Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Beauty Revolution - Drugstore Revisited

I took a 5-year break from drugstore cosmetics. The cheap quality, poor pigmentation, short wearing and unflattering colors of the products drove me away. I tried and tried and ended up with loads of makeup that I literally hated. If only I had the source of information I do today, I would have saved a fortune. And those makeup weren't inexpensive once my collection grew out of the 3-drawer desk. That was when it clicked: enough junk, time for (much) less quantity but great quality.

So, I gifted away or tossed out (most) things and rebuilt my collection. Started with Smashbox, Stila, Laura Mercier, then Dior 5-color quints really got me hooked with the higher-ends. As soon as I experienced the high quality (i.e. pigmented, long-wearing, soft, smooth, wearable colors), I wasn't able to come back to any drugstore makeup. Over the time, I developed a prejudice that gradually turned into indifference with drugstore brands. I never browse through the beauty section at my local Target. That seemed to settle it, a big no-no to drugstore. Until recently....

Lisa Eldridge, a talented (and elegant) makeup artist, who is also the creative director of Boots No. 7 uses quite a few of drugstore brands in her tutorials. I got inspired to try out Physicians Formula organic foundations and Boots No. 7 lip pencils. Then I overcame my skepticism with these brands and went on a little journey. So far it's been a great return to beauty counters of Target, CVS, RiteAid, Walmart, Walgreens. The products that I've tested exceeded my expectation although there's been flinch here and there.

The project has been fun and rewarding. I've found quite a few items that come incredibly close to my favorites. And to be fair, quite a few high-end makeup deliver mediocre quality and ridiculously overpriced. However, I don't have to work my way as hard through high-end market to find a favorite as I do with drugstore.

Now that I know how almost any beauty products on the market function on real customers (thanks to thousands of beauty blogs nowadays), I envision my ideal beauty collection that include a little bit of everything from both worlds but none would ever be disappointing as the past.

Do you have a preference between drugstore and high-end brands? How have your favorites developed over time? Any recommendations for great drugstore makeup?

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