If a financial expert were to look at my bank account, he or she would stare in awe at how much I spend on makeup. A $40 foundation once every couple months, that $50 highlighter I bought “for a special occasion,” a $60 eyeshadow palette I needed as soon as it launched. Not to mention, I’m constantly repurchasing products when I use them up.
After a quick look at my (lack of) checking account balance one night, I knew something had to change.
Haha, you thought I’d swear off buying makeup. Think again. Instead, I decided to see how much of my collection I could dupe with drugstore products. Did I really need to spend so much of my coin on high-end beauty purchases?
Don’t get me wrong, I love luxury products as much as the next girl. The packaging, the weight of the product, the feeling when you bring it home. (Yes, I did just get a little hot and bothered over makeup, don’t mind me.) It’s glorious and most definitely not something I’ll give up forever. However, I was shocked to find out just how amazing (and similar) products from the drugstore could perform on my skin.
Enough of my blabbing on about beauty and onto everything I switched to. I saved over $200 changing to this exact routine. Beauty lovers and budget ballers (I really did not mean for that to rhyme, but hey!), now’s our time to shine.
This is the key to looking like you glow from within. This foundation blends across the skin easily, and it isn’t heavy while also having a medium coverage. If you have dry or maturing skin, this will be your new BFF. I’m so excited to wear this one all summer long for the perfect dewy finish.
Concealer is quite a personal makeup product. Everyone’s under eyes have different needs, whether it’s dark circles, bags, dryness, or just overall looking like you got a few extra hours of sleep. My main use for concealer is to hydrate underneath my eyes. Everything tends to look cakey and too heavy on me, so when I find a product, I tend to stick with it. I gave this one a go, and the results were phenomenal. It’s light and creamy, but my dark circles are completely invisible with this on. I blend this one in with a beauty sponge for the perfect amount of coverage while keeping the glow.
I used to be really into the baking trend with my powder, but that technique doesn’t really suit my dry skin. I love to keep a dewy look, so I usually only powder just under my eyes to minimize creasing on the sides of my nose, my chin, and my jaw. (I rest my hand on my face a lot during the day, so those are the places makeup comes off first!) I was spending up to $40 on powders that didn’t get much use. Enter: this Maybelline powder you’d think was high-end based on the performance. This sets your makeup without adding coverage or cakiness, and it doesn’t look dry on my skin (a big win!). This comes in a variety of colors, as well, so everyone can enjoy it.
Glowy bronzer is back, and I am so here for it. This one has a sheen without adding chunky pieces of glitter all over your face. I do the “3-E” technique with this where I run the brush along my forehead, my cheekbones, and under the jaw and chin for a light contour that looks like you just got back from Punta Cana.
I get compliments every time I wear this $5 highlighter to the Everygirl office. You can brush this lightly on the cheekbones with a fan brush or go HAM with a brush and some setting spray for a seriously intense glow. No matter how dramatic you take it, it blends with the skin (no matter what foundation I’m using) and never gets glittery. This is the cheapest highlighter I own and might be my favorite.
Burt’s Bees makeup line is an underrated area of the drugstore. Their products look glowy and natural, and this blush is no exception. The three color options look great on all skin tones. (I’ve used the deepest blush as a bronzer before when I’m at my fairest!) After applying foundation, concealer, and powder, the skin can look quite dull and bland. These blushes put the color right back into your face without looking clown-like (something we all fear with blush!).
I’m pretty loyal to a few high-end mascaras, so I doubted I could find anything that worked as well at the drugstore. Nope. I was wrong. This classic L’Oreal mascara is the perfect formula for day-to-day wear, but it gets dramatic with a few coats. It doesn’t flake off by the end of the day and never smudges on me. This is not one to pass up when you’re roaming the drugstore aisles!
This was the only product I didn’t have to swap out. I’ve loved this eyeliner since it released because it was one of the only brush-tip liners at an affordable price. This makes the application so easy (even for a makeup newbie or someone impatient like me!), especially if you’re going for a winged liner. It doesn’t smudge throughout the day and stays on forever. I will sing the praises of this eyeliner for a long, long time.
Brow gel is one of my favorite makeup products because with a few strokes it can instantly make you look put together. Finding an inexpensive one that didn’t make my brows crunchy but held them in place proved to be quite a challenge; however, this was the absolute best one I tried. It has two ends: a brow defining pencil on one end and a brow gel on the other. This two-in-one product is amazing for travel (or doing your makeup in the car on the way to the office). I love that the brow gel side puts my brow hairs where I want them, but it looks insanely natural. People ask if I’ve gotten my eyebrows microbladed when I wear this product!
If I was switching up my entire routine, you know it had to include eyeshadows. Drugstore eyeshadows have long had a bad rap for being chalky, having no pigmentation, and just being overall bad quality. I wanted to find an alternative to my expensive palettes that showed you can get gorgeous eye looks without having to break the bank. Colourpop ticked off every box and more. These shadows are pigmented and blend SO easily. I can’t give up color, but I also need some neutrals for work. This palette has everything you need to create soft, daytime looks, and also some fun pops of color for nighttime (or if you’re extra like me and love color all the time!).
If your makeup routine doesn’t include a setting spray, this is a great first one to try. This one can be used as a priming spray to add some moisture before going in with foundation, as a setting spray to set down your makeup and make it last all day, or to just refresh midday when your skin starts to get meh. The price cannot be beaten, and the coconut scent has me thinking about summer every time I do my makeup.
Dry, cracked liquid lips are most definitely on their way out, but satin and light formulas are still the easiest way to get full-on color that lasts hours without touch-ups. These liquid lipsticks come in so many colors (a few gorgeous brown-y nude options!) and never feel dehydrated, but what sets them apart is that they last all. freaking. day. I’m not kidding, I could put this on at 7am, and the color is still saturated on my lips at 3pm, even after eating and drinking. This formula is some kind of magic.
I have officially transformed into a gloss girl, and there really is no going back. These NYX glosses are a fave amongst our editors because they’re sheer (but still provide just enough color to be noticeable) and never get sticky. They almost feel like a combination of a lip oil and a balm because they’re so hydrating. These are available in tons of colors, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.