It is easy to forget that some of the best makeup products come from the drugstore, especially when writing about high-end skin care and makeup all the time. On top of that, I love the shopping experience at Sephora as much as the next beauty addict. Where else can you go and test everything? Not sure about something at the store? Just grab a sample!
Unfortunately for the best drugstore makeup products for 2017, grabbing a sample isn’t so easy. But that’s why I’m here! I’ve compiled all the best drugstore makeup products, so you don’t have to worry about the guessing game.
These companies are proving that it is possible to create incredible makeup and beauty products without charging an arm and a leg. You best believe that each of these items work just as well as their high-end department store counterparts, if not better.
1. NYX Cosmetics HD Blush in Taupe
One of the best drugstore makeup products on the market, this blendable blush from NYX is my Holy Grail contour powder. It is everything a great contour shade for light and medium skin tones must be: matte, blendable, and perfectly neutral.
It doesn’t lean even close to orange – just a true, natural shadow. Why would you ever need a high end product, when such an amazing creation exists at the drugstore? This product is available at Ulta for $6.99.
2. Covergirl Clump Crusher
This mascara gives Too Faced’s Better Than Sex a run for its money. This green tube is filled with a lengthening and volumizing mascara that is as well formulated as any high end product. The plastic applicator wand has uniquely shaped bristles that are able to perfectly separate the lashes, helping you avoid that terrible spider lash look. Pick up this gorgeous drugstore mascara at Ulta for $7.99.
3. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
A great light to medium coverage foundation is a must-have in every person’s makeup collection. The best drugstore makeup product in this category is definitely Bourjois’ Healthy Mix Foundation. It seems to work for almost every skin type, covering most imperfections without ever looking cakey.
This foundation is available primarily in warm shades, and it gives a healthy, dewy finish to the skin. It is loaded with a collection of fruit extracts, to protect the skin, keeping it strong and healthy. This foundation can be found at ASOS for $15.50.
4. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips
I’ve raved about the Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks before, and indeed, I do think they are wonderful. It just so happens that Physican’s Formula had a take on the idea that is one of the best drugstore makeup products out there.
These shimmer strips add beautiful shine and dimension, no matter whether you apply them to your cheeks or eyes. You can play around, and create different kinds of looks out of a single palette, and even purchase a few different ones so you can have a bronzer, a blush, and a highlighter.
A frequent complaint about this drugstore makeup product is that it can be too shimmery, but personally, I don’t understand how that’s a bad thing. Grab these multi-purpose palettes at Ulta for $12.99.
5. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
I always prefer a gel eyeliner to a liquid one. It seems more hygienic, and it is usually much more long lasting. Maybelline’s gel eyeliner is the platonic ideal of what this kind of drugstore makeup product should be: long lasting, and as opaquely dark as my soul.
Simply dip your brush in, apply, and you know your wings will remain perfectly sharp for the whole day. One thing to keep in mind: this drugstore makeup product might be amazing, but there are better brushes than the one that comes with this liner. Pick it up at Utla for $8.99.
6. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
One of the benefits of a drugstore makeup product over a high-end one is that you don’t have to worry about losing it or damaging it. The price also means that you can own a few of the same thing, without ever feeling frivolous or guilty. That’s how I feel about these beautiful lip stains from Revlon. One in the purse, another at home, and a third one in the car.
They moisturize the lips wonderfully, doubling as a lip balm. They are quite sheer, blendable, and super easy to apply, but they do need a reapplication or two throughout the day.
The color Honey is a perfect “my lips but better” shade on almost all skin types, and it can also be used as a base for other lipsticks. You can find it at Utla for $9.49.
7. Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in Honeymoon Peach
I adore a shimmery, peachy blush. It works with every skin tone, creates shine and youth. I cannot think of a more summery and flattering color than Hard Candy’s Honeymoon baked blush. The formula is buildable, so you don’t have to worry about over applying, and the blendability is like magic.
It stays on the skin for a pretty long time, and does not require reapplication. Wear it on its own everyday, or pair it with a striking contour for a nighttime look. This blush can be purchased from Walmart for $7.00.
8. L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer
I’ve mentioned this product before when profiling strobing, but it deserves a second mention. One of the best drugstore makeup products, this gorgeous primer gives that perfect, ethereal glow from within the look that you want out of a strobe cream, and it does it for a fraction of the cost of a high-end product.
It is better used on the highlight points of the face – cheekbones, forehead, chin, and center of the nose, where it gives a lovely and natural effect that will last all day. Personally, I love blending a touch of this primer into my foundation for an all-over dewy glow.
The texture of this primer is very thin, and it has a gorgeous, diamondesque shimmer. Buy this primer at Ulta for $12.99.
9. New York Color Smooth Skin Loose Powder Translucent
A great translucent powder is a must-have in any makeup kit, and it’s nice to know that a great one doesn’t have to break the bank. One of the best drugstore makeup products, this finely milled powder goes on the skin soft and smooth, setting foundation and concealer perfectly, leaving behind a flattering semi-matte finish that won’t look cakey.
The translucence of this powder means that it works for anyone with light to medium tan skin, no matter what their undertone will be. For those with darker skin, the naturally beige loose powder works just as well.
It also works wonderfully for baking under eye concealer. This powder, and its next shade up, can be purchased at Kmart for $2.99.
10. E.L.F Eyebrow Kit
This brand is well known for their surprisingly high-quality yet extremely affordable cosmetics. It was hard to figure out which of their products deserve a place as some of the best drugstore makeup products, but ultimately I decided I simply could not leave out this lovely eyebrow kit.
This kit includes a wax based eyebrow cream, and a lighter eyebrow powder, which is excellent for versatility. You apply the wax first with a thin brush, and then set it with the cream, or just apply the powder on its own for a softer, more natural look. If you want to create an ombre brow, you can apply the cream to only have the brow, and then fill the rest in with the lighter powder.
These kits come in light, medium, and dark. This guarantees you eyebrows that will be on fleek for a long time, and for only $3.00 at Ulta.
11. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
The Maybelline Fit Me line has been polarizing, to say the least. Some people absolutely adore it, while others simply can’t make it work. This concealer, however, is extremely well liked, and is likely the best drugstore concealer for the under-eye area.
This liquid concealer has a light texture that manages to cover under-eye circles quite well, without leaving behind a cakey look. A bit of luminescence in the formula does an incredible job of blurring imperfections.
If you are a fan of cream highlight and contouring, consider picking up a few of these concealers: one in your skin tone to conceal, another a few shades darker to contour, and final one a few shades lighted to highlight. You can fine this concealer, in 6 shades, at Ulta for $6.99.
12. Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner
Despite the beauty world’s current obsession with liquid liner, a smoky look done with a pencil liner will never be out of style. Revlon’s long lasting, waterproof eyeliner has been a favorite with thousands upon thousands of people for years, and with good reason. It is simply a perfect iteration of an eyeliner.
The packaging is sleek, the roll up feature is convenient, it goes on softly and easily, and once applied it lasts all day. You can create a variety of different looks with this eyeliner, without every worrying about it running or smudging later on.
If you’re into the liner on the waterline look, this is definitely the eyeliner you should try. One of the best drugstore makeup products out there, this eyeliner is available in three shades, which you can buy this eyeliner from Ulta for $8.99.
13. Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer
Sometimes we all reach the point where we need a heavy-duty concealer to seriously cover up blemishes or the under-eye darkness that appears after a few all-nighters. It’s one of the best drugstore makeup products, and this thick concealer is not for everyone, but it really stands out within the heavily pigmented concealer category.
It seems to cover up just about anything with a small dab, but it does have to be set with a powder since it is quite creamy. A bottle lasts forever, so at $6.00 a pop at Walmart, it’s an amazing deal.
14. Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Palette Comfort Zone
Eyeshadows are the one category, where I find it extremely difficult to settle for low end. I need my shadows to be super pigmented, damn it! Somehow, Wet N’ Wild, despite being the lowest on the drugstore makeup ladder, managed to create eyeshadows that are just as pigmented as the eyeshadows you can find at Sephora.
This palette features 6 wearable and gorgeously shimmery shades that blend well and last forever. This is best as an accompaniment to a higher end palette of mattes. Pair the two, and the amounts of looks you could create would be endless. It’s available at Walmart for $5.99, and at that price, why not buy it?
15. Sleek Makeup iDivine Eyeshadow Palette in Oh So Special
Sleek is another brand that does eyeshadow palettes really friggin’ well. Think of them as the Urban Decay of drugstore makeup brands, releasing a winning palette after a winning palette. While you can’t go wrong with any of their iDivine selections, I settled on Oh So Special as one of the best drugstore makeup products.
It includes a romantic blend of shimmery pinks, nicely pigmented neutral mattes, and a couple metallic shades to give an edge. With this palette you can stay soft and pretty, or turn it up in a smoky and smouldering eye makeup look. You can find Sleek’s eyeshadow palettes at Pretty Little Thing $15.75.
Do you have any Holy Grail drugstore makeup items in your makeup bag? What are they? Comment and let us know!
Photos courtesy of @wetnwildbeauty, Ulta