I’ve been scared of the drugstore beauty aisle since middle school. I’m a frugal girl at heart, but I’m also cosmetically inept, hopelessly indecisive, and easily overwhelmed, which has made the custom makeup counter—with it’s $22 lipstick—a much safer place for me than Target.
(In other words, when it comes to makeup, I need all the help I can get.)
But my girls needed rose-colored lipstick for their dance recital (and blue eye shadow, but that’s another story). You’ve given me great beauty advice on facebook and in the blog comments before, and based on your recommendations, I headed straight for the (blessedly small) ELF section at Target, where they carry twenty shades of lipstick for $3 each.
They got to wear full-on makeup (like, way more than I wear daily) for their dress rehearsal, and they were absolutely delighted with their made-up selves. They asked me to make myself up too (my everyday makeup being too subtle for their taste) so we could “match.” I said no to the blue eye shadow, but yes to the lipstick.
And I really like it.
About the actual lipstick: we went with ravishing rose, which is a touch pinker and a bit more intense than my beloved Tenderheart. The reviews for ravishing rose say it’s almost a look-alike for Laura Mercier’s $24 dry rose. Ravishing rose is from ELF’s “moisturizing lipstick” line, and it goes on pretty wet. I used it with an inexpensive liner—as always—for definition and staying power, and blotted thoroughly.
I’m surprised my $3 lipstick experience went so well, especially because I’ve been so afraid of the drugstore makeup aisle for so long, and I think this is where I went right:
1. I limited my choices to one brand. I get completely overwhelmed by too many choices, but I could handle twelve square feet.
2. The knowledge I’ve gained from working with a pro for years gave me confidence to go it alone this time. After seeing him once or twice a year for years, I knew which color family to look for, which shades are hard to get right, and which shades look good on everyone. Shades in the rose family aren’t as universally flattering as this cult classic, but they’re close.
My style-savvy friend says, “if you know what to look for, you can find it anywhere.” She was talking about finding classic pieces at Old Navy, but I think it applies to the beauty aisle, too.
3. I’ve been focusing this year on overcoming perfectionism, ever since this eye-opening experience. It’s just a $3 lipstick. (Plus, you all told me in comments that I could return it to Target if I hated it, even if it was opened. I had no idea.)
4. Or maybe I just got lucky.
The recital’s over, but I’m still wearing this lipstick three times a week. (Like, right now.) I’m so happy with my accidental $3 drugstore lipstick experiment that I’m tempted to buy out the ELF lipstick selection the next time at Target. Just to see.
Do you have a favorite drugstore beauty find (or five)? Please tell us about it in comments!