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Her Campus Media Design Team
Style > Beauty


The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

The beauty community is in flames right now–feels like 2016-2018 all over again. If you’re unaware of what’s going on in TikTok, you’re blessed and I would want to keep it that way, but basically, while beauty influencers are getting canceled left and right, and summoning even worse influencers, I want to share some of the best drugstores beauty products I’ve tried over the years. Less problematic and more budget friendly, what better than this?

I learned to do my makeup with drugstore makeup brands. I didn’t have the access nor the money to buy expensive makeup products, and it was never a problem for me either. This is one of the many reasons why I will always defend and prefer affordable brands over high-end ones. Other reasons include: 1. Drugstore makeup’s quality can be exactly the same or even better than luxury makeup brands, 2. In Puerto Rico it is easier to buy drugstore makeup because there aren’t a lot of stores that sell high-end makeup, and 3. If you’re a beginner, it is best to start with a $10 concealer instead of running out of a $30 concealer way too quickly. 

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Drugstore makeup includes brands such as Maybelline, L’Oréal, NYX, Revlon, wet n wild, and more. There are some inexpensive brands that are not available in drugstores but you can find them in stores like Ulta Beauty and ColourPop Cosmetics. Whilst luxury makeup are found in stores such as Sephora and it includes brands like Dior, Charlotte Tilbury, Hourglass, Tom Ford, Pat McGrath, and many more. Do you need high-end makeup to achieve a flawless look? Nope! With practice and good technique you can become the makeup artist of your dreams. Here are my favorite drugstore makeup brands and products that have worked for me and my skin type, and might just do the trick for you too!


If you haven’t heard of e.l.f. Cosmetics Power Grip Primer, here is your sign to try it out. When it comes to drugstore makeup, e.l.f. Cosmetics have improved their products tremendously, they are trending all over the beauty community. Apparently, this primer is the dupe version of the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer that costs $36. Yeah, I’ll let you decide which one you want to try first! The minute I tried e.l.f. Cosmetics Power Grip Primer, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to put it down and I haven’t since then. Just like its name suggests, this primer becomes sticky and grips onto your makeup leaving a very beautiful finish. e.l.f. Cosmetics has other primers such as the PorelessPutty Primer that is just as good!


Nowadays, scrolling through TikTok for me means watching over 10 makeup reviews a day about the MAKEUP BY MARIO’s SurrealSkin™ Liquid Foundation and I am tired. I love foundation but it’s not something I use every day, only on special occasions where I really want that type of coverage. This is why  I’ll never spend over $40 on a foundation. My favorite foundation is Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation. It’s the first foundation I bought with my own money, and no matter what I try, I keep coming back to her. She’s my trusty bestie! I have to also recommend Juvia’s Place foundations, their newest release, and also the I Am Magic Velvety Matte Foundation. I have to warn you, if you want coverage, you will get it with this foundation! I like my foundations matte because of my oily skin, but if you’re more into skin tints or CC cream, NYX Bare With Me Blur Tint Foundation and e.l.f. Cosmetics CC cream are the dupes of really famous expensive products and are way more affordable.


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My eye bags would never let me leave my house without putting on at least some concealer. It’s actually the quickest makeup product I run out of, which also means I’ve tried a lot of the drugstore concealers and I can confidently say that the e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer is the best one I’ve tried so far. It leaves a natural like-skin finish while also covering my dark spots. Also, this concealer along with the e.l.f. Cosmetics Power Grip Primer is the perfect combo! On the other hand, L’Oréal Paris Infallible concealers are also full coverage and do an amazing job. The combination of Maybelline Fit Me foundation and concealer (I actually always have two Fit Me concealers in my makeup bag) is my staple. Lastly, the OG concealers will always be the LA Girl Concealers which I’ve used for concealing, contouring, and color correcting (and they’re also $5, so there’s that!).


I definitely don’t have Givenchy Loose Powder money, nor the Huda Beauty or Laura Mercier. While I’m not saying they’re bad, they’re actually extremely good powders, there is another option that is more affordable and works just as well and that is: Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder. This powder has been my holy grail for years now. I lost count on how many times I’ve repurchased this powder and I’ll never change it, but if I do, it would definitely be to try out the Fenty Beauty loose powder. Another affordable option is the Makeup Revolution Loose Baking Powder. And if you’re looking for pressed powders, Maybelline SuperStay Matte Powder Foundation and L’Oréal Paris Infallible Powder Foundation are IT! Yes, I know you may be seeing a pattern, but if it works, I will recommend it!


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This may be a bold statement, but anything can be a blush. I’ve said it! And what I mean by this is that my favorite blush is actually an eyeshadow from a palette that is probably a little too old. Imagine my surprise when I saw the $39 Dior Blush going viral! Right off the bat I can tell you that you will achieve the same baby pink effect with a wet n wild or Milani blush. ColourPop’s Let’s Dance blushes are really good as well, and the packaging is to die for! The last recommendation is the Shein Sheglam Clear and Bright Liquid Blush… Now hear me out, I decided to buy one because they were only five bucks. What I was not expecting was for me to actually love it– the pigment and the finish makes this blush perfect.


One of my favorite mascaras of all time is the L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara which is a dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. I love the formula and how thick it makes my lashes look. I’m not the biggest fan of the brush, but that’s when my other favorite mascara, Maybelline Sky High Mascara, comes to the rescue. Mascaras shouldn’t be that expensive or problematic (if you know, you know), they all work almost the same.


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I love lipstick and lip gloss with all my heart. It’s the step in my makeup routine that makes me the happiest. This is why Fenty Beauty Bomb Lip Gloss is my beloved– if I have to pay $18 over and over again I will. However, not even a month ago I was hanging out with my friend and she made me try her Maybelline Lifter Gloss. It reminded me a lot of the Fenty one, like almost the perfect dupe. For ten bucks less, I will definitely buy it, especially when my nearby Sephora is always out of stock of all the Fenty products.

At the end of the day, makeup has no rules; you’re free to buy whatever you want. If you found a brand or a product that you really like, then there’s nothing wrong with how much you’re spending. But for those who want a more budget friendly makeup routine, don’t hesitate to try drugstore makeup products. Just because they’re inexpensive does not mean they’re lacking in quality. Have fun and let your creativity handle the rest!

Nahiria I. Rivera Dieppa is a writer and social media co-director at Her Campus at UPR. Along with her co-director, she handles the planning, posting, and creation of all the content posted to socials associated with HC at UPR. Nahiria's preferred articles discuss life experiences she has found impactful as well as review books she enjoys. While she is double majoring in Creative Writing and Public Relations and Advertising at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus, any team she has been part of outside of Her Campus has been focused on PR and Advertising. She interned in BRAAVE Tribe Collab for the first half of 2023 where she participated in events such as Cumbre Afro 2023. Afterwards, she lent her skills at Infopáginas Media for a summer internship where she analyzed data from small and medium businesses. Nahiria's passion towards writing is directed at Her Campus articles because, in her spare time, she would rather read. Despite what the many physical books on her bookshelf might suggest, fanfiction is where her interest lies most often. Aside from reading, Nahiria loves listening to music (her entire BTS collection can testify), traveling, and spending quality time with friends.