In my travels (by travels I mean excessive purchasing of makeup), I have tried numerous brands and compared many drugstore brands vs. high-end brands and honestly, drug store brands are COMING for the high-end brands recently. The packaging, quality, and shade ranges have improved drastically over the past few years.
Whether you feel like splurging, need to stay budget conscious or just want to know some new options, I have compiled a list of my favorite drug-store and high-end products. I wouldn’t call these comparisons, just great options! (Also some great stocking stuffer ideas…). Who doesn’t love options?!
Foundation can be tricky. The fear of being as orange as the Jersey Shore cast via 2010 is real. In 2019 though, brands have really stepped up their shade range to be inclusive for everyone!
Drugstore fav: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation. I use this on almost all of my clients AND myself because it’s just that good. A great formula, HUUUUUGE shade range and it really holds up throughout your evening. This is great for any skin type (they have both matte and dewy finish versions) and goes on medium coverage so you can build up if you need a heavier coverage.
Higher End fav: Dior Forever 24h* Wear High Perfection Skin-Caring Matte Foundation. This is the only foundation I will wear on the weekends. If I know my picture might get taken, this is the one I grab. It gives me a truly flawless finish while feeling really light on my skin. (I hate that feeling of foundation sitting on my skin its so gross). This one is so breathable and velvety. Also please don’t wear this for 24 hours, despite its name. Wash your face you sicko!
Ah, concealer. My salvation for undereye bags cause by me downloading TikTok has a joke and now I’m up till 1 am every night giggling at my phone. (Its called self-sabotage and I’m familiar, thanks!). I’m a girl with a whole lot of (under-eye) baggage and I need multiple concealer options!!
Drugstore fav: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Concealer. During the colder months, my skin dries out like a raisin. For some reason, it especially affects my undereye and I do NOT like looking crusty, so I turn to this hydrating concealer. There is nooothing worse than putting concealer on and looking like a frosted piece of cake after five minutes – this won’t happen with this one. This concealer has a core of hyaluronic acid (we love this, guys) which is amazing to use around the eyes as it will temporarily plump you and fill in those pesky fine lines. HIGHLYYY RECCOMEND.
Higher End fav: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I honestly feel like this might not even need an explanation. Like, everyone knows this concealer is the GOAT right? Great for every skin type, it’s made with a blend of amazing, creamy ingredients that hydrates, firms, reduces redness, and strengthens the look of skin by helping its barrier retain moisture. I mean come one, those are a lot of great things for this ‘lil tube to do!
I LOVE BLUSH. I feel like some people think it’s out-dated, but those people are WRONG. I am a blush addict. Maybe because my skin tone is comparable to a glass of milk, but I need that pop of color and life blush adds to my face. I want you all to try blush soon, if you don’t already, and tell me how much you LOVE THE RESULTS!
Drugstore Fav: Milani Rose Powder Blush. Ok – I will admit I am huuuge sucker for cute packaging. That’s the reason I was first attracted to this product, the rose-shaped blush was just too adorable to not have. To my delight, this blush rocks. It has a really soft, natural finish that you can layer to be as much color as you want. This has 4 shades that can work on all skin tones. Also, it looks really cute on instagram and that’s always a plus.
Higher End fav: MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Blush. This blush is so easily buildable. I truly love this formula and it goes on so nicely. Some blushes are way too much when you put them on and you end up looking like Strawberry Shortcake – not this mineral blush. New Romance is my #1 favorite for my skin tone. It has such a nice shimmer and gives me a sunkissed glow.
There’s nothing that brings my face more to life than a warm, sunny swipe of bronzer on my cheeks. As I’ve stated before, I have a casper-like skin tone, so bronzer is necessary for me. And who doesn’t love a bit of a glow and a nice contour!
Drugstore Fav: Covergirl truBLEND Bronzer. I love a good baked product. They just go on in such a buttery way – I can’t get enough. This bronzer provides a beautiful golden, sunny glow to your face. Dermatologist tested and oil-free – so any skin type is good to go with this one. If I’m going for a bronzey look, I’ll use this as an eyeshadow as well, it has a really pretty shimmer. Love a good multi-use product.
Higher End Fav: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer. In all seriousness – I think this might be one of my all-time favorite products. I can’t think of a day that I haven’t used it. I keep trying other bronzers but none compare!!! This is the official description: An illuminating bronzer with Photoluminescent Technology, featuring bronze pigments that deliver a natural-looking, sunkissed glow while flaunting depth and dimension. AND THEY AINT LYING BABY. It is truly so illuminating and beautiful. A buttery formula that swipes on effortlessly and gives me a Lauren Conrad circa Laguna Beach days glow. Obsessed is an understatement.
I like to call myself a highlight connoisseur. If it’s going to make me shine, I’ll get my hands on it. There are so many different highlighters that give you different levels, so whether you want a subtle glow or you want the Mars Rover to be blinded by your cheekbones, you’ll be able to find an option.
Drugstore fav: Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter. This formula is absolutely amazing. Butter was the best name they could’ve used because that’s exactly the consistency. Smooth, buttery, velvety shine to pop those cheekbones, collar bones or anywhere else. PF highlighters are packed with essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins that soften, condition and moisturize skin, leaving it silky soft. 4 stunning shades are available – my personal favorite is iridescence.
Higher End fav: This was a hard category to narrow down. I am highlighter obsessed – I love to glow. I am constantly changing my opinion on which one is my favorite, Today, it is Cookie from Benefit. Originally this only came in a trio – and I was constantly leaving the bronzer and blush untouched while hitting pan on the highlight rapidly. My prayers were answered recently and they came out with this in an individual pan – THANK YOU BENEFIT. This highlight is blinding, baby. You only need one swipe for an instant glow, but you know I like to hit it a few times to really beam. You cannot go wrong with this one.
No matter where you shop, you can find amazing products within your budget. You don’t need to splurge to be a true makeup lover. Do what works for you and beat your face to your heart’s content!
Any of these items would be a perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer. If you grab any of these – let me know how you love it!