By Guest Author, Hillary Hunt
When you need it, makeup can give that extra little boost of confidence or it can be a fun way to express a more colorful you. But spending lots of money on makeup? That can feel less than empowering, especially when you’ve got better investments to make with your money, like that trip to Spain or ordering a fresh supply of your SeroVital. Because you don’t just want to look good, you want to feel good too!
But if you know where to look, there’s no need to skimp on your enjoyment of makeup. You can pay drugstore prices for quality cosmetics that rival more expensive luxury brands. And you don’t have to spend hours browsing the cosmetic aisle or watching makeup reviews to do so. Why? Because I’ve done it for you.
I’ve scoured the internet to create a curated list of quality cosmetics that are only $2 to $15. All of these products have been vetted by beauty vloggers, makeup artists, and my own personal use.
So let’s start at the beginning of a typical makeup routine (foundation) and work our way up to the finish line, which is your good ole setting spray.
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation (available in 20 shades)
- You can get this foundation for as little as $2.50 from some online retailers, making this quality foundation a bargain that’s hard to beat.
Flower Beauty Light Illusion (available in 12 shades)
- Full coverage without being heavy on the skin, this foundation gives a more dewy glow.
Bronzer & Contour
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer
- With a cream to powder finish, this bronzer goes on smooth and smells like a day at the beach. I use it myself to contour and can confirm: it’s the best.
Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette
- Includes a deeper color for sculpting and a highlighting powder so all your contouring needs are met. Blends like a dream.
E.L.F. 16HR Camo Concealer
- Beauty vloggers frequently cite this one as being comparable to high-end concealers, but at a fraction of the cost.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Concealer
- Features hyaluronic acid for smooth, hydrated skin, which is particularly great for the under-eye area.
Blush & Highlight
Milani Powder Blush
- Another darling of beauty vlog reviewers, Milani blushes offer a natural looking glow and are highly blendable.
Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Palette (and Loose Powder)
- Word on the street is that you can’t go wrong with Wet n Wild’s highlighters. Apparently, they are a well known favorite among makeup artists.
Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder
- A clear favorite among users according to my research, this powder promises to conceal fine lines, control oil, and be as soft as a cloud.
Rimmel Stay Matte
- Available loose or pressed, this is a finely milled setting powder that will control shine all day.
L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara
- Reviewers agree that this mascara formula is a winner. I’ve been using it myself and can tell you that it gives your lashes length and volume without being brittle or clumpy.
Milani Everyday Eyes Powder Eyeshadow Collections
- These eyeshadow palettes have everything you need to do a full eye and they come in flattering color combinations for different complexions.
Revlon Colorstay Creme Shadow
- Don’t like getting fussy with your eyeshadow? Then these Revlon shadows are for you. Creamy, blendable, and easy to use, just swipe/pat them on and go.
Pixi Liquid Fairy Lights
- A liquid eyeshadow that goes on smooth, it comes in highly pigmented neutrals like Crystalline, Rose Gold, and Bare Brilliance. Features rosewater and chamomile extracts.
L’Oreal Infallible Lacquer Eyeliner
- With this eyeliner you’ll enjoy 24 hour long wear, a smooth gel formula, and a shiny finish.
Milani Color Statement Lipliner (in 04 All Natural)
- A smooth and creamy liner that works well on its own for a natural look, or with lipstick.
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Liquid Lipstick
- And when they say super stay, they mean it. You’ll be wearing this through multiple meals and well into the evening without reapplying, but it doesn’t feel dry or cakey.
L’Oreal Colour Riche Plump & Shine Lipstick
- Hydrate those lips in sheer, shiny colors, without feeling sticky. This lipstick promises to visibly plump up your lips with a sensation that tingles and refreshes.
Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist
- Beauty vloggers swear by this one, and it has rose water and green tea, which sounds perfectly lovely.
L’Oreal Infallible Setting Spray
- Highly rated by users, this lightweight mist will help you achieve that fresh, just-got-ready look all day.
Well, I could go on, but you have better things to do than endlessly read about makeup. And you know what else? You don’t need it, and you certainly don’t owe wearing makeup to anyone. Makeup should be a fun choice you make, not a necessary chore. So when you decide to use it, buy smart and get the best bang for your buck. I hope this list took a little guess-work out of your shopping so you can get back to the things that matter, like planning your next great adventure. Maybe scuba diving in Ibiza? Whatever you’re into, it’s up to you.
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