Brands that Bring it Across the Board

It dawned on me the other day that if I was to be put on the spot and asked to pinpoint my favourite beauty brand ever, I would probably end up ummm-ing and ahhh-ing for a good five minutes before concluding with a confused shrug. So deep I know. I can only imagine it’s like picking a favourite child (I jest, I jest). Though there are some brands who bring it across the board and who don’t really disappoint whatever product I decide to try and buy from them. So here they are; four VDM-approved suggestions that would be frontrunners for the aforementioned question…

Bourjois: This might seem like a little off-piste choice for me, but after mulling it over I’ve just been really impressed with most things that they launch these days. They really seem to bring it when it comes to base; offering one of the most popular drugstore foundations in the aisles, a bronzer that resides in most people’s stash somewhere and awesome cream blushes. Don’t even get me started on their nail polishes…

Best bits: BB Cream Bronzing Base 8-in-1, Cream Blush in 01 Nude Velvet, Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach, Healthy Mix Serum Foundation and their Radiance Reveal version.

Laura Mercier: If push came to shove this brand would probably win the award for top dog. In fact I think I’ve touted it as my top choice before. Offering one of the best tinted moisturisers out there and in a pretty good colour range (which she’s planning to extend), Mercier is pretty much the Queen of the au naturale makeup approach. My Mum’s a fan of her eyeshadows, my best mate loves her lipsticks and me? Well I’m partial to a Lip Glacé or two.

Best bits: Foundation Primer in Radiance, Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser, Lip Glacés in Nude Peach and Orange Tulip, Secret Camouflage, Metallic Créme Eye Colour.

Jouer: This brand is a new-ish discovery to me and almost like parred down Laura Mericer, Jouer bring a sheer and subtle beauty approach to the table. Exactly what I like to see. Nothing too wowzer going on colour-wise, just enhancing colours and natural textures that have that whole ‘no makeup, makeup’ thang down. I’m currently coveting the Lip and Cheek Tint in Honeysuckle, but their Matte Moisture Tint is always up there as a fave.

Best bits: Creme Eyeshadow Crayon, Lip and Cheek Tint, Tinted Lip Enhancer, Matte Moisture Tint.

NARS: Another brand that might seem like an odd choice, but on reflection its one I turn to quite often, especially when it comes to colour. Their lipstick and eyeshadow offerings rock and their range for complexion isn’t half bad either (one day I will get my hands on their Creamy Concealer *shakes fist in the air*). Keep an eye out for their palettes – they tend to disappear from the shelves promptly after release but are ah-mazing.

Best bits: And God Created the Women Palette (or any of their eyeshadow palettes for that matter), Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturiser, Laguna Bronzer.


  • Charlotte MacDonald-Gaunt

    I’m so glad you mentioned Bourjois. Like you I’ve been really impressed with the releases this year and they’ve stepped up with so many of their products – lip products, nails, foundation, mascara – so much to choose from! Xx

  • Anna Blush

    This is a really helpful post, some brands really do just bring it! x

  • Nikki Canning

    I’ve been eyeing up the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser for months now…I’m taking this as a sign that I should definitely splurge on it! 😉

  • Sarah

    Great post Anna! I agree that Bourjois have been nailing their new releases over the past year 🙂

    Sarah | More Than Adored

  • Abi Bailey

    I love Bourjois too, they have so many products that bring it! And their packaging is one of the nicest out out of the drugstore I’d say. This must have been a hard post haha! x

  • Bella

    I love this post. My handsdown favourite brand, no need to think, is Nars. Second comes a very recent discovery, Edward Bess. Small range, but perfectly formed. Third Laura Mercier and fourth Chanel. I don’t really use any other brands on a day to day basis. My Dior and Guerlain tends to gather dust, no matter how pretty they were at purchase.

  • I’ve been very impressed with more recent released by Bonjours so I’m so glad they got a mention. Really helpful post 🙂

  • Ivy Vijay

    Bourjois is a real winner with their foundations.. the 1,2,3 PERFECT FOUNDATION is an all rounder and works wonderfully for me throughout the year. And of course NARS, I love how their sheer glow foundation and the mesmerizing lip pencils..I can go on and on…Well Anna has summed up pretty well for all of us

    Thanks sweetheart x

  • Noisy Rain

    I love NARS and Laura Mercier they’re my favourites 🙂 x

  • Line

    Nars has got to be my favourite brand ever. I love everything that I have gotten from Nars and I just feel like the texture of their blush/eyeshadow/bronzers are like no other brand! 🙂 x

  • Emily Allen

    I agree with all this but I’d also sneek in Revlon :p xx Emmi

  • Rachel

    Great picks Anna. Bourjois have really stepped it up a notch this year with all of their new releases. I already have my eye on their new foundation!

  • Shrutilaya

    Nars is easily my favorite brand ever.
    But I also love Rimmel so much, as far as “drugstore” products go, I think they’re really kicking it out of the park.

  • Martyna

    these are great – I love bourgeois! xx

    Martyna | NEON MIZZLE

  • Holly Cooke

    I’m loving Bourjois at the moment! They really have some amazing things! xxx

  • I’m with you on the Mercier and NARS front. My LM tinted moisturiser ran out last week and I just don’t know how I’m going to cope without it! As for NARS – I’m dying to get my hands on one of their palettes. So far I just have blushes, bronzers and lip products from NARS (velvet matte lip pencil love!) but I really want a go at their eyeshadows. Soon, soon!

  • Christine

    Hi Vivianna! I really enjoy reading your blog. There are so many good tips to find here! Can you please recommend a good drugstore waterproof makeup remover? I’m currently using the Biotherm Biocils Waterproof eye makeup remover. Thank you!

    Christine x

    • Claire O

      Johnson & Johnson Baby oil, xx

  • Alexis Granados

    Laura Mercier have the most amazing tinted moisterizers!! And for NARS all of there shadows, blushers and lipsticks are super pigmented, so you reall get your moneys worth!!


  • balcara

    Love this post, completely agreed on laura mercier! xx

  • roshkud

    Jouer is a brand I reallly want to try, just wish I could swatch the items somewhere! I agree with your love for Bourjois and Nars, they’re wonderful

  • Dorothy HF

    I picked up the Nars Limited Edition eye palette last week and I love that it comes with the primer and brush too, such a good buy!!

    she goes wear


  • shar

    Nars is my absolute fave for blush i find them so incredibly pigmented and most of them have great staying power they are expensive but they last forever

  • I want to try this brand

  • Eλένη,Ελενάκι,Λενιώ

    I really enjoyed that post! Good job 😀

    I want to buy the bourjois make up!

  • Stacey C

    I love bourjois and nars, such amazing products!

    lovely post


  • Ruby@TotalModisch

    Loved reading this! But it made me a bit sad/ eager to get to a Boots or Spake NK, because I don’t think I have any of the products you mentioned here!!!! x

  • Bourjois lip crayon in Peach On The Beach is the best thing ever! I love it! Great post xx

    Justine | BRIGHTON DREAM

  • Alice

    I love Bourjois and Laura Mercier!

    Really would love to try Jouer and still can’t believe I haven’t made a NARS purchase being the beauty junkie that I am!


  • Daniella

    I LOVE bourjois! favorite makeup brand hands down!

  • Cynthia

    Wish we had Bourjois in the states 🙁 I’ve been dying to try all their stuff!

    • Janelle

      Cynthia – I’ve purchased a lot of Bourjois products from They always have free shipping and often a coupon code. They don’t always have the entire line (and you can’t buy nail polish from overseas) but most of it is there. My favorites are the foundation, cream blushes, and lip sticks (Rouge Edition and Shine edition). Next up to purchase – a bronzer, eye shadows, more cream blushes, and hopefully those lip crayons whenever they get restocked. 🙂

  • Claire O

    Re your comment on Bourjois seeming a little off-piste choice for you, you may or may not know this, however Bourjois bought Chanel! Yes they bought Chanel not the other way around!!! So take a look at the Chanel baked blushers and their colours, then take a look at the Bourjois blushers you will see very simular colours if not dupes. OK so the Chanel ones have a liitle bit more pigment, but not that much more to pay at least an extra £15-£20 more for. Take a look at a very cult Chanel foundation, then take a look at the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation, hmmm you will see a very simular product and simular finish. There you have it, Drug store shopping has just got even better!

  • Lauren Lequime

    Bourjois are probably the only high street brand that I really love, lately they’ve churned out some seriously great products. Nars is my favourite make up brand, they can do no wrong in my eyes, and I love Illamasqua as well. I’d love to try the Jouer matt moisture tint as I’ve not tried anything from the brand yet x

  • I’ve never tried anything bourjois. maybe I will have to venture out!

  • Allison

    I’d love to say that I love all these too but alas all I have from the lot is the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint which I adore!

  • Peebreeks

    I love Bourjois, I think they have some brilliant products and they don’t test on animals so extra happy points! x

  • Rafaela Gerson

    Nars is my favourite make up brand! Love their blushes and lip pencil so much! I loved how bourjois healthy mix looked on my skin, but my skin reacted badly at it, it is very sensitive with fragrance unfortunately. I am really tempted to get their cream blushes though, they are lovely, hope it won’t cause any reaction on my skin.
    Oh, and I am dying to put my hand on the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint!

  • Emma and Emily

    I have never tried anything from Jouer but I would love to try it. I love the NARS blush colours so much!

  • Sophie

    Totally agree with this… Bourjois have some amazing new stuff recently 🙂



  • Georgina Walsh

    Totally with you on the Bourjois, the quality of their products always seems really good especially considering the affordable prices!

  • Beautyandtheb

    I agree that Bourjois does everything well!!

    B xx

  • P.

    Bourjois is great! love it 🙂 – my beauty advice of the week:)

  • Shruti

    I think The Balm is a great brand too.. I do agree with your picks too 🙂

  • Great post, I have to say I love moat of these brands too!


  • sarirah

    Totally agree with you on the Laura Mercier front. I’m yet to try anything from NARS so I may give one of your suggestions as my first purchase.

  • Marie

    I have yet to try jouer products, but they seem just up my ally- natural look! My favorite brand is RMS. Their Un-cover up and Living Luminizer give such a pretty glow!

  • Sirin

    I wish Boourjois is the in the states again. I didn’t discover them while they were here a few years ago and now I want to get my hands on them 🙁

  • neonseattle

    I agree with LM and Nars. Haven’t tried enough Bourjois or Jouer. Revlon hardly ever disappoints me as far as drugstore makeup. Hourglass is consistently turning out some pretty special products so it might be on my list soon!

  • Celina

    I have yet to try products by Bourjois but I’ve heard nothing but great things about the brand overall. I think Revlon is a great brand as well, especially for a drugstore brand.

    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

  • Lana

    I’ve always loved Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser but recently trialled their eyeshadows. I agree with your Mum. They are fabulous.

  • sara

    The Bourjois foundation broke me out. :/ I wonder if the healthy mix serum is better than the foundation, because the foundation version was what I found in Asia. The color looked really good but next day my face was a mess. Does anyone know the difference?

  • sof

    My favorite one is definitely Laura Mercier! Im very happy you included it in this category, all my face products come from her, it is never disappointing!

  • gemlux

    This post is great, I have literally no clue where I would start if trying to pinpoint my favourite brand! Would be great if you could check out my latest elf palette review if you have time -x-


  • Lexie Blush

    Hi Vivianna,

    Thanks for the Jouer discovering!
    I didn’t know that brand, but I am surely gonna put my hands on some of their bits!!

    Lexie B.

  • Ana Leote

    Bourjois is one of my favourite brands too


  • Megan

    Love this! I think real techniques would fit in here for me if that counts haha!!!! you can get the full range of real technique brushes at really cheap, and i have a code for upto $10 off!: HWT011 :use it at the checkout and only $4/ £2.50 worldwide delivery!!! Hope this helps, they end up being like super cheap! 🙂 .

  • Love Jouer’s Lego type palettes that you can put together. Genius!

    Liz xx

  • lexie
  • Mishal

    I have been loving Bourjois too especially their lip crayons! I don’t have anything from Nars but I really want to try their foundation and blush

  • Love the post!

  • I’ve been keen on NARS lately, but struggle since it’s pricey and I can only buy it online where I live. I’ve never tried Laura Mercier, but am keen to, especially with you raving about it!