Thursday, May 28

Battle of the drugstore make-up brands! How much does a full face cost?

Quite often there's little difference in the quality of drugstore make-up but the prices can range dramatically! From a foundation costing less than £5 to an eyeliner costing twice as much. We've all got our favourite brands and we know where we'll get a bargain, but does the price reflect the quality? And is it what you expect?

Check out Part 2 here

The test
I'm using Boots and Superdrug to price up a full face of products from well known high street make-up brands including 1 each of; foundation, concealer, powder, blusher, liquid eyeliner and lipstick. 3 eyeshadows and  basic brow product or pencil liner.

For each product I chose the middle of the range price to best represent the brand. E.g. if Max Factor's [excellent] mascaras were priced at £8 £10 £11 £13 I chose the £11 one to represent the brand. Except lipsticks. I always just chose the normal lipstick which usually turned out to be the cheapest within the brand.

I've included Superdrug exclusives and Boots exclusives as well as international favourites.

Here are 6 ranges you'd find on the shelves of your British high street shops;

Seventeen (formerly 17)
An old favourite from Boots and where most of us took our first steps into the world of make-up. My personal faves from Seventeen are the lipsticks, great texture and pigmentation.

SEVENTEEN Photo Flawless foundation £6.49
SEVENTEEN Stay Time Concealer £4.49
SEVENTEEN Pressed Powder £3.99
SEVENTEEN Cheek Stamp Blush £4.99
SEVENTEEN Brow Sculpting Pencil £2.89
SEVENTEEN Doll'd Up Mascara £6.29
SEVENTEEN High Drama Liquid Eyeliner £3.99
SEVENTEEN Trio Eye Shadows £5.49
SEVENTEEN Stay Pout Lipstick £4.49
Total: £43.11

Conclusion - more or less what I expected although the blusher is a little high priced. The best thing about Seventeen is that they're regularly part of 3 for 2 offers and buy 1 get one half price. And of course, Boots advantage points!

Collection (formerly Collection 2000)
Seventeen's Superdrug rival!! I remember my favourite ever lipgloss was Collection 2000 and free with Shout magazine, it was called Brazen Raisin and had the wierdest smell! What do you think, higher or lower than Seventeen? Here are the results. . . .

Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Foundation SPF20 £5.99
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer £4.29
Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Powder £4.29
Collection Blush £2.99
Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner £2.99
Collection Lengthening Mascara £3.99
Collection Little Mix All About The Eyes Palette £3.19
Collection Lasting Colour Lipstick £2.99
Collection Work the Colour Eyebrow Kit £3.99
TOTAL: £34.71

Conclusion - All those little savings add up to nearly £10 cheaper! Including the Lasting Perfection concealer which is a big fave among beauty bloggers. The recent eye palettes are beautiful and a huge improvement on the normally lacklustre eyshadows from Collection.

A big high street favourite that came over from America in the 90s - my faves are the Fit Me powder compact and very orange toned Fit Me concealer which I bought in shade 3 as a corrector for my dark circles. How big of a difference do you think it'll be? Here's the list...

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation £7.99
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer £5.99
Maybelline Matte Maker Mattifying Powder £3.99
Maybelline Expert Wear Blush Rosewood £5.19
Maybelline The Colossal Go Extreme Mascara £6.99
Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner £5.99
Maybelline Eye Studio Master Shape Brow £2.99
Maybelline Eyestudio Diamond Glow Quad £6.99
Maybelline Super Stay14 Hour Lipstick £6.99
TOTAL: £53.11

Conclusion - quite a big difference. Personally I think the products are well priced but £2.99 for eyebrows??? Bargain! Is the quality really that much better than Seventeen? Or is it just in our minds? I don't know, I haven't tried enough Maybelline to say, what's your experience?

Make-up Revolution
Quite a new range, most of us have discovered them within the last year. Great things have been said about their giant range of eye palettes. I personally love the iconic 3 (dupe for Naked 3), the face highlighter and this gorgeous plum lipstick.

Makeup Revolution Protection Palette £6.00
Makeup Revolution Foundation base £3.00
Makeup Revolution Focus & Fix Concealer £2.00
Makeup Revolution Pressed Powder £2.00
Makeup Revolution Baked Blush £2.50
Makeup Revolution Amazing Waterproof Eyeliner £1.50
Makeup Revolution Amazing Volume Mascara £2.00
Makeup Revolution Brow Kit £2.50
Makeup Revolution 5 Baked Eyeshadows £2.50
I Heart Lipstick Geek £1.99
TOTAL: £19.99 or £19.49 with palette instead of concealer, powder and blusher

Conclusion - WOW!! Less than 20 quid for a full face of make-up! And it's not tested on animals - cruelty free. Superdrug is making great waves with their budget ranges, it seems impossible that the quality is as good as it is for such low prices. The eyeshadows are astounding, I haven't tried any of the face products but so far, the quality far exceeds the prices. People are raving about this one.

Max Factor
The home of the best mascaras in the world! Since I was 16 I've been using the Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara and wouldn't use anything else. I've tried lots of others including high-end samples but nothing comes close. I love it. Credited with inventing most of the products we use today including foundation and compact powder, it's the range your Great Grandmas would probably have used. What do you think it'll be?

Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation £9.99
Max Factor Mastertouch Concealer Ivory 303 £8.99
Max Factor Crème Puff Powder Compact £5.99
Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blusher Soft Murano £6.99
Max Factor False Lash Effect Fusion Mascara £11.99
Max Factor Colour Xpert Liner £6.99
Max Factor Wild Eyeshadow Pot £4.99 x 3 = £14.97
Max Factor Eyebrow Pencil £4.99
Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick £6.99

TOTAL = £72.90

Conclusion - Reliable and high quality. If only Max factor caught up with the rest of the world and made a few eye palettes or even just trios! Those three eyeshadows really pushed up the total. Nonetheless I thought it'd be a higher total given the prominent placing in store. I think American brands always tend to be a little cheaper than we expect, what do you think?

Bright, colourful, exotic and with innovative little packages. Bourjois make some of the prettiest items. I'm not a regular customer but always liked the eyeshadow in beige rose which was beautifully sat between matte and shimmery. 

Bourjois 1,2,3 Perfect Foundation Beige 54 £10.99
Bourjois Happy Light Concealer Beige Rose £8.99
Bourjois Silk Edition Compact Powder Vanilla 52 £8.99
Bourjois Little Round Pot Blusher Sienne 85 £7.99
Bourjois Brow Pencils Brunette £4.99
Volume Glamour Push up mascara Black £8.99
 Bourjois Liner Clubbing Eyeliner Ultra Black £6.99
Quad Smoky Stories eyeshadow OVER ROSE £7.99
Rouge Edition 12H PAMPLEMOUSSE FRIMOUSSE Lipstick £7.99
TOTAL: £73.91

Conclusion - More than Max Factor, honestly this surprised me! I've always considered Max Factor to be of higher quality but here they stand side by side. Bourjois is definitely a younger and more fun range but in my local Boots it's crammed into the narrow aisles with the rest of the makeup brands while Max Factor has its own area in the high-end section with table displays and a consultant to give you a makeover. Interesting!

Statistics for Part 1:
  • Most/Least expensive - Bourjois; £73.91/Make-up Revolution; £19.49/£19.99
  • Most/Least expensive Foundation: Bourjois; £10.99/Make-up Revolution £3.00
  • Most/Least expensive Concealer: Bourjois & Max Factor £8.99/Make-up Revolution £2
  • Most/Least expensive Powder: Bourjois £8.99/Makeup Revolution £2
  • Most/Least expensive Blusher: Bourjois £7.99/Makeup Revolution £2.50
  • Most/Least expensive Eyeliner: Bourjois & Max Factor £6.99/Makeup Revolution £1.50
  • Most/Least expensive Mascara: Max Factor £11.99/£2
  • Most/Least expensive Brows: Bourjois & Max Factor £4.99/Makeup Revolution £2.50
  • Most/Least expensive Eyeshadow: Max Factor £14.97/Makeup Revolution £2.50
  • Most/Least expensive Lipstick: Bourjois £7.99/Makeup Revolution £1.99

If only Max Factor made eyeshadow trios and quads Bourjois would be a lot more expensive than Max Factor overall. These brands represent the budget, middle of the price range and top prices from the drugstore brands.

Click here for Part 2 for more comparisons of drugstore brands and conclusions. How will your favourite perform? I can tell you that there is another range even cheaper than Makeup Revolution - can you guess????

See you soon
Ciao for now


  1. Very interesting! It's weird because my absolute favourite foundation is a Seventeen BB cream after trying tons of the more expensive ones but I won't buy anything other than Bourjois eyeliner. I think it comes down to trying things out and making your own little collection of goodness

    1. Absolutely! I think our high street make-up brands are getting better and better.
      I'm exactly the same with mascara - I've tried high end ones but I'll always choose Max Factor 2000 calorie! :-) xx

  2. Hello! Im here via Fabulous and Fun life's linky party :-) This is a fantastic post! I remember visiting Boots when we were in England for a holiday- Ive heard Collection is a really nice brand. Maybelline is pretty exy here in Australia too- about $17AUD for a lippie, which is too much IMO! Still, more affordable than MAC or other higher end brands. Fantastic post!

    Christina |

    1. Hi Christina! Wow, thanks so much, what a lovely comment to read :)
      I agree, I don't think I could spend that much on a lipstick!! Maybe find someone who wants to 'box swap' (I think that's the right term) a bunch of British only brands for a bunch of Australian only brands, I've never done it but it looks like a good way to try other brands. Of course then you have the dilemma of what to do if you love it and it runs out.... :/


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