Ever walked down in the aisles of Boots or Superdrug (or your local drugstore) and been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of makeup on offer? Or are you just starting out in makeup and want to know where to start? Then keep reading.
Your base is probably the most difficult to get right. I do believe in spending the money when it comes to foundations as the high end brands really know what they are doing. Having said that, the high street are fast catching up and bridging the gap with some of their offerings.
If you prefer a lighter coverage, I would highly recommend the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum for a natural still- looks-like-your -skin finish. Chanel, you may or may not know, is owned by the founders of Bourjois. One can assume that it would make sense to share the same technology and manufacturing to benefit from the economies of scale. It’s just my speculation but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true.
If you tend to shy away from foundation then their current CC cream offering may well and truly be up your street. Now I’ve not been one to jump onto the whole BB/CC cream phenomenon but the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC cream does the job of a tinted moisturiser and then some. The CC stands for Colour Correcting and contains 3 different coloured pigments to combat fatigue, redness and dark spots. The only downside with both the Bourjois offerings are that their shade selection, with the Healthy Mix Serum coming in 6 shades (I wear the shade 55 Beige Fonce) and the CC cream coming in coming in just 4 shades ( I wear the shade Rose Beige).
For those that want a more full coverage, then the Revlon Colourstay is a classic. Be sure to apply this in light layers and buff it in as you go along as this stuff sets really quickly. For powder, to set your makeup and keep it in place whilst also preventing any oily incidents, thenRimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder is great value for money at just £3.99 ( ludicrously cheap!).
I have only tried two from the drugstore of which both I would highly recommend. The first is a bit of a cult favourite and is theCollection Lasting Perfection Concealer. Now the shade selection is rather shady with only 4 to choose from. I wear the shade medium 3. It’s far too light for my skintone to cover any blemishes (I’ve not tried the shade up yet), but works perfectly under the eyes. Be sure to apply sparingly as too much of this product can cause it to cake and crease (not the look you want), so a little goes a long way. If you can get a colour match then this is perfect for under the eyes and over any blemishes/redness.
The other recommendation is Rimmel’s Wake Me Up Concealer. Now this is an illuminating one so perhaps not one to go over the top of your spots unless you want to draw attention to them. However, it’s the perfect way to both conceal whilst brighten up the under eye area to give to that wide eyed, wide awake look (hence the name). In terms of consistency, its a lot lighter than the Collection Lasting Perfection which also translates in the lighter coverage it gives.
To groom those brows, Sleek offer their Eyebrow Stylist ( a dupe for the Hourglass offering perhaps?) which is waxy pencil available in 3 shades, and comes with a spoolie on the opposite end. Use it to brush through brows after application for a more softer, natural look.
To add a bit of colour and definition to your peepers, there are an array of palettes and formulations to cater to all tastes. Sleek offer your traditional powder formulation in palettes of 12 shadows. Their Au Naturel palette contains your neutral tones whilst their latest offering, the Garden of Eden, contains vibrant greens and warm browns but with a strong orange undertones.
For those who prefer a creamier base, look no further than Maybelline’s Eyes Studio Colour Tattoo 24hr Gel Cream Eyeshadow. They blend beautifully and last all day.
If you’re feeling experimental then head towards the Rimmel stand and grab their Scandaleyes Shadow Paint. It’s a cream formulation which sets pretty quickly and gives you a multi-dimensional finish.
For luscious, lengthy lashes, let’s talk mascara. Ahhh….the one makeup product that I cannot live without (and quite frankly I look quite ill without it on). After curling your lashes, the pharmacies usually do their own branded one which does the job (doesn’t quite compare to the ergonomically designed Shu Umera ones so if your budget can stretch that extra mile, then I would highly, highly recommend this), I go in with several coats of mascara. Having explored a few different mascaras recently (check out my blog post here), I would suggest heading over to the Maybelline stand and picking up their Colossal Volum’ Express or The Falsies. Both come in the regular formulation as well as a waterproof one (of which I simply adore). Max Factor and Loreal also have decent lash defining options.
To line and define, you have a plethora of options. For liquid liner lovers, check out the Bourjois latest offering, the Liner Feutre in Noir. It’s has the perfect size felt tip nib which takes all the faff out of drawing on your cat eye flicks. For those that are after a softer, smudgier (is this a word or did I just make this up?) finish, pick up Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eye Liner. It’s creamy formulation makes it easy peasy to apply. One product that gives their high-end counterparts a run for their money is the Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner. If it’s good enough for Lisa Eldridge then it’s good enough for the humble rest of us.
For chiselled cheekbones and added warmth to the complexion, I think Bourjois Delice De Poudre Bronzing Powder is a safe bet. It’s a matte powder which makes it ideal for contouring but if you want a softer look, a dusting of this in the classic “3” shape on the face will bring life to any complexion.
The quickest way to add a healthy glow is to add a bit of blush to the apples of your cheek (you know, the fatty part). For your traditional powder blushes, every brand has a decent offering so you can’t go wrong. I love Maybelline’s Expert Wear Blush in Flash Plum. The colour looks quite deep in tone but on the cheeks you get a beautiful flush of warm, rose pink. This is one of my “go to” blushes in the autumn/winter months.
For those who prefer creamy textures and a brighter hue, then may I suggest you try Max Factor Miracle Touch Cream Blush in Soft Pink. They come in a dinky, perfect-for-your-handbag size pot.
To add that little bit of extra oomph, pair your blush and contour with a touch of highlight along the tops of your cheekbones. Sleek has a 3 in 1 offering, their Face Form, which is a contour/bronzer, blush and highlight in one sleek packaging (see what I did there?).
My holy grail highlight is Benefit’s Watt’s Up highlight. Whilst it doesn’t sit in the highstreet/drugstore price range, you can actually get this in Boots so technically it is also a highstreet product (ok I’m pushing the boundaries here). However, I think there may possibly be a cheaper dupe for this. Drumroll please…..according to Lily Pebbles (If you haven’t done so already, check out her excellent blog here), the Instant Radiance Highlighter by Boots No.7 is pretty similar. Whilst I cannot vouch for this having not yet tried it, I do trust Lily’s word.
Lip products must be the one thing that comes in many guises. Lipstick, lipgloss, lip balm, lip laquer, lip stain, lip crayon (I think you get it), it’s a wonder why we get so overwhelmed. My favourite picks would have to be Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick by Kate Moss for a matte but non-drying lips (I love the shades 107, a berry toned red and 110, an orange toned red), Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick for a more hydrating finish and Revlon Colourburst Lip Butters for a moisture intense, sheer wash of colour (my favourite everyday shade is Berry Smoothie of which I have gone through a fair few) .
For those who want the low maintenance from a slick of gloss, I’d highly recommend Tanya Burr/Maybelline Colour Sensational/Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss. For ease of application but with colour that still packs a punch, try Revlons various crayon style balms. There’s the original Just Bitten Blam Stains, the Colourburst Matte Balms or theColourburst Laquer Balms depending on the finish you want.
So they are my my top picks from the highstreet/drugstores but with a continuous flow of new product launches, I’m sure there will be even more great products to get your hands on. What are your favourites from the highstreet/drugstore?
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