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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Itwar

Favourite Drugstore Makeup Basics to Save on Your Zoom Meeting Face

After more than 13 months in COVID-19 lockdown, there’s no doubt your daily

makeup routine has changed. For most of us, the only time we touch our makeup kits these days is for our periodic Zoom meetings, leaving them to tick their shelf lives away.


While the face makeup in my professional makeup kit is, and probably always will be Makeup Forever - let’s be real, the average person doesn’t need to spend that kind of money for something they likely won’t use very often.


I’ve vetted and incorporated some awesome drugstore makeup products in both my pro kit (like items that should be replaced more often for sanitary reasons) and to keep my personal day-to-day makeup kit affordable, but still fabulous. Fair warning: there are a lot of repeat brands.


Favourite Drugstore Eyeliner Pot: Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner Pot


Why I like it:

Though I can make my own wings fly with pretty much any eyeliner, I almost exclusively use gel pot liner on my clients. By warming it up a little, it stays malleable for longer, making it a lot easier to manipulate into a good, strong wing, and my go-to recommendation to eyeliner novices.


After the first time wearing the Maybelline Gel Pot, I decided to test how it fared in the shower and waited to scrub it off after washing my body. When I pulled the shower curtain back and looked in the mirror I was pretty damn surprised to see it had not budged. At all. It also comes with a mini angled liner brush, which isn’t my favourite, but definitely usable.


Favourite Drugstore Eyeliner Pen: Maybelline HyperEasy Brush Tip Liquid Liner


It’s worth noting that I resorted to the aforementioned gel pot because I absolutely detest foam-tip liners, and could not find a replacement for my since-discontinued favourite from the US by Jessie’s Girl - until now. My new second-favourite, is also by Maybelline, and sports a brush tip much like the Jessie’s Girl variety.


Why I like it:

Foam tipped liners always inevitably go soft, making it almost impossible to get a clean line and sharp wing. Foam also typically dilutes pigment so you have to go over the line several times, losing precision each time.


Brush tip liners retain their stiffness, allowing for better control and a steady flow of vibrant pigment. Maybelline’s liner brush is sturdy, but flexible enough that it glides smoothly over natural eyelid crinkles, and can even work around those early crows feet. It’s also waterproof, and comes in a hexagonal tube to help you grip it better.


Favourite Drugstore Foundation: Elf Flawless Finish Foundation


Why I like it:

They care about undertones! If you don’t know how to whip up a foundation potion that is your exact match, Elf essentially fool-proofs it for you. Boasting an impressive 40 shades, each one is labelled whether it caters to red, yellow, neutral or olive undertones, so it’s easy to figure out your ideal shade without being a makeup pro.


With its skin-loving water-based formula, it provides enough coverage for quick blending in the morning, while still looking and feeling very natural. Most of the time I wear it, people don’t think I’m wearing any makeup. It stays surprisingly matte and long-wearing at a phenomenal price - so it won’t hurt your wallet to switch shades between seasons.


Favourite Drugstore Mascara: Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara


Why I Like it:

Two words: Doll. Eyes. Seriously, without mascara, you’d think I didn’t have any eyelashes. They are fine and sparse, and for this reason have meticulously experimented with different types and brands, including other Maybelline mascaras. Prior to discovering this on a whim, my favourite and usual recommendation was Tarteist Lash Paint; I haven’t gone back since. With just a few strokes, I have impressive length, volume and fullness that single-handedly caused me to change my mind about spending the money on eyelash extensions.


Also, if you didn’t already know, mascara should be changed every 3 months to avoid bacteria buildup inside the tube that could cause nasty eye infections. Whether in my personal or professional makeup kit, you’ll always find drugstore mascara - it makes being safe a whole lot more affordable.


Favourite Drugstore Lipstick: Nyx Lingerie Liquid Lipstick


Why I Like It:

One of my greatest pet peeves is dry lips, but from bartending to long days on set, longevity is a requirement for my lipstick; moisturizing lip colour is often not long-lasting.


Nyx Liquid Lipsticks would be on my list of favourites, even if this was a high-end brand inclusive list. Infused with Vitamin E, its creamy formula keeps lips moisturized and prevents cracking and peeling throughout the day that can be common with liquid lipsticks.


I also almost exclusively wear lipstick that is some shade of nude. For a brown-skinned woman, good one-swipe nudes are hard to find, requiring a mixture of two or more shades, or grounding the out-of-tube shade with lip liner first. Not here; I’m able to use several shades from this line, just like that.


Favourite Drugstore Liners: Wet n Wild Lip & Eye Liner


Why I Like It:

Whether for eyes or for lips, Wet ‘n Wild’s liners are super creamy and glide on effortlessly. They offer exceptional pigment, staying power, and a great shade range. The Perfect Pout Twist-Up Gel Lip Liners provide some of the best selection of any other drugstore brand for nude-tone shades to use as lipstick bases.


For eyes, Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Kohl Eye Pencils are the longest I’ve ever seen, giving an exceptional bang for your buck, and allowing you to easily and affordably diversify your collection and repertoire of looks.


Favourite Drugstore Brow Gel: Elf Wow Brow or Lock-On Liner & Brow Cream


Why I Like it:

On my clients (and on special occasions, myself), my go-to is Elf Lock-On Liner & Brow Cream pot. Quite honestly, it’s a flawless dupe for Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow - just with a lot less shades. But, for a fifth of the price it performs awesomely, and more importantly, the shades are ash-toned so you don’t necessarily need an exact match. It’s great for expertly drawing individual hairs, and can double as a light-toned liner option for mature skin.


If you’re more of a Boy Brow fan, Wow Brow is another exceptional dupe by Elf, also at a fifth of the price of the more infamous cult classic. Wow Brow also offers an even greater ashy shade range than Lock-On Liner & Brow Cream, which is great for fixing and setting fuller eyebrows into glorious fierceness.


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