A Broke Girl’s Guide to Makeup on a Budget

If you’re like me and love looking bomb but hate being broke, fret no more. I have recommendations that will keep you, and your wallet, sitting pretty.

Ash Be Gone – Moisturizing is one of the most important, yet most frequently forgotten, steps when doing your makeup. Luckily, moisturizing is also the cheapest step! You can go to almost any Target or Walmart to find a moisturizer that fits your skin's need. My personal favorite is POND'S Dry Skin Cream, which will only run you about $8.

Prepped and Primed – The next step of the pre-makeup makeup routine is primer! Primer smooths texture, enhances coverage, and helps product look better and last longer, eliminating any need for touchups throughout the day. Primers are plentiful so there are tons of affordable options, my favorites being NYX’s Angel Veil ($16) and the travel size of Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($16). They both do wonders for my textured skin.

Fleek Level 1000 – A good pair of brows are the key to a good face. They frame your features and can take you from "eh" to "OMG" with just a few quick swipes. To ensure that my brows stay sharp and in place, I do them before my foundation, but feel free to experiment and find a routine that works best for you. To sculpt them just the way I like, I use NYX’s Microbrow ($10) and Tinted Brow Mascara ($7).

Laying The Foundation – Now it’s time to lay down the foundation for the look, literally. In order to achieve that oh-so-fabulous look you’ll have to enlist the best, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Some drugstore foundations that have never let me down are Maybelline’s Fit Me Foundation in both Matte + Poreless ($6), their original dewy formula, and L'Oréal’s Infallible Pro-Matte and Pro-Glow ($11).

Better Than Coffee – Some mornings are so rough that you’ll need more than just a cup of coffee to look bright-eyed and bushytailed. These mornings call for only the most powerful concealers, and NYX’s Concealer Jar ($5) and Wand ($5) pack that power.

Ready, SET, Go – So you’ve finished your base, now it’s time to set! Setting powders (or mattifying powders) set your makeup so that your look is locked in place, oil free, and your fine lines and pores disappear. NYX Face Powder ($10), RCMA No Color Powder ($12), Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder ($6) are all great options to keep your face looking flawless all day.

All About Them Eyes – Eyeshadow is the centerpiece of every good makeup look and while you don’t want to skimp, you don't have to splurge either. Morphe ($15-$25) gives you some of the most bang for your buck in terms of eyeshadow palettes. Morphe has a palette to flatter every skin tone, facilitate any look, and can even be customized to your own specific shadow needs. What more could you want?

Lining Up and Lashing Out – Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner is, hands down, one of the greatest drugstore eyeliners (imo) and I will never accept anything different, but mascara is a different story. Mascaras are a dime a dozen, we all have our favorites and we are all right in our own way, but if you have lashes like mine (stubborn and lackluster) Maybelline Lash Sensational ($7) and Falsies ($6) are absolute must-haves! If you’re not into your natural lashes alone, there are affordable false lash options as well! Ardell ($4-12) is famous for their affordable, natural to dramatic false lashes.

Getting Cheeky – Blush can get out of hand very easily, but with just the right amount applied with a very gentle hand, blush can be the perfect way to bring liveliness to your face. Due to the fact that I’m never satisfied with just one blush, my personal favorite is the ELF Blush Palettes ($6). They come in both light and dark to flatter faces of any shade.

From Pumpkin to Princess - Whether you’re a bronzing beauty or a contouring cutie, the NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette ($26) is perfect for you. It contains 8 shades to suit you no matter your needs. Highlight and bronze to your heart's content.

Smooches Colourpop is an online makeup brand that offers a vast array of beautiful lippie options. They have practically every color and finish, and their $6 price tags do not disappoint. If you’re looking for something even cheaper, Wet N Wild MegaLast Lip Colors ($2) pack a pigmented punch!

Finish Me Off – Congrats, you’re all done! Well, almost. Before you run out of the door or take that perfect selfie, make sure you spritz your face with a finishing spray! Finishing spray/setting spray is the hairspray of makeup and will keep your makeup dry and in place for hours. NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray ($8) is a new addition to my makeup routine and I have never been more thankful. No longer do I walk around campus looking like an oil slick (well, at least not when I remember to put it on)!

Now run, don’t walk, to your nearest Target or Ulta and stock up on these budget friendly options! Your pockets will thank you!