Drug Store makeup vs. Department Store

Hey there its Kristine again! So I thought today’s topic would be important to talk about since people are always asking me. I have been in the beauty business for 10 years now. I have work for high end department store makeup lines like Estee Lauder and Clarins. I have also work for Ulta Beauty which offered hundreds of prestige (high end) makeup lines as well as drug store brands.
I have trained, used, and compared ingredients in drug store and department store cosmetics and here is the conclusion I have come to. Department store and prestige makeup lines defiantly blow drug store brands out of the water.

  • Use better quality ingredients.
  • Use less filers like alcohol and silicones.
  • Tend not to clog pores.
  • Use active ingredients that can actually help with skin concerns like wrinkles and acne.
  • You get better service from people who have been thoroughly educated in the line.
  • Better pigment and longer lasting.

Now this does not mean that you need to splurge all your dollar bills on these expensive products. There are some products very similar in ingredients that work just as good as department store makeup. So save your money on nail polish, lip gloss, and mascaras. I don’t care for all drug store brands but my go to’s are:

  • L’Oreal for their: Mascara, eyeliners, and lip products.
  • NYX for their: Eye shadows, eyeliners, and matte lipsticks.
  • Revlon for their: Long stay non sticky lipsticks and nail polish.
  • Neutrogena: Powders and Foundations (Similar to Clinique)
  • Physicians Formula: High pigmented eye shadows and bronzers.

Spend money on good foundations and powders because they will last longer, look better, and not clog your pores. Also spend money on good eyeliners because no one likes the raccoon look at the end of a long day. And lastly spend money on good makeup brushes because they are made of natural fibers that will last a lot longer and help the makeup to go on flawlessly. Now for my Department Store favorites:

  • Estee Lauder: Eyeliners, concealer, and foundations. (The only kind of will wear)
  • IT Cosmetics: CC foundations, brushes, and powders.
  • Dior: Eye shadows
  • Stila- Eye shadow pallets and eyeliners.
  • Laura Geller: Concealers and eye shadows.
  • MAC: Eye shadows, eyeliners, and foundation.
  • Too Face: Bronzers and eye shadow pallets.

So long story short as you can see its kind of a tossup when it comes to department store verses drug store. So my advice is when in doubt look at ingredients or test the products first if you can.
By Kristine Kerr
Master Makeup Artist and Esthetician