22 Inexpensive Beauty Products That Actually Work

Drugstore finds that won’t break the bank.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

1. NYX Matte Lipsticks

The super-pigmented shades range from everyday neutrals to not-subtle-at-all brights. They have a creamy application and — unlike most mattes — won’t dry out your lips. $6 here.

2. Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner

Glides on smoothly, stays put all day, and the easy twist-up packaging lets you ditch the sharpener. $8 here.

3. Milani Baked Blush

Luminoso is the most popular — for a subtle flush that’s flattering on almost any skin tone. $8 here.

4. Blistex Lip Medex

This tingly balm is a serious, no-frills hydrator for chapped lips. (Though to some, the menthol scent might be off-putting.) Less than $2 here.

5. Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover


Three cheers for any product that a) easily removes eye makeup in a single swipe, b) doesn’t feel oily and greasy afterward, and c) doesn’t eventually dry out your skin. Two options under $8: liquid or lotion.

6. Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Topcoat

The quickest way to stretch the shelf life of a DIY drugstore mani? Top it with a swipe of this. $6 here.

7. Revlon “Just Bitten” Lip Stain

It goes on almost sheer — so you can apply on the go and not worry about the precision that usually comes along with pencil products. But true to the stain in its name, colors are buildable and they stay on for hours. $7 here.

8. Maybelline Mascara


You can’t wrong with either of these: Maybelline Great Lash has been around forever, and for good reason. Similarly, Full ‘n Soft has a legion of fans, like Lauren Conrad, who swear by the stuff. Get them here and here for $7.

9. Garnier BB Cream

It has a built-in SPF for everyday wear, blends easily, and isn’t drying — although coverage leans more toward the sheer side. $13 here.

10. L’Oréal Infallible Eyeshadow


Find more swatches here and here. These $8 shadows aren’t messing around when it comes to ultra-pigmented color, though you’ll want to prime your lids first with a good base.

11. e.l.f. Eyelid Primer

…Like this one! Less than $2 here.

12. Wet ‘n’ Wild Mega Last Lip Color

These $2 long-wearing mattes come in several shades that mirror high-end versions, like Stoplight Red, which is a ringer for MAC’s Ruby Woo. (You can find a longer list of dupes here.)

13. Purpose Cleansing Wash & Moisturizer


A lightweight, hypoallergenic duo that’s gentle enough to use daily, even for those with sensitive skin. (And the lotion — perfect as a base — has built-in SPF.) $7 and $9 here and here.

14. e.l.f. High Definition Powder


The loose, lightweight finishing powder goes on translucent, and reviewers dub it as a worthy dupe of Makeup Forever’s Microfinish Powder — at a fraction of the cost. $6 here.

15. NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder

Everything you need for perfectly set brows: two brushes (angled and spoolie), clear wax, and coordinating brow powders. $6 here.

16. Batiste Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is already a godsend. But when it comes in different scents and colors (so that you’re not frantically combing out every last bit of white), it’s even better. $8 here.

17. Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel (as a Primer)


Chafing gel as a primer might sound bizarre, but it works. Bloggers vouch for Monistat’s powder gel as fully comparable to Smashbox’s Photo Finish primer — for much, much cheaper. $7 here.

18. Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer

A solid 2-in-1 concealer and highlighter for the undereye area — with the slight downside being the built-in applicator brush, which tends to sop up product. $6 here.

19. Sinful Colors Nail Polishes


Essie and O.P.I. are already prime drugstore buys, but the $8 bottles can add up quickly. Sinful Colors retails for closer to $2, has similar wear, and comes in a wide range of colors. Some MakeupAlley reviewers say that consistency can vary, so for best results, layer up and finish with topcoat.

20. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm


The original for everyday hydration, and the tinted version for when you want a hint of color. (Also worth noting? Burt himself is pretty great too.) $3 and $7 here.

21. L’Oréal Studio Secrets Anti-Redness Primer

The green helps color-correct redness and blemishes, and acts as an even base so that your concealer stays put on top of it. $11 here.

22. Tweezerman Tweezers

Plain and simple: These are the best tweezers out there. (Their secret: a super-sharp slant that lets you grab onto even the tiniest of hairs.) The full-size version usually tops $20 at Sephora, but the mini pair is a few bucks cheaper and works just as well. $13 here.


Wet ‘n’ Wild Mega Last Lip Color (#12) was originally listed at Amazon for $7, but can actually be found for $2. Happy shopping!

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