Drugstore beauty products


Iowa State Daily/Brittany Moon

A few options for product include the mascara’s photographed from Rimmel London and Maybelline, as well as the Sinful Color’s nail polish shown. 

Brittany Moon

When it comes to makeup and beauty products, it can be overwhelming choosing a specific brand or couple of items that work best. Although trial and error tends to be the most ideal option for eliminating products that might not work for you, a little research online can be just as effective.

There are a multitude of factors that go into making a decision in a drugstore, depending on the effect one would like to achieve or the amount of coverage wanted.


The two biggest elements that go into choosing mascara are the style of the wand and the formula coating the wand. The majority of drugstore beauty brands utilize similar types of formulas, so the main choice would be the style of wand.

There are curved, striated, thick, thin, long and short wands and the one you choose depends upon what you want your lashes to look like. To achieve extended lashes, a curved brush might be better, but for a bit more volume and thickness, a higher bristle count and thicker brush would be best. Some of the best brands to try out would be Rimmel London, Maybelline, Covergirl and ELF, to name a few.


Foundation can be the trickiest part of doing makeup in the morning. Matching skin tone to a foundation formula is incredibly difficult, especially in drugstores, which do not allow product testing, like Sephora does. One of the best tips when attempting to find a foundation is to err on the lighter side. It tends to work better, when foundation is applied with bronzer, to make a lighter tone work versus a darker one.

One tip to keep in mind with bronzer is where to apply it, without over-applying. The best places for bronzer would be the hollows of your cheeks, on the side of your nose, and just below the jaw line for definition. Depending on your skin type (oily, mixed or dry), the formula will be different. A general rule is matte foundations work well with oily skin, and a cream based formula is best for dry skin, while a variety work well with mixed skin. Some popular brands you can find are Maybelline Fit Me! Matte, which works well for oily skin, Revlon ColorStay Whipped Créme makeup, for dry skin types, and either for mixed.

Eye shadow and brows

Dramatic, filled in eyebrows have grown in popularity within the last year or so. Finding a form for filling in your brows that works well with your skin tone and brow shape is very important.

There are a few different options for filling in your brows, depending on what you would like to achieve. A brow pencil has been around for quite some time, and can make your brows a smidge darker and appear fuller. A brow gel, which comes on a wand similarly to mascara, should be brushed onto the brows. This option for your brows is best for taming unruly hairs.

These are the two most popular products for eyebrows, but one other tip to make them stand out is to line above and below the brow with a light cream based concealer. This draws the eye to the brow, since the skin around it is a bit lighter; this is best done just after foundation is applied. Blend the two together. Some reasonably priced eye brow products can be found in Sonia Kashuk exclusively at Target, Maybelline and Revlon.

Lip products

Lipsticks have been evolving for a long time. In recent months, liquid lipsticks have absolutely exploded in popularity. Although they began as an item found solely in designer makeup assortments, they have begun to trickle down into the drugstore cosmetics aisle. A few lower priced options would be Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid lip color as well as NYX cosmetics soft matte lip cream. These are both offered in a variety of colors, from a soft neutral for everyday to bold dark tones for events. Other brands popular for classic lipsticks would be NYX, Rimmel London’s limited edition by Kate collection and Revlon.

Nail polish

Although going to the salon for a mani & pedi is a lot more fun than doing your nails yourself, it tends to be more cost effective to paint your own nails. There are many well-known polish brands, such as OPI and Essie, which are both of very high quality. They are also a bit pricey in comparison to other drug store brands. Some lesser-known brands that maintain full coverage and nice color are Sinful Colors and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear. Both of these brands are available in multiple colors and can be found in almost any drugstore.

Purchasing beauty products in a drugstore can be difficult, but with the proper tips and research, it can be much easier to navigate the cosmetics aisle.