How to Shop for Drugstore Makeup -


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Let's get one thing straight: shopping for makeup at the drugstore is usually far from easy. Sure, everything's relatively cheap and the quality has definitely improved — which we're totally about — but the unflattering fluorescent lighting, coupled with the fact that there aren't any on-site experts to answer all your burning beauty q's tends to make the whole process pretty difficult. But before you give up and revert to spending all your cash at Sephora and high-end department stores, allow us to step in and shed some light. For this, we asked a few of our most trusted makeup artists to divulge their best tips for the aforementioned drugstore shopping spree.

1. Make a wish list: Browsing the aisles can get overwhelming at the best of times, considering the total lack of testers at all our favorite drugstore haunts. To help narrow things down, we find it helpful to compile a list before you step inside. That way, you'll know exactly what you're looking for. Some of our favorite recommendations come courtesy of the pros. For instance, celebrity MUA Benjamin Puckey has a concise list of go-tos that never let him down. "My favorite drugstore brands are Maybelline for their fabulous mascaras, concealers, foundations, cream liners, and highlighters; NYX Cosmetics for their matte lipsticks, lip creams, powder blush, and concealers; and CoverGirl Queen for amazing products for deeper skin tones," he says. Don't have an MUA on speed dial? Try browsing the Instagram feeds of your favorite beauty pros; chances are, they'll share their secrets every once in awhile!

2. Consider sticking to certain products: Unless you’ve done your research — meaning you read multiple reviews and looked up a slew of swatches — you should generally avoid buying things like base products on the spot. Why? Because it’s much harder to gauge how the product will look and feel on the skin since you often can’t try it out for yourself in the store. Makeup artist Emma Day says she tends to spend her money on pricier foundations, and instead turns to the drugstore for things like tinted lip balm, kohl eyeliner, cream blush, and fake lashes. Makeup artist Elisa Flowers also mentioned that she opts for lip and eye pencils at the drugstore rather than department stores, as she finds the quality and consistencies to be super comparable.

3. Know your skin tone: We can’t stress how important this one is, especially if you’re looking to buy a new foundation or concealer, as it’ll take away so much of the guess work. “Knowing your skin tone is essential if you don't have access to makeup testers,” she [who is she] said. “Your skin tone can be determined by looking at the veins in your wrist — golden undertones will have a greenish-olive cast, while cool-reddish tones will have a purpley-blue hue,” she explained. “Neutral skin tones will have a mix of green and blue — look for clues on the foundation bottle like W for Warm or C for Cool, or words like Tan or Sand indicating warmth or Rose and Porcelain hinting toward cool,” she added.