TAKE THE GUESS WORK OUT OF SHOPPING FOR DRUGSTORE MAKEUP WITH THIS LIST OF BEST DRUGSTORE MAKEUP
Please Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase through one of my links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, thank you so much for supporting this blog 🙂
Who doesn’t love drugstore makeup? It’s fun to experiment with, it works, and it doesn’t break the bank.
Having said that, though, I think we can all agree that not all drugstore makeup and drugstore makeup brands are created equal.
We’ve all been in that position where a drugstore foundation breaks us out, a lipstick is too drying, or an eyeshadow comes out powdery.
So how can you be expected to walk into the drugstore, navigate through the rows of makeup aisles, and pick out the good stuff?
Well, I don’t think you should have to!
That’s why, today, I’m going over all the best drugstore makeup, so you can take the guess work right out of it.
In particular, we’ll be talking about best drugstore makeup 2019, but really, most of these products are holy grail drugstore makeup products that have been around for years, and that no drugstore enthusiast should ever be without.
Also, if you’re interested in my top 7 drugstore products that I personally use on a daily basis, check out my holy grail drugstore products here.
Alrighty, enough talk! Let’s start out with…
Best Drugstore Primer
1. Maybelline Instant Pore Eraser
Ulta Price: $6.99
I’ve used this drugstore product for years, and even up against higher-end makeup, it blows away the competition.
Instantly blurring the skin, all you need is one little swipe of this on your cheeks, and your pores are instantly reduced. Seriously, it even works great on those hectic mornings where you don’t feel like wearing a lot of makeup, but you still want to even out your skin tone. It’s that good.
2. NYX Honey Dew Me Up
Ulta Price: $17
With over 400 5-star ratings on Ulta, this drugstore primer is a must-try for any lady who loves herself some drugstore makeup.
More than just your average primer, this NYX product is infused with collagen, honey, and light reflective gold flecks, which help to create luminosity and glow in your complexion (yes please!). Not to mention, with the facial serum component, not only does this primer do its expected job of smoothing out your complexion, it also helps reduce redness, fills in fine lines, and moisturizes all those pesky dry spots for flawless makeup application.
No doubts here: if you want a drugstore primer that goes above and beyond, this is the product for you.
Best Drugstore Foundation
1. L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Foundation
Ulta Price: $10.99
When it comes to a drugstore foundation that gives good coverage, is blendable, and matches your skin tone, there’s no better option than the L’Oreal True Match Foundation.
With 45 shades to choose from, you should have no problems finding a shade that fits flawlessly with your complexion. Not to mention, this is a medium coverage foundation, so if you’re looking for something that isn’t too heavy and still gives you a natural and radiant glow, this is the best drugstore foundation you’re going to find. All about that “no makeup” makeup look, right?
2. Wet ‘n Wild PhotoFocus Liquid Foundation
Ulta Price: $5.99
This is a drugstore foundation that I think every woman should try. At this price, why not?
This is the perfect foundation to always have on hand for quick and easy makeup. While I’ve heard reviews of some people having issues with its coverage and shade range, you’re not going to find a foundation at this price anywhere else.
Also, keep in mind: everyone has different skin. While this particular foundation might not work for everyone, if you can try it for less $10, and then it does work for you, you’ll be saving a ton of money with this little gem in your makeup bag. Definitely worth a shot I’d say.
Pro Tip When Choosing Foundation
This is not a tip that is necessarily going to apply to everyone, but if you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, listen up: you need to be extremely cautious about what makeup you’re using on your skin. In particular, foundation is important to pay attention to, because it covers such a large portion of your face. As mentioned in my post about how I cleared up my severe acne, I’m relatively confident that what set off my acne in the first place was low-quality makeup.
If you have acne and you want to clear your skin, I would suggest investing in a higher-quality foundation to help clear up your pores. In particular, I feel very strongly that the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is one of the best foundations/CC Creams on the market, especially for acne-prone, sensitive skin. You can read my full review on on it here.
Point being, though: If your skin is in good condition, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with drugstore makeup, but if you’re having any skin-related issues, I highly recommend being cautious about what you put on your face. Just a friendly reminder for any of my acne prone ladies out there 🙂
Best Drugstore Concealer
1. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer
Ulta Price: $9.99
If you love drugstore makeup, and you’ve yet to try this Maybelline gem, you’re in for a real treat.
I went through a phase where this was the only concealer I would use, and it never did me wrong.
Perfect for those who tend to get pesky dark under-eye circles, this Instant Age Rewind Concealer is infused with gogi berries and haloxyl to help visibly bring glow and radiance to the under-eye. Trust me, you want this drugstore concealer in your makeup bag for those days where the dark under-eye circles just won’t quit.
2. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
Ulta Price: $6.49
It’s hard for me to pick between the Instant Age Rewind and the Fit Me concealer, because honestly, they both do such a good job at covering up darkness, especially for drugstore brands!
Having said that, though, if you’re looking for a dupe for the very popular NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, I would suggest going with the Fit me Concealer.
You’ll find the Fit Me concealer is a little more hydrating and glowy, while the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind is a little more matte. Personally I gravitate towards the glowy finish, but pick the finish you like best, and I’m certain you’ll be pleased with either one of these drugstore concealers.
Best Drugstore Setting Powder
1. NYX HD Finishing Powder
Ulta Price: $10
I’m personally not the biggest fan of drugstore setting powders since they can sometimes look too powdery on the skin, so I’m only going to give you one recommendation here, and really, it’s the only drugstore setting powder that I think is worth picking up.
The NYX HD Finishing Powder is lightweight, ultra-sheer, and virtually non-detectable on the skin.
It comes in three shades so you can pick the option that best suits your needs (i.e. if you need setting powder to control shine, get the translucent, but if you’re looking for something to go under the eyes, pick up the banana shade…all three versions can be found at the Ulta link below).
If you want drusgtore powder that you can rely on to help make your makeup look its absolute best, you can’t go wrong with the NYX HD Finishing Powder
Best Drugstore Bronzer
1. Physician Formula Butter Bronzer
Ulta Price: $15.99
My absolute favorite drugstore makeup of all time, every woman should try the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer ASAP.
I’ve raved about this product multiple times, and it continues to remain my favorite drusgtore bronzer. I’ve even used high-end bronzers, like the NARS Laguna Beach Bronzer, and I strongly feel that the Butter Bronzer works just as well.
Matte, silky, and great for a natural makeup look, this bronzer is so easy to apply and it gives the most effortless and flawless glow to any makeup look thanks to soft-focus pigments and Murumuru Butter. Seriously, your skin is going to look so healthy, hydrated, and glowing with this bronzer.
Try it for yourself, and I’ve got a feeling you’ll quickly understand what I’m raving about.
p.s. While this might be a more pricey drugstore product, I definitely think the cost is worth it. You get a lot of product, and even if you’re using bronzer multiple times a week, it should last you a few solid months (I’ll generally replace every 5-6 months).
2. NYX Wonder Stick
Ulta Price: $12
Yup, another NYX product (if you haven’t caught on, NYX tends to be one of the best drugstore makeup brands).
Contour and highlighter all in one, if you’ve yet to try the Wonder Stick, with warm weather on the way, now is definitely the time to jump on this drugstore beauty find.
While I definitely love my Butter Bronzer, the Wonder Stick is a great option for more of a cream-based finish. It tends to work well for warm weather when you might be working up a sweat, and I absolutely love how easy this product is to apply.
Not to mention, I know how important it is to have at least one contouring product on hand, especially on those days where you might be feeling a little more puffy and bloated than usual.
For this, I have nothing but good things to say about the NYX Wonder Stick.
Best Drugstore Blush
1. Physician’s Formula Butter Blush
Ulta Price: $13.49
I can’t mention the Butter Bronzer without mentioning the Butter Blush.
With the same finish as my beloved Butter Bronzer, the Butter Blush will give you that perfectly flushed look. It’s just as moisturizing as the Butter Bronzer, and it, too, helps liven up your skin with a soft and radiant glow.
The perfect combination of both a powder and a cream blush, I know that ladies who like a natural makeup look will love this gorgeous drugstore blush.
2. Milani Rose Powder Blush
Ulta Price: $8.99
I’m also very much into my Milani Rose Blush, largely because the powder of this blush blends in so seamlessly to my skin.
I absolutely hate when I use a powder blush and it sits on top of my skin and looks powdery. Ick!
With this drugstore find, that won’t happen. All you need is a quick swipe of this on the apples of your cheeks, and you instantly get a pretty, soft, and natural flush.
I have the “Romantic Rose” shade for something that feels a bit more fall/winter appropriate, but the “Coral Rose” would be perfect for summer! (especially with coral being the Pantone Color of The Year for 2019).
Best Drugstore Highlighter
1. Essence Pure Nude Highlighter
Ulta Price: $4.49
If you’ve yet to discover the magic that is the Essence Pure Nude Highlighter, it’s time to get on board, because this drugstore highlighter knocks the competition out of the park.
I discovered this highlighter on a whim, and since finding it, I rarely use anything else.
The finish is silky smooth, and it gives you that natural “wet” sort of look. Not greasy or unnaturally shiny, by any means! More so just lit-from-within and naturally radiant, ‘ya know?
It’s hard to explain, but if you try it for yourself, and you’ll see what this powerful highlighter can do.
Also, check out that price tag! Talk about a beauty steal.
Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Palette
1. NYX Warm Neutrals Ultimate Shadow Palette
I have to be totally honest with you guys here: I’m not big on eyeshadow, and I don’t tend to spend a lot of money on eyeshadow palettes, but I still wanted to include at least one in this list of the best drugstore makeup.
I went with the NYX Warm Neutrals palette because I think if you’re going to spend money on a palette, it should be one that is full of colors that are good for the everyday.
Bright purple and neon pink might be fun to look, but, chances are, you’re not going to wear those shades everyday.
Browns, warm burgundy, and soft golden shades for highlight will likely come much more in handy.
And, like I said, when it comes to best drugstore makeup brands, NYX tends to dominate.
Velvety in texture and with 16 shades to choose from, I’ve got a feeling you’ll get plenty of use out of this drugstore eyeshadow palette.
If you’re interested in the Ultimate Shadow Palette, but you don’t think you’ll use all 16 shades, NYX also sells the Warm Neutrals Palette in a mini size. With 6 handpicked shades, this palette is perfect for travel, and easily allows you to experiment with some of the most popular shades in the full-size palette without having to commit to all 16 shades.
Best Drugstore Mascara
1. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Ulta Price: $9.99
We all have different looks we’re going for when we try mascara. For some, it’s all about volume, while for others, they want length.
For me, I love that full fan effect. ‘Ya know, that look when your mascara spans across your whole eye, not just the middle lashes?
If you also enjoy that look, I know you’re going to love Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline. With over 800 5-star reviews on Ulta, I’m definitely not the only one raving about this drugstore mascara. It brings volume, it doesn’t clump, and it adds drama to your eyes without looking too over-the-top.
See the difference, and try out the Lash Sensational Mascara for yourself.
2. CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
Ulta Price: $8.99
I brought this mascara on vacation with me last month, and I absolutely love how easy it is to apply.
Again, ideally suited for those who like a voluminous mascara look, this drugstore find delivers that wide-eyed look.
In particular, I reach for this product when I’m looking for something that I know is not going to smudge, and it’s my absolute favorite mascara for bringing on vacation when I know I’m going to be swimming (I’ll get it in waterproof in this case).
If you have an upcoming vacation planned and you need a drugstore mascara that will withstand heat and water, this is my favorite option.
Best Drugstore Lipstick
1. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
Ulta Price: $6.50
If you’re on the hunt for a drugstore lipstick that is both matte and not overly drying, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream.
While the formula of this “lipstick” is certainly not your standard lipstick, it’s the perfect mix between a lip gloss and a lipstick. Plus, once you apply it, you can barely feel it and it dries down perfectly smooth and matte.
Personally, I’m not always a fan of a fully matte lipstick so I might add a dab of a gloss underneath the lip cream, but that’s totally preference.
Trust me, this is one of those products that you have to try for yourself to experience this unique formula. And, with 22 shades to choose from, ranging from moody reds to flirty pinks, I don’t think you’ll have any problem finding the perfect shade for you.
2. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
Ulta Price: $8.49
For a lipstick that is more traditional in formula, I highly recommend testing out the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick.
Infused with vitamin E and Avocado Oil for a lush and moisturized look, this is one of those lipstick you put on and instantly feel good about (anyone else absolutely hate drying lipsticks?).
Build the color for a bold look, or swipe on a dash of pretty pink for a boost of color. Either way, you’ve got 49 on-trend colors to choose from that will instantly upgrade your makeup.
Best Drugstore Lip Gloss
1. NYX Butter Gloss
I’ll be upfront here: The Butter Gloss can be a bit sticky on the lips. If you don’t like that traditional sticky gloss feeling, this might not be the gloss for you.
Having said that, if you like hydrated lips that look lush and perfectly plump, I know you’ll absolutely love the butter gloss.
At only $5, the formula of this gloss is silky, while also being hydrating to give your lips that kissable feel. Not to mention, with a price like that you can try multiple shades and mix-and-match to find color combinations you love.
I absolutely adore the Butter Gloss, and if you like quick and easy-to-wear color, I think you will too.
2. Milani Keep It Full Lip Plumper
Ulta Price: $8.99
Staying with that light, hydrating, natural makeup look that I love so much, the Milani Keep It Full Lip Plumper is also a great option for a drugstore lip gloss.
In particular, I love this lip gloss because it boosts collagen to help with anti-aging, while also simultaneously locking in moisture through the use of hyaluronic acid (if you pay attention at all to skincare and anti-aging then you’ll know how important hyaluronic acid is for a good anti-aging skincare routine).
If you want a non-sticky lipgloss that will make your lips both look and feel plump, I highly recommend giving this gloss a try.
Best Drugstore Brow Pencil
1. NYX MicroBrow Pencil
Ulta Price: $10
I’ve only got one drugstore eyebrow pencil recommendation for you, and that’s because there’s no other brow pencil that I think stands up against this baby.
I am one-hundred percent loyal to the NYX MicroBrow Pencil. With a super skinny tip, it’s insanely easy to fill in your brows with this pencil (and this is coming from someone who notoriously does not have the most steady hands… you should see me try to paint my nails, omg).
Also, as I mentioned, I’m very much all about natural looking makeup, so if you don’t want your brows to look too intense and you’re just looking for something to help fill in sparse areas, like myself, I know you’ll love this drugstore find.
Try one of the eight shades today, and I’ve got a strong suspicion you’ll be doing away with your more pricey eyebrow pencils.
And there you have it: your easy-to-shop list of best drugstore makeup.
If you’re still overwhelmed, these are three products I would suggest starting out with. They are must-haves in my opinion.
Top 3 Best Drugstore Makeup Products
There are, of course, many more categories of makeup we could get into, like setting sprays, lip liners, and false lashes just to name a few, but, if you know me and this blog, you’ll know I’m all about simple, natural beauty, so I tried to make this list more suited for everyday.
I hope you find something on it that can help make your makeup routine that much better!
The Best Drugstore Makeup Brand
As mentioned, you’ll also likely take notice that there are a lot of NYX products on this list, and that largely just has to do with the reliability of NYX. They’ve never done me wrong when it comes to drugstore makeup, and I feel confident saying they’re the best drugstore makeup brand out there. Maybelline comes in close second, but, when in doubt, go with NYX.
All that being said, if you have any best drugstore makeup favorites that you’d like to add to this list, feel free to leave them down below in the comments.
I always love hearing about people’s personal favorites!
Oh, and if you found these drugstore makeup recommendations helpful, feel free to save this image on Pinterest and share it with your friends. It’s always appreciated, xx