Amsterdam is my all-time favorite city. I’ve had the opportunity to travel there three times, each time more memorable than the last. Honestly, I would drop everything and move there right now if I could.
The weather isn’t ideal (it rains a lot), but all the other things make the rain worth it: the stroopwaffels, the fashion, the tech scene, the bikes, the architecture, the decor, and the phenomenal public transportation. Plus, it’s only a 3.5 hour train ride away from Paris. Did I mention that Germany and Belgium are close neighbors? All good things!
An obsession of mine is learning what the makeup is like in other countries — especially when it comes to budget makeup. In the States, we’re all about Walgreens, Duane Reade, and CVS (gotta have that e.l.f., Cover Girl, and Wet n’ Wild). In The Netherlands, they’re all about Etos.
Etos is their go-to drugstore that carries many of the brands we know and love. But Etos actually has its own line of makeup, too (so snazzy). Below I tested some of Etos’ most popular products — plus another European favorite: Max Factor.
1. Skin Smoothing Primer (€5.99)
This might be my favorite of the bunch! It reminds of L’Oreal’s Miracle Blur Finishing Cream, but it’s way cheaper. It smooths the skin and it’s meant to be worn under foundation. I use it on days I don’t want to wear a full face of makeup, but still want glowing, smooth skin. Just apply after a moisturizer and go!
2. Etos BB Cream (€6,99)
I loved this BB Cream! The texture was amazing and it had great coverage. Sadly, the cream I picked was a shade too dark for me. When I go back, I’ll definitely pick up a “003.” In the meantime, I’m using this too-dark BB cream as a bronzer — so far, so good.
3. Max Factor Wild Mega Volume Mascara ($11,99)
Unfortunately, Max Factor is no longer sold in the United States. So getting a Max Factor product was a must. At first, I hated this mascara — like really, really hated it. Then I fell in love. Here’s why:
I don’t like using this mascara in the morning; it’s clumpy and it gave me a serious case of spider lashes. Instead, I use it in the evening to add more drama to my already mascara’d lashes from the a.m.
4. Etos Colour Balm (€3.99)
If I could compare this to anything, it would be to Clinique’s Chubby Stick. It went on smooth and creamy, and the color was a pretty coral. It didn’t last very long, but it was advertised as a balm that looks like a lipstick — not as a stain.
Since there’s a lot of products similar to this in the U.S., I don’t feel the need to re-buy this balm next time I travel to Holland.
5. Etos Make-Up Under Base (€4,99)
I’ve been using this product for months and I still don’t know what I think of it. It definitely does what it says it will — my makeup lasts for hours. It makes your skin a bit sticky, so your foundation will actually ‘stick’ to it. Perfect for those who like extremely matte skin.
I’m unsure about it because it tends to make my skin look dry. There’s also no ingredient list on the back! I’m the type of person who likes knowing what’s in my products, especially if I’m putting it all over my face!
6. Etos Long Lasting Eyepencil (€3,04)
Obsessed! I can’t rave about this eyeliner enough. Drugstore eyeliners are usually pretty bad; let alone the colorful ones. This stunning turquoise eyeliner is retractable and it lasts all day — double threat! I am definitely going to stock up on these when I go back.
7. Etos Blush Powder (€3,50)
Pass! Nothing special. It didn’t add much color and the brush it came with wasn’t great.
8. Etos 24 Hour Mascara (€5.99)
I really liked this mascara! It lasted all day, gave the illusion of more lashes, and never got clumpy. I don’t think I’ll buy it again since it compares to a lot of our drugstore brands here in the States, but it was definitely a great mascara.
Do you have any favorite beauty products that can only be bought abroad? Let us know in the comments below!