Ahhh, Sephora. The land of all things bright, beautiful, and...expensive! We all crave the beautifully packaged products from higher end stores, but we're babes on a budget here. We need to spring for cheaper options, and that's where drugstore makeup comes in. Don't let the bad rep fool you–though the prices are much, much lower, it doesn't mean that they aren't high quality. You can snag some seriously good products if you do a little searching. Read on for seven drugstore makeup items that are worth the trip for you and your wallet.
If you haven't already heard about the magic of this beauty sponge, your life is about to be changed. This sponge is called a miracle for a reason: applying liquid foundation is a snap, as it blends easily leaving your face looking smooth, not cake-y. It can work with most anything, too, like concealer and even powder foundation! After running it under water and squeezing excess the water out, use a bouncing motion to apply it generously during your morning routine, and be sure to wash and moisturize first.
P.S. Buy the sponge that comes with the case–it's a lifesaver for packing and traveling!
Say hello to Essence, a fun, inexpensive brand that's now stocked in places like Ulta Beauty and Target. The best part about this brand is that a majority of their products are vegan and cruelty-free. The Pure Nude Spacelighter isn't quite as intense as a highlighter; it gives a soft, light glow that's an excellent addition to any makeup look. Plus, it's only $5!
This mascara is on every beauty list in the world because it is truly one of the best. Don't believe me? Check out the Maybelline website to see the overwhelming 5-star ratings. It's inexpensive, doesn't clump, and is available in brown and black shades. This is the OG mascara that you'll keep purchasing over and over again.
Y'all, this brow gel is a LIFESAVER. I fill in my eyebrows every day and sometimes there are stray hairs that I can't tame, but the gel locks 'em right into place. At only two bucks a pop, this item comes in handy more often than not.
I'm not lying when I say that this will forever be my favorite eyeliner. It comes in metallic shades of purple, green, grey, and of course the classic black. I've gotten a ton of compliments on the purple shade, and one woman even thought it the expensive Sephora eyeliner that she was wearing! It glides on flawlessly and achieving the perfect wing is as easy as 1-2-3. Maybelline's makeup game is killer; check out their tips & tricks for winged eyeliner.
Rimmell's Stay Matte is the most ~matte~ lip color I've ever bought (specifically the shade Iris, shown below). I've worn it out and about a million times and really lasts! I've had a few girls actually come up to me and tell me how much they adore the color. The shade is technically purple but looks black when applied, giving you that vampire-glam look you've always wanted to try (I recommend pairing with black heels, black leather skirt, and sparkly top).
e.l.f's makeup remover sheets are highly underrated, as they don't cost much and don't dry out as quickly as other similar wipes. I recommend using these to strip away eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow and then use a facial wash/micellar water to get the rest of your makeup off each night. If you're lazy or exhausted, at the very least, use the makeup wipes–they can help to prevent eye irritation, blackheads, and other kinds of breakouts.
What are your favorite money-saving drugstore makeup items? Leave us a comment below!
*Top/main image by Freestocks on Unsplash, all other product images taken by Stefanie Dyga*