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Ballin’ On A budget: The best makeup products at the drugstore


By Amelia Calautti     2/13/18 11:42pm

Sia once sang, “Baby I don't need dollar bills to have fun tonight, I love cheap thrills,” and, while she may have been talking about partying, the same goes for shopping for makeup. Makeup is such a mundane part of so many individuals’ daily routines that we sometimes forget just how pricey it can be; a one fluid-ounce bottle of foundation can run you $50. But when you want to look good on a budget, there exists a magical place that fulfills every makeup lover’s dream: the drugstore. But beware of the low prices, as some products prove to be worth even less. It can be hard to navigate the endless aisles of Maybelline, Loreal, NYX,and many more — how do you know which products will be hits or misses? That’s where I come in. As a makeup artist, I have used products esteemed enough for Kim Kardashian’s makeup routine or fancy enough to carry a $60 price tag. But I’ve also scoured the drugstore, stocking up on products that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Here are my finds for the best deals at the drugstore.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara ($6.89)

Ever since the iconic green and pink Maybelline Great Lash bottle debuted in 1971, Maybelline has dominated the drugstore mascara market. As someone who greatly values long, voluminous eyelashes, I’ve tried dozens of mascaras and Maybelline Lash Sensational always comes out on top. No other mascara leaves my lashes as dark and curled, causing me to reach for Lash Sensational every time.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Eyeshadow Primer ($4.69)

Say goodbye to eyeshadow creasing! Just a drop of this primer and your eyeshadow will be locked in for hours. This primer has saved me through nights of sweaty dancing, cardio sessions at the rec and times where I fell asleep before taking off my makeup. Somehow I wake up with my eyeshadow looking as good as it did when I first put it on, giving Sleeping Beauty a new meaning and adding a new staple to my makeup collection.

Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum ($8.79)

Ask any friend of mine and they will tell you that exceptionally sharp cat eyes are my speciality. This pen liner is extremely easy to use and delivers black pigment that’s smudge-proof and waterproof. A quick nap between classes? No need to worry about your eyeliner rubbing off on your pillow. Better yet, the formula also contains a serum that nourishes your lashes, helping them grow longer and fuller while you rock your wings.

e.l.f.BB Cream ($5.99)

Need some coverage but too lazy to commit to full-on foundation? This BB cream has you covered. With SPF 20 and a creamy consistency, e.l.f. BB Cream moisturizes your skin while also providing sun protection and leaving it with an illuminated, dewy finish. The e.l.f. BB cream provides more coverage than most tinted moisturizers or other BB creams, but can easily be blended in with your hands (no brushes required!) for a natural finish. It doesn’t cling to dry spots or highlight peeling skin, making it a stand-out product in my opinion.

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser ($5.79)

This face primer lives up to its title. Apply this alone or under foundation and your skin will be silky to the touch with no trace of pores. Great for a night out, this extra step in your makeup routine will help your foundation glide on and leave it with an airbrushed finish.

NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss ($4.99)

With shades such as “Angel Food Cake,” “Tiramisu” and “Creme Brulee,” NYX Butter Glosses are almost good enough to eat. With a sugar cookie scent and colors that range from nudes to pinks to berries, these aren’t your average lip glosses. They have a thicker consistency that makes them last longer on the lips and provides a medium coverage that leave your lips looking shiny, soft and pigmented.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter ($6.00)

This highlighter may only be available at Ulta, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Its insane pigmentation beats even high-end highlighters, and its size ensures you will have enough shimmer to last a lifetime. It provides a multi-dimensional glimmer that changes undertones in the light without any chunky glitter pieces. One swipe of this highlighter will leave you looking like a goddess at golden hour.

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