Drugstore Makeup To Get You Flawless On a Budget

We’re not all beauty gurus—we aren’t getting a bunch of PR mail of the latest releases from brands like Urban Decay. We can’t afford to spend our money on trips to Ulta when we need to pay off student loans (unfortunately). But maybe you still want to enhance your features and get that flawless finish without breaking the bank. It can be a tricky situation.

Some drugstore makeup looks amazing and has a promising tagline, but a lot of the time they’re just not up to par with these high-end brands or are just gimmicks. However, there are a lot of gems in the drugstore! Sometimes they’re even as good as or better than things at Sephora! Here are some of the items I’ve found that are amazing, both through personal experience and spending way too much time on the makeup side of Youtube!


If I were trapped on a deserted island and could only have one type of makeup, it would be mascara! So trust me when I give you low-down on what’s the best mascara out there. These mascaras compete with my true love: Better Than Sex by Too-Faced. Your lashes will look long and full, but won’t hurt your wallet.

-Lash Paradise by L’Oréal

-Full Figured by NYX

-Worth the Hype by NYX

-Thick & Fast by Soap and Glory



We need that GLOW. These are the best two out there at the moment that will provide you with a shine that you could see from space.

-Master Chrome by Maybelline

-MegaGlo Highlight by Wet N Wild



I have combination skin and find that a lot of formulas either crease by my nose or transfer after an hour of wear time. These two promise long-lasting full coverage and they deliver!

-Total Control by NYX

-Photo Focus by Wet N Wild

Setting Powder:


While Coty Airspun is best for baking, Photo Focus can be applied all over. They’re both inexpensive and provide a flawless finish to your makeup. Plus, there’s no flashback!

-Photo Focus Pressed Powder by Wet N Wild

-Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder



Milani has been my saving grace for blush. It’s just something that this brand does RIGHT. Of course, there are always new products coming out from other lines, so I look forward to expanding this list!

-Baked Blush by Milani

-Rose Powder Blush by Milani


I don’t contour a ton, so my knowledge of drugstore contour is pretty limited. This palette, however, provides a lot of different tones suitable for most skin types and almost mimicks Shade + Light by Kat Von D.

-Highlight and Contour Pro Palette by NYX



Bronzer is also something I don’t do often. I’m a pretty pale girl, so while I need bronzer a ton, it’s hard to use without looking orange. Butter Bronze, however, is subtle and smooth!

-Butter Bronze by Physicians Formula



These eyeshadows give you pigment, not a ton of fallout, and an easy blending experience—all while remaining affordable! There are nudes, bright colors, mattes, shimmers, and glitter from these brands.

-Everyday Eyes by Milani

-Hot Singles Eyeshadow by NYX

-Liquid Fairy Lights from Pixi by Petra


One of my favorite touches to a look is running a nude color in my lower water-line, like the Jumbo Eye Pencil by NYX in Milk. If you want a cat-eye, Maybelline gives you an easy-to-use tool with a formula that doesn’t dry down shiny and lasts without creasing.

-Jumbo Eye Pencil by NYX

-Eye Studio Master Precise Eyeliner by Maybelline


This is my other weakness…I LOVE lipstick, lip-gloss, lip pencils, you name it. Here are my drugstore favorites!

-Colour Riche Shine by L’Oréal Paris

-NYX Lingerie

-Liquide Suede by NYX

-Sexy Mother Pucker by Soap and Glory

-Matte Lip Color Lip Pencil by ELF

-Color Stay Lip Liner by Revlon

Setting Spray:​

Setting spray is pretty tricky to find at a drugstore! There aren’t many options, and some that are out there aren’t super fab. These have great misters and keep your look locked in tight.

-Mario Badescu Facial Sprays

-Makeup Fixing Mist from Pixi by Petra


The key to good makeup is brushes. You can usually make a look work even with not-so-great makeup if you have good brushes/sponges!

-EcoTool Brushes

-Total Perfecting Blender by EcoTools

-Miracle Complexion Sponger by Real Techniques


Whether for your face or your eyes, primer allows a look to glide on easy and helps it to stay in place. A hint: if you don’t want to use primer, try using a moisturizer before applying foundation!

-Infallible Pro-Lock Matte Primer by L’Oréal

-Master Prime Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Base by Maybelline

My list continues to grow and develop with each day, as does my makeup collection! Did I leave anything out that you consider an essential? I hope that this list will inspire some creativity and give you an easy look into what’s currently at the drugstore. I may do an updated list in the future when new releases come out!


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