A Roundup of the Best Drugstore Makeup for Women on a Budget

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, Savings25 Comments

best drugstore makeup

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As a budget blogger and savings enthusiast I’m excited to round up the top drugstore makeup picks from the best beauty sites out there.

My makeup collection is pretty dismal. It’s a culmination of random purchases from the beauty aisle and collecting my mom’s unused products. I was going through it when we moved and thought it might be time to start adulting here.

Since I’m no makeup savant and it’s taken me years to even get around to researching affordable makeup brands, I’ve compiled the real experts’ compilations and my top picks for under $10.

There are makeup essentials that all sexy millennial ladies should have and then there are a ton of beauty products you don’t need at all. I’ve included the eight products I can’t live without but won’t spend a fortune on.

Best Drugstore Foundation

I chose Marie Claire’s review of the top 10 drugstore foundations because any woman could love at least one. They highlight the pros of each foundation and who they’ll be best for.

best drugstore foundation

My pick under $10: Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream, $8
I originally wanted to try the Rimmel London foundation because it’s sweat and humidity proof (#Florida) but the more I thought about it the more I didn’t like that it comes in a glass bottle with no pump. The bb cream is oil-free and comes in a petite squeezable bottle.

Best Drugstore Blushes

Meg O. on the go has a fantastic beauty blog. She has an honest love for drugstore makeup and a girl can appreciate that! She also tries more blush for this post than I’ll ever own so I feel like I can trust her.

best drugstore blush

My pick under $10: Milani Baked Blush, $8
I’m pretty clueless about blush, I know my face looks better with it. So I’m solely relying on Meg’s recommendation of the Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. If I wanted a bronze look the Bellissimo Bronze looks nice too.

Best Drugstore Eyeliners

Totalbeauty.com tested 14 eyeliners under $10 and has a great post on their it. They include reviews and first-hand experience to rate and share their top picks.

best drugstore eyeliner

My pick under $10: CoverGirl Queen Collection Eyeliner, $5
My requirements for an eyeliner are that it must be dark brown and self-sharpening. I don’t have the skill required for liquid or cream eyeliner and I always break pencils when sharpening them. Smudging on my left eye is an issue I tend to have and reviewers say this liner lasts a long time without smudging, another perk.

Best Drugstore Mascaras

Lauren Han from Buzzfeed has a hilariously real life post on drugstore mascaras. She brought 14 to the “Mascara Awards” and divulges the 8 that are worth your money.

best drugstore mascara

My pick under $10: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, $6
I hate clumpy mascara so I’m willing to spend a little more to get one that doesn’t clump. And if it volumizes, lengthens, and separates like Lauren says, it’s worth the dollar more than her top pick.

Best Drugstore Brow Products

Eyebrow definers are even more difficult for me than eyeliners. Stick figures are the extent of my drawing abilities so a lot of products are off the table. But there are so many options and Rank&Style has a great compilation of the best of them.

best drugstore brow pencil

My pick under $10: L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer, $8
I need the self-sharpening feature and I’ve found the brow brush to be so convenient. This one and the NYX pencil (the #1 pick) are almost identical but I chose the L’Oreal pencil because it’s $2 cheaper. Duh.

Best Drugstore Eye Shadow

I love Bustle’s take on rivaling drugstore eye shadows to luxury brands. And most of these palettes do look pretty luxurious.

best drugstore blush
My pick under $10: Milani Everyday Eyes Powder Eyeshadow Collection, $9
I can’t stand clutter so I want a variety of shades in one palette. I love that this one gives me just enough choice without being overwhelming (someone plz just tell me what to wear). I like the plum for my face but the other palettes are just as pretty.

Best Drugstore Lipstick

Lips are where I add my color. I don’t always wear shadow or blush but I’m usually wearing a bold lip color (or lippie as the kids are calling it nowadays.) I like Stylecaster’s post because matte lipsticks last longer than balms and glosses, which means fewer reapplications and money saved.

best drugstore lipstick

My pick under $10: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, $5
I prefer liquid lip colors because it’s hot in Florida and I don’t want to lose a lipstick if I forget it in my car once. I also feel like I’m able to define my lips easier. And at this price point, I can afford all the colors (specifically Stockholm, Amsterdam, Monte Carlo, San Paolo….)

Cheap Makeup Brushes

I titled this section cheap makeup brushes because good makeup brush sets on Amazon are cheaper than the drugstore, and Beauty Bets found the four highest-rated ones. I don’t need 52 brushes and I don’t care if they’re pretty or ergonomic or whatever. But there are certain brushes I need and I want them to last.

best cheap makeup brushes

My pick under $10: BS-MALL 10-piece Makeup Brush Set, $9
I really only use foundation and blush brushes and this set includes 5 brushes I can use just for foundation and blush! It also has 5 little brushes in case I ever figure out what to use little brushes for.

Tell Me: What are your favorite affordable makeup finds?

drugstore makeup

25 Comments on “A Roundup of the Best Drugstore Makeup for Women on a Budget”

  1. Hi, Jen! Wet ‘n’ Wild is my go-to brand for eyeliner, mascara and nail polish. It’s a great price and they don’t test on animals. Their Megalast polish stays on longer than most other ones I’ve tried.

    1. I know! The one I’m using right now is $20 and I like it but I hate the price. Can’t wait to try this one.

  2. I feel like everyone is in love with Luminoso! I have that same set of brushes and use them all daily, such a steal for the price.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing, now I have an idea of some new products to try from the drugstore! I LOVE the carbon black mascara and have used it for years, it is great and the price is right!

    1. You’re welcome Samantha. Excited to try the mascara, that and the foundation are the next to go in my collection so I’ll be trying these soon.

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