Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Favourite Budget Makeup Products!

I have always been a drugstore gal when it comes to makeup. 

For skincare, I buy high end and low. But, for makeup, I feel that there's a lot of fabulous makeup to be found in the drugstore. it's cheap and convenient. 

Ever since I can remember, a trip to the drugstore for something like toothpaste meant picking up some fab new makeup finds. 

In this post, I will share with you some of my favourite budget makeup products. There are a few that I am currently out of but I will give them a mention them in this post. Because there are so many products, I will divide my favs into categories.


On a day-to-day basis, I'm a BB cream or tinted moisturizer kind of girl.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear BB Cream
This is where I'm willing to splurge! It's not the cheapest but since I'm using it all over my face (almost like a moisturizer) I like to have good ingredients in my BB cream as well as SPF. There are often sales to make it more affordable. Cruelty-free. Retail approx. $18

LA Girl Pro Conceal
This is great for under the eyes as it's not too heavy. Go a shade lighter to really brighten under the eyes. Cruelty-free. I purchased mine on BeautyJoint.com for $2.99

Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up Concealer
I love this for blemishes and spots on the face. It's not the cheapest but it's one of my favs and a tiny bit goes a long way! I've had mine for a year and there's barely a dent. Also cruelty-free. Retail $9.99 at Target.

Face Powder
My current favourite budget face powder is NYC Smooth Skin Face Powder in Translucent. I'm currently out of it. I find it at Walmart for around $2.99

Bronzer & Highlights

Elf Illuminating Palette
Love this palette so much. Full review can be found linked here. It contains 4 beautiful powders that are great for aging skin or any skin if you don't want a glittery highlight. It's so smooth! Cruelty-free. Retail $6.00

Essence Sun Club All-in-one Bronzing Highlighter
I use this a lot in the summer or anytime I want to use one product that serves as a bronzer, highlight, and blush all in one. I love this so much I gave one away in my 1-year blog giveaway! Cruelty-free. Retail $4.49 at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada.

Elf Baked Blush in Pinktastic
Okay, this is NOT a blush. It's definitely a highlight and it's beautiful! It's supposed to be a dupe for many high-end highlights. Great for light-medium skin tones. You can find this online or at Target. Cruelty-free. Retail $3.00

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster in Medium to Dark
Again, Physicians Formula isn't the cheapest in the drugstore but they are always on sale at least one of the drugstores (I usually wait for 40% off sale). It's tough to find a matte bronzer in the drugstore and this one is not only matte but performs like a high-end bronzer! I found the light went on too close to my skin colour but this shade is perfect. This bronzer is the perfect tone for a sun-kissed look. Cruelty-free. Retail $21.99


These are my 4 absolute favourite budget brands for blushes. I own multiple colours from most of these brand and I love them all!

Physicians Formula
I have several blushes by PF. All of them perform like high-end blushes and are long-wearing. As with all Physicians Formula products, I wait for a sale. The blush pictured is the Happy Booster Blush in Pink. Cruelty-free. Retail $15.99

Jordana Blush
Again, I have several colours from this line. They are creamy and smooth and blend beautifully. I love the shades in this line. Cruelty-free. Retail $2.99

Essence Silky Touch Blush
I own almost all the colours in this line. They are silky smooth as the name suggests, they blend and wear beautifully. Hard to believe they are only $2.99. They are also cruelty-free.

Wet n Wild Blush
I only own this in the colour Pearlescent Pink. It's a beautiful coral-pink colour and I love it for the summer months. It's a dupe for The Balm's Frat Boy and some say it's a dupe for Nars Orgasm (which I don't own). But, Wet n Wild is only $4.99 at Walmart and is also cruelty-free.

Eye Shadow

Wet n Wild Coloricon Eye Shadow Trios
I'm sure you've all heard the hype about these shadows and they hype is real. Beautiful, creamy, buttery and pigmented. The only thing is that they are lacking matte shades in these palettes. But they make great lid colours and highlights. Cruelty-free. Retail $2.99

Elf Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow
I own this eyeshadow in 3 colours. They are incredible! I wish they would make more colours. They are soft, easy to blend and just gorgeous! My shades are matte and demi-matte and just perfect for a soft look and so flattering on aging eyes. The shade pictured is called "What's Your Name." Cruelty-free. Retail $3.00

Essence Eyeshadow Singles
I own several of this in gorgeous colours from greens to bronze, and more. They perform like high-end shadows. Super-pigmented and long wearing. The one pictured is my most worn colour- "Party all Night" which is a metallic effect. Cruelty-free. Retail $2.49

Sally Girl Baked Eyeshadow
I think these shadows are underrated. Although I only own 2 of them, I find they are really pigmented and are gorgeous shades. At only .99 cents at Sally's Beauty Supply, you can't beat it!

Elf Smudge Pot
I can't rave about these enough. They are gorgeous, pigmented and last all day long without creasing. They are similar to Maybelline's Color Tattoos but these are much cheaper and they are creamier. Plus, these don't dry out in the pot! Shown is the colour Crusin Chic which is a gorgeous taupey-bronze! cruelty-free and only $3.00

Lip Products

NYC Twistable Intense Lip Colour
These perform like a lipstick and don't stain but they really last! Lip stains don't agree with my lips so I'm really happy that these don't stain. The only issues I have is that the lids don't snap on (so I don't like to carry them in my purse) and they have a limited colour selection. But, I had to include them because they are amazing for the price! Retail $2.99

Elf Matte Lip Color
These came out before the matte lip craze. I only own the one colour but I use it all the time. It's the perfect nude colour and it's the only matte lip product that I've been able to wear on my dehydrated lips. It has average lasting power and doesn't stain. The colour I have is in Natural, a beautiful MLBB nude colour. Cruelty-free. Retail $3.00

Essence Long Lasting Lipstick
This range has beautiful colours in a variety of finishes, from frosts to mattes. They are creamy and come in gorgeous shades, which I own several of. The one pictured is my most used in "Nude Love." They have average lasting power. I see no reason to buy high-end with these beauties around. Cruelty-free. Retail $2.49 at Shoppers Drug Mart. 

Elf Luscious Liquid Lipstick
First of all, this is NOT a liquid lipstick.. it's a lip gloss. I have it in the colour "Nude Pink" and it's my second tube. I'm pretty sure I will always repurchase this lippie. It's a beautiful, natural shade and it's so hydrating and not sticky. It does last quite a while for a lipgloss! Cruelty-free. Retail $1.00!

Essence Stay With Me Long-lasting Lipgloss
If you hate sticky lipglosses you would love these! They feel very natural on the lip and not sticky at all. Although I don't find them long-lasting as the name implies. I also love the applicator that curves to my lips. I've previously owned several of their XXXL lipglosses which would also be one of my top lip products. I personally don't like the ones with glitter but I love the cream formulas. Cruelty-free. Retail $2.99

Essence Lip Liner
I own multiple shades in these lip liners. They are creamy and go on beautifully! I find they are creamier than many higher end brands. I see no reason to buy higher end lip liners as these perform beautifully. Cruelty-free. Retail $2.49


Essence I Heart Stage Eye Base
What an underrated product! This works so well as a base for my eyeshadows. It creates the perfect base for crease-free eyeshadow that lasts all day! Cruelty-free. Retail approx. $3.49

Elf Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara
I use both sides of the tube on my brows. I have not used this on my lashes. It holds my brows in place without being crispy and it doesn't flake like some brow gels can. Cruelty-free. Retail $2.00

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner
These come in a 3 pack. Again, I recommend to find them on sale. Either way, they are a bargain as they perform like high-end eyeliners, actually better than many high-end ones. They are super creamy  and pigmented and there is no tugging on my aging lids. Once they set, they stay all day! And, they don't dry out in the tube! Cruelty-free. Retail $14.79 for 3

Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil
These are also creamy and long lasting with gorgeous colours. Once they set, they wont budge. My favourite colour is "Hot Scorch" which is a beautiful, super-pigmented bronze colour. I also have some fun summer colours like teal. These also don't dry out in the tube. Cruelty-free. Retail approx $2.49

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara in Black
If you like big lashes, this will give them to you! I find this comparable to Benefit's They're Real Mascara (which I love!) but at a fraction of the price. It doesn't flake or smudge. It's a little difficult to get off, even though it's not waterproof. Since it's not available at stores in Canada, I have purchased this online from Beauty Joint. Cruelty-free. Retail $3.99

Wet n Wild Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner
I was going to throw this out at one point, only because I am not the best with drawing a perfect line with liquid liner. But, I have to admit that this is an awesome product! It's super black and pigmented. Once it dries down, it doesn't budge. It has a super thin paint brush style applicator. If you are good with liquid liner, I highly recommend this! Cruelty-free. Retail $2.99 at Walmart.


Contour Brush
I paid $1.94 for this item on Ebay with free shipping. I have a full review on it linked here. It's a fantastic brush, just the right size for me, and has not shed one single hair.

Elf Complexion Brush
This brush is so versatile. I have a couple of these as I like to use one for face powder and the other for my all over face bronzer. Cruelty-free. Retail $3.00

Ebay Eyeshadow Brush #224 (Mac Dupe?)
This brush, as well as some others in a post linked here, are supposed to be dupes for Mac brushes. I'm not sure if they are as I don't have the Mac brushes, but I do know that this is an amazing crease and blending brush. It's super soft and doesn't shed. It was only $1 on eBay with free shipping!

Elf Smudge Brush
This brush is the best for smudging some shadow under my lower lash line. I don't like the look of harsh liner on my bottom lashes, but I do like a bit of definition. This brush is perfect for creating a little shadow under the bottom lashes with a soft taupe or brown eyeshadow. Cruelty-free. Retail $1.00

Makeup Sponge
This is just your generic makeup wedge found at the dollar store or the drugstore. I started to use them recently, after years of not using them. And, I have found that I just love them! They work fabulously at blending out foundation/BB creams, cream blushes etc. I don't remember the brand or what I paid but you usually get a bag full for only a few dollars.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my favourite budget makeup items!

I'd love to know what your favourites are! Please share in the comments.

Ps. Come join the linkup parties over at fabulousandfunlife and best-blogosphere!



  1. There are definitely some great drugstore buys, the other great thing is they get discounted every few weeks too, making some items a real steal.

    1. Absolutely! Add in some coupons and rebates and you can't lose. ;)

  2. Great reviews Amy! I didn't even know Sally Beauty carried makeup 😊 A new one just opened up close to me - gonna have to go check it out - thanks!!

    1. Thanks, Michelle! Sally's has so many brands of makeup that I haven't seen anywhere else. You should have a blast checking them all out. I love checking the back of the store for clearance items. Since your store is new they may not have any yet :D

  3. I much prefer budget products that perform well than paying big bucks xx

  4. I love reading posts like this when someone's saying $9.99 isn't cheap.. that is cheap here *sigh* makeup is so expensive in Aus!!! Some great products here though, some of the drug store brands are just as good, if not better than some high end brands!

    1. oh, man. I feel bad that you guys have to pay so much! Why!? We do pay a lot more here in Canada than the USA.. at least double. Essence and Wet n Wild really save my butt with their great prices. Products like Jordana I have to order online or pickup when I'm in the USA.

  5. Great review Amy! I love the ELF Matte Lip Sticks! I have 3 that are on consent rotation. And I totally agree with you, they are the only matte lip product that does not dry my lips out and are very comfortable to wear. Tal xo

    1. Thanks, Tal. I'm thinking I need to try at least one more colour of the ELF matte lippies since I only have one! xo

  6. Beaut to see all the essence products in your selection Amy - love their blushes and lip glosses especially. Must try some of the Elf range again!

    1. Essence has some of the best products, can't believe the prices for the quality! Some of the ELF products are real gems too! xo

  7. I love reading other beauty bloggers recommendations of drug store products they love! It helps me know which products to buy next time I'm in store.

    1. Me too! Being on a budget, I love to hear people's budget fav's. Hope you try some of these, they're all awesome!

  8. great picks!!! I have a few physician formula products and they all perform really well

    Lily not Louise

  9. How good is the Physicians Formula Happy Booster blush? Such a pretty loveheart design. I love Essence lipliners, too, they are awesome value for money!

    1. LOVE the PF Happy Booster blush! All my PF blushes are faves of mine!


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