All the secrets of a successful makeup shopping expedition

Iulia Cristica, an expert makeup artist will give you all the tricks to how to choose the best quality cosmetics products in drugstores.

Photo by Madalina Corjuc with a Boots store

There you are, in front of Boots, juggling the tension with your high hopes and thinking: “Am I going to get it right this time?” You already have an impressive collection of chalky eyeshadows, runny foundations and lipsticks that fade faster than your money on a trip to Topshop. And God knows you are not in the mood for another useless purchase.

As you enter the store, more than 10 foundation brands are winking at you and you could swear all the mascaras in the shop are whispering your name. Suddenly, it hits you: you cannot sample all those products, and this, my lovelies, is the climax of your nightmare. You cannot win this battle of decisions by reading amateur reviews and watching sponsored YouTube videos.

Iulia Cristica is a Romanian makeup artist with an A-List clientele. She worked with models like Valentina Pelinel or Mădălina Drăghici, popular fashion bloggers and influencers such as Alina Ceușan and fashion magazines including Elle and Glamour. She is here to help you through the chaos that are these drugstores.

Now, let’s take a look inside your makeup bag, shall we?

First thing first: the foundation. We already know that choosing foundation is like playing Russian roulette – you either get pretty or you get Chucky. This is why it is essential to know your skin type. If you are unsure about it, take this quiz that will help you figure it out.

Once you know your skin type, it is time to learn how to test correctly the foundation.

“To test out the foundation shade and properly match it with your skin tone it’s best to apply it directly on the face, particularly on the jawline. Apply a small amount of product and massage it into the skin. If the foundation looks blotchy, it means you picked the wrong shade.” explains Cristica.

To make sure you will definitely not mess up your next shopping session, below is a video with all the testing tips you need to know.

A perfectly matched foundation does not necessarily imply that you have chosen the best one for you. The makeup artist advises that before purchasing the product, you need to consider a lot of different aspects: the foundation’s texture, its coverage (light, medium or full) and if it matches your undertone (cool, warm or neutral). It is also important to check if the foundation brand is well regarded in the makeup community.

If you have a dry skin, try to go for a liquid foundation with an oil-based formula. It will cover your imperfections as well as hydrate your face. For an oily skin, look for a powder (or compact) foundation or an oil-free liquid foundation. As it is formulated with water, it will balance your facial oils. A normal skin, on the other hand, can be pleased with any type of foundation, just take your pick.

Cristica says that “the quality of a foundation depends on its ingredients”. Ask yourself whether you have an acne-prone skin or a flaky skin and buy a foundation containing ingredients that will not worsen your problem. Also, a high-quality foundation “won’t look cakey on your face and won’t dehydrate your skin.”

For spectacular makeup results, a flawless complexion can always be complemented with an eyeshadow. But eyeshadows are a risky business. Too many times, the colours are either too faint and do not stick on the eyelids, or they are exaggeratedly pigmented and cannot be tamed.

“A good eyeshadow will have intense pigments and a buildable colour. It won’t be too powdery and won’t fallout all over your face.” points out the makeup artist. “A bad one will crumble easily and will be difficult to apply on the eyelids.”

Test carefully the eyeshadow on your skin and pay attention to the pigment. Make sure it is authentic, does not have a bad smell and it is blendable. For a day makeup “opt out for a subtle matte shadow”. For the nights out, the glittery eyeshadow can be a pretty good look.

What better way to finish your makeup than with a Bambi-eyes-mascara effect? Cristica suggests choosing “a smudge-proof mascara with rich pigments” and avoid “cloggy mascaras” that do not stay put. Besides this, you can go for whatever mascara brush that makes you happy.

The choice of lipsticks is also very important, especially if you aspire to pull off a Lily Collins red lip. The makeup artist suggests looking for a formula that “doesn’t feel dry when you’re applying it and stays in place”.

And voilà! You now have the knowledge to enter the drugstores’ cosmetic jungle and come out looking like a stunning amazon.

Words: Madalina Corjuc | Subbing: Victoire Bret

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