Friday, August 30, 2013

The Silliness of Buying (US) drugstore brands in Milan

Hi Ladies (and Gents'?)

I would like to share with you something funny ever since I have moved here in Milan (makeup-wise, what else?).  I discovered that for those ladies from the US or anywhere else in the world (Philippines?) who has a passion buying makeup from major "drugstore" brands such as Maybelline, Revlon etc (I guess I should also include the brands Rimmel London and NYX, amongst other fab, affordable brands) and has since moved to Milan or other parts of Europe should be warned and be advised to buy as much as they can from said brands due to, gasp, the ridiculous price they have here, not to mention the exchange rate from USD/whatevahcurrency to Euro

As much love I have for Chanel and Tom Ford, who can resist drugstore makeup when they are raved by make-up artists for being fabulous?  I saw a video of the fantabulous Charlotte Tilbury (for Grazia magazine: link below) with her using Maybelline's Color Tattoo EyeStudio in this super metallic blue color and I thought, WOW.

A few months ago (when I was still slightly blonde), I had the chance to go to the San Diego, Calif. and the day we arrived, me and my (super sexy) husband and our little boy decided we should raid Target and Costco (which my husband actually thought was a fictional supermarket from the movie "The Watch", with Ben Stiller, oh goodness.) and I have satisfied my Maybelline obssession (or, just a bit of it).

Color Tattoos in Edgy Emerald, Tough as Taupe, and Inked in Pink,  Lasting Drama EyeStudio Liner in Blackest Black, MegaPlush Volume Express in Black and Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale.

Picture Overload and Quick Review:

MegaPlush Volum'Express in Black:  I LOVE THIS!  SERIOUSLY!  I have given up on Maybelline mascaras in the late 90s (hmmm) with Great Lash, it didn't work for me, but then again I didn't know I have to curl my super short, super straight asian lashes before I apply (any) mascara.  This one is the real deal: it lenghtens, slightly volumizes my lashes and it really gives that bright-eyed, doll look that is just so pretty.  I only saw a vid of Ms Tilbury using this and made a note to myself to O-W-N.

US$ Price is about 6$; Local price here is 11.99euros (ouch)

Color Tattoo 24hr in Inked in Pink

Color Tattoo 24hr in Tough as Taupe

Color Tattoo 24hr in Edgy Emerald.

I believe that the day we went to Target I am pretty sure some ladies have raided the Maybelline section because I only found about 6 available colors and the Teal/Blue color I wanted wasn't there so I settled to these 3 beautiful colors.  They are highly-pigmented, creamy eyeshadows that I use personally alone or as base for other colours.  They are easy to blend and when given a short time to set, they stay in place.  I guess most of them have high-shimmer factor (NOT glitter) although the taupe seemed not to have any shimmer which is absolutely gorgeous as a base color.

US$ at around 4.99; Local supermarket price is 8.99euros (F$#k!)

*Note that when shopping, careful to inspect every single thing you buy or you will end up with your little jar opened with a finger mark by some crazed makeup fanatic, hehe (see Inked In Pink above).

Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale - This is a fantastic little cream (mousse? bouncy thing?) blush that is light as air, highly pigmented and true to colour when applied to cheeks.  I don't know how similar this is to the new Diorblush Cheek Cream but the color is so similar to Diorblush's Bikini so I'm pretty sure it could be a great alternative (not to mention the price difference between the two).

US$ price was about 4.99, I haven't seen this in my local supermarket so no idea.

Lasting Drama 24hr in Blackest Black - the only thing that I would say I am sort-of disappointed about.  I own 2 Lasting Drama in Brown and Black Gold and they were both marvelous.  Both are super smooth and does not move or budge after application.  But this Lasting Drama Liner in Black that I've got is different.  It is inky (now that sounds bad) that you have to be careful where you place the color or it would transfer upon application.  It is a hot mess.  If it weren't for the lovely brush that all Lasting Drama Liner comes with, I would really thing this belongs straight to the bin.  In any case, just yesterday I decided maybe I could use this liner as a black base so I used it at home and did what I can with it and I guess I can say, blended well it works great as a base for powder eyeshadows.  Not bad after all.  (This comes as you see in the picture, the other two I bought locally and comes in a sort of carton packets, I don't know what the difference is, maybe just the packaging?  Both says gel eyeliners.  The one I bought in the US applies more as cream than as gel, just my opinion.)

US$ price at 5.99, locally it is 11.89.

So there you have it.  Ok, it may not be so silly after all, it is just a matter of equation (you earn euros, you spend in euros, same with dollars and whatever currency).   When you want something, you get them regardless of price (and it is not as if we are talking of an Hermes bag here).  Prices may vary in most countries, there are import taxes etc to consider and hence the huge price difference.  It is also true that Milan offers fantastic options regarding high-street makeup, we have Kiko Milano and Madina (Chic and Shine Stick anyone?) which are both super affordable and have colors that calls to you when you walk pass by their stores.  The prices are more "human" (haha.) since for example I believe Kiko sells their lipliners for only 1.99euros and eyeshadows sticks that are comparable to qualities by ByTerry etc since most high-end makeup houses have their manufacturing companies based either in Italy or France so the technology is available for Italian brands as much as their US/European counterparts.

So like I said, I have enjoyed my US mini haul and still enjoying them and would get more whenever I can.

Thanks for reading, y'all!


That's me at the bar across our hotel enjoying a late-night Mojito after my supermarket makeup-raid.


Charlotte Tilbury: Pop Art Inspired Peacock Eye -
Kiko Milano Cosmetics -
Madina Milano -


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