Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


What drugstore brands give you high-end quality? Share the best performers

Temptalia's AnswerNYX and Milani are the brands I’ve had the best overall experiences with, but I think when it comes to drugstore brands, you’ll find that quality can vary a fair amount within a brand, so it is more about individual products.

Thanks to Kathy for today’s question! Got a question idea? Submit yours here.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

60 thoughts on “What drugstore brands give you high-end quality?

  1. Lulee

    Revlon has an amazing lineup of lip products. I prefer my wet n wild eyeshadows to my mac/inglot/UD/etc shadows. Milani eyeliners & blushes are amazing.

  2. Summer

    I am very curious about both Milani and especially NYX; which specific items from these brands should I try?

    • Ariana

      milani liquifye eyeliners! [:

    • emily

      My favorite Milani products are the baked blushes & the liquif’eye pencil eyeliners (not the automatic ones).

      My favorite NYX products are the eyeshadows (I like the 10-pan palettes) and the eyebrow wax pencil. Oh, and the jumbo lip pencils have a nice texture, but I am not in love with the shade selection.

    • Avatar of Noa Noa

      NYX is awesome. I would try some of their NYX girl nail polish collection, Jumbo eyeshadow pencil in milk (white) and some dark\metallic color you like (I like pots and pans), and their shadows are awesome.

  3. Avatar of Kristi Kristi

    Salma Hayek’s Nuance lipsticks

  4. Amy

    CoverGirl and Revlon are good for mascara and lipstick. I love Eco Tools and Real Techniques brushes. (Real Techniques isn’t technically drug store, but the prices are.) I use Purpose face wash and it has worked wonders on my skin. NYX has beautiful products, I love their leopard bronzer.

    Drug store products aren’t bad at all, you just have to do some research about what’s good and what isn’t. I can’t stand brand snobs. I feel better buying an $8 mascara that does the same thing a $30 mascara does, I don’t care what name it has on it.

  5. NYX Overall. Revlon for lips. Maybelline for Mascaras. Avon for Liners.

  6. wet n wild their eyeshadows are so super pigmented they are just so amazing

  7. Essence and Bourjois has some pretty nice products. However, for high-end make-up feel with drugstore prices, I tend to go indie. :P

  8. Naddy08

    Nyx for sure! Milani is definitely on the top of the list too. Maybelline-they make amazing mascaras, Revlon-they have some of the best lipstick shade range I’ve ever seen, Rimmel is pretty good too, Wet n Wild palette are great for eyeshadows. If you are in the UK, Sleek is a great overall drug store brand as well!

    The one drugstore brand I’m not a fan of is L’oreal. I haven’t found a product I’ve loved from them.

  9. Ashley

    Wet n Wild for eyeshadow, Maybelline for mascara and Revlon for lip products. I can’t find a blush from the drugstore that is up there with the longevity of Nars though

  10. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    My sister swears by Almay’s kohl liners, to the extent that I don’t think I’ve ever seen her use anything else. They don’t work as well on me, but they do put down a good line.

    Revlon does some really great lipglosses. Their lipstick quality can be spotty, but I find their matte finishes to go on quite nicely. I wish their newer formula didn’t dry me out as much.

    On lipsticks, I’ll name drop the Covergirl Lip Perfection series. I practically own half of the collection. Most of them give me a very opaque coverage without dehydrating my lips. I also really like their mascaras for a subtler day look.

    Maybelline Stiletto is hands down my go-to mascara when I want a bold lash. Their FIT Me collection is one of their best in years. Their new foundation formula is one of the few drugstore variations my skin can handle.

    Lipsmackers is one of my favorite lip balms. Very creamy and adds a nice sheen.

    Annnnd, I think that’s the most I’ve tried off the top of my head.

  11. Carrie Ann

    I think Revlon, NYX and Physicians Formula are the best drugstore brands. Revlon has great lip products and foundations that I think are high-end quality and Wet n Wild also has some great products at very cheap prices.

  12. ELF has some good stuff! The only reason I don’t like using drugstore makeup is that most brands test on animals and I refuse to support that.

  13. livnzoe

    looove wet n’ wild eyeshadows!!

  14. JEN

    I agree with you Christine on NYX…I LOOOVE their cream blushes!

  15. amanda

    never had any that jumped at me quality wise. maybellines volume express as well as revlons mattes lipsticks thats about it thats even close.

  16. Overall, L’Oréal, because they have 3 great products that I use the most: foundation, blush and lipstick. I don’t care much about eyeshadows because I have very sensitive eyes, but Maybelline mascaras are really nice. I also loved Maybelline’s Fit Me! product range. I am very, very satisfied with the foundation, concealer, blush and powder.

  17. NYX for me too. And Sleek also, it has a good amount of amazing stuff!

  18. Mara

    Christine, I totally agree that when it comes to drugstore brands, it’s all about individual products. Which is why I go to NYX & Wet N’ Wild for eyeshadows, Prestige for eyeliners, Cover Girl for mascara, Revlon for lipsticks, L’Oreal for lip glosses, Maybelline for foundation and concealers and NYX again for blushes.

  19. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    Around here, many drugstores also carry very high end brands (Guerlain, Clinique, Lancome) and also, the lines between “drugstore” and “department store” are blurring (is TheBalm drugstore? That’s the only place I can purchase it so I’m not sure at all how to categorize it). Even the prices are getting closer, in a lot of cases. Anyway, I’d have to vote for NYX, Revlon (especially their single matte eyeshadows), Quo (Canadian brand), Joe Fresh (ditto) and, of course, Wet n Wild. Some of these are pricier than others but all offer really good quality at lower price points than higher end brands.

  20. Sexy Sadie

    I reach for my primers from Gosh before those from Chanel.

  21. Adelita

    Right now, here’s my top 10 picks (in no particular order):
    - Carmex Lipbalms (I just deeply in love with any lipbalm from Carmex),
    - Most La Femme Blushes (i know it’s more like a theatrical makeup, but it comes in drugstore price tag, ha!)
    - Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara,
    - Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Waterproof Mascara,
    - Essence Stay With Me Longlasting Lipgloss,
    - Milani Liquif Eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencils,
    - Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Sets,
    - Most Ecotools Brushes,
    - Most e.l.f Studio Brushes,
    - Most LA Girls Polishes.

    • Adelita

      Oh, and unfortunately I haven’t found my drugstore lipcolor with high-end quality, my lips are extremely sensitive…. :(

    • Hillary

      How do you remove the Maybelline The Falsies mascara? I love the way it looks but I have a really really hard time removing it!

  22. Salvinia

    This only applies to Australians, but Face of Australia is a drugstore brand with some surprisingly awesome and cheap products. I mostly use high end but I’ve noticed that a few FoA items have snuck into my regular routine, such as the translucent loose powder and the foundation primer (actually, the primer is widely considered one of the best on the market by Australians, and I personally love it). Their liquid eyeliner is awesome and they make great pencils too. It’s nice not to have to pay over $30 for good makeup once in a while!

  23. hellyeah

    For eyeshadows i recommend Wet n Wild palettes. They’re super cheap, and really pigmented.
    For skin products i will say Max Factor have some amazing foundations since all them i had tried have a good longevity.
    But the best drugstore powder is Matte powder from Rimmel.
    The best mascaras is from Maybelline, including their Falsies mascara, One by one mascara, Collosal volume mascara and few more mascaras i dont remember the name for.
    For blushers i prefer the natural one from Gosh. I can’t really remember the name, but maybelline also does have some good ones, and L’oreal too.
    The best liquid liners i think is from Maybelline. They have a lot different ones and their are all good. The best eye Kôhls i also think is from L’oreal. They are ecspecially good for the waterline because of their long wear.

    To sum it up, i will say Wer n Wild is the best drugstore brand because of many of their products is super pigmented enough to be something i would expect from a lot more expensive brand, because it’s soo cheap.
    And the best high end brand is Inglot. I find their products more pigmented and of better quality than MAC after MAC raised their prices and made their pruducts less pigmented.

  24. Alex

    I totally agree! Milani and NYX don’t feel drugtore to me at all. They’re somewhere inbetween high end and drugstore for me and I love them! I do feel like Revlon is the drugstore brand that excels at most things over the others: awesome nail polishes, lip products, and foundation/concealers. They could work on their mascaras though. Thats the aspect they are most lacking in, in my opinion.

  25. Avatar of Ariane Ari

    Wet’n’Wild‘s eyeshadow single ‘Brulee’ seems to be a direct dupe for Mac’s shadow of the same name. More importantly for me, its quality is excellent. It’s been my staple highlighter/occasional base for months now, and I’m reaching for it instead of Urban Decay, Too Faced, etc. The trios and larger palettes are also fantastic; the shadow applies so softly, and it’s so pigmented that I have to apply very sparingly.

    Jordana‘s Easyliner blew me away. Its eggplant shade is amazing on green eyes, and this thing lasts. Even on the waterline it wears pretty well.

    Revlon for lips. The texture and rich pigmentation of the Colorburst line wows me, and unlike so many other drugstore brands it’s not excessively shiny – or dryingly matte. Their ‘Rosy Nude’ is an absolute winner, so great that I’ve bought backups. The Colourburst Lip Butters are also outstanding. They feel as moisturising as a high-end product, and the colours are surprisingly nuanced. For the first time in my life, I can wear a pink gloss/balm without looking ridiculous.

    Like a few others here, I hate brand snobbery too. I love my fifty-dollar foundation, and I love my Guerlain finishing powder. But I love my dollar eyeshadow and liner as well! *g* And that Lip Butter is sitting right next to a Burberry lipstick.

  26. Avatar of Elle Elle

    NYX, looking to try out some Wet N Wild since I’ve heard so many good reviews!

  27. Andrea

    Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick and lipgloss are extremely high end quality in my opinion. Super pigmented, creamy, moisturizing and long-lasting. They definitely give my high end lippies a run for their money!

  28. I LOVE the L’Oreal HIP line they have great eyeshadows and had pigments in a great color range.

  29. Josey

    WnW nail polishes. I am seriously in love with their FastDry line! I prefer them even to my Chanels and Deborah Lippmanns, TBH.

  30. Avatar of Pamela Pamela

    Revlon has so many incredible lip colors! L’Oreal has an innovative line that includes their Studio Secrets and HIP products (I miss the HIP foundations). NYX shadows are surprisingly pigmented and encompass a great range.

  31. I find it really varies by the product. I have some of the Wet n Wild single eyeshadows that I am completely adoring, and I just ordered 3 of the Prestige Mineral Loving eyeshadows to try. I only have one NYX product but I am very impressed with it (the Champagne & Caviar palette).

  32. emily

    Wet n Wild for eyeshadow
    Maybelline for mascara
    Revlon for lip products
    Ecotools & Real Techniques for brushes

  33. Calayna

    NYX and Milani are CONSISTENTLY great over all. And I really appreciate that. I hate that with E.L.F. because I can get really nice results and then really crappy results with them!

  34. I really like all the ELF brushes I’ve tried (the black-handled ones). ELF cosmetics are hit and miss, when it’s good it’s great and when it’s not… eh, it was just a dollar. I also enjoy Physician’s Formula face powders (the Happy Heart collection still makes me squee, I have every piece). Other than that I really look at products piece by piece. I notice I tend to avoid Cover Girl. :/

  35. Sara

    Loreal Colour Riche Intense Lipsticks are absolutely amazing better staying power than MAC and Bobbi Browns and SUPER moisturising. I love them!!

  36. Jenny

    When I started to get into make up in my teen years, Revlon and L’oreal were considered the “high end” drugstore brands. Their prices and their quality were closer to actual high end brands. Now it seems like all the drugstore brands have evened with them in quality and unfortunately price. I think only brands like WnW and NYC actually make an effort to keep their prices down, the other brands don’t seem to care that they are drugstore so they should be affordable. A brand like CG used to be known for being inexpensive but now their newest products are as expensive as Revlon or L’oreal, and are barely cheaper than lower price department store brands like MAC or Clinique.

  37. Avatar of Alieke Maaike Ally Asphyxia

    Essence, Catrice and P2.
    Good quality and good prize!

  38. rainbow

    For me, in2it eyeliner is the best pencil eyeliner I’ve ever tried.
    It doesn’t smudge at all. The price is inexpensive.

    Another product I can think now is nyx mosaic blush in no.1 highlighter.
    This one is so amazing. It gives a wonderful glowing effect.

  39. Elizabeth

    I like Nyx blushes, a lot, as well as their other products. I really dislike Wet n Wild products, they feel cheap to me. I love Eco tool brushes too! Covergirl has some awesome mascaras, I love Maybelline’s Line Stilleto liner and mascara, and Revlon’s lipsticks are really nice as well. I have tried a lot of drugstore products in the past, and generally I reget it. (No testers and can’t return). I end up spending as much money as if I went to high-end. Thus I avoid drugstore brands, but once in a while you find something nice!

  40. Leah

    I can’t say enough good things about Wet n Wild eyeshadows-I’m a huge fan! I also like Ecotools brushes and the new Revlon lip butters. I started using drug store skin products, too and they perform as well, if not better than the higher end skincare I was using. (CeraVe cleanser and Cetaphil lotion.)

  41. M.

    Your answer is exactly what mine would have been!

  42. condesa

    I love the brand Kiko (it’s italian, but expanding overseas as well): glosses, nail polishes, singles eyeshadows, palettes and blushes are to die for (but I do not recommend their foundation NOR the mascaras!)-
    As per other more known brands I like Max Factor(very good foundations and mascaras) and Revlon (good foundations, lippies, glosses, blushes).

    • I forgot to add that brand (kiko) to my list. I have only one eyeshadow quad but I LOVE the quality (and the price, lol)! Let’s not forget the colors!

  43. Andrea

    With out a doubt NYX. I love their single eye shadows their round lipsticks and their blushes. :)It is one my favorite brands.

  44. Need more information on the best hairspray’s for tough and rough hair that can hold on it’s on. When in humid weather

  45. ashlee

    Annabelle eye liners and lip liners
    Revlon lip products, foundations and eye liners
    Physicians Formula powder
    LOreal mascaras
    Wet n wild eye shadows

  46. Beckie

    Revlon lip products and maybelline eyeshadows

  47. I would say NYX for the jumbo pencils and the brow powder/wax.
    Essence and Catrice for lip products especially, but they have both fun collections! You can spend $30 and have the whole collection. So very inexpensive, and you could be very surprised by the quality! Plus they have really really REALLY good dupes for some high-end makeup products!
    Sleek for blushes.
    I like Gosh too and Maybelline for mascaras. But I think the two last ones are quite expensive and shouldn’t be considered drug-store anymore… (or at least not here in Belgium!)

  48. Hilary

    Revlon lipsticks and Wet n’ Wild eyeshadows, I’ve had decent luck with NYX and ELF as long as I check reviews first.

  49. Yvonne

    Art Deco
    Revlon
    L’Oreal
    Deborah

    Essence also has a few amazing products for a ridiculous price

    Btw, I’m talking about European lines

  50. Em

    It’s not really the brand as much as the products. PF gel eyeliners stay on my waterline longer than 12 hours! They’re amazing. While Maybelline makes mascaras so good, I’ve never been tempted by any high end ones.

  51. Tracy

    Asian durgstore brands have the same quality as other high end brands !