I tend to do mornings on auto-pilot. I wake up, let the cat in (and hope she didn’t bring another mouse inside the house), let the dogs out, pour a cup of coffee and watch the Today Show while checking my email and Facebook. I don’t usually pay attention to the TV unless the local weather is on, that’s all I’m listening for. Today, my ears perked up when The Rossen Report aired the story about drugstore vs designer makeup.

This I want to see and hear about, because I already know how it’s going to play out.

Drugstore vs Designer Makeup

Rossen had identical twins, Meltem and Sinem (the twins from the Discover Card commercial) on hand to determine which is better, drugstore makeup or designer makeup.

Better is a relative term.

Both women had their makeup applied by a professional makeup artist. I’m going to assume it was the same makeup artist, but I really don’t know.

I couldn’t tell which twin had what kind of makeup on. Except for the slightly different shade of lipstick they looked the same to me.

Rossen then parades the women on the streets of NY asking fellow New Yorkers who has the better look. Again, “better” is pretty subjective.

According to Rossen people on the street chose the drugstore look over the designer look 78% of the time.

Let me say here, they both look adorable.

I’ve used both drugstore makeup and designer makeup and there is no comparison. Designer is better. It goes on better, it lasts longer and depending on the brand, it’s pigmented better. Designer brands tend to also be more environmentally friendly and are cruelty free. You can’t say that for most of the drugstore brands.

Enjoy the Journey

That said, there is more to makeup than just the way it looks. Sure, that’s important, very important, but makeup is about the experience.

It’s not just about putting it on and wearing it. It’s about the hunt.

Leigh and I share an addiction to makeup. There’s no other way to describe it. We both live for finding the perfect concealer and when Kat Von D comes out with a new palette, both of us would be happy to camp out at the entrance to Sephora to make sure we got our hands on it.

We’re both still kicking ourselves over the Great Mi Vida Loca debacle of 2015.

Can you use drugstore makeup and look the same as you would using designer makeup?


Will your face feel all tight from a moisturizer or foundation that settles into your pores and starts to flake off by noon?


For this experiment, people on the street chose the woman wearing drugstore makeup as the better choice.

They looked the same to me. But that was before I had my coffee and actually looked closely at the video.

Look Closer

If you watch until the end, when the women are in the studio, you can see that Melton, the twin wearing designer makeup, is wearing a shade of foundation much too dark for her skin. It’s also not blended well into her jawline and neck.

It doesn’t matter what kind of makeup you wear, if you don’t apply it properly and blend the every loving crap out of it, it’s going to look cheap.

I don’t know if this was done on purpose or if the makeup artist simply didn’t know how to apply the particular brand she was using, but it was clear all things were not equal.

The bottom line – you can save a ton of money on makeup by purchasing it at Walgreens or CVS. The thing is, you’re going to miss out on the experience of buying makeup. And with that experience comes the camaraderie of bonding with other makeup lovers.

If you don’t enjoy applying makeup, then by all means get it at the drugstore. But if you’re reading this blog the odds are good you have an unhealthy relationship with all things makeup and wouldn’t consider drugstore brands because then you don’t get a free facial, handfuls of samples and perhaps a free makeup bag for your effort, time and loyalty.

Wear whatever kind of makeup you like. If you prefer designer makeup and can afford it, then by all means wear it. If you love bargains, then buy drugstore makeup. It’s all about how it makes you feel.