Drugstore make-up better than Department store make-up?

When it comes to make-up I like a bargain as much as the next person…but I don’t mind spending top dollar to buy the best of the best. In fact, I like splurging on make-up, as I feel pampered when I’m using high-end products. So I was quite surprised that 2 cult beauty products failed to impress me…and discovered that I PREFERRED the drugstore versions!

The first product was this Dior duo from Sephora:

Diorshow and Diorshow Blackout Mascara Duo from Sephora: US$ 19

Diorshow mascara (along with Lancome Hypnose and YSL Faux Cils) are *THE* gold standard of mascaras – the one that all other mascaras are compared to. It is meant to deliver dramatic and lush lashes. I tried it and was not impressed AT ALL…it showed up on my lashes but it was not the most thickening or long-lasting mascara I’ve used. Even after layering it with the Diorshow Blackout, it was nothing special. Diorshow has often been compared to Covergirl Lashblast mascara – and that is exactly how I found it – I would definitely not splash out the extra money for this.

Maybelline Volum Express The Falsies in Very Black around US$6 at Walmart

I think the main reason I was unimpressed with the Diorshow mascara was because I was mentally comparing it to THE BEST MASCARA I’VE EVER USED! Can you tell how much I love Falsies mascara? I’ve raved about it previously here. I love the brush shape and the formula – it leaves me with thick curly lashes which last ALL day. You get dramatic results from the first coat…I would pay Diorshow prices for this mascara in a heartbeat – the results are THAT amazing.

Shu Uemura eyelash curler: CAD$ 24 at Sephora

The next cult favourite that failed to impress me was the famous Shu Uemura lash curler. To be fair, it wasn’t inferior to my current lash curler…it just provided the SAME effect….After all the hype, I expected it to be magical…but it wasn’t.

Revlon Eyelash curler: US$ 3.99

My previous curler was the Revlon one – I purchased it after reading Jemma Kidd’s (the UK make-up artist) rave about it. I’ve used it for years, and it provides a great curl that stays all day (when locked in with the right mascara). If I had to do a blind test between these 2 curlers, I would be hard-pressed to tell the difference in performance! The Shu Uemura curler’s mechanism might be fractionally smoother, but the Revlon curler opens wider (so it’s easier to bring it close to the root of your lashes). The curve of the curlers are the same, though the Shu Uemera’s clamps are placed at a slight angle.

Comparison pic of my curlers: Revlon (left) and Shu Uemura (right)

 There are a lot of products where high-end make-up trumps drugstore make-up (like my Chanel lipliner that I’m LOVING)..but in other cases, despite the lower price, drugstore make-up is actually superior to department store make-up.

What drugstore make-up have you found that is better than its department store counterpart? Do you understand the hype behind Diorshow mascara and Shu Uemura lash curlers?


  1. Anonymous
    June 8, 2011 / 2:09 am

    I feel the same way about Dior mascara, it's good, but I actually prefer Maybelline Define-A-Lash. Now I'm loving the PTR mascara so I guess I'm back to higher end in that department, lol.I really love a few NYX products, can't beat the price either. That's always a plus.

  2. Beautygirl24
    June 8, 2011 / 5:11 pm

    I would say that drugstore mascara is so much better than high end! Although, I just raved about Tarte's new mascara that I love, so I guess I can't entirely claim that anymore. But for the price, I'll take the Lashblast over Dior any day!

  3. G A B Y
    June 8, 2011 / 8:33 pm

    I couldn't care less about high end makeup as I've always been happy with drugstore products. I LOVE The Falsies, then I tried YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils and absolutely HATED it. I also have DiorShow somewhere in my stash, but I keep hearing it's not that great.As for eyelash curler, I'm in love with the one from ELF at $1!

  4. Ella Pretty Blog
    June 8, 2011 / 9:44 pm

    Andi – I think Maybelline have a great range of mascaras out now! I haven't had much luck with NYX, their shadows felt too soft..and I always ended up buying the most unflattering lip colors LOL!Beautygirl24 – the Tarte looks amazing on your lashes!GABY – I've never tried the ELF curler – but ELF have SUCH an amazing selection of products…some times I prefer their Gel eyeliner to my MAC one.

  5. Jamie
    June 8, 2011 / 11:11 pm

    Dior-show definitely disappointed me. I'd heard all the raving but I much prefer the old VS Very Sexy mascara.

  6. Ella Pretty Blog
    June 10, 2011 / 5:36 am

    Jamie – I've never tried VS make-up, but I've read good things about their glosses and eyeshadows. Do the products have department store prices?

  7. Law Fashionista
    June 15, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    This is exactly how I feel! I used YSL Effet faux cils for the longest time until I was at the queue of my local drugstore and they had the then new Falsies from Maybelline on offer! I thought I'd try it and it delivers the same if not better results! (Also the YSL dried out much faster!) Thanks for the heads up on the Shu Uemura curler – Great review!!

  8. Ella Pretty Blog
    June 16, 2011 / 12:59 am

    Thanks Law Fashionista – I've been using the Shu Uemura a lot since I posted my review, and I still feel that my Revlon curler is just as good…I'm just so shocked that people don't rave more about the Revlon curler LOL!

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