I am not a huge fan of buying makeup at the drugstore. Come to think of it, the only item I do have is L'Oreal Aishwarya Beige lipstick. It's not that I have anything against it per se, I just really prefer to swatch shades before I purchase as I've been disappointed countless times in the past when a drugstore shade appeared completely different once they were home and unsealed.
On Friday afternoon I was meeting a friend for drinks in Penn Station (not my first choice locale but he had a lot of luggage of had to make a connecting train) and due to a combination of my hyperpunctuality and a miscommunication about arrival times, I found myself with 20 minutes to kill in one of the most hateful, crowded places in all NYC. Navigating Penn Station on a Friday afternoon at rush hour is the equivalent to being dropped unsuspectingly into the riding of the bulls, except these bulls are vastly greater in number, in a bigger hurry and have commuter rage. My best option was to duck into the Duane Reade in the station and bide my time.
I have to say, for being in a dirty, crowded train station, this Duane Reade is remarkably clean and very well stocked. I saw displays for new makeup collections out and none of the items I looked at had the seals already broken and items tested. The Jane Naturals lines intrigued me, and then in the New York Color main display I saw the Blushable Creme Sticks I've read raves for on Makeupalley. At just $3.99 each I couldn't resist and picked up three: Big Apple Blush, Urban Spice and South St. Seashell. It was difficult to discern the true color through the plastic seal but given the price I thought they were worth the risk for a Friday afternoon pick me up.
I was surprised at how incredibly well these blushes blend on the skin. They are smooth and creamy but with none of the stickiness from a MAC Blushcreme or a Tarte Cheek Stain. Big Apple Blush in a rosy pink. It looked a bit more soft and warm in the tube with the seal on (I've since come to learn that the limited edition Pink Flash is the coral pink one) and is not my ideal color but I think I can blend it with other items to make it work. Urban Spice is a shimmery bronze. Perfect for those interested in the new MAC Cream Bronzers but who do not want to spend as much. It is not too dark but definitely has pigment to it and some shimmer. South St. Seashell is a warm browned tawny peach. Definitely a warm shade. Again, incredibly blendable (even over sunscreen), and no fragrance or parabens either.
Big Apple Blush, Urban Spice, South St. Shell (click to enlarge):
I next found the Wet 'n' Wild display and the Natural Wear Lip Shimmers jumped out at me. I have a weakness for tinted lip balms and one that promised to be natural? I was a goner. Don't be misled by the name and packaging--these colors pack a punch. They are definitely more akin to a lipstick than a sheer balm. The shade I have is 101 and is a noticeable peach with a slight pinky undertone, veering towards coral but not quite there. The packaging is completely opaque and while the caps are colored to give an indication of shade, they are not at all accurate. I like that the tube is thicker than most tinted balms (like Origins and Burt's Bees) and after wearing it all day yesterday, I found it to be moisturizing and long-lasting, but goop-free. They are only $1.99 and the ingredient list looks pretty good to me:
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Tocopherol, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Sorbic Acid, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Root Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891, Carmine/CI 75470, Iron Oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499.
Overall I am very impressed with the products and formulas I bought (enough that if I come across the Pink Flash New York Color stick I would pick it up) but wish I could have tried the colors before buying since they weren't exactly what I was expecting when I got home. Not bad for $14.