Sephora vs Drugstore: Is Brand Name Makeup Really Better?

Do you or someone you know have a Sephora addiction? If so, call the number on the – no, just kidding. But seriously, if you can’t stop buying fancy makeup, then read on. There are so many times where you should opt for the more expensive version of a product, but there are very few times when that needs to happen with makeup. Us twentysomethings have it hard. We’re on a budget, but we also want to look awesome all the time. Looking awesome also tends to be crazy expensive, so save your cash and only splurge when you need to. 

Liquid Lipstick

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Sephora, $16


Shopper’s Drug Mart, $7

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Liquid lipsticks with a matte finish are all the rage nowadays. They tend to not be incredibly expensive, but when purchased at Sephora versus the drugstore, there is an obvious price difference. I’ve tried both the Sephora brand Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color and the Nyx brand Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick and I honestly didn’t notice a difference in terms of pigmentation or how long they lasted. Both products do get dry after a couple of hours, but that’s expected of a matte lipstick. When two products are virtually the same, it’s always better to opt for the cheaper option.

Highlighting Concealer

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Sephora, $22


Shopper’s Drug Mart, $8

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Covering up under-eye bags while also appearing awake is important, and unfortunately, I can’t rely on just a drugstore highlighting concealer to do the trick. Maybelline’s Dream Lumi Touch highlighting concealer isn’t anything special compared to bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener. Although neither of these products prove to do the job of covering dark under-eye circles on their own (you generally need a darker concealer to put on underneath), only the bareMinerals product gets you that desired highlight. It might be worth it to spend those extra dollars this time, ladies.


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MAC, $26


Shopper’s Drug Mart, $14Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 12.40.48 AM

In this case, I honestly prefer the Physican’s Formula Multi-Colored Face Powder to MAC’s Bronzing Powder. For starters, this is the only bronzer that MAC offers. Although I had used the MAC bronzer for quite sometime, I found that it was incredibly shimmery and I didn’t necessarily want that glow all the time. The Physican’s Formula bronzer is matte, and offers much more dimension because of it’s multi-coloured palette. There are a ton of other reasonably priced bronzing products that Physican’s Formula offers too if you’re into the shimmery stuff but don’t want to break the bank. Check them out here.


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Sephora, $54


Shopper’s Drug Mart, $10

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This one really gave me a hard time. I’ve loved my Urban Decay Naked2 eyeshadow palette (the only Naked palette worth buying) to the point where I deemed it irreplaceable. But on the other hand, Maybelline’s The Nudes Palette is amazing. I discovered the Maybelline palette by accident. By “accident” I mean it was on sale and I’m a sucker for cheap makeup. This palette surpassed my expectations. The majority of the colors are matte, which I love, and they all go together so well. I even fill my eyebrows in with the darkest shade of brown. Although I don’t think you’d regret buying the Naked2 palette, which by the way is over $15 more expensive now than it was two years ago when I bought it, the Maybelline palette is much more neutral and affordable. Bonus: the palette offers a “for best results” list on the back that includes which colors go together best.


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Sephora, $23


Shopper’s Drug Mart, $8

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Long and full eyelashes mean a lot to me, and I am a full believer in drugstore mascara. In my opinion, spending more than $15 on mascara is insanity. Mostly because there are so many drugstore kinds to choose from; each of them preferred by different kinds of people. My personal favorite brand of mascara is Maybelline, specifically Volum’ Express: The Colossal because it gives my lashes a ton of volume and length simultaneously. This drugstore mascara could be most similarly compared to Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara which is supposed to give you endless volume, but is actually incredibly clumpy and an otherwise average mascara. For the record, if you’re going to buy something with a name like “Better Than Sex”, you better make sure it lives up to it.

On average, I’ve found that the drug store equivalent to brand name makeup products are almost always worth buying. Yeah, it’s nice to go into Sephora with all it’s pretty lights and rows and rows of makeup. But is that stuff actually worth the change when you could get it at the drugstore for over $10 cheaper? All of the drugstore products listed are easily accessible and well worth a try. Think of all the stuff you could be buying with the money you would’ve spent on makeup at Sephora! Okay – I know, probably just more makeup.

Featured image via Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash


  1. This article was extremely helpful! Thanks for the tips on which makeup to buy or not. What about facial moisturizers? Suggestions to go cheap or not?


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