It does annoy me when people are too snobbish to set foot in a drugstore, or highstreet purveyor of most things health and beauty if we're speaking UK talk. I'll be the first to admit that I love my high end makeup, and I'm just as much of a sucker for the aesthetic as the best of them, but something that gives me a boatload of satisfaction is finding hidden gems that are stupidly affordable. I've been having a good play lately with drugstore makeup and I'm here today to report some real finds (and a dud..)!
MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer in Halcyon £3 | I've seen so many photos of this online that, even though I'm not a big matte lip wearer, I had to pick it up. The pigmentation of this liquid lip is excellent, it's really bold and strong, and dries down to a full matte. Lasting power is pretty amazing too, I reckon I could get at least 12 hours out of this if I wanted to, and still have it looking pretty. For me, it's pretty drying, but I like really moisturised and hydrated lips so I'm perhaps not the best to comment. Halcyon is a summery apricot-y-salmon-pink with a tinge of nude and orange, very wearable.
Collection Brow Powder Pen in Brunette £4.19 | This is genius. Very reminiscent of the old style liquid liners I used to use, the handy pen format this time contains brow powder. The applicator is firm, thin and tapered, and pretty much the perfect tool to shape and fill in your brows, whether that means drawing on hairs or shaping the top and bottom. I was concerned that it would only pick up a measly amount of powder, or perhaps too much and there would be fallout, but it's a happy medium that let's me do my whole brow before dipping back in. An excellent, travel friendly product that's less than £5, and I've been using it everyday.
Gosh Volume Lip Shine in 07 Burgundy £7.99 | I've never paid too much attention to Gosh products but they've got quite a few winners in their collection at the moment, the blush stick being one and this lip'gloss' being another. I suppose you would call this a lipgloss but it seems to have a slight tweak to the texture and finish that I really enjoy, sitting somewhere between a traditional lipgloss and a lip oil/Lancome Juicy Shaker. There's not too much slip or shine and it's immensely comfortable on the lip. Burgundy isn't a burgundy shade at all - it's a much more muted, cool-toned rose that I think all 'darker nude' lovers would adore. And worth mentioning, not that the scent is at all obvious but it smells of holidays and pina coladas.
Sleek Cream Contour Kit in Light £10.99 (here for the US) | This is the dud, although I haven't written it off just yet. I wanted to experiment with cream contours and thought this kit would be perfect as an entry level piece (I should just invest in Anastacia right?). On first impressions though I'm not that impressed.. the shades all feel a bit waxy and cheap, and the darker shades are just a bit too warm for acheiving a natural, imperceivable shadow. Maybe it's because I've been spoilt with Kevyn Aucoin's Creamy Sculpting Duo (which is absolutely HG) that it puts this to shame.
Gosh Giant Blush in 02 Shy £6.99 | Chanel's Les Beiges blush stick (still top drawer) kicked off my love for cream stick blushes, and I've since been playing with many of them, from drugstore to highend. This one from Gosh, I feel, is hugely overlooked and is one of the best formulas, and possibly best colours I've found for the price. The texture is slick and creamy, although it dries down to a velvety skin-finish and 02 Shy is a beautiful dusky, rosy pink that makes your cheeks look healthy and youthful.
MUA Brow Define Gel in Dark Brown £2 | I'm out of my Anastacia clear brow gel so picked this up on a complete whim as it's so affordable. It does everything I could ask for; it holds my brows in place, it doesn't smudge or crumble, it lasts throughout the day and the wand isn't too big and cumbersome. I also like that the shade is cool toned and matches excellently with my brow colour.
Essence Longlasting Lipstick in 06 £2.30 (here for the US) | Honourable mention goes to the next couple of products. I'd already taken the photos for this post by the time I got hold of them but just had to tuck them in at the end because I'm so thoroughly impressed. Put this lipstick in some fancier packaging and I honestly wouldn't be able to tell it didn't cost £25. The texture is smooth and creamy, it glides on without effort. It's not patchy, nor sticky, nor drying. The pigmention is even and not too brash, and looks beautiful full on or sheered out. It's comfortable on the lip and lasts as long as any of my high end cream-finish lipsticks. And all this for under £3, what better an endorsement.
Essence Liquid Lipsticks £2.50 | Louboutin's Loubilaque formula hasn't been getting the rave reviews we all might have thought for such an expensive lipstick but if you're after a similar (well, frankly identical) concept without spending $85, which I think is an utterly ridiculous price, then try these ones by Essence for a mere £2.50. Each of the 6 shades is even, pigmented and glossy with a decent wear time. I actually think even the packaging looks really nice.
What are you loving at the drugstore lately?
P.S Have you seen my Easy, Heatproof Makeup??
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