If you watch my IG Stories, you’ll know that I’m starting to venture into the world of drugstore beauty products. Many of you told me you’re not willing to spend more than $100 on clothing and makeup, so I want to start finding and recommending items that make sense for you and your budget. Plus, drugstore beauty is absolutely KILLING it these days – to the point where I have to question whether we really need to set foot in Sephora or an expensive department store ever again.
I can’t believe I just said that because I will ABSOLUTELY be setting foot in Sephora – I’m too much of a makeup junkie not to. But I guess my point is, I’m not convinced that YOU need to anymore if you want to save money and still have effective makeup products.
SO, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start exploring this drugstore beauty world and telling you what I find that I think you’ll love. Some of it will be gifted to me. Some of it will be purchased by me. But I’m going to do my research and test a lot of stuff out this year. And of course, I’ll be honest about whether some Sephora products really are worth the splurge.
So far, I have found some serious drugstore makeup superstars and dupes that have BLOWN MY MIND. I’ve also found some pretty crappy products that I don’t think you need to buy – I’ll mention a couple below.
And now for my first (but not last) list of best drugstore makeup and dupes!
FACE MAKEUP AND BRUSHES
Maybelline Baby Skin – A clear pore erasing primer that feels and covers JUST LIKE the Smashbox Photo Finish primer I pay almost $40 for. This one rings in at just $7!! Some claim the Monistat Chafing Gel is an even cheaper ringer for this but I disagree. A) it’s embarrassing to purchase, and B) I purchased it anyway, tried it and found it to be extremely drying.
Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Concealer – This one I actually have known about for at least a year and love it. In fact, I’ve posted about it before – I like it that much. It sucks up your undereye puffiness and circles. I don’t know if it’s a dupe for anything expensive. I just like it for those days when I didn’t sleep enough. I use shade 120 (2nd from the lightest).
Elf HD Undereye Setting Powder – OH MY FREAKIN’ GOD THIS STUFF. This is one of those products I’ve been looking for my whole life. It’s an undereye setting powder for your foundation and concealer. For those of you whose makeup runs off your undereye by the end of the day, leaving you looking like a zombie, this stuff will make that atrocity stop and does NOT make your undereyes look super light like a reverse raccoon(bad). It comes with a mini-brush to apply, which is the MVP of this whole operation. Do not delay. YOU NEED THIS AND IT IS $3.
AAAAAAH!!! You guys I am FREAKING OUT over this post because each new product I write about I get even more excited to have found!!!! P.s. foundations coming in the next volume of this! Ok I’ll keep going…
Elf Brushes – I’ve been SO pleasantly surprised by their brushes. In fact, I like them better than Real Techniques brushes (another affordable drugstore brand I’ve loved). The three Elf brushes I’ve tried and recommend are the concealer brush, the highlighter brush and the ultimate blending brush. The concealer brush gets your concealer all up in the crevices of your eyes, the highlighter brush applies just the right amount of product to your cheek bones (not too dense), and the blending brush is a must for blending your contouring, blushing and highlighting all together. OBSESSED. I will be trying more of these so these aren’t the only ones to buy – they are just the three I’ve purchased.
Nyx Matte Setting Spray – Some call this a dupe for Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. I actually like both of these products and can often find UD’s version at half price at Nordstrom Rack (for some reason it is always there!!), however this Nyx version has a cult following and is cheaper than the ½ price UD version, so go for this one! I honestly don’t use setting spray on the regs. It’s more something I pull out for a night out or an important day at work.
Three great lip options coming your way here – one treatment, one matte and one gloss.
Elf Lip Exfoliator – OMG you could be spending $35 on one by Dior or you could pull out just $3 and buy this amazing little lip scrub in a tube that perfectly exfoliates your lips. How did I live without this? It looks like a lipstick but is a super rough texture that you rub on your mouth to get the dead skin off. I chose this one in Sweet Cherry but there are a ton of flavors. Wipe it all away and you’re ready for my Dark Lipstick Tutorial and Tips (check this post out, it’s one of my best).
Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream – This Soft Matte Lip Cream by Nyx is a total game changer and I can’t believe I haven’t been using this forever. I love the way matte lips look. I’ve tried several, but I have struggled with finding a matte that doesn’t dry out my lips completely or that has the right saturation of color. This one seriously DOES NOT DRY YOU OUT and the pigment is perfect. I’m wearing it in this photo below with the gray t-neck in the shade Milan. Side note – I do love the Sephora house brand of matte lip stain but it’s a few dollars more than this so save the dough and go for the Nyx. It’s only $6.50!
Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss – I’ve talked about this Sugar Spun Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss before in my Glitter Makeup Tutorial and in my Soap & Glory Product Review. It’s a total winner of a champagne gloss with just the right amount of shimmer. This is one of those glosses that you pick up for work or for a night out because it compliments any eyeshadow or outfit. A tried and true pick of mine for just $10!
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – This one isn’t a wonder product or anything. I just like it and always re-up for those times when you just need to moisturize your lips!
Milani Blush in Dolce Pink – This is a dupe for NARS Orgasm. Yeah, yeah – you all probably know this already but I didn’t and now I feel like a total ass for spending money all these years on the Orgasm powder blush ($30) and the cream stick ($39) (which I’ve pictured here next to the Milani). GAH!!! It’s that perfect peachy-pink shimmer that goes with all skin tones – and is only $7. There is literally no reason not to purchase this.
Physician’s Formula Butter Blush – I actually use this one as a highlighter and am applying it in shade Natural Glow in the picture where I’m using the Elf Highlighter brush here! I kept seeing this product pop up on the IG of a bunch of beauty bloggers, so I went out and bought some to try. First off, it smells amazing so that’s a plus. But it’s actually the perfect spring and summertime highlighter, so ’tis the season to snap this up as we head into warmer temps. It makes you look like you’ve been kissed by the sun!
L’Oreal Lash Paradise – I literally give this out as stocking stuffers at the holidays to everyone I know because it’s the best mascara ever, costs $12, and it DOESN’T FLAKE. When I run out, I always buy more. I’ve never been a mascara loyalist and will use anything – usually samples I’ve received at Sephora – until I found this one. Every time I’ve strayed, the new mascara always disappoints and I come back to this one. For an even cheaper drugstore decent mascara, I’m also a fan of good ole’ Maybelline Great Lash.
There are literally a bazillion things I want and need to try. Drugstore brands are that good these days. Here is what’s on my immediate list: Elf Brow Powder and Pencil, Maybelline FIT Me Foundations and Concealers, Physician’s Formula Bronzer, Revlon HD Matte Lips, Elf Lip Tint, Nyx Brow Gel, Nyx Butter Gloss, more CoverGirl Katy Perry items. But WHAT ELSE??? SEND ME YOUR RECS AND WHAT YOU LOVE!!
I’m behind the curve on this topic because I just had a blind spot for so long around drugstore makeup. Sorry! But guys let’s figure this out together and save all the money in all the world! Shop all the products we talked about today below or via the links above!