Skip To Content

    I Tried 10 Cheap Products Beauty Addicts Swear By And Actually Found Stuff I Like

    Cuz I got caviar taste on a tuna fish budget!

    Hey there! I'm Patrice, a beauty writer here at BuzzFeed. I love looking like a million bucks. But ya know what I love even MORE? Telling you how very little I spent on my faux-boujee beat.

    Patrice Peck

    What's that, you say? You really like my lipstick? OMGTHX IT'S ONLY $6!!!

    And it turns out I'm not alone on my quest for thrifty glam! When we asked makeup addicts of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their fave cheap beauty products, they came alllll the way through. So, I decided to test out some of their picks to see which ones every beauty lover needs ASAP.

    Rimmel Fix And Perfect Pro Primer and Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation are an iconic duo that blocks shine like a bawse...

    Patrice Peck

    So I've heard primers fill in fine lines, smooth out pores, and even out your complexion for a fresh faced look. Personally, I've never felt the need to add yet another product to my daily 5-step routine. I'm what you might call a low-maintenance (i.e. lazy) makeup gal.

    But when BuzzFeed user adw1234 said that she literally couldn't live without Rimmel's Fix & Perfect Pro Primer, I decided to start wearing it under my Maybelline FIT Me Matte foundation. Final verdict? Believe the hype, folks! This primer + foundation combo really does help me achieve a flawless matte, yet still dewy, finish that lasts from A.M. to P.M. Welcome to my daily routine, primer ;-)

    Get the foundation for $5.69 and the primer for $7.59 at Amazon.

    ...And a few sprays of e.l.f. Matte Magic Mist & Set Spray will keep it that way from 9 to 5 (and sometimes longer)!

    Patrice Peck

    Fun fact: I'm one of those people who uses bathroom paper towels as oil blotting sheets whenever my nose gets shiny AF at work. Why pay for the sheets when I know my nose is just gonna get oily all over again? Well, little did I know that a setting spray (something I only associated with fancy events and makeup artists) would solve this pesky issue.

    I figured I oughta give it a go when user firefighter27 said it stopped people's makeup from melting off during her son's summer wedding. "I used it too and my makeup didn’t budge, even with my oily skin," she wrote. Same, girl, same. But, shout out to my primer AND matte foundation, cuz I'm pretty sure it was a team effort.

    Get it at Ulta for $4.

    NYX Illuminator def keeps my melanin poppin' in a very au naturale way.

    Patrice Peck

    Highlighters are having a moment and I'm here for it. They give your skin a healthy glow and are basically BFFs with your cheekbones. Plus, you don't have to worry about finding your light when wearing a great highlighter. The light finds YOU. Case in point: this NYX highlighter recommended by user allypham, who used the words "absolutely blinding and long-lasting." I was a liquid highlighter-only gal before this because light-colored powders usually = an ashy-faced Patrice. But not this bb! It's got a subtle shimmer that compliments my warm undertones. I'm sold!

    Get it at Ulta for $8.99. (I'm wearing "Ritualistic.")

    Colourpop's Ultra Matte liquid lipsticks come in the coolest shades and will get you all the compliments.

    Patrice Peck

    Wouldn't it be cool if someone bottled up confidence and sold it for super cheap? Oh, wait...~pulls out Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip~...nevermind! But for real, these liquid lipsticks have easily become one of my fave beauty products.

    Why? I'll let user Jessica H. tell it: "I can get through a nine-hour shift and not have to reapply once. It stands up fairly well to food as well and doesn't transfer as much as higher-end liquid lipsticks...The mattes aren't as drying as other liquid lips I've used. I have over 25 colors and each one is gorgeous and flawless!" She's not lying, folks! (Bonus: if you like a moisturizing barrier like me, definitely check out Colourpop's clear Lippie Primer.)

    Get the Lippie Primer for $5 at Colourpop and all the Ultra Matte Lips for $5.95 at Amazon.

    You seriously can't tell me NOTHING when I'm rocking the shade Friday. It makes me feel like such a beautiful badass!

    Patrice Peck

    ~Watches the Black Panther movie trailer once.~

    NYX Butter Lipsticks are tubes of creamy, glossy goodness that are even more colorful in person and, surprisingly, long lasting.

    Patrice Peck

    Just like books and their covers, you shouldn't ever judge a makeup's quality by its packaging, which is exactly what I did with these NYX Butter Lipsticks. The packaging isn't ugly, but the matchy-matchy exterior and the soft looking shape of the actual lipstick reminded me of fake makeup I used to play with as a kid.

    I still tried them all on because, dammit, I had a job to do. And OMG, I'm SO glad I did! Can you say coverage??? Because that's what I got, which isn't the norm given my naturally brownish pink lip color. If you're looking for a vibrant alternative to your bold matte, look no further! User Jess L, if you're out there reading this, thank you for putting me on to these "phenomenal" lipsticks!

    Get all 31 colors at Ulta for $5.99.

    Never was a big fan of pink lipstick, but the shade Sweet Shock was juuust neon enough to feel more funky than flirty (cuz that's my thang).

    Patrice Peck

    Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection is a pretty good eyeshadow palette for beginners or an emergency makeup sesh, but it wouldn't be anything, IMO, without Milani's eyeshadow primer.

    Patrice Peck

    If you're a brown girl, then you already understand the struggle that is getting eyeshadow colors to accurately show up on your skin. In this case, Milani's eyeshadow primer seriously saved Wet n Wild's Color Icon collection from being a big, fat flop.

    Don't let the primer's light beige color fool ya. The product quickly melted onto my skin without a trace, so this primer is a fit for all complexions. As for its use, there was no fading, no creasing and the pigment actually stood out against my complexion. User quilantaylor04 said she refused to pay $20 for eyeshadow primer when an equally effective AND way more affordable option already exists. I like the way you think, quilantaylor04!

    Get the Milani Eyeshadow primer for $5.67 and the Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection starting at $5.81 at Amazon.

    And now, let's take a closer look at how I applied the Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection...

    Eyeshadow brush sets by Ecotools and Real Techniques will take your eyeshadow application from basic to ~beat~ in a snap!

    Patrice Peck
    Patrice Peck

    Here's a bit of "If I can, you can too" makeup inspo at my own expense. The photo on the far left is my first attempt at using the collection in Comfort Zone. I used the tiny sponge/brush that came with the product and followed the 4-step smokey eye instructions engraved in the shadows (FAIL). The middle photo is my second attempt, but using the purple Petal Pusher collection instead. I used the two random eyeshadow brushes that I had at home and followed the steps again (FAIL).

    The photo on the right is my most recent attempt. That time, I used Comfort Zone again and followed user alphaomega1's advice and used some affordable Ecotool brushes—along with a Real Technique eye brush set, the Milani eyeshadow primer, L'Oreal's Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner, and my secret must-have ingredient: water! Yes, the primer helps the colors actually show up, but water gets the colors to go BANG! Dipping your brush in a little water really picks up the pigment. When it came to applying the shadow, I totally ignored the instructions and, instead, watched Laura Lee's Eyeshadow Do's and Don'ts tutorial and Denitslava Makeup's easy soft smokey eye tutorial (WIN)!

    Get the Ecotool Eye Enhancing Duo Brush Set for $4.87 and Real Techniques Enhanced Eye Set for $14.24 at Amazon.

    Y'all CLEARLY know your beauty stuff bc these recommendations were everything! Are there any other cheap makeup products you swear by that you think I should try out? Please school me in the comment section below!

    Essence / Via