There is something about buying drugstore makeup that feels like Russian roulette. Don’t you ever feel nervous buying something if you don’t know what it will do? It could be the best foundation ever, or the one that will break you out and leave you scarred for weeks. Yikes.
You can read and read and read reviews online until you go blind but you don’t really know a product ’til you’ve tried it on. The problem with most drugstore brands is the lack of samples I can try at the store.
But on a few occasions, Lady Luck was on my side and I came upon hidden treasures in the drugstore. These products have been in my collection for a good while now (can’t you tell by the worn packaging?) and, chances are, will continue to be for a long time:
- Maybelline Color Whisper ($5.99) – These are the perfect tinted lip balm/gloss hybrids. I was so happy when I got it in Made-It Mauve that I went ahead and purchased another in Pin Up Peach. That was the first time I bought 2 shades of one product! It’s comfortable and sheer, but deposits just enough color to brighten up my face. The glossy finish is modest so it’s great for those no makeup makeup days. Did I mention how foolproof the application is? No wonder Tamira from Lipstick with Some Sunshine lists this as a work essential.
- NYX Blush in Espresso (not sure if still available) – I think I got this from an Ipsy bag or some other subscription service and I remember not using it for the longest time. Back then, I was put off because it looked like a strange mix of bronzer and rosy blush that might look muddy on the skin. Oh how wrong I was. This is actually a natural, muted rose that looks chic on my skintone. It also double as a pretty crease or all over lid shade.
- E.L.F. Essential Custom Eye Refill Pan in Purple ($1) – For the price, I was skeptical. But again, this drugstore find took me by surprise when I ended up using it almost everyday last fall. The blendability won me over. For me, it looked best as an outer corner shade paired with a bronze or rose gold on the lids.
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles ($8.99) – The beauty blogosphere continues to rave about this product to this day because despite the cumbersome packaging (the sponge seemed to be wasting product so I took it off), the concealer itself makes up for that and beyond. The formula is smooth, blends seamlessly to the skin, covers dark circles and blemishes easily and stays on – some of which can’t even be said of high-end concealers for twice the price. This is the first ever concealer I’ve finished and, boy, I’ll repurchase it over and over again.
- Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher in Pearlescent Pink ($2.99) – Nothing brightens up my face quite like this blusher. It’s a highly pigmented perky pink with a slight shimmer that makes it a spring and summer staple for me. I can’t say much for the packaging or the brush that comes with it, though. But like the Instant Age Rewind Concealer, the color and incredible staying power of this blush still makes it a treasure in my eyes.
What is your favorite treasure find from the drugstore?
Since the weather went from 7 layers of sweaters to “oh my god why is it so damn hot?” in a week, a new sunscreen was in order. I’m trying out the Sun Bum SPF 50 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion ($15.99). It is also available in SPF 15, 30 and 70. It comes in spray form as well (except the SPF 70). The complete Sun Bum line is available from the Sun Bum Official Website.
The Sun Bum SPF 50 lotion offers broad spectrum protection and is oil-, paraben-, and PABA- free as well as water resistant. It also claims to be hypoallergenic and photostable.
Application is lovely. The lotion absorbs into my skin quickly without the usual stickiness or the whitish cast. However, it still feels like there is sunscreen on the skin, as expected. The good thing is that feeling doesn’t linger for long. Surprisingly, it’s actually moisturizing. I use it all over my feet when I’m wearing sandals and they definitely look more supple than usual.
The scent is somewhat sunscreen-ish with a hint of a tropical fragrance – something like coconuts or bananas. It stays on all day but very subtly. The packaging is quite cute and summery, too!
What’s your sunscreen of choice this summer?
May flew by! It was quite enjoyable nonetheless and we’re finally grilling out on the deck more (a favorite activity, for sure). Here are my favorites for this month:
- Dainty Necklaces – These feminine and delicate necklaces are the perfect accessories for the airy tops I like to wear in spring. My mom bought these from her trip to Atlantic City recently. Both necklaces were made by local artists which make them extra special. I love the minimalist style!
- BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask ($6.95) – This was definitely a good choice for my first Lush purchase. I leave it on for a whole episode of Vampire Diaries and, when I rinse it off, my face is instantly softer and smoother. It feels really cooling on application, too, since it is supposed to be left in the fridge. My only gripe about this is the 3-week shelf life.
- Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Everlasting Honey ($18) -Finally, a lip and cheek product that actually works well on both! This was an impulse buy for me but it’s well worth the money. On the cheeks, it looks like a natural, “just got out of the gym” flush. There is a dewiness left on the skin that acts as a healthy highlight. On the lips, it starts off glossy and sets into a tinted lip balm look and feel. Highly recommended for dry skin.
- Revlon Nail Enamel in Flirt ($3.97) – Long before Pantone announced Radiant Orchid as the color of the year, I have swooned over this nail polish color – very reminiscent of the popular shade. It’s just the right mix of lavender and pink and isn’t quite as intense as Radiant Orchid. This formula goes on opaque after two coats and stays on for a few days with a top coat. It’s the perfect spring nail polish!
- Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Colour in Baby Lips ($23) – My mom also gave this to me because it didn’t work for her but it worked wonders for me! This color is the perfect “my lips but better” shade and it’s comfortable to wear.
Which Lush mask should I try next?