There are two types of people in the world: those who are willing to spend their entire paycheck on makeup, and those who are not.
Just kidding… kind of.
I know that not everybody is makeup-obsessed like me, and that for some, it’s just not worth the money (or the trip to the mall). And that’s okay! You can have a solid skincare and makeup routine from the drugstore, but if you’re thinking about investing, there are definitely some types of product that are worth your money (and others that probably aren’t).
Where to Spend:
Skincare: Obviously, this isn’t makeup, but I thought it was worth mentioning. My skincare routine isn’t super luxurious. In fact, I use a lot of drugstore products (brands like Neutrogena and Aveeno are staples for me). However, in my experience, it’s worth paying to make sure you have every step in your routine. For me, a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer are all essential. I like to have some extra serums, face masks, and acne treatments, too, but a daily routine is essential. Also, if you’re wearing a full face of makeup, make sure you have makeup remover or wipes to take it all off before you delve into your skincare routine.
Foundation: As much as I love an affordable foundation, I truly believe it is the most worthwhile investment in makeup. Your skin is literally the “foundation” of your makeup look, whether you’re into full-coverage glam or no-makeup-makeup. Going from a lightweight BB Cream to a medium coverage foundation makes your look more formal for a going-out night, even if nothing else changes. Plus, your foundation is on your skin, so it’s super important that it doesn’t clog your pores. If you have a high-end foundation that has skincare components, even better.
Concealer: Sort of the same as foundation. While I have tried many great drugstore concealers, I find that my eyes are very sensitive, so a concealer with high quality ingredients is worth it for me.
Highlighter: I don’t think I’ve ever finished a highlighter. Ever. Which is sort of crazy for me, because (despite the enormity of my collection) I actually go through a fair amount of makeup. I just have never found a drugstore highlighter that performs like my high-end highlighters, which are always more finely-milled and luxurious. Plus, they last forever. One highlight will go for years, I swear.
Where to Save:
Mascara: Unless you have super-sensitive eyes, there are so many good drugstore mascaras. Plus, mascara just doesn’t last that long. A tube will inevitably dry out in a few months, so you can save your money on this one.
Brow Pencil: Drugstore brow pencils just seem to keep getting better and better, and while a luxury brow product may be tempting, you can get great brows with a drugstore option. My current drugstore favorite is the L.A. Girl Slim Shady Brow Pencil.
Lip Liner: I’ve been a fan of lip liners since before the Kardashians made them cool, and since I’ve been a lip liner connoisseur since middle school, I can honestly say that I think drugstore lip liners are just fine. Sure, nothing beats a MAC lip pencil, but the NYX lip pencils come pretty darn close.
Powder: At the end of the day, setting powder is pretty basic. Sure, it can get really luxe, but a basic powder like the Coty Airspun or RCMA No Color Powder is hard to beat, not to mention innovative formulas from the drugstore like Maybelline Better Skin and Wet N Wild Photo Focus.
Everything else is up to you, based your preferences as well as skin/eye sensitivity! I love high quality makeup, but I’ve found some incredible drugstore/affordable makeup. For example, the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Lip Ink is basically the perfect liquid lipstick formula, and the Colourpop pressed powder eyeshadows are divine.
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