The Best Drugstore Makeup Under $20

New-ish and rather excellent makeup finds.
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Michelle Villett
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New-ish and rather excellent makeup finds.
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: if my collection of makeup, acquired as a beauty editor, were to disappear forever (along with my current crack cocaine-like supply of new arrivals daily*), I am completely confident that I'd be able to survive buying makeup at the drugstore or supermarket.

(*I know that may sound obnoxious, but this is what I DO. Just remember, most beauty editors would gladly give up a few Tom Ford lipsticks in order to pay their rent. Okay, maybe not Tom Ford. But definitely Dior.)

Anyway, what I'm saying is that, sure, I love me some YSL and Chanel and Thierry Mugler and Josie Maran... but really? With a few exceptions (which I may spill in another post, on another day), when you take away the packaging—which is far, far superior at the luxury end of the spectrum—it sort of evens the playing field.

Yes, I still think there are a few key items that it's better to splurge on: foundation for sure, and also eyeshadow, because the textures and pigments are usually far better in the higher-end brands. But lipstick? Mascara? The cheapie stuff does nicely, thankyouverymuch.

I had a dig through what's come in over the past few months, and then a bit of a play—and here's what I think is new and worth checking out the next time you're picking up your groceries or buying toilet paper...

For your lips:

Hard Candy Painted Lady Lip Color in Kitten

Hard-Candy-lipstick-Kitten

Totally. Obsessed. With this lipstick. Remember Hard Candy? Well, like a blast from the '90s past, it's back—but now exclusively at Walmart (Walmart's a drugstore/supermarket, right?), with everything under $10. They say the formulas are exactly the same as before, when the line was sold at Holt Renfrew, and while I'm not sure I fully believe them, I TOTALLY dig this lipstick. Not only is the cherry-adorned packaging adorable (complete with a cute fuchsia ribbon on the end which I think more lipstick companies should seriously consider), but the colour is a gorgeous cherry red with the tiniest, tiniest bit of shimmer (but not tacky shimmer—I promise). (If you would like a more flat red, I suggest On the Prowl.) These also come in a NARS-esque chubby lip pencil version: the Shockingly Glossy Lip Pencil, which is equally fabulous.

Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Fuchsia

Joe-Fresh-lipstick

This $6 (!!) Joe Fresh lippie was all over Twitter last week, thanks to a photo shoot where they used it on my friend M. Suddenly, everyone had to have it—and the gorgeous Allie from Gifted (remember her?) delivered me my very own sample. It is indeed as good as the hype: matte but not dry-looking and a gorgeous, saturated bold fuchsia with zero iridescence. Because we don't like our bold lipsticks with iridescence, do we?

(By the way—a not-new but ALSO excellent drugstore lipstick is this one from Revlon. Gucci Westman made it so it's obviously fab.)

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Lipcolour in Beyoncé's Red

LOreal-Paris-Infallible-Lip-Color-in-Beyonces-Red

I talk a lot about lip stains because they're a great way to ease into having more colour on your lips without wearing a full-on lipstick, which can be a little scary for the lip minimalists among us. But they're also great because they STAY PUT. And for that purpose, I really like this L'Oréal Paris one. Now, I must warn you, it's a pretty bright red—but if you're ready for that, as I've mentioned before, L'Oréal Paris do really great reds. The other great thing about it is that it comes with a balm that you put over top. So smart!

Two more (again not-new but great) lip stain options are these ones from Joe Fresh and also CoverGirl's.

For your eyes:

CoverGirl LashBlastFusion Volume + Length Mascara in Very Black

CoverGirl-Lash-Blast-Fusion-mascara

Who says you have to sacrifice length for volume, or vice versa? Not CoverGirl. I'm using this mascara right now and am mostly impressed with the lack of clumping—there is seriously NONE and by now (after two months) there really should be. I consider this the perfect daytime mascara: it's not going to be the most volumizing OR the most lengthening in your mascara wardrobe, but it does a damn fine job of both while looking very "clean" on the lashes.

One more mascara option (it launched in the early summer) is Maybelline New York's The Falsies Volum' Express mascara. Love it.

Hard Candy Eye Candy Sparkle Cream Eyeshadow & Glitter Eyeliner in Pixie

Hard-Candy-Sparkle-Cream-Eyeshadow-in-Pixie

Okay, more Hard Candy. I didn't expect to like this but I have to say that I do. (Tosses beauty rules out the window.) You see, we're just about to enter the season where it's socially acceptable to be wearing glittery stuff on our eyes. And why spend more than $10, right? This is a good one, as far as glitter eyeshadows go, because it's not in an overly-slippery, liquidy base that will get all creased up within 10 minutes. Plus you get a mini-eyeliner! And even though I ALSO said that I don't like pink eyeshadow (see: Blake Lively), I am making an exception here, because when I tried it on I liked. A lot. (Maybe because the pink is closer to my own skin tone and therefore toning down the glitteriness of it?)

For your skin:

CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Serum Primer

CoverGirl-Olay-Simply-Ageless-Serum-Primer

A primer and a serum all in one? Coolness! If oil-control is not your main concern, this would be a fabulous product to give your skin a boost before you put on makeup. Not only is it going to give you lots of hydration and anti-aging goodness (that's the Olay serum part), but the CoverGirl priming ingredients will help makeup go on smoother, look more polished and last longer. I love the way this feels on my skin—like a great big drink of water.

L'Oréal Paris and Hardy Candy also make primers (the former is called Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base)... give them a peek too. I just like the Olay one because it's not silicone-y at all... whereas these ones are that silicone gel texture that's not for everyone.

L'Oréal Paris Touche Magique Anti-Fatigue and Illuminating Concealer

Busted Image

Um.. a drugstore Touche Éclat, anyone? I'm seriously impressed by the performance of this little twist-top pen, which is great to pop into your handbag. Remember how Carmindy was talking about illuminating certain areas of the face? Well, this would be a great thing to use, particularly at the inner corners of the eyes. The coverage level is surprisingly decent!

That's all for now, folks...

Have you tried any of these products yet?
What's YOUR favourite cheapie beauty buy?
Do you think you could survive if you had to buy all of your makeup at the drugstore or supermarket?