Makeup,  Makeup Products

Best Drugstore Makeup Under $10 – Ultimate Makeup Guide

From the champagne highlighter (that Jaclyn Hill introduced everyone to) to the blur primer that makes your pores look non-existent, here is the ultimate guide of the best drugstore makeup products under $10 that won’t break the bank.


best drugstore makeup ultimate makeup guide

Ride or Die Best Drugstore Makeup Under $10

Most of these products are well under $10 especially considering the fact that the thrifter in me always has a coupon or two. These are my ride or die products not just because they work for the price. All of these compete with my higher end products. I have become so attached to these products that my expensive makeup looks at me forlorn at not being used.

best drugstore bronzer


best drugstore makeup bronzer
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You’ll find this product under $6 at CVS or Target. With coupons and regular deals at the drugstore (especially CVS) this bronzer is the cheapest thing to go for. I can’t restock it enough number of times because it comes in beautiful, flattering shades.

It is pigmented enough to show up gorgeously on my skin and give me that sunkissed look I crave for (I don’t much get the sun). With 4 shades, the shade range leaves a lot to be desired from this cult drugstore bronzer. If you can find a shade, grab it when you can. It’s the best drugstore makeup bronzer there is.


best drugstore makeup bronzer
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I’ll be honest with you – I hate shimmer bronzers. I have so much texture on my face, shimmer just gives them the limelight they so want and I so hate. But this one from ELF just has the right amount of sheen that even someone with my problematic skin issues can use. It gives you that subtle sunkissed goddess look with a hint of shimmer. The price is the best – $3.00.

The best thing about this bronzer is that it works for sensitive skin and doesn’t break me out. It blends like a dream and has a satin finish.


best drugstore makeup contour bronzer
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If you love matte bronzers like me, you’ll love this one and it’s around $9 on NYX’s website. It clings all day long and doesn’t disappear. You can’t use this one for contouring (I wouldn’t recommend using any bronzer for contouring, honestly). It comes in 5 shades so like most drugstore products, the shade range leaves a lot to be desired.

I used to have a Guerlain bronzer that was matte as well but obviously super expensive. This one is a close dupe for Guerlain, except that bronzer wasn’t as pigmented. Also, the blendability was better with the Guerlain bronzer but, for the price, NYX does an amazing job. Use it with a light hand and build up to deal with the pesky blending issue.

best drugstore blushes


best drugstore makeup blush
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No drugstore list is complete without this gorgeous blush that looks as good as it applies. It is super blendable and comes in 4 shades. Believe it or not, those 4 shades encompass a lot of skintones and varying undertones in them. I am yet to find a person who doesn’t like this beautiful drugstore find. It is priced at $9 on the Milani website.

My favorite shades are Coral Cove and Romantic Rose. I like that it feels buttery on the skin, and layers well with other products. It stays for almost 6 hours on my oily skin. For me, this is the best drugstore makeup blush.


best drugstore makeup blush
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I have a zealot-like obsession with makeup that has some skincare benefits as well. This drugstore blush from Neutrogena hits me right in the spot. It has Vitamin C which brightens the complexion and it is pretty creamy as well.

I love this blush because it is quite natural and easy to blend. Essentially, you can use this on no makeup or minimal makeup days. It stays on for quite a while as well and I’ve never had any issues related to breakouts with this one.


best drugstore makeup blush
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No one, and I mean no one, can compete with ColourPop in terms of shade range. I have a lot of their blushes and shadows and never have I felt that they weren’t catering to my skin tone. It’s an amazing brand that becomes even better when you look at their pricing.

The Super Shock blushes come in 16 shades – from light to dark. The blushes are amazingly pigmented and the pan sizes are massive (imo). I am yet to hit pan on any of these. This is one of the best drugstore makeup blushes in the cruelty free range.

best drugstore highlighters


best drugstore makeup highlighter
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When the aliens look down from space, I’m pretty sure they’ll see this highlighter shining on your cheekbones before the sun. This is a full volt highlighter that is pretty in-your-face. I don’t normally go for highlighters such as these but there is no denying that it is simply the best drugstore makeup highlighter there is.

There are currently two shades in this and I prefer the ‘Molten Gold’. Applied with a fan brush with a light hand on top of the cheekbones, it shines magnificently when the light hits the face.


best drugstore makeup highlighter
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Coming in 6 shades and what is quite possibly Unicorn Essence, this highlighter is the most pigmented thing in the market. Honestly, MannyMUA’s head would be blown! It’s only $4.99 and the pan size is great for just sticking your beauty blender in there.

I love Wet N Wild for how great their quality has become over the years, this one is another gem that will forever stay in my makeup drawer for when I need that bling on my face.


best drugstore makeup highlighter
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I know ColourPop’s Super Shock highlighters might be in the makeup bag of everyone and their grandmother but I like the pressed powders for a subtle highlight. These are really pretty on no makeup days and my favorite shade is “Bae Area” and “Happy Camper”.

These blend really easily and if you’re on the lookout for a multipurpose highlighter that would also work as a shimmering bronzer, this is the best drugstore makeup highlighter under $10 that is cruelty free.

best drugstore face powders


best drugstore makeup powder
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I was introduced to this amazing powder by Tati Westbrook (@glamlifeguru on YouTube) and I have never looked back. This amazing powder comes in a massive tub of 2.3oz and it will set everything on your face. It is perfect for baking under the eyes and below the contour.

The transluscent version is the best one and I have not experienced any flashback with this powder. You can use the yellow powder for under eye baking as well. It’s the best drugstore makeup loose powder.


best drugstore makeup matte powder
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I usually get this powder under $4 from Target and I love the price point of this extremely buttery powder. It is perfect for setting under-eye concealer, even the super creamy ones that always crease. I prefer this over the Coty Airspun because it keeps me matte all day long. It doesn’t emphasise the dry patches on my skin (thanks retinol!) and it’s easily available.

This is the best drugstore makeup pressed powder and it comes in 8 shades. Despite the impressive shade range, the shades stop somewhere around medium skintone (the one dark one they have is too pink).

ELF High Definition Powder ($2.99)

best drugstore makeup powder undereye setting powder
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This is a teeny tiny tub of HD powder that does flashback a lot so beware of that. It gives a nice satin finish to the entire look and comes in three shades – translucent, yellow, and shimmer. It doesn’t break me out and I use it more as a finishing powder than an overall setting powder.

Use this powder to get clean edges for your contour under the cheekbones. I like that it comes in a small size because I end up replacing it often (as you should with all your makeup).

best drugstore foundation


best drugstore makeup foundation
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This is the OG of foundation recommendations. Maybelline’s Matte + Poreless foundation is the perfect medium coverage foundation for a regular work day. It doesn’t look cakey and doesn’t wear off under the 8 hour mark. This foundation has a satiny matte finish. The best thing is the shade range, though. It comes with an astounding variety of options so everyone has a shade to try out.

You can make the foundation more matte by topping it up with a matte setting powder and matte finishing spray but I’d recommend being properly moisturized before you put this one on. It can, sometimes, emphasise dry patches if your skin isn’t exfoliated and moisturized beforehand.


cheap best drugstore makeup
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Because this was my first foundation and I found it amidst some difficult acne stages in my life, it has a special place in my heart. This will cover everything and a bit more. The best thing about this foundation is that it wears effortlessly without creasing or wearing off for 12 hours. It doesn’t look cakey if you use a beauty blender.

It is super matte though, so make sure you use a hydrating makeup mist on top. The price point is great for the coverage it offers and you can count on it for special events. I find the shade range a bit tricky to manoeuvre and I personally use two shades mixed to get the one that’s right for me.


best drugstore makeup foundation affordable foundation
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The recent full full coverage foundation that also works as a concealer – Milani 2 in 1 Conceal + Perfect. Although I wouldn’t recommend using it as a concealer under the eyes because it might crease in that area, I love that it hides all my acne scars perfectly. There are 18 shades of this foundation and it’s priced fairly at $10.

For me, this is the best drugstore makeup foundation because it doesn’t break me out and offers the best coverage. It is very thick in texture so if you don’t need that kind of coverage, thin it out with a beauty oil or moisturizer. Since it is extremely matte, I’d also use a hydrating setting spray before and after this foundation.

Need more foundation recs? Check out this Ultimate Drugstore Foundation Guide – Everything under $10

best drugstore concealer


best drugstore makeup concealer
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This is a ride or die product for most makeup bloggers and beauty gurus. I once got my makeup done for an event and the makeup artist preferred this over the Tarte shape tape. It’s such an awesome product and one of the best drugstore makeup concealers because it is non drying for the under eyes.

It won’t crease on you and it gives an “I just woke up from the best night’s sleep” look. I like that it comes in my exact concealer/highlight shade but generally, the shade range used to be abysmal for this cult product. They have recently added a few more shades for darker skin tones but still a long way to go.


best drugstore makeup concealer
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This is a recent addition in my drugstore concealer gems drawer and I love it because it’s medium to full coverage. You always need a creamy concealer like this in your makeup kit for those natural makeup days. Colourpop’s No Filter concealer will turn your eyes into Instagram viral posts (or so the title suggests to me). Amazingly, it offers great coverage without being too matte for the under eye area.

I adore this concealer because it works doubly as an eye shadow base. It’ll make your eye shadow last for a long time and it’ll also brighten up the center of your face when used as a highlight. The shade range isn’t that good as I use their second to last shade and I’m medium skin tone.


best drugstore makeup concealer
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This is the OG of concealers that is super cheap, comes with a glorious applicator, and doesn’t crease or crack. It will hide everything – from your debts to bad decisions. LA Girl Pro Concealer has so many shades, you are bound to find the exact match. This brand takes care of all its customers – all the skin tones you can find.

They also have some bomb color correctors that you can use if your under eyes are extra dark. I have about 7 or 8 of these for every need imaginable. Yeah, I’m a hoarder but this concealer really is that good.

best drugstore primer


best drugstore makeup primer
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This primer is a perfect dupe for the Benefit Porefessional. It will honestly blur away any enlarged pores you have on your cheeks, around the nostrils, and between the brows. I use this especially for the deep acne pits I have and it does a masterful job at filling them in.

Don’t use this all over your face, just on your problem areas or it might break you out. This primer is the best drugstore makeup primer for pore blurring. It has a slippy, silicone texture that all pore filling primers do and it is a fave!


best drugstore makeup primer
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This one comes in 3 shades – green (for dealing with redness), radiant glow (glowy primer), and clear (regular primer) and my preferred one is the clear option. Not only do these have a great price point but all of them actually do what they promise.

This is the best drugstore makeup primer for you if you’re looking for something affordable that will blur away the imperfections and provide a great base for the rest of your makeup. It is a makeup essential for me.


best drugstore makeup primer
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This may not be the best drugstore makeup primer for you if you have extremely oily skin but it works great for both dry and combo skin. It’s another pore refining and texture blurring primer that is heaven sent for someone like me with some mega texture issues to hide.

It is a perfect dupe for the Tarte Timeless primer and if you had your eye on that, I’d check this one out first before shelling the extra bucks. It is cruelty free as well.

best drugstore brow pencil


best drugstore makeup eyebrow pencil
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In my opinion, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil is a close dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz and is a much better product. My brow wiz didn’t last for even a month and I could swear that I wasn’t using that much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product but the pencil gets over so soon because of its waxy texture. I am not the only one who has this problem either.

The micro brow pencil comes with a tiny tip so you can mimic the eyebrow hairs where they are sparse and get defined but soft brows with a bit of blending. There is a spoolie at the end of the pencil. I don’t think I’ll ever find a brow product as great as this one. It is definitely the best drugstore makeup brow pencil there is.


best drugstore makeup eyebrow powder
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If brow powders are your thing and you don’t like the harshness of brow pencils, this is your best best. The NYX Eyebrow cake powder not only comes with two powders, it also has a pan for brow wax to set your brows after you’re done.

There are 6 shades to choose from and you get a lot of product for the low low price of $6. You won’t find a better brow powder than this one if you’re looking for multiple shades and wax – it’s the best bang for your buck.


best drugstore makeup eyebrow kit
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This is a unique product that is only – you read that right – $3!! How crazy is that? It comes with a colored wax and a powder. I use the wax to comb through my brows and then I’ll set it with the powder. Often, I’ll just use the wax for feathery brows.

The ELF Eyebrow kit comes in 4 shades – light, medium, dark, and ash. I love the color choices in this – there’s something for everyone here.

best drugstore lipsticks


best drugstore makeup lipstick
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The creamy mattes from Maybelline are some of the best drugstore makeup lipsticks that I have found till date. I am extremely picky about lipsticks, specifically matte lipsticks. I don’t like them to be too drying, my lipsticks should not emphasise the lines on my lips, they should be long wearing, and most of all, the mattes should not be too matte.

My holy grail lipsticks are from Charlotte Tilbury but these are such a close second. For the price and the shade range, there is honestly no competition. These aren’t transfer proof but you wouldn’t find more lightweight traditional lipsticks with a matte finish. My favorite shades are – Touch of Spice, Diva Red, Brown Blush, and Almond Rose.


best drugstore makeup lipstick nude
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Rimmel London’s Kate Nudes are extremely hard to get a hold of because they are such a drugstore fave, I almost always find them sold out. If you manage to see them at your local drugstore, pick as many shades as you can and you won’t regret it. These are gorgeously creamy, and the lighter shades can work well with a darker lipliner.

Shade 43 and 45 are my personal favorites. They last for 3 to 5 hours easily on my lips and even longer if I blot them beforehand. The lipstick is also non sticky which I love, I hate sticky lipsticks. Some people might be put off by the scent but I adore it.


best drugstore makeup liquid lipstick
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Think of your dream color in a liquid lip – NYX probably has it in their soft matte lip cream collection. They had 46 shades, last I checked, and you’ll find everything here – from soft nudes to royal blues and purples. These have a creamy consistency that doesn’t dry out the lips. They are long wearing and make your lips look smooth and flawless.

The finish is a perfect matte and I love the color payoff with these affordable liquid lips. I have been spoiled so much by the NYX Soft Matte Lip creams that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using other liquid lippies unless they live up to this standard. My fave shades are Moscow, Stockholm, Zurich, Abu Dhabi, and Houston. Also, these liquid lippies are perfect for trying out some amazing lip art looks.

best drugstore lip liners


best drugstore makeup lipliner
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In lip liners, I only prefer the retractable pencils because I always lose my sharpener and there is always a lot of mess even when I have one. This pencil, however, is still too good to pass up. It’s not a creamy formula so there are no chances of it bleeding.

The main job of a lip liner is to ensure your lipstick doesn’t stray out of the lines and that job, no other lip liner does better than this one. It comes in 12 colors and the pigment is super intense.


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This is the smoothest lipliner you will ever find and Wet N Wild has really knocked it out of the park with the formula of this one. It’s like velvet on the lips and it does not emphasise the lines. The only downside is that it doesn’t come in a lot of shades.

If you’re looking for a retractable pencil liner that is creamy and smooth, this is the best drugstore makeup lip liner for you. It lasts for hours and doesn’t budge and I like wearing it on its own on my minimalist makeup days.


best drugstore makeup lip liner
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ELF is known for its affordable products and it’s such an underrated brand because people write it off as cheap makeup. This lip liner comes with a blending brush on one side that I always use for applying my depotted lipsticks. There are 10 shades in this lip liner and they are all nudes and essential shades.

All the lip liners are ultra matte and if you have super dry lips, this may not be the best drugstore makeup lip liner for you. Just exfoliate your lips beforehand and keep them moisturized, and this would be a dream to use.


best drugstore eyeshadow palettes


best drugstore makeup eyeshadow palette
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This is an essentials Nude palette from Rimmel London that comes with 12 shades. You’ll find your standard browns, taupes, greys, and beige shades in this drugstore eyeshadow palette. They also have some other palettes in the same collection – blush, smoke, and color but my fave is Nude.

Each and every shade works and there are no duds, which is a big thing for a palette that is under $10 from the drugstore. The shimmers should be applied with a wet brush and the mattes are highly blendable. If you’re an eyeshadow novice, you’ll love to have this palette in your collection.


best drugstore makeup eyeshadow palette
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ELF has always kicked it out of the park in providing value for money makeup. This palette is no different and there are a couple of ELF eyeshadow palettes that I wanted to include in this list. The Mad for Matte palette in Nude Mood is my fave and it is a fully matte palette with all the essential nudes you need.

They have multiple crease shades, lid shades, and you can get a decent everyday look from this palette. There are 10 matte shades that have a satin matte finish. This is also a handy palette to keep in your bag when you are away traveling.


best drugstore makeup eyeshadow palette
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These are small palettes with eyeshadow quads. I think this is the best drugstore makeup eyeshadow palette because the colors are super blendable. They are pigmented enough to show up but not so powdery and heavy that blending would be an issue.

There are about 17 quads you can pick from in this collection. My favorites are – Sensualize, Dramatize, Glamorize, and Optimize – but all of these are genuinely some of the best quality shadows you’ll find in the drugstore.

best drugstore eyeliners


best drugstore makeup eyeliner
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I like to smudge my liners along the lower lash line and I don’t use a black eyeshadow for it because I prefer it to be creamy. And as someone with super watery eyes, I only go for waterproof liners. Obviously, you can pick up on the fact that I am very picky with my liners.

This kohl liner is the best drugstore makeup liner in my opinion because it has never bled on me, smudged, or given me panda eyes. It is super affordable and comes in the blackest of black shades which suits me just fine. I’ll even use it for my smoky eye looks.


best drugstore makeup eyeliner
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Ask any beauty blogger or a friend who dabbles in makeup what their fave gel liner is and they will direct you to this gem from Mayeblline. It is beautifully smooth and one pot will last you for a long time. I love that it comes in a few different shades but the black one is my fave.

This will not smudge on the lower lash line and once it sets, it’s there for the whole day. It doesn’t collect in my inner corners and does not irritate my eyes like a lot of other gel liners.


best drugstore makeup eyeliner
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If you’re looking for a dependable eyeliner pen from the drugstore, I’d recommend the Eye Tech from Milani. It is super precise and it’s very easy to do a winged eyeliner look with this one. It doesn’t bleed or smudge at all.

I’ve worn this one for over 10 hours and it still looked as bright and gorgeous by the end of the day. It is very easy to do some graphic eyeliner looks with this one as well. I have been spying on a few graphic eyeliner looks on Pinterest that would be perfect to recreate with this pen.

best drugstore mascara


best drugstore makeup mascara
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This is a slightly drier mascara that will give you super separated lashes. It makes my lashes look really long and almost gives the wispy lashes effect. I am not a fan of super clumpy mascaras and the applicator helps to ensure that your lashes don’t stick together. Essentially, it’ll make you look like you have a lot more lashes than you do.

You can easily build up this mascara but because it is a drier formula, I don’t go beyond two coats. I think it might weigh down your lashes after two coats.


best drugstore makeup mascara
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This is, officially, the weirdest looking mascara wand I have ever seen. It almost looks like a weapon, not even joking, and I was genuinely afraid of poking myself in the eye when I first used it. However, once the initial fear was put aside and I actually used it, I realised that I preferred this over my ride or die fave Benefit Roller Lash mascara.

It gives you amazingly voluminous lashes that look feathery because the wand actually twists and does a good job of separating them. This is the only product from Avon that I love and I always have a replacement handy for this best drugstore makeup mascara.


best drugstore makeup mascara
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The Lash Paradise mascara might be a newer addition to my collection but it is easily one of the best drugstore mascaras you will find. It lengthens and separates but it also adds volume. It stays put for long hours spent in front of the computer (rubbing my eyes) and I love that it never flakes off on me.

You can build upto three coats with this mascara and never have an issue of weighed down lashes. This will be the best drugstore makeup mascara for you if you have too few lashes and don’t want to put on falsies. It also comes with a mascara primer that I have never used but have heard rave reviews about.

best drugstore setting spray


best drugstore makeup primer
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If you are looking for a cheap drugstore makeup setting spray, this is your best bet. It doesn’t clog pores and if you’ve had some blending issues with your makeup, this will help to even out all the mistakes. I love using this with a sponge and pushing it into my skin after my makeup is done.

If you’re especially worried about your makeup sliding off, I’d also use this right over my primer for an especially tacky base that makes your foundation cling to your skin.


best drugstore makeup primer
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This is my holy grail for keeping oil at bay. I spray this on to my makeup sponge and dab this on right after my foundation application and before all the powders. Then I’ll follow up with a fine mist after my entire face is done. It is the best drugstore makeup setting spray for oily skinned peeps and it really does keep you matte all day long.

They have a dewy version of this that all my dry skinned friends swear by. It is super cheap for how well it locks in your makeup and it also comes in a travel friendly mini size.


best drugstore makeup primer
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Looking for a makeup setting spray that does more than just set your makeup? I was too until I found this amazing facial mist that works wonderfully as a makeup setting spray. I use it before I do my makeup for some soothing action and afterwards as well. It will lock your makeup in and make everything look seamless and beautiful.

This is the best drugstore makeup setting spray for me because it has some amazing skincare benefits – it makes my skin feel super soft, helps calm the acne, and gives a refreshing lift to my makeup when I need it.


I know that this list doesn’t include a lot of cult products but that’s because I could only include so many good ones before my poor fingers tired out of typing too much. A few honorable mentions – Makeup Geek’s eyeshadow singles, almost every mascara from L’Oreal and Maybelline, Essence lip pencils that work great as lip creams when you need something long lasting, Wet N’ Wild Contour and Highlight Palette, and so many more.

There are a few more categories I wanted to include here – eye primers, for instance. Personally, I don’t much care for them because my concealers do the trick just fine in making my shadows last longer. I might come back and put it back in for those of you who need some good eye primer recommendations.

Looking for some great makeup dupes for high end brands recommended by makeup artists? Check this out.

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