Drugstore Beauty: Tricks for Buying the Right Products Without Testing First

Taylor Post
Drugstore makeup

Jacob Wackerhausen/istock360

Like everything else in life, there are tips and tricks to be learned – especially in mastering drugstore beauty. Unlike the Chanel makeup counter, there is no one waiting in the aisle for you with tubes and containers full of samples for you to take home. You’re on your own for this one. So how do you know which products to buy without testing them? Follow the list below of 10 tricks for buying the right beauty products and your next trip to the drugstore will be a lot easier.

1. Bring your foundation color with you. Foundation is probably the single most difficult product to buy without testing first. Every brand has a huge variety of shades to pick from and finding one that will blend in with your unique skin color is extremely tricky. If you’re set on switching brands, our best advice for you is to bring your old foundation color with you and try to match it as best as you can.

2. Dare to try a crazy lip color. The truth of the matter is, drugstore brands are not expensive. You can buy a Maybelline lipstick for $6 and in comparison to a designer brand that retails at $30, that’s nothing. Go color crazy and play with hues you adore but may have been a little shy to try. If you don’t end up liking them – no love lost.

MORE: 8 Must-Try Drugstore Brushes

3. Research. So many bloggers dedicate their sites to matching high end beauty products to drugstore names. Find the comparison to the brand you would like to buy and read the reviews on the cheaper product. Chances are you will find a pretty good match that will work just as well.

4. Know how your skin reacts. Always, always, always read the label before buying a beauty product! If you know you have allergies and reactions to certain chemicals or scents, be sure there are none in that bottle of foundation or moisturizer. To play it safe, find products that are hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

5. Stick with powder blushes. Stick, cream and gel blushes are all great but it helps to test them out first, and here you don’t have that option. Powder blushes are perfect for all skin types and you can easily monitor how much you use to make sure it doesn’t apply too darkly.

6. Look for keywords. It’s important to know your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin you want to choose a makeup that caters to oily skin. Dry skin, makeup for dry skin. Okay, you get the point.

MORE: Drugstore Foundation: Finding the Right Shade For You

7. Find the right lash brush. If you have short, thin lashes, a small brush with thick bristles will get close to the lashes to extend them. Need a little curl? Find a brush that’s curved and sweeps over the lashes natural orientation.

8. Color check the label. How many times have you made a quick trip to the drugstore to grab black mascara, and you get home to only realize it’s brown… Even though it only takes a second, we always forget this simple yet vital step. Point being, double check the label before you leave the store.

9. Darker bronzer isn’t always better. When looking through aisles and aisles of bronzers and you’re feeling extra pale, it’s easy to be drawn to the darkest shade. But the truth is, burnt orange skin doesn’t look cute on anyone. Go for a bronzer that’s only one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone and we promise, you’ll be glowing.

10. Love all shadows. Eyeshadows, in our opinion, are the one beauty product than can still be bought at drugstore prices and work as well as the designer brands. Our favorite way to buy eyeshadow is in a palette. Find stunning palettes full of bright colors for a fun look or maybe a palette with neutrals for a smokey eye.