Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Wandering around Duane Reade

Whenever I visit New York, one of my usual pastimes is to check out the local drugstores for the latest makeup products by US brands. Duane Reade seems to be the largest chain. There is also Walgreens and CVS/Rite Aide but Duane Reade is the most omnipresent. Some of its stores look old and poorly lit but it also has more modern and recently renovated stores.

Some of its major stores now feature a Look Boutique with niche brands like Pop Beauty, Becca, 100% Pure, Lierac etc.

The ones in Herald Square and Union Square are even open 24 hours, so you can get your beauty fix at any time of the day. You can check out the store locations here.

While the Look Boutiques are certainly a nice change of pace from the usual Duane Reade, there wasn't much in them that caught my eye. Instead, I spent more time checking out the older Duane Reade stores. The funny thing about these US drugstores is that they don't always get the same limited edition collection displays so it's worthwhile checking out a few stores just to see what they have as you never know what you may find. Prior to my trip, I found Nouveau Cheap to be an excellent resource for learning about the latest collections arriving in US drugstores.

I usually head straight for the shelves with the new makeup displays. The Wet'n'Wild Pixie Holiday collection of four ColorIcon Eye Kits have been garnering rave reviews online. Priced at just US$4.99 (excluding sales tax), each kit includes six powder shadows and an eyeliner pencil. Some shades are said to be dupes for MAC's Club and NARS' Mekong.

The Wet'n'Wild nail polishes are amazingly cheap at just US$1.99.

L'Oreal's new Midnight Muse collection has four new HIP eyeshadow duos and three eyeliner pencils.

The accompanying lipstick and lipgloss collection.

Also spotted the new L'Oreal Million Lashes mascara but the online reviews have not been spectacular.

Maybelline had several new eyeshadows in baked, cream and powder formulas.

Amidst all the new fall collections, there was still a Maybelline Spring 2010 collection display.

Here's a closer look at the Wet'n'Wild Pixie Holiday palettes. These are all CPs for friends so I will not be doing any swatches. Anyway, it's quite easy to find swatches of these palettes online.

Snow Sprite

Bronze Goddess

Night Elf: You can see swatches on

Sugar Plum

The eyeshadow palettes are made in China and the eyeliner pencils are made in Mexico.


AhCapp said...

Hi Iris,

Thank you for sharing pics of the US drugstore. ^_^ I love shopping at drugstores! In Japan, I usually get so excited that I will practically look at every single item and swatch whatever I can. =P

N I love to do the 'drugstore hop' when I will hop from 1 drugstore to another and to another! hahaha

Haru said...

Hey AhCapp,
Same here, love exploring the drugstores for their budget friendly products! The US drugstores don't usually have testers though, so there's quite a bit of risk involved in buying without being able to swatch first. Think I must have gone into close to 10 Duane Reade stores on this trip!

Millicent said...

slHI I'd like to know if like you've visited times square. if you did what drugstores are there? Like Ulta,Sally;'s beauty supply,CCO,CVS etc.

Haru said...

There's no Ulta in New York City, as far as I know. The nearest CCO is in Woodbury Commons, which is outside the city. In Times Square, there is only a Duane Reade and a Walgreens. You can check their respective websites to find the exact locations.

G. said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out! I'm so glad you were able to get those Pixie Holiday palettes--there are many, many people here in the US who still have not been able to locate them, so congrats!

Also, I *wish* Duane Reade was a national chain! They are only located in the NY area, which is so sad because them seem to get all of the limited edition products faster than the other chains. As for the rest of the US, Walgreens seems to be gaining in popularity and accessibility, followed by CVS, then Rite Aid. Rite Aid seems to consistently have the best sales for cosmetics of the three big chains, but their stores are not in every state. Hope that helps! :)

G. said...

PS: I love your blog! :)

Millicent said...

Oooh wow okay hahah thanks then(: Well did you manage to purchase any China Glaze polishes around Times Square?

Haru said...

Nope, I didn't see China Glaze anywhere on my trip.