Cosmetics on Kauai: Walmart

It’s often a struggle to find things on Kauai. “Struggle” might even be too kind of a word. It’s sometimes downright impossible to find anything on Kauai, which is why I usually have to go to Oahu to stock up on Korean cooking ingredients. But I digress. Another thing that I find it difficult to find on Kauai is cosmetics. We don’t have Sephora, we don’t have Ulta, or any kind of dedicated makeup stores. That means, for the most part, we’re limited to drugstore brands, or a minimal amount of high end brands. Of course I can just order things online, but sometimes I want to sample a product, and sometimes I want instant gratification.

Welcome to my Cosmetics on Kauai Series, where I’ll be talking about all the places you can find cosmetics on the island. I’m going to break them down store by store and focus on the following four things: variety of products, how easy it is to browse them, if the collections are up-to-date, and price point. 

Let’s start with Walmart!

Walmart has recently revamped their cosmetics section and made it look a little cleaner and brighter. They also stopped carrying  Hard Candy, which sucks because Walmart is the exclusive retailer for that brand. They used to have a pretty nice sized section of it, but now, nary an eyeshadow to be seen. I was especially bummed about that when I saw the Trolls collab with Hard Candy, because I wanted that rainbow highlighter. 

The largest sections are occupied by Revlon, Maybelline, Covergirl and L’oreal.

As you can see, a lot of the sections are pretty picked over. This is an all-the-time thing. Every time I walk into the cosmetics section, it looks like a hot mess.

Note the items strewn on the bottom shelf.

The Almay section is pretty small. 

The Wet n’ Wild section is small too, but they have up-to-date items, including the ombre blush, highlighters, the cushion correctors, highlighting sticks and matte liquid lipsticks.

The E.L.F. section was added when they revamped the cosmetics section. This section carries both makeup and tools, I think a good balance of both. There is also a carousel nearby with more tools and makeup, which I failed to take a picture of. 

 I primarily buy my nail polish things from Walmart, but their nail section always looks like a mess. 
 
Variety:

Walmart carries the following brands:

  • Revlon
  • Maybelline
  • Covergirl
  • L’oreal
  • Almay
  • Neutrogena
  • Wet N Wild
  • E.L.F.
  • Rimmel

The largest sections belong to Revlon, Maybelline, Covergirl and L’oreal. There are medium sized sections for E.L.F. and Rimmel, and a small sections for Neutrogena, Almay,  and Wet n’ Wild. But despite its size, Walmart’s Wet n’ Wild section is more up to date with products than any of the other stores on the island. 

Ease of Browsing:

Since it’s update, the aisles are bright and wide enough for two people to pass by each other. But it’s a hot mess in this cosmetics section. While the sections are all labeled appropriately, it’s hard finding anything because everything is missing and not restocked. There are also items strewn all over the place, so it could be that what you’re looking for is there, just in a completely unrelated area.

On Trend:

Walmart seems to be up-to-date with the latest makeup lines. They have most, if not all, of the L’oreal Infallible line, including the foundations, and like I mentioned, they are up-to-date with the Wet n’ Wild products. They don’t have any Spring Collection items yet, but it could be worse.

Prices:

The cosmetics here are reasonably priced, not marked up like some other places (we’ll get to that). They are probably marked up from mainland stores, though. For example, the Wet n’ Wild Color MegaCushion Color Corrector is $6.18 here, but is $5.99 on their website. Not a huge difference, but there is one. Compared to other stores on the island, Walmart has the cheapest non-sale prices. I used the L’oreal Lumi Cushion as my control. At Walmart, it cost $16.47, whereas at the different Long’s locations it cost anywhere between $16.99 and $17.89.

Conclusions: 

Walmart’s cosmetics section is a hot mess, but it is mostly up-to-date, and is the cheapest on the island. But good luck getting anything you’re looking for, because the shelves are almost always bare. 

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Kateri Tennberg

Keeper of scary stories. Lover of Asian skincare. Human to two cats. Sometimes I put makeup on, too.

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