As you fellow makeup lovers may have noticed, the makeup industry has EXPLODED with new brands and products. If you’re like me and spend most of your free time watching makeup tutorials on YouTube you may have also noticed that the price range for a lot of makeup is effing ridiculous for the everyday working woman, especially when you’re working a minimum wage crap-job like me. Who can afford a $25 eyeshadow on that kind of budget?? I can go to McDonald’s and get enough food for five people on that. Don’t get me wrong- if I had the money to spend I would probably shell out the extra bucks from time to time too. HOWEVER, even then, if I knew of a drugstore product that worked just as well you’re damn right I would get the drugstore product. Thoughtless spending just to get a coveted brand doesn’t make sense to me.
So I have decided to gather up some of my favorites to share with ya’ll. All of these are under $10 and have worked wonders for me. I’m going to give some information on each product with the pros and cons (if there are any cons). I was going back and forth with how to execute this but I’ve decided to go by where I start in my routine and proceed.
- PRIMER: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Foundation Primer- This stuff is ahhhhmazing. I went most of my makeup-loving life without ever using a primer but when I finally caved and tried it I was shocked at the difference it makes. This formula in particular really lends an airbrushed look to the face. Foundation goes on smooth and lasts all.day.long. No creasing, patchiness, or smears. I’m in love with the way this stuff makes my makeup apply. It’s around $6 at most retailers, so super affordable.
- BRUSHES: ELF Brushes (various)- I figured before I could delve any farther in this post I need to address the tools. I stand by ELF brushes 100%. I got my first ELF eyeshadow brush in eighth grade and only just recently retired it for another one. So that brush lasted seriously almost 8 years (wow that is really weird to think it has been that long but guess so). All of the brushes by this brand that I have purchased have NOT failed me. And an added bonuses is that a most range between $1-3 each. Love it!
- SPONGES: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge- Beauty blender? Haha save yourself $15 and pick up this drugstore gem. It works fabulously and blends foundation flawlessly. Overdo your contour? Dab this sponge with some leftover foundation and erase your goof. I got one of these after getting frustrated with the brush I was using ( NOT AN ELF BRUSH! it was one I picked up at Sally’s) and literally got told by my fiancée the day is used it that my skin looked beautiful. I got mine for $5.99
- CONCEALER: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer- This concealer works wonders and is a perfect dupe for the pricey Urban Decay Naked concealer. Masks imperfections and discoloration; great for fixing lipstick goofs, and this is one of the few drugstore concealers I have used that is truly full coverage. I don’t know if it’s just me but a lot of them seem almost sheer. This can be found for around $6
- FOUNDATION: Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Liquid Foundation- I am going to be completely and utterly honest about this product. First off, the coverage is amazing. Totally full coverage with an airbrushed matte finish. I adore this stuff. HOWEVER I do have an issue. A big claim, as it says in the name, is that it is supposed to “fit me”. I have bought multiple shades and no matter what they are either too dark or too light so I always have to get the lightest shade and the second lightest and mix them. Why do I still get it? The coverage is totally worth it and getting the two shades is actually kind of helpful. On days where I don’t want to fuss with a full contour I apply my mixed shade all over, then highlight with the lighter shade and contour with the darker shade. this gives a totally subtle glow that I think is gorgeous and that is why I continue to repurchase. Find it for about $6
- CONTOUR (CREAM): Hard Candy Look Pro! Contour and Sculpt Kit- I think Hard Candy is a hugely underestimated brand, I hardly hear anything about it despite the fact that I have used many of their products and have been impressed (plus the packaging on all of their products have major counter appeal). This contour kit is amazing and I adore it. The kit also comes with powders to further enhance the look. It gives me such a pretty glow. However, I am not a huge fan on the brush it comes with, I prefer to use my ELF contour brush. Also, I don’t use the concealer it comes with but I do think the two other shades make this palette totally worth it. I got mine for $8
- CONTOUR (POWDER): Wet n Wild MegaGlow Contour Palette- Not gonna lie, I was a little intimidated when trying this because the colors looked like they would not blend. But I was totally surprised when they blended like a dream and gave me a natural glow. They are super pigmented so a little goes a long way, and they feel so soft and luxurious. This is a great alternative for those who don’t like cream and the $3 pricetag is a huge bonus
- BLUSH: Wet n Wild ColorIcon Blush- I personally am not a huge blush person. I rarely use it but that’s just me so I figured it would be only right if I included it in my kit. And this blush has a great range of pretty pinks and peaches to give you a pretty flush. Get it for $3
- EYESHADOW (POWDER): Hard Candy Trendsetter Eyeshadow Palette- Again some Hard Candy love. I got the neutral palette (not sure of the exact name but the package is silver with black lace) and I SWEAR it is a dupe for the Naked Palette. All of the shades are beautifully pigmented and wear so well. I either go in with a dry brush for a pretty shimmer or I wet my brush for an intense metallic finish. I’m in love with this product and I have no idea why more people aren’t fawning over it. And the fact that you get 10 gorgeous shades for $6 makes this a ride or die for me
- EYESHADOW (CREAM): ELF Smudge Pot- I have had some veryyyy bad experiences with cream eyeshadow, from creasing and smudging to fading and patchiness. So when I picked this up I was skeptical but for $1 I figured it was worth a shot. And I am so glad I did. This cream goes on so well right off the bat, applies super smooth and NO CREASING! I wore this to work and after a long shift of cleaning and sweating there was no creasing and no smears. I’m currently obsessed with the shade Brownie Points. I love this stuff and stand by it for sure. It can handle humidity and sweat and still look flawless, plus it blends really well with powder shadows.
- EYELINER (PENCIL): Maybelline Define a Line Eyeliner Pencil- I am a waterline girl so that means a lot of eyeliners smudge, smear, or simply fade away. This is one of this first that actually held up to being put in the waterline. So it gets my badge of approval, plus the black is oh so delightfully black. You can get it for around $8
- EYELINER (LIQUID): Maybelline Master Graphic Liquid Eyeliner Pen- As a major cat eye girl, the search for a good non-fading or flaking liquid liner was intense. Then I found this bad boy. I adore it. It goes on super black and intense and lastsssss. My only complaint is the tip. It’s a felt tip, which I like, and very sturdy and easy to control, however it has a chisel shape that made it a little difficult to apply. But it is an easy fix. I simply used a razor knife to shave it into a nice precise tip. Those thirty seconds of modification are totally worth it for the intensity and the lasting power. Pick it up for around $6
- MASCARA: Maybelline Colossal Volume Mascara- I am a HUGE fan of Maybelline mascaras and this one gives my lashes such a full dramatic look. I’m not a huge fan of false eyelashes so when relying on simply a mascara it can be hard to find one that works just right. This one doesn’t flake off and is such an intense black, they make my lashes look so good I have literally been asked if they were fake. Which I totally took as a compliment 🙂 You can get it for around $5
And that’s my list ya’ll! I hope you found this informative and if I left anything out let me know, or if you have some products to share you can do that too! Let me know if ya’ll want a tutorial using these products and I’ll definitely do it. Have a great day!