I don't wish to melt
June 6, 2013 7:04 AM   Subscribe

Please suggest to me the best DRUGSTORE makeups and hair products that will look the best, last the longest, will look good in pictures, and will be the most likely to survive a long day where I kinda need to look good the whole time. I don't have access to fancy pants brands, so this needs to be more budget "found at your local Shoppers Drug Mart" products.

I'm doing my own hair and makeup for my wedding. I just can't justify the cost, plus I want to look like ME that day. (I really don't understand women who put all this effort in to looking all glamorous and fancy for their wedding and end up looking like a totally different person.) I like how I do my makeup, so does my fiance. I also am fregging awesome at making my hair look awesome, so yeah... doing it myself.

My concern, though, is longevity and photos. I have had makeup in the past that looks fantastic and natural in person but makes me look seriously washed out/white in photos. I don't want that to happen on my wedding day. My current mascara is waterproof but it clearly isn't heat/sweat proof because by the end of the day I have a dark mascara smudge line just below my eyebrows where my lashes hit. And where the wedding is going to be outside, by the ocean, where it may be a bit humid and warm (not tropical, we're getting in Atlantic Canada), I don't want it to melt or smear or for my hair to frizz too badly.

- foundation/powder/concealer that looks the same in person as in photos
- eye liner that won't budge or melt or cry off (I acutally may have that covered with my GOSH brand liquid eyeliner)
- mascara that is good with plumping and lengthening (I have amazing eyelashes that I'd like to show off a bit) BUT that is long lasting, waterproof, doesn't flake or clump too badly and that DOESN'T MELT.
- long lasting, comfortable, natural-ish looking lipstick.
- Hair spray/mousse that allows for volume, softness, but controls frizz. I have naturally curly hair but I wear it straight every day. I'll be blowdrying it that day and wearing it down. I want it to stay straight but still voluminous and soft.

I do not have access to brands like sephora or mac, I'm pretty much limited to what I can get at Shoppers Drug Mart and other similar drug stores. Please keep that in mind.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (36 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Forgot to mention: I'm planning on buying/using a makeup primer so that my foundation etc. lasts. I could use a recommendation for a drugstore brand of that as well.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 7:06 AM on June 6, 2013

I can't speak for makeup brands, but as a photographer, I can certainly suggest a quick touch-up in the mirror before the formal shots, if possible.
posted by Magnakai at 7:11 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel is a dupe for the expensive silicone primers and is available at most stores (not sure in Canada).

To avoid the washed out/white look in photos with a flash, avoid makeup with titanium dioxide based SPF in it - the washout is the reflection of the flash.

MakeupAlley.com is a great resource for ratings and reviews of makeup.
posted by bookdragoness at 7:14 AM on June 6, 2013 [8 favorites]

I like Rimmel for eyeliner: it's one of the cheap(er), drugstore finds.
posted by Eicats at 7:16 AM on June 6, 2013

Best answer: I've VERY happy with NYX cosmetics and we can get them at Ulta in the US.

NYX is incredibly affordable and they have a special line of cosmetic specifically for photography! I got 32 colors for $15!

Here is a listing of where you can buy it in Canada!

This is the make up used by Drag Queens, so...you know, how can you go wrong?

Also, Congrats!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:17 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Some of the photo problem is going to be camera auto adjusting all kinds of colours, lighting in general and also the fact that you're going to be further away from the lense than the mirror. So products alone won't be enough. Suggest you google Lisa Eldridge and watch all her videos on wedding, special occasion, red carpet and long lasting make up to give you a framework to approach this with. That framework will include suitable products but also a lot of other stuff to keep in mind.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:19 AM on June 6, 2013 [5 favorites]

I find that Revlon Color Stay foundation stands up really well to sweat and skin oils. Also, it rubs off a lot less onto my scarf, collar, or phone. You might have to practice a bit to apply it smoothly and evenly because it dries pretty fast. I like to just do a small area of my face at a time. Put on less than you think you need, and add more afterwards where you need it. CHeck out the reviews on makeupalley.com for other helpful info on this foundation -- and you can also ask about it in their makeup forum. (Sign-up is painless, and you won't get any spam or emails from them.)
posted by wryly at 7:34 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Revlon photo ready primer is great. I have oily skin, some red areas and large pores and I use the Color Correction one. There's a regular one too. By far the best drug store primer, IMO.
posted by KogeLiz at 7:36 AM on June 6, 2013

Best answer: You might consider using a makeup setting spray as the final step in your makeup - this will help keep the makeup from melting off your face in the heat and humidity.

(Regarding Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel as a makeup primer, this blog did a test and found that it was worse than not wearing primer.)
posted by needled at 7:44 AM on June 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

I'm in the UK, so I'm not 100% on what's stocked in that particular chain, but I have some suggestions!

I can't help you with foundation, as I'm too pale for nearly every drugstore brand, but Color Stay is well regarded if it matches you.

Maybelline do a decent gel eyeliner which I used for a big event, and is better IMO than MAC Blacktrack. Gel liners, and polymer-based liners (I know GOSH and Barry M do one here) last until you remove them with oil, so they are less likely to smudge. I've worn the teal GOSH one for swimming and it stays put.

A lot of primers have silicone in them, so if your skin is sensitive to this (mine is and will go nuts if I use a silicone-based primer) be aware. It might not be an issue on the day, but you will break out later.

My favourite lipsticks aren't budget ones - Revlon Lip Butter is very pretty and natural but it wears like lipbalm and won't stay on all day. I hear good things about the REvlon Ultimate Suede and the Maybelline Super Stay lipsticks.

The Nouveau Cheap blog may be useful for you, as it reviews and rates drugstore makeup.
posted by mippy at 7:44 AM on June 6, 2013

i know you said drugstore, but urban decay 24/7 is the greatest eyeliner. that shit does not smudge a smidgen once it sets. DOES NOT MOVE.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:45 AM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: L'Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara. Doesn't melt, smudge, NOTHIN'. Wear it for doubles (14-16 hr shifts) at work and I still look doe-eyed after all the running around like crazy the whole night. 10 bucks a tube at CVS.
posted by takoukla at 7:51 AM on June 6, 2013 [6 favorites]

My favorite resource for drugstore products is Beauty Broadcast on youtube. She has quite a few bridal related videos. (search results)

She recently posted a video about bridal make-up that she did on her friend, using quite a few drugstore products. (link)

For a primer, if you're worried about shine, there are lots of great reviews for L'Oreal's Magic Perfecting Base.

Eyeliner recommendation: Milani Liquif'Eye (MakeupAlley Review) - told to be comparable to Urban Decay's 24/7 Liner.
posted by watch out for turtles at 7:52 AM on June 6, 2013

I love basically everything Benefit does. I don't wear mascara or any other eye makeup, but I like all their face related stuff--primer, highlighter, etc. The have fun little kits so you can try a bunch of their products at once and they carry it at Shoppers.

But I'd also just go into the Shoppers and talk to the cosmetics salespeople. In my experience they really know their stuff, especially if you've got a big flagship-type store in town or a bigger downtown located one.
posted by looli at 7:54 AM on June 6, 2013

The longest-lasting eyeliner I've found is Maybelline Unstoppable. The longest lasting foundation I've found is Revlon colorstay (for oily/combination skin). A good oil-absorbing powder will help set it. I use Lancome waterproof concealer which is also long-lasting, but requires a trip to a department store or I order it online. It's not that expensive and lasts literally for years.

Congratulations and have fun at your wedding!
posted by walla at 8:14 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cover Girls Clump Crusher Mascara is the best mascara I have ever used. It's amazing. No clumps and you can build it up. Get it in black.
posted by 2X2LcallingCQ at 8:14 AM on June 6, 2013

Best answer: I recommend that whichever of these many suggestions you decide to use, you test them out thoroughly before the Big Day.
posted by elizardbits at 8:26 AM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Maybelline volume express mascara (I like the green tube if you can find it)
Maybelline long wear foundations are matte and lovely for the price. I actually find revlon foundations too expensive for drugstore level.
Rimmel eyeliners
NYX blushers and eye shadows
Eco tools brushes

For no white look in photos, you want to avoid anything with SPF, glimmer particles, sheen, or glowey look. I find matte makeup looks best for bridal and photoshoots, with sheen allowed for eye shadows. Especially watch your powder for this - I play safe by getting a matte powder compact and using a brush to layer it over foundation to set it. Loose powders sometimes have shimmery particles in them.

I did my own makeup for my wedding and I would suggest an eyeshadow "quad" in neutral colors so you can look natural but have the colors automatically coordinate. I would also suggest a blush that is close to Nar's Orgasm shade. It's so universally flattering, and I think NYX makes a good dupe of it. Lips - stained so it is "your lips but better" then a light gloss on top. A long wear lipstick won't kiss off on him too for bonus points! I wore maybelline's super long wear lipstick in "cinnamon stay" for mine.

Define your eyebrows even if you want to go natural look. This is the biggest mistake most people make - they give your face such expression, and the photos wil turn out better. Lots of YouTube tutorials abound for how to do this naturally!

I'm a professional dancer and really really good at doing my makeup. Still, on the day I allowed for a LOT of additional time for makeup, and I'm glad I did. It was nice to have that quiet, relaxed time to do it, it gave me buffer for when my eyeliner wouldn't go on right and I had to redo it, and I had time to get it perfect.

Don't forget to blend your foundation into your neck, d├ęcolletage that isn't hidden by dress, and ears. :)

Have an amazing day, I hope this helped!
posted by shazzam! at 8:26 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Mascara: I've used a whole range of Rimmel waterproof mascaras, and they are always awesome. As in, rainy day, tears, sweat, whatever - none of it comes off until I remove it with makeup remover at the end of the day, no smudges, no dark circles.

I'm not sure if Rimmel is easy to get in Canada but if it is, I would definitely recommend trying one. I think Volume Express is the one I'm using right now.
posted by greenish at 8:31 AM on June 6, 2013

Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel is a dupe for the expensive silicone primers and is available at most stores (not sure in Canada).

Caveat, though! Robyn over at Brightest Bulb in the Box tested this and found that the Monistat product actually caused her foundation to fade much more quickly than no primer at all.
posted by KathrynT at 8:52 AM on June 6, 2013

Do you have a Sally Beauty Supply? I DO have access to prestige brands, but this powder / foundation is the best I've found. I comes with a decent application sponge too instead of some shit broom bristle brush.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:02 AM on June 6, 2013

I have a beauty blog that focuses on drugstore products! So this question is right up my alley :)

Primer: Monistat anti chafing gel, as mentioned above - super cheap, basically the same as expensive primers. Silicone heavy, so test it out first to make sure you're not sensitive to silicones!

Foundation: Revlon Colorstay or Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 have the best reviews for being super long lasting, but both are very opaque, so that seems like not what you're going for. I am also not sure how they photograph. In general, you want to avoid foundation with SPF for photography - that's what causes the washed out look. If you have access to a department store or Sephora - I'm not sure if you do - I'd get a sample of a high end foundation that matches your skin perfectly, which has the benefit of being 100% free! No need to buy a full size since you just need it once :)

Eyeliner: Prestige Total Intensity eyeliner (around $4) is my favorite eyeliner of all time! It is quite soft and takes a minute to set, but once it does, it Does. Not. Move. If you can't find it, Milani Liquif'eye would be my second choice.

Mascara: I'd recommend a tubing mascara - they will not smudge in humidity. ELF's $3 3-in-1 mascara is my first pick, but if you can't find it, go for L'oreal Beauty Tubes. The downside of tubing mascaras is that they tend to be fairly natural looking rather than dramatic. I find that most waterproof mascaras will smudge in humid weather. Japanese waterproof mascaras usually don't, but they're usually $15+, which I assume is out of your price range.

Lipstick: I'd go for a lip stain - it will be longer lasting than a traditional lipstick. I like Revlon's Kissable Balm Stains, but they are reported to sometimes turn funny colors on people (they stay true to color on me), so test them out first! For traditional lipstick, I LOVE Black Radiance lipsticks if you can find them - $1.99 each, very pigmented, very long lasting, and they have a fantastic texture, just as good as my high-end lipsticks. For lipstick, you should apply, blot, then reapply to get it to last as long as possible.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:03 AM on June 6, 2013

Best answer: I have had makeup in the past that looks fantastic and natural in person but makes me look seriously washed out/white in photos. I don't want that to happen on my wedding day

Wedding photographer here. Those photos that made you look washed out and white, I'm guessing that they were taken from a point and shoot with a flash on it. Nuking someone with direct flash like that basically makes everyone look washed out. Your photographer is probably not going to do that to you, because it makes people look terrible.

In terms of makeup, I would avoid too much shimmer, especially under the eyes.
posted by inertia at 9:06 AM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Revlon Just Bitten lip stain is the best lip product ever. It feels just like drawing on your face with a Sharpie. There's no sticky residue. It smells like strawberries for about five seconds, then nothing. It lasts for most of the day. It does not come off or smear. You don't have to think about it. Twilight is the most natural looking color on me.
posted by steinwald at 9:14 AM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding Revlon Just Bitten. I also use the Twilight shade and it's like my lips only more better. It stays on, and it goes on really easily. No uneven peaks or random edge smears with this stuff.

Also, make sure to stay away from any powder or foundation that's marked HD. It looks great in person, but flashes reflect of it. Your pictures will look like you went face down in a bowl of baby powder.
posted by headspace at 9:25 AM on June 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

If you have oily skin, you could give this old-school trick a try. After moisturiser, lightly powder your face with loose powder. Apply your primer on the oiliest bits, powder again, and then apply your (liquid) foundation. Powder again. I spritz with a light glycerin-rosewater to make everything less matte and powdery and once everything sets this stuff does not move. It's a little obviously 'makeup-y' in person (not overly so) but it looks quite decent in photos. Give it a try and experiment first beforehand. Your skin isn't my skin, YMMV, etc, etc.

Re. drugstore product: the Shoppers Drug Mart website says they stock Bourjois cosmetics and Nip + Fab. Bourjois does a very light, medium-coverage gel-ish foundation (Healthly Mix Gel) that apparently photographs really nicely (google for reviews, I've not tried it myself). Bourjois also owns Chanel, so supposedly they make some pretty nice stuff. Nip + Fab is a UK drugstore brand that makes a pretty decent primer - 'complexion perfecter' or something along that line. This I've tried and like a lot more than other primers - it's siliconey, but not uber-siliconey like some brands (Smashbox, etc) and it's not very heavy.

It also looks like some Shoppers Drug Marts have 'prestige' brands etc, so you could try walking in with some sample jars and ask the salespeople to squirt out a take-home sample from the tester product? Chances are they'll be interested in your business, especially since you're going to be purchasing what sounds like a fair amount of product from them.
posted by zennish at 11:55 AM on June 6, 2013

Best answer: Stay away from any foundation with SPF and mineral makeup. According to makeup lore, it reflects light in photos and makes you look especially white.
posted by cecic at 12:18 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

A while ago I got some cheapo "makeup setting" spray that worked really well, and smelled exactly like hairspray. I sprayed it on my hair out of curiosity and it felt like hairspray when it dried. So now if I need my makeup to stay on for a while, I spray my face (lightly, from a foot away) with hairspray and it works great. Just don't put on your mascara until after the hairspray because you will squeeze your eyes shut while you spray and it will get messy.
posted by cilantro at 1:54 PM on June 6, 2013

I tend to go for a more "natural" look and I use L'Oreal True Match foundation when I do use a foundation. I wear it for dance events where I am likely to be sweaty and it doesn't budge. A friend of mine who does the impeccable no-makeup made-up look -- in other words, she wears a lot of makeup to look like she is hardly wearing any -- also uses the same foundation.

Definitely try different products out, take test shots, etc.
posted by stowaway at 1:56 PM on June 6, 2013

Also - Revlon Colorstay does last, and it looks great when you first put it on, but it oxidizes and goes orange after a couple of hours. I wore it for years until one day I looked in a mirror in bright sunlight and the second-lightest shade stood out like orange paint on my (very fair) skin.
posted by cilantro at 1:57 PM on June 6, 2013

Nip and Fab's primer is water-based - I know, because I have some and silicone is not best mates with my skin. It may be a different product to the one mentioned upthread, though - the one I have has something like 'CLEAR BB CREAM!' on the tube. I believe the brand is made by the same people as the science-averse line Rodial.
posted by mippy at 3:23 PM on June 6, 2013

Response by poster: Incredible answers, everyone! I have never tried NYX but I am going to try that. No spf and no minerals to keep the colour true in photos is awesome advice and I will take it to heart. The tubing mascara sounds brilliant and exactly what I am looking for. I already define my eyebrows every day, and I avoid shimmer/glitter too, so no worries there. Many test runs shall be made too.

I have a lot to work from now! Thanks!
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:35 PM on June 6, 2013

Yes, the L'Oreal Beauty Tubes truly is exactly what you want. It's swell.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:31 PM on June 6, 2013

I don't wish to melt

You didn't specifically mention this, but I'd like to recommend e.l.f. setting spray. It will prevent your makeup from sliding around. It is not quite as long-lasting, though about as effective, as higher end brands.

That said, I have no idea about availability in Canada. Google suggests Target, Lawtons, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Zellers, but here in the U.S. I find that actual product selection tends to vary store to store.
posted by asciident at 11:17 PM on June 6, 2013

Maybelline's BB cream is my best friend.
posted by discopolo at 8:23 AM on June 7, 2013

One way to help look good in photos is to make sure that you take the base makeup and powder, whatever kind, all the way down your neck. That way your face and neck reflect the same to the flash. Avoids the "face in the baby powder" look. It is a pain and takes extra makeup, but this is the one day you want to look great.

I love the L'oreal magic perfecting base primer. Keeps my heavy layers of makeup on my usually amazingly absorbant/slippery face for hours. The Monistat stuff doesn't even come close to a real primer, and the price difference isn't enough to make it worth the compromise. To set, I take my fairly damp hands and press all over my face and neck. Hairspray never worked for me and it smells funny.

For the most natural look, find a blush that is a close match to the shade your cheeks are when they're flushed. I wasted a lot of time looking odd with peach on my cheeks when I flush bright pink.

I agree with others upthread that it is important to do a couple of practice runs of the full makeup on an ordinary day. That is the only way to know if it will really stand up, if the color match is right, if you have any sensitivities to any product. I also second the neutral eyeshadow quad, or at least any eyeshadow quad so that the colors will blend well.

Revlon Color Stay is a great foundation, stays on beautifully and even matches my vampire rose skin closer than any other drugstore brand. But it does contain a masking fragrance called ethelyne brassylate that some people have very bad reactions to. It was a very bad rash that lasted for a week. But I still recommend it. Good reason to do a practice wear day well ahead.

One bit of hard learned specific advice that probably has no relevence here: If your makeup consistantly turns orange on you, even if you don't notice it for a while, it is not oxidization. It is your skin tone. If you have no peach in your skin color, any peach containing makeup will make you look rusty. Even cool toned foundations can be peachy, so wearing is the only real test. Took me forever to find a foundation without peach, but people now tell me how natural I look while wearing more foundation than most people wear in a week.
posted by monopas at 6:22 PM on June 7, 2013

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