Last updated on March 6th, 2019
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High-end makeup is great and all, but it adds up really quickly. What are some of the best drugstore makeup options so I can save some money?
Oh, hello there. Why, I’m glad you asked.
As makeup lovers, we’re constantly searching for the best products. And while we would all love to have an unlimited makeup budget where we could buy anything we wanted without worrying if it is good or not because we will just buy something else anyway, that is most often not the case.
I second-guess myself with basically everything I buy. When I purchase a high-end product, I wonder if the drugstore version is just as good for much less money. When I purchase a drugstore product, I worry that I am wasting my money on a product that pales in comparison to its high-end cousin.
I know the luxurious feeling when you’re wearing a fantastic product. Perhaps you spent $40 on that product, and it may very well be worth it, but if you could get the same fantastic result from a product that costs 1/4 of the price, wouldn’t it be just that much sweeter?
I sure think so. Let’s take a look at the best drugstore makeup out there, and how you can save some serious cash.
And when you’re done, check out this post all about the best high-end makeup >> The Best High-End Makeup Worth The Splurge
Defining the “best drugstore makeup”
This is my go-to list of makeup products that the drugstore does amazingly well. After trying numerous products in these categories in both high-end and drugstore brands, I can safely say that I trust the drugstore brands to keep my face in tact just as much as I trust the high-end brands.
While there are no guarantees since all products are different and good brands come out with crappy products all the time (#sadtruth,) these are categories where I’m confident you can find good products for a great price at the drugstore.
First up- Eyebrow pencils
Drugstore brands have come such a long way when it comes to eyebrow products. Up until this year, no brow product from the drugstore would have ever made the “Best Drugstore Makeup” list. More like the “Saddest Drugstore Makeup” list.
These days, there are so many amazing eyebrow pencils at the drugstore, I’ll never purchase another Anastasia Brow Wiz again with those prices.
Speaking of the Brow Wiz, if you desire the closest dupe possible, the NYX MicroBrow Pencil is almost exactly the same. The only differences are the color selection, and the density of the spoolie, but seriously, the differences are pretty minor.
If you’d like something just a teeny bit softer, the L’Oréal Brow Stylist Definer is a superb option featuring a skinny tip with just the right amount of waxiness.
For the multi-tasker lover, check out the Maybelline Brow Define + Fill Duo. This one features a retractable pencil on one and, plus a brow setting powder and a cute cone-shaped sponge applicator on the other end. It’s my personal favorite. I actually love it so much, it’s a staple in my travel makeup bag when I’m going on vacation!
NYX Micro Brow Pencil >> Purchase at Ulta
L’Oréal Brow Stylist Definer >> Purchase on Amazon
Maybelline Brow Define + Fill Duo >> Purchase on Amazon
Face primer used to be something of a novelty item that was reserved for the makeup connoisseur. You have to be willing to shell out big bucks for something that doesn’t add anything obviously glam to your look. Mainly because primers used to be so expensive since the drugstore ignored them completely.
Primers at the drugstore went from zero to sixty real quick. Nowadays, for every high-end primer I try, I can think of a drugstore alternative costing much less.
From smoothing primers, to illuminating primers, to redness control primers, to hydrating primers, to oil-control primers, and the list goes on, the drugstore has everything that the high-end realm has in terms of primers.
Some of my favorites include the L’Oréal Magic Lumi Illuminating Primer when I’m feeling dull, Neutrogena Shine Control Primer for when I’m feeling oily,, and the E.l.f Poreless Face Primer when my pores think they’re the star of the show.
L’Oréal Magic Lumi Illuminating Primer >> Purchase on Amazon
Neutrogena Shine Control Primer >> Purchase on Amazon
E.l.f. Poreless Face Primer >> Purchase at Elfcosmetics.com
Powder is hit-or-miss no matter where you buy it. Some are finely milled and lay beautifully on the skin, while other cake up regardless of how lightly you apply it. I run into both of these situations with products of all prices.
Regardless, several awesome powders exist at the drugstore that I know I can count on. Powders such as Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder and L’Oréal True Match Powder are great for setting your makeup without looking cakey.
My personal favorite is the E.l.f. High Definition Powder in Translucent. I use it almost every day to set my under-eye concealer and it never lets me down.
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, Transparent >> Purchase on Amazon
L’Oréal True Match Powder >> Purchase on Amazon
E.l.f. High Definition Powder in Translucent >> Purchase at Elfcosmetics.com
The drugstore’s pencil eyeliner game is strong! This is seriously the best drugstore makeup one can find.
I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a pencil eyeliner from the drugstore that I have been really disappointed with. On the other hand, I have purchased too many high-end pencil eyeliners that I concluded weren’t worth the price.
For a soft, smudgable liner that lasts all day in the waterline, Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx is perfect. If you want something a bit less intense, Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner is a soft black, slightly dryer pencil that won’t smudge around too much.
Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx >> Purchase on Amazon
Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner >> Purchase on Amazon
Everyone seems to say that Maybelline is the royalty of the drugstore mascara world, but I don’t think so. I think L’Oreal is! Don’t get me wrong, Maybelline does offer some good options, such as the Maybelline Volume’ Express The Rocket Mascara.
Yet my absolute favorite drugstore mascara is still L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara. Not the Butterfly or the Miss Manga, just the original one. It gives me the fullest, blackest lashes without causing my lashes to clump up and bend creepily like spider legs. I hate spiders, so that’s the last thing I want.
Not to mention, mascara dry up so quickly, why would you want to spend $20+ on a tube that you’ll end up tossing in three months? Seems like a waste to me.
Maybelline Volume’ Express The Rocket Mascara >> Purchase on Amazon
L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara >> Purchase on Amazon
I recently went through a period of severely dry lips. No matter how much I moisturized, drank water, and exfoliated, I constantly had a layer of scaly dead skin just hanging out on the surface and it drove me insane.
I tried everything to fix it, including a few severely overpriced designer lip balms from Sephora that shall remain unnamed. Nothing worked. Until I hit the drugstore.
The only lip balm to even remotely help was the Aquaphor Lip Repair. Seriously, it’s like magic in a tube. I’ll never use another lip balm again.
Thanks for nothing, super-expensive-designer-lipbalms, haha.
Aquaphor Lip Repair >> Purchase on Amazon
So what’s the takeaway?
Did you know this post has a sister? It’s true! I know you’re super excited to jump in and purchase some of the best drugstore makeup available to you. But what if you’re looking to treat yourself? Don’t you worry, my friends. I’ve got you covered right here >> The Best High-end Makeup That’s Worth the Splurge!
As you can probably tell, more expensive doesn’t always mean better.
So the next time you run out of primer, or your eyebrow pencil wears down to a knub, or you just feel like trying something new, give one of these affordable options a go. You just might surprise yourself.
That’s all for today!
Like this post on the best drugstore makeup choices? You’ll definitely find this post helpful too >> The Best High-End Makeup That’s Worth the Splurge
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments below! And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- This post is not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.