Drugstore Makeup Must-Haves - Part 1


The drugstore has come such a long way since I was a teenager browsing the aisles for makeup. There are so many amazing products that perform better than their high end or luxury counterparts. I use a mix of drugstore and high end makeup each time I do my face and it would be so easy to do a full face of strictly drugstore/affordable makeup and no one would be able to tell the difference.

I'm going to share some of my favourites - some are newer discoveries and some I've been using for years and rely on in my routine. If you're just starting out in makeup or you're just looking for something new to try, here's a guide to break it all down and point you in the right direction. All product names are linked so you can read more about each one.

1. Foundation

We'll get started with the base of all makeup - foundation. Out of all makeup, I think this is one of the most personal choices. A foundation that may be one's holy grail, will be another's most hated. Skin type plays a big role in which foundation will work for you, so this could take some trial and error. One of my most loved drugstore brands when it comes to foundation is the L'Oreal Infallible line. I've used the Infallible Pro Matte foundation for years. It worked well when my skin was on the oilier side and I can usually wear it without issue if I use a hydrating primer with more normal skin. I've mostly recently started using the Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation, which has less coverage than the Matte and more of a natural skin look to it. With the cold weather setting in I also want to the try the Pro Glow Foundation from the same line that is meant to work with dry to normal skin types. I just find that this line works well for my skin and I like that they have a type of Infallible product for each skin type. My most recent find is the Maybelline Dream Urban Cover. I used this on vacation because of the SPF (always remember to use an additional SPF moisturizer or sunscreen along with it) and I've used it at some important events. It's light, but extremely buildable and sets beautifully on the skin, lasting all day.

2. Concealer

I've struggled with concealer for years. My under eyes tend to be dry and look crepey when I use concealer, which ages me. The absolute best concealer I've found that works for me without any issues is the Catrice Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer. This works better for me than any concealer I've tried, whether it be high end or a more affordable brand. It gives me coverage, it's buildable and it doesn't crease or leave my under eyes looking dry at all, which is a feat. Runner up goes to Maybelline Instant Age Rewind. This works just okay for me - although better than many of them, but I know it's a cult favourite among many people because it just works that well for them. It's definitely one worth checking out. If you don't have super pale skin, make sure you check out the Neutralizer shade if you have dark under eyes.

3. Powder

I'll admit, I do tend to use mostly higher end powders, but I do always have the Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder on hand. I use this on occasion to help define a contour or just to fluff all over my face. It's finely milled, it's great for baking, if you're someone that can do that successfully (I can't). It's an amazing affordable option, which you can usually find even cheaper when it goes on sale. If you're looking for pressed powder for touch ups, Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder is a great option. Simply soak up the oils from your face with a blotting sheet and then gently add some of the pressed powder. You can use a touch of this powder on your t-zone to set as well, because it's so good at helping control oils throughout the day. I actually don't use a lot of Rimmel London products, but this is a must have in your collection.

4. Blush

The drugstore has an amazing collection of great blushes. I truly feel that you don't need to splurge on a high end blush if you don't want to. Milani makes some of the best, both in shade range and in design (seriously, check out the rose design of the blush in the picture). One of my all time favourite blushes is actually Milani Luminoso which just gives the skin a healthy, peachy natural glow that goes with almost every look.

While I'm not a fan of most of Burt's Bees makeup, they do make a really good blush. Bare Peach is one of my favourites, although Toasted Cinnamon is lovely too. The shades are pigmented, blendable and last throughout the day. They're also all natural, so you can feel good about wearing them. Pixi by Petra can be a bit harder to find, but they make a lovely blush as well. Very pigmented so go into them with a very light hand and less dense brush! The shade shown in the picture is Beach Rose.

5. Highlighter

I love highlighter. It's the final touch to my makeup routine and I don't feel complete until I've frosted my cheekbones, nose and brow bone. To be completely honest, I do lean towards higher end highlighters. I've found they favour my pale skin a little better and also don't accentuate my fine lines or texture quite as much. That being said, there are some amazing options at the drugstore to bring the glow to your skin. Wet n Wild makes some amazing highlighters that are ridiculously affordable. One of my favourites is the Wet n Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals. They have other shades, but this is the one that works for me best. You really can't go wrong with this one!

If you're looking for something more intense, then Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter is probably for you. I have the shade Molten Gold, but they've since released other shades, including a beautiful Rose Gold, which would probably suit even more skin types. These are high shine and have some pigmentation and colour to them, so go in with a light hand at first until you get to know how they work for you. On the opposite spectrum, if you just want a subtle highlighter to give you a subdued, natural glow, then try Essence Pure Nude Highlighter. This will give you a gentle, everyday lit from within glow, which may be great for a beginner to start with.

6. Contour

If you're new to makeup, then you may not be interested in contouring. Even to this day, I usually only occasionally contour and I only do my cheekbones to add a bit of shadow and definition. An affordable option to try out is the Wet n Wild Megaglo Contouring Palette. This comes in two shades, so you can pick the one for your skintone. I don't use the powder in mine, as I find it's too deep for my pale skin, but I do love the contouring shade. It's light, super blendable and easy to work with. This was the first contour I ever picked up when I was learning and I still reach for it on occasion.

7. Bronzer

Physician's Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer is a cult classic and for good reason. If you're familiar with this bronzer you can probably smell the fresh, tropical scent through the screen. Butter Bronzer smells like vacation in a compact. This bronzer warms up your face evenly without being too orange or too grey. It's pigmented, yet not so much that you have to be careful and it's buildable as well. It's not patchy and it comes in a shade light enough for the palest of skin. I use Light Bronzer for myself, but they have released more shades into the collection for darker skin tones. This bronzer adds a glowy warmth to the skin, which brings back much needed colour after foundation.

I hope you find this guide useful. I tried to focus on mainly face products for this blog. Keep an eye out for part two, which should be up shortly. I'll have my top picks for eye and brow products as well as lip favourites. Do you use drugstore makeup? What are some of your top picks? Products you just can't live without?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. Links listed may be affiliate links. It has no bearing on products I mention. Affiliate links provide a small commission off of each purchase, which enables me to invest back into my blog and purchase more products to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own....I tell it like it is.

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© 2017 by The Raving Redhead & Allyson Grabish.

Ontario, Canada