The Best Affordable Brands for Each Makeup Step

The high end often takes the spotlight when it comes to makeup, but it’s important to remember that the drugstore also releases some amazing products. Just like the high end, not everything is a hit, so I’ve broken down my favourite affordable products for each step of your makeup routine!

Foundation

Finding your shade can be a little bit difficult in ‘drugstore*’ brands, especially if you fall at either end of the spectrum. If you find yourself in this category, your best bet brand-wise will probably be NYX. Their recent Can’t Stop Won’t Stop range was a collaboration with Youtuber Alyssa Ashley and was formulated with POC in mind. Makeup Revolution also offer a pretty good shade range. If you’re looking for something a little less matte and a little more dry skin friendly, consider Bourjois – their Healthy Mix foundation, or even the serum version (even more dry skin friendly) are both great options.

Concealer

The Maybelline concealers are great – the age rewind one is great if you don’t mind concealers with a sponge – and likewise their Fit Me range is great (even though the shade order is a bit messed up). My personal favourite and go-to for many years now is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. It’s full coverage and blends out beautifully.

Brows

For me, there is only one contender here – NYX! Their Microbrow pencil is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and there is a pretty wide shade range. Their clear brow gel is another absolute winner – who needs high end!?

img_0039Blush

You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to blush from the drugstore. Brands like Milani, Kiko, NYX, Bourjois… the list is endless! The pigment is really close to more expensive products but just at a fraction of the price!

Highlighter

This one is a little harder, but Sleek and MUA tend to do pretty good highlighters. These are brands that are pretty widely available in Superdrug here in the UK and are really cost effective.

img_0048Eyeshadow

Affordable eyeshadow can be a little hard to find. I don’t find that the traditional ‘drugstore’ brands (L’Oreal, Maybelline etc.) offer much in terms of good, pigmented eyeshadow. Brands that I have decent luck with are Makeup Geek (their singles are fab, but they’re about to relaunch the brand and half their stock is sold out everywhere), Colourpop and NYX. NYX is easily the most accessible of the 3 brands and offer a great assortment of colours at a really reasonable price point. The Colourpop shadows do have a lot of fall out in the pan, but I personally don’t find that to be the end of the world.

Mascara

When it comes to affordable mascara, I am team Maybelline all the way. I was a Maybelline girl since I started wearing makeup until I started wearing Benefit Roller Lash a few years back, but Maybellina hands down makes the best drugstore mascaras on the market. I never found L’Oreal to be as lengthening and voluminising in one, plus they were always that bit more pricey.

Eyeliner

Hands down Sleek. Their white eyeliner was a staple in my makeup kit for yeeeeears for my lower water line and it would. not. budge. They are lovely creamy formula and last for a really long time! I’m not sure they have a massive array of colours, but for the basics there is none better!

Lips

For lip liners, NYX are very good and offer a great shade range. When it comes to lipstick, there is only one winner for me – Maybelline! Their colour sensational range is SENSATIONAL – there is an amazing range of shades and finishes and they come at such an affordable price point that honestly there is no beating it. Two of my favourites are nude shades 725 Tantalising Taupe and 630 Velvet Beige (pictured above). If you’re a nude fan like me, you need these in your life!

You may notice that there are some steps that are missing – that is because I haven’t found products that I like enough to recommend. I find primers to be a bit hit and miss, bronzers in the drugstore are a mess and setting sprays aren’t that widely available and the ones that are miss the mark.

Let me know what your favourite drugstore products are!

Xo

* I hate the term ‘drugstore’ because we don’t call those brands that here in the UK, but we don’t have a word for it, so I’ll use the American term.

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

Dose of Colours Friendcation Review

I got the Dose of Colours Friendcation palette a little while back after lusting after it for aaaages, and it’s safe to say I have some thoughts on it…

Image result for friendcation palette

The palette is a collaboration between Dose of Colours and best friend beauty influencers Desi Perkins and Katy. When I first heard this collaboration was coming out, I wasn’t instantly drawn to the collection and didn’t really have any aspirations to get the palette. I watched their videos on how to use it and the looks were nice, but I didn’t feel like it was something my collection was missing. Then I started to see it everywhere and saw it with new eyes. I NEEDED IT. I managed to get it in the Black Friday sale on Beauty Bay.

fullsizeoutput_317f

Just looking at it, this palette is absolutely beautiful. I would say, that the image above must have been doctored because the shades don’t look quiet this perfect in person.

When I began playing with it, even though I think these were made for someone much more tanned than me, these do look really nice on my skin tone. The palest shade in the palette was way too dark for me to use as an all over base shade, but worked well as a first crease colour.

How do they perform?

The mattes in this palette are pretty nice and blend well into one another. The warm brown shades are so flattering and have become my go-to shades for daily use. The lightest shade is still too dark for me to use as an all over lid colour so it gets largely ignored. On a few instances they have looked a little patchy when applied, especially when applied in the crease as they tend to skip in certain places.Β  I’m not going to lie, the swatches look absolutely awful – they look so patchy but that’s what the look like! I was tempted to go over them again and build them up, but that isn’t indicative of how they really perform.

fullsizeoutput_329b

The shimmers are a bit hit and miss too. They are quite chunky and a few times the shadow has balled up in the pan, which I expect more of cheaper shadows. When I first used the red and gold shimmers, I thought I was going going to have to remove all my eye makeup because they were really scratchy and my eyes were getting really irritated and watery. The glitter fell into my eyes and onto my cheeks, so if you’ve already done your base makeup and haven’t baked then this could be quite a problem. The gold shimmer is not very opaque and is more of a wash of colour with glitter. It’s actually the most beautiful see through gold that just gives your eye enough of a shimmer to look done, but not so much as to over cook it. Weirdly, I’ve used the gold glitter again since the burning/itching and it’s been absolutely fine? Really weird.

The khaki green is probably my favourite shimmer shade. It’s not the most wearable shade for everyday, but I was bowled over by how stunning it was when I wore it. The main reason I ended up buying this palette was for the bright blue and this is easily the most disappointing shade in the palette. Whether you apply it with a brush or your finger, it doesn’t translate onto the lid. I have seen tutorials where people have used glitter glue and that seems to work well, but ultimately I don’t see why I should have to take that step to make it work. I did test it out just to see and I do think they went on much more smoothly but I didn’t think they were that much more pigmented.

*Swatches on the left are without glitter primer, swatch on the right is with glitter primer*

User friendly?

Welllllll… It’s not the most user friendly palette in the world. The way Katy and Desi showed off the shimmer shades, you’re supposed to be able to layer them to create brand new shades. Realistically, I’m not too sure who is doing this. There is quite a lot of fall out from the shimmers and the colours don’t always come off the most pigmented so this would be really hit and miss. The warmer colours (basically all but the green and blues) make it far easier to create a cohesive look or something that you can wear on a regular basis. As pretty as the others are, they’re not going to be an everyday shade for most people.

While the colours in the palette are really pretty, I’ve actually found it quite difficult to use the shimmers on the right of the palette. It’s quite easy to use reds and golds because a lot of brown or reddish shadows go well with these colours. However, blues and greens are a little bit harder to wear on the average day. I tried to create a halo eye using the blue shimmer and it looked like a bruise. Since then I’ve not really wanted to even experiment with the colours. Maybe it’s because my makeup style is very neutral and I don’t have the creativity to come up with a cohesive look, but I don’t find those shades the most user friendly. It’s a real shame because I actually picked up this palette for those shades, because goodness only knows how many warm browns I already have.

I don’t think I would repurchase this again, simply because I’m not that impressed by the quality of the shadows. Ultimately this palette is quite a lot of work. It’s definitely not one of those palettes where you can just bang the shades on quickly and go if you’re doing anything more than natural makeup. You have to work with and finesse most shades, so it does put you off using them.

Have you tried this palette? Did you like it?

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest