Monday, May 18, 2015

Game Changers at the Drugstore

Drugstore cosmetics often work just as well if not better than high-end products. I'm always looking for the next holy-grail item in the drugstore brands, and today I will be sharing my thoughts on some of the newest or most-hyped drugstore products out there. Read on to find out which items are serious game changers, and which ones need to be benched for good.

Maybelline EyeStudio Master Graphic Eyeliner 

I actually don't have any photos of this eyeliner myself, because my best friend purchased it, and I used it when we went out for a night on the town. It's a darn good thing she bought it, because I probably never would have. I didn't see anything wrong with traditional liquid liners. However, the moment I first tried it, I knew I had found a game changer. My world of liners has changed drastically. Safe to say, I can throw out all my other 'typical' liquid liners. 

Verdict: Yes! 
This is a game changer. I will never use another liner again. This is the I love it because it is so fantastically precise. The Master Graphic is not just another pen liquid liner, it's better. It has a unique marker-like tip. It just lines and defines so well. I can't explain it better. This can be a replacement for your run-of-the-mill liquid liner, but I'm sure it's really made for fun, atypical eye looks.

Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extensions Kit 

Here's the low down: this mascara flakes, and compared to high end fiber mascaras, it is kind of mediocre. It is really not much more dramatic than a regular mascara. However, before I have you running scared, it is actually much more manageable than some more expensive brands. It shouldn't irritate your eyes, if you use it as advised. 

I use fiber mascaras for two reasons. They are pretty darn awesome at actually holding a curl, even for my stubborn straight lashes. And on top of that,  they add visible length, for my shorties. As far as I'm concerned, no mascara (no matter what it claims) is able to add length. Period. That's all there is to it. Without adding fibers or tubes, it's not going to happen. Painting your lashes does not make them longer, it just makes them more visible and thicker. I don't even bother with mascaras that claim to be lengthening, without adding to your lashes. It's false advertising in my opinion. 

Fiber mascaras are the way to go if you need length. And I certainly need length. So when I saw the fiber mascara from Physician's Formula, I had to try it. This mascara adds a little bit of length, and a lot of volume. One of the issues I encountered was that during application, it flakes all over your eyes like an ash storm. However, that's easy to dust off. You don't get stunning length, but you do get thicker and more defined lashes.

Verdict: Not a game changer. 
There are quite a few higher end mascaras that are much better for length. This mascara is a worthy opponent, considering the price. However, I won't repurchase. If you want crazy volume, this is a win. Length...not so much.

Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra Nourishing Argan Oil Blushes 

I had read tons of rave reviews on this blush. So as soon as my local drugstore had a sale, I bought both colors. Unfortunately, I'm actually very disappointed with this product. The colors are a weird, clownish pink. Too bright and unnatural for my liking. There is very little difference between the two shades. They look very similar on my skin. The natural one only looks a bit more natural and less clownish. I don't find them to be all that glowy or sparkly, like many beauty bloggers suggested. I just feel that they give me a rather unblended and unnatural look. 

Verdict: Nope! 
Not worth it. I am normally a huge fan of Physician's Formula, but this was another miss.

Physicians Formula Super BB All in 1 Beauty Balm Powder 

First of all, what a mouthful. Why do companies do that? I hope they realize that they used Beauty Balm twice in the name of this. Anyway, high quality BB creams are super beneficial for skin boosting hydration and nutrients. I don't wear foundation. It is too heavy for my liking, both in regards to coverage and feel. BB creams are an excellent alternative to foundation. Their light formula helps to avoid that "caked face" we all dread.

So when I saw this product, I had to try it. And as it turns out, I absolutely love it! This is a total game changer. Game blown out of the water for me. I am in my mid-thirties, and I thought that powders were out of the question for me. However, this looks lovely. My face looks photoshopped. I'm not even exaggerating. It has this light sheen, it's almost like wearing highlighter without the intense shimmer. This product also blends amazingly, and it sits nicely on my face all day. There is no caking at all. No oil either. 

Note: I always use primer. It is not an option for me to not use primer. I did try it without primer, and I was greasy by mid-day. This formulation does not make me greasy, unlike with all other foundations or BB creams, as long as you apply it on top of primer.

Verdict: Yes! Oh goodness, this powder is divine.

I'd love to hear all about your holy-grail drugstore cosmetics in the comments below!

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Miki Nyckel | Beauty Bartender

Miki is a cheerful, gracious, perfectly imperfect Mom of one pre-teen boy, and two pups. She enjoys law enforcement, fitness, and all things beauty. Her first career was as a cosmetician, being trained by several mainstays in the industry. Hailing from Canada, Miki brings a northern perspective to The Beauty Bar.
Twitter: @mys2theT | Instagram: @mykynyky


  1. I'm so glad that you mentioned that eyeliner! I am headed to the drugstore tonight to grab some newbies & I can't wait to take this guy home. :) I honestly have terrible luck with drugstore blushes, but my go to (if I have too...) is by Wet 'N Wild. $2 blush that "does the job"?! I'll take it. :)


    1. LOVE Wet n' Wild blushes! Super pigmented and smooth! If you're looking for another good drugstore blush, Milani's Luminoso is gorgeous.

    2. This eyeliner is just the bomb. Haha. I LOVE it! It's so amazing how a simple twingle to the applicator can make the world of difference. I'm shocked myself. I hope you love it as much as I do!! As for blushes, have you tried Milani?? I have a bunch of their blushes, and they really my favorite! If you having problems with drugstore types, I would say Milani is fairly error proof! I haven't tried wet n wild, because, unfortunately, we have such a sucky selection of W'n'W up here :( But good luck! I want to know what you find!! :D :D

    3. I have Luminoso! It was the first Milani blush I bought, and it's still one of the best I own!! :D :D


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