Is it Worth it? Drugstore vs. High end

It's sometimes difficult to decide whether to splurge on an item when you can get something comparable from the drugstore at a much cheaper price. Based on my opinions and experiences this is where I think you would do best to save or spend your money.


Eyeliner- Save
There are lots of options at the drugstore that are just as good as high end brands. I love my Urban Decay 24/7 liners as much as the next girl but I'm not willing to pay $24 for one liner when there many good options at the drugstore. Check out Nyx, Maybelline and Rimmel for cheap alternatives.

Eyeshadow- Splurge
In my opinion  you get what you pay for with drugstore eyeshadows. Although there is the occasional exception, I've found that most drugstore eyeshadows are poorly pigmented and powdery and can be very hit and miss. My favourite high end shadow formulations are from Urban Decay and Lorac and I would be happy to spend the money on them knowing the quality I can expect. If you can't make the splurge, Wet and Wild usually have good quality shadows at a very reasonable price. I recommend the Comfort Zone palette.

Mascara- Save
There are plenty of good cheap options at the drugstore that I almost never bother with the high end brands. I'm very fickle when it comes to mascara and I rarely use the same one twice as I'm always on the hunt for something better. Maybelline, L'Oreal and Covergirl are good options.

Brows- Splurge
"Brows frame your face". Everyone's heard it a million times before, but it's true. I believe when something is that important to your whole look it deserves the extra cash. There are some clear brow gels that are good at the drugstore but for the actual filling and shaping, I'd look elsewhere. Anastasia is the best brand in my opinion.They have everything you could ever need for the best looking brows.

Lips - Save
I'm going to go for a clean sweep for the drugstore when it comes to lip products. The drugstore has really aced the lip game. From lipgloss to lip sticks to lip liners I would go drugstore for it all. Revlon has the best in terms of lip products in my opinion, you really can't go wrong with anything from them. I also really like Rimmel lipsticks from the Kate Moss line, the Maybelline Color Elixirs and the Nyx lip liners and soft matte lip cream.


Foundation- Splurge
Foundations make up the base of you're entire makeup look so you want to make sure it's good. In this case price and quality go hand in hand. You can definitely tell the difference a high quality foundation can make.

Concealer- Save
Especially for under-eye concealers, drugstore is the way to go. I would suggest Maybelline for good quality concealers for cheap.

Powder- Save
Especially if you're just using the powder to set your makeup I don't believe it's worth it to spend the extra money on something high end. My favourites from the drugstore are Rimmel's Stay Matte and Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder.

Blush/Bronzer - Either
For blush and bronzer I have equal amounts of high end and drugstore. Honestly I think this depends a lot on personal preference and the product in general. I love Nars for blushes and bronzers but Milani also makes great blushes and bronzers for a lot cheaper. For a really good contour you're probably going to want to go high end but if you're looking not a nice pinky-peach blush there's lots of good choices at the drugstore

Highlighter - Splurge
I've only ever bought high end highlighters just because I'm really picky. It can't have too much chunky glitter which is a risk you take when you buy drugstore. Generally higher end products are more finely milled and therefore less glittery and more shimmery. Because you usually can't test at the drugstore, I don't prefer highlights that have many colours in the pan (ex. Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips or Maybelline Master Hi-Light), it's not clear what colour the product is going to actually turn out when you apply it.

Primer- Splurge
I don't use primers very often but I trust high end primers more than drugstore ones as I feel they are less likely to break me out. I also feel like they work better on me. I've really been enjoying Benefit's Porefessional.

Skincare- Splurge
This should be a fairly obvious one. I've tried a lot of drugstore skincare but nothing even comes close to difference high end skincare makes. If you have relatively few skincare problems then you'd probably be fine to stick to the lower cost but with my skin (sensitive, very dry) I'm going to have to dish out the money.

If you spend money on really high quality brushes and take good care of them, they should last you forever. Some of my favourites are Zoeva, Sephora and MAC. If you don't  have the money to spend, Real Techniques makes really great affordable brushes.

Leave a Comment

  1. Great post, I totally agree with your saves and splurge ideas. Although sometimes I just cant help myself with lipstick!

    Rachill //

    1. Thanks! I know what you mean haha, I desperately want one of the new Nars Audacious Lipsticks.

  2. This is a really great post! I agree with all your splurges and saves. I do see myself splurging on lipsticks and eyeliners here and there. I can't find a good liquid eyeliner from the drugstore. Do you have any recommendations? :)

    1. Thanks! I'm awful at applying liquid liner and don't wear it often so I don't know how much you're going to want to trust my recommendations but I've used three from the drugstore. Rimmel Exaggerate, L'Oreal Super Liner and Jordana FabuLiner. The Rimmel one was probably my favourite, I liked how matte it was, although the applicator isn't the best. I wasn't a fan of L'Oreal's but the Jordana one I thought was great. Its just not available where I live.