Expensive vs. Inexpensive Makeup

When it comes to makeup can you really tell the difference between the expensive department store brands and the less expensive drugstore brands? 

Makeup Artist Kendra Stanton did some research and joined us today to tell us what she thinks:

I think it is fair to say that I am somewhat of a makeup snob. Or at least I was until this week as I found myself on a quest to find drugstore brands comparable to department store brands. I have to say I was pretty impressed with some of the drug store brand quality.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation ($40.00) vs. Revlon Photo Finish (13.99):
For the price, RPF is very good, a little too matte for me, but it had a great texture and the fact that it was a pump is impressive. Only problem was that since there are only 8 shades, I didn’t choose the right color.

With that said, MFF is still my favorite.  It glides and melts into the skin, is paraben free and is undetectable. I will always spend more for foundation.

Makeup Forever HD concealer ($28.00) vs. Revlon Age defying concealer ($7.99)
Once again I didn’t choose the correct shade in the RADC since I couldn’t try it, it just didn’t look right. It was also a little too matte for me and didn’t cover well, but at least it has anti oxidents!.

As far as the MFC, I can’t rave enough, it stays put, covers extremely well, and I don’t have to use much. I can use it on all ages because it is undetectable!

NARS Orgasm Blush ($26.00) vs. JANE Blushing Glow  ($5.49)
Blushing Glow is suppose to be like NARS Orgasm , which is one of the top blushes on the market. Personally I didn’t think the colors were that close, NOB is just a “one of a kind” blush.

With that said, BJG is a pretty color and does have Vitamin E in it and other calming ingredients, which I think is impressive for 5 bucks!

NARS Eye shadow ($32.00) vs. Loreal H.I.P ($7.99)
I was blown away by H.I.P colors. They have something for everyone, even matte colors that are still highly pigmented! Better yet, wet your shadow brush and dip into shadow for an even more intense eye shadow color. I am going to say, minus the packaging of the product, (which is extremely cheap, and not as sleek as NARS)  I think this beats my favorite NARS shadows. It almost makes me sad! This is a must have!

Lancome Waterproof ($26.00)  eyeliner vs. Loreal wearinfinity ($7.99)
OH MY WORD, Loreal Wearfinity is amazing and is JUST as good if not better than Lancome Waterproof.  I did a big test spot and poured water on them and then tried to rub it off, I didn’t get much off of either which means the lower end is just as good.

Mascara:  Diorshow ($23.00) vs. Loreal Million Dollar Lashes ($8.99)

I thought LMDL did even better than Diorshow. No it didn’t have the pretty fragrance (or name attatched) to it, but It lengthened and thickened my lashes much more than Dior. LMDL also has a similar brush, which helps capture every single lash. Bottom line:  try this drugstore mascara, you wont be sorry!

Lipstick and lip liner:  Estee Lauder Intense Lip Crème and MAC pencil liner vs. Wet & Wild Lip Lacquer Wet $ Wild lip liner
You are probably wondering why I chose Wet N  Wild over all the other lipsticks. Shockingly, this lipstick got great reviews. As far as texture goes, it did moisten my extremely dry lips almost as well as Estee Lauders and seemed to last after I blotted. BUT the color ended up a little too orange for me. All in all it was descent for 2.99, and I would maybe buy it again.

The Wet $ Wild lip liner was just as good as MAC's!  It was creamy and had great staying power!  Plus, it was only $1.00!!  The down side is that the color selection is lacking!


  • You can actually TRY these colors on and can often times get samples before purchasing.
  • Most of the time the ingredients and pigments are a bit better
  • You can have professional makeup artist help you with your selection
  • More range of color
  • Packaging is higher quality
  • You can return it if you don’t like it
  • Too expensive


  • You can't beat the price -- especially if they are on sale and you have a coupon!
  • Some items are just as good or better than department stores
  • Ingredients in some products are good quality!
  • You can't try on the products
  • Most of the time you can't return products
  • Packaging feels cheap on some products
  • Colors on the outside don’t reflect what’s on the inside very well

Overall I was very impressed with the quality of some of the drugstore products -- especially the eyeshadows and mascara.  I will definitely buy some products at the drugstore from now on!


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