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When you find makeup that makes you look and feel amazing in your skin, of course you want to shout from the rooftops about it. And when that makeup is affordable at the drugstore, even more reason to rejoice. These are 15 beloved makeup products with incredible reviews to back them up.
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1. A primer that smooths out texture
If you’re familiar with E.L.F. Cosmetics as a brand, its primer is surely a product you already know. The Mineral Infused Face Primer claims to provide a smooth base for foundation using its silicone-based, “weightless silky formula” that works for all skin types. The primer also comes in illuminating, tone adjusting (or color correcting), blemish controlling, and pore filling versions.
One Amazon reviewer was skeptical about the low price at first but quickly changed their mind: “This primer is better than even the expensive stuff! I have oily/normal skin but have trouble with acne. This has not made me break out whatsoever and has prolonged my makeup throughout the day. If you are looking for a good primer, look no further!”
2. A foundation that gives you an even complexion
If you like your skin to look matte all day, you’ll love the Revlon ColorStay Foundation made for combination and oily skin. The product claims to absorb oil for a shine-free complexion and provide a medium-to-full coverage finish to hide blemishes and create an even base. Revlon also makes the foundation for people with normal-to-dry skin, which has equally postive reviews, and claims to give natural finish instead of matte.
“I don’t look like I have on makeup, but I do look like I have absolutely beautiful skin after applying,” one enthusiastic reviewer writes. “With this makeup, I have flawless looking skin. And, my makeup looks good still when I get home from work 10 hours later.”
3. A concealer to brighten your under-eyes and cover blemishes
There’s no denying that the Instant Age Rewind concealer is a fan favorite, whether you’re covering under-eye circles or pimples. The concealer claims to erase dark circles and fine lines, and brighten the skin with goji berry and Haloxyl (an anti-aging ingredient).
One Amazon reviewer says you need to try this: “Hello, where have you been all my life? How have I slept on this drugstore product for so long?! It gets glowing reviews everywhere and now I know why.”
4. A translucent powder to set down your foundation
If you’re skeptical about how something translucent could make such a mark on the beauty world, you haven’t tried the Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder. The super-fine powder claims to minimize fine lines, wrinkles, acne, bumps, scars, and other blemishes while setting down your foundation. The translucent “shade” is what gets the most attention, but the powder also comes in translucent extra coverage, suntan, rosy beige, naturally neutral, and honey beige.
“It’s perfect!!!” One Amazon reviewer exclaims. “My makeup came out flawless. I set my makeup with this and worked out right after. There was no separation, no creasing. This powder blessed me.”
5. A blush to add rosiness to your cheeks
For anyone who wants a glowy flush to the cheeks, the Milani Baked Blushes are a must-have. Made in 12 matte and shimmery shades, Milani claims the blushes are rich in pigment—but with a light hand, you can create a look from subtle to intense. The shade “Luminoso” created quite the buzz amongst beauty gurus for its peachy-pink hue with a golden sheen.
One Amazon reviewer says not to let the affordable price fool you into thinking it’s not good quality: “This blush is the real deal. I love the sheerness but also how you can build it for a bolder look. It also stayed on the whole day.”
6. A bronzer to add definition
The Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer has been celebrated like it was the best thing since sliced bread since it first hit the shelves. The company claims they combined the best features of a powder and a cream product to create this buttery soft bronzer. The complexion product has a slight sheen without being shimmery, making your skin look healthy and smooth.
One Amazon reviewer raves about its natural finish: “This is the first bronzer that doesn’t make me look like I applied bronzers. It’s just a subtle bronze glow and I love it! I like it so much that I’m thinking of stocking up in case the manufacturer decides to discontinue it one day.”
7. A highlighter to create a dewy effect on the cheekbones
For a highlight that makes you look luminous instead of glittery, you’ll love the fan-favorite Essence Pure Nude Highlighter. The ‘baked’ formula gives a natural sheen to the tops of the cheeks and brow bones, but you can layer it for a bolder glow.
“I don’t have a single complaint. I have tried higher-end highlighters and I was never 100 percent happy,” one Ulta reviewer says. “This is my go-to now. The cost is unbelievable and the quality is amazing!! It looks very natural and wears all day.”
8. An eyeshadow palette to create a unique look
For a long time, the drugstore was a master of single eyeshadows and quads, but in more recent years, brands stepped up the eyeshadow palette game, including Milani. The brand created several palettes, including the popular Pure Passion, which features warm-toned neutrals and pinks in both matte and shimmer finishes.
One Target reviewer can’t get enough of these shadows: “So creamy, so buttery, they spread on like velvet and blend so effortlessly and smooth. I have very oily lids and even without primer these shadows last, they don’t crease, [they’re] not patchy, and they blend so seamlessly! I love all the colors in this palette.”
9. An eyeliner that emphasizes your eyes
Want an inky-black liner to enhance any eye look you create? Not only is the NYX Matte Liquid Eyeliner incredibly popular, it’s our Best Value pick after testing liquid eyeliners. The liner has a learning curve, but if you already have a steady hand, you’ll love its bold black color that stays on all day without creasing.
You don’t have to take our word for it. One Ulta reviewer agrees: “I’ve been using this liner for years, probably for 10-plus years. It’s the only one that creates the perfect, most effortless wings with a little flick, once you get used to it.”
10. A mascara that fans out your lashes
Like the NYX eyeliner, the fan-favorite drugstore mascara is also a top pick of ours after testing. The Covergirl Lash Blast Volume makes it easy to get a smooth, clump-free application and it was one of the only mascaras we tested that only needed a single coat to achieve noticeable results. Even more, the mascara stayed on all day and was easy to remove.
“I’ve been using this product for years now and it is hands down the best mascara that exists. It stays on all day and never needs to be reapplied,” one Amazon reviewer raves. “The mascara never and I mean never gets clumpy. The brush separates my lashes and evenly coats each one to make them look full and long. Not sure I will ever switch to another brand!”
11. A pencil to shape your eyebrows
Whether you want to boldly emphasize the shape of your brows or lightly fill in sparse areas, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil is just the tool to do it. The ultra-thin pencil, which comes in eight colors, is easy to use, and creates fine, hair-like strokes.
One Ulta reviewer is a loyal fan: “The tip is so small and micro to where you have the ability to really shape your brows. The attached spoolie end makes it so easy to brush brows before drawing them in. The formula lasts through sweat, workouts, and doesn’t fade or smudge. I’ve purchased this three times and this product has always been consistent.”
12. A gel to hold your eyebrows in place
To create a feathery look or to add a slight tint to your brows that doesn’t pack the punch a pencil does, try the Essence Make Me Brow, which is often compared to a higher-end brow gel. The tinted brow mascara contains tiny fibers that give the appearance of fuller eyebrows, and the wand is tiny and easy to use.
“It deposits the perfect amount of color to my already full brows (and used to do so even when they were over-plucked). And best of all, it keeps them in place all day long, with no added weight or icky texture,” one devotee writes on Ulta. “This product stays put through it all. I’ll love it forever.”
13. A gloss to add shine to your lips
If a shiny pout is your thing, look to the NYX Butter Glosses. They claim to condition the lips without being sticky, last for a long time, and give a sheer-to-medium amount of pigment. Plus, there’s a color to suit everyone’s style, whether you want a baby pink, deep burgundy, or even a blue.
“The texture of this gloss is the best thing I’ve felt on my lips,” one Ulta reviewer raves. “Not greasy like butter, but so smooth. It fills in every crack in my lips and blankets them in a thin veil of flawless shine. Every time I put it on, I can’t help but think ‘Mmm that looks delicious.’”
14. A liquid lipstick for bold lips
When you want to add a pop of color to your lips that’ll last all day, the Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipsticks are just the ticket. The popular formula comes in 13 colors, ranging from pale pink to black and even blue. Bonus: They’re also our top pick after testing liquid lipsticks because they’re comfortable to wear and last all day.
One self-proclaimed lipstick fanatic on Amazon writes: “This is literally the only brand I buy now and when people ask me what brand I use they are surprised when I say Wet n Wild. I’ve tried so many matte lipsticks and most of them are so drying or end up crumbling on my lips. But this one I barely even feel. It lasts all night through eating and drinking and I don’t even have to reapply.”
15. A setting spray that locks in your look
To keep your makeup looking fresh all day, you may apply a setting spray that claims to be matte or dewy, depending on your preference, and reapply it throughout the day for a pick-me-up. The NYX Makeup Setting Spray in Matte Finish claims to improve the longevity of your makeup while reducing shine. Its counterpart, the Dewy Finish version, also claims to keep your makeup looking fresh and smooth all day but without the mattifying properties.
One Amazon reviewer swears by the matte finish: “Wow, it really does work. I try to achieve the matte look but I have combination skin and my t-zone looks like a mess by lunchtime. This setting spray leaves you matte and keeps you matte.”
Another reviewer prefers the dewy: “I’ve found that my skin looks dimensional and appears to have a natural shine/glow, not oily. It only takes a few quick spritz to cover the entire face and neck area and a few seconds to settle and I feel refreshed. My skin actually feels hydrated.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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