Whether you’re revamping your beauty and skincare routine or you’re looking to start one from scratch, it’s important to know that not all makeup products are created equal. Clever marketing from makeup brands can make you feel like every single product you put on your face needs to cost a boatload of money.
Luckily for all of us, that’s not the case! Some makeup and skincare products are best when they’re from a high-quality and more luxurious brand, but there are plenty of items you can find at the drug store for less than $10 that will get the job done just fine.
Let’s go over which products experts and consumers think are best for the budget. First, let’s look at some products that you can pick up on the cheap:
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
Face cleanser is a product you don’t need to splurge on. Ultimately, the ingredients in most basic cleansers are pretty similar. If you have very sensitive skin, it’s worth it to spend a little extra money making sure you’re putting high-quality products on your face that won’t irritate your skin. However, if your skin does well with a basic cleanser, there’s no need to spend big bucks here.
Acure is one of those brands that looks a bit fancy, but their products are very reasonable. Their Brightening Facial Scrub goes for less than $10 at most stores, and the reviews of this product are a testament to its effectiveness.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
If you want something that’s a step-up from drug store brands, Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser is also a great buy. Just watch out for the three-in-one skin kit deals that will tempt you to spend more money. If you just need a basic cleanser, there’s no need to splurge on extra products.
This cleanser is kind of a two-for-one deal in itself. That’s because it doesn’t just cleanse and moisturize your skin, it will also remove your makeup at the end of the day. Use it morning or night to get glowing, soft, non-greasy skin.
BareMinerals offers high-quality, natural products at a fraction of the cost of designer skin and makeup brands. One of the best things about their foundation is that it lasts a very long time, even if you use it every day.
Remember, when it comes to saving, you have to think ahead. Spending around $30 on a foundation like this is a great deal when you consider that it will last for months (depending on how much you like to use, of course)! A little goes a long way with this very popular product.
Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
This 98%-nature-derived skin mask uses stem cells from fruit, vitamin C, and glycolic AHA to make your skin look smoother, more even, and more radiant. The special ingredient they boast is manuka honey, which blends with the organic pumpkin in the mixture to add an extra dose of beta carotene.
For less than $16, this Andalou Mask promises to exfoliate your face by removing dry and dead surface cells that are clogging your pores. This vegetarian mask causes a tingling sensation and has over 4 out of 5 stars in reviews. You really can’t go wrong with this one!
If you’re just trying to cover up a few blemishes here and there, you probably don’t need a super expensive concealer. Save your money for blushes, bronzers, and highlighters if that’s part of your makeup routine. Spot sticks don’t need to be expensive to be effective.
Case in point: The E.L.F. Spot Gel Stick. For about $3 at most stores, you can purchase this high-quality product that easily rolls onto the skin and uses witch hazel, aloe, and green tea to nourish your pores. Tea tree, camphor, and salicylic acid work to reduce acne spots and other blemishes so your skin doesn’t just look better, it also feels better.
Neutrogena Sunscreen Face Mist
There are so many sunscreens out there, it’s hard to know which one is best! Of course, some sunscreens are extremely inexpensive. However, they might not do a lot to prevent your skin from feeling greasy or clogged. On the other hand, there are some way-too-expensive sunscreens that don’t provide a much better experience than some of the more reasonable brands.
When it comes to sunscreen that you use for your face, it’s best to find a happy medium. Neutrogena’s focus is of course on keeping your skin clear, and that’s why their sunscreen mist is great for those who are worried about breakouts. For around $15, this facial mist gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck. Yes, please!
Now that we’ve discussed the budget buys, let’s talk about which products that you can feel good about spending a little more on:
Folks who wear eyeliner every day know better than most that if you want easy application, you’re probably going to have to opt for a liquid liner over a wax pencil liner. While wax eyeliners abound at the drug store, they’re not going to be easy to use.
A liquid liner is often better when it costs a bit more. That’s why this is a product worth splurging on, especially if it’s a part of your daily makeup routine. You’ll save time and energy applying a smooth liner made with high-quality ingredients.
As we mentioned before, cleanser is okay to buy on a budget. However, the right moisturizer is too important not to splurge on if you need a good one. Again, this is all about your skin type; if you love the way a good moisturizer makes you look and feel, it’s 100% worth it to spend some extra cash.
The right moisturizer can last you a long time and take your skin from dull to glowing. Some of the most effective and high-quality moisturizers come from Olay, Benton, E.L.F., Murad, SK-II R.N.A., Skinbetter, and Tatcha.
Like eyeliner, eye shadow is also going to be a lot prettier and a lot easier to apply if you have high-quality products. Eye shadow requires an artful touch, and like Bob Ross demanded the best paint to bring his beautiful landscapes to life, eye shadow artists need the best products to work with.
Some of the top brands that sell quality and gorgeous eye shadows include Charlotte Tilbury, Kosas, Nars, Kaja, MAC, Tom Ford, Chantecaille, Pat McGrath Labs, Viseart, Róen, and Armani.
Dedicated makeup artists know that your brushes can make or break your makeup and skincare routine. There are some decent brushes out there that you can get for a low price, but if you want the absolute best application experience and long-lasting products, you should splurge on a brush kit.
You can often get a full, high-quality brush kit from a beauty store at a discount, though not all brands will go on sale at the same time. If you only use one or two brushes in your routine, then go for a high-quality brand that will last you much longer than one that was made on the cheap.
Tweezers are another product that you should invest some good money in. A high-quality pair doesn’t have to be too expensive, and it will be worth the money compared to cheaper versions.
Bad tweezers can cause you to pinch and pull the sensitive skin around your eyes and brows. But a good pair will virtually last forever, and they’ll be easy to use. The plucking experience will be a whole lot smoother with a quality pair of tweezers–just make sure you remember where you keep them!
Most makeup experts agree that lip gloss is a budget buy. Lipstick, on the other hand, is a product you should save up some money for. A high-quality lipstick can upgrade your entire look in seconds, but it won’t last as long or appear as nicely if it’s of poor quality.
Lipstick is one of those products that you should experiment with until you find the perfect shade and texture for you. As you try out different colors, it’s best to buy cheaper brands. However, if you find a color that you want to rock daily, purchase a tube from your favorite brand, even if it’s a splurge. It will become your best friend!
Keep this guide in mind next time you head to the store for makeup and skincare products. If you’re looking to cut down your budget, swap out some of your favorite beauty brands’ products with drug store alternatives just to see which ones you could be spending less money on.
It’s all a process, and what works for one person won’t work for the other. If you swear by your CVS lipstick, we applaud that. If your face cleanser is your favorite splurge, that’s cool too. But don’t let advertisements for expensive makeup products that promise to change your life throw you off; the local drug store may actually be a better choice for your shopping needs!