Some drugstore makeup brands just remind you of your younger years. CoverGirl is one of those brands for me. CoverGirl was one of the first drugstore makeup brands that I ever tried. As their products have evolved over the years, I’ve continued to enjoy using them, especially the brand’s fantastic selection of foundations. So today it’s all about the best CoverGirl drugstore makeup products as we head into 2021.
First, a little history on this iconic drugstore makeup brand:
A Brief History of CoverGirl
In 1961, the makers of Noxzema Skin Cream introduced the CoverGirl brand with just two products: liquid makeup and pressed powder. These products had special benefits and were branded as “medicated”. Noxzema Skin Cream already used some of these medicinal ingredients, like menthol and camphor, but the new CoverGirl products also included a few bactericides.
Having these special bacteria targeting ingredients certainly mattered to an age group that often experienced acne, breakouts, and pimples. So it is not surprising that the products were marketed to teenagers and young women. Sold at affordable prices at drugstores and grocery stores, CoverGirl’s products were marketed as food for the skin.
In the 1960’s CoverGirl invested in magazine and television advertising and used well-known models in its ad campaigns. This practice eventually evolved into the creation of the type of model that we know today as a “supermodel”. (Who can forget Christie Brinkley, a long-running spokesperson for the brand for 25 years!) CoverGirl expanded internationally and by the 1980s, CoverGirl became the best-selling mass-marketed cosmetics line in the US. CoverGirl was eventually was acquired by Proctor & Gamble in 1988 and then by Coty in 2016.
CoverGirl’s Cruelty-Free Certification
CoverGirl became Leaping Bunny approved by Cruelty Free International in 2018, which means that CoverGirl products have not been tested on animals (either by CoverGirl or their suppliers) across all of their products and everywhere they are sold. This cruelty-free certification is considered the global gold standard for cosmetics and personal care products.
A proponent for diversity and inclusion in the cosmetics industry, CoverGirl has rebranded as recently as 2017 with their new slogan. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t forget their “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, CoverGirl” tagline. Today it has been updated to “I Am What I Make Up.” Maybe not as memorable, but this slogan is meant to defy a traditional standard of beauty suggesting makeup should be used as a tool for self-expression.
For an in-depth history of the brand and interesting visuals of several ad campaigns throughout the years, be sure to check out the story of CoverGirl here.
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The Best CoverGirl Drugstore Makeup Products
If you look at this list of the best CoverGirl drugstore makeup products, you’ll see that it’s heavy on foundations since CoverGirl foundations account for almost half of this entire list. I am including all of these foundations in this list because I really believe that there is a CoverGirl foundation for just about everyone. They offer full coverage, sheer-coverage, matte, anti-aging, hydrating, and natural finish foundations.
These foundations offer really nice coverage and easily hide uneven skin tone, texture, and other irregularities. These foundations don’t leave mask-like coverage on your skin, but rather create natural-looking canvases for the rest of your makeup.
Related Post: The Best Drugstore Makeup Dupes
This is the first of two CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless foundation products on this list. I am a huge fan of Olay products, so to see Olay skincare in CoverGirl products is so exciting. CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-In-1 Liquid Foundation instantly reduces the look of wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration. It improves tone and hydrates the skin. The ingredient list reads like that of a skincare product.
This foundation includes some ingredients that you will find in many of Olay’s anti-aging skincare products like niacinamide, a multi-benefit anti-aging ingredient that has brightening, skin barrier repair and anti-inflammatory properties.
It also contains Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, a peptide to address the signs of aging and protective and healing Pro-Vitamin B-5. It also contains Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, otherwise known as green tea extract, a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial.
Between the Simply Ageless solid foundation which I discuss below and this liquid foundation, I prefer this liquid. I really like both, but I get more seamless coverage with this and it’s easier to blend this foundation. The liquid also feels slightly more hydrating than the solid compact.
CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle-Defying Foundation with SPF 28 (shown above in Buff Beige) is a solid compact foundation that is infused with Olay skincare for more youthful-looking skin.
This foundation is formulated with Hyaluronic Complex and Vitamin C, which helps the foundation float over wrinkles and fine lines, making it an ideal choice for those with mature and older skin.
It contains skincare all-star niacinamide for its brightening and anti-aging benefits plus antioxidant vitamin E and skin-soothing Pro-Vitamin B-5. It also comes with SPF 28 mineral sunscreen protection in the form of 4.7% Titanium Dioxide.
Years ago, I found a shade in CoverGirl products that worked for me (Buff Beige). CoverGirl uses the same foundation names in multiple foundation products.
Both CoverGirl’s Simply Ageless foundations really do float over my fine lines and wrinkles and create somewhat of a blurring effect. They are nicely hydrating, but not too dewy. This foundation has buildable medium coverage and not cakey or drying. I usually gravitate toward liquid foundations, but this foundation is a pleasant surprise.
I apply SPF as its own product at the end of my skincare routine, so the SPF in this product is just an added bonus for me. The foundation is applied with an included makeup sponge. It takes me a little longer to apply and blend than other CoverGirl foundations.
The one drawback is that the foundation only comes in 11 shades and they all fall on the lighter end of the spectrum. If you have aging skin and are looking for a flattering foundation that minimizes the appearance of the visible signs of aging, and if you can find a shade that matches your skin tone, you may want to give this foundation a try.
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If you are looking for a matte finish and lightweight coverage, CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream might just be for you. This foundation is made especially for oily skin. It’s water-based and has surprisingly good coverage for a BB cream. It’s buildable and doesn’t cake.
One of the best qualities of this BB cream the natural skin-like finish. It doesn’t look like you are wearing a heavy foundation, but at the same time, it evens out skin tone and hides imperfections.
Like other CoverGirl foundations, the drawback is the shade range. This BB cream comes in only 6 shades: Fair, Light Light Medium (shown above), Medium, Medium Deep and Deep.
CoverGirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation has been one of my favorite drugstore foundations for years. This foundation is formulated with a Flexi-hold technology that creates a flexible film on the skin for comfort that lasts. Mattifying powders absorb oil and minimize the look of pores. The result is a soft matte finish that provides up to 12 hours of wear.
For this foundation, CoverGirl got the shade range right. Choose from 40 shades that range from Light and Medium to Tan and Deep categories. This transfer-resistant foundation is buildable and natural-looking and blurs discoloration, blemishes, and other imperfections.
I recently repurchased this foundation and I am reminded of why I wore this foundation for years. Since my skin is getting drier the older I get, I often reach for other foundations, but when my skin is temperamental and leaning toward the oily side, especially in the summer, I’ll reach for this foundation. It really helps to keep oil at bay throughout the day.
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Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder helps minimize the appearance of pores to make skin look smooth and shine-free. Apply this powder over your matching shade of CoverGirl foundation. This non-comedogenic formula can even be worn alone for a minimal natural look.
As soon as I open this powder, the scent reminds me of the medicinal scent of CoverGirl foundations that I used in my teens. The powder comes in 12 shades and is available in multiple formulas: Original (shown above in Buff Beige), Sensitive Skin, and Oil Control.
The powder has a very lightweight feel and doesn’t look cakey on top of foundation. I love that the powder shades match the foundation shades which makes it easy to match to CoverGirl foundations.
CoverGirl Cheekers Blush (shown above in Pink Candy) is a sheer blush that comes in rosy, pink, and neutral bronze shades. These no-frills blushes come in small portable mini-compacts. They provide easy natural color to your cheeks to brighten up your makeup look.
CoverGirl suggests choosing a shade that matches the color that your skin (the apples of your cheeks) turns when you pinch your cheeks. Choose from 13 shades of the soft powder blush that provides a natural shimmer that is easily buildable.
What a gorgeous eyeshadow palette! CoverGirl Roses TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette is strikingly similar to, some would even say a dupe for, Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette. (CoverGirl even alludes to it in the product description of this palette on their website!) This palette unlike Urban Decay is very affordable at less than a quarter of the price of the Naked palettes.
Now available in 7 different palette shades, these eyeshadows are formulated to be blended together to create unique eye makeup looks. These highly pigmented baked shadows are highly pigmented and easily blendable. Each palette contains 8 highly pigmented shades with a variety of finishes: glitter, matte, and shimmer.
Want a daytime look? No problem. Simply blend a light layer of neutrals. Want a dramatic look? This palette will help create smokey eye looks and other bold dramatic eyes for the evening.
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascaras
I’ve been using CoverGirl’s Lash Blast mascaras for years. They create just the lash look that I want: defined and lengthened lashes for a natural look. Here are a few of the mascaras that are standouts in the Lash Blast family of mascaras.
CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara is CoverGirl’s best-selling patented volume-boosting formula and has a patent-pending brush. This mascara is made to maximize each lash for a gorgeous big lash look. Your lashes look full and are smudge-proof.
This mascara is hypoallergenic and suitable for contact lens wearers. The mascara is also available in a waterproof version (shown above). I use the shade Black Brown. It’s also available in Black, Very Black. The non-waterproof formula also offers one additional shade: Brown.
Shown above is a new wand without any mascara on the comb-like bristles. There is no clumping or flaking, and it’s easy to create a natural lash look with the mascara. Even better, it’s buildable so you can adjust it based on your preference.
There are a few clean mascaras out there that I really like, (I really like this one), but before this CoverGirl mascara, I hadn’t found a clean drugstore mascara that I liked. Enter CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara. I was so excited when I saw this launch, and something told me that I would love it, knowing how much I like the original Lash Blast mascara.
CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara has a clean vegan formula that is free of parabens, sulfates, talc, and mineral oil. It’s packaging is made from 80% recycled paper from well-managed forests. It is formulated with argan and marula oils to create 10x the volume of bare lashes without any clumping or smudging.
I love this mascara. It creates that natural lash look that I’m after with a clean formula. The application wand creates defined lashes without any clumping. This mascara is available in 4 shades: Pitch Black, Very Black, Black, and Black Brown. The wand above is shown above with Black Brown mascara on the wand.
If you are looking for additional clean products from CoverGirl, be sure to check out this post on CoverGirl’s Clean Fresh Collection.
If you are looking for a long-wear lip color, this is the product for you. Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lip Color With Topcoat (shown above in Always Rosy) is a 2-piece product that includes both lip color and topcoat for pigmented color plus shine that lasts for up to 24 hours of wear.
This lip color comes in 27 transfer-resistant shades. CoverGirl formulates this product to be food-proof and kiss-proof and provides instant moisture to your lips. It does an excellent job of staining your lips. So much so, that after taking the image above, I had to scrub my hand to get all of the color off!
What’s great about this lip product is that you can simply apply more of the topcoat throughout the day to touch up the shine. The matte base color really lasts.
Final Thoughts on the Best CoverGirl Drugstore Makeup of 2021
CoverGirl has so many excellent products. The foundations and mascaras are really standouts in my opinion. My two current favorites are CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation and CoverGirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara.
What are your favorite products from CoverGirl? I’d love to know!
Thanks for reading and until next time…