THE GREAT DEBATE | Drugstore Brands vs Luxury Brands

Drug Store Makeup Cover Girl NYX LA Girl Iman Cosmetics Luxury NARS Becca Cosmetics Christian Dior Kevin Aucoin


I get a lot of emails from readers on whether drugstore brand makeup can be trusted or if luxury brand cosmetics are worth the price and it really got me thinking about my stance on the subject.  As a confessed beauty addict I have tried some of the best and the worst in both arenas and many times I find myself purchasing mid to higher end brands, however I am torn and can fully admit that drugstore brands are not necessarily my last choice either.  Over the last 5-7 years I feel that drugstore brands have stepped their game up with offering reasonably priced highly pigmented cosmetics for a wider array of skin tones.

Nowadays all of my skincare products, foundation, concealer, face powders, blush, and eyeshadow are luxury brand as they tend to house items that despite the price are longer lasting, contain less filler ingredients and are more complimentary to my dark complexion.   I do love many drugstore lipsticks and lip liners but find the less expensive eyeshadow to still be lacking in color payoff.  My collection of eyeliner, lipstick, nail polish, and mascara comes in in an assortment of price points and can range from brands like Wet n Wild all the way up to Chanel and YSL.

I recently took this debate to some of That IT Girl’s readers and found the responses similar to my sentiments.  When asked, “drugstore brands vs luxury brands, which one do you prefer when making your makeup purchasing choices?” readers replied with:

“I lean towards “higher end” only because I like being able to open and use it and bring it back if I don’t like it. So if it’s a brand that is in Sephora or Ulta I’ll go for it more.  There are also some things you really just need to splurge on depending on your skin needs.”  – Jennifer B.

“I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for.. I can do a lot of items drugstore but I will always spend my money on eyeshadow and concealer because cheaper ones are generally awful and I don’t have the patience to “work with it”  – Joan B.

“Foundations, concealers, mascara, & eyeshadows I buy at high end … because you get what you pay for”  -Lynn K.

Tell me what you think.  Do you prefer drugstore brand or luxury brand skin care and cosmetics?  Leave a comment and lets discuss.

  • Edith Irene McClennon

    Personally, I prefer drugstore brands. They’re great and it’s not hard to work with what you get. Splurging on your makeup is fine and dandy, but drugstore makeup can be just as good, if not better. For example, The L.A Girl Pro Concealer has been stated, but many people, to be BETTER than MAC’s Prolong Wear Concealer(I really hope I got the name right). It’s defiantly okay to use drugstore. I have maybe…four or five high-end products, and despite the fact that I LOVE them dearly, I will still go for my drugstore products. I’m comfortable with it, and hey if it doesn’t work, try again! That’s the fun of makeup; learning what DOES work for you and making yourself look stunning. You don’t need to break you wallet in half to do that. Cheaper makeup isn’t awful whatsoever.

  • Stephanie Bishop

    It depends for me. Lately I’ve been trying to switch to more green brands, which tends to be more high end.

    • Greener brands do tend to be a little more expensive but definitely worth it.

  • Shauna

    Since I wear makeup 5 days a week and I use 90% of drugstore products I have always had compliments on my face.
    But I firmly believe that makeup is an accessory to great skin so no matter what the cost of your makeup your canvas will always show how much or little work you put into it to be beautiful

    • Agreed and I think if I wore makeup up everyday I would scale down my luxury addiction…maybe…