These 8 Drugstore Makeup Finds Rival High-End Ones

written by LAUREN HARANO

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Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

My love for beauty products started when I was in elementary school. I lived for the days when I would peruse the aisles of Target with my mom and help her pick out products she could add to her collection. I asked what each item was, what it did, and why she picked it. She told me that her tried-and-true staples always happened to be drugstore makeup, which surprised me, especially after seeing the vast makeup counters at the mall. However, after years of not only wearing makeup but also being in the beauty industry, I’ve found that my tried-and-true staples are also from the drugstore.

While I can’t say that high-end products and brands don’t entice me (Charlotte Tilbury, Rare Beauty, and Fenty are some of the best), I can say that my day-to-day beauty picks happen to be drugstore products more often than not. That’s because these days, drugstore makeup is far from subpar. Drugstore brands—including L’Oréal, Maybelline, and e.l.f.—have stepped up their game, investing in cutting-edge technology and innovative formulas.

The products on the shelves now are made with skin-safe ingredients and feature formulations that can last hours without flaking, running, or smudging. From foundations with seamless coverage to eyeshadows bursting with pigment, drugstore makeup delivers next-level performance that can go up against most luxury brands. And, considering drugstore products’ low price points, finding something that won’t break the bank is a given.

Ahead, learn more about this year’s bestselling and top-rated drugstore makeup finds. Whether you want to revamp your collection or try a new beauty look, these products promise low price points with a high payoff.


The 8 Best Drugstore Makeup Products of 2023

L'Oreal Paris
Telescopic Original Mascara

If there was only one makeup product I could use for the rest of my life, it would undoubtedly be L'Oreal’s Telescopic Mascara. This $14 mascara is a true game-changer, thanks to its innovative formula and unique brush. It delivers mega-long length (don’t worry, your lashes won’t look spidery) as well as a clump-free formula that hydrates lashes. The ultra-precise brush features tiny bristles that capture even the shortest lashes, coating them from root to tip with intense black pigment. The result? Incredibly long and separated lashes that’ll make people ask if you’re wearing falsies. (Trust me, it has happened to me more than once.)

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Halo Glow Liquid Filter

If you’re on #BeautyTok, there’s a very good chance you’ve stumbled upon e.l.f.’s new Halo Glow Liquid Filter. This product (which many people say is a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter) acts as a complexion booster that blurs, sets, and primes the skin. This product’s lightweight, silky liquid formula (which is enriched with squalane and hyaluronic acid) effortlessly blends into the skin, making it look as though you’re glowing from the inside out. With its innovative light-diffusing technology, it blurs imperfections and smooths out the skin's texture, creating a soft-focus effect. The versatile liquid can be used alone as a natural highlighter or mixed with foundation for an all-over glow.

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Can't Stop Won't Stop Contour Concealer

NYX has been around forever, and if you ask us, the brand is aging like fine wine. This best-selling concealer is the ultimate weapon for a flawless and sculpted complexion since it effortlessly camouflages imperfections while providing impressive coverage that lasts all day. The creamy and blendable formula allows for easy application, ensuring a seamless finish that won’t flake, pill, or dry out. One thing I particularly love about this product is that it works well on dark circles, inflamed acne (read: red), and dark spots, meaning I don’t need to use different products to hide my skincare concerns.

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Make It Last Makeup Setting Spray

As someone who used to be hooked on Urban Decay’s All-Nighter Setting Spray, it came as a huge surprise to me that I fell in love with Milani’s Make It Last Setting Spray as quickly as I did. Basically, it’s my secret weapon for a long-lasting and flawless makeup look. This multitasking setting spray primes, corrects, and sets makeup, ensuring it stays put no matter what you’re doing. The lightweight mist provides a refreshing burst of hydration while creating a protective barrier that locks in makeup, preventing smudging, fading, and creasing. Infused with nourishing ingredients, it also helps to minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines, creating a smooth and flawless complexion. Need I say more?

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SuperStay Matte Liquid Lipstick

Another TikTok favorite, Maybelline’s SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick creates the ultimate long-lasting, vibrant lip color. This liquid lipstick formula delivers intense pigmentation with a comfortable matte finish that lasts for up to 16 hours. With its unique arrow applicator, precise and effortless application is a breeze. Plus, this lipstick is smudge-proof, transfer-proof, and fade-resistant, ensuring that your lip color stays intact throughout the day. From classic reds to trendy nudes, it offers a range of different shades that’ll suit any occasion and skin tone.

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ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen

Want to perfect your cat eye? We have just the thing. This Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen will soon become your go-to eye makeup tool. This innovative liquid eyeliner pen features a unique paddle-shaped tip that effortlessly glides along the lash line, allowing for easy control and error-free application. The richly pigmented formula delivers intense, long-lasting color that won't smudge or fade throughout the day. Whether you prefer a subtle thin line or a bold cat-eye, the Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen has got you covered. Enhance your eyes with confidence and precision using this must-have eyeliner pen from Revlon.

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Makeup Revolution
Superdewy Liquid Blusher

Get that gorgeous summer glow with Makeup Revolution’s Superdewy Liquid Blusher. This affordable product is the key to achieving a natural, dewy flush of color any time of the year. The lightweight liquid blends effortlessly onto the skin, creating a flushed, radiant glow. The vegan formula is infused with nourishing ingredients that hydrate and moisturize the skin, leaving it looking fresh and supple. With its buildable coverage, you can easily create a subtle or more intense blush effect to suit your preference. If you want to try a new makeup trick, we suggest applying a small amount to the arch of your eyebrows and blending it out. It’ll make your skin look like it was kissed by the sun.

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Physician's Formula
Matte Monoi Butter Eyeshadow Palette

Step up your makeup game with Physicians Formula’s Matte Monoi Butter Eyeshadow Palette. This stunning palette features a range of richly pigmented matte eyeshadows that are infused with the nourishing monoi butter. The velvety smooth formula effortlessly glides onto the lids, delivering intense color payoff and a seamless blend. With a combination of warm neutrals and vibrant shades, this palette offers endless possibilities for creating eye-catching looks (see what we did there?). Plus, the long-lasting formula ensures that your eyeshadow stays vibrant and crease-free throughout the day.

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