Tuesday, March 17, 2015

US Drugstore Makeup Haul

While I've become increasingly drawn to high end makeup, without a doubt there are gems out there that are very reasonably priced but not necessarily inferior in quality. It's been more than 2 years since my last BeautyJoint haul, and I was feeling the itch to try some more affordable makeup from the US. Naturally, being an avid consumer of beauty-related blogs and YouTube videos, my order consisted mainly of hyped American drugstore products that I didn't have already.

Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipsticks in Matte Innocence and Matte Blissful
Oops ... I did it again. That's right, more lipstick. On the plus side, at least there aren't any pinks in here. (I'm characterising Matte Blissful as a purple, okay.) I was absolutely hooked on these two specific shades after watching this lip swatch video from KathleenLights. Getting my hands on them was the driving motivation behind my entire BeautyJoint order.

l-r: Matte Innocence, Matte Blissful

l-r: Matte Innocence (worn with balm underneath), Matte Blissful

l-r: Milani Matte Innocence, Revlon Complex, Rimmel Notting Hill Nude, NARS Biscayne Park, Revlon Soft Nude

Matte Innocence is a pale pinky nude. Prior research warned me of its relative sheerness and tendency to highlight every dry patch on the lips. It definitely does that, but I forgive a multitude of sins due to the colour. While I have a few similar shades, Matte Innocence leans more pink than peach, red or brown. Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Complex and Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Notting Hill Nude are more orange. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Biscayne Park is the darkest and surprisingly, most red (I remember it to be such a basic beige). Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Soft Nude is the lightest and peachier.

l-r: Milani Matte Blissful, Australis Lun-dun, Revlon Berry Haute, Chi Chi Bring It On

Matte Blissful was my "had to have". To say I'm a sucker for these purply-pinks is an understatement. I love the brightened, warm tone in this. It has a creamier texture and is more opaque in coverage and forgiving on the lips than Matte Innocence. Australis Velourlips Matte Lip Cream in Lun-dun (one of my favourite lip product discoveries of late) is very similar, slightly darker and less pink. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Berry Haute is much darker, more of a grape colour. Chi Chi Viva La Diva Matte Lipstick in Bring It On is cooler-toned, more lavender.

Milani Luminoso

Milani Baked Powder Blush in Luminoso (05)
As lauded as this blush is in the drugstore makeup world, I deliberately avoided purchasing it for the longest time because I was convinced I had too many similar products (NARS Deep Throat, NARS Luster, Bourjois Rose Coup de Foudre, Benefit Sugarbomb, BYS Coral, the list goes on). But two things wore me down. First was NikkieTutorials obsessing over it lately. Second was Karima McKimmie of Shameless Fripperies obsessing over it a few months ago (and only watching those videos recently). Add to that KathleenLights naming Luminoso as "top 3" out of all the blushes she owns, and no more could I resist.

I'm so glad I added this to my cart as it's lived up to the hype for me. I actually think it's sufficiently different to the peachy/coral blushes in my collection in that it's more of a lighter orange than anything with a red bent. The shimmer is also what it's renowned for: more of an illuminating sheen, very fine and not glittery or chunky in any way. The packaging seems excessively bulky to me (could've done without the bottom compartment with the mini brush), but the product is hard to fault.

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal High Definition Concealer in Creamy Beige
As I recently learned the hard way with the purchase of Clarins Instant Concealer, the single most important aspect of any foundation or concealer is the shade match. Thankfully, Creamy Beige matches me fairly well (I'd guess I'm somewhere between NC20 and NC25). As some people have mentioned on MakeupAlley, there's grains in this. I don't know if it's a batch or formulation issue, but I'm definitely not the only one affected. The granules kind of melt upon contact with the skin and disappear, but it's still troubling they exist in the first place. I dislike the brush applicator, but I suppose it's functional enough. Having said all that, for $3 USD ($4), this is incredible value. The concealer blends into the skin smoothly, doesn't transfer or move around too much once it's applied, has good coverage and a natural, satin finish.

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara in Black (301)
This is one of the most hyped drugstore mascaras I know of and I was curious to see how it performed on my tragic Asian lashes. I'm not convinced by the volumising claims, but this is good at defining, separating and lengthening. It's on the wet side, but nothing too difficult to work with. I don't get excessive smearing or smudging (though I avoid using it on my lower lash line as it's not waterproof), or clumping. It's very black which is always a big plus. For $3.59 USD ($4.70), there's not much to complain about.


  1. Wow this is tripping me out because I'm waiting for my order to arrive from the US and I've ordered the exact items minus the Milani lipsticks in the exact shades as well! Glad to hear the Milani blush is worth the hype as I can't wait to try it! That's weird about the granules in the concealer, crossing my fingers my one is granule free and from your review, the mascara isn't mind blowing so I should lower my expectations haha

    Wendy x

  2. I would say that Luminoso is apart of my top 3 as well (so is NARS Luster... I guess I have very specific taste). I've been meaning to purchase another shade from the range but I haven't done an American drugstore haul in literally years.

    I don't watch beauty Youtube videos as frequently as I used to but I love KathleenLights and still check up on her! She understands the lip product addict thing, ya know? :P

    Hope you've been doing well!


  3. Amazing haul! Those matte Milani lipsticks look awesome, I haven't seen them in stores yet so I'll keep my eyes peeled :)

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  4. What a great haul and I myself live a good American drugstore product. Those lipsticks look amazing and I heard it's a nice brand.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale | bloglovin' |

  5. I love the look of the blush, wish US makeup was easier to get hold of in the UK!
    Maddy, xo // UNSTITCHEDD

  6. Very nice! luminoso is beautiful :)


  7. Amazing haul! The Milani lipsticks look amazing, especially blissful :) x


  8. I just did a Beauty Joint order too! Luminoso was in there but now I'm wising I'd grabbed some Milani lippies too! Great haul :) xx

    Magpie Jasmine

  9. Great haul!! I have Luminoso as well and I agree with you, for the price you just can't go wrong.. It is one excellent blush and also very pretty shade ^^
    Milani has great eye shadows and eye liners too :)

  10. I always have this thing where I don't like buying raved about products, then when I finally do, often I kick myself because they really are awesome! (which happened to me with Milani luminoso, and might happen again with the LA girl concealers) I guess I have this rebellious nature lol

  11. Love the look of the blush, wish I could just pop stateside now!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  12. I actually already have the Jordana Best Lash Extreme, but haven't opened it yet. God forbid I have too many mascaras open! I seriously need to get my hands on Luminoso, it just seems damn perfect! My family recently booked flights for LA though, so I'll definitely be holding out till then!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  13. Ahhh! Great stuff dear! I've been wanting to haul US drugstore brands but I maybe heading there soon so I've held off from purchasing those types of items from a local online seller! I really have luminoso and terre sole from milani's baked blushes on my wish list! As well as lipsticks from milani's line! I would love nude creme and this other violet pink shade! I think you got some great pieces! The US drugstore is really filled with awesome gems!

  14. Love the US items you chose - I have had Luminoso for a few years but never really fell in love with the shade the way others have, it makes me want to keep trying until it clicks for me. I wish I had've spent more time by myself (minus husband) in drugstore and pharmacy aisles in America looking at things like this, I think I rushed a lot of my shopping over there and would love to re-do a lot of it!

  15. I giggled a little when I saw the Milani lipsticks heh. But I love the colors that u have picked out! I've been eyeing those lipsticks for a while as well but haven't got my hands on any since the Milani section at my local drugstores are so small and never have the things I am looking for :( I don't even remember how many different stores and how many times I've been just to find their eyeliners! Hopefully I'll get more lucky with these.

  16. OMG luminoso it's soooo pretty *-*
    and the lipsticks shades are also quite nice :3

    Take care*

  17. Great post! those lipsticks look so nice! thanks for sharing


  18. I used to have Luminoso and I have no idea what happened to it :c Seeing your posts makes me want to dig it up again but alas...I cannot. The lipstick colors are stunning, too bad they accentuate dry patches!
    I wish Milani packaging didn't look so...old lady and tacky.

    ChloĆ©⎪ status.chlo

  19. Yes, Luminoso! Cannot go wrong with it. I got it after watching Karima's videos, too. :)

  20. I love your posts so much! Those lipsticks are gorgeous gahh.

  21. Luminoso looks so beautiful! <3 x

  22. I really need to get my hands on some Milani products at some point. Specially Luminoso, it just looks so pretty! It's not easy to get hold of Milani here in Ireland, so I'll have to scout webs and so on. Probably totally worth it, though!


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