DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE SMACKDOWN: MAKEUP

by Catherine Spinley

Image:  @eggcanvas  via  Pinterest

A few weeks ago we brought you the most epic of battles - the Department Store Drugstore Smackdown: Skincare. We weren’t sure if you wanted it or needed it when we put our heads together wrote it, so we were pleasantly surprised to receive so much positive feedback (and a ton of questions, which we are ALWAYS happy to answer). If you missed it, check it out here.

As promised, we’re back with the second round:  Department Store Drugstore Smackdown: Makeup.

Once again, we found ourselves completely overwhelmed. Like last time, we pooled our collective product reviews and results, read a lot of beauty guru and editorial opinions, reviewed past Top of the Towers and crowd sourced our readers and friends for their opinions.  When we finished, we were completely exhausted. We could have spent an entire post on just lipsticks or bronzers - that’s how passionate we are about trying everything we can get our hands on. And, s while we’re loyal, we’re always hoping something new and better will come along so we have an *excuse* to add to our collection. For all items, we didn’t specify specific shades. For a product like lipstick or eyeshadow to make this list, there had multiple colors we loved to ensure it wasn’t a fluke. Stay tuned to @thesundayissues IG - we’ll be sure to give you more details on our favorite colors.


PRIMER


DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DRUGSTORE

Yes, we bounce between buying primers from the drugstore and the department store but, the truth is, you do not need to spend a lot of money on a primer to prep skin and prolong makeup wear time.


FOUNDATION

DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DEPARTMENT STORE

This one is easy; we gravitate towards the department store because there are more options and there is assistance in pinpointing which of these options is right for your skin and makeup preferences. Getting your foundation right is the most important part of your makeup routine and can make or break your entire look. It’s worth it to splurge here and save on other products. When shopping, think about ingredients, coverage, shade availability, undertone, finish and wear time when determining what you’re looking for in a foundation.


CONCEALER

DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DEPARTMENT STORE

Full disclosure: we’re working with some hereditary dark circles so we wear layers of concealer. The best ones we’ve found are at the department store but there are some solid drugstore picks for days we don’t need heavy coverage.


POWDER

DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DEPARTMENT STORE

Like foundation, the wrong powder will ruin your look by making foundation look dry, cakey or clumpy as the day wears on. Experiment with a few formulas and if you find a drugstore one works for you - stick with it! We’ve included some that have worked for us, as well (we’ve just found true love with our Department store picks).


EYEBROWS

DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DRAW

If you are simply looking to fill in the shape of your brows, there are a ton of drugstore products you can use. If you’re looking to reshape or create a brow from scratch, you may need more help finding a product formulation and color that works and this is when the department store brands really bring their A game.


MASCARA


DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DRUGSTORE

In no category is packaging and formulation innovation more ubiquitous than with mascaras. The big companies that own both department store and drugstore brands share secrets, which is why you see similar products in both channels. And, if you’re following the rules, mascara only lasts 3 months so save your money and go drugstore for this!


EYESHADOW

DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DEPARTMENT STORE

The color payoff and pigmentation, the color combinations and choices, the packaging... unfortunately, the drugstore can’t compete in this category.


EYELINER


DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE

WINNER: DRUGSTORE

The drugstore has a myriad of pencil, liquid and gel eye liner options, especially if you’re just looking for brown or black. This is one category you can easily save $10-$15 by finding a drugstore product you love.


Catherine Spinley is a sometimes-writer and photographer based in New York. When not stalking other people’s dogs or yelling at people who refuse to walk up the left side of the escalator, she works in the beauty industry and practices yoga. You can read more from her at Worepaint.com.