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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A word on Decluttering

Decluttering is something I’ve always struggled with, whether its clothes, books, random things from my childhood or makeup. It is something I really want to get better at and I’ve been pretty good with clothes. If it doesn’t fit, it’s donated, if it’s broken, it’s fixed or I fix it then I donate it. With makeup and with having a blog, I find myself acquiring items for posts, for comparison, because of hype and then never using it again … or consistently reaching for something else over it because it suits my current makeup style more. All of the items in this post are items I’ve decided to declutter. They are all great products. They are all beautiful on the skin and easy to use, but they just aren’t getting the use they deserve in my collection. Many of these items also dupe items in my collection so as with other areas in my life, I wanted to pare it down.

I am decluttering a lot of ELF products … ELF is a great brand, one of my favorite drugstore brands but I find that the items I own from them dupe other ones and that was mostly the purpose I bought them, for posts I never got around to writing. For example, their pressed highlighter dupes pretty much any other gold/champagne highlighter in my collection. So I decided it was time to part with it. Same with the Wet n wild and Maybelline master chrome. These are both wonderful metallic see from space highlighters, but again they are similar to ones that already exist in my collection and those cover that metallic look when I’m in the mood for it. I am also finally decluttering blushed gems from ELF because while it’s beautiful, I just have others that are a similar shade. The essence highlighting stick is a lovely cream highlighter I included in last years underrated drugstore products, but again I just haven’t used this as much as I should so alas it shall find a better home. I’m also decluttering one bronzer, which was also in my underrated drugstore products. This is underrated and it is a beautiful bronzer, but it’s just not getting the use in my collection it deserves.

highlighter clockwise: ELF shimmering skin highlighter, essence prism highlighter, Maybelline master chrome highlighter, ELF baked highlighter in blushed gems, Wet n wild highlighter in blossom glow.
Clockwise: ELF prism palette in bronze, Joe Fresh neutrals, Illamasqua palette, ELF baked eyeshadow, Essence eyeshadow stick in mauve.

I’m also decluttering 5 eyeshadow products. A single eyeshadow from ELF that is great, I just find myself gravitating towards other purples in my collection as well as the ELF prism eyeshadows in the bronze. I love this, but I also have the Maybelline rooftop bronzes that have a few more shades I use more than this one. I’m also, which I didn’t think I would, am decluttering the Joe Fresh neutrals palette. I KNOW. I barely used this since I bought it last year … so I’ve decided it’s time for it to go. I find myself gravitating towards more warm neutrals and pinks so alas it is time for it to find a new home.

Blushes left to right: Milani Luminoso, ELF Berry Merry, Annabelle, ELF Twinkle Pink blush

We have four blushes and one cream blush. Again, these are all similar shades I have in my collection in other formulas that have been getting more use than these ones. My mom has already taken all the blushes so it was easy to find them a new home! As for the cream blush, I bought this for a post that never happened … so I decided it was time to finally get rid of it.

Left to right: the ordinary coverage foundation, Maybelline stick foundation.

I am also getting rid of two of foundations in my collection. One is the Ordinary coverage foundation. I simply don’t prefer this one compared to the serum. This one isn’t drying at all, I just gravitate towards the serum one because I can easily slap it on. The Maybelline SuperStay Foundation stick. The one I wanted to love, but the one that was just too drying for my skin. I decided to part with it because I prefer the L’Oreal shaping stick.

My point of this post is that decluttering makeup is hard, especially as a blogger. I almost feel like when I declutter something, it was either intended for a post I never got around to making or something I reviewed and it fell by the wayside. I’m trying to strike a balance between new products and shopping my stash and creating blog posts to create content.


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.


February lip challenge: A recap

A very popular “trend” right now in the beauty community is a buy less mentality, particularly in the project pan community where the goal is to use and love your collection. The goal is also to shop your stash and realize that you don’t need the new shiny thing. I am not good at this (shameless haul plug here) but I am trying to strike that balance of new products and the being more creative with my blog posts by using makeup I already have, curating more lists and doing more in-depth reviews on products. For the month of February, I wanted to do a wee experiment with my obscene lipstick collection. If you follow me on Instagram I posted on my stories or my grid each day showing what lipstick I chose

In January I went through my lipsticks and picked ones that I wear often, and the ones that I never wear (looking at you Marcelle velour liquid lipsticks that I bought in July). I created an excel document and wrote down all the lipsticks I wanted to wear for the month. I also forgot to take a photo of the Pixi lip balm in peach for my flatlay but I did take a pic of it on my lips.

I tried to theme the weeks into reds, berry’s, and nudes because those are the categories I wear the most often. I wanted to do this experiment because lipstick is very difficult to use up when you have a lot of them. I really wanted to challenge myself to wear a different lipstick every day instead of the same 4-5 I rotate through on the weekly. To be honest I did this to determine if there are any lipsticks I should declutter but I did use a lot of tinted lip balms which are my absolute favorite to wear to work so none of those will be decluttered. That was a bit of a blunder on my part. I have learned that while I love super bold lipsticks, I prefer ones that I can simply slap on with no mirror and know it is going to look semi alright. That is why I love the Burt’s Bees lipsticks and balms, as well as the CoverGirl sultry sienna nude lipstick because they are so easy to wear.

The first couple of weeks were more subtle nudes, the Marcelle Velour Liquid lipsticks, Mac See Sheer (a beautiful sheer pink) and other rose nudes. The second half of the month floated more into my reds, darker berries, and mauve shades. Mauve shades are something I used to wear ALL the time.

What have I learned

I love wearing bold lipsticks but with a blotted effect. For example, with Bite Beauty Beetroot, I didn’t wear it to it’s fullest opacity because I was at work. While I easily could have, it just felt right to pare it down a bit. I am trying to rotate through my entire collection and lipsticks are by far one of the largest parts of it. I love buying and trying new formulas, but lately, since I’m working an 8:30-4:30 job I’ve found that I pick a few standard ones and use those during the week and my “fun” shades get left behind. I want to continue to try and wear fun and bold shades (not a red as my Burt’s Bees Scarlet Soaked is my most favourite low maintenance red) like my dark berries and brighter pinks. Also, I have an affinity for rosy, beige nudes and it shows. Below are the lipsticks I wore every day in order!

What is your favourite type of lipstick?