Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Drugstore Haul & Cruelty-Free Dupes!

Drugstore Haul & Cruelty-Free Dupes!

A couple of days ago, I popped into my local Walgreens to check out their makeup section.  Just a day or so before, I purchased the Wet n Wild Rose in the Air 10-pan eyeshadow palette and fell in love.  I decided to go back and pick up the Comfort Zone palette from the same brand, and check out other new makeup items to the store. I found way more cruelty-free goodies than I was looking for....but I'm not complaining. When I got home, I began to immediately swatch and try out a few of my new goodies.  To my surprise, I found a number of the items that I bought could be dupes for higher priced items in my collection. My excitement grew, and I posted a few of my finds on Pinterest, but decided these items deserved a full blog post of their own. I also posted a poll (my first one) on Twitter today, and while there was a tie as to what post you guys wanted to see next, this is the one that received the most votes first.  Since it was a tie, I will be posting my Ultra Violet Favorites this month as well, so please make sure you are subscribed so that you don't miss it!

In no particular order, here is a look at some of my recent purchases from my local drugstore:

 

Pictured Above (left to right): Original Beauty Blender Sponge (dry), Walgreens Brand Mini Blender Sponge (dry)

Walgreens brand Mini Blender Sponge - $1.99 - While not a true "dupe," I still got pretty excited about this buy.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Beauty Blender.  However, we all know that replacing this egg-shaped sponge regularly can be quite costly ($20.00).  I have tried many other beauty sponges from a number of brands and usually come away disappointed. This version from Walgreens, while a tad smaller than the original Beauty Blender, works just as well at a fraction of the cost.  It is extremely soft, even softer than the Beauty Blender, giving that nice bounce to the face when stippling foundation.  While it is slightly smaller, it is not as small as the Micro Mini Beauty Blender sponges that I have used to blend concealer under my eyes. I haven't tried the Beauty Blusher Cheeky sponge, which is smaller than the original.  That may be a better size comparison, but even the Beauty Blusher sponge retails for $16.00 each. Since I just bought this drugstore version, I can't really say how long it will hold up over time, but if this little guy holds up, I just may have to replace my beloved Beauty Blender so that I don't break the bank. 

Pictured Above (left to right): Hourglass Cosmetics Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette ($34.00), Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Retractable Brow Pencil in Taupe


Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Retractable Brow Pencil in Taupe - $3.99 - This item is a true dupe in my opinion. The only real difference I could tell is in the size of the pencil.  The Wet n Wild version is a bit slimmer and shorter than the Hourglass version.  However, the price difference between the two is quite significant.  The angle and shape of the pencil are pretty much identical, and I could not note any discernible difference in the color.  I am very excited about this find, because I have been using the Hourglass version for quite a while, and while I love it and find it to be long lasting, the price tag makes me pause and consider using this Wet n Wild version going forward.  

 

Pictured Above (left to right): Walgreens Beauty Contouring Brush, Walgreens Beauty Stippling Brush

Walgreens Beauty Contouring & Stippling Brushes - $4.99/each - I think it is safe to say that no beauty haul is complete for me without throwing at least one brush in my cart.  Yes, I have a problem. I don't know that these are necessarily dupes for any particular brushes in my collection, but at $4.99 each, I couldn't pass them up.  We all have stippling brushes in our collections, and I absolutely use this type of brush for just about any liquid or cream makeup product I apply.  Having this smaller sized brush handy will make application a breeze in the morning. The contouring brush seems a bit more unique, though it reminded me of some of the styles that Sigma sells.  I did not get to try out the contouring brush yet but the bristles seem to be an interesting shape, softness, and density so I look forward to trying it out and reporting back.
 

Pictured Above: Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Color Corrector For Dark Circles

Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Color Corrector For Dark Circles, Peach - $5.99 - This adorable compact has been in my Walgreens for at least a couple of months now. I have been eyeing both this cutie as well as the contour color that comes in similar packaging.  I finally broke down and purchased it, and have used it for a few makeup applications.  Cushion makeup has been popular in Asia for a number of years now.  The US market has had a fair share of cushion foundation, and CC creams hit the shelves as well.  It is nice to see a drugstore version that is cruelty free.  The lid screws off revealing an air puff separated by a plastic divider so that the puff can stay clean, rather than get soaked with makeup by the product underneath.  I appreciate the nice thin layer of product that gets applied to the under eye area when using this product with the enclosed puff.  The peachy tone works well with my skin tone, and does correct dark circles.  However, I would imagine that the pigmentation/color is not enough for those with severe dark circles and/or a skin tone any darker than mine. 

 
Pictured Above: Walgreens Beauty Over The Finger Blending Sponge

Walgreens Beauty Over The Finger Blending Sponge - $4.99/2 pack - When I saw these in the store I immediately thought of The Makeup Bullet Finger Sponge ($24.99/3 pack).  Sadly, I have never tried the original Makeup Bullet, but it is a product that has intrigued me for a while now.  Since these were so affordable, I decided to try them first and see if they are something I will actually use before buying the higher-end version.  That being said, I did notice some differences between the Walgreens version and the original just from the packaging alone. The Walgreens version is made of latex, while the Makeup Bullet is latex-free.  This is not a personal problem for me, but many people do suffer from a latex allergy so I would not feel comfortable using the Walgreens version on my clients for this reason.  The Walgreens version is made in China, while the Makeup Bullet is made in the USA.  I have to admit, I had to really think twice about writing this post, as I have seen many products that were launched by women with an entrepreneurial spirit be swallowed by larger corporations copying her idea.  Sadly, I think of the Paw Palette, which E.L.F. now sells a Palm Palette version of, and the Benjabelle Brush Trees that had to stop manufacturing due to cheaper knock-offs erasing their profits.  I will always try to support small and women owned businesses where I can.  That being said, these less expensive versions may have a place and allow those who otherwise couldn't afford them to participate in a new product.  In my case, as I said above, I am using this as a try before I buy the actual Makeup Bullet to see if it is a product that I can actually work into my routine.  


Pictured Above (left to right): Make Up For Ever Uplight Face Luminizer (not cruelty-free), Wet n Wild Megaglo Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter in Halo, Goodbye ($5.99)

Wet n Wild Megaglo Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter in Halo, Goodbye ($5.99 each) - I purchased these liquid highlighters in two different shades. I have only tried the color Halo, Goodbye so far.  Another makeup artist, and friend of mine, had Make Up For Ever's Uplight Face Luminizer in her kit, and pointed out how much the two products looked alike. I swatched them side by side, and believe this to be a true cruelty-free dupe.  I am not sure if Make Up For Ever still sells this product, but the container refers to it as a gel, rather than a liquid like Wet n Wild. The Wet n Wild version is ever so slightly thinner, but I honestly can't tell any difference when blended out on the skin. I looked online, and the Make Up For Ever version is available for $13.88.  So if you are looking for a cruelty-free replacement, or just want to save some money, I highly recommend the Wet n Wild version. It looks beautiful on the skin, and blends effortlessly. 

 

Pictured Above: Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation & Concealer in 00 Light Natural

Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation & Concealer in 00 ($10.99) -  Unlike the majority of my purchases, which were largely impulse buys, I actually was in the market for a new liquid foundation.  I have been a big fan of Milani's makeup products for years, so I had to try this foundation.  It is a full coverage, water-resistant formula that dispenses with a pump.  The finish of this foundation is beautiful.  Sadly the color was a bit too yellow for my skin.  However, when I was writing this post, I logged onto Milani's site, and realized they have many more shades than my local store carries. I am so happy about this, because there appears to be a shade that might work better with my complexion.  The color I picked up is Light Natural, which is described as being best for those with a light complexion with peach undertones.  I found this foundation to look flawless when I applied it with a damp beauty sponge, but later in the day it oxidized and turned far too yellow for my fair complexion.   They have two fair shades available on their site, which I would recommend trying for anyone with my skin tone or lighter. This foundation does need to be powdered as it dries to a shiny finish.  The coverage is very impressive, and easily covered up any redness or pigmentation on my skin. The coverage is also quite buildable, which I guess is why they are calling it a foundation & concealer in one.  I am happy to say that this did not cause my sensitive skin to breakout, which is a minor miracle. It does blend well, but be advised that a little goes a long way. If you use too much product, it will settle into fine lines.

Below: I applied the Milani foundation to my face using a damp beauty sponge.  In the first picture, taken right after application, you can see, it looks beautiful. The second photo was taken at the end of the day.  The color seems to have oxidized and turned a bit yellow on my complexion. I also had some settling of product in the fine lines under my eyes.  This can likely be corrected by switching to a lighter shade, and applying the product very lightly around the eye area. 





Pictured below (left to right): It Cosmetics Tightline Mascara ($10.00), Wet n Wild Waterproof Skinny Mascara in Black ($4.99)

Wet n Wild Waterproof Skinny Mascara in Black ($4.99) - Of all of the products I purchased at Walgreens recently, this has to be my favorite. For years I have been complaining that I can't find a waterproof drugstore mascara that I really love. I always end up having to shop high-end, which I hate due to the fact that mascara needs to be replaced so frequently.  The makeup gods must have been listening because I finally found an awesome waterproof mascara that is super affordable. When I first saw the wand on this, I immediately thought of my much-loved Tightline Mascara from It Cosmetics.  The wand is not as skinny on the Wet n Wild version, so I would not call this a true dupe.  However, it certainly is thin compared to your average mascara wand.  I was able to press the wand right up against my lash line, creating a very similar tightline effect.  I was able to test exactly how waterproof this mascara is as well, due to the rainy weather here in Illinois.  This stuff stays put!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes Rose in the Air & Comfort Zone ($4.99 each) - This is a very close second for my favorite recent buy. Wet n Wild has always been a go-to brand for me when it comes to their Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes.  As many of you may know, they recently reformulated & relaunched some of their old palettes.  The internet informed me that the Rose in the Air palette is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00).  I was so excited when I found this out, because I never purchased the Anastasia version despite rave reviews.  I absolutely love the Rose in the Air palette, and find I can get a variety of unique looks from this little palette. The Comfort Zone palette is one I used to own and love back in the day, so picking up the relaunch was a no-brainer for me.  Pinterest and YouTube also taught me that Comfort Zone is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario ($45.00).
 
Below are a couple of makeup looks I created using the Rose in the Air palette:




I think it is clear that Wet n Wild has really been a winner for me lately. While these are all probably more first impressions than full reviews, I highly recommend keeping a lookout for these items at your local drugstore.

Have you discovered any recent dupes?  Please share in the comments below.

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