A Guide to Buying Drugstore Makeup

 In Tips & Tricks

Navigating the overwhelming drugstore makeup aisles can be like managing your Netflix queue — you know there’s tons of good stuff in there, but where to start? The good news is, there are plenty of treasures that rival the more expensive department store makeup brands. You just need a guide on cutting through the clutter. Whether you’re starting your makeup collection from scratch, restocking your current one with more budget-friendly options, or just looking for some winners to add to your daily lineup, consider these buys.




The foundation of many makeup bags is, well, foundation. Revlon’s ColorStay formula is one of the most popular drugstore foundations sold in the United States. Beyond shade-matching, you can choose between options for normal to dry skin or normal to oily skin to make sure it’s the right fit for your complexion.

Revlon ColorStay Makeup, $8.79, available at Target.







The handy crayon tip of this concealer makes it a cinch to apply and blend. There’s enough pigment to cover dark circles and blemishes, and it has a hint of luminosity so it never looks chalky. Celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher says she keeps this in her bag for touch-ups and uses it as a highlighter as well as a concealer.

Physicians Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Stick, $7.77, available at Walgreens.




Primer/Highlighterimage 9.55.21 AM
Celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles compares this mass-market formula to the super-luxurious Tom Ford luminizer. The primer preps skin for smooth makeup application, but the multitasking potential is what truly makes it a must-have. L’Oréal Lumi Magique Primer, $11.66, available at Drugstore.com.





You don’t need a complicated contouring kit to try the image-1 9.40.40 AM
technique. Stern says the darker shade can be swept on to contour the cheekbones and jawline, while the peach blush is a fresh and natural option for every day. E.L.F. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in St. Lucia, $2.99, available at Target.




Whether you ask makeup artists or check drugstore image-1sales stats, CoverGirl pretty much owns the mascara marketplace. And this version is especially a crowd-pleaser: More than 7.5 million tubes of this top-selling formula are sold per year. COVERGIRL LashBlast Volume Mascara, $7.79, available at Drugstore.com.


Your go-to liner should be versatile, and this gel formula fits the bill. The four rich shades set toimage-1 a long-wearing, shiny finish that lasts a whopping 24 hours. (Though we do recommend washing it off before bed.) This is one of the most popular makeup items sold at CVS across the board. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, $9.99, available at CVS.


Eyeshadow Paletteimage-1

No need to scour the shelves for shadows that will work for your skin tone. This palette offers a dozen perfectly pigmented shades of soft pink, brown, tan, bronze, and taupe in a flattering finish. Use a wet brush to take these silky powders from day to night, or layer them for added intensity. Sonia Kashuk Neutral Shimmer 3 Palette, $19.99, available at Target.


Brow Pencil

Brow products can be tricky to find at the drugstore, as many of the shades tend to skew too dark or too warm. Not these.image

The eight hues of Nyx’s micro brow pencils include auburn, ashy blond, and taupe. And, the superfine pencil and accompanying spoolie brush allow for the most natural-looking application. Nyx Micro Brow Pencil, $10, available at Nyx Cosmetics.



Powder can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Neutrogena uses finely milled powders with rice proteins to absorb excess oils and blend seamlessly without caking. It’s one of the top five face products sold at CVS. Neutrogena Shine Control Powder Invisible, $12.99, available at Drugstore.com.


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By: Liesa Goins



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