The Drugstore Makeup Pick-Me-Up

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If Irina Aleksander is the Drugstore Cowboy, then I am the Drugstore Old-Timey Brothel Prostitute. I love the cheapness of it all, and it's in my nature to be a little promiscuous—Rimmel, Revlon, Maybelline, Milani...I'm indiscriminate. (But I prefer that they keep their junk wrapped up.) Actually, maybe it's the products themselves that are the trollops—they're wildly dressed, they call to you from the aisles, waving their tear-off point-of-purchase coupons in your face, "Two for One, Baby," and then those mascaras, displaying their wands all out in the open for everyone to see! I always fall for it, too. Whenever I'm sick of what I got going on at home, or just depressed that it's Monday again and in need of a boost, I find myself wandering the aisles of the nearest pharmacy searching for something fun, quick, and requiring around $12 worth of commitment.

There's no real criteria for the product I choose, other than that it needs to catch my eye—you know, flirt with me a little. Which means the stuff that succeeds is normally colorful, shiny, or of another interesting texture, new to the (drugstore) scene, with some sort of novel twist, or, as in the case of Revlon Colorstay Shadowlinks, featuring an interactive display.

The shadows got my attention for being so suspiciously tiny. "Kawaii..." I whispered, and knelt down to investigate. It seems that Revlon is finally loosening the tight grip of palettedom (the five-part PhotoReady Primer + Shadow and CustomEyes bar, the four reservoirs of colorful créme in the Illuminance version, the ColorStay quad, the dual-ended Smoky Shadow Stick...) and letting us choose our own shades. Then you link them together in an infinite strand of shadows with their snap-grooves on the sides like the silly female equivalent to Legos! I went for the four that I'd never normally select—remember this is a hit-it-and-quit-it scenario—a forest green, sky blue, golden yellow, and violet.

As for the quality, well, they're quite sheer and very...powdery? I recommend using in conjunction with a liquid—either H2O, for a watercolor-like wash, or try Top Shelf-er Amy Kothari's powder-to-liner magic potion, Illamasqua Sealing Gel. The subtle suffusion is actually a very pretty way to wear such a non-neutral shade. And hey, they're $3.50 a piece, so if you really hate the color, the only thing you'll be lamenting is the chocolate croissant you could have purchased instead.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Photos by Mathea Millman

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  • http://insertwth.com/ Denisse

    Happens to me all the time. Pass by the local CVS on my way to classes and find myself buying some useless product. Why? Because it's cheap! Usually a mistake. And I always regret the croissant I could have had - or the cappuccino.

  • kelceyholda .

    I love your description of this experience. I feel the same way about drugstore products. They can be really cheap but give such a thrill by something so simple as packaging. Thanks for the post.

    -Kelcey

    http://hellokelcey.blogspot.com/

  • liv

    "as for the quality, well, they're quite sheer and very...powdery?" subtle shade? WHAT oh

  • sashi

    so funny. They are like fireworks advertisements around 4th of July-- buy one, get ten free!! ?WHAT?

  • Dana

    Just want to say that I love your writing!

  • https://twitter.com/isavella dameagatha

    "Kawaii..." I whispered and knelt down to investigate - Haha.

    There is something really magical (hyperbolic, I know, but still) about an bright, icy Walgreens on a steamy summer midnight.

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