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Beauty on a Budget: The Best of Drugstore Makeup

[ 5 ] March 2, 2012 |

If you’ve ever stumbled into The Bay or Sephora looking for the newest addition to your makeup collection you might have gotten more than a shock when you took a glance down at the price tag. In recent years the prices of makeup have been skyrocketing and today it is not unheard of to pay $50 or more for the latest must-have.

But lets face it when you’re a student and faced with endless bills, rent payments and tuition, it’s hard to justify spending that kind of money on one makeup item.

You might be thinking that you’re doomed to using bottom of the line makeup forever (or at least until you pay those loans back) but just because your make-up comes from the drug store rather than the department store doesn’t mean that it can’t look great.

With the help of well-known Calgary makeup artist Joanna Kemp (Glitz and Glamour Makeup Artistry)  we have found some of the best drug store products that are sure to give you the perfect look while not breaking the bank.

Using the items featured below an entire kit of all your essentials would reach a total price of $60 for eight items, which averages out around $7.50 per item – a considerably smaller fee than you could expect to pay elsewhere.

So no matter whether you’re just looking for one or two items or it’s time to start afresh with a brand new kit we hope that our selection will give you some guidance when it comes to cleaning out/updating that makeup bag.

Cover Girl Fresh Complexion Concealer, $6.14, Walmart



Concealer:  CoverGirl Fresh Complexion Concealer
While aimed towards those with oily/combo skin Cover Girl’s Fresh Complexion concealer is great for most skin types. It has a great creamy texture and Kemp explains that after testing it out it’s great for covering breakout redness or those pesky under eye circles that tend to creep up on us after a few too many late nights. (I can personally add to Kemp’s recommendation here – this has been my go to concealer for a while now). Weighing in at $6.14 it’s a drug store favourite that is great to wear under makeup or on it’s own (perfect for those lazy days).




CoverGirl Smoothers All-Day Hydrating Foundation, $8.47, Walmart



Foundation: CoverGirl Smoothers All-Day Hydrating Foundation 
After testing and trying numerous drug store foundations Kemp says that she was most satisfied with Cover Girl’s Aqua Smoothers because it gives a really nice finish that looks natural and not overdone – perfect for everyday wear. However, where natural normally means very minimal coverage, you’ll be happy to know that Kemp says this will give you medium coverage so it will still give you good coverage on redness or any blemishes that you might have. And on a side note it’s good for your skin too with aqua current technology helping your skin stay moisturized throughout the day.




CoverGirl Clean Pressed Powder, $6.97, Walmart



Pressed Powder: CoverGirl Clean Pressed Powder
Available for all skin types (normal, oil control & sensitive) another CoverGirl Favourite – Clean Pressed Powder is a great beauty bag staple. Kemp says that some of her favourite aspects were the fact that it sets foundation really well and is light and non-cakey for mid-day touch ups. When we’re stressed out or wearing ourselves our skin can tend to get a little oilier, so powder is just the thing we need to remove that extra shine that gathers in our t-zone areas throughout the day.





Maybelline Fit Me Blush, $7.96, Walmart


Blush: Maybelline Fit Me Blush 
It’s part of the new “Fit Me” product line by Maybelline designed to give skin a natural look and that’s exactly what it does! “It gives a nice glow not racing stripes,” said Kemp. A small application brush is included with the product but like always we recommend that you use a bigger brush of your own for the best application (there’s lots to choose from at the drug store too). The product comes in a great variety of colours, so you should have no problems finding your favourite shade.



Almay Intense I-Color, $8.96, Walmart



Eyeshadow: Almay Intense I-Color
If you’ve ever spent time pondering the perfect eye shadow colour, you’ll love Almay Intense I-Color. With sets available for every eye colour this trio includes three great shades designed to compliment your look and make your eyes pop. Kemp agrees that the pigment in the shadow is really good and allows for an easy application that stands true to the colours we see in the palette. It might be rare to find a shadow that doesn’t give you those awful crease lines throughout the day but with a little bit of primer/eye base you’ll have no problem wearing this without the creases.





CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner, $8.47, Walmart

Eyeliner: CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner
Despite being called “liquiline” don’t let the name deceive you because this is not a liquid liner, but rather a pencil. Named for it’s likeness to the intensity and staying power of a liquid this waterproof pencil can be used for definition or smokey eyes alike. If you’re anything like me, a little bit of eyeliner in the mornings will really help your eyes stand out (and detract from those lovely dark circles that may have taken up residence below your eyes), so this long lasting formula is perfect to last from dawn to dusk. And if “panda eyes” are what you’re worried about Kemp assures us that it doesn’t smudge too easily so you should be pretty safe.



Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, $3.96, Walmart


Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash
You can usually judge the quality of a product from the length of time that it stays on the market for before being discontinued. So if that’s the case then we’ve found a winner in Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara, which celebrated its 40th birthday last August. And when it came to this makeup classic, Kemp couldn’t give it enough praise, “It’s amazing, it builds without becoming cake-y, gives length and definition and it doesn’t flake throughout the day.” And for those of you who are in an endless rush like myself, remember that if you’re stuck for time in the mornings just add on a couple of coats of mascara to give your eyes the attention they deserve.




Maybelline SuperStay 24-hour Colour, $9.96, Walmart

Lipstick: Maybelline SuperStay 24-hour Colour 

In the past lipstick might not have been something that you ever really considered with the idea of numerous applications throughout the day and the constant fear of transfer marks lingering in the back of your mind. However, Kemp says that she has found a product that might be able to convert you – Maybelline’s Super Stay 24-hour colour. “I’ve never been able to find a lipstick that had zero transfer until this one,” said Kemp. The two-sided applicator has a wand for the colour and then a conditioning lip balm sealer on the other side. And unlike some long-wear products it won’t leave your lips feeling dry or chapped, in fact you’ll likely be surprised by how moist and smooth they feel says Kemp.

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