Of course there are exceptions to this statement. Case in point, all three of the selections that I discussed in this post about my current favourite lipsticks last January are department store brands, and I use Clinique moisturizer and eye shadow as part of my daily routine, but I balance out these more costly purchases by turning to a number of drugstore brand items as well.
As I chatted about in 2012's My Skin Care Routine Revealed post, and have mentioned here at other times as well, I have very sensitive skin, so that always factors into any cosmetic or beauty choices that I make. Fortunately, unlike with lotions, soaps, fragrances, and laundry products, I tend to have fairly good luck on that front when it comes to makeup. Such isn't always the case however, and I have had some terrible allergic/sensitive skin reactions over the years (on that front, Garnier and Rimmel London's offerings have been two of the biggest offenders for me; I won't buy anything from either brand any more), but at present my skin is happy with all of the items highlighted in this post.
In many instances, I've used markedly similar offerings from pricier brands over the years and have, in every case, found these products to be comparable - or better - in quality than their pricier peers, which is why these particular beauty items made it into today's post.
No matter what your budget and how you choose to spend it, it never hurts to save money where you can, especially if a considerably less costly product can deliver the same kinds of results as a one which a much higher sticker cost. In the spirit of beauty bargain lovers everywhere, I've kept all of the entries on this list to less than $10.00 Canadian (based on the lowest prices I've been able to pay for them here in British Columbia). Depending on where you live in the world, these items may cost a bit more or even a little less, but most should still be very economical options, if they're available in your country.
In addition, all of these products are ones that I not only use on a regular (in some cases, daily) basis, but are options that work fabulously as part of your vintage beauty and makeup routine. (Please note that the prices provided are an average of what I have paid for these items, before taxes, commonly at chains like Walmart or London Drugs, over the past twelve months. They are not exact prices from one specific shop/online source and may differ from what stores in your part of Canada, or the world, retail them for.)
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara - average price $6.99: A worldwide best seller for decades now, this is, hands down, my favourite mascara of all time and indeed, the overwhelming majority of the time, the only mascara I use. I prefer either Blackest Black or Black Brown, just depending on what colour eye makeup I'm sporting that day, and aside from the the fact that it has tremendous staying power, separates and defines my lashes like nothing else, and is wallet friend, I adore this mascara because it still used a traditional spoolie brush, instead of a rubber/plastic/silicon one, which I find do not work well for my lashes in the slightest.
Badger Balm Unscented Lip Balm Stick - average price $3.99: I love Badger Balm's products and have yet to try one that troubled my sensitive skin. This is no doubt because they're (to quote Badger Balm's official site) made from 100% natural ingredients obtained through wild harvest, fair trade, or organic practices, and most are USDA Certified Organic. Plus most, if not all (I'm not certain), are gluten-free. I've been using the Unscented Lip Balm for a few years now, both on it's own and also as a light gloss atop matte lipstick and really find it helps my permanently parched lips stay better moisturized the whole year 'round.
Joe Fresh Black Liquid Eyeliner - average price $7.00: Aside from the fact that you can't (or at least, I can't) get mind blowingly thin lines with this, I can't fault Joe Fresh's Black Liquid Eyeliner in any way. It's been my go to choice for achieving my beloved vintage cat's eye look for numerous years now, a tube lasts me for months, the colour is rich and really stays put, and it can be found from coast to coast across Canada at stores that carry the Joe Fresh cosmetics line. If you've been looking for a budget-friendly black liquid liner, this is it for sure.
Dove Beauty Bar Sensitive Skin - average price $4.00 (for two bars): Throughout my entire life, soap (very much including things like dish and laundry detergent) has been one of the beauty products that has most troubled my sensitive skin. Thankfully my soap salvation arrived back when I was a teenager in the form of Dove's Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar, which I not only use as soap, but as my “shaving cream” year after year without the slightest bit of irritation in the world.
NYC Grand Central Station Quick Dry Clear Nail Polish - average price: $2.49: While this clear polish certainly works well as such, and I frequently wear it on its own (I have brittle nails and find that keeping polish on them helps to strength them and reduce breakage considerable), I've actually hit upon the fact that this quick dry polish makes for a stellar top coat that helps speed of the drying time of every single polish, from a wide array of drug store and department store brands alike, that I've tried it with. In fact, it works better in this regard then products targeted as quick dry top coats from other brands that I've experimented with. If you've been looking for a really budget friendly way to speed up your nail polish drying time, this is it!
Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks - average price $6.00: These babies are staple on many a budget beauty product list and for good reason. They're super useful, can be taken with you anywhere, and really do the job - plus they're seriously handy to have around when you're trying to get the flick on your cat eye liner just right! If you live in Canada and can't find them in your area, Well.ca currently stocks them for $5.99, which is comparable to what I usually pay in person.
Ban Unscented Deodorant - average price $4.00: For years I went from one brand of deodorant (including several organic/all natural ones purchased at health food stores) to another, constantly finding that after a few days (or sometimes even one application), they would trouble my sensitive skin to no end (even dye and perfume-free varieties). Then a few years ago, probably about six or seven now, I hit on Ban Unscented and finally found a deodorant that I can wear most of the time. I say "most of the time" because if I apply it for too many days in row, usually more than four or five, I do still sometimes run into issues, but they pale compare to those from any other brand of deodorant or antiperspirant I've tried and as, thankfully, I'm not a big sweater usually. I don't need to wear it every day, so the skin on my underarms is usually a very happy camper regardless of if I've got this one or not. I find that it goes on sale at various grocery stores sometimes at deeply discounted rates and just stocked up on three sticks last spring for all of $1.79 each, if memory serves me right, when they did at Save On Foods.
Tom's of Maine Baking Soda Cleansing Mouthwash - average price $9.00: My sensitive skin extends to the inside of my mouth, so alcohol based mouth washes are out for me. It took me sometime to find one that both alcohol-free and gluten-free (gluten is not a common mouth wash ingredient, but I do always prefer it when a brand clearly states a product is GF, as Tom's of Maine does with this mouthwash), but I did just that with this one and thoroughly love it. I find it to be effective, very pleasant tasting (I've been using Tom's of Maine's toothpastes for several years now, so I was already familiar with what their mint flavours were like and I think that made me enjoy the taste here all the more), and that despite its somewhat small size (for the price), a bottle will last me for at least three months even when used every day. (If you're having a hard time finding it in Canada, I've been able to do so at the Choices Market chain of health food stores here in B.C., and suspect, though cannot say for sure, that Nature's Fair and Whole Foods may carry it as well.)
Annabelle Lip Liners - average price $3.00 (I just paid this each for two at Walmart a couple of months ago): Annabelle Cosmetics is a budget-friendly Canadian makeup line that I flat out love. Not only are most of their products hypo-allergenic and gluten-free (interestingly, this point used to be mentioned on their website, but I can't find it there anymore; nevertheless, I'm ultra gluten sensitive due to my celiac disease and have not yet, thankfully, had any problems with the products I've used from them), they're also easy to find, very affordable, good quality, and available in a number of really wearable colours that partner well, I find, with the lipsticks and glosses I frequently use from other brands such as MAC and Clinique.
Cover Girl Eye Enhancers 1-Kit Shadows - average price $5.00: While there is merit to multi-colour eye shadow palettes for sure, especially if the hues coordinate and can be used to create a cohesive Smokey eye, I generally prefer to buy my shadows one shade at the time and for years I've been turning to Cover Girl's Eye Enhancers 1-Kit Shadows on that front. They're available in a fairly large range of shades, includes some really lovely neutrals, last for ages, deliver a good wash of pigment, don't "flake" too much, and are quite easy to find at most any drugstore or supermarket with a beauty section. In particular, I'm quite fond of the French Vanilla, Snow Blossom, Patina and Shimmering Onyx shades in this range.
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In putting together this list, I came up with easily double the number of items shown here today, so a second edition might just have to pop up at some point. Though Canada does not have quite the same range of beauty products available to those in the US (and perhaps the UK - though there I'm not sure if it's as much a matter of different brands or a larger overall number of available items), we are fortunate to have a good many, with more hitting the shelves (online and off) every year.
I tend to be very devoted to my beauty and cosmetics products and rarely switch once I've hit on one that I really like, especially when its as well priced as these, so chances are I'll continue to use most, or all, of these items for as long as their respective manufactures keep producing them and stores continue to retail them for such reasonable rates.
Are you a fan of any of the lovely items listed here today yourself? What are some of your favourite vintage appropriate (or otherwise) beauty cheapies? Loyal to my faves as I am, and while, yes, I may not splash out a ton on makeup every month, beauty loving girly-girl that I am, I'm always keen to discover new brands and products, so by all means share away!