Drugstore beauty products that are worth more than you pay – Part one

Amanda Storey

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L'Oreal Drumbeat Red Ad

L'Oreal Drumbeat Red Ad from the 90s

I am a drugstore beauty product addict. It all started when I began hoarding my lunch money and spending it on fashion magazines instead of pizza slices. I would flip through in amazement at all of the beautiful women and mentally take note of all of their makeup looks. One particular ad featuring, then model-of-the-moment Milla Jovovich, prompted my first makeup purchase ever. L'Oreal Drumbeat Red lipstick. I saved up $7, a lot for a fifteen year old with zero income, and headed to my local drugstore. I had to keep it a secret because my Mom wouldn't approve of me wearing lipstick, especially red. I wore that lipstick to my first school dance and wearing red ever since!

Fast forward to my early years of working as a Makeup Artist in a department store. I worked with my best friend and we were surrounded by luxury makeup all day. We would constantly play, tempt each other with new product discoveries and encourage one another to buy things because "you have to have it!" Following a long hard day of prettifying people, we would hop in my car and set out for our secret hideaway, the drugstore beauty department. In a department store $30 might get you a great lipstick, but in a drugstore you'd walk out with a haul of eyeshadows, brushes, lipsticks and foundation. There is something so satisfying about spending a little and getting a lot. It was during this time, the fever-pitch of my bargain makeup addiction, that I discovered some of my "I can't live without" drugstore makeup products.

These products are worth way more than you pay for them, and in this day and age that in itself is a rarity. Here are my tried and tested favorites.

Covergirl LashBlast Clump Crusher mascara in Very Black

Covergirl LashBlast Clump Crusher mascara in Very Black

1. Covergirl LashBlast Mascara

I have tried hundreds of mascara brands ranging from dirt cheap to way overpriced. Most of them flake, clump, smear and smudge into my sensitive eyes and all over my face. I don't have the time or the energy to check myself in the mirror a gazillion times to make sure that I don't look like a panda bear.

I have been beyond impressed with the Covergirl LashBlast mascara line with the exception of one. I did not care for the Covergirl LashBlast 24 hour mascara, it smeared and none of the other formulas did. I have been using the newest addition to the LashBlast family, Clump Crusher and I really love it!

Covergirl LashBlast mascara out-performs most of the ones I have tried and at around $6 a tube, that is an amazing value. Most of the time there is a promotion to buy one and get one 50% off. So I almost always grab several in black and also in brown. It doesn't smear, builds my lashes with out clumps and at the end of the night it washes away easily with my Bioderma Crealine H20 Ultra Mild Makeup Remover.

Maybelline Lasting Drama by EyeStudio Gel Eyeliner

Maybelline Lasting Drama by EyeStudio Gel Eyeliner

2. Maybelline Lasting Drama by EyeStudio Gel Eyeliner

Every cosmetic company on the market has a gel eyeliner and they all claim they are long-wearing and smudge-proof. My sensitive eyes and crazy expensive contact lenses have proven many of them wrong.

Most gel eyeliners smear and stick to my contacts resulting in permanent marks and even tears! Other gel eyeliners gather into the inner and outer corners of my eyes and form weird globules that eventually run down my face. There have been too many times that I've had conversations with people and then checked myself in the mirror only to see a freakish melting clown looking back at me. It's horrifying and embarrassing!

Of all of the gel eyeliner I have encountered, Maybelline Lasting Drama by EyeStudio has been the best. It doesn't wear all day, but I only apply it morning and after lunch. These eyes love to gobble up eyeliner, so twice a day is amazing! It doesn't flake or smudge into my eyes and I love that the black is a really deep black. I have the three other shades eggplant, charcoal and brown, but they don't wear quite as long for me as the black gel does.

These little pots retail for about $7.99 and even come with a nice precision brush.

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Milani Luminoso Baked Blush

Milani Luminoso Baked Blush

3. Milani Blush

Milani is a drugstore brand that really packs a punch. I especially love their blushes. They are richly pigmented, but smooth and long-wearing. Many of their best selling shades are exact dupes for higher priced luxury brands. In particular, Milani Luminoso has been touted as a lower priced alternative to the iconic NARS peachy-pink blush. I have several shades and I love them more than their luxury counterparts. I think they actually have a much nicer texture.

These blushes retail around $6 at most drugstores.

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Milani "Runway Eyes" Eyeshadow

Milani "Runway Eyes" Eyeshadow

4. Milani Eyeshadow

In addition to awesome blushes, Milani has a beautiful eyeshadow collection. I have tested Milani shadows side by side with brands like MAC, Smashbox and Makeup Forever, and the quality is exactly the same, if not better. The colors payoff is outrageous for the mere $6 you pay at drugstores. They glide on effortlessly and wear beautifully all day. Some of my favorite shades are French Vanilla, Purple Shock, Just Perfect and Pitch Black.

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Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Acne Repairing Lotion

Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Acne Repairing Lotion

5. Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Acne Repairing Lotion

My skin is not perfect and occasionally I get breakouts. I have combination skin, so some areas are dry and others get quite oily. I have used both over the counter and prescription acne treatments and found many of them overly dry my skin and cause redness and peeling. It's pretty annoying to finally be rid of a blemish but then have to deal with my face being bright red and flaking off.

On a random visit to Bed, Bath and Beyond I stumbled upon "Yes to Tomatoes" in their natural products aisle. Let me say, I am by no means a person who adheres to natural products, I am actually pretty skeptical. But this one intrigued me and for $14.99 I put it in my basket. I had been using Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel, and while I loved it, $39 felt like a little too much to spend. That night I slathered on the lightweight "Yes to" gel and hoped for the best. When I woke up I was amazed! My skin was blemish-free and smooth. The texture was remarkably more even and my face didn't feel irritated or tight. No redness and no peeling. I highly recommend this product!

-Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Acne Repairing Lotion is 98% natural. It is also paraben-free!

-It contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes.

-It uses salicylic acid to combat clogged pores and bacteria.

-Bisabolol and ginger soothe irritated skin and calm redness.

Stay tuned here at the Yahoo! Shopping Fashionate blog for part two of "Drugstore beauty products that are worth more than you pay".

In the mean time...what are your favorite drugstore products? Have you tried any of the products I have listed? If so...what do you think? Let us know!

Disclaimer: Yahoo! Shopping was not paid by any advertiser or vendor for promotion of the products listed by author Amanda Storey.

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