Slummin’ It, Part One: Exploring The World Of Dollar Store Beauty

Published on August 23, 2013 by   ·   3 Comments

Dollar TreeI’m not afraid to admit that I can be a bit of a makeup snob, but I also love a good bargain when I can find one.  I’ve posted previously in the Makeup Forum about the virtues of Drugstore Makeup and about the fabulous bargain brand SHANY.  But as I was cruising through the aisles of my local Dollar Tree, I found myself checking out their selection of bottom dollar cosmetics.  I was intrigued because I remembered a few months ago that I had run across a Milani eyeshadow at Dollar Tree one time, and Milani is one of the brands that I found myself enjoying from my drugstore experiment.  Now, makeup from a dollar store seems almost as dicey as food from a dollar store, but I decided to leave my skepticism behind in the aisle with the knock-off toys and see how much glamour I could really get for less than $20.

NYCThe first thing to know about dollar store makeup is that there isn’t a great selection.  For example, I found that they carried NYC Lipsticks, but there were only about 4 colors to choose from.  One color, Plum something-or-other,” was a rather hideous shade that was represented on not one, but two full pegs, but there was only one lonely tube of “Caramel” and I snagged it.  Don’t go expecting to see a full line of anything, though I was pleasantly surprised by how much variety they actually did have once you started poking around.  What really convinced me to go after this experiment were these adorable mini bottles of glitter that were in the nail polish section.  I love glitter lips (as you probably know from my last Makeup Forum post, HERE), and I’m excited to experiment with these new textures and shapes.

All of the items were in blister packages or otherwise sealed in plastic, which made them a real bitch to photograph but it did make me feel a little safer about using them; with Walmart makeup, it can be hard to know if someone else has had their grubby hands all up in your products.  I decided to focus more on the eyeshadows, as there was a much larger selection than their was of lipsticks; there were some lip glosses, but they seemed more geared towards the tween set with very little pigmentation.  When possible, I bought two different color varieties of the same product so that, while testing, I could get a better idea if my experience of the quality was consistent across the brand rather than just one bad palette.

So here’s what I got:


NYC (New York Color) Ultra Last Lipwear: #417 Flirty (left) and #401 Caramel (right) – The back of the packaging featured a picture with instructions for applying: “Apply directly to the lips or apply with a lipstick brush for more precision.”  Yeah, no shit.  I guess they figure of you’re buying makeup at the dollar store, you aren’t very bright.  Sorry for the bitchy interlude.  I’m withholding final judgment until I’ve completed my experiment!

L. A. Colors Shimmering Loose Eyeshadow in Lollipop (left) and Snow White (right)


L. A. Colors 12-color Eyeshadow Pallette in Supernatural (left) and Chic (right)


Profusion “Perfect 10” 10-color eyeshadow palette in #01 (top) and #09 (bottom)


L. A. Colors Bold Eyes Eyeshadow Palette in Striking (left) and Flashy (right)


Profusion Gemineye 5-color palette in #04 (top left)

Profusion Color Me Glow 12-color palette in #08 (bottom left)

Profusion Twinkle Twinkle 8-shade palette in “08 (top right) and #04 (bottom right)


Donna Michelle Nail Art 8-pack of glitter “mini bottles” – No color or style name noted

So that’s my dollar store haul, coming in at a whopping $16 plus tax.  Not bad for the amount of product I got, assuming of course that the product is any good.  And for that, you’ll just have to wait for Part 2.  Yep, I’m evil like that…stayed tuned for another post very soon where I put the products to the test and provide swatches with and without eyeshadow primer.

Now Go Forth And Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (3)
  1. Tina says:

    OMGoshness! I love what you bought. I have never found fun make-up at the DT. A few years ago I bought Cover Girl color last lipstick, my favorite and it really does last. I’ve had red last into the next day! You can buy this lipstick anywhere it runs about 7 dollars but you get the lipstick and top coat in one box. I also tried Lorel (sp) color stay but didn’t like it. They are about 15.00 but got them at Shopco for 5.00 a few months ago in the sale bins. I use LA Colors and NYC a lot. I have a couple of the LA Shimmers that you purchased. I have the Snow White, Sunshine (yellowish gold). The white is blah. The other one is great. I also have NYC eye dust in Smokey Topaz (brownish purple) it is very shiny. I have so much make-up! It’s my one pleasure I give myself. Love make-up!!!

  2. […] At The Dollar Store Slummin’ It, Part Two: Does Dollar Store Beauty Deliver Or Disappoint Slummin’ It, Part One: Exploring The World Of Dollar Store Beauty Drugstore Hooker: Why Bargain Isn’t (Necessarily) […]

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