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Fanatic Feedback – Drugstore Brands

By on April 21, 2009
in Fanatic Feedback with 34 Comments

With the current state of the economy more and more of us are turning to drugstores and mass retailers like Wal-Mart, K-mart and Target for our beauty needs than ever. I realize some of you have always been drugstore divas. I used to be but over the years I’ve become more of a brand snob than I was during college when I was broke as a joke. And I realize that price doesn’t always equal quality.

So to those of you that shop the mass market brands, which ones are your faves? Why? Who has the best formula? Color range? Value?

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  1. Raye says:

    Revlon. The regular,standard formula that has been around for years. It’s amazing how quickly it dries and it’s not even a quick drying formula.

  2. Lacquer Laine says:

    Milani – Beautiful colors… which usual is the most important factor for me! and The formula is great! Smooth application, excellent pigmentation and long lasting! I have the best classic red from Milani. Two coats is perfect opacity. And red are hard to do. Not this one. LOVE IT!!!

  3. Rachel says:

    My absolute favortie drugstore brand is Sinful Colors
    They have an awesome selection and the formula is really good (Some of them need an extra coat or 2 but for the most part, great formula).
    My other 2 favorites would be Sally Hansen Salon, and Revlon…They both have the smoothest application and removal, which is a big plus for me.

  4. jessica says:

    I agree with Revlon. I have a question, though. I seem to have trouble keeping nail polish on my nails. I use stickey base coat, china glaze, and poshe top coat. Within 3 days, even when all nail polish is brand new, the whole colorful nail peels off. usually this will happen when I’m showering, or doing my hair. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? I would love a 5 day lasting manicure!

  5. zeroseven_ says:

    maybelline’s foreverstrong + iron

    they are unchippable for me. opaque in one coat. the best drugstore buy for me ever.

  6. Faith says:

    I like Revlon and Sally Hansen.
    btw, Jessica, are you saying that your nail polish comes off in one piece? when that happens it generally means that you’re applying your coats too thickly. Try thinner coats!

  7. TropicalChrome says:

    Another vote for Revlon – while I don’t like their color palette this year, the older colors I have are gorgeous and last a good long time.

    And Maybelline Express Finish: dries really fast and wears really well.

    I actually shop for colors with these brands before looking at the “premium” brands because I like them so much.

  8. Rachel says:

    For Jessica: That used to happen to me too…I was laying the polish on too thick. Like Faith said, Use thinner coats. I also switched to a matte drying base coat and my polish lasts over a week…It would probably last 2 weeks easy but I like to change colors alot!

  9. queen frostine says:

    I like DS brands, but to be honest with a few exceptions (such as Sinful) they really aren’t much, or even any, cheaper than prestige brands like China Glaze or OPI if you know where to shop. Even if you don’t want to go online, getting a Sally’s card dramatically lowers the price on China Glaze polishes to about $3-3.50 and the membership fee is dead cheap. Most of the brands that cost me more that $6-7 a bottle are brands I stay away from no matter how the economy looks. I have too many beauty habits to justify spending $$ on a single polish.

  10. Katharine says:

    Sinful Colors is great–lots of good colors and a solid formula. Sally Hansen is also a favorite. And with online prices, OPI and China Glaze and such are really in the same price bracket for me–I just save up and place one big order every now and again. The Sally Hansen Tracy Reese collection is more elusive than anything the professional brands make!

  11. Amanda says:

    Revlon and Milani have to be it for me! Revlon has all the standard red classics, but also has some amazing “out there” colors that I absolutely LOVE! I’m relatively new to Milani, but what I’ve seen of it so far gets a thumbs up from me.

  12. rinni says:

    Besides what’s already been said, I like Rimmel, they have some nice colours too! The colours are what I care about mostly… I generally don’t leave polish on long enough to worry about too many chips.

  13. The Asian Girl says:

    I really like older Revlons, especially when I find them in $2 2-packs at Big Lots. I think a lot of drugstore brands are getting overpriced, ESPECIALLY Sally Hansen. It’s not much less to buy “designer” brands such as ChG or OPI online versus some drugstore brands.

  14. Karen says:

    NYC [i know i know] recently came out with a new line of quick drying nailpolishes and i have to say the colors are very fancy! My friend got a mani/pedi last thursday and used Chinatown. I’m going to see how it’s holding up but for less than $2 I think it’s worth it. Also Rimmel and Sally Hansen have cool colors and quick drying polishes for less than $5!

    http://www.newyorkcolor.com/products/index.cfm?item=561

  15. Cindi says:

    I love SINFUL and Rimmel. I like Claires and have bought some from hot topic that were awesome colors as well. Sinful and Rimmel are 2 bucks each and Claires and Hot Topic at four. However ULTA and Sallys keep running the buy one get one half off or buy two get one free of OPI Essie Orly and China Glaze!
    (Milani is horrible for me, old lady colors mostly and still slightly on the high side)

  16. thaydizzle says:

    Revlon has never failed me. Most of the colors due tend to run dark but my experiences with them have never failed to disappoint.

  17. Stef says:

    I agree with Queen Frostine, I can get my beloved China Glaze polishes for about three and a half bucks a bottle, better than almost all the drugstore brands. I have a Sally card but it paid for itself the first time I used it!

    If I had to buy a drugstore brand, I think it would be Sally Hansen, the one in the round bottles, not the square bottles. But I’m a China Glaze girl, all the way!

  18. Janine says:

    I really like L’Oreal Pro Manicure nail polish and one of my favorite shimmery neutrals is Sand Castle. I only tried it because I received another color as a stocking stuffer last Christmas and I found the formula to be very easy to work with and the finish to be nice and even. I do also love Milani’s colors and have a few of their bright purples and fuschias. :)

  19. Amy says:

    Another vote for Revlon!
    Not only for polishes but other products such as blushes and eyeshadows as well.
    The polishes have GREAT pigmentation. Right now, I’m rocking a shimmery red colour called ‘cherry crush’
    I suggest you try them out!

  20. DWJ says:

    You actually turned me on to Sinful colors and I like them for $1.99! And have you seen their summer neon collection? The green is AH-MAZING! Can’t wait to test it out.

  21. sweetnfat says:

    I’m a huge fan of the Rimmel colors right now, not to mention that they really last on my nails! Hot Rock and Green with Envy, anybody? I’m also a big fan of the Pure Ice stuff I can find at Wal-Mart. I love the colors, and they also seem to have some staying power. For the colors that chip quickly, who cares! At least it was cheap! haha

  22. melli says:

    Sally Hansen Salon is usually reliable. I also love NYX, although we don’t get the full colour array here in Canada.

    Revlon is great when they put out limited edition colours…Turquoise Temptation was a fantastic colour they released a few years ago for one summer.

    I tend to find most drugstore brands release way too many reds and pinks. I am into more unusual colours, like purples, greens, and blues (love China Glaze and Zoya). I tend to order these online, or occasionally find them at Sally’s or Trade Secrets.

  23. Corey says:

    Rimmel’s 60 seconds in #819 Green with Envy has gotten me more compliments than any other polish and it goes on wonderfully and dries quickly. I can’t really speak for Rimmel as a whole (I have an older polish that I don’t love), but this line and color are incredible.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Pure Ice- I was surprised at how much I like these polishes. So easy to apply, some really nice colors-and only 2 dollars each. And they just came out with some new shades for spring. They also have some nice shimmers for layering.

  25. sh3ll3y says:

    Another vote for Sinful! I love the color selection.

  26. Raye says:

    For Rachel.
    I use a sticky base, a coat of Revlon color, a sticky base (yes you heard that right) Then my topcoat. The extra coat of sticky base seems to help the topcoat stay on. About mid week I put another top coat on. I generally use Sally Hanson base and top coat but always looking for something even better :) Try this. Maybe it will help.

  27. Raye says:

    OOPS. I meant that comment for Jessica :)

  28. Phoebe says:

    There’s a gorgeous royal blue I saw today in the Pure Ice collection at Walmart.

    But my favorite is probably Sinful too.

  29. TheCandyGirl says:

    If you go to Ulta and do the buy 2 get 1, they are usually offering a coupon for $3.50 off a $10 or more purchase. 3 Essie polishes for $12.50 = 1 happy girl.

  30. George says:

    Hi Michelle:

    Yes, Pure Ice, Sally Hanson and Revlon are my store brand but I always go back to OPi, Sephora and now Essie. Have you tried those Nail Polish pens by Sally Hansen? They come in six colors and it’s similar to a sharpie markler except you have to shake the pen and press the cap a few times for the polish to come out.

    I found that if the tip of the pen gets mushed, the nail polish doesn’t work that well. Anyone else ever used these type pens and have problems (and found solutions to) using them? Thanks xoxoxo
    Geo :)

  31. Nicole says:

    I know this post is old but I had to comment. I am a beauty S-N-O-B! Despite the market being awful and me being unemployed at the moment, I refuse to buy any makeup from a drugstore. I only buy makeup from Sephora and I only buy Essie, OPI, Nars, Butter London, or Chanel polishes. In my experience with drugstore products, I end up breaking out, sneezing, or having stained nails. I’m proud to wear my snob badge of honor!

  32. Julia says:

    Definitely Sally Hansen. They have tons of different colours and lines (e.g Salon Manicure, Diamond Stength, Insta-Dri, etc). I especially love their Insta-Dri line for the good brush and, of course, quick dry time.

  33. Rosie says:

    I really like Pure Ice, Sally Hansen, Wet’n’Wild, and NYC. All of them are inexpensive (usually under $6) and come in some great colors. I like Sinful Colors, too, but have had some problems with a few glitters and one brush.

  34. Nail_Guy says:

    I’ve done the whole OPI, Essie, and Chanel thing. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all great polishes in their own right (except I dislike the OPI brush and thickness), but Revlon, Milani, Rimmel, and Sally Hansen Complete Salon all work just as well, if not better.

    I have a couple Sinful Colors to try. Their base coat is decent too, works better than Revlon’s, and gives me 5 days with no wear. A great polish is a great polish IMO. It’s a mistake to never buy dept. store polishes as much as it is to never look in drugstores.

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