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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

As a makeup lover, I know how challenging it can be to find the right product. Though I love trying out the latest releases and the new hyped up products, as a student, it is hard to try everything within a budget. That being said, drugstore makeup is always a great option for makeup lovers with only $20 to spend. I dug through my beauty drawer and have compiled a list of the best drugstore makeup products to share with you all.

1. Foundation.



Picture Credit: Walmart

While makeup, in general, is a very personal preference, foundation is always difficult because of how individual skin is to each person. A matte finish may not work for someone with dry skin, while someone with oily skin may not want a luminous finish. I’ve provided more than one favorite for those of you with specific preferences.

I have gone through phases with foundation –– from matte to dewy –– and the one I always find myself coming back to is the L’Oreal True Match Lumi. This foundation is lightweight, medium coverage, and of course, luminous. The foundation also has SPF 20, and while I don’t recommend using this as your only face SPF, it is always nice to have extra protection. The product retails for 10.99 at Target.

For those of you who prefer more of a matte finish, my go-to foundation would be the Wet n Wild Photo Focus. This foundation is a bit heavier than the L’Oreal foundation but has more coverage. For me, I can only wear this foundation in the summer since it can sometimes accentuate my dry patches, but it may be a better option for those of you with oily to normal skin. The product retails for $4.69 at Target.

2. Concealer.


Picture Credit: Hermo

Concealer is a product I wear almost every day because of my dark circles, so I have tried a variety. Though my go-to right now is the Collection Lasting Perfection, the product is only sold in the UK. However, Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser is one product I have been using for years to hide tired eyes. The product retails for $7.89 at Target.

Another go-to concealer is the Maybelline Fit Me, which can be used both for under eyes or to cover up blemishes. The product retails for $5.49 at Target, making it one of the best budget-friendly products. I have found that both of these concealers are pretty universal when it comes to skin type, and it also makes a good highlight for under the eyes.

3. Powder.

Picture Credit: Walmart

Since I am more into the glowy look and don’t like dry patches, I am not big on powder. However, I do like to set my concealer with something, and my favorite for years has been the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. The powder is pressed and great to use either for the whole face or to set your under eyes. The product retails for $3.99 at Target.

4. Blush.

Picture Credit: Beauty Bay

Any makeup lover has heard of Milani’s Baked Blushes, specifically in the color Luminoso, and there’s a good reason why! Luminoso is the perfect rosy color with a slight shimmer that works for any skin tone. But if Luminoso is not your shade, there are 10 other shades that are bound to work for you. The product retails for $6.39 at Target.

5. Bronzer.

Picture Credit: Walmart

Another well-known product, again, for a good reason, is the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. The product comes in four shades, and it smells like coconut. The bronzer is smooth, gives a subtle glow, and smells good! What’s not to love? The product retails for $13.39 at Target.

6. Highlighter.

Picture Credit: Amazon

Highlighter is probably one of the most challenging items to find at the drugstore because the options are so limited. While companies have introduced their own lines of highlighters, they are often times either too glittery or too chalky. The two highlights that have not failed me are the Essence Pure Nude and the Essence Soo Glow. The Pure Nude is a powder highlight while the Soo Glow is a cream to powder. Both are pretty subtle but can be built up easily without looking like too much. Both retail for $4.49 at Ulta.

7. Eyeshadow.

Picture Credit: Temptalia

Maybe these aren’t technically sold at the drugstore, but what’s important is they still have drugstore prices! The Colourpop Super Shock Shadows are my go-to for any look. The shadows themselves almost feel creamy to the touch, but turn into powder when on the eyes. The colors are extremely pigmented and vary between shimmer and matte shades. My personal favorite shades are Central Perk and Stereo. They retail for $5.00 on the Colourpop website and limited products are being sold now at Sephora and Ulta.

8. Eyeliner.

Picture Credit: NYX

I don’t usually go all out with eyeliner, but when I use it on my waterline, the only pencil I have found to stay put all day is NYX Slide on Pencil. The pencil comes in sixteen different shades varying from blues to blacks, so you’re sure to find the right color. The product retails for $5.59 at Ulta.

9. Mascara.

Picture Credit: Superdrug

Mascara is one product at the drugstore that has many great options that I almost always choose. My most recent favorite, however, is Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara. The product can be compared to Benefit’s Roller Lash, which retails for $24 at Sephora while the Lash Sensational retails for only $6.69 at Target. As someone who has tried both products, I can say with certainty that the two products are very similar in lengthening the lashes.

If you’re someone who prefers volumizing mascaras over lengthening ones, you might want to try L’Oreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise, comparable to Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. The Too Faced mascara retails for $23 while the L’Oreal is only $8.99.

10. Lips.

Picture Credit: SkinStore

No look can be finished off without a good lipstick or gloss. Luckily, there are a ton of great options for lip makeup at the drugstore. While not technically lipstick, I always reach for Colourpop’s Lippie Stix over my other lip products. Retailing for only $5.50 online with a large selection of colors, these products are long wearing and true to their color. They also don’t dry out my lips which is always a plus with heavier lip products!

While I do love my Lippie Stix, I tend to wear a gloss over a lipstick product on a regular basis. I recently have found my all-time favorite lip gloss, which is Soap & Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker XXL Lip Gloss. The gloss also claims to be a lip plumper, and while it definitely has that tingly plumping sensation, I’m not sure how much it does with actually plumping the lips. Whether the product makes your lips fuller or not, the gloss still is really pretty to wear. It also tends to be a little bit stickier, which makes the gloss stays on longer than typical glosses. The product retails for $9.59 at Target.

Finding good makeup in the drugstore is all about trial and error, but if you look hard enough and listen to reviews from other makeup lovers, it’s easier to find a product that might work for you. While makeup is always personal, these products are worth putting to the ultimate test. You never know, you might find your next holy grail item!

Cover Photo Credits: StyleCaster


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Callie is double majoring in English and Cinema and Media Studies at Boston University. Outside of writing for HerCampus, her interests include watching movies, reading, skiing, and beauty. She is a Boston native. 
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.