Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beauty crunch - drugstore versus high end

Ciao belles,

I hope you've had a great day. Nearly Easter now!

I thought I'd start my first tag since my camera is broken and is going to be sent away so no more artistic/FOTD blog posts for a while :(

I wanted to see if all the beauty bloggers could pull together to help each other save money. The concept is simple, what is your favourite drugstore and high end version of each item and which do you think is better? If you don't have a favourite for either one maybe you could just describe something from that category which you have tried.

Here's my list. Please feel free to add more categories if you do the tag. :) Alternatively if you only want to do cosmetics or only make up please do.

For some of them I don't have a verdict because I don't have anything to compare the product to.

Shampoo: If you're looking for something that's gentle and good for coloured hair a friend of mine's hairdresser recommended Baby Shampoo. I've tried the TIGI hair line which does great conditioners but the shampoos left my hair greasy.

Verdict: Maybe I haven't tried enough high end shampoos but I'm not entirely convinced they are worth it. However, in a recent blog post BUBBLEGARM recommends the Naked Line at Boots which is free from nasty chemicals so I will definitely be trying the range out after I've used up what I already have.

Conditioner: I love my Pantene "Layers" conditioner. For high end I've used the TiGI OATMEAL & HONEY CONDITIONER Comfort Food For Damaged Hair which smells divine.

Verdict: There is quite a difference in price but not much difference in quality so I'll be sticking with the cheaper stuff for now.

Deep Conditioner: My favourite drug store version would be TreSemme. You get a huge pot for about £4. However, I also LOVE the Kerastase mask which you can buy in salons. A little really goes a long way.

Verdict: If I could afford Kerastase every time I would but there are some great options in Boots/Superdrug etc.

Shower gel: Aveeno Oil Shower Gel. I suffer from eczema and haven't been able to find anything else which doesn't break me out. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Verdict: N/A

Body moisturiser: Aveeno Oil Body Lotion or Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion

Verdict: For a little bit of luxury now and again I'll keep a bottle of the Clarins handy.

Deodrant: Marks and Spencers Rose range is very gentle and smells lovely. For after shaving though, I always use Clarins Gentle Care Stick Deodorant as it doesn't sting at all.

Verdict: M&S is great for everyday. If anyone can recommend a cheaper stick deodorant which doesn't sting after shaving that would be great.

Fake tan: I am very fair skinned and love the Johnson's Gradual Self Tanner, however, I am get to find a drugstore fake tan which doesn't leave me streaky and orange I'm afraid. Shiseido Self- Tanning Brilliant Bronze Quick Self Tanning, however, is fabulous.

Verdict: Drugstore for gradual tanners and Shiseido otherwise. Does anyone have any good recommendations?

Cleanser: I suffer from acne and have found APt Radical Clean to really help reduce it. It is however, very expensive. I have started using the Neurogena wave once or twice a week which is great and I thoroughly recommend, however, if I use it anymore in a week it over exfoliates my skin and makes it break out.

Verdict: A combination of the two.

Toner: APt Radical Spin this is a brilliant product used with the Radical Clean. My favourite from drugstore would be Clean and Clear.

Verdict: APt is superior. I know I spend a lot on skincare at the moment but you can't put a price on confidence which anyone who is/has suffered from acne will know.

Moisturiser: APt HydroPlenish for high end, this is amazingly light weight but leaves the skin feeling beautifully hydrated. For drugstore, I went through a period of having extremely dry skin and found PONDs to be amazingly effective at treating it.

Verdict: I think it depends what kind of skin you have. However, if you have dry skin, I cannot recommend POND's highly enough.

Blemish Treatment: Tea tree oil is fairly inexpensive and very effective on occasional spots. However, if, like me, you have constant acne I really recommend APt AcnoBan. This is different to traditional spot treatments because it only reduces excess oil rather than drying everything out. If the skin becomes to dry the oil glands will over compensate creating more oil, and then more spots. Ever noticed how spots come in pairs?

Verdict: For me, I am so happy I found Acnoban and tried it, it's amazing!

Eye makeup remover: Boots No7 is almost just as good as Lancome Bi Facial. The added bonus is that it is only about £1.50 when Boots do the vouchers so I stock up.

Verdict: Boots No7 all the way.

Exfoliator: The trouble with working for Clarins is that I got all these things for free. I adore its Smoothing Body Scrub For a New Skin which is gentle enough for my very sensitive skin, leaving it smooth and soft. Unfortunately at £24 a bottle I can't justify buying this all the time. Everything else I've tried makes my eczema break out though.

Verdict: If anyone has any cheaper suggestions please can they let me know?

Foundation: Giorgio Armarni lasting silk UV foundation is the best foundation in the world! Unfortunately it comes with a price tag and is hard to get hold of. My favourite drugstore foundation is Rimmel Recover in 100 Ivory. It gives good but light-feeling coverage. It also smells really nice!

Verdict: I am still in search of my Holy Grail foundation.

Concealer: Bourjois imperfection concealer is very good my you can't beat any of the MAC concealers. The have all of them in my shade (NC20).

Verdict: MAC or Giorgio Armarni

Illuminating/under eye concealer: Collection 2000 Illuminating Touch is a good alternative to YSL Touche Eclat

Verdict: Although the Collection 2000 one is good, if anyone can recommend a drug store one with more coverage I'd be glad to hear it.

Make up brushes: I have in my collection a combination of Clarins, MAC, Body Shop, No7, Ruby and Millie, GOSH and Marks and Spencers.

Verdict: I think that the Body Shop and/or Marks and Spencers are great places to start for good quality brushes at affordable prices. For more specific brushes you can then add MAC and other brushes as you need them.

Powder: For drugstore the Bourjouis compact powder is great I also like the Blended Face Powder and Brush set by Clinique for a really natural finish. However, it can be messy to apply.

Powder blusher: I love MAc blushes but have recently discovered Maybelline Pure Blush Mineral Powder Blush in 40 Quartz Peach which I this is blooming marvelous, try it if you haven't already :)

Liquid blusher: ME ME ME Pussy Cat Cheek & Lip Tint I haven't tried any other liquid blushers, if anyone has any recommendations please let me know.

Cream blusher: Clarins Multi Blush in Tender Lichee 01 is gorgeous! I also haven't tried any other cream blushers, if anyone has any recommendations please let me know.

Highlighter: MAC Skinfinish in blonde, I also haven't tried any drugstore highlighters, if anyone has any recommendations please let me know.

Bronzer: Revlon Bronzer in 02 Sunkissed Bronze is really natural and good value for money. I haven't tried many high end bronzers but Clarins is very nice.

Verdict: I really want to try the Prestige bronzer next!

Eyeshadows: You can't beat MAC for pigmentation and range of colours, however, the Barry M Dazzle Dusts come in at a close second.

Kohl eyeliner: Bourjois Kohl & Contour in 01 Noir Expert is good choice but Lacome's version does blend slightly easier.

Gel eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner: MAC fluid line

Mascara: I think Max Factor Masterpiece Max is fantastic and as mascaras only last 6 months why pay more? It is just as good, if not better than any high end versions I have tried.

Lipstick: Again Max Factor comes up trumps here. Its lipsticks are long wearing and non drying and it has a good range of colours. For high end MAC are fantastic and are worth trying out with the Back 2 MAC scheme I wrote about in an earlier post.

Lipgloss: I have a whole range from L'Oreal, Clarins, Barry M, MEMEME, Estee Lauder etc and honestly can't say I have a favourite. I like to mix it up depending on my mood.

Nail Varnish: Nails Inc varnishes are, in my opinion worth the extra price. Rimmel do a good range too though which dry quickly - bonus!

Well done for reading if you got this far!

I tag everyone to do this post, hope we all learn something!

LottieB xxx

P.S I've added a very old photo of me wearing ALL Clarins make up if anyone is interested in the looks you can create. I think it's an amazing brand which often gets overlooked.

If anyone has any questions or would like a more detailed review of any of the products just ask!


  1. My husband has really bad eczema and he has been able to use Korres Shower gels. Its the first time he has been able to use a shower gel that smells nice! xx

  2. Ah sorry .. i dont have drugstore alternative ... got carried away and forgot the point of the post, was too excited to tell you about korres!! whoops, sorry xx

  3. Hehe thank you Saskia! I will research, would love to try something that smells nice, oatmeal gets kind of boring after a while! Thanks again xxx

  4. I forgot about all the great things you could find at drugstores. Great list.

  5. Great post!

    I think i'm going to take the tag and go for it and see what you think.

    Thanks Lotte.


  6. Thanks guys!

    Look forward to your list @mariewilkinson1982! xxx

  7. I too have tried the ME ME ME liquid blusher and I think it's pretty good compared to high end liquid blush like Benefit's Benetint. Although Benefit's one is a bit easier to work with, they're practically the same thing except the Superdrug ME ME ME one is way cheaper!!

  8. Drugstore vs high-end is obviously a popular topic when talking about beauty products. Surely the point of beauty blogging is to share these ideas and the more people that do it the better, that way we can all learn new things and save some much needed pennies. I'm sure it wasn't intentional not to reference Make Up Crunch, there are a lot of beauty blogs out there and it is easily done to miss something. Lets all be lovers, not haters! :) xx

  9. Totally agree, wasn't it Sardun on YouTube who did a vid on it recently? Don't see her crying about it. Jeez

  10. Charlie, I am certainly no hater being a buddhist bit I do totally take your point. Thank you x

    Dress junkie, I 'cried out' as had set up a new blog with what was to me a very exciting idea.

    Good luck with your blogs ladies/gents, I shall enjoy viewing them from afar!

    J xx

  11. I have to read this post with a pencil and paper it is very interesting, thanks for following my blog!

  12. @J, again, I'm sorry you took offence to my blog post. I am happy to take it down. I don't think you should stop blogging over it, there is room for everyone :)

    As I said in my initial post, the purpose of my blog is to practice my writing and learn about blogging (I work in PR) and to share my interest with like minded people. I do not want to cause offence!


  13. @LamiatS Great to hear about the Benefit version. It makes sense to stick to MEMEME :) Thank you xxx

  14. @charlie2105 Thank you! xx

  15. @Amy Thanks Amy. Maybe my experiences could help someone else, who knows? Thanks for the follow x :)

  16. Lottie, I must apologise for totally over reacting, Charlie made such a valid point and obviously understands people very well! It always good to see things from the other persons point of view. I think I may enjoy reading all your blogs rather than writing one more but thank you. x

  17. Thanks hun, I sincerely appreciate your apology. I hope you enjoy reading the blogs x Take care x :)

  18. I started to do my tag of this....but then found that I was going for High end products all the time with exception to a few...So i decided not to post it - I was sounding like a one trick pony! I might do a what i'm using post instead

    - Still really cool post though Lotte and i will get some ideas from this!

    I realise that I really need to go for some other products ranges out there! Lol.

  19. Hey Marie! Definitely do a favourites post/what you're using post, I want to know!! hehe! xxx