There are plenty of these “Top 10 Beauty Drugstore Picks” posts surfacing online and flooding my Pinterest feed regularly. Most of them are sponsored content pretending to be honest, so I don’t put a lot of faith into these posts. However, this issue prompted me to create my own holy-grail drugstore beauty list.
Best In Drugstore Beauty – Eye Products
Eyebrow Gel and Eyebrow Pencils
Eyebrow products have blown up in popularity over the last few years. While I know Anastasia Beverly Hills is everyone’s holy grail, my bank account needed to find another option. Here are three insanely cheap eyebrow options to help save you some cash next time you hit up your local Ulta or Target.
- NYX Eyebrow gel ($7.00 Ulta, CVS, Target)
- NYX Micro Brow Pencil ($10.00 Ulta, Target)
- Essence Make Me Brow ($2.99 Ulta)
If you enjoy tight-lining, or just use any sort of eyeliner on your waterline, you may have the same issue as me where nothing stays on. Thankfully, I discovered the Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner (say that ten times fast) and life has been forever changed. I used this eyeliner for my Easy Halloween Half-Skull makeup and this stuff did not budge. This liner comes in six colors and is a reasonable $7.99 at most drugstores.
Finding a drugstore eye primer that actually works is like finding a lipstick at Walgreens that someone hasn’t swatched. I’ve tried out a LOT of eye primers on my oily skin, and the best drugstore equivalent I could find was the NYX White Eyeshadow Base. This stuff not only helps keep my eyeshadow in place, but makes the colors pop even brighter. This product is worth every penny. ($7.99 Target, CVS, and Ulta)
While I have been a huge fan of the Lorac liquid eyeliner pen for a few years, my bank account once again begged to differ. After seeing the Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in CVS for ages, I decided to pick it up and am so glad I did. The pen is so easy to work with and I get the perfect winged eye every time with zero tug on my eyelids. ($11.00 CVS and Target)
One of my favorite drugstore finds has definitely been the Waterproof Voluminous Superstar Mascara. I love that it has two sides for primer and mascara, and it’s an easy formula that doesn’t dry the crap out of my eyes. ($11.99 Ulta, CVS, Target, Walmart, Walgreens)
Three of my favorite palettes that are great dupes for popular, more expensive palettes on the market are:
- Makeup Revolution Flawless 2 Ultra 32 Eyeshadow Palette ($15.00 Ulta)
- Maybelline The Nudes Wear Eyeshadow Palette ($9.99 Ulta, CVS, Walgreens, Target)
- NYX Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette – Warm Neutrals ($18.00 Ulta)
These palettes all have formulas that are fairly easy to work with and blend, and have a lot of variety for the price tag. Don’t feel like spending money on the Morphe 350 or the Urban Decay Naked palettes? These are your best bet.
Best In Drugstore Beauty – Face Products
There has been a rise in drugstore primers lately, and one of the brands I have had the most success with has been the Maybelline Facestudio Master Prime Blur + Smooth. The other options available are Blue + Illuminate and Blur + Redness Control. This runs for $9.99 (CVS, Target, Ulta, Walgreens, Rite Aid).
Two of my go-to drugstore foundations for the last few years have been the Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin and the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation. Not only do these two lines have some of the best shade ranges out there, but the formula is long lasting and provides me with the coverage I need to get through the day. The best part is that they also updated both formulas to go along with whatever your skin type is:
- Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin ($8.99 – $12.99 CVS, Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Ulta)
- Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless ($7.99 – $8.99 CVS, Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Ulta)
As someone with acne-prone skin, face powder is an important final touch when completing my base. I have tested out almost every powder it seems, but the three products above are my favorites. The Pixi Beauty Colour Correcting Powder Foundation in cream has been my latest go-to, and really helps add that second layer of coverage I need. Only downside? The shade range is severely limited. The NYX #NoFilter Finishing Powder has been another favorite as of late. This powder is light enough so my skin doesn’t feel cakey after application, and doesn’t oxidize over time. Lastly, the e.l.f. Cosmetics High Definition Powder in Sheer has been great for setting under-eye concealer and has a silky, smooth finish:
- Pixi Beauty Colour Correcting Powder Foundation ($20.00 Target)
- NYX #NoFilter Finishing Powder ($11.99 Ulta, select CVS and Target)
- e.l.f. Cosmetics High Definition Powder ($6.00 Ulta Online, CVS, Target)
One of the key elements to my makeup routine is, of course, concealer. With my acne-prone skin I need something that will cover blemishes, while blending seamlessly. The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is one of those holy grail concealers I will still reach for over more expensive concealers I own. For my dark circles, I also love the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer, which is another cult favorite. This lightweight formula effortless conceals any lack of sleep:
- Maybelline Fit Me Concealer ($6.49 Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Ulta)
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer ($6.79 Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Ulta)
Finding a contour powder that is the right cool tone can be difficult at the drugstore. Luckily, brands have been upping their game in this department as well:
- Pixi Natural Contour Powder – Shape & Shadow ($20.00 Target)
- NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette ($25.00 Target, CVS, Ulta)
- NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Single ($5.00 NYX online…yes I cheated with this one a bit)
One of my all-time favorite matte bronzers hands down has to be the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer. This product smells like a coconut, summer dream and provides the best, natural warmth to my face after applying foundation. For something with a bit more shimmer to it, I’d recommend the e.l.f. Golden Bronzer. For the price point and the glow, you can’t beat it:
- Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer ($14.39 Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Ulta)
- e.l.f. Golden Bronzer ($4.00 CVS, Target, Walgreens)
These drugstore highlighters have really impressed me as of late, and I find I reach for these over my expensive Becca Cosmetics highlighters:
- e.l.f. Illuminating Palette ($6.00 Target, CVS, Ulta)
- Makeup Revolution Vivid Shimmer Brick ($7.00 Ulta)
- L’oreal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator ($9.99-$12.99 CVS, Target, Ulta, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid)
- Essence Pure Nude Highlighter ($4.49 Ulta)
The L’Oreal Paris Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray is one of the few setting sprays in general that I prefer. Although they have upped the price in the last year, I still reach for this product over the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. Look for this product in Ulta, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid for $12.29 – $15.00 at select stores.
The Real Techniques Round Bottom Makeup Sponge is probably one of the best sponges out there for even makeup application. For a price point of $4.99, you can’t beat it. Look for this sponge at Ulta and select Target stores.
Best In Drugstore Beauty – Lip Products
If you’re in the market for matte or creamy lipstick formulas, the following four lipstick brands are some of my favorites:
- Milani Color Statement Lipstick ($4.99 CVS, Walgreens)
- Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Lip Color ($1.99 Rite Aid, Walgreens)
- NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick ($4.00 CVS, Target)
- Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Mattes Lip Color ($5.59 Ulta, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target)
Liquid lipsticks have changed the beauty community over the last several years. While attempts have been made to make some long-lasting formulas, the best I have found are from NYX and Milani:
- Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme ($8.99 Target, CVS)
- NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick ($7.00 Target, CVS, Ulta)
If you have any recommendations or have your own holy grail drugstore product suggestions, let me know! You can find Sartorial Petite on Instagram at @sartorialpetite and on Facebook.