Living with Drugstore Makeup: A Tragedy

When it comes to makeup, I made a tragic mistake. When I turned 18, I allowed my sister to take me out and spoil me rotten at Sephora and Ulta. It was the greatest gift a girl could receive: but now I have serious problems using drug store brands. There really is a reason the good stuff is more expensive: it’s good. But as a college kid, casually buying Urban Decay and Smashbox makeup isn’t exactly in my budget. So I’ve been forced to come up with a pretty good mash-up of cheap and expensive that I think works pretty well for me, and is pretty affordable.

1. Urban Decay 24/7 glide eyeliner: $18


I can’t go cheap on eyeliner. It just doesn’t work. Once you have tried this eyeliner, you will never be able to wear a drug store brand ever again. It goes on thick, and it stays on. It’s fairly waterproof too (though heads up, if you cry, it will sting a bit). It lasts all day, and while it stays on, it’s not so incredibly stubborn and plastered on that you can’t rub a little off if you need to. It comes in a million colors, but my personal suggestion is the “Perversion”. It’s black, and it’s practically a kohl stick. And it’ll last you awhile.

Grab it here!

2. Urban Decay Naked Pallete: $50

I personally prefer a really light and natural look with my eye makeup, which is why I adore the Naked Pallette. It can get pretty

91663_nakedbrush_alt2expensive though, so luckily Urban Decay offers a cheaper version, called the “Naked Basics” which is about $27 (here). Even if you don’t go for the Naked pallete, I highly suggest Urban Decay eyeshadows. They aren’t greasy, they don’t smudge, and they hold color in a way that a lot of other brands don’t seem to. And bonus! You can put on A LOT without looking like a Drag Queen! And these babies last forever. I’m still working off of a basic pallete that I got when I was 18, which I wore every single day until this Christmas, and I still haven’t worn through it yet.

Grab it here!

4. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: $6 (at Target).


I admit, I bought in hard to the whole BB cream fad. But I have to say…it works. It’s not the perfect cover at all. But I have yet to find that magic solution, and this works pretty well for me. It’s very light, so you don’t have the caked makeup feel. I can’t seem to get the more expensive products to work to save my life, because they always flake on my face (without fail.) The BB cream works to cover and stay light (and also acts as a moisturizer and SPF!)

Grab it here!

5.. Maybelline Shine Free Oil Control Powder- $5


My face is always greasy. It’s a fact of life that I have bitterly come to terms with. The easiest way to offset this is to wear light foundation, and go heavy with the powder. The powder will soak up a lot of the grease, and will dull that disgusting shine that builds up. This Maybelline powder works pretty well for me, but I’m fairly positive that any powder with a talcum base would work well. Also, splurge and get a decent blush brush. Putting on powder with one of those dumb face pad things they give you is the worst idea. Ever.

Grab it here!

6. EOS organic lip balm- $3


I don’t typically wear lipstick- I’m a lip balm girl. And the EOS lip balm is possibly the greatest thing ever. It feels good going on, it’s not gooey, and the best part is that it comes in the coolest looking ball and so you look kind of weird while putting it on, but it’s such a fun experience. And with something typically so boring as lip balm, don’t you want a fun experience?

Grab it here! 

Admittedly, this doesn’t even begin to cover the battle I have with my hair each morning. But that’s another post completely.

So what are your makeup must haves?

View Comments (5)
  • I love BB creams. And thanks you to and Katie, I’m quite obsessed with my Urban Decay eyeliner and eyeshadow :)

  • As a gay man who’s not too good for the occasional bit of cosmetic assistence, I really only use the occasional concealer (and a bit of bronzer when I’m looking EXTRA winter-pale).

    I’ve found clear mascara (also called brow gel) to be a MUST have for me, though – it comes in a wand/tube just like mascara, but it’s essentially gel. You can shape your brows, separate your eyelashes (to apply mascara or just to give your eyes a less ‘droopy’ look), and tame any small hairs/sideburns that are out of place. It’s good stuff.

  • I use a mix of drugstore & non-drugstore stuff too. My addictions: MAC eye-shadows (they work well and aren’t crazy expensive) and YSL Touche Eclat concealer. Although not “makeup”, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Serum is the best thing EVER.

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