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Not everyone has the budget or the resources around them in order to build a fantastic makeup and skincare routine. Also, sometimes our favorite online stores or alternative shopping methods are impractical for quick fixes. Here is a list of some of my favorite drugstore brands that can be found at most chain stores. Whether you are looking for budget-friendly options, or just need some products to hold you over until your next shipment arrives, these brands will save the day!

E.L.F. Cosmetics

E.L.F. Cosmetics is one of my favorite brands. They have a huge range of products, and in my experience, their brushes and beauty tools are high quality and come at affordable prices. My favorite eyelash curler and eyeshadow brushes came from this company. In addition to beauty tools, they offer a large shade range and carry almost any kind of primer anyone could need. I am a huge fan of their Matte Putty Primer, which helps keep my makeup looking nice and matte all day long. Besides makeup, E.L.F Cosmetics also sells various skincare products, including makeup removers, cleansers, moisturizers, and lip balm.


CoverGirl Cosmetics is also very affordable. I like Covergirl because of the many options for foundation and cream formulas. Looking for a matte formula? What about a moisturizing formula? Any specific need, you can probably find a formula that works. They also make finishing your makeup look simple. They sell a variety of eyeshadow palettes that have shades that blend well together, making eye looks easy. Finish off with one of their many waterproof mascaras, and you’re ready to go.

Physicians Formula

A little bit higher with the price point, Physicians Formula brings more affordability to makeup for sensitive skin. Their cruelty-free, natural, and organic formulas are hypoallergenic, which means that they are better for those of use with sensitive skin and eyes. I have found that my skin doesn’t break out as much when I use their clean formulas and that my eyes don’t water with their mascaras and eyeliners. Besides being better for sensitive skin, Physicians Formula carries all sorts of fun shades of eyeshadow, lip colors, blush, and highlighter. With fun-shaped packaging and cosmetic presentation (rose and heart-shaped blush!), Physicians Formula is definitely one of the better drugstore brands. 

L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics

L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics has a huge range of products, from makeup to haircare. I’m a huge fan of their Elvive Repair 5 Damage Erasing balm and leave-in conditioner. Many times it has saved me from a mountain of frizz and made combing out my curls way easier. Want to change things up? They also offer a ton of hair dyes, both permanent and semi-permanent, in a variety of colors and finishes. Makeup-wise, I personally am a huge fan of their lip color collections. They have lipsticks, glosses, liners, balms, and everything in between in a large shade range. I enjoy their Balm-In-Lipsticks, which hydrate your lips while leaving a bit of subtle tint. 

Sally Hansen Nails

Sally Hansen is my number one brand for nail care and nail art supplies. From nail tools to polish, they have it all! Sally Hansen also has a huge shade range, with over 500 different shades rotating in stock. In addition, they also carry several different formulas. Need a quick nail look? Their Insta-Dry formula dries very fast, giving you more time to continue your other business. I personally love the Miracle Gel formula, which looks just like salon-quality gel polish when done. As a plus, Miracle Gel doesn’t require a UV lamp. They also sell beauty tools, including nail clippers, nail art brush kits, and brow/eyelash tools. 

Emily Scharf

DePauw '24

Emily is a vocal performance major at DePauw University! She loves all things creative, fun, and musical.
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