The Ultimate Drugstore Makeup Guide
The Best Drugstore Makeup Products Under $20
Beauty On A Budget
Let’s be real for a moment, high end makeup is not cheap and most of us simply cannot afford it, at least not for every product in our collection. The good news is drugstore brands seem to be having a moment lately, with tons and tons of amazing (and affordable) products on the market, some brands even riding the line between drugstore and high end. Basically, it’s a good time to be alive for beauty lovers with realistic budgets!
I’ve comprised a nifty little list of the best drugstore makeup products out there, from foundations, to eyeshadows, to lipsticks and everything in between. The best part is not one product costs over $20. I’m hoping that my list removes the guess work for you the next time you need to stock up on drugstore makeup products. Although I can’t deny that high end stuff is nice, half the time we’re honestly paying for the brand name versus the actual product anyways. So, have no shame in your drugstore game!
Best Drugstore Makeup 2017
Best Drugstore Primers
- NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer – $16 USD All Skin Types
- Rimmel Stay Matte Primer – $6 USD Oily Skin
- L’Oréal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer – $13 USD Dry Skin
NYX Angel Veil is basically the holy grail of drugstore primers. Swore by many a makeup artist, this one is a great all around primer, whether you’re oily or dry. Because it’s silicone based, it’s more of a heavy duty primer, and will fill in pores and fine lines, leaving a silky, even canvas. With it, makeup applies like a dream.
NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer
Rimmel’s Stay Matte primer is a great option for the oily skinned ladies out there who want to mattify their face. Stay Matte’s lightweight formula won’t make you feel greasy, plus minimizes the appearance of pores, controls shine and keeps you matte all day.
Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
L’Oréal’s Magic Lumi primer is a good option for dry skinned babes, or babes that want a bit of a glow. Lumi brings life and luminosity back to dull, dry skin while providing a nice even base for flawless makeup application.
L’Oreal Magic Lumi Primer
Best Drugstore Foundations
- No7 Stay Perfect Foundation (SPF 15) – $16 USD All Skin Types
- Maybelline Fit Me! Matte Poreless Foundation – $6 USD Oily Skin
- Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation – $5 USD All Skin Types
- Rimmel Stay Matte Mousse Foundation – $5 USD Oily Skin
No7’s Stay Perfect Foundation is an amazing medium coverage foundation that works for most skin types. It has a light & silky formula that yields a natural, semi-dewy finish. It’s super light weight, gorgeous and leaves your skin feeling silky, bare and natural. Stay Perfect contains SPF 15 and is also hypoallergenic.
No7 Stay Perfect Foundation
Maybelline’s Fit Me! line is amazing in general, but their foundations just might take the cake. Matte Poreless give a gorgeous medium coverage that isn’t too cakey or heavy, and keeps the face matte, but not overly matte. It’s long lasting and photographs well. If you have dry skin and want a dewy finish, check out the new Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth line.
Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation
Wet n’ Wild’s Photo Focus Foundation is the holy grail of drugstore foundations, with an amazing price tag to match. The formula is light and natural, with buildable light-medium coverage. It was tested under seven different lighting conditions to ensure no flashback happens in any situation. Be sure to exfoliate before use if you have dry skin.
Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation
Rimmel Stay Matte is a mousse foundation with a light, creamy and oil free formula that gives a full-coverage, flawless & mattified look. It’s extremely blendable and minimizes the appearance of pores. Be sure to exfoliate before using as it can stick to and accentuate dry spots.
Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
Best Drugstore Concealers
- Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer – $6 USD Medium Coverage
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind® Eraser – $9 USD Medium Coverage
- NYX HD Photogenic Concealer – $5 USD Light Coverage
The Maybelline Fit Me! line carries an amazing medium coverage concealer as well. It’s oil free, blendable, non-cakey and available in a huge shade range. It perfectly conceals redness, blemishes and other minor discoloration. Many find it comparable to NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer, which runs $30.
Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer
Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind concealer is a well raved about product in the beauty community, and for good reason. It’s unique applicator helps “erase” the appearance of dark circles and fine lines, giving your eyes a more-awake and refreshed look. It’s light weight, medium coverage and infused with goji berry.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser
NYX’s HD photogenic concealer offers light to medium coverage & color correction for a low price. They are also highly blendable & won’t crease up on you. They’ve recently expanded their range of shades. If you like full coverage, this one probably isn’t for you, however.
NYX HD Concealer Wand
Best Drugstore Setting Powders
- Coty Airspun Loose Setting Powder (Transluscent) – $6 USD Loose
- Milani Prep + Set + Go Pressed Transparent Face Powder – $10 USD Pressed
The Coty Airspun loose powder is quite a hot commodity in the beauty world at the moment. Some beauty lovers even claim it’s comparable to the Laura Mercier setting powders, the mother of all loose setting powders, which run $35. Airspun is best used as a baking/setting powder, but can be applied to the whole face to mattify and control shine, keeping your makeup set in place all day. The powder is heavily perfumed, but the scent wears off fast.
Coty Airspun Loose Powder
Milani is one of the best drugstore brands out there. Their Prep Set Go pressed powder is great at locking foundation in place without looking cakey or powdery. Because it’s finely milled it won’t cause creasing nor photo flashback. The translucent color allows your foundation to stay the same shade.
Milani Prep + Set + Go Powder
Best Drugstore Bronzer / Contour
- Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer – $15 USD Fair-Medium Skin
- Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Powder – $6 USD All Skin Tones
King of drugstore bronzers, Physicians Formula’s Butter Bronzer has a luxurious formula like no other – buttery, smooth and hydrating. Comprised of murumuru butter, cupuacu butter and tucuma butter, it allows the product to blend like a dream. Sadly, it only comes in 2 shades and works best on fair to medium skin tones.
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
Maybelline’s Fit Me! Matte + Poreless powder is an excellent bronzer, and comes in a huge range of shade. The formula is blendable and buildable, giving just the right amount of pigmentation. It can be used as bronzer or contour powder.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder
Best Drugstore Blushes
- Milani Baked Blush – $8 USD Luster
- e.l.f Blush – $3 USD Matte
Milani’s baked blush is an absolutely beautiful, highly pigmented and easily buildable blush. The baked finish gives a radiance and sheen to the blush that leaves cheeks looking naturally flushed, alive and gorgeous. The line comes in a large range of shades that will suit all skin tones.
Milani Baked Blush
Affordability meets gorgeousness with the e.l.f. blushes. The line contains a large range of naturally flushed colors, suitable for all skin types. The formula is light and sheer and can easily be built up. For $3 USD you really can’t go wrong.
Best Drugstore Highlighters
- Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls – $8 USD Subtle Glow
- Wet n’ Wild Megaglo – $5 USD Intense Glow
Physicians Formula’s Mineral Glow Pearls is a great highlighter for a more natural, subtle glow. It’s infused with real mineral extract, gentle on the skin & hypoallergenic.
Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls
Wet n’ Wild has been coming out with a lot of amazing products lately, and their highlighters don’t fall short. The Megaglo is an affordable little highlighter that packs a big punch. Megaglo’s formual is creamy and buildable – apply lightly for a more natural look, or layer it for a more dramatic effect.
Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder
Best Drugstore Brow Products
- NYX Micro Brow Pencil – $10 USD
- Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel – $5 USD
NYX’s Micro Brow Pencil is the pefect tool for shaping and filling in eyebrows, no matter if they’re completely sparse or just needing a touch up. The double sided Micro pencil includes a brush on one end to ensure the best looking brows with a natural finish. The NYX Micro Brow pencil is a great dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, which retails for $22 USD
NYX Micro Brow Pencil
The Milani Brow Shaping Gel sculps and holds eyebrow hair in place, with a light to medium hold, so that they stay in place all day. The clear formula allows it to be used on brows of every color.
Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel
Best Drugstore Eyeliners
- NYX Epic Ink Lines Liquid Liner – $8 USD Liquid
- Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner – $9 USD Gel
NYX’s Epic Ink Liquid Liner is an amazing tool to keep in your arsenal when you want the perfect winged liner. The pen has a super fine tip, making precision work a breeze, but you can press down harder for thicker lines. Comprised of a waterproof, black as night formula.
NYX Epic Ink Lines Liquid Liner
Maybelline’s Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner is easily, hands down THE best gel eyeliner that ever was. The formula is smooth, creamy and has a long enough play time to smudge it out or fix mistakes. It lasts forever (24 hours) and is one of the darkest liners you’ll find. Ditch the included brush and use your own.
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
Best Drugstore Mascaras
- L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara – $8 USD Lengthening
- Maybelline Waterproof Great Lash Mascara – $5 USD Waterproof
- L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara – $8 USD Volumizing
L’Oréal’s Telescopic mascara is great for giving extreme length to the lashes. What’s particularly great a bout this mascara is the brush and how well it applies mascara to each individual lash without clumping.
L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara
Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara is one of the best waterproof mascaras out there. Great for days when your mascara has to stay put in extreme conditions, such as sweaty summer days & swimming.
Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara
L’Oréal’s Voluminous mascara is a volume building mascara, specially formulated to resist clumping and thicken the look of the lashes. No flakes, smudges or clumps here, just soft, lovely lashes!
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Waterproof Mascara
Best Drugstore Eyeshadow
- Sonia Kashuk Eye Coutoure Eyeshadow – $20 USD Matte & Shimmer
- Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Trio Eyeshdaow – $3 USD Matte & Shimmer
Sonia Kashuk’s Eye Coutoure Eyeshadow palettes are the best drugstore palettes around. The formula is creamy and easy to blend out, not something often found in drug store eyeshadows. The palettes are available in shimmer and matte shades.
Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Eye Palette
Wet n’ Wild Color Trio shadows are creamy, pigmented and blend like a dream. They’re also fool proof in the sense that they only give you three shadow colors and tell you exactly where to place them. Great product for those who are beginners with eyeshadow.
Wet N’ Wild Coloricon Eye Shadow
Best Drugstore Lip Liners
- Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner – $7 USD Fine Tip
- L’Oréal Colour Riche Lip Liner – $6 USD Pointed Tip
Rimmel’s Exaggerate Lip Liner is a fine-tipped, highly pigmented lip liner with a creamy formula. It’s extremely long lasting and keeps your lipstick from budging.
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner
L’Oréal’s Colour Riche Lip Liner is a buttery anti-feathering lip liner that creates definition and keeps lipstick from moving off the lips. Avialable in a ton of shades and suitable for all skin tones.
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner
Best Drugstore Lipsticks / Glosses
- L’Oréal Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick – $8 USD Shine
- L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipstick – $13 USD Hydrating
- L’Oréal Infallible Lip Paint – $6 USD Long Lasting
- Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme – $6 USD Matte
- NYX Mega Shine Gloss – $5 USD Shine
L’Oréal’s Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick is a creamy, highly pigmented lipstick formulated to last up to 10 hours. Aside from the excellent color pay off it moisturizes the lips as well and has just the right amount of shine.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick
L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipstick formula is creamy, hydrating and luxurious. Infused with Argan Oil and Vitamin E, dry cakey lips are a thing of the past. They’re available in a huge range of shades, from nude to bright.
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick
L’Oréal’s Infallible Lip Paint is a long lasting liquid lipstick, available in both nude and bold shades. The formula is extremely lightweight, without affecting the pigmentation. The doe foot wand makes application precise and neat.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Paint
Milani’s Amore Matte Lip Creme is a long lasting liquid lipstick that dries to a matte finish. The formula is soft and velvety and can last up to 16 hours. The lip color doesn’t transfer and is kiss-proof.
Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme
The NYX Mega Shine gloss makes a gorgeous topper for the lips, whether you wear it alone or on top of lipstick. The creamy formula is long lasting, moisturizing and not over the top in thickness.
NYX Mega Shine Gloss
Best Drugstore Setting Sprays
- L’Oréal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray – $15 USD Long Wear
- Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist – $15 USD Calming & Balancing
L’Oréal’s Infallible Spray is a light weight makeup setting mist with a heavy duty hold, excellent for locking in your makeup look on hot days or sweaty nights. Because L’Oréal purchased Urban Decay a few years back, many claim the same ingredients are used, making the Infallible spray an excellent dupe for UD’s All Nighter setting spray, a holy grail makeup setting spray that runs $30 USD.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Makeup Extender
Pixi’s Makeup Fixing Mist can be used before applying makeup, to prep the skin and prolong the wear, or after applying makeup, to set the makeup in place and keep it from creasing & budging. It can also be used throughout the day to freshen up your face. Many claim it’s a dupe for MAC’s Prep + Prime Fix+ Spray, which retails for $24 USD. The formula is infused with rose water and green tea, which balances and comforts the skin.
Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist
**Pinnable List of All the Mentioned Products**
Hope this list helps you guys out when you’re drugstore makeup shopping! Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or any added input. I’d love to know which drugstore products you love!
Simply StephanieKay xoXO