The Drugstore Beauty Side-By-Side That Will Blow Your Mind

Photographed by Osvaldo Ponton.
We've all seen those high versus low, splurge versus steal spreads in fashion magazines. Nine times out of 10, it's ridiculously easy to understand why one pair of boots costs $595 and the other costs $59. The luxe version is 100% real leather, with sturdy soles and wooden heels and subtle details of craftsmanship; the cheaper pair is synthetic, strangely shiny, with an exposed silver zipper up the back. "Do they think I'm a fool?" you huff.
We do not think you're a fool. But we do think it's possible to put drugstore makeup in the ring, or on the face, with high-end makeup and get a tie for first place. And we set out to prove it to you. We called upon makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes to put together four spring looks — with a catch. One side of the model's face would feature only high-end products; the other side, only drugstore.
As you'll see, it's harder than you'd expect to tell which is which. In fact, Hughes believes that often, it all comes down to technique — not the product's price tag. "In my opinion, it's all about application and how you layer things that make them last [and look good]," she says. You might want to save on a drugstore lipstick, but splurge on a fancy powder — and that's entirely up to you.
Want to test your eye for detail? Click through the slides ahead.

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