I started wearing make-up when I was about 12 or 13 but I remember not being allowed to wear mascara until I was 14, so my love of make-up and experimentation with products didn’t really kick off until around then. There are still some products in my routine today that I started using all those 20(!) years ago and it occurred to me this very morning (whilst applying my trusty Volume Glamour mascara from Bourjois) that there really are some key drug store brands that’ve stood the test of time and that I loyally repurchase. One of the key things about using products for such a long time is that you get to know their benefits/limitations, so I’ve included some top tips for use or links to my previous posts/videos, to help you get the best out of them if you give them a try. Let me know if you love them too!
No7 Precision Lips Pencil
The first video I ever filmed was about how to apply quick lipstick that lasts (watch it here and you can cringe with me at my terrible bleached hair and awkward camera position!) and in it I talk about the importance of a lip liner with a bit of slip and glide (but not too much) and for me, this lip liner is fabulous – it ticks all the boxes and it’s only £7. I use this in shade ‘nude’ and it’s got a retractable nib, which make it nice and hygienic without the need for annoying pencil sharpenings at the bottom of your make-up bag!
The strength of pigmentation in this product is perfect, (especially if you follow the tips in my video to apply it) and you don’t have to layer it to get a good strength of colour, which I have found with other lip liners; it takes too much time and I can’t be bothered. I’ve even tried premium high street brands and found them to be worse for this (like the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk – lovely colour but you have to layer it a few times to get a strong enough colour). The other great thing about the No7 Precision Lips Pencil is that that actual product shape is quite narrow (we’re getting really deep now… how deep can you go about lip liners?!), which means it’ll comfortably mould to the shape of your lips but still remain sharp enough to give a precise lip line when you apply it. I also fine it’s a really forgiving colour and there’s a whole list of different nudey kind of lipstick shades that I can pair this with and get away with it, which makes it really good value too.
L’Oreal Paris Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover
This is absolutely my favourite drugstore skincare product and this is definitely the product I’ve been using for the longest. It ranges in price depending on where you get it from: between £2.39 and £3.50 generally but it’s often on a 3 for 2, so that’s when I stock up (anybody else have an ‘in use’ toiletries cupboard and a separate ‘restocking’ cupboard?!). This eye make-up remover is a liquid consistency and truly gentle: it feels like water but it’s equally very effective at taking off your make-up (even waterproof). I like the fact that it’s really cooling, so after a long day it’s the best feeling to put this over your eyes. It’s also affordable and effective, which is why I keep coming back to it.
Top tips for use:
- Saturate two cotton discs with L’Oreal Paris Gentle eye Make-Up Remover (a pool of product about the size of a 50p piece is plenty on each)
- Place them over your closed eyes for at least 20 seconds to allow them to start dissolving your make-up
- Using your fingers (and a very light pressure), start sweeping down the lashes and out towards your temples. You can also sweep up over the lids towards the eyebrows and out to the temples. Always use a really light pressure and don’t scrub or drag the skin.
- Each time the cotton disc gets filled with your make-up, fold it over and keep going with a clean side. Each time you fold the cotton, you’re creating a strong edge that’s useful to ‘scribble’ right into the lash line and get all traces of make-up off.
- If you have a clean side of cotton left when you’re finished, I’d use it to wipe over my lips and remove any lipstick as well.
Bourjois Volume Glamour Mascara
Mascara is one of those products I really feel that drug store brands do consistently well and you can totally save the pennies buying things like this from more affordable brands. I particularly love this one and have used it since my early 20s; I keep coming back to it no matter what else I try. It’s really affordable, ranging from £5-£9 depending on where you get it from but very often it’ll be 3 for 2 and again, I’ll stock up my ‘restocking’ cupboard!
For me, I love the brush on this mascara: it’s a bristle brush as opposed to a spikey rubber jobby, which means you can really wiggle it through your lashes to avoid clumps, without depositing too much product. The consistency of a new one is quite ‘wet’ and (you know what it’s like) a week or so in, it gets slightly thicker and better to work with. I normally have one that’s a few weeks old and getting a little old/too thick and then I’ll crack open a new one, that’s a little too wet. By layering the two, I get the best result without wasting them. Here’s a video I made about a year ago, which shows my unique mascara application technique for long, fluffy and separated lashes (one of the few times I’m actually not using the Bourjois mascara!):
No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder
I’m a combination skin type and I have never found a foundation that I feel confident in not powder setting: I develop a bit of a shine about midday anyway but think I’d look like I was melting without powder to help stave it off! I prefer a loose powder to a compact, as I have better control over how much I pick up on my brush and find it more hygienic; I hate it when a compact gets the slightest bit of moisture on it and then the product goes all dark and gross looking! One that I keep coming back to is the No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder and I use shade 05 Translucent. It’s normally £10.50 but it’s often on offer in Boots…
I’ve tried other powders and even once splashed out on the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish compact powder (a compact, I know but I thought being the ripe old price of £34, I could expect big things…). It was nice (read my Charlotte Tilbury review post here) but not amazing enough for me to warrant the price tag, so I came back to my trusty No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder and have used it ever since. Being a loose powder, you really do have better control, meaning you can give a light dusting to set your make-up or a full on bake, it’s up to you. This one doesn’t leave you looking chalky and comes in a range of shades to suit (but I always opt for a translucent if it’s available, then it’ll suit my skin all year round and I don’t have to think about it matching my tan/winter paleness).
So that’s a short but sweet roundup of the drug store products I come back to time and time again, with a few tips for use thrown in. Do check out the links to my previous posts/videos to get some application tips and let me know of the drug store products that get your vote!
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