Best Drugstore Makeup Products

In beauty, a lot of times you get what you pay for. A general rule of thumb is that the more expensive a product is, the better it will work for you, right? Well, not always. Some items aren't worth splurging for, especially if your budget's not as big as your desire to try new goodies.

In this article, I'll show you what items you can save big on by buying drugstore instead of department store. There are plenty of great drugstore makeup items that are just waiting for you to give them a good, loving home.

Foundations

Revlon Colorstay
Revlon Colorstay
Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour
Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour

Revlon Colorstay is a great drugstore foundation for lots of reasons. First of all, it comes in 2 formulas: normal/dry and oily/combination, so it works for all skin types. Secondly, it comes in a wide range of 12 colors, and provides medium to full coverage. It blends easily and doesn't leave your face looking cakey or chalky the way some drugstore foundations do. Best of all, it stays put and fresh looking for 16 hours.

Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour is also a great drugstore foundation. While the colors aren't as versatile, it also comes in 12 colors, just like the Revlon Colorstay. The only downside to Superstay is that there isn't an incredibly light shade, so if you're very fair skinned, they may not have a match for you. But, Superstay claims to last an incredible 24 hours without flaking or caking off, which it does.

Both of these foundations provide long lasting coverage without flaking off or slowly melting away. They each come in 12 colors and provide long lasting, buildable, natural looking coverage.

Loose Powders

CoverGirl Tru Blend Micro Minerals
CoverGirl Tru Blend Micro Minerals
Maybelline Mineral Power
Maybelline Mineral Power

These 2 powders are a double threat: they are not only the best loose powders, but they're also the best mineral foundations available at drugstores.

CoverGirl Tru Blend Micro Minerals is a great starter foundation. It provides sheer to medium coverage and comes in a great variety of colors. It blends nicely and feels like you're not wearing any makeup.

Maybelline Mineral Power is probably the best dupe for Bare Escenutals there is. It blends smoothly with medium to full coverage, and leaves you with a near flawless complexion.


Blush

Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush
Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush
Rimmel Blush
Rimmel Blush

Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush is available at Walmart for about $6. It is sheer with beautiful veining that adds a hint of highlight with the pop of color. As a bonus, Hard Candy is owned by Urban Decay, and is of the same quality as products twice as expensive.

Rimmel Blush is also great. It leaves a matte finish, so if shimmer is not for you, this is the way to go. It comes in a great range of colors and has great staying power.

Bronzer

Rimmel Natural Bronzer
Rimmel Natural Bronzer
Milani Bronzer XL
Milani Bronzer XL

Rimmel Natural Bronzer comes in 3 colors and leaves a nice semi-shimmery finish. It doesn't overpower your foundation and it doesn't make you look orange. It adds a nice sunkissed glow.

Milani Bronzer XL is a bit more overpowering. It has great color payoff, but if you're a tad on the pasty side, you should probably avoid it. Bronzer XL is aimed more at people with tan skin, as the color variety is on the darker side.

Eyeshadow

Hard Candy Eyeshadow Duo
Hard Candy Eyeshadow Duo
L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow Duo
L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow Duo

There's a reason both of my picks for the eyeshadow category are duos: drugstore eyeshadow is where you experiment with new colors. If you want to try a purple smokey eye for the first time, you don't want to go out and spend $50 on single eyeshadows. What if they don't look right? What if you don't like it?

Hard Candy Eyeshadow Duos are shimmery and have great color payoff. Again, they're made by Urban Decay, so you know they're great quality.

L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow Duos are probably the best quality eyeshadow available at the drugstore. They come in all kinds of finishes, including matte, shimmer, glitter, and metallic. They give great color payoff and there are tons of combinations.

Eyeliner

L'Oreal Lineur Intense
L'Oreal Lineur Intense
NYC Liquid Eyeliner
NYC Liquid Eyeliner

L'Oreal Lineur Intense is by far the best drugstore eyeliner available. It has a sturdy, felt tip applicator, with a longer handle, so you have more control over the wand while you're applying. It has great staying power and lasts all day.

NYC Liquid Eyeliner is great for beginners. Liquid eyeliner is a tricky business that requires a steady hand, but with this liner, it's almost impossible to mess it up. It, like the L'Oreal, gives great control with it's longer handle, and the applicator is small and precise, but also flexible.

Mascara

CoverGirl Lash Blast
CoverGirl Lash Blast
Maybelline Lash Stiletto
Maybelline Lash Stiletto

Mascara is one thing that should almost always be bought at the drugstore instead of the department store. Considering mascaras have a shelf life of three months, it's hardly worth it to spend upward of $20 on one.

CoverGirl Lash Blast is a great separating and volumizing mascara when you don't want to look overdone; it looks more natural. It advertises itself as a volumizing mascara, but it also lengthens a bit and separates quite well, and it doesn't clump.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto is a little more dramatic. It's a lengthening mascara, so if you want super long, runway lashes, this is the way to go. The brush is a bit odd looking, but it lengthens beautifully and doesn't clump.

Lipstick

Rimmel Lasting Finish
Rimmel Lasting Finish
Max Factor Vivid Impact
Max Factor Vivid Impact

Rimmel Lasting Finish is incredibly creamy and long lasting and comes in a great variety of colors. They recently changed their packaging (made it prettier) so it's now in a shiny purple tube.

Max Factor Vivid Impact does exactly what it says. It is very, very pigmented and leaves a smooth, matte finish. It also comes in a great range of colors.

Lip Gloss

Despite popular belief, pretty much all lip gloss is created equal. Yes, some brands are less sticky than others, but overall, the results are pretty much the same, regardless of brand.

Lip gloss is definitely something that should always be bought at a drugstore, since, like mascara, it has a shelf life of 3 months, and no lip gloss can last all day. Regardless of brand, it is going to have to be reapplied many times if you want the same look all day long.


Wondering about concealer?

Concealer is the one thing I recommend always buying from the department store. In my experience, it's almost impossible to find a high quality concealer that will last all day or cover up what needs covered up.

Even though it's not a drugstore brand, I recommend MAC's Studio Finish concealer. It will cover ANYTHING, and comes in a huge variety of colors. It lasts all day and is creamy and easy to blend into foundation.

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