Champagne Dreams on a Beer Budget | Drugstore Dupes 001

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Having a shitload of debt sucks.

Between student loans, impulse shopping, and a slew of other expenses, here we are. Here. We. Are.

So, this is the year. I am finally taking control of my finances, and figuring out how the fuck to get myself out of this mess. No more keeping up with the Joneses (so ugly); no more buying unnecessary shit for the house (put the throw pillow down, Mesiah); no more having the best of the best when it comes to cosmetics (Sephora and Ulta, I’ll still visit you girls, just not as often). NADA. Time to buckle down, and figure out how to live and abide by a budget.img_5798

Many of you know that I don’t play when it comes to my makeup. I’ve always bought my goods from specialty or department stores. Anyone who tells you that drugstore and department store makeup is the same, is lying.  Straight up. Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not saying drugstore makeup is bad, by any means. What I’m saying is, they are not the same. Not by a long shot.


I love Beauty Blenders. Wait, let me say it louder for the people in the back. BEAUTY BLENDERS ARE THE SHIT!

The sqwooshy, spongey applicators are a God-send when it comes to blending foundation, powders, highlight, and contour, but let’s be honest – with a price-point of $20 a pop, it stings, just a little bit, especially when we’re supposed to be replacing them every few weeks.

See, when I think of spending $20 on a make-up tool, I’m thinking I’ll get years worth of usage, not weeks. So, in order to help me save money, I’ve decided to get out there and search for less expensive alternatives.

IGXO Cosmetics


I love trips to Walgreen’s. If we had Rite Aid or CVS in Alaska, I’d frequent those stores on a regular basis, too. I find that it’s a nice change of pace from my typical Target visits.

What I really love is their make-up selection.

And skin care.

I could stand there for hours swatching and sampling every single product against the makeup wall.

During my trip last week, I decided to purchase a few different blenders Walgreen’s carries in-house. Remember – the goal here is to save. I’m trying to detach myself from Beauty Blender®’s death grip on me.

I will briefly talk about each applicator, and list them from my absolute favorite, to “eh.” Again, these are my opinions on the subject/matter, so if you disagree, that’s alright. Make-up is not a one-size-fits-all.

Also, I always use my Beauty Blender wet, to buff my foundation out after I’ve initially applied it with a brush. I never use it dry to apply make-up for a couple of reasons:

  • Sponge applicators soak up a lot of product
  • Was always taught to use brushes; not only to conserve product, but to have a more polished application

Alright, here we go.

Loreal®, Blend Artist™ Foundation Blender

Game changer right here. First of all, it’s the perfect size. See, I don’t like large puffs because I feel there is a lack of control when it comes to buffing out your makeup. This sponge is the smallest of the three, and has the most perfect sqwooshiness to it.


The pointed tip allows for me to smooth out the concealer under my eyes, tear ducts, and eye lids. The softness and puffy goodness of this blender was the big winner during this shopping trip. YOU MY BOY, BLUE (pink)! Amount spent = $7.99

Studio 35 Beauty®, Blending Sponge
*Amazon doesn’t sell this, but you can pick it up at your local Walgreens.

Well, surprise, surprise. This bad boy totally caught me off guard. I was expecting it to be booty, but guess who proved mama wrong?

Yeah, you did that Studio 35 Beauty. You did that there.

I don’t want to sound redundant, so I’ll cut to the chase. This product matches my thoughts about the Loreal blender, except the size. It’s a tad bit larger, which knocked it down to my second favorite of the group. Amount spent = $6.59

Real Techniques®, Miracle Complexion Sponge

((Sigh)) I tried. I really did try to give this the benefit of the doubt. I purchased this before, and I wasn’t impressed with it then. Received feedback from friends and family (they all swear by this product), so I thought, “Ok. Maybe I got a faulty sponge.”


My sentiments remain the same. I personally feel this blender is hard. Out of the three, this was by far the toughest material I worked with, and it was the largest, to boot. I ran it through water numerous times, squeezed the shit out of it thinking, “Maybe I need to break it in.” Uh, Mesiah. These aren’t new shoes. There is no “breaking in” – either it’s soft out the gate, or it’s not.

It’s not.

Not too fond of this little guy, which is really unfortunate. I always hear wonderful things about the Real Techniques sponge. It’s clear I’m not about that life.

If any of my friends or family is reading this, I have a brand new one that you can have. Walgreens sold out of the individual blenders, so I had to buy the 2-pack. I’d hate to have it sitting around when someone could be using it. Amount spent = $11.99 (on sale) / $5.99 (for individuals)

Sampling these applicators really helped me determine that (a) there are bomb blenders outside of BB, and (b) the quality received for what came out-of-pocket was well worth it!

Are you currently using a sponge that I don’t have listed? Remember, we are champagne dreams on a beer budget. Drugstore finds, only! Sound off with your suggestions in the comments and let me know. So much love to you all.


IGXO Cosmetics

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