There are some women who swear by department store cosmetics and others who love drugstore makeup. There are pros and cons to each type, but is one better than the other?

In short, yes and no. Some makeup would be a better buy at a department store, while other products are generally fine to purchase from your local drugstore.

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Granted, the debate between department store vs. drugstore cosmetics will probably never end. However, keep reading to learn when it’s okay to grab your makeup at a drugstore — and when it might be a better buy to head to a department store cosmetic counter.

Department Store Cosmetics or Drugstore Makeup


If you’ve found a drugstore foundation that works for you, great! However, the majority of women I talked to prefer high-end department store foundation. Why?

Well, it can be hard to find the right shade with the limited selections available at drugstores. In a department store you can find a variety of foundations, and the knowledgeable staff at the counter can help you find the perfect match. Sure, it’s pricey — but in this instance, I think it’s worth the splurge.


You are supposed to replace your mascara every few months, so why waste tons of money on a designer brand? In this case, it’s perfectly acceptable to shop at a drugstore. In general terms, there isn’t much difference between designer mascaras and their drugstore counterparts — except the hefty price tag!


There are tons of inexpensive eyeshadows to be had at drugstores, but are they better than department store versions?

To be honest, I’ve had much better luck with department store eyeshadows. They contain more pigment than drugstore brands, so the color goes on richly and lasts longer. Plus, I never seem to have an issue with eyeshadow creases when I use a pricier brand. If you’re looking for long wear and true colors, go for a department store eyeshadow.


Drugstore lipsticks have come a long way and offer beautiful color and lasting wear for a fraction of the price you’d pay at a department store makeup counter. I love drugstore lipstick, but you’ll have to find a brand that works for you. Sure, you can splurge on a $30 lipstick, but why do that when drugstore lipsticks work just as well for a lot less money?

Honestly, the debate between department store cosmetics and drugstore makeup will probably never subside, and it’s truly a matter of personal preference (and how much you can afford to spend!). However, for the makeup staples listed above, there are some definite pros and cons to buying a drugstore version or splurging on their more expensive department store versions.

Do you have any recommendations when it comes to spending your beauty dollars? Are department store prices worth it, or are certain drugstore brands a good buy for the buck?

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