Small Prices, Big Rewards
Three great drugstore finds
Jordana Complete Cover, Milani Conceal + Perfect, Oxalis Apothecary Mineral Mist, L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion, Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Masacara
A little known secret: the summer before college I worked in cosmetics at a Walgreen’s. Funny enough, I’ve never had any luck with drugstore makeup. Cotton pads, micellar water (Simple brand), nail polish (Revlon, Essie, Sally Hansen) and the occasionally mascara (L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes in Blackest Black had a long stint in my makeup bag) were about all I could count on. Drugstore eyeshadows always applied patchy; foundations and concealers had too much scent, didn’t last, came in lousy color ranges and the product color never matched the display. Speaking of displays – no testers!
Things have changed, somewhat. To compete with specialty and department stores, drugstores are amping up their cosmetics game with fancy displays, knowledgeable cosmetic salespeople and, most importantly, better products. Large cosmetic companies are paying attention, too. Beauty bloggers and YouTube stars who have very captive audiences that spend a lot of money on cosmetics and skincare are offering not only the latest info on high-end beauty, but they’re adding drugstore (“High Street” if they’re from the UK) alternatives or “dupes” to their repertoire.
On a recent visit to three area drugstores – CVS, Walgreen’s and Rite-Aid – I discovered three foundations that offer great coverage, feel light on the skin, have luminosity and they last!
L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion: A “cushion” foundation (cushions are well-soaked sponges in a compact) that requires very little product to achieve medium to full coverage. For $16 (.51 ounces in shade N4 Buff Beige), this foundation was glowy in a pretty, but not shiny, way. A bit of pore-filling primer underneath helped produce a flawless complexion for day or night.
Jordana Complete Cover: This two-in-one concealer and foundation is a big surprise. At $4.99 for 1 ounce, the color (05 Creamy Natural) was a great match, the coverage was full but not heavy and the finish was matte but not too flat – my skin still showed through. Most of the time I add a drop of Becca Backlight primer for a bit of glow.
Milani Conceal + Perfect: A less-than-impressive shade range from this line, and my shade (03 Light Beige) was sold out almost everywhere – almost. This thick-feeling two-in-one concealer and foundation required only one small pump of product to cover my entire face, and blended out with a foundation brush or damp Beauty Blender. Gorgeous coverage and finish, it’s an oil-free, longwearing, water-resistant, sweat-proof formula that photographs well with no flash-back. A good moisturizer underneath and a pretty highlighter on top is a great nighttime look.
Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel and Resort Collection Sun Protection Cushion, SPF 30 (leaves a slight white caste)
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Black
Essie rose gold nail polish in “Penny Talk” or “Buy Me a Cameo” (yes, for toes!)
SK-II Essence Facial Treatment Essence and Clear Lotion (toner); Oxalis Apothecary Mineral Mist in Jasmine + Coconut
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
Grande Lash-MD for lush, long lashes
Pits Perfect Add these two deodorants to the list of must-try: Oxalis Apothecary cream deodorant and Pacifica Underarm Wipes.