Who says good makeup has to be expensive? These budget beauty buys will give you more bang for your buck, so it’s time to make a trip to your local drugstore.
1. L’Oreal Super Liner Black Lacquer
$20.90, Available at Watsons, Guardian and on Luxola.
As far as liquid eyeliners go, the L’Oreal Super Liner is a holy grail item for ladies who love their liners – especially if you’re a noob at drawing eyeliner. For starters, the sponge nib of the pen is firm enough to draw clean lines, but not too hard that it feels like you’re poking an eye out.
The product is also packaged in a sleek gold and black tube, which is actually easier to grip onto than the thinner pencil-like tubes that most liquid eyeliners come in.
In terms of staying power, the L’Oreal Super Liner does a commendable job, even on my tragically oily eyelids (the struggle is real yo). In fact, it performs better than some other high-end brands in the market – and considering how many tubes of eyeliner you go through in your life (hear, hear), it probably isn’t a bad thing to err on the economical side of things.
Also, the product cleans off easily with most eye makeup removers, which is not something I can say about many long-staying liquid eyeliners. The only real drawback to this product is that the nib tends to dry out if you don’t use it often, but it’s nothing a few shakes can’t fix.
At $20.90, the L’Oreal Super Liner is not exactly cheap (but then again, what is these days huh) but it does perform as well as some other liquid liners which cost twice as much. If you want to be an auntie about it, just wait until Watsons has a promotion for L’Oreal products to stock up on liquid eyeliner.
2. CLIO Gelpresso Waterproof Stick Shadow
$19.90, Available at selected Watsons outlets including Raffles City and ION Orchard.
I’m just about the laziest person around when it comes to makeup, so I always appreciate effective products that cut down on the time and effort needed to make myself look presentable (aka not like I’ve just crawled out from a crypt).
Korean makeup brand CLIO has a stellar line of gel liners (which will make you look Kpop star-ready in no time), so it’s no surprise that their Gelpresso line of eyeshadow sticks are just as good.
The CLIO Gelpresso Waterproof Stick Shadow is an ingenious eye shadow stick that makes eye makeup application SO much simpler. If there’s one product you need in your office makeup bag, it’s this. Seriously. It will easily take you from day to night, and you don’t even need a brush.
Some gel eye shadows take a great deal of blending to get the look right, but the CLIO Gelpresso Waterproof Stick Shadow glides on ever so smoothly. The product also provides good colour payoff, and can be layered to give a more intense look.
In terms of staying power, the CLIO Gelpresso is on par with other gel eyeshadows I’ve tried, but it does seem to work better without an eyeshadow primer. It also looks scarily shiny in the tube, but rest assured the shine is actually quite subtle (unless you go to town with it, but nobody’s asking you to right).
The only downside to this product is the limited colours available in the range here (taupe, dark grey, champagne, coral and lilac), but hey, how many eyeshadow colours do you really need on a daily basis eh?
All in all, the CLIO Gelpresso Waterproof Stick Shadow is a worthy dupe of the popular Marc By Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick (which is twice the price). Both have the same sort of texture and colour intensity, but obviously the Marc By Marc Jacobs one comes in much fancier packaging.
3. Majolica Majorca Lash Bone Black Fiber
$24.90, Available at selected Watsons outlets, including Bugis Junction and Raffles City.
I’ve never been a fan of Japanese brand Majolica Majorca’s anime-esque fairy tale packaging, but I must admit that their eye makeup products are one of the best among drugstore brands.
Majolica Majorca has a good range of mascaras, but it’s their mascara primer that is worth raving about. As mentioned previously, I unfortunately have the oiliest eyelids in the world. My eye makeup usually smudges within the first part of the day, so I end up looking like a panda (except not cute).
However, after discovering the Majolica Majorca Lash Bone Black Fiber, my smudging woes have become a thing of the past. This stuff really improves your mascara’s staying power, and works with pretty much any kind of mascara (even the cheapy ones like Silkygirl and whatnot). It also has the added bonus of making your lashes look fuller and longer, which doesn’t hurt right?
4. Maybelline Fashion Brow Duo Shaper
$14.90, Available at Watsons, Guardian and on Luxola.
The Maybelline Fashion Brow Duo creates a defined yet soft look for your brows.
Brows are sometimes overlooked for more important features like your eyes and lips, but as Instagram has taught us all too well, brows can make the difference between Resting Bitch Face and #OnFleek – too thin and you look fierce, too thick and you look like an Angry Bird. This, my friends, is why you need a good eyebrow pencil.
While there are a few good brow products in the market (such as Benefit’s Brow Mascara), they tend to be from high-end makeup brands (read: pricey). Fortunately, the Maybelline Fashion Brow Duo is an affordable option for everyday use.
There are two sides to the product – a pencil tip that is standard but good enough for filling in empty spots, and a powder applicator tip that allows you to define your brows without creating harsh lines. The result? A softer, prettier look reminiscent of a Korean actress. Who knew a simple little pencil could create such magic eh?
5. L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer
$19.90, Available at Watsons, Guardian and on Luxola.
Concealers are one of those makeup products you use everyday (unless you have perfect skin…hmph) so having a budget option is always a good thing. Even though the L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer is half the price of some other high-end concealers, it still does a commendable job in covering blemishes and spots.
The only downside is that most drugstores don’t seem to stock darker shades, and some outlets don’t have sample tubes so it may be a bit harder to find the perfect shade for your skin tone.
Consistency-wise, the formula blends well and doesn’t have a cakey finish like some other cheap concealers. A little bit goes a long way, so you don’t really have to apply too much product.
The L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer works best on blemishes, but if you want to use it on under eye circles, you should first apply a salmon-coloured corrector to neutralise the blue tones. The formula’s staying power is not too shabby either, but set it with some translucent powder to make it last even longer.
On a somewhat unrelated note, the Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer is another holy grail drugstore concealer to add to the list, but it’s either not available in Singapore or just really hard to find (I asked the sales aunty at Sasa and she scoffed, “That one long time never see already!” so yeah.)
6. L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lip Stain
$18.90, Available at Watsons and Guardian.
I’ve always been a fan of YSL Beauty’s lip stains, but like most luxury beauty products, they don’t come cheap. Enter the L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lip Tint, which is suspiciously similar to YSL Beauty’s $40 lip stains…especially since YSL Beauty is under the L’Oreal Group. Sure, it doesn’t have fancy packaging or that signature rose scent, but the Shine Caresse is a good enough dupe.
In terms of consistency, the Shine Caresse goes on smoothly and gives a slightly glossy finish (nothing too over the top though). The colour payoff is not as great as the YSL Beauty one, but the product can be layered to create deeper colour.
The range of colours is quite limited, but they do have shades to suit every style – from My-Lips-But-Better colours like nude pinks, to more vibrant colours like fuchsia and scarlet.
7. Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick
$21.90, Available at Watsons and Guardian.
Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Tulip
I’ll admit – when it comes to lipstick, I’m easily bought by fancy packaging (YSL Beauty always wins, hands down) and crazy colours I will probably only wear once in my life. However, there’s a difference between lipsticks you throw in your bag and use on a daily basis, and lipsticks you hardly use because you’d rather place them on your dresser to sit pretty. (Or am I the only one who does this?)
The Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick may not come in snazzy packaging, but the product itself is actually pretty good. Firstly, the formula is moisturising yet weightless on the lips – which is always a good thing for lipsticks. Dry and flaky lips are just not a good look, you know?
Secondly, the lipstick also gives great colour payoff with just one swipe, especially with the darker colours in the range. The feature that really sets the Revlon Ultra HD apart from other drugstore lipsticks though, is the pleasant fruity smell it has – which OK, is not as atas as YSL Beauty’s rose-scented lipsticks, but is definitely a step-up from the weird chemical smell that most drugstore lipsticks tend to have.
The line also has 14 different colours (although some drugstore outlets may carry a limited range) so you can have your pick of lipstick shades.
8. Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polish
$12.90, Available at selected Watsons outlets including Bugis Junction and Raffles City.
Revlon Parfumerie Nail Enamel in Spun Sugar
If you usually do your own nails, Revlon’s Parfumerie line of nail polish is a good one to have in your home mani-pedi kit. The range includes a huge array of colours, including pretty neutrals, metallic shades and vibrant pops of colour.
Cute perfume bottle-like packaging aside, the nail enamel itself is also scented (hence the name Parfumerie). It’s not the strongest scent around, but it doesn’t smell terrible either (like most nail products tend to).
While the brush applicator isn’t as firm as OPI’s signature wide brush, it’s still workable and the colour payoff is pretty much the same. In terms of staying power, the Revlon Parfumerie seems to last as long as OPI nail polishes – but then again, the type of base and top coat you use can make all the difference as well. In either case, this is quality stuff and the chances of it peeling off after a day or two are slim.
Why yes, those are indeed my toes.
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