My Top Tips and Picks for Drugstore Makeup

A visit to your local drugstore can be pretty overwhelming. So many choices, and at that price its hard not to buy out the store. Not to mention- how to choose? Without being able to try the products due to their bulletproof packaging (plus there aren’t exactly a lot of mirrors around to see how the product you just ripped out of it’s packaging looks on you), it may seem wasteful to buy things that go straight in the bin once you get home. So to save you the trouble here are a couple tips and some of my favorite drugstore products.

Tip #1: Just because you are buying a drugstore product DOES not necessarily mean it is in any way inferior to its department store counterparts. (Stay tuned for a post on products I think ARE worth paying extra money for). Most people are not aware that companies like L’oreal own several makeup brands like Lancome and Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. Often, their drugstore lines are very similar to their more expensive brands.

#2. In the event that a drugstore product turns out to be a fail, have no fear. I have found that many drugstores like Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS and Target will allow returns on cosmetics even once they have been opened. Just explain that the product didn’t work for you and make sure to bring your receipt.

#3. Lastly, before buying something at the drugstore, why not read up on some reviews first? With everyone and their dog having a smartphone these days, it should only take a couple minutes to look up a review. A great and reliable website for makeup reviews is

My Tried and True Drugstore Makeup:

Many of these have been featured in my favorites or raved about to friends but I thought we were due for another update so here goes!

1. Foundation: with the drugstore having so many great foundations these days, there really is no need to shell out 40+ dollars on a foundation. My favorites are Revlon Colorstay which is great for oily skin. Neutrogena Healthy Skin which has a natural, dewy finish and Loreal True Match which has great blend-ability.

2. Face Powders: from setting powders to powders with great coverage, the drugstore has some awesome affordable options. My favorite is the Ben Nye Banana Powder which can be found online or at beauty stores like Naimie’s or Nigel’s Beauty. Milani’s Multitasker, and Rimmel’s Stay Matte are some other great options.

3. Eyeliners: despite trying practically every eyeliner out there from high end to low end, I still keep going back to my trusty Revlon Colorstay 16 hour twist up liner. If you haven’t tried it yet, go and get it now! Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl liner is a great liner for smudging out and is very comparable to Urban Decay’s popular 24/7 liner. Milani’s Infinite Waterproof liquid liner is like the LONGEST wearing eyeliner I have ever found. I’m talking 3 day yom-tov stuff here!

4. Bronzers: there is really only one bronzer at the drugstore that I’m obsessed with and that’s Wet n’ Wilds bronzer in Ticket to Brazil. This is not the bronzer for those with very fair skin or enlarged pores. However, when used with a light hand, it gives the most beautiful bronzey glow.

5. Concealers: I haven’t found there to be a ton of great concealers at the drugstore although feel to suggest any that you love! I do think that for standard undereye circles, Maybelline makes some great wand-style concealer pens and Sonia Kashuk’s undercover concealer is great for blemishes. For really intense concealing however, I suggest taking a look at my High-end makeup recommendations.

6. Blush: I have found that many drugstore blushes have not impressed me due to bad color payoff, weak pigmentation, fast oxidizing, etc. However I am blown away by the La Femme blushes, a well kept secret by makeup artists for years, these blushes are freakishly cheap and are the most pigmented blushes I have ever used. Meaning you need to literally barely tap your brush into the pan unless you want to look like a clown. But applied properly these blushes are the longest lasting blushes I have ever used, beating out Nars, Lorac, Stila, Mac and any other blush I’ve ever used. No joke here. They can be purchased from or Naimie’s (if you’d like to try them out in person).

7. Lipliners: I have found that it’s pretty difficult to find a great nude, universally flattering lipliner in the drugstore. However, Jordana’s Rock n’ Rose is one of the best I’ve found and doesn’t require any sharpening which is an added bonus.

8. Mascara: There is really no reason to buy an expensive mascara when there are so many great drugstore ones. Everyone’s lashes are different so you might need to experiment till you find the one that’s right for you but my favorites are : Jordana’s Best Lash Extreme, L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black, and Maybelline Full and Soft.

9. Lipstick/lipgloss: I think that there are alot of great options for lipsticks and lipgloss on the cheap. Revlon have been making amazing lipsticks for years and they have a lot of different lines and different textures such as their matte lipsticks, moisturizing lip butters, and trendy balm-stains. Most high end lipsticks have “dupes” or cheap counterparts at the drugstore, just look up the hundreds of YouTube videos that point out the various shades. The lipstick I personally reach for the most is Rimmel’s Airy Fairy- a great non-drying pinky nude.

There are plenty more treasures to find at the drugstore but that is pretty much my comprehensive list of great affordable beauty finds. I hope this helps a makeup-lover in need, and certainly the wallets of many! Feel free to list your drugstore favorites below!




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