1. What is your favorite drugstore makeup brand overall?
Have to give this one to Revlon. I think it's the strongest brand across the widest variety of products. Revlon PhotoReady was the first "serious" foundation I wore, and I loved the brightening, dewy finish it gave before it started randomly caking on me (maybe it was just a case of needing to start a new bottle). Their huge scope of lip products are some of the best I've tried, high end or low. I also love some of their eyeshadows (though they tend to be hit and miss) and nail polishes.
2. What are your favorite face, cheek and lip products?
Face: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation and the corresponding Healthy Balance Unifying Powder.
Cheek: Rimmel 3 in 1 Powder Blush in Autumn Catwalk, Models Prefer Highlighter in Glitz & Glamour, Bourjois blush in Rose D'Or.
Lip: Revlon owns this category. Revlon Lip Butters. Revlon Super Lustrous or ColorBurst lipsticks. And let's not forget their plush Super Lustrous lip glosses and long-wearing Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains.
3. Least favorite product?
Revlon ColorStay Mineral eyeshadow in Midnight Garnet — pitiful colour payoff and zero staying power.
CoverGirl LineExact Liquid Liner — a disaster. Don't attempt to draw over an existing line that's dried. It will smudge and smear it to nothing and you'll effectively have to start again. Binned.
Innoxa Summer Matte lipstick in Sugar Frosted. Can't picture anyone who could make this colour work. Save your money.
4. What is the best makeup bargain?
There aren't that many super cheap drugstore brands in Australia, unlike in the US. For the low price and quality, Essence is my pick. Two of the best bargains are the Essence Eye Soufflé in Pas Des Copper (around $3.50) and Essence Kajal pencil in Teddy ($2).
5. What is your favorite underdog product? (Something you love that often gets overlooked?)
Revlon CustomEyes eyeshadow palette in Naturally Glamorous and Revlon Luxurious Color Satin eyeshadow in Polished Bronze — some of the best neutral eyeshadows I own and everyday colours I reach for constantly.
Savvy by DB Luxury Liner in Brilliant Bronze (old formulation, haven't tried the new one). Glides on, doesn't budge, creamy, pigmented, ideal shade for defining the lower lashline.
6. A drugstore product that is overpriced?
A hard one to answer, as all drugstore products in Australia are overpriced, full stop (a Revlon foundation retails for $36.95, Bourjois felt tip eyeliner is $24). Taking that into account, I find the L'Oréal brand is ridiculously expensive here. $25.95 for a Color Riche lipstick? $27.95 for Volume Million Lashes mascara? I could almost buy a NARS blush online for that price.
7. Show your best drugstore dupe(s)!
Not that I have the higher end product to compare it with, but I think that the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal eyeliner in Nude is a dupe for the Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Topaz. Essence Kajal pencil in Teddy is supposedly a dupe for the MAC Eye Kohl of the same name.
Onto products I do have, Sleek Rose Gold blush is like a more coral and intensely shimmery version of NARS Orgasm. Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze swatches identically to Urban Decay Sidecar, though Bad to the Bronze is a little bit warmer when applied. Maybelline EyeStudio Mono in Iced Fudged is a slightly darker version of Urban Decay Toasted.
If we consider that a Revlon Lip Butter is $21.95 here, the set of Face of Australia Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons ($14.95 for 3) are exact dupes for Lip Butters in Strawberry Shortcake, Pink Truffle and Cherry Tart.
l-r: Orgasm, Rose Gold, Toasted, Iced Fudged, Bad to the Bronze, Sidecar
Left column: FOA crayons. Right column: Revlon Lip Butters
8. Drugstore product that isn't worth the hype?
It's not available here, but it's a French drugstore product. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè. I don't get the hype. It's a very thick, oily cream that I use mainly as a primer. I don't enjoy using it as a moisturiser as I don't feel it comfortably hydrates and sinks into my skin. It's more like an oily layer that sits on top of the skin.
Other than that, I don't think I've been extremely underwhelmed with a very hyped up product. I have been disappointed by products where I've read a good review and didn't like it personally. For example, I cannot fault the quality of Sleek Rose Gold blush, but the colour makes me look like a glittery crustacean. Essence Glammy Goes To... and the Stay All Day shadows in general are way too frosty, silvery and shimmery with not enough actual colour payoff. CoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast smells funny and I never use it for anything. Hate to say it, but L'Oréal Sahara Treasure. I love having it around, but the shade doesn't flatter me and the Infallible eyeshadows are annoyingly fiddly.
I also don't love all my Maybelline Color Tattoos equally. The only one I'm really enamoured of is Bad to the Bronze. I could've done without Bold Gold and Too Cool. Same with the Bourjois blush pots — Rose D'Or and Rose Coup de Foudre are my favourites, the rest are superfluous and I rarely use them, especially since I now have higher end products I prefer.