Drugstore Hero Products

From my month of only wearing drugstore makeup I discovered quite a few lovely drugstore products. I wanted to share some drugstore products that are sort of hero products in my collection. This was also in part inspired by Mariah Leonard. Stay tuned this month for a “what happened to my skin when I used high end makeup for a month”.

Joe Fresh powder highlighter. Again, another gem from the Canadian drugstore. This is such a nice subtle highlighter that creates a beautiful glow on the skin. I thought this might be too icy for my liking but it is a nice neutral highlighter for my skintone.

Annabelle Matte bronzer. This is a really nice matte bronzer. It is a spot on dupe for the Anastasia powder bronzer. I love how this warms up the skin without being orange. Definitely a must have if you visit a Canadian drugstore.

Burt’s bees blush in Bare Peach. This is one of the best blushes I own. It is pigmented but fades quickly so I like going ham with it and taking it up on my temples for a more peachy look and it tones itself down by the time you are done the rest of makeup.

L’Oreal Blush in bare honey. Another great neutral blush from the drugstore. This is a lovely warm blush.

Burt’s Bees multi-sticks. These were sent to me by topbox cirlce in exchange for a review. I love these products. Glossy glowy goodness that creates a lovely dewy moment on the cheeks.

L’Oreal stick foundation. This is an awesome full coverage yet lightweight foundation from the drugstore. Again, not really drugstore priced, as its $19 CAD. It blends out easily and does not irritate my skin.

Burt’s Bees goodness glows foundation. This foundation was something that I did not life before – and I still do have a bit of hard time working with it in terms of blending it out and blending it into the skin. However, I found that using this with a good moisturizer and a good hydrating primer it works wonderfully. I also like that it is clean ingredients so I do hope they expand their shade range.

Annabelle hydrating illuminating veil. This is a lovely hydrating primer that I would repurchase. It is pearly without being glittery and creates a lovely dewy base that works well under any foundation.

Joe Fresh concealer. I love this concealer. It is from a Canadian brand and it has light coverage but covers just enough under the eye so you look awake.

Maybelline Age rewind. The Maybelline Age Rewind concealer is perhaps on of the best concealers I’ve ever tried … including the Charlotte Tilbury concealer except I would still repurchase both. The Maybelline Age Rewind concealer is light weight but full coverage and has great lasting power.

Revlon Candid Concealer. This is a lovely medium coverage concealer. This is eons better than the Too Faced Born This Way sculpting concealer (which has grown on me) but nonetheless this is a lot less expensive and is easier to blend out!

Colourpop eyeshadow in cornelious. These supershock shadows are awesome in general. They are easy to wear one wash wonders that are easy on the daily.

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What Happened to My skin After only Using Drugstore Makeup for Month

In the name of science, I decided that for the month of April I would use all drugstore makeup for a month. In doing so I kept all my project pan items the same – such as the body shop foundation which is mid-range as well as my pan that palette, palettes, but other than that I switched out my normal high and low routine, for all drugstore affordable products. I Kept my skincare routine basically the same. I did get two new cleansers and a new moisturizer. I also added a new face oil, but that only made my skin feel better. I wanted to say that normally I switch between the IT Cosmetics CC cream and the Benefit foundation as well as my Body shop foundation and my Andalou Naturals cc cream, with a smattering of the Maybelline BB Cream in there. I know – I keep it wild. My reasoning for this project was mainly for the foundations. I wanted to see what would happen to my skin if I used only drugstore foundations, powders, concealers for a month. Mostly – I was curious about the effects of the wide range of foundations I owned price wise.

My skin before the whole experiment taken on April 1st.
Joe fresh concealer and Burt's Bees Goodness Glows foundation product shot

Day 2: new pimples have popped up. Literally, the day after I began using the Covergirl Outlast Active foundation  I got new spots. This is the thing – I wanted to make a more inexpensive drugstore foundation work which I why I used the CoverGirl and the Rimmel breathable foundation for the first half of the month. But, my skin just did not react well. Which is extremely frustrating because makeup should be accessible and affordable and not give your skin wild reactions. While most young people have great skin and don’t need foundation, I am fully aware that teenagers want to wear foundation and yet the foundations they can afford are clogging their sweet young pores.

Day 3

By day 3 I had sprouted new friends on my chin. Alas, I was still using the CoverGirl and Rimmel foundation. I had bought the ELF BB Cream which I actually quite like and doesn’t irritate my skin so that will be on my rotation for after May. I noticed an improvement after I started using the BB Cream and then just using concealer.

Day 15 – a bit more congested than usual, lots of redness and spots.
Physicians formula butter high lighter, bronzer, blush.

By day 15, halfway through the month my skin was visibly more textured and had small breakouts – bare in mind when I used the Burt’s bees foundation for my skin drastically improved. When I returned to the Maybelline BB cream and  Covergirl foundation my skin then turned slightly red and those small breakouts returned. At this point, I decluttered the Rimmel and Covergirl foundations that I knew were causing this and switched to only using the Maybelline BB Cream, and the Burt’s Bees Foundation.

The Last day of the experiment. A few spots but looking a lot less congested

At the end of the month, you can see that my skin had improved – there are a few uncharacteristic spots around my mouth and on my forehead that I never get. However, this was only because I was gifted the Burt’s Bees foundation that is a clean foundation and I bought the Physicians formula healthy foundation that is $20 CAD which resulted in my skin healing. I also was using my L’Oreal shaping stick foundation that has never irritated my skin and is also $20 CAD. As someone who loves affordable makeup but also loves skincare, it is interesting to see the difference in using more expensive products from the drugstore that give my skin a better reaction than that of the less expensive foundations you can find at the drugstore.

L'Oreal shaping stick and Maybelline Instant age rewind
Joe Fresh single eyeshadow

This experiment really taught me the value of ingredients in foundations. CoverGirl by far had the most ingredients but that doesn’t mean they aren’t bad – it just means my skin might react to those differences but other peoples skin might be totally fine. What I did find was that the drugstore does concealer formula’s very well. I know in theory they should be similar formulas to foundations but I found that the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind and the Joe Fresh illuminating concealer were wonderful.

In the name of science, my conclusion is that my skin prefers higher end base products but can handle the powders at the drugstore which tend to not give my skin a reaction – however, I do use the more expensive drugstore products so that is defiantly a factor.

Look out for the end of May when I post about my high-end makeup every day and see the results of my skin then!

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Earth toned makeup look

I have always been a fan of earth-toned makeup, while this could have been a green look or a blue look I don’t tend to buy lots of colours so I decided in honour of earth day I wanted to create earth-toned look. I want to acknowledge that the beauty industry is a wasteful industry, packaging, advertising, etc. I constantly buy products in packaging and find myself buying before completely using something up. In any case, I didn’t buy any new products for this makeup look, I used what I had and what is more fitting for an earth-toned look than the Milani earthy elements palette.

The eyes

milani earthy elements palette
me wearing the palette and entire makeup look
me closing my eyes showing my lids

First I started with the light brown transition shade in the crease focusing it on the outer corner of my eye. I then built that shade up slightly more. After that I added the orange shade on the outer corner, really blending it into the skin. I then took the fun gold shade and padded it all over the lid. I really like this palette because it is so easy to us and while you can only get a few different looks out of it, it never fails me.

Base Products

Milani Romantic Rose Blush, Maybelline dream fresh bb cream, L'Oreal True Match Mulit use concealer, Annabelle Hydrating illuminating veil, Rimmel Kate Sculpting contour kit

I used the Maybelline dream fresh BB cream in a light layer over the Annabelle hydrating illuminating veil. I then used the L’Oreal true match multi-use concealer I then used my project pan bronzer in the Rimmel contour kit. It’s a nice warm-toned glowy bronzer. I also wanted to use one of the most neutral blushes in my collection and that is the Milani brush in romantic rose. I forgot to photograph the highlighter I used but it was the physician’s formula butter highlighter in the shade pearl.

The lip

Maybelline made for all lipstick in spice for me.


The whole inspiration for this look was the Maybelline made for all lipstick in spice for me. This is a warm toned terracotta lipstick that I think works for any season.

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Updated Underrated Drugstore Products

Flatlay - clockwise from the left: Burt's Bees Tahitian sunset, Joe Fresh powder lip product, Joe Fresh concealer, Physicians formula butter highlighter, Annabelle Chrome eyeshadow in rose gold, Annabelle bouncy eyeshadow in booty shake.

Last year around this time I did an underrated products at the drugstore post. I outlined some of the products I think need some more love in the community and I stand true to that now. I have actually decided to part with almost all of the items in that post purely because they just weren’t getting the use they deserve in my collection. They are still underrated and I highly recommend them but they are kind of like those jeans I wear sometimes, but not enough to justify owning anymore.  I do think though, that as I have progressed both financially and my makeup style has changed as well as my skin has changed, I do find myself gravitating towards brands that are mid range to high end or the more expensive drugstore brands like Burt’s Bees and Physicians Formula. In any case, by the poll I did on my Instagram you all wanted to see an updated underrated drugstore products

Annabelle chrome eyeshadow and Annabelle bouncy eyeshadow
Annabelle Chrome eyeshadow in rose gold and Annabelle bouncy eyeshadow in booty shake swatches
Rose Gold, Bouncy Eyeshadow Booty Shake

Annabelle has always been one of my favourite underrated and Canadian brands at the drugstore. They have a ton of amazing stuff in their line. Highlighters, blushes, bronzers. I wanted to highlight their eyeshadows. I have their pressed, bouncy, and metallic ones. I photographed their new bouncy eyeshadow and their metallic chrome ones. They are very different in formula. The Chrome eyeshadows have a bit of a stickier (not in a bad way) texture while the bouncy eyeshadows are literally bouncy feeling. Similar to Colourpop super shock shadows but a bit more creamy.

Joe Fresh Concealer
Joe Fresh Concealer swatch on arm

Another Canadian brand, Joe Fresh. The Joe Fresh illuminating concealer was something I decluttered originally… then repurchased and fell in love. I thought it made my under eyes look dry but at the time I bought this I didn’t really know what I was doing with makeup. Now, when I use this I find it blends out beautifully and is rather lighter coverage, but makes you look awake.

Joe Fresh Matte lip stick and Burt's Bees Glossy lipstick
Swatches of Lip products. Joe Fresh powder matte and Burt's bees tahitian sunset

Two lip products. The Burt’s bees glossy lip pencils. The only person I saw use this is Racchhloves, quite a few years ago when I was just getting into the beauty space on youtube. So naturally, I went out and bought three shades. And naturally, I still wear them all the time. They make your lips feel moisturized and have a good variety of colours. I also wanted to throw in the Joe Fresh Power lipstick. This is such a good lip product. It is right on trend with the blotted lips we are seeing everywhere and again, it’s only available in Canada. I really like the shade of this and how easy these are to wear. This does have a matte powdery finish but I don’t find it dries my lip out.

Physicians Formula Butter highlighter
swatch of highlighter


The Physicians Formula butter highlighters. I suppose this line, in general, isn’t underrated but I find this product, in general, had its moment and then went by the wayside. There are definitely a ton of videos on YouTube when you search them, but I just don’t see anyone really using this like they use the Butter Bronzer in the same line. I think that these are some of the nicest satin highlighters out there, drugstore or not. The shade range isn’t as big so I hope they expand it because this highlighter is the perfect highlighter when you want that lit from within glow but can be built up to be brighter.