Skin Deco

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why I Don't Use Local Drugstore Eyeshadows

Now and again, I get readers asking me to do looks using drugstore/budget products, namely eyeshadows, that are available locally. If not, they'd ask me to recommend local budget dupes for the colors that I've used.

When it comes to makeup, I'm not a brand snob. At least, I don't believe that I am. Nevertheless, I find the need to explain why I don't use local drugstore eyeshadows. Additionally, I'd like to stress that using the same brand of colors that I've used is almost always unnecessary.

I can't really categorize the subtopics of this post so you'll just have to read on...


Local = Malaysian
My dislike towards drugstore eyeshadows is only applicable to locally available drugstore eyeshadows. I'm not referring to American drugstore eyeshadows. On the contrary, I like and use American drugstore eyeshadows

If you've been watching my tutorials, you'd notice that the eyeshadows I use are mainly from:
  • MAC: It's a high end brand but I have never in my life bought a MAC eyeshadow at full price. Most of the ones that I own have great pigmentation and texture. I love using MAC Pigments too. More than half of my MAC eyeshadow collection were given to me and the rest I buy during the warehouse sale
  • NYX: Their eyeshadows are of very good quality and there's a huge selection of colors. Best part of all, they're cheap and often go on sale. Only downside is that they're not available at local retail outlets but they're not difficult to purchase online. For the price that you're paying and quality that you're getting, they're worth the trouble and waiting time
  • I Nuovi: I don't have many of their eyeshadows but some of them I use quite often because they're of very good quality and the colors are unique. The prices are only slightly cheaper than MAC but all of mine were either given to me our bought during sale
  • Mineral Pigments: Regardless of brands (Lumiere, Sweetscents, MAD, etc.) you can get them in sample sizes and own hundreds of colors. Again, they're not available at local retail outlets but they're not difficult to purchase online. When I first started applying eyeshadow, I use a lot of mineral pigments to experiment with. They are highly affordable (as low as RM2.50 for 1/4 tsp baggy) and have good quality. Better quality than most drugstore eyeshadows, at least. However, I have been using less of mineral pigments because I now have pressed versions of the colors and it's simply easier to choose an individual eyeshadow rather than shuffle through hundreds of baggies
  • 88-Color Palette: This is a very good palette if you wanna own loads of colors without having to spend too much money. At one point, I used this palette a lot but then I generally prefer using individual eyeshadows for some odd reason so I fall back to them. I still use my palette, just not as often
Having gone through that list, it's safe to say that when I actually buy eyeshadows, I often go for brands that I know produce good eyeshadows instead of just randomly buying drugstore eyeshadows for 20 bucks or more and be disappointed with them. If I'm able to get NYX eyeshadows, for instance, I might as well, right? What's the point of spending hard earned money on something that I know I won't like just because it's available locally? Besides, the drugstore eyeshadows from US come up to be more value for money in the end.

Let's go through some locally available drugstore/budget brand eyeshadows (let me know if I've missed out on any brands and I'll add to the list)
  • Maybelline: Not pigmented, powdery or sheer. Usually comes in quads. I don't fancy quads with similar looking colors
  • L'Oreal: Same as above-mentioned but more expensive
  • Silky Girl: Used to like their duos but they've changed to this ugly cheap toy-like packaging that is just a huge turn off. The new eyeshadows are not impressive
  • Revlon: Boring colors, usually come in palettes and not exactly cheap
  • Rimmel: Pure crap
  • Majolica Majorca: Very good eyeshadows but the colors are pretty sheer/shimmery/Japanese-like. Great if you like Japanese style makeup, which I don't typically go for. I like intense colors. The singles are limited and the quads are quite pricey for drugstore
  • ZA: Quality and colors only so-so. They're so tiny and the plastic looks cheap for the price I'm paying
  • KATE: Mostly quads that are similar to Majolica Majorca's colors but less pigmented. Again, not into quads and Japanese colors
  • Fasio: Same with KATE and Majolica Majorca but I think they're eyeshadows are pretty good for the price. But I already have those colors
  • Secret: Was quite impressed with the loose powder eyeshadow but the color choices were limited and none of the colors really stood out enough for me to buy one
  • Beautilicious: The quads are great (Alyssa and Victoria palettes) but the singles are mediocre. Kinda hard to come across these days but you can now order them online
  • Elianto: Cheap and has good selection of colors but the textures are hardly unique. Still, a good brand to start out with if you'd like to experiment with colors on a budget
  • Bloop de Paris: Their singles are really pigmented and I think they're pretty good quality. Color selection is limited
  • In2It: This was the very first brand of eyeshadow that I bought (16 for prom). They are well-pigmented even if they don't have the finest textures. The staying power is average but nothing some eyeshadow base can't help. They're very affordable but the kiddish packaging annoys me a little
If you're into Japanese style makeup, you won't have much trouble finding budget eyeshadows locally. So, if you prefer Western style makeup, what do you do? My advice; save yourself the time, money and trouble looking for MAC-comparable eyeshadows in our local drugstore and order online. Embrace globalization! Or, just get the 88-Color Palette.

Once again, more often than not, the brands do not matter when you're trying to recreate a look. Just use similar colors that you have or can find. If not, simply improvise. What you should be taking away from watching tutorials are the application techniques and ideas for color combination. You won't learn anything if you follow blindly -- like reading a book you don't understand. You're not expected to replicate a look down to the brands. You may use the exact same products and have a different outcome. Makeup is not about what brands you use. It's about how you implement colors, textures and techniques to create the desired look. Just because you don't use MAC doesn't mean you can't create a MAC look.


Lavender said...

Well said Connie. Thanks for the detailed writeup.

ning * star said...

I see. Hmm, I agree that Rimmel items =crap. i got severe allergic after using elianto items.The nail polish is really sucks...
I think Maybelline items are not consistent because i do noticed that some items are pretty good and the rest is just meh meh...

Loreal is really expensive. But I do hope that our local drugstore can be something similar like the US drugstore.

Anyway, i agree with u that MAC items are good in quality!

Jamilla Camel said...

Thanks for the detailed review!! I lean toward high-end Western brands myself, and I do find some Maybelline shadows too sheer and samey (same goes for many Japanese Brands, although I do like Kate).

leslielovesmakeup said...

i agree with this. whenever i buy quads or shadows from drugstores, i always end up reaching for my Mac again. most drugstore shadows are powdery.

plue said...

i hardly go for Western eye makeup products, the colours are much more intense and brighter than Japanese, but I like it sheer and sweet.

Though, if I wanna do a real smokey eye, I suppose the western brands does it give more oomph! but natural look, the Japanese rocks! haha!

I could never do eye makeup like yours, cuz I lack the skill and am too lazy!

Vanilla said...

i just posted a question for a youtube guru bout cheap and expensive eyeshadow difference today!hehe
i was just wondering about their lasting power and if they crease faster or no,wud u make comparison between mac n nyx?:)
or u can just post simple reply?hehehe
thanks dear!:)

Slowbrogal said...

Totally agree with you. I love MAC as they are very pigmented but somehow I wouldn't have the courage to get it. In fact, I'm a more Japanese makeup lover. Eyeshadow quad like Lunasol and Coffret D'or are pretty and of coz Jill Stuart =)

Connie De Alwis said...

Lavender: Thank you and you're welcome :)

Ning*star: Our drugstore makeup are rather disappointing, aren't they? Well, not all MAC products ;)

Connie De Alwis said...

Jamilla: You're welcome! Sheer eyeshadow just isn't for me but I do see many girls wearing them very well

leslie: In the end all the money wasted to buy crappy eyeshadows could've been used to buy better quality eyeshadows, right?

Connie De Alwis said...

Plue: Japanese makeup is definitely more your style! I like how Japanese eyeshadows have this 3D multicolored shimmer effect. it's very beautiful

Vanilla: Glad you found this post helpful :) I don't think that high end eyeshadows are necessarily better than cheaper ones. In fact, there are many high end eyeshadows that I don't like eg. Estee Lauder, Giorgio Armani. But a lot of cheap eyeshadows tend to not have good pigmentation or they're very powdery hence difficult to work with and has little lasting power. Creasing depends on the texture. Creamy-textured (usually frosty) powder eyeshadows will usually crease faster.
As for NYX vs MAC, I'm all for NYX (singles). For its price, the eyeshadows give excellent pigmentation, they're easy to work with and the color selection is excellent. But like MAC, not every color from NYX are great

Vonvon said...

Interesting and informative post. And agreed with what you wrote in the last paragraph.

theotherworldly said...

Well said, Connie! I feel that L'Oreal and Maybelline are really inconsistent ...I absolutely agree with you about Majo and Fasio being the better ones, but I really don't like the gradational look ... (sigh). Majo is fresh but other than that pale flash of shimmer it really doesn't do much more for eyes!

I think there are some good things from Revlon too -- I liked their Colorstay palette. I know where you're coming from when you say that the colours are boring, they're very very safe and not at all unique!

Kizzy-online said...

Awesome post! :-)

Popcorn said...

I know!!! RIMMEL SUCKS BALLZ! Terrible eyeshadows~ That's the eyeshadow that I hate the most. Then I have been hating Maybelline too! Their new eyeshadow is pretty sheer. :)
Luv your post!

Grace Chan said...

yea drugstore brands arent too great. i spent a lot of money on drugstore cosmetics.. it took me nearly a year to realize that i collected a load of crap :[

Paris B said...

Teehee... I found myself agreeing and disagreeing in turn. As you said, if a person likes Japanese style light, shimmery makeup, our drugstore stuff are great - Maybelline, L'Oreal, Majorlica, Kate are all great. I like NYX too but because I'm less into intense shadow colours, I found it a tad too intense for me. Ditto MAC. End of the day, its personal preference coz we do have some gems in our drugstores too - it just has to suit our individual styles :)

Dani said...

i'm with you on this.

i mean, if i spend say, $8 on revlon eyeshadow and found out it's not a very good product, i just wasted $8.00.

whereas if i spend $17.50 on MAC eyeshadow... yes, it's pricier, but it's good quality makeup. therefore, it won't be a waste because i'll be using it again and again.

by that logic, it's actually more wasteful to buy bad quality product.


jojoba (My Makeup Reviews) said...

this is a cool guide for local girls and I am certain many appreciate it. good job!

Connie De Alwis said...

Vonvon: Thanks :)

theotherworldly: I'm not into the gradational look either. I can understand why most local drugstore brands have boring colors though. they wanna appeal to the mass market, which usually seeks 'safe' colors and importing is expensive. If only we get L'Oreal HiP here! But I highly doubt that's gonna happen

Connie De Alwis said...

kizzy: Thanks :)

Popcorn: Glad you liked the post. I was so disappointed with Rimmel's eyeshadows!

Grace: Some are alright but most aren't. I get what you mean about collecting crap! Before this, I'd buy products to try just because they're cheap but they end up to be such crap that all my money were completely waster. But you'll definitely like the eyeshadows we have here since you prefer colors that are more sheer :)

Connie De Alwis said...

ParisB: For Japs makeup lovers, we have a lot to choose from but for Western makeup lovers like myself, nuh uh. Yup, down to personal preference which is why it's so hard for me to do looks using our local drugstore eyeshadows. I don't even wanna use them in the first place, what more buy them

Dani: thank goodness for reviews right? I've given up buying make up just because they're cheap. such a waste of money!

Jojoba: Thank you :)

Sue Lynn said...

Gosh...Did I just contribute to your "hundreds of baggies"? O_o

Sowwee...You can pass them on...No prb ^_^

Sue Lynn said...

You left out In2It!

I've depotted a whole bunch of In2It & Silky Girl duos into small Beautilicous palettes. Agreed-some are pretty good.

Jenny said...

but nyx eyeshadows ARE drugstore..
and have you tried the maybelline quads? theyre really good
and since im from the states i dont feel like im wasting money on trying drugstore =P because theyre like 3-8 dollars and usually have deals like buy one get one free.
but then i have top realize you guys probably dont have the same deals -__- and dont have alot of brands like us (like sonia kashuk etc)
i love mac and everything, but im also perfectly content with drugstore products i own

kay kamal said...

omg connie i so agree w u the thingy about maybelline, revlon and loreal. my cousin bought the quads one fine raya and asked me to pretty her up. DAMN~ it took me like 30 mins and 10 episodes of frustrations and still cudnt get the colors to show. the worse part is, she's really fair and the quad colors are (supposed to be) dark colors!...

i almost swing them out the window.. that's my last time EVER touching those. i still love my 88-palette to bits and some I nuovi (th ones i won from u) and elianto singles are the ones i stick to. Pigments are really nice looking but they tend to fly everywhere.hence~

great review tho!

stellarvixen said...

interesting reading..although we are soo different in opinion hehe

i luv japanese makeup jillstuart, lunasol,shu uemura,kate..cuz i can pull off the look!
i cant do intense color~you could help me oneday eh..
yeah me no snob either..but if local drugstore cost me rm50++ i'd rather caveup and find the trouble for satisfying my lemmings which then i'll appreciate them more!

I would like to try MAC if they weren't so pricey in KL and that blackboring tacky packaging ;( the new mineral blush: 2 virtues got me lemming thou! u know anyone who can get %

Ting Ting said...

Well written! I totally agree on the quality of drugstore's eye shadows, especially western ones. I bought quite a few Revlon quads and feel such a waste of my money now that they are sitting in the drawer untouched. But I do like the MM and Kate ones though. Good quality and I do like Japanese makeup sometimes. Yeah, if budget is the issue, the 88 palettes are great bargain! =)

Connie De Alwis said...

Sue Lynn: Haha, a little. In fact I have some of the colors already :p Don't worry, they'll go to good hands. hehe. Thanks! Just added in2it

Jenny: Which is why I specifically said LOCAL drugstore. We don't get NYX in Malaysia. If I was in the US, I'd love the drugstore eyeshadows. Unfortunately, the Maybelline shadows we get here are different from the ones available in the US. We get the Asian versions which are mostly sheer. Also, imported drugstore makeup here isn't cheap (eg. Revlon Colorstay foundation after conversion would be almost USD$17) especially when we're earning Ringgit and not Dollars. Plus over here we can't return stuff. I love American drugstore eyeshadows just not MALAYSIAN/LOCAL drugstore eyeshadows

Connie De Alwis said...

Kay: You and I have pretty similar preferences in makeup so I totally know how you feel.

Stellarvixen: Who knows? Maybe you wouldn't like more intense colors. I have a friend who started applying makeup the Western way but now that she has switched to the Japanese style, I think it looks so much better on her with her eye shape and overall style

Ting Ting: Majolica and Kate are Japanese so since you like Japanese style makeup, those brands are great :)

❤ Ee Von said...

aaah am i the last to comment? lol.

i just have to say this post is very well written! i must also say that we both have the same preference in eyeshadows - we like the colours to come out "WOW" and not sheer. i've seen so many reviews on the recent maybelline color studio or whatever they're called. i tried them sososo many times everytime i see them and still fail to find a reason to like them. excessively shimmery, soft and powdery. rm25 for something i probably would only use once? mehhh. i'd rather get i-nuovi. speaking of which, after checking out ur tutorials and also you mentioning about i-nuovi here, yesterday i checked it out. omg they're very good!!! not all, but the ones i tried are uniqe and quality's amazing! great pigmentation, not flaky/powdery and blends easily. definitely gonna get them :D

Tine said...

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Spot on, Connie! I used to use a lot of drugstore eye makeup (most would be as you described), and they disappointed me through and through.

Rimmel was, as you put it, pure crap. I used to use Silkygirl too (in fact, I actually liked their smokey eye colour duo. Don't know if it's still good), but I agree, the packaging's lousy. Most of the Maybellines I've tried are rubbish. Gritty texture. As for L'oreal, I only like their single Chrome Shine eyeshadows. Don't know if they have it in M'sia, but those are good stuff. Prestige is pretty good (although I can only speak positive of their single eyeshadows. Their palettes are not that great).

I don't wear much eye makeup these days, but when I do, I mostly use the high-end stuff (NARS, Chanel, etc). Since I buy makeup so infrequently now (try once every 3-4 months? Gasp!), the designer stuff are justifiable.

Or so I tell myself everytime I pick something up from Chanel. Hee hee!

Connie De Alwis said...

Ee Von: Nope, not the last! :p From your FOTDs, I can tell that you're preference for eyeshadows is similar to mine. The Maybelline shadows always look so tempting in the pan but once swatched, I know they're not for me. I Nuovi is quite a special brand and I have a soft spot for it. It's too bad you missed their warehouse sale or you could've gotten a few shadows to try out.

Tine: Glad you did! I swatched some prestige and they were pretty good but not that cheap in Sasa. I don't think we have anymore singles from L'Oreal over here. I had some of the Chrome Shine and they were quite ok. 3-4 months is infrequent? :p I guess it is for a beauty blogger!

Jean said...

First time here..
Love this post, very informative~^^

Anonymous said...

I recomen PAC eyeshadow , most of Make Up Artist in Indonesia used PAC. its very pigmented and long lasting, has wide colour range. its kinda dupe for MAC, PAC - MAC, see, heheheheu. but its alot alot cheaper.u should visit the galleries website for colour examples it amazingly beautiful.

Post a Comment

Your comments will help encourage me so please don't hesitate to leave one.

However, I only ask that you'd take a look at the FAQ page before asking a question.

Thanks a bunch!

<3 Connie

Related Posts with Thumbnails
All content 2010 © Cornelia De Alwis| Blog Design by Graffiti Chicks|Graphics by Studio Gypsy