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Drugstore vs. Department Store Beauty Products and Makeup

Posted on Mar 22, 2013
Melanie Elturk


Recently I was asked about Drugstore make-up and didn't realize how passionate I was about the topic until I was asked! Below is my list of picks for Drugstore beauty products vs. Department Store products. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts below!


1) Eyeliner - Drugstore eyeliner is definitely the way to go whether it's Maybelline's gel eyeliner, white eyeliner to fill in your waterlines or good old fashion eyeliner pencils. They get the job done and are only a fraction of the cost of department store eyeliners.

2) Bronzer - I've tried every bronzer on the planet and while I do love (and own) bronzers by Guerlain, Benefit, Lorac and Nars, my favorite bronzer of all time is Physician's Formula. It gives me a glow that no department store bronzer can!

3) Mascara - When Diorshow mascara was getting massive hype, I gave in and spent nearly $30 on one tube. It was SUCH a disappointment. Drugstore brands have really mastered mascara and are coming out with new formula's all the time. My personal favorite: Cover Girl Lashblast. 

4) Nail Polish - While we do not condone wearing nail polish while praying, when I'm not praying I love to wear Essie nail polish! Now that it's sold at Target and Walgreen's I no longer have to go to beauty bars or salons to get my favorite colors!

5) Eyelash Curler - Again - I've tried every eyelash curler out there - including the ever popular Shu Uemura curler. None of the high-end brands vastly outperformed drugstore brands like Revlon, Tweezerman or even Trim. 

6) Eyelashes - Whenever I attend separate weddings I cannot go without fake eyelashes! Ardell is the leading eyelash brand, favored by make-up artists over department store brands like MAC.

7) Tweezers - Tweezerman has long been recognized as the leading tweezer brand, so why look anywhere else?



1) Brushes - Don't skimp on brushes, and certainly don't use the brushes you get in mini compacts at the drugstore. At the very least, invest in a powder brush, blush brush and eyeshadow brush. (A flat tipped eyeliner brush is another great buy). My favorites are from Chanel, MAC and Stila.

2) Blush - What I've found is that powders in general are sub-par when purchased at drugstores. That being said, blushers from department stores tend to have more pigment and longer staying power. My absolute faves? Bobbi Brown, Nars and Illamasqua. 

3) Cheek Stain - This is the perfect fresh-faced beauty product and the best one out there hands down is by Benefit. If you haven't tried it, layer it under your blush or use it alone for an instant glow. 

4) Lipstick - Something about drugstore lipstick has never sat right with me. The consistency is off and they crease on my lips. Looking for an inexpensive but amazing lipstick? MAC is definitely the best bang for your buck. At $15.00, they're only a few dollars more than some drugstore brands - not to mention one of the best lipsticks out there in every shade you'd ever want or need. 

5) Eyeshadow - Again, I've found powdered make-up to be of much better quality at department stores than drugstores - my favorite eyeshadows are from Stila, Urban Decay and Lorac. They're highly pigmented and a little goes a long way.

6) Foundation & Concealer - Undereye circles are my biggest problem and I've tried every concealer out there - one thing I've learned is that department store brands definitely do it better than the drugstore. I have to be honest I haven't tried many drugstore foundations but you know you're getting a great product with most department store foundations.