What Makeup Should You Be Buying At The Drugstore?

Makeup shopping at the drugstore? We can help. Here's how to know what makeup to buy at a drugstore

Here's what makeup to shop for at the drugstore

Beauty is a $445 billion industry. And it’s no wonder, makeup is essential to a lot of women and good quality makeup happens to be rather expensive. If you are anything like me, you are all about beauty on a budget. Is it really necessary to spend $50 on lipstick? Drugstore makeup is way more affordable than high-end products, but sometimes you get what you pay for. The good news for us beauty bargainers is that many big cosmetic companies own their high-end brand and drugstore brands. This means that a lot of the makeup formulas are made in the same laboratories with the same ingredients.

So what products should you splurge on and what products can you buy at a drugstore for a lot cheaper and still get great results from? Read on to learn what type of makeup you should buy at a drugstore.

Drugstore Winners

Tinted moisturizer: Especially in the summertime, tinted moisturizer tends to be the only thing I wear on my face. It is much lighter than foundation and most can still provide a little bit of coverage. I also like the glow that tinted moisturizer adds when you step into the sunlight. I have tried a few tinted moisturizers from the drugstore that I absolutely loved.

Mascara: Mascara is the essential of essentials. If I wear one product and one product only — it’s mascara. This means that I go through mascara pretty quickly. So if I were to buy a high-end brand, I would be spending twenty bucks every month, just on mascara. I will take the two margaritas at dinner instead, thank you very much. I have used the same mascara religiously for more than a decade and it costs $8 from the drugstore.

Concealer: Concealer is a product that I actually am willing to spend more on because I am applying it to the very delicate skin around my eyes. So, I want something that not only covers dark circles and blemishes but something that’s good for my skin, too. At drugstores, you will notice a lot of the brands make cosmetic products AND skin care products. A lot of them will use the same ingredients and technology to create both products. I would just make sure you are reading labels and choosing one that is healthy.

Eyeliner: This is another product that I use too quickly to spend the big bucks on. Many professional makeup artists claim that drugstore eyeliner is very similar to department stores.

Nail Polish: I don’t think I have ever purchased nail polish anywhere besides a drugstore. They sell the favorites like OPI and Esse, so I’m not sure why you would choose to buy nail polish from a salon or beauty store. You can even find quality formulas that are free of harmful ingredients at drugstores.

Lip Balm: Most lip balms and chapsticks have similar ingredients, but this is another one that I would make sure you are purchasing a good quality with pure ingredients. The good news is that drugstores have plenty to choose from.

Lipstick: I have purchased expensive lipstick, and I would again if I find a color that I just have to have, especially to get a brand that uses pure ingredients. Many drugstore brands have some of the best lipsticks and matte lip gloss that I have ever used. Including the kind that doesn’t budge. Again, be careful with your ingredients because the lipstick ends up in your mouth and into your body.

Makeup Remover: There are many different types of makeup removers that are specific to your skin type and what you are wanting to achieve with the product (other than taking off your makeup, of course). Fortunately, the drugstore has just about all of them. You can even buy makeup wipes in bulk and save even more money.

False Eyelashes: Oh my goodness. This is another that I just don’t understand why you would buy it from anywhere but a drugstore. I guess if you are having your makeup done and they upsell you to buy lashes and apply them for you. But if you are applying them yourself, don’t waste your money on buying false eyelashes directly from the department store. Drugstores have a HUGE selection of false eyelashes and they are a lot less expensive.

Eyebrow Makeup: I guess this product depends on how dedicated you are to your eyebrows. I take mine pretty seriously, however, the few times I have chosen an expensive eyebrow pencil, it has lasted me a month. Currently, I use a drugstore powder that has lasted me over a year, I apply it almost every day and it was a third of the price.


The only products that I splurge on just about every time, are foundation and eyeshadow. I have tried and tested drugstore brands but they don’t last long enough, match well enough, or make my skin feel good enough. They are the two products that I don’t blow through super quickly and are worth it to me to splurge on a high-quality brand.

A good rule of thumb when buying new cosmetics is if you can’t justify spending a lot on an item you go through quickly, head to the drugstore. Items that you know will last a long time and you want the assurance that they are high-quality, head to the beauty or department store.

Resources — Cosmo, Better Home & Garden, Byrdie, NY Times

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