Drugstore Beauties

Writing about drugstore gems can be tricky because it seems that so many people have such high expectations of finding dupes and replacement products for high-end items. For me, my drugstore beauties are consistent products that I choose to re-purchase over and over again — despite the fact that I can find them at high-end department stores. This is simply because they perform just as good or even better and I find no reason to spend the extra money.

Here, I’m showing you my drugstore favorites; and, besides some of the newly released items, I’ve been purchasing the rest for years and years.

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1. Cetaphil is my favorite morning cleanser because it’s so gentle for my sensitive skin. Whether you’ve been out in the sun or you’re going through a hormonal breakout phase, this is the best and most gentle cleanser you can use on your skin.

2. I stock up on the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover whenever I can. This is my most favorite of all drugstore products in the world. This is because it truly removes all traces of your eye makeup, even waterproof mascara. Another reason why I’m so loyal to this particular remover is because it removes Japanese mascaras, which are seriously hard-core.

3. The L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara has been a staple of mine for at least 10 years. I use it as a layering mascara, after I’ve applied an initial layer of whatever Japanese mascara I’m using that week. This builds volume and is really, really black.

4. While I do treasure my high-end lip balms, I still equally rely on my drugstore lip balms like the EOS lip balms and the Nivea Lip Butters. They are both hydrating, easily portable, and wear well under lipstick and lip gloss.

5. Man, remember when the Revlon Lip Butters were released and everyone was flocking to them like they were going out of style? I do. I think the Lip Butters really set the bar high for the drugstore lip product department and I’m glad for that. These are great for on-the-go and are perfect options for when you’re strapped for time. They’re hydrating and my lips feel comfortable — while looking pretty in whichever shade I choose that day.

6. The Real Techniques Blush Brush (used for powder) and the Expert Face Brush (for foundation and cream blushes) are true drugstore gems. They are great value and are excellent quality. More often than not, I reach for RT brushes over many of my more expensive brushes. Because they’re affordable, I tend to buy multiples of my favorites and hoard, lol.

Remember that the drugstore has many reliable options, and they’re getting better and better as time goes on. It’s great that we can find great products that are affordable and easily accessible. However, there are some products in the high-end market that are worth investing in, and I will be writing a post on that as well soon. After all, expensive isn’t always better! :)

As always, thanks for reading.

REVIEW: L’Oreal Paris EverStyle Energizing Dry Shampoo

So it seems to already be widely known that washing your hair everyday is bad, and I suppose this is the reason why there’s so many different kinds of dry shampoos.

Overwashing your hair is bad for your hair and scalp because it can be drying — often your scalp will generate more oil — essentially, over-producing it to compensate. Also, 2nd day hair provides natural texture for your hair; thus, making a top knot bun, teasing it, or styling it in general tends to wear better and longer.

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Normally, I’m not a fan of dry shampoos — high end AND low end. I, too, bought into the easy idea that simply spraying dry shampoo in my hair would magically transform it. Wrong. For me, I didn’t like how my hair felt even dirtier, oilier, and felt icky with build up. Another issue I had was that all the sprays and powders out on the market were white — making it difficult to use/blend into my dark hair.

L’Oreal has just released their new dry shampoo: the EverStyle Energizing Dry Shampoo. It’s what I’ve been looking for and what I expect a dry shampoo to be. It sprays clear with a mild scent and I can rub the product into my hair with my fingers without it making a mess or my hair looking dirtier.

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The product is designed to be sprayed near the roots, onto the roots, and can be sprayed in the general hair area. It really does seem to instantly cleanse and refresh, and I can still style over it without the product interfering. The “virtually invisible talc-free formula with micronized minerals renews your hair by instantly absorbing excess oil and odor, extending the life of any style.” Your hair is touchable, smells nice, and looks refreshed without having the wash it. I’d say I can go an additional day without having the wash my hair, and that saves time and energy for sure.

The texture is matte and sprays onto the hair with a cooling sensation. For about $5.00, this is the happiest I’ve ever been with a dry shampoo. A plus, is that it creates instant volume too.

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Normally, I wash my hair every 3 days (but my hair is QUITE dirty on the 3rd day). I spray this product into my hair on the 2nd day, so the 3rd day is good AND the 4th day is good. :) Plus, who doesn’t like some volume at the crown?

Recent Favorite Products

Back by popular demand – some current favorite products! So I admit, as a product junkie, it’s hard to keep up with all the new releases by so many departments, companies, and brands. However, since I know what I like – and what my skin likes – I find good face products from time to time. For me, I focus a lot how the skin looks. In my opinion, no amount of expensive eye products, fancy colors, and professional-looking application – will cover up the fact that the skin/base makeup looks like ruddy, uneven, or discolored.

If you think about makeup as an artistry – the skin is the base – hence, the term “foundation.” It’s the basic canvas before you start getting into the technical work, like gradation in color, color application, etc. And, even from a painter’s point of view – before creating your masterpiece, you start with a clean, blank canvas, right?

Featured products:
L’oreal True Match Super-Blendable Power in “W1 Porcelain”
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (oil-free) in “Porcelain”
Chanel Illuminating Base Makeup

The infamous tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier in the oil-free formulation is what I prefer. “Porcelain” is the lightest shade that is offered, and is yellow-based – which is quite odd for a shade named “Porcelain.” However, for a tinted moisturizer, it gives good, lightweight coverage. This product is used on “good skin” days because the coverage isn’t going to be as thorough as a foundation. It’s long-lasting, lightweight, and evens the skin tone out beautifully without looking overdone. Perfect for every day wear and for when you want to sport the “no makeup look” on weekends or to the gym.

L’oreal True Match powder is a great alternative to pricey powder. “W1 Porcelain” is the lightest shade in their “warm” cateogry – and, yes, that’s what the “w” in this range stands for. L’oreal True Match powder is also available in cool tones as well. I use this with a fluffy powder brush to get a sheer application. This provides good oil control, and so this power is great for the T-zone.

Chanel’s Illuminating Base is great for a special occasion or night out on the town. The base is essentially a primer and is designed to be worn under foundation – or, for me as of late – under the tinted moisturizer. This product is gel-like in consistency and is clear, yet white-ish in color that contains small pearly, iridescent particles that cleverly disappears once you rub it onto the skin. It perfectly “lights up” whatever base product you decide to pair with this base.

Since it’s winter, a dewy look still looks healthy – however, it’s important to address our skin’s changes with the weather. Now, rather than oil control, I prefer to focus on retaining moisture.

What are you loving lately?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.