Makeup addiction is a very real and highly expensive habit. A decent foundation alone can run you over $35. How’s a modern lady supposed to stock her makeup bag when contending with such outrageous pricing trends?
Simple: figure out the best drugstore brand alternatives, and skip that Sephora line altogether.
Here are some of the best cheap beauty buys out there, along with some real-life testimonials. The next time you go makeup shopping, try out some of these frugal dupes — and use that extra to treat yourself to a swanky cocktail, instead.
Or, you know, Pay your electric bill. Your choice.
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1. E.l.f. Expert Liquid Liner, $1.90
Amazon reviewer ctsurv553 says:”This is my go-to liner. It applies very smoothly and easily, the applicator is easy to hold and guide, and the product lasts a reasonable amount of time for a non-waterproof type.”
One Amazon Customer wrote: “I really like this palette. Colors are soft and blendable. Lots of shades to choose from!”
3. Milani Eyeshadow Primer, $8
Amazon reviewer Nikki writes: “I was hesitant on buying this product after the horrible experiences I had in the past with primer and given its cheap price, I wasn’t expecting much. I bought it and I got more than my money’s worth. This stuff is fantastic! My eye makeup did not budge for the whole day and to really see if it was worth its salt, I went to sleep with my makeup on. It was only slightly smudged when I woke up.”
4. Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso, $10
Amazon reviewer Sarah wrote: “… The blush in the pan looked like a warm baby pink color. When I put Luminoso on my face, however, it turned into this super natural peachy pink and gave me this glow-from-within that everybody’s always trying to achieve. I look so healthy and radiant with this blush.”
Amazon reviewer Sophie Jacqueline says: “Makeup wear folks, use this amazing stuff as a primer. The glycerin in it makes foundation stick to your skin. Apply a quarter size amount and rub in skin until the smell is gone and the texture is tacky. Awesome!”
Amazon reviewer Jessica S. says: “I have been using MAC concealer for years and didn’t think it could get any better. On some random whim, I decided to try this one and I love it more than my MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer NC15. It’s emollient and creamy so it never gets flaky.”
7. Colourpop Liquid Lipsticks, $14
Amazon reviewer Heather Hansen writes: “I receive endless compliments on it. The pigment is strong and doesn’t even require lip liner. It stays quite a while and is an incredible product for that price. This is pretty much my everyday color because of how much I love it!”
8. EcoTools Makeup Brushes, $10
Amazon reviewer Michelle says: “After years of buying very expensive designer brushes I thought I would try an earth friendly and cheaper alternative. I was very impressed! These are the best brushes I have ever used! I will never purchase the expensive brushes again! Well worth it!”
Amazon reviewer Becky writes: “Let me start by saying I’ve used a few beauty sponges and know that the one raved about is the Beauty Blender, but there is no way I am paying $20 for a sponge! NO WAY! So I looked online for recommendations for a good dupe and found many Youtube makeup women say this one was almost better. I think I would agree. THE FLAT SIDE IS INGENIOUS!!”
10. E.l.f. Makeup Mist and Set Spray, $3
Amazon reviewer Bree writes: “I tried this setting spray this whole week and my shine has decreased so much I only had to give myself a dab on the nose once and when I did hardly any make up was on the tissue. THAT IS AMAZING.”
11. NYX Cosmetics Blotting Powder, $12
Amazon reviewer L. Owens says: “I love it. Really smooths out complexion and sets foundation. Doesn’t gather in wrinkles, doesn’t dry or cling to already dry patches and doesn’t cause breakouts, doesn’t smell. Quality compact too with a good large mirror.”
Amazon reviewer Green Eyes writes: “I have tried just about every L’Oreal mascara. This is by far the best. This alone has given me more compliments on my eyes and eyelashes than anything else. More than once I have been asked if my eyelashes were real or not. Thank you, L’Oreal.”
Amazon reviewer Britany A. Manning writes: “HOLY GRAIL!! (Ever) since I have gotten this foundation I have not reached for my expensive MAC foundation at all. This foundation fits me perfectly and really helps fill my massive pores and the color match is perfect.”
14. NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick, $6
Amazon reviewer Savannah M. writes:” I like this lipstick a lot. The ‘butter’ aspect of it makes it very smooth and it doesn’t cake on your lips. It’s kind of like a tinted lip balm in that you can layer it so that you only have a little color or a lot of color.”
15. NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil, $8
Amazon reviewer vaseymay says: “Great brow product! Color matches me perfectly. It’s been hard for me to find a good product, but this is the one. Great dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz.”
16. NYX Cosmetics Illuminator, $16
Amazon reviewer Aimee Kitchener says: “After ordering this I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER! Seriously! Buy it now! Stop thinking! … You will look fine as hell. I have a fat face and I feel like friggin’ Beyoncé in it.”