Drugstore makeup brands and lines have been gaining popularity as retailers like CVS and Walgreens have been trying to snag customers who are looking for a lower price point, but who still want to explore all the new makeup fads each season, away from Ulta and Sephora. Enter Walgreens' latest player in the game: C.Y.O.
I was first introduced to this new brand by a very overzealous salesperson at one of the fancier Walgreens in town over by the Galleria, who was insistent that this new U.S.-based line, with everything priced under $12 (and with over 160 products!), would be my “face’s new best friend.”
So what’s C.Y.O.? Well, for starters, the name is very Gen Z, as, according to the website, it stands for whatever you want it to. The brand's equally-Gen-Z FAQ page covers everything from what to feed your unicorn to how to get involved in the company’s social media campaign. As a Generation X'er, I was a little skeptical about makeup geared towards such a younger demographic—especially with a lot of metallics going on—but at these prices, who cares? So I bought the following items on the less shimmery side:
This illuminator is designed to mix with your existing products and comes in two shades: Into The Shadows and Raise A Glass. I am relatively pale with yellow undertones, so the darker of the two shades—Into The Shadow—was too dark for me. But for those with more olive toned complexions, it had a nice, almost golden tint to it. Raise A Glass, although a little on the opal pink side, gave me a nice rosy glow when mixed with my regular products. I found it very similar to Loreal’s Visible Lift Radiance Booster ($12.99), of which I am a huge fan and frequently wear alone.
Verdict: While for me, both of these had too much shimmer to wear solo, they gave a good glow and consistency when mixed with my current items. For basically five bucks? Get both.
Billed as an all-in-one lip product, the concept behind this item is to combine a bleed-free lip liner with a cream-based lipstick in the exact same colors, so you can’t mess up. That said, it only comes in three colors, two of which (Big Idea & Blow Your Mind) were way more color than I usually wear on my mouth, so still pretty easy to mess up. The third color, Rainmaker, was more neutral and worked better for me.
Verdict: With only three color options, the idea is great, but unless you're in love with one of these choices, I would skip this lip product.
Past the age of 30, a concealer is a girl's best friend and you can never have too many. I am obsessed with the No. 7 Radiant Glow Concealer ($13.99), while beauty addicts all over the world have been singing the praises of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Face Highlighter Pen ($42) since it hit the market. At such a low price, this product piqued my curiosity, even though it comes in only three color choices: Fair, Medium and Dark. "Fair" was a pretty decent product, reminding me a lot of the No.7 concealer—so much so, in fact, that I did some research and it turns out that both companies appear to be owned by Boots, so it makes sense I liked this.
Verdict: While the color selection might not be ideal for all skin tones, if one of these works for you, it is definitely worth a try.
I tend to have a bad habit of biting my lips when I am nervous and am therefore addicted to all things lip balm-related. So for four bucks I jumped at the chance for an overnight lip product designed to repair while I sleep and keep my lip gloss put during the day. Made from lanolin and shea butter with a bit of vanilla flavor, I loved this.
Verdict: Is it really a primer? Who knows, but for the price and the feel, I am loving it purely as a lip balm.
For us pale girls, going bare can sometimes be a challenge. Yes, we can use Jergen's Daily Glow ($8.69) or any of the multiple body-glow products on the market, but sometimes we just need a quick fix and are out of our Lorac Tantalizer ($12). This is a tricky, but good product. Test this out yourself first, as they mean it when they say just "a few drops," as the idea is to massage this into your skin lightly, the way you would a face bronzer.
Verdict: Too much and you will need a shower. Just enough and you can dare to bare it all.