Drugstore makeup has come a long way in recent years, not only getting better in quality but also variety. If you are a makeup beginner, or maybe you are just starting to explore the world of drugstore makeup, navigating the endless product options can be very overwhelming, so I have curated a list of amazing and affordable products that I recommend (ALL under $10 each) that together create the perfect drugstore makeup starter kit:
FOR THE FACE
Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer ($7.79) comes in several formulations depending on your skin needs (including a color correcting shade and an option with SPF 30). I do not use a face primer every day, but when I feel like I need to use a primer, I reach for the Hydrate & Smooth primer for my dry skin, but whatever your needs are when it comes to prepping your skin, there is a primer in this line for you.
Maybelline Fit Me Foundation ($5.99) is my pick for best drugstore foundation. Whether you choose the “Dewy & Smooth” formulation (I use this formulation) or the “Matte & Poreless” formulation, you can’t go wrong with this foundation. The coverage is buildable from medium to full and lasts all day while feeling comfortable and flexible on the skin, provides SPF 18, the finish is natural with a slight radiance but not dewy and lasts all day.
e.l.f. Hydrating Camo Concealer ($6) is one of my all-time favorite concealers! There are 25 shades in this range, provides hydrating full coverage (so a little goes a long way), has a lightweight satin finish and great for dry skin. (Don’t have dry skin? There is the 16hr Camo Concealer too).
For contouring, I love the Wet n Wild Megaglo Contouring Palette in Dulce De Leche ($4.29). I love the shade of the contour powder, and this creates the perfect sculpted face (the lighter powder I use to set my concealer, and there is also a contouring palette in Caramel Toffee ($6.49) for deeper skin tones too).
For bronzer, I always reach for the Rimmel London Radiance Brick in shade 002 Medium ($3.97). I love the multiple bronzing tones and gives the cheeks a soft shimmer too (there is also 001 Light & 003 Dark).
For highlight, my go to is Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in shade Be My Highlight ($4.99). This gives my cheekbones a subtle shimmer that isn’t blinding and is perfect for every day.
When it comes to blush, you can’t go wrong with the Milani Baked Blushes ($7.99) I love the radiant finish, pigmentation is great (a little bit goes a long way) and there is a shade for every skin tone.
I don’t use setting powder all of the time, but when I feel like I need to set down my foundation, I reach for Hard Candy Sheer Envy Chilling Wonder Loose Powder in Translucent ($5.97) The hydrating, cooling formula of this powder is wonderful on the skin and does not look cakey at all (another good setting powder is Maybelline Fit Me Loose Powder ($5.99) which is better suited for those with normal to oily skin).
e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set ($5 for 2.02 oz. or $7 for 4.1 oz.) is my all-time favorite setting spray! I have tried many drugstore setting sprays and I always go back to this one. This has aloe, green tea, cucumber & vitamins A, C & E, does not have any type of alcohol, hydrating, keeps your makeup in place all day and is great for all skin types.
Makeup Brushes & Makeup Blending Sponges:
When it comes to makeup brushes and makeup blending sponges from the drugstore, you can’t go wrong with any brushes or blending sponges from Real Techniques, e.l.f., or Eco Tools. Each brand has a wide range of great quality makeup brushes and sponges, and all are affordable (although some makeup brush sets will cost more than $10).
FOR THE EYES:
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer ($5.49) is the best drugstore eyeshadow primer (in my opinion), and a small tube lasts a while! The nude shade dries clear and helps prolong eyeshadow wear without creasing or fading.
e.l.f. Instant Lift Brow Pencil in shade Taupe ($3) is my go-to brow pencil and I have been using this for years! I have tried others from the drugstore, but always return to this one and there are 5 shades too.
Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil in shade 02 But First, Espresso ($3.99) is a great eye liner! Now I don’t wear eyeliner every day, but when I do decide to use a liner, I reach for this eyeliner. It glides on with no tugging, lasts all day and does not budge!
e.l.f. Bite Size Eyeshadow Palettes ($3) are wonderful palettes! There are 4 eyeshadows (2 mattes & 2 shimmers) in each palette. There a quite a few palettes in this range from neutrals to colorful, so you will have no problem finding a palette (or 2 or three) that’s right for you and the pigmentation and staying power are the best!
Essence Lash Princess False Effect Mascara ($4.99) is a cult favorite mascara for good reason because it is the perfect mascara option on a budget. It lengthens and thickens, doesn’t flake, and lasts all day (and if you are looking for a good lash primer, Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer ($4.99) is a great one to try).
FOR THE LIPS:
I have 2 recommendations that I love. First is Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick ($5.69). I reach for these lipsticks all the time and I have quite a few shades too. The formulation is moisturizing and nourishing and are the best lipsticks at the drugstore.
The second is Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick ($5.49) and we all know how iconic this lipstick is. It’s Incredibly pigmented with full coverage color in one swipe and these lipsticks are not only vibrant, they also have vitamin E and avocado oil in the formula too.
NYX Butter Gloss ($4.99) is an all-time favorite for me! This lip gloss is not sticky, great pigmentation, looks great worn alone or on top of a lip liner or lipstick. No matter how you wear this, this iconic lip gloss will always look good and comes in a variety of shades. (I just recently purchased the Maybelline Lifter Lip Gloss in the shade 004 Silk ($6.99). I will say this lip gloss is worth the hype and is becoming a favorite for me).
NYX Long Lasting Slim Lip Pencil ($3.99) is a creamy formulation that contains coconut oil to keep lips hydrated, doesn’t feather or bleed, lasts a long time and comes in a variety of shades that can be worn with any shade of lipstick or lip gloss.
Well, there you have it! As you can see, you do not have to spend a lot of money to start your own makeup kit with affordable and high-quality makeup and tools from the drugstore and I hope my makeup recommendations help you create a makeup kit best suited for you and until next time, be happy, healthy, and beautiful!
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