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Everything You Need For A Complete, Affordable Makeup Kit

Just because you’re on a college budget doesn’t mean you should have to compromise on your makeup game. Lately, drugstore brands have been stepping up their game, releasing collections that are on par with higher end makeup. Here a full list of every product you need for a full makeup kit–all from awesome, affordable brands.  


  1. Prime Light Strobing + Pore-Minimizing Face Primer

When it comes to face products like primers, we all look for something a little different. Someone with dry skin might need a really hydrating base for the rest their makeup to go on, those with oilier skin might look for something a little more mattefying. This primer by Milani is the perfect-middle-of-the-road formula that both fills pores and leaves a slightly dewy finish.  

2. Maybelline Matte and Poreless Foundation

This foundation by Maybelline makes minimizing pores and blurring out skin imperfections look easy. The long lasting formula comes in 24 shades–a huge plus for those who have usually have some trouble finding their perfect match.

3. LA Girl Cosmetics HD Pro Concealer

This LA Girl concealer gives higher end versions a run for their money, making dark circles disappear in seconds. They have 28 shades to choose from, 6 of which are color correctors made specifically to cancel out coloring imperfections. These also work great for brightening and contouring, just use a few shades lighter or darker than your skin respectively.

4. RCMA No Color Powder

Though the packaging on this powder isn’t the most expensive looking or most convenient, the product itself is phenomenal. It works great for setting under eye concealer, baking and setting foundation–and it never looks cakey.

5. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

This super smooth bronzer gives your skin a healthy, natural looking tan. It’s blendable, easy to work with, and never looks muddy. Also, it smells like a relaxing day in a tropical paradise. The only downside–it only comes in two shades, and they’re both pretty light, which is a trend amongst most Physicians Formula products

6. L’oreal Brow Stylist Definer

For only around $9, this brow pencil easily competes with higher end ones from Sephora. Unlike other drugstore brands, NYX offers a wide range of colors to choose from.

7. Wet n Wild MegaGlo™ Contouring Palette

Though Wet n Wild is one of the most affordable brands at the drugstore, their products are often extremely on par with higher end brands. The powders in this contouring palette for example, have a super smooth formula that makes it easy to sculpt your features in no time.

8. Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush

These blushes by Wet n Wildare extremely pigmented, but creamy enough so that it blends out easily. They comes in a range of five colors, with a mixture of matte and slightly shimmery shades. Just make sure you tap off your brush before applying to make sure you don’t put on too much too quickly!

9. e.l.f. Mad for Matte & e.l.f. Mad for Matte 2 Eyeshadow Palettes

Into the matte eyes look? These two palettes by e.l.f. get the job done for $10 dollars each. Both palette’s are high quality and can totally be used on their own. While the original Mad for Matte palette features cool neutrals, Mad for Matte 2 carries warmer shades and an arguably even creamier formula.  

10. Wet n Wild Color Icon Shadow Collection in Comfort Zone

For the price of your daily Starbucks coffee, this eyeshadow palette by Wet n Wild packs some serious punch when it comes to shimmer. The most unique shade out of the eight is by far the bottom left one–a deep purple-green duochrome. And though the palette is designed to stand on its own, we suggest using these mainly as lid colors and leaving other matte shades for the crease.

11. Wet n Wild MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner  


This liquid eyeliner is another must have product by Wet n Wild. The intensely black, super matte formula doesn’t budge and lasts for hours. Plus the felt tip end is sharp and flexible, making it easy to create a killer wing.

12. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Mascara is another one of those products that is pretty personal when it comes to preferences, some of us look for volumizing formulas, others for length or curl. This mascara by Maybelline is a universal pleaser–it does a great job of lengthening lashes while adding volume and and holding a curl.  

13. Milani Color Statement Lip Liner

These extremely pigmented and creamy lip liners are well worth the $5 dollars they’ll cost you. Not only will they seamlessly define your lips, they’ll also help to extend the wear time of whatever you put on top.

14. Colourpop Liquid Lipsticks

Colourpop liquid lipsticks come in two formulas–matte and satin–and in countless colors. Both formulas are super high quality for the price. Though the satin formula is not transfer-proof, it’s much more comfortable to wear. For the matte formula, we suggest priming your lips thoroughly since it can be a bit drying.

15. Maybelline Matte Lipsticks

These lipsticks are a classic cult favorite–and for good reason. They’re highly pigmented and super creamy. And lately Maybelline has been releasing more and more fun and vibrant colors.

16. Colourpop Highlighters


The best part about all of Coloupop’s products are their incredible color ranges and fun names. Their highlighter collection has a shade for every skin tone, plus some fun colorful ones such as Honeymoon, a blue-purple one, or Perilune, a flashing green one.

17. Milani Make It Last Setting Spray

This setting spray by Milani rivals the best from higher end brands. Not only will it bring your makeup back to life if you accidentally over powder, but it’ll make it last for hours on end. You can also use it to intensify your shimmer shadows by spraying a bit onto your brushes before you apply them onto your lids.






My name is Catalina Gonella, I’m one of the Campus Correspondents at Her Campus NYU, and a junior studying Journalism & Media, Culture and Communications. I'm originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I moved to South Florida when I was seven to a little suburby city by the name of Coconut Creek. A few other things you should know about me: I'm obsessed with food (current favorite: Ramen), I believe my calling is to try every single coffee shop in New York, I don't know how I expressed myself before Pusheen the Cat and Gifs, and I love when people tag me in Facebook dog videos.
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