Thursday, January 11, 2018

Two Drugstore Buys versus Designer Beauty

Which side is drugstore and which side is designer? Can you tell? 

So, I planned for this post two months ago. I mean, I took these photos on the same day as this post. But then the holidays got in the way, and I had so much content to share I never quite got around to these. Whoops!

In the past couple of years I've been slowly transitioning from using only drugstore products to a full-blown Sephora addict. I mean, I have VIB Rouge status. How the heck did that happen?!

I've been wondering if the higher-end products really work better, so when I saw advertisements for products trying to dupe two of favorite makeup items, I decided to put them against each-other in a head-to-head challenge.

First up? My incredibly expensive eyebrow pencil. I've only been using this Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long Wear Brow Pencil in Taupe for about nine months now. It has an angled pencil on one end, and a spoolie brush at the other. The taupe color is slightly red, which helps to make my eyebrows blend a little better with my hair color. I put this head-to-head against the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Blonde. They actually don't make any colors with a hint of red in them, so I ignored my color preference in this comparison.

So first, the application. I found that the L'Oreal pencil went on darker (despite the fact that the color is blonde!) and waxier than the Bobbi Brown pencil, leading to a more defined brow. The spoolie on the L'Oreal pencil, however, is a bit shorter than the Bobbi Brown pencil, which I did not find to work as well when brushing out my brows.

I thought that the L'Oreal pencil was going to win the test, but then I kept using it for a week. In just that week, the pencil tip got completely smashed up and flattened, so my brows went from being sharp and defined to blah. Really, it became unusable. In comparison, the Bobbi Brown pencil hasn't dulled in nine months of use. Seriously. Bobbi Brown (and Sephora addiction), you win this round!

I'm wearing the Bobbi Brown eyebrow pencil and Too Faced mascara on the left, and the L'Oreal eyebrow pencil and mascara on the right

The second product I tested was my mascara. Expensive mascaras are tricky because I go through mascara so much more often than any other product. I've been using Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara for a couple of years now, and love how long and defined it makes my short and stumpy lashes look. I tested it against L'Oreal's Lash Paradise, which was obviously trying to dupe the Better Than Sex - I mean, look at that packaging! I compared two brand new packages here, since mascara can be different based on how much product is left in the tube.

So the first surprise when opening up the tube is how different the two wands are. I figured L'Oreal would try to copy the Too Faced wand, but no - the L'Oreal wand has shorter, even-length sparse bristles, while the Too Faced wand has denser bristles, and longer bristles at the ends than the middle. Going on, I found L'Oreal slightly clumpier, but it gave me a little more length than Too Faced, while Too Faced definitely gave me more volume as well as length.

To even the playing field, I tried both of these with and without my favorite lash primer, Urban Decay Subversion. Without the primer, both mascaras flaked, but with the primer they both stayed put. I always have a hard time removing the Too Faced mascara (I'm currently using this oil cleanser) but it was even worse with the L'Oreal - it did not want to budge!

Too Faced is on the left, L'Oreal is on the right

So what's the verdict here? I still like Too Faced Better Than Sex better than the L'Oreal Lash Paradise, but it was close. The Better Than Sex probably isn't worth the twelve dollar difference in price, especially if you're on a budget.

Not pictured: Me trying running out of time after doing this trial and trying to make my eyebrows match before heading to a party. Not my cutest look.

Are you more of a drugstore girl, or are you into higher end beauty products? Do you have any drugstore favorites I should try? Let me know!

P.S. My everyday makeup routine, and some of my favorite lip colors (including drugstore!)

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