Whether your budget doesn’t allow for it or you are intimidated by department store makeup, or simply just be able to find good quality products at your local drugstore, I want you to know you’re not alone. While I love my Yves Saint Laurent OMBRES 5 LUMIERES eyeshadow palette, Nars blushes and Sheer Glow Foundation, Chanel Glossimer lip gloss, Makeup Forever Smokey Eye mascara, and more; there is something to be said about great finds with drugstore prices. The products I’m listing below aren’t things ‘I just found’ and used one time to post this, but rather things that I have either starting using when I began my love affair with makeup or have accumulated along the way through my beauty adventure. I’m not high-end beauty snob, I have a number of must-haves that aren’t stocked at Neiman Marcus but are at aisle #9 at Walmart (past the fire extinguisher, turn left and look at the second row from the bottom). I’m not alone either. It seems Kourtney Kardashian loves her L’Oreal Elnett hairspray.
I was challenged to do a drugstore look (meaning I only used products you can find at the drugstore) and the great part about it is, I didn’t have to sacrifice having a look I wanted in order to use drugstore makeup. With the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show fresh on my mind, I wanted to pay tribute to the VSFS of season’s past, particularly the 9th Annual fashion show with the likes of Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum. The makeup was a bit more glam back then, than the latest season’s super-natural approach.
I really loved Tyra Banks ultra-feminine and sultry smokey eye in particular which is complimented with her glowing and luminous skin. I also enjoyed the pink tones incorporated into Adrianna Lima’s look as well. I wanted to do a combination of both looks to get a Bombshell look at a beautiful price, as seen in the photo below. Sometimes the scariest part of drugstore makeup is you’re not sure about the quality as well as the color. Below I’m going to count from 1 to 10 listing products tips, tricks, and a beauty breakdown of some of my tried and true, favorite drugstore products to achieve my Bombshell look.
1. Inspiration before perspiration. I think before you begin any plan whether it is writing an essay or applying makeup, you should have a plan and a pretty good idea of what you want the end result to look for. I’ve already said I’m being inspired by the VSFS circa 2003. For you, your inspiration might be different, for example maybe you want a less sultry look that is appropriate for daytime, office, or school. Always have a thought and inspiration, and then figure out your boundaries before you begin. It will definitely prevent you from overapplying makeup and looking more Bozo the clown than Bombshell beauty.
2. L’Oreal True Match Concealer. Never cakey or dry, this liquid concealer with brush-on applicator is in my top three favorite concealers. I prefer brushing on a bit onto my finger tips and then dabbing it for my undereye circles. If you have blemishes, the applicator is thin enough to dab directly onto your spot but, be sure to set with a powder as this formulation is more liquid than creamy in texture. Honey Hint: The concealer you use for your blemishes should match your skin tone as close to exact as possible. The idea of hiding your blemishes is to make it seem like it’s not there. While there is nothing you can do about the texture of a skin, the more it blends into your skin, the less noticeable it is. The concealer you use for your undereye circles should be one or two shades lighter to make undereye area look brighter and especially counteract dark shadows if you have deep-set eyes.
3 & 4. L’Oreal True Match Powder. I love this powder; it’s super-fine and super-blendable. There is actually a range of liquid and cream foundations available in the True Match line. The liquid formulation is a bit more natural looking and provides medium coverage while the cream formulations dries to a powder light finish and gives more coverage. I prefer the powder, at the very least for touch-ups or extra coverage if I wanted it. But I also love this powder by itself. I prefer a matte or satin finish to my skin because I like to add highlight and not have a disco-ball look on my skin with an excess of ‘glow’. The powder offers a light to medium amount of coverage that is buildable. The carrying case is very portable. Out of all the drugstore foundations I’ve looked at, matching my skin color has been met with most success with the True Match line because they offer easy to utilize charts and coordinated colors fit for warm, neutral, and cool skintones. Honey Hint: You may have noticed that I put the same product twice, it’s not a mistake. I love shimmer but I don’t like it all over. Picking a darker shade of foundation from the True Match line of powders gives me a perfect shimmer-free bronzer that is also perfect for contouring.
5. Hard Candy Glow All The Way Face & Body Luminizer. I think out of all the products mentioned this is a hit or miss product (Meaning you may not like it but if you do, you’ll LOVE it). To it’s credit I don’t like using most creamy luminizers because I don’t like anything too thick on my face, and I’m always afraid of a cream product mixing with my makeup in a bad way but the Glow All The War Face & Body Luminzer is light and doesn’t feel thick at all. I don’t really care for the ‘Glamazon Bronze’ only because I prefer pink tones to my highlight (so if you like want a golden pearl glow to your skin go with ‘Glamazon Bronze’). With that said, ‘Doll Face’ gives me a nice and pigmented pearlescent finish in a pale pink color. The texture of the product has a mousse feel with the addition of silicone bases in the formulation. It’s doesn’t feel heavy at all. Honey Hint: If you are applying it over makeup, like myself, you may want to use an ultra-soft brush like the MAC #168 brush so it won’t grab too much product. I dab a very small amount on the back of my hand and distribute the product into a wider surface area before just dabbing my brush in, in order to get even coverage on the brush. I concentrate the color on the highs of my cheekbones and use my fingertips to use a bit on my browbone area for highlight. If you want more shimmer use a powder highlight like Nars in ‘albatross’ (I love the combination of warm gold and cool pale platinum pink) or to tone down the shimmer set with a matte powder. While I wouldn’t just rub this all over my body, I would add a small amount to my favorite body lotion for a nice subtle shimmer. Note: When I say shimmer, I mean ultra-fine light particles, not glitter… I’m not 13 or Ke$ha but, more power to them.
6. N.Y.C Liquid Lip Shine offers pigment and shine with little sticky feel and not a dent in your budget-nista wallet. While the shimmery glosses don’t have a chunky glitter quality to them (which is a good thing), some of the colors can make your lips look frosted or have a chrome effect. I don’t like my lips to appear too frosted so to tone it down a bit I apply a clear gloss on top. Honey Hint: For a more pouty look apply a lighter or brightly dab of gloss on the center of your lip area, use your fingers to dab a small about to highlight your cupid’s bow. Sometimes I apply a darker shade on my lip line area and a lighter shade in the rest of the lip area for a defined look that is much softer than using a lipliner.
7. L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara gives you a voluminous lashes. I honestly didn’t like this mascara when I first tried it but after one fateful day of having to use it I loved it. I wrote a review on this mascara along with other favorites which you can check out by clicking here.
8. L’Oreal True Match Blush in ‘Baby Blossom’ is one of my absolute favorite blushes. It’s a cool-pink tone that is very soft and feminine. However, the line has a variety of blushes that are coordinated with foundation shades for those who want a peachy, mauve, bronze or rose color (I just went with the color I like rather than stick to guidelines. Makeup is fun and worth experimenting with).
9. NYX 10 Color Eyeshadow Pallet in Champagne & Caviar is as luxurious as it sounds. The pigmentation is great, the texture is silky, and the colors are great for day or night for those who stray away from more vibrant colors. While I love my MAC, YSL, NARS, and Makeup Forever eyeshadows, using this pallet is neither a chore or a bother. The lighter colors can be used for highlight and daytime looks while the darker shades are perfect for an intense and sultry smokey eye. Honey Hint: Dab a bit of a light or shimmer color at the center of your lid as well at inner corners, this will not only brighten your eyes but also draw more attention to your eye color.
10. L’Oreal Extra-Intense Liquid Eye-pencil, gives the control of an eye-pencil but the intensity of a liquid liner. What I love most is that this doesn’t smudge at all, it feels creamy upon application but dries to a no-budge finish so if you want to smoke it out a bit you either have to work fast or, like me, I use a dark powder with an flat liner brush to soften the line. But overall, this is a great pencil liner particularly for the waterline that doesn’t require you to reapply constantly or at all for that matter. This eye-pencil is everything that I wanted MAC’s feline to be. Honey Hint: Use an eye-pencil before applying liquid liner, not only does it softer the look of a liquid liner but if you brush the line your created eye-pencil into your lashes, your lash line will look thicker and fill in that small gap that using just a liquid liner leaves.
As you may probably have noticed I’ve mentioned a lot of L’Oreal products. I’m honestly not married to the brand, but I do like a lot of their products. I’ve tried many drugstore products and use other brands as well. The products I’ve listed are some of my favorite products in general. I used these products to achieve the look I wanted. If I were going for a different look, I’d probably use some of my other favorite drugstore products as well. I think one of the biggest bonuses about using drugstore products, besides the price, is that you can find a product that could knock the socks off of department store favorites. But, there is always a risk that you’ll get a product that doesn’t have the right pigmentation or is easy to use. Which is why one of the biggest Bombshell Budget tips I can give you is, Always do you homework. Avoid impulse buys as much as possible. Yes it might be a pretty color in the store but check out reviews if anything google it on your phone in the store. Someone might say it’s great but another person can say the color looks great but it doesn’t show up on certain skin tones. Know yourself too, understand what your skin tone and undertones are and what colors compliment you. It’s great to experiment with colors, I have a have both warm and cool tones in my skin so I can play with cooler blush colors and warmer eyeshadows.