to wear off (typically after eating). And at this price, you can try every shade!
L’Oreal Infallible 24hr Eye Shadow. I am extremely loyal to Urban Decay’s eye shadows and palettes. I’ve been wearing the stuff since I was a teenager and can easily say it is some of the best stuff out there. But, recently I ran out of 2 key colors (“Trick” from UD’s Naked 3 Palette and “Instinct” from Stila’s Eyes Are The Window Shadow Palette, which are not available outside of a palette.) So I decided to try to find something comparable rather than having to buy an additional palette because those were the only empty pans. #FirstWorldProblems Turns out L’Oreal makes a very good eye shadow in their Infallible collection. I am extremely pleased with “Iced Latte,” which is more like a cross between UD’s Sin and Stila’s Instinct, and “Amber Rush,” which is very similar to UD’s Trick. Side note: I always use Urban Decay’s eye shadow primer. It is life-changing. UPDATE: I still like and use L’Oreal Infallible 24hr Eye Shadow and think they have great color payout, but they are not as blend-able as I would like.
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix. I read a lot about the benefits of glycolic acid, but when I decided to purchase a wash or treatment, I was shocked at the price tag! I splurged on a product (which was actually a bit too strong) and I refused to invest much more. But then I found Nip + Fab, which is wallet-friendly and very effective. These pads make my skin clearer and brighter, no doubt!
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara. I have now convinced 5 people to switch to this mascara. It is amazing and reasonably priced! I like the blackest black or carbon black. It also comes in brown-black. Steer clear of the waterproof version, it is drying and clumpy. Personally, I don’t like the curved brush version, but that’s just a personal preference. I recently tried UD’s mascara (got a free travel size) and it was terrible in comparison to Voluminous which costs 3 times less!
Do you have any drug store recommendations? I’d love to hear!