Monday, June 22, 2015

Drugstore Buys Under $5 Featuring Essence, Jordana, and NYC

I'm always hesistant about the cheaper products at the drugstore--I know there are some gems, but for the most part it seems like a product just can't be that good if it's only $3. In the past few weeks, I've put some bargain buys to the test and am sharing my opinions. NYC is the easiest brand to find, available at most drugstores, and Jordana at select ones. Unfortunately Essence is only available at ULTA and, but it's well worth the shipping.

NYC City Proof 24 Hour Eyeshadow (in Empire State Building and Wall Street Bronze). I love the bronze color--it's decently pigmented with good lasting power. However, I was disappointed by the pigmentation and packaging on the grey color. The whole stick fell out of the tube the minute I opened it, but I was able to jam it back in. I would say that these are not overall winners, and colors can be hit or miss on pigmentation.
Smoochproof Liquid Lip Stain (in On Everyone's Lips). It seems like almost everyone is releasing liquid lipsticks these days (I'm very excited for the new ColourPop ones launching soon). This one is decent--it did last a while with pretty good pigmentation, but started to get bunchy and dry after a little bit. I recommend moisturizing before and I wouldn't say it's exactly smoochproof, although it lasts longer than most lipsticks and is worth its puny price.
Expert Last Lip Color (in Turtle Bay Toffee). How can I resist another mauve shade? I find that mauves and neutrals tend to be the best at the drugstore, because since cheaper formulas can be dry and flaky, I don't want to accentuate that with a brighter color. I think I like this even more than the smoochproof one, as it's a thicker formula that seems to hang around longer. Plus there's a bigger color selection.
BB Blush Stick (in SoHo Pink and Never Sleeping Pink). I found these at KMart in the US, although I can't seem to find them anywhere online. These are the star of the show and far superior to their low price point. I prefer SoHo Pink, as it's more natural, but Never Sleeping Pink can be sheered out to a pretty pink. They're creamy, non-drying, and last a while. Plus the stick formula makes it easy for travel and touch-ups.

Jordana Modern Matte Lipstick  (in Matte Bare and Matte Blush). There's not a ton to say about these -- they're pretty good lipsticks for a very low price point. I prefer the netural shades, and although they're a little drying, they don't emphasize cracked lips when on. They look especially nice with a lip liner underneath.
Easyliner for Lips (in Rock n Rose, Rose Crush, Coco Loso, Tawny, and Plush Plum). Retractable lip liners are my favorites, I get that they make ones you can sharpen for hygienic reasons but it's never bothered me. These are so great and affordable, although I find the darker ones have better pigmentation. They're not the most long-lasting but stand their ground and are the least inexpensive ones I've found that do the job.

Essence Silky Touch Blush (in Adorable, Autumn Peach, Life's a Cherry, and Babydoll). If I had to pick anything to buy from the bunch, it's these blushes. They really do have a silky touch, provide a great amount of product for 2.99, and don't even really seem cheap with the packaging. They're all pigmented and come in a variety of colors, although I do wish there was a more dusty rose one.
Lip Liner (in Satin Mauve). Unfortunately this was the only color in stock that appealed to me, but I'm glad I have it. I've tried the long lasting lipsticks and love them, but the only thing I don't like about this is the self-sharpening point.
XXXL Shine Lipgloss in Nude Kiss. My only regret with this is not buying more. It's on par with higher-end formulas like the new Marc Jacobs or MUFE ones, being pigmented, creamy, and very shiny to give lips a fuller appearance.
On Everyone's Lips, Turtle Bay Toffee, Modern Mauve, Nude Kiss XXL, Satin Mauve, Rock n Rose, Rose Crush, Coco Loso, Tawny, Plush Plum
*Sorry for the lighting!

Empire State Building, Wall Street Bronze, Soho Pink, Never Sleeping Pink, Adorable, Autumn Peach, Life's a Cherry, Babydoll

What are your favorite drugstore buys under $5? Share below!


  1. the essence blushes look lovely, essence is such a great budget brand!
    natasha // eyebrows, inc.

  2. I am a fan of NYC products so affordable and mostly really good products!!


  3. I would love to try some essence blushes, I have just gotten into blushes recently and need to expand my collection. :D