This tag was started by FluerDeForce and was originally a video tag, but it makes more sense to me to do it in written form, so that's what this is.
This is probably the ultimate tag for product recommendations. You pick a brand starting with each letter of the alphabet and recommend a product for each brand, resulting in a very comprehensive list.
Disclaimer: I will fully admit to skipping letters. I don't use THAT wide a variety of products, so in my case, this is the A-U of Beauty Tag.
I don't know why their eyeliners don't get much attention online, but they are the best eyeliners I've ever used. The formula is fantastic, it gets right into your lash line, it wears extremely well, and the colors are fantastic. I have their basic black eyeliner and their Intense I-color liners in brown and purple.
B: Burt's Bees
When I first tried the Revlon Lip Butters, this is the product they reminded me of. Honestly, they are nearly the same product, and the Burt's Bees product is cheaper AND 100% natural. The Caramel shade a great dupe for the Peach Parfait Lip Butter as well, and is my go-to "My Lips but Better" shade.
LashBlast Length and Clump Crusher by LashBlast Mascaras
I have used almost every LashBlast mascara that Covergirl has introduced; I have always loved the LashBlast formula, but these two are my favorites because of the brush shapes. I use the Clump Crusher on my top lashes for definition and curve with a layer of the LashBlast Length over it for extra separation. I then use the LashBlast Length on my bottom lashes - the tiny wand is PERFECT for your lower lid. Between the two, the result is amazing.
I have used Dove bar soap in the shower for ages. It's really gentile on my skin and leaves me feeling fresh.
I couldn't tell you a specific color that I like best because I've liked every color I've tried. The formula is great and I can't stop buying them.
Pure Clean Finishing Paste
I hear a lot of talk on the internet about the Pure Clean shampoo, which I do indeed use, but their Pure Clean hair paste hasn't gotten as much hype and it has been really fantastic for me. It's not as waxy as a traditional hair paste and it gives you the same textured result without leaving your hair stiff or greasy.
Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer
I haven't used this since high school, but I remember liking it a lot when I did use it. I'm ghostly pale and this gives a nice tanned glow without looking unnaturally dark or orange-ey. The lotion formula within it is excellent as well.
Infallible 24 hr Eyeshadow
This shadow is gorgeous. It's great for day and night, it really does last 24 hours, and the colors are fantastic. Need I say more?
I have used almost every product from this line: the Dream Fresh BB, Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation, Dream Matte Mousse Foundation, Dream Matte Mousse Blush, Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, Dream Matte Powder...I've loved them ALL. And really, how often do you find a line of foundations where EVERY item in the line is awesome?
I got a small tin of this as a sample once, and I've been completely addicted to it ever since. It's a brilliant lotion, but I also use it on my lips and my cuticles for extra hydration at night, and it works wonders.
When I'm not using Dove bar soap, I use Olay's. They are very comparable products and do the job well.
P: Physicians Formula
I regularly use the Magic Mosaic bronzer, but I have used their loose pearl bronzer as well and liked it, too. They have about fifteen bronzers to choose from and I doubt any of them would steer you wrong.
Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain
I'm in love with chubby crayon stick products, and the color payoff of these are absolutely fantastic. Much better than their felt tip lip stain.
S: Sally Hansen
This is my favorite topcoat. It's perfectly dry in 60 seconds and is better at preventing chips than any other more expensive topcoat that I have tried.
U: Urban Decay
All-Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
The most brilliant product I've ever used. Sets makeup all day in the summer and the winter - sweat proof, rain proof, swimming pool proof...I don't know what witch craft is in that bottle, but I am in love with it.
If you want the short answer to which is better between Drugstore and high-end makeup, the answer is that it's completely up to you and there are advantages to both. I realize, however, that answer isn't helpful in the slightest, so here's the long answer:
High-end makeup definitely has it's advantages. As with most things in life, the more you spend, the higher the quality will be. Makeup that costs more often has a better formula that properly adheres to your skin, you can usually tell if it's going to match your skin tone without much question, and it will most likely last longer.
That said, the sticker shock for these products can be quite extreme. I personally made a trip to Ulta and just about died when I spent fifty dollars on two products, but those products (a bareMinerals primer and an Urban Decay makeup setting spray) have made my skin look better than it has in years. I would consider those products to be well worth the money.
However, to combat the high cost of those two products, ALL my other makeup products are drugstore brands, and I have been extremely happy with them as well. Revlon makes eyeshadow palettes with nearly identical colors to the infamous "Naked" palette for a fraction of the cost. Maybelline's BB cream's formula is well respected for having a better formula than higher-priced BBs. Most drugstore brands these days are conscious to create high-quality products in order to compete with high-end brands.
If you LONG for the high-end look but simply can't afford it, searching for "dupes" is very advantageous. If you see a lipstick, foundation, or eyeshadow from a high-end brand that you would like to try, see if you can match the color or the formula in a low-end brand.
The great thing about both high-end and low-end makeup is that nearly every brand produces coupons that can help you save money. Ulta has coupons and sales every week, and there are often brand-specific coupons for high-end products that you can find online. As far as drugstore makeup, Walgreens has buy-one-get-one-half-off sales every week, and Target reduces their makeup prices all the time. The legwork can be annoying, but the savings are remarkable.
In the end, it's your skin and your budget and your preference and your choice. You may have to put some work and experimentation into it, but the results will be worth it!