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Make-up is expensive. That’s the first thought anyone who is trying to get into the beauty game thinks; trust me, I know. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, anyone on this staff has been there. It’s almost the easiest way to discourage people from trying all of the pigments of the world.
Have no fear, though! We’re here to prove you can still enter the Great Wild World of Make-Up without breaking your bank. Below you’ll find the best bang for your beauty on a budget buck for every level of make-up knowledge: professional, amateur, and basic newbie.
Basic Newbie: Rachel Fair, everyday writer:
ELF Primer, $6.00
I have rosacea, so getting an even skin tone is my dream. The green primer from ELF feels wonderful on my naturally oily skin, and helps even out the redness in my face, making it easier for my concealer to do its job.
ELF Undereye Concealer, $1.00
If you have deep under-eye circles –this stuff works wonderfully; I put it on and set it with a primer powder before putting on my overall face.
ELF Setting Powder, $6.00
Everyone needs a setting powder to keep their look together and seeming soft. This is the cheapest and best out there.
Blistex Colored Chapstick, $3.29
This not only tastes good, smells good, and heals good — it’s also got the best tint to it to give your basic look a little oomph.
Covergirl Lashblast Mascara, $7.99
This is the best mascara for everyday use; it goes on easily, gives your lashes just enough boost to say “hey, I’m here, but I’m not going to blind you.”
Simple Toner, $4.74
This is best toner I’ve ever used, as well as the least expensive. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend you check out the entire Simple line. It’s heavenly.
Amateur Artist: Shelby Nelson, recent Beauty School Graduate:
I have dry skin, which makes finding good coverage difficult. This helps moisturize and has nice coverage.
Revlon Colorstay, $12.99
I use this for full coverage,and it’s comparable to MAC studio tech, which is more than twice the price.
Milani Baked Blushes, $8.49
These are by far the prettiest shades for the price. If your cosmetic purchases primarily happen at the drugstore this is the best you’ll find.
Anything Loreal, $4.50-9.99
These are my favorite for drugstore shadows. The Infallible eye-shadows are seriously amazing for the price.
NYC liquid liner, $2.99
It lasts and applies easier than most higher end eyeliners I’ve tried.
Ardell Natural Lash, $2.99
Unless I’m wanting to splurge these are what I use basically every time I wear falsies.
NYX Eyebrow Push-Up Bra, $10.00
Gets the job done just as well as any Anastacia filler, that’s for sure.
There are so many colors and they are all super pigmented!
It has moderate coverage, feels nice and light. Photographs beautifully, because the SPF doesn’t bounce back under a flash. I use it in tutorials a lot. I like it for all skin types. It has a creamy and slightly matte finish, which is my fave kind of finish, so it looks like natural skin. Unfortunately, they do not have the widest range of colors.
These feel awesome. I am a fan of thicker glosses. You get pretty good color payoff without the stickiness.
These are very similar to Retro Matte lipsticks from the 1940’s. MAC used to carry this formula. The color payoff is amazing!
L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara, $7.99
Hands down, my go to for mascara, and it won’t break anyone’s budget. It builds fuller longer lashes. You can build as many layers as you want without the flakiness or “spider lash” effect. It also is pretty easy to take off at night!
Jordana Twist Up Lip Pencils, $1.99
Seriously, you need to try these. I have been using them for years. They are smooth and creamy with almost no feathering, which is great for women who have bleeding lipstick problems. My favorite two are “Rockin Rose” (It’s a very nude Kylie Jenner color), and if you are a fan of Ox Blood Lipsticks like me, then you love “Plush Plum.” If neither of those fits your style, don’t worry: they have 12 colors!
Great Powder. Feels so nice and light. I can de-shine in the winter time without feeling like my face is cracking. This comes in a nice range of colors as well. Looks very natural on the skin. Also great in photos.