Mixing high and low end fashion is a clever way to build your wardrobe without going broke. The same concept can be applied to your beauty arsenal; invest in a couple pricier high end products you absolutely can’t live without, and then fill the gaps in your collection with affordable drugstore cosmetics. This strategy is especially useful for budget conscious college students. You’re spending a small fortune on tuition, textbooks, rent, and other necessities. Sometimes an extravagant excursion to Sephora isn’t always realistic for most of us, so here’s some inexpensive products you can pick up at the drugstore or supermaket.
1. Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara- $7.99
I was skeptical of Revlon’s claim that their formula “ helps lashes grow stronger while visibly adding length and volume,” but this is by far the greatest makeup purchase I have ever made. I don’t think it’s possible to grow your lashes just by applying mascara, so maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but my lashes are actually noticeably longer and lush. In fact, the results are so noticeable that people have questioned whether or not my eyelashes are real. I haven’t seen results like this with any other mascara, ever. I’ve tried numerous mascaras, both drugstore and high-end brands, but I keep coming back to this one.
2. Elf Eyelid Primer- $1
You may think eye primer is unnecessary, but applying primer before eyeshadow really makes a difference in the staying power and intensity of the shadow. Makeup aficionados have declared this product a dupe of Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion, but I found Elf’s not quite as heavy duty. Though Urban Decay’s has incredible staying power, sometimes shadow gets too “stuck” to the primer, making it difficult to apply and blend. Shadow blends effortlessly on top of the Elf formula, and it still does a superb job of preventing creasing and smudging. Not bad for $1.
3. Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher Powder- $2.99
This blush is surprisingly blendable, which is uncommon for products this cheap. The color Pearlescent Pink is a dupe for the most popular blush brand and color: Orgasm by Nars. Orgasm is a peachy-pink with slight shimmer that’s earned the title of the most universally flattering shade. Proceed with caution, though. This blush is highly pigmented. You only need a tiny bit for a radiant flush. The shade is gorgeous and a little sweep of this brightens the entire face.
4. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer- $16.99
This may have a higher price tag than most products on this list, but it’s still a lot less expensive than most moisturizers you’d find at Sephora or department store makeup counters. The added sunscreen makes it ideal for daily use. Most people don’t believe it’s necessary, but dermatologists stress the importance of wearing SPF on your face every day, rain or shine.
5. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream- $7.99
This 8-in-1 beauty balm claims to blur imperfections, brighten, even skin tone, smooth, hydrate, enhance, protect with SPF 30, and it has 0% oils and heavy ingredients. This BB cream simplifies your daily makeup routine, making it ideal for those mornings when you’re rushing to get ready and get to class. It provides very light coverage that makes skin look fresh and natural. If you have oily skin, dust on some loose powder or mineral foundation for a bit more coverage on shiny spots.
6. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick- $7.99
Revlon is the best when is comes to affordable lip products. Their lipsticks are very similar to the quality of MAC for a fraction of the price. They offer a great selection of bold, classic and sheer shades. They’re very long lasting and not too drying.
7. NYC Liquid Eye Liner- $2.70
This liquid eyeliner’s ink-like consistency and flexible brush are great for creating bold liner looks. That does mean it requires a lot of precision to apply a smooth line, but the results are worth it. Once it dries, it won’t smudge and it lasts all day.
8. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes- $6.49
I consider this a necessity for all collegiettes™. After a long night out or many hours of studying, the thought of removing your makeup and completing your entire skincare regimen is exhausting. All you want to do is collapse in your bed and go to sleep. Keep some cleansing towelettes by your bed and force yourself to take a few seconds to wipe your face clean before you pass out. Going to bed with dirt, oil and makeup stuck in your pores is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Baby wipes also work phenomenally to gently remove makeup. Renowned makeup artists have said baby wipes are their secret weapon backstage at runway shows when they need to change models’ makeup looks for different shows.
9. Baby powder- $3.99
This is also another must have. Save a few bucks and use baby power instead of dry shampoo. It’s perfect for those days when you wake up late and have 10 minutes to get ready. Rub it into your roots to absorb oil and refresh your hair and you’re good to go. It also gives fine, limp hair a little texture and volumizing boost that makes it easier to style.