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Best of Beauty on a Budget

Like many college students out there, I am BROKE. Where does all of my money go? Couldn’t tell ya. However, I can tell you that I spend a lot of money on makeup. I love to try new products and find out what’s good and what’s not. I made a list of some of my go-to makeup for the girl on a budget, so you don’t have to.

Colourpop Pretty Fresh Tinted Moisturizer

This tinted moisturizer is my new favorite thing. With winter comes dry skin, and when my face is dry, I detest putting on heavy foundation. This product evens out my skin tone and gives a beautiful healthy look. It’s easy to apply and quick to blend, and not to mention, it has one of the biggest shade ranges for a tinted moisturizer I have ever seen.

Buy it for $14 https://colourpop.com/products/pretty-fresh-hyaluronic-acid-tinted-moisturizer


ELF Poreless Putty Primer

If you keep up with “Makeup YouTube” at all, you have probably heard about this product. It is supposedly an exact dupe for the Tatcha primer (however I would not know because never in my life would I spend $60 on a primer). The product is extremely affordable compared to a lot of primers, even from the drug store. I have found that it performs better than any other primer I have tried and I will probably continue to repurchase it until something better comes along (unlikely).

Buy it for $8 https://www.elfcosmetics.com/poreless-putty-primer/85912.html

Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder

The shade I use is called Sun Kissed, which is a medium cool brown, however, it is very buildable so even someone with very light skin (like me) could wear this color. I love it because it has zero glitter or shimmer in it, which many bronzers are guilty of. It has an amazing neutral undertone to it, without being too orange or too grey. My one critique to the product is that it can be a little too powdery, meaning there is potential for some fallout, but if you’re careful this won’t be a problem.

Buy it for $9.99 https://www.milanicosmetics.com/products/silky-matte-bronzing-powder

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter

If you’re looking for a glow, this product was made for you. This super unique formula has a creamy texture that is best applied with your fingers. I find that instead of giving you a glittery glow, it creates a more dewy, wet look which is beautiful in the summer, even if it’s the only makeup you’re wearing. My favorite shade is “Everybody’s Got a Weakness,” which is my favorite highlighter to apply on the inner corners of my eyes or on my cupid’s bow.

Buy it for $9 https://colourpop.com/products/everybodys-got-a-weakness

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter

Essence is one of my favorite brands because it makes high-quality products at an extremely affordable price. One of my favorite products from them is the Pure Nude Highlight. This is perfect for someone who isn’t in to crazy shine and glow and is looking for something a little more subtle. This baked formula creates an amazing natural sheen which is great for those “no-makeup makeup days.”

Buy it for $4.99 https://www.ulta.com/pure-nude-highlighter?productId=xlsImpprod14401021

Milani Baked Blush

The Milani Baked Blush is one of my all-time favorite products. While it is described as a “shimmery blush,” it doesn’t really have any visible glitter in it, and I find it to give off more of a subtle shine than a shimmer. I know some people might be turned off by the idea of a shiny blush, but I love it because it creates a beautiful healthy glow to the skin. My favorite shade is Luminoso, which is a peachy-pink color. I love it because it gives my cheeks a natural glow and it lasts throughout the day.

Buy it for $7.99 https://www.milanicosmetics.com/products/baked-blush

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

The Lash Paradise Mascara has been my go-to mascara for quite a long time. It comes in four shades (don’t ask me why, because they’re all shades of black and idk) and I usually grab Blackest Black so it matches the color of my soul. They have both water-proof and non-water proof, but I usually go for water-proof because it doesn’t smudge beneath my eyes and lasts longer throughout the day. Hannah Brown, take note.

Buy it for $10.99 https://www.ulta.com/voluminous-lash-paradise-waterproof-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod16151009

Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray

Recently, I feel like this has been labeled as a “VSCO Girl” basic, but I don’t care! I love this stuff, and I will never fail to let the world know. If you don’t like the scent of Rosewater, it also comes in lavender or cucumber. Mario Badescu Facial Spray can be used for anything and everything. I use it as a setting spray (usually combined with a long lasting setting spray), I use it to refresh my makeup if I have been wearing makeup for a long time and start to feel cakey, I use it during my skin-care routine, and I even carry a little baby size bottle in my purse to use on the go whenever I feel like my skin is dry or if my face just feels a little gross. Best. Product. Ever. Quote me on it.

Buy it for $7 https://www.mariobadescu.com/product/facial-spray-with-aloe-herbs-and-rosewater

Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara

I have never been a huge fan of super bold, filled in eyebrows even though they have been trending for several years now. More recently, “feathered brows” have been trending on Instagram and that is a look that I can get behind. I love the Essence Brow Gel because it darkens my brows a little and makes them appear more filled in, but they still have a natural, fluffy look to them. Not only that, eyebrow gel is 1000% easier and faster to use than pomade or pencils or whatever other brow products are out there.

Buy it for $2.99 https://www.ulta.com/make-me-brow-eyebrow-gel-mascara?productId=xlsImpprod13561153

There ya have it! I hope you can get some use out of my ride-or-die makeup suggestions, but please note that everyone’s skin is different and not every product will work for every skin color, texture, or type. Do you have any budget friendly makeup favorites? Comment them down below!

Sophie Glasgow is a business student at Wichita State University studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She is the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Wichita. After she graduates in May of 2021, she plans on starting her own business.
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