The Smart Girl’s Guide to Shopping for Drugstore Makeup

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Shopping for Drugstore Makeup

We’re firm believers that even the staunchest luxury beauty aficionado has at least one or two drugstore goods in her makeup bag. And why shouldn’t she? The aisles of your neighborhood drugstore are filled with creamy concealers, tinted balms, and blurring foundations that rival their high-end counterparts.

There is one caveat, however: Unlike other beauty retailers or makeup counters, you can’t try anything on, which usually means you’re left with a mismatched foundation or red lipstick that clashes with your undertone. Le sigh. What’s a budget-loving girl to do? We’ve got four tips that will change your drugstore shopping habits for the better—keep clicking to see what they are!

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    Tip #1: Make Your Rounds

    The drugstore makeup aisle can make any woman feel like a kid in a candy store, but avoid the temptation to snatch up the first colorfully packaged product you see. Almost every mass beauty brand will have rotating deals depending on which products they’re promoting, so always do one walk-through before zeroing in on a specific item. For example, some brands may give you a discount if you buy two or more of their products, so use this time to stock up on other goods you may be running low on.

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    Tip #2: Do Your Research

    Thanks to the Internet, the women of this generation have one distinct advantage when it comes to picking the best drugstore makeup. If you know you’re looking for one specific product—say, an eyeliner—don’t show up unprepared. Instead, research the day before by either Googling “best drugstore eyeliner” and educating yourself, or type in the name of your desired product with the word “review” after it to read what others have to say. Beauty blogs like Temptalia offer in-depth reviews and even compare drugstore products to their luxury counterparts, as well as offer swatches so you can see what the color looks like out of the package.

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    Tip #3: Bring Other Products In

    Don’t show up at the drugstore empty-handed; instead, bring the products you’re looking to replace for shade reference. For example, if you’re looking for a drugstore dupe for your Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($62), then bring the bottle in with you so you can find a similar shade, since you won’t be able to try it on before you buy. And remember—sometimes, you might have to buy two different shades to match your skin color perfectly. Luckily, the fairer price point doesn’t make this too much of a strain on your wallet.

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    Tip #4: Use Technology

    If you own an iPhone, there’s good news for you—L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius app allows you to take a photo of your self, scan whatever L’Oréal product you’re considering, and see what it will look like on yourself immediately. We tried it, and it’s crazy how accurate it is. (Plus, it’s completely free, so you’ve got nothing to lose.)

    If the product isn’t by L’Oréal and you’re on the fence, whip out your phone again and type in the product name followed by the word “swatch,” then go to the image results. This shows you what the product looks like when swiped against someone’s skin, and gives you a better idea of whether or not it’ll work for you. Just keep in mind that the color shown on the packaging can lie!


    What are your drugstore makeup shopping tips? Tell us below!

EXPLORE: Makeup, Trends, Face, Eyes, Lips, drugstore beauty, Drugstore Blush, drugstore makeup


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