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Dollar Store Cosmetics: Worth A Try?


There are few things I love more than trying out new cosmetics, so I treated myself to a nice little shopping spree last week. I came home with a new mascara with a great little mirror built right into the tube for convenience, a black liquid eyeliner that will be just perfect for a dramatic holiday look, and a set of cream eye-shadow in six frosty shades. The best part is that I only spent a little over three dollars. See, my little shopping spree was at the dollar store around the corner.

I was always hesitant to purchase dollar store cosmetics, but a few years ago when I traded my traditional 9 to 5 job for a lesser-paying stay-at-home job in order to pursue my other dreams, cosmetics shopping became a luxury that I couldn't always afford. Gone were the days of hitting the local drugstore and having a cosmetics free-for-all. So eventually I gave in and tried dollar store cosmetics.

The truth is that there are pros and cons to buying cosmetics at the dollar store. For one, you won't always find the name brands that you're used to. For another, they're often the shades and products that didn't do so well on the regular retail circuit.

Still, there are great buys to be found in the cosmetics section of your local dollar store. Many no-name eye-shadows are just as good as the expensive brand name ones, and at a dollar per product, you can afford to take the gamble on a shade you might not normally have tried. Plus, there are times when you can find the name brands like Maybelline or Revlon, usually with products or colors that have been discontinued by the company.

The one thing to watch out for with dollar store cosmetics are products that have a shorter shelf-life. Nail polish, for instance, is probably not the best cosmetic to purchase at a dollar store because older nail polishes tend to separate and are harder to apply. Other liquid and cream products are a gamble as well -- although for a dollar, I'm willing to gamble on that liquid eyeliner and mascara.

Safer bets are items with a longer shelf-life like powder eye shadows and blushers, eye pencils and lip liners. Also worth purchasing at the dollar store are accessories such as cosmetics brushes, eye-shadow applicators and nail care items like cuticle pushers and orange sticks. These things are often as good as what you'll buy in the department or specialty stores and you'll be spending a whole lot less.

Me, I find dollar stores great for experimentation and for the times when I just feel like being a little frivolous and coming home with a full bag without spending a fortune. And while dollar stores weren't meant for targeted shopping for a particular item or color of brand, they're a great place to supplement and to try new things.
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