Now and again, I get readers asking me to do looks using drugstore/budget products, namely eyeshadows, that are available locally. If not, they’d ask me to recommend local budget dupes for the colors that I’ve used.
When it comes to makeup, I’m not a brand snob. At least, I don’t believe that I am. Nevertheless, I find the need to explain why I don’t use local drugstore eyeshadows. Additionally, I’d like to stress that using the same brand of colors that I’ve used is almost always unnecessary.
NOTE: Local = Malaysian
My dislike towards drugstore eyeshadows is only applicable to locally available drugstore eyeshadows. I’m not referring to American drugstore eyeshadows. On the contrary, I like and use American drugstore eyeshadows.
If you’ve been watching my tutorials, you’d notice that the eyeshadows I use are mainly from:
- MAC: It’s a high end brand but I have never in my life bought a MAC eyeshadow at full price. Most of the ones that I own have great pigmentation and texture. I love using MAC Pigments too. More than half of my MAC eyeshadow collection were given to me and the rest I buy during the warehouse sale
- NYX: Their eyeshadows are of very good quality and there’s a huge selection of colors. Best part of all, they’re cheap and often go on sale. Only downside is that they’re not available at local retail outlets but they’re not difficult to purchase online. For the price that you’re paying and quality that you’re getting, they’re worth the trouble and waiting time
- I Nuovi: I don’t have many of their eyeshadows but some of them I use quite often because they’re of very good quality and the colors are unique. The prices are only slightly cheaper than MAC but all of mine were either given to me our bought during sale
- Mineral Pigments: Regardless of brands (Lumiere, Sweetscents, MAD, etc.) you can get them in sample sizes and own hundreds of colors. Again, they’re not available at local retail outlets but they’re not difficult to purchase online. When I first started applying eyeshadow, I use a lot of mineral pigments to experiment with. They are highly affordable (as low as RM2.50 for 1/4 tsp baggy) and have good quality. Better quality than most drugstore eyeshadows, at least. However, I have been using less of mineral pigments because I now have pressed versions of the colors and it’s simply easier to choose an individual eyeshadow rather than shuffle through hundreds of baggies
- 88-Color Palette: This is a very good palette if you wanna own loads of colors without having to spend too much money. At one point, I used this palette a lot but then I generally prefer using individual eyeshadows for some odd reason so I fall back to them. I still use my palette, just not as often.
Having gone through that list, it’s safe to say that when I actually buy eyeshadows, I often go for brands that I know produce good eyeshadows instead of just randomly buying drugstore eyeshadows for 20 bucks or more and be disappointed with them. If I’m able to get NYX eyeshadows, for instance, I might as well, right? What’s the point of spending hard earned money on something that I know I won’t like just because it’s available locally? Besides, the drugstore eyeshadows from US come up to be more value for money in the end.
Let’s go through some locally available drugstore/budget brand eyeshadows (let me know if I’ve missed out on any brands and I’ll add to the list)
- Maybelline: Not pigmented, powdery or sheer. Usually comes in quads. I don’t fancy quads with similar looking colors
- L’Oreal: Same as above-mentioned but more expensive
- Silky Girl: Used to like their duos but they’ve changed to this ugly cheap toy-like packaging that is just a huge turn off. The new eyeshadows are not impressive
- Revlon: Boring colors, usually come in palettes and not exactly cheap
- Rimmel: Pure crap
- Majolica Majorca: Very good eyeshadows but the colors are pretty sheer/shimmery/Japanese-like. Great if you like Japanese style makeup, which I don’t typically go for. I like intense colors. The singles are limited and the quads are quite pricey for drugstore
- ZA: Quality and colors only so-so. They’re so tiny and the plastic looks cheap for the price I’m paying
- KATE: Mostly quads that are similar to Majolica Majorca’s colors but less pigmented. Again, not into quads and Japanese colors
- Fasio: Same with KATE and Majolica Majorca but I think they’re eyeshadows are pretty good for the price. But I already have those colors
- Secret: Was quite impressed with the loose powder eyeshadow but the color choices were limited and none of the colors really stood out enough for me to buy one
- Beautilicious: The quads are great (Alyssa and Victoria palettes) but the singles are mediocre. Kinda hard to come across these days but you can now order them online
- Elianto: Cheap and has good selection of colors but the textures are hardly unique. Still, a good brand to start out with if you’d like to experiment with colors on a budget
- Bloop de Paris: Their singles are really pigmented and I think they’re pretty good quality. Color selection is limited
- In2It: This was the very first brand of eyeshadow that I bought (16 for prom). They are well-pigmented even if they don’t have the finest textures. The staying power is average but nothing some eyeshadow base can’t help. They’re very affordable but the kiddish packaging annoys me a little
If you’re into Japanese style makeup, you won’t have much trouble finding budget eyeshadows locally. So, if you prefer Western style makeup, what do you do? My advice; save yourself the time, money and trouble looking for MAC-comparable eyeshadows in our local drugstore and order online. Embrace globalization! Or, just get the 88-Color Palette.
Once again, more often than not, the brands do not matter when you’re trying to recreate a look. Just use similar colors that you have or can find. Makeup is not about what brands you use. It’s about how you implement colors, textures and techniques to create the desired look. Just because you don’t use MAC doesn’t mean you can’t create a MAC look.
Do you agree with this post? What drugstore brands do you not use and why?
Guest blog submitted by Skin Deco