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.


Products Worth the Splurge

I did a post last year (eek) about products I’m not willing to splurge on. I wanted to do another one about products I am willing to splurge on and why they are worth it. I get it, spending $45 on a blush is wild, it is, but I will say with no shame that I have spent that amount of money on a blush. Now, don’t splurge if you can’t afford it, but for me there is something about wonderful saving for that one item and buying it.


Blush

Two of my favouite blushes are in this (overpriced) palette

I love blush, while I do own mostly drugstore blushes, I love me a good high end blush. My favourite are the Hourglass Ambient lighting blushes and their palettes. These have this light reflecting technology that gives you a glow from within.


Skincare

Caudalie Essence and Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

I have a few high end skincare items including items from Caudalie and Summer Fridays and I love them. I splurge on high end skincare with good ingredients because my skin loves it. I know, it’s a bit ridiculous to spend $34 on a cleanser or $50 on an essence, but I don’t know what to tell you my skin enjoys it. It’s not to say I don’t have drugstore skincare favourites like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum or the Cerave hydrating cream and lotion, but I don’t feel bad when I spend money on skincare. The biggest benefit to buying skincare from higher end brands in the formulation of the products and the sourcing of the ingredients. Sometimes less expensive products can have the same ingredients, they are just formulated differently and sometimes diluted to be less effective. However, this doesn’t mean their aren’t great drugstore skincare products

Eyeshadow palettes

There are some great drugstore eyeshadow palettes out there, but I have no problem splurging on a high end palette. I love the Anastasia eyeshadow formula, the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette, and the Urban Decay Naked Heat and Naked 3. The interesting thing about high end eyeshadow palettes is while the drugstore is catching up, I find that anytime I wear a high end palette my eyeshadow actually lasts all day, despite wearing the same eyeshadow primer.

Tinted moisturizers and BB Creams

FAB Tinted Moisturizer and Nudestix Tinted blur stick

Okay, I only own two of these, the First Aid Beauty Tinted Moisturizer and the Nudestix Tinted blur stick, but I would repurchase both. The First Aid Beauty does pull a bit orange so I’m on the hunt for a tint that isn’t orange so I can round them up for you. The Nudestix meets that bill but I want to find a tinted moisturizer that also meets the criteria.

Highlighters

NARS Forte De France, Anastasia Amrezy, Anastasia Nicole Guerriero glow kit, Nudestix nudies

I LOVE highlighters and because I rarely use them up, spending a bit more on a good quality powder doesn’t really bother me. Now, I realize that the drugstore makes amazing highlighters. Trust me, I have some that are among my favourites but I think that for powder highlighters you can get a really beautiful sheen and glossy finish from high end highlighters vs the drugstore where tend to come across as a bit more powdery. My personal favourite formulas are Anastasia, NARS and Nudestix. However, highlighters like the Essence Pure nude and the Annabelle Cream highlighters are wonderful. However, if you want a tried and true, easy to use highlighter I would go for high end.

All of these products are what i personally don’t mind splurging on. I think that it is ridiculous the amount of money products cost. However, despite my issues I take with capitalism and elitism, beauty that costs a lot and feels so nice to use, these items get me every time, congratulations to the marketing people for selling overpriced items so well (not being sarcastic, it’s impressive). What is your favourite splurgy item?

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Day 10 of 12 days of Blogging: 2018 Beauty Favourites

Ah yes it’s that time of year again where I’m rounding up my beauty favourites. I wanted to keep this list curated to new things I discovered this year (that aren’t necessarily new to the market). These are things that I loved using and discovering! Hope you enjoy!

Standout highlighter

NARS Forte De France. Again, another luxury item on this list. I bought this because i want to the anna edit, and the formula of this highlighter is amazing. Its very hard pressed in the pan so it takes awhile to work into the skin but it’s a great powder to create a glossy look.

Physicians formula butter highlighter. This is such a beautiful stain highlighter. It smells divine (if you don’t like scents stay away from this) and it has a beautiful texture. On the skin it doesn’t look metallic and gives a beautiful satin finish with no glitter. Perfect for mature skin.

I also just got it – but the Anastasia Amrezy Highlighter is just amazing. I can already tell it’s going to be in my rotation. It is a beautiful light brilliant gold that is great for mature and young skin alike!

Standout foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation. I love this foundation – I compare every foundation I test out to this one. It has a beautiful true satin finish. It is dewy, not cakey, and has a variety of shades. It’s also only $25 which to me is a steal because in Canada most drugstore foundations are in the $18-20 range. Which is wild. So really, in Canadian drugstore terms this is the best drugstore foundation of the year.

Matte option: A nice matte option for the year that I surprisingly enjoyed was the NYX Can’t stop won’t stop foundation. It has nice coverage and yes, it does cling to dry patches, however I have normal skin so when properly hydrated this is a beautiful option for the summer months.

Standout Tinted moisturizer

Nudestix nudies tinted blur stick. This was such an innovative product, I found it at the store before I even saw the launch online and immediately purchased it. I LOVE this product. In fact, I rarely repurchase (okay that’s because I’m always buying and trying) but I’m so close to being finished this and I will repurchase it. It has such a beautiful barely there coverage without being a touch greasy but somehow giving you a dewy finish.

Review here

Standout blush

Physicians formula butter blush. Ah yes, the iconic butter formula from the most expensive (actually it was always expensive so really its the other drugstore products that have hiked up their prices) brand at the drugstore. I love this blush, its a smooth, blendable blush that gives a beautiful flush to the cheeks.

MAC Peachtwist. Another MAC favourite but I couldn’t resist this. I love it! It has a beautiful beach, bronze finish but is also a sheertone blush so it’s buildable and you can go ham with it without looking over blushed.

Burt’s Bees blush in bare peach. This was a great discovery for me this year. I love the entire Burt’s Bees makeup line, except the foundation. This blush makes me feel good when i wear it both for the shade and he clean ingredients. I love that satin almost matte finish this has, while it is pricey for drugstore (let’s face most products are too pricey now a days) it contains quality ingredients that make me feel good about putting makeup on.

Standout bronzer

Hourglass ambient lighting bronzer in diffused bronze light. For me, bronzers are the product I own the least of but use the most. I got this from my BFF for my birthday and its wonderful. I haven’t used it as extensively as my butter bronzers, but when I want a seamless glowy look I choose this one. It is also the most standout formula for me that I’ve tried in 2018.

Standout Concealer

Collection lasting perfection concealer. Gosh dangit. I cannot get this in Canada and don’t overly trust the amazon sellers. Guess I’ll just have to fly to the UK simply to make this purchase. This was such a pleasant surprise. I had heard a lot about this concealer from my faves from the UK, mostly Fleur De Force, but about a year or two ago Allana Davison tried and didn’t like it so I was a bit skeptical. When I saw it on my trip to England, I purchased it. I go home and tried and LOVE the formula. I’ve been on the hunt for a dupe and would say the Annabelle concealer or the Maybelline fit me are the closest dupes. I find with the collection concealer, while it has full coverage I don’t find it heavy under the eyes. That is my problem with high end concealers – they claim all of this stuff but yet i’m still gravitating towards drugstore concealers I genuinely like better.

Standout Palettes

Anastasia soft glam. I have a feeling this is going to be in a lot of peoples yearly favourites. I really like this palette. It has all the neutral and warm shades I need in my life. The shadows are a bit soft and powdery, but they really just blend themselves our. I also enjoy that I can get quite a few different looks with this palette and that it suits every occasion.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting unlocked palette. I LOVE this palette. It is like the white t shirt you never knew you needed, a quote from Michelle Wang. It has literally everything you need. While the pans are small, I love and use all the shades in this palette. They apply beautifully and give you that lit from within look.

Standout Lipstick

MAC See sheer. I don’t generally foray into the high end world of lipsticks. Mostly because I love a lot of drugstore lipsticks and don’t see the need for my personal collection to own a lot of high end lipstick. However, because of good old Samantha Ravndhal I bought MAC see sheer and haven’t looked back. It isn’t so much the shade I’m wearing in the winter, but its a good day to day almost red sheer lipstick. I really like it and hope to use it in my project pan in 2019 or in a project pan roulette (still planning those). Also the Fenty gloss bomb was such a staple for me this year! I forgot to photograph both so just imagine my friends.

What were some of your favourite products this year?


12 Days of Blogging Day 5: Amrezy Highlighter Review

I missed out on this highlighter the first time it came around. So when I heard it was dropping for a second time I couldn’t resist ordering it. When it came in the mail it was all the glory I thought it would be. I don’t personal follow Amrezy on Instagram but from the description on Sephora she is an Instagram beauty sensation, I personally bought this highlighter purely on how pretty it is and how universal it is.

On Sephora this is described as a light brilliant gold and is supposed to be that second skin finish for a natural glow. The colour of this is accurate – it is a light brilliant gold. Comparing this to other highlighters in my collection, nothing is the same. I compared it to my NARS, Maybelline, ELF pressed highlighter and a few other ones – nothing compares to this shade of gold. It is hard to describe – while it is a light gold it also has some undertones of champagne so it doesn’t look like a gold strip on my cheekbone. The packaging is great, it has the nice snap closure so it stays secure and is sprinkled shiny bronze gold stars on the packaging. Yes, this shows fingerprints but not as much as other Anastasia packaging like their palettes.

The formula: This is a beautiful, buttery formula that gives a glossy finish on the skin. It isn’t a metallic highlighter but it’s a soft, yet tightly packed powder that can be used wet or dry. This also would work for a variety of skin tones and mature skin. Due to it’s non metallic nature, this works for anyone who has texture. NOW will this somewhat emphasize texture – of course all powder highlighters will but let’s face it, we all have texture.

The swatch: this swatched beautifully, it can be blended into the skin to give a “I’m just a bit dewy” finish but can be built up to be poppin’ like the Becca Champagne pop highlighter. What I like about this when I wear is you can’t really see it unless you turn your head into the light, making it the perfect work highlighter or alternatively a highlighter for going out for a night on the town. In low light this looks sublime.

Overall rating: 5/5 stars. YES. I love this. This highlighter adds value to my collection and is different (at least to me) from anything else I own. I also think this would be a great starter highlighter – especially because it is $36 CAD which is an amazing price for a highlighter considering some stuff in the Canadian drugstore is upwards of $38 (looking at you Pixi).

Have you tried this highlighter yet? If so, what are your thoughts?!