Drugstore Vs. Department Store, What's The Deal?

Drugstore Vs. Department Store, What's The Deal?

Breaking down the major differences between lower end and high-end makeup.

For most girls, becoming a teenager also means the start of experimenting with makeup. Now whether this experimentation happens with your mom, sister, or just some friends, the process of buying and learning how to apply makeup can be very exciting.

At what point though, do we cast aside childish things and upgrade from Target to Sephora, and do we as makeup wearers actually need to? If you're anything like me understanding the difference between drugstore makeup and high-end makeup is confusing, luckily, I have your Transitioners Guide to All Things Makeup.


When it comes to making makeup, a key difference between high end and lower end products can be found in the ingredients lists. Just because two products claim to have the same active ingredients doesn’t mean the products will perform the same. More often than not more expensive products are made with more expensive ingredients, meaning cleaner ingredients, and fewer fillers. While some lower end products don’t have as many expensive products, use more fillers, and use cheaper ingredients, and more accessible ingredients in order to keep the product cost and cost or production low.


While high end products tend to have more expensive, safer, and more sensitive ingredients not everyone has access to those products. What if money is a little tight? And not everybody lives next to a Nordstrom or has access to a Sephora in their time of need. Drugstore makeup brands are more accessible than high end brands because they can be found in franchise stores that have more locations across the country. Stores like Walgreens, Target, and CVS Pharmacy contain a variety of less expensive makeup brands, and chances are it's you live closer to a Walgreens than a Macy’s, right?


When it comes to shade range, low end and high-end makeup brands are typically incomparable. For women of color especially, shopping in a drugstore for face makeup (such as foundation) can be a lot more difficult for you than your fairer skinned friends. This is because pigments are expensive, department store brands fill their foundations and concealers with more fillers than pigments, meaning that even if you do find a department store shade that seems to match your skin tone, there's still a possibility that the makeup will oxidize. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that happens with certain products when they hit air, oxidation can cause your makeup to become appear darker than it was when you first put it on, the oxidation process can also change or make the makeups undertones more prominent, so instead of your foundation looking brown it could end up looking redder or pink. And for my sisters who can’t find their shades in drugstores at all, like I said earlier PIGMENTS ARE EXPENSIVE, and that doesn’t only relate to the portion size of the pigments. The darker the pigments going into the foundation are the more expensive they are, that coupled with the fact that it's harder to mix the pigments for darker skin tones and have them come out accurate is one of the main reasons a lot of low end brands don't carry darker tones, and although some higher end products and brands could still work on expanding their shade ranges, darker skinned women or color (or all women of color) still have better chances of finding their shade amongst those brands in a department store.


Although there can be (as I have mentioned) a lot of differences between high end makeup brands and lower end makeup brands there are some products that can be interchangeable between drugstores and department stores. The first one of these “saveable” products is mascara. A Lot of makeup artists and celebrities attest to using drugstore mascara instead of high end mascara, with the wide range of drugstore mascaras available there's a drugstore option for any eyelash look that you are going for, plus with a shelf life of only 3 months, why spend so much money on a tube you most likely won't even get the chance to finish. Another common “savable” expense are lip products. From balms, to glosses, to lipsticks drugstores provide a multitude of brands, colors, formulas, and finishes that could easily act as dupes (duplicates) for some of the higher end stuff, especially if you're looking to experiment with colors drugstore lip products are the way to go, they're affordable enough to try all the colors in the rainbow without breaking the bank. Lastly if you're looking for some fun with colors but dont have the wiggle room for department store prices, drugstore eyeshadow palettes act as great supplements of color, with shades very similar to ones that can be found in Sephora exclusive palettes for half the price. These drugstore shadows can get you the look or department store finishes and are available at more accessible locations and prices.

Now that you’ve got the drugstore vs. department store basics down, you can go out more into the makeup world more confidently, and decide for yourself on what products you want to splurge or save.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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10 Outfits Every College Girl Wears To Class At Least Once

You can thank me later.

It's happened on more than one occasion.

The occasion of being called out more than once for dressing down for class and by "down" I mean some of the haters we hate to love claiming that they can't see the shorts we're wearing under the oversized band tee on our way to class.

Contrary to popular belief, yes I'm not oblivious to how my choice of outfits for class tends to shift on the more comfortable side and yes, I am aware that it looks like I'm not wearing pants, I like it that way.

Every girl in college wears what they feel is comfortable enough to wear in a 2-hour lecture and these are my ideas of comfort.

1. The infamous oversized tee with Nike shorts.

I'll say it right now, I have a variety of assorted Soffee and Nike shorts that I pair with almost every oversized tee I own and it's my go-to for those 8 AM math lectures.

2. Oversized tee with leggings and riding boots.

Once the first red, yellow and orange leaf is found on campus grounds, you know you're about to see a swarm of college girls, like me, sporting riding boots in every shade of brown. Jeans optional.

3. Oversized tee with leggings and rain boots.

Once the first rainfall hits campus, you better believe you'll see this same 'fit paired with Hunter boots in almost every color.

4. The "I'm going to the gym right after class, I SWEAR" look.

Whether or not I have plans to go to the gym after class or not, I'm probably in my gym gear 4 times of the week and I'm not ashamed by it.

5. Jeans.

I've always had a hate/hate relationship with wearing jeans when I absolutely do not have to and here's why: they make my derriere completely disappear. When (and if) you catch me wearing jeans in lecture hall it's probably because someone paid me a large sum of money to do so.

6. Your boyfriend's flannel paired with... you guessed it, your favorite pair of leggings.

This is probably one of the many flannels I've stolen from my boyfriend and certainly not the last one. Paired with another favorite standard black leggings, you can't go wrong with this outfit to snooze in.

7. The baseball hat and quarter zip ensemble.

One of my all times favorites, you can't go wrong with a zipper up 3x too big for your body and a baseball hat you honestly forgot where you got it from. We also can't forget our infamous black leggings.

8. Your "walk of shame" outfit.

Now, this doesn't mean you roll up to Intro to Psychology wearing what you wore to the lacrosse mixer the night before, no. This is more of the outfit you so quickly had to throw on in a span of two minutes because you left so and so's apartment downtown an hour too late.

9. A v-neck.

Another one of my favorites.

10. Dresses (or anything even relatively formal).

Disclaimer: I personally would never come to class wearing this but gigantic kudos to cute a** girls that do decide to wear this because you look good.

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My Hair Journey After Box Bleaching My Hair

Although it may seem cheap and easy, the reality of box bleaching your hair is disastrous. Professionals, this article is dedicated to you.


In 2017, I made the disastrous decision to box bleach my hair that I am still paying for today.

It seemed cheap, easy, and was something fun I could do at midnight. Little did I know, this would be a choice that I would still be regretting to this day. Besides the awful reality of box bleaching your hair, such as the chemicals in store hair dye already being disastrous for your hair, if you don't know what you're doing you not only run the risk of damaging your hair, having your hair fall out, but could also seriously hurting your scalp.

Follow me on my hair journey over the past two years and use this article to look back on if you're ever bored and in need for a change. Wait to go to a salon!

May 23rd, 2017.

Nichole Doty

I like to call this moment the calm before the storm. Back in 2017, I had long dark hair. I loved my hair and was very proud of how long I grew it. This is the longest my hair had ever been at this point in my life, and I absolutely loved it.

July 31st, 2017.

Nichole Doty

This was the day that everything changed. I made the terrible decision to not only box bleach my hair but to add box pink hair dye on the underneath of it. Not only did it look terrible, but it was also an irreversible decision that was made that I would have to live with for the next few years to come.

August 12th, 2017.

Kasey Bauner, (kasey_bauner via instagram), who works at Jay Marie Salon and Spa in Schereville, was able to save my hair in a beautiful way.

Nichole Doty

HALLELUJAH! My hot mess was fixed! Through hours and hundreds of dollars later spent at the salon, they were able to salvage my hair without shaving all of it off!

December 9th, 2017.

Nichole Doty

A few months later, after some length came in, that's when the roots started to appear. After the first glace at the outgrowth, I knew that I would have to keep chopping my hair until the roots fully grew out.

January 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

This was the first big chop I had to do since the box bleach disaster I did to my head. I knew that I didn't want to dye my hair back to its original color, so this began my repetitive cycle of hair growing out, getting a drastic chop, and growing it out again.

July 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

In July, my hair started to show more length since I had to originally chop it. My roots were starting to come in the dark so I had to try and wear hairstyles that would discretely cover how much my hair had grown.

August 31st, 2018.

Another big chop when school started in the fall of 2018. There's something so disappointing about having to keep growing out your hair just to chop it, but unfortunately, that's what I signed up for when I got myself into this mess.

November 29th, 2018.

At this point, my roots looked terrible. From the back of my head, the roots were growing towards the middle. I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't see the back of my head so I could gracefully ignore how terrible it looked. Aside from this awful outgrowth I had going on, the color in my hair was starting to settle into a yellow mess.

January 31st, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As if I didn't learn my lesson from the first time, I started to experiment with different colors. I used the L'Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent dye. I will say, though, this really is the most Semi-Permanent dye I have ever used as it would fully wash out in two weeks without any traces of color left behind.

April 25th, 2019.

I felt as though if I added different colors to my hair it would make the roots look more natural. As it did, I do NOT recommend the Kiss Tintation hair dye. This was the most patchy dye I have ever used, although I did love the blue.

May 12th, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As of just a few weeks ago, my hair was a big green mess. The dye would not leave my hair, so I started to panic that I really messed up this time. I could no longer wait at this point as I felt the frantic need to chop my hair.

May 23rd, 2019.

Nichole Doty

Here we have it! At the end of my journey thus far, I have managed to almost have all of my natural colors back! Although there are some green strands still left behind, I am mostly back to a full head of hair being the same color.

Overall, I want this article to serve as a warning to those who are like me and don't think through decisions properly. I'm the type of person when I want something I want it at that exact moment no matter what. My rash decision has led to poor self esteem and issues throughout these past two years. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I'm like you who feels as though your hair is a big part of your identity and who you are as a person. Thank you for following my hair journey and remember: ALWAYS think through big decisions properly and wait to go to a salon to get your hair done!


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