As a makeup artist people constantly ask me for makeup recommendations. This is a blog post I wrote 2 years ago for my work blog BUT I have updated it to make it more relevant to the makeup that is being sold today and added in a few new categories!
This is awesome affordable makeup to make you (and your wallet) happy.
Growing up, my mother and I spent countless hours wandering the makeup section of CVS looking at product after product after product. Though my mother had to the means to buy the pricer makeup at the Belk at the mall, she usually preferred Revlon and L’oreal which meant that our trips to CVS could possibly end with an exciting new makeup product for me as well.
It was there I bought my signature silver plum lipstick I wore all through 10th and 11th grade and there also that I mistakenly bought what I thought was an irridescent eyeshadow crayon (it turned out it was a lip product and my eyelids were horribly red and swollen for the next two days)
Even now many years later, makeup shopping is something we always bond over and when staying at her house, I usually go through her collection asking about the new products she has.
We both have advanced to higher end products thanks to Ulta and Sephora but drugstore makeup has a place in my heart and occasionally when we go to CVS to pick up my meds…we find ourselves wandering those same aisles and talking about which products we like.
Because of my mama and her willingness to let me loot her stash (thanks MP!) as well as introducing me to makeup, I learned that good makeup doesn’t have to be expensive . I carry quite a few drugstore products in my makeup kit as well as having some in my makeup stash at home.
Clients often ask if cheap makeup is “bad” and I always say that every brand, pricey or not, has it’s gems.
So without further adieu, here are my budget beauty gems for you to try!
1. Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm– This will sound crazy but this men’s post shaving balm is being “held up” by many makeup and beauty bloggers as the HG (holy grail) of primers. Nickie from Nickie Tutorials discovered this product when she was at her boyfriends house and realized she didn’t have any moisturizer or primer. TA DA! Many people say its the best primer they have EVER tried. Give it a go! *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
2.e.l.f studio mineral infused face primer – This is a Smashbox primer dupe for sure with a WAY BETTER price.*Can be found at CVS, Walgreens, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
3. NYX cosmetics Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer– This is a newer primer on the market and has been a big hit. Some people say that they also felt that it was very moisturizing as well so those with dehydrated skin may want to check it out. *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
4. Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer– I am a really big Maybelline fan, almost all the drugstore products I love the most are by them. This primer is great! *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
5. NYX Cosmetics Eye Shadow Base– Shadow primer is really important, it is what will help keep your shadow looking vibrant AND keep it lasting all day. I am a NYX cosmetics fan so obviously I had to try this guy. Love it, especially for the price. *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
6. e.l.f. Studio Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer– This is another fan favorite. A good lid primer…for 2$!!! Sign me up. I like using the Sheer version. The Pearl is a little too shimmery for matte looks. *Can be found at CVS, Walgreens, Amazon, Target, and Kmart.
1. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer– I am constantly on the hunt for affordable concealers as it is a makeup product I get a lot of questions about regularly from clients. I found out about this concealer from MakeupGeek, a website I would HIGHLY recommend to any makeup lover. This concealer is very easy to apply and perfect for under the eye as well as covering breakouts. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
2. NYX Cosmetics Hi Defintion Photo Concealer Wand– I keep these in my kit because they are apply on the lighter side so you are able to build up to the coverage you need. They also come in green, purple, and yellow to help with under eye circles, breakouts, and redness. *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
3. Hard Candy Glamofage Heavy Duty Concealer-These concealers are amazing, they will truly cover ANYTHING including tattoos. Its essentially a kit that comes with a skin toned pencil and the actual concealer tube, you use the pencil to outline the tattoo and then use the concealer to cover. I have used it to cover tattoos for weddings before and had an amazing results. This is WAY too heavy for under the eyes but are perfect at covering just about anything else you desire. *can only be purchased at Walmart and Amazon
4. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer-This is a great concealer for those who struggle with under eye circles as it really helps to “brighten” the under eye area. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
5. LA Girl Pro Concealer Set– I didn’t know much about LA Girl but saw that this concealer set was HIGHLY recommended on Amazon. These little guys are amazing. Any flaw is easily covered with these concealers and they blend super easily. A little goes a long way!
1. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow-I LOVE these creme shadows. You can use them as a base (which is what I do on my lid befor putting down a shimmery pigment) or on their own. Use these under your glitter based shadows to really get more bang for your buck! Bold Gold is my favorite, its a beautiful pale beige-gold. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
2. L’oreal Infallible Eyeshadow These guys are more of a pigment than a shadow but the color pay off is huge. Definitely apply with a primer for maximum staying results as looser shadows need a little more help staying on the lid. Amber Rush is a rich copper color and looks great on anyone. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
3. NYX Cosmetics Dream Catcher Eye Palettes-I got two of these (Gold Horizons and Dusk til Dawn) a few weeks ago when Ulta was having a big sale and was really pleasantly surprised at the quality. The shadows are gorgeous with lots of shimmer and they have great staying power even without primer. They seemed much higher quality than one would expect with a 15$ palette. *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
4.NYX Cosmetics Hot Singles Eyeshadows The shadows are equally awesome. They come in a variety of shades and feel very similiar to a lot of higher end shadows. Best of all you can depot them and put them in a palette! *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
5. e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette– Beautiful matte shadows for an incredible price! *Can be found at CVS, Walgreens, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
1. L’Oréal’s Brow Stylist Definer– Overall I am not a huge fan of brow pencils, it can look too harsh. However theres a new “generation” of brow pencils that allow people to do tiny brush strokes looking WAY more natural. This product reminds me of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil…but for way less. I love that it has a spoolie brush to help brush in the pencil strokes. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
2. NYX Cosmetics Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade-I am a HUGE fan of brow pomades. I am madly in love with this one…but it is too pricey for some people. Thats where this pomade comes in. Use an angled brush to apply, use less than you think until you figure out the amount you need. *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
3. e.l.f. Studio eyebrow kit-This a great little kit that comes with brow powder AND wax. Apply with an angled brush and then use the wax to set your brows. *Can be found at CVS, Walgreens, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
4. Maybelline New York Brow Drama Pro Eye Makeup Palette– This palette comes with a sealing wax, a brow powder, AND a highlighting shadow to place on your brow bone! So fancy. *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
1. Maybelline Volum Express Colossal Mascara-This has long been one of my favorite mascaras. I love how the wand is shaped and the formula is also really great.I used to be a huge DiorShow mascara addict and one day bought this stuff on a whim when I didnt feel like going to Sephora. I have been blessed with long lashes so the mascara really adds even more length with some volume. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
2. L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara-Get the thick lashes of your dreams! Best of all this formula is great for those with easily irritated eyes. The formula is SUPER black so there’s no need to do multiple coats either. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
3. L’oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara– A great mascara if you struggle with thinner and shorter lashes. The white tube helps to prime and thicken your lashes so the red tube which is your actual mascara will really give you length and volume. It is also really easy to wipe off at the end of the day. My mom is a HUGE fan of this mascara 🙂 *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
4. L’oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara– This mascara has become really popular this year and the reviews all say the same thing “its better than any high end mascara” Perfect for those who really want longer lashes without clumping. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
1. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner– As a makeup artist I go through A LOT of liner. Like A LOT A LOT. These pot liners are super similar to MAC’s popular Fluidline liners but 1/3rd of the price. They come in a few shades and are waterproof which means they are a staple in my kit.*Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
2. NYX Cosmetics Slide On Eye Pencil-I love how many beautiful colors you have to choose from! I find them very similar to Urban Decay’s liners in terms of creaminess and the fun variety of shades. I have fallen in love with “Jewel”, its a beautiful dark amber color. *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
3. Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner– These liners are super pliable and great to use on your water line. I carry their white liner to help make smaller eyes look a little bigger. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
4. L’Oreal Paris The Super Slim Eyeliner by Infallible-I LOVE felt tip liners (if you want to invest a bit more $$ Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is also incredible) so I wanted to post this gem. It is super dark, waterproof, and has a nice thin brush so you can build the thickness of the liner as needed. This is perfect for doing a beautiful cat eye. *Can be found at all drugstores, ULTA, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
5. NYX Collection Noir Liquid Black Liner-For those we prefer a liquid liner over gel liner or a felt tip liner…this is for YOU! Waterproof, smudge proof, super black, and cheap cheap cheap! *Can be found at CVS, Target, Amazon, and ULTA.
CHECK out part two here. There’s MANY wallet-friendly foundations, blushes, contour palettes, and lip products!!!
What are YOUR favorite drugstore products??