Be sure to share your favorites below in my comments!
I can almost say I've tried 90% of drugstore mascaras. My top picks are Covergirl Lash Blast, Covergirl Volume Exact & L'Oreal Lash Out. All three mascaras give me great build able volume and a little bit of length. Also, they don't smudge under my eyes like most mascaras tend to do with me. Other mascaras I'd be willing to give a try are: Covergirl Professional Super Thick Lash, Covergirl Lash Exact, Max Factor Lash Perfection, Max Factor False Lash Effect & Rimmel Extra Super Lash Mascara based on positive reviews from makeupalley.com. Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts?
|not pictured: l'oreal lash out|
I have tested several, but wasn't impressed with the majority. The problem with many of the drugstore liners I've used are that they weren't long lasting, weren't pigmented enough or the applicator wasn't good (for precise lines with liquid liner). I'm more likely to purchase a pot (gel or cream formula) eye liner and use a brush of choice because I have found they tend to be the darkest & they are easy to smudge for a soft look. Here are my top picks:
For pencils, my top picks are L'Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Liner Pencil (Very smooth formula, soft and pigmented. Great for smudging. The only problem is that because the formula is so soft, it may end up under your eyes if you apply it heavily. To prevent this from happening, I like to go over the liner with a thin brush to smooth it out. Also, this pencil tends to run out quickly). Revlon Colorstay EyeLiner Pencil (I like this for my waterline because it is longer lasting than most pencils I have tried. With kohl and kajal liners, they tend to all fall under my eyes and fade from my waterline. This pencil stays pretty much in place for hours. It isn't the blackest black (in my opinion) but I go back to it because of its staying power for a pencil. You have to be careful to always have this capped because I have had a couple of mine dry out). As for liquid liners, I can't really say there are any I have tried that are worth mentioning. I do like Wet n Wild Creme Liner (Smooth formula with good application & the color is very black. The only thing with this liner is, it fades throughout the day). I haven't tried any other drugstore pot liners (L'Oreal HIP or Maybelline Eye Studio), but they have great reviews and I would love to try them in the near future.
|not pictured: revlon colorstay eyeliner|
My criteria for the perfect eyebrow pencil/powder is one that applies naturally, pigmented - but not too pigmented where it looks unnatural, has a natural shade of brown (not overpowering with orange tones like several brow pencils) and is easy to use. I have tried almost every brow pencil from the drugstore and these are my picks:
Maybelline Define a Brow (A dupe for the MAC brow crayon. The product is the perfect consistency. It isn't soft, and it isn't too dry. It's the perfect in between. It creates precise lines that look natural. I like to go over my brows with a spoolie to blend the color better or a dry angled brow brush. The brush on the other side of the pencil is only useful to comb my eyelashes). Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil (A good standard pencil that again, isn't too soft and isn't too pigmented where the color cakes on your brows. With light strokes, this product is very natural. The brush on the other side can be used to blend the color into your brows better with light sweeping motions). ELF Eyebrow Kit (See review here). Essence Eyebrow Pencil (Practically the same as the Rimmel Pencil. The brown is a perfect shade of brown. No reddish or orange tones..)
I haven't tried many drugstore concealers. I'm not sure why, but probably because there haven't been any raves about any of them. I'm currently testing out Maybelline Superstay Concealer, which seems to work pretty well.. but the color is way too light so I can't tell for sure how I like it without the proper color. The problem I run into with drugstore concealers is usually the color selection and the formula. I can never find the correct color and most of the formulas are either too watery or too dry. I have yet to find the perfect creamy, full coverage drugstore concealer. Is the one out there??? Well, here are the ones I have liked:
Palladio Stick Concealer (Nice soft texture, blends well and offers full coverage), Maybelline Cover Stick (Blends well and offers full coverage - but, it can look heavy if to much is applied) & NYX Concealer in a Jar (A good standard pot concealer. Nice texture.. buildable medium to full coverage, doesn't look heavy).
|not pictured: NYX concealer in a jar|
I have tried many of the top rated drugstore foundations and I can honestly say that none are rave worthy. The main problems are usually the color match and the length of wear. Most of the drugstore foundations I have tried looked great upon application and within a few hours have managed to fade off my my face. I don't have many favorites in this category, but there are my picks: Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Foundation (my review is here. The only problem with this foundation is the store availability is very limited). Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation (Yes, the color selection is terrible. The darker the shades are, the more orange and pink the shades are. But, I found a shade that works when my skin tone is considerably lighter than my average self tan created NC40. It is a good medium coverage, looks natural, easy to blend and has a nice creamy texture. Also, it has a nice smell. lol Overall, average foundation.. nothing to rave about. I like to use it on my "bummy" days). I was 60/40 on Revlon Photoready Foundation.. I haven't used it in months.. but I do think it's a pretty decent foundation. In my experience, it looked very good at first, but faded significantly throughout the day. I would probably only use this as a "go out to dinner and go home" foundation. You can read my review here. Last week I have purchased Revlon Colorstay. It is my third attempt and third color choice. The reason I have given this foundation multiple tries is because it looks so good on so many different people and it has high reviews. But for some reason, I can't get myself to like it!? I'm not someone who finds any odd fragrance offensive, but I really cannot stand the smell of Colorstay. It reminds me of fresh terracotta clay I use to create vases and bowls with in junior high. So yeah, it smells like mud. Also, I don't like the texture. Its not the creamy consistency I like with liquid foundations and I find that it's not very easy to blend because it dries quickly once it comes in contact with my skin. Any advice Colorstay lovers out there? Also, when I purchased Colorstay, I also purchased L'Oreal True Match. I used it a few times and I'm still deciding how I like it. If you would like me to update you in the near future with reviews of both foundations, post a comment letting me know.
I haven't come across a powder that I like solely for a foundation (drugstore or high end) but for setting powders & powders to add a little extra coverage after I've applied my liquid foundation.. these are my picks:
Palladio Wet/Dry Foundation (Soft, very blendable & provides good coverage. I like taking a powder brush and applying it all over my face after my foundation for an extra airbrushed look. Or, I like applying it under my eyes to add additional coverage to my concealer). Rimmel Stay Matte Transparent Powder (Doesn't have color, but it's pigmented and can lighten up areas. I like using it with a powder brush all over my face or under my eyes to set my concealer and add brightness to the area).
I haven't tested or owned many drugstore bronzers and blushes. Mainly because I typically look towards higher end brands for my blushes & bronzers. But, there are a few worth mentioning:
Rimmel Natural Bronzer (Soft & pigmented. All of the shades are great - for a soft bronzed glow, I like using Sun Light). NYX Powder Blush (I love using Sand as a shimmery Bronzer and Desert Rose as a darkened pink blush. View swatches of all shades here). I also really like using Hard Candy Baked Blush (I use the shade Honeymoon. It doesn't provide tons of color.. but it's a very soft, pearly pink. Some use it as a highlight.. I love using it lightly over any of my blushes to add a soft pink glow to the color. There are other shades that look very pretty, but Honeymoon is the only one I have tried).
I don't own that many drugstore lipsticks. Usually when I like a lipstick, I wear it and wear it until I find something I like better. But some that I like are: Revlon Colorburst Soft Nude, NYX Pumpkin Pie and Wet n Wild MegaLast Matte in the shades Think Pink and Pink Suga.
When it comes to lip gloss, I always look to Revlon. I love Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipgloss.. the consistency is great, it doesn't dry out my lips and they come out with some really nice limited edition shades. Currently, the one shade I use from their permanent collection is Revlon Super Lustrous Nude Lustre. And, as you all know.. Life's a Peach was my favorite.. which is now discontinued. I have also found nice colors in their mineral lip glazes, which were limited edition. But, I haven't tried any in their current permanent collection. LASplash has great glittery lip glosses, also with a nice consistency that doesn't dry out my lips. I like LASplash Lipgloss in the shades Sparkling Coral and Girl Crush. These glosses have limited availability, as I can only find them at UTLA.. but on their website they have a fantastic selection of colors. I also like NYX lip glosses.. although I don't really like the scent of the round lip gloss (lemons? fruity pebbles cereal?) I love the shades Whipped and Sorbet. I also like their Megagloss.. the shade I wear is Smokey Look. Some other drugstore lip glosses I like are Milani Glitzy Gloss in the shade Designer Label and L'Oreal Infallible lipgloss in the shade Plumped Pink.