Who else loves finding beauty gems at the drugstore? I know I do. There’s a LOT to choose from at the drugstore, but I narrowed it down to 20 must-have drugstore beauty products that you need in your collection. . I use these products quite a bit and if I had to give you a list of what makeup to buy at the drugstore, best believe these products would be on that list.

Now, we have quite a bit to cover in this post, so I’m going to touch on each product and why I love it pretty briefly. If you have any questions about any of the products listed, leave a comment down below.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Best Drugstore Makeup ProductsPRIMERS

NYX Hydra Touch Primer – I’ve been using this for a while now and really love it (you’re going to hear that a lot in this post just FYI). It doesn’t smooth my pores or make my makeup last longer, but I do feel like it gives my skin some added hydration before applying my foundation, which, being a dry-skin-girl, I appreciate.

L’Oreal Magic Lumi – I enjoy this primer when I’m wanting some added luminosity underneath my foundation (but you can also use it as a liquid highlighter if you wanted). In my opinion, it’s also a great dupe for MAC’s Strobe Cream. It doesn’t make my makeup last longer, but I love the finish that it gives the skin, especially under a matte foundation.

L’Oreal Magic Perfecting Base – This product is actually pretty interesting because I absolutely hated it when I first tried it, and looking back, I’m not sure why. It’s a pore filling primer. I have rather large pores through my t-zone, but most prominently on my nose and just on either sides of my nose. I use this primer in those areas (and also in any wrinkle/expression line areas) and it helps to fill them in and prevent the foundation from settling into those lines. I use this product literally every day.


Wet ‘N’ Wild Photofocus Foundation – I truly have a love/hate relationship with this foundation. I love the product itself, the shade range, and the coverage that it gives with a matte finish…HOWEVER, I feel like it dries me out. It’s such a bummer with matte foundations for me. This applies well with either a brush or sponge, and offers more of a moderate/full coverage. If you’re sensitive to smell, you may not like this foundation. Before picking it up, one blogger said that she thought it smelled like paint. I didn’t believe her until I actually put it on my face and I’ll be the one to tell you that it absolutely does. Not so pleasant, but great formula. If you have more normal/oily skin, you’ll love this (if you can get past the smell). Dry skin girls, take caution that it may dry you out.

L’Oreal Infalliable Pro Glow Foundation – I recently stopped using this foundation and someone thought that I just didn’t like it because I was reaching for something else, however, I recently started re-using it and have rediscovered my love for it. I have the shades 202 and 203, which I mix together on the back of my hand. I feel that it’s best applied with a blending sponge (in my opinion, but I’m not much of a brush girl anyway), and I like the coverage that it gives, which isn’t a lot, but it’s enough – and it’s buildable. It also offers a dewy finish, but it’s not shiny or oily looking, but I definitely still set it with powder. If you have dry skin, get your hands on this. Oily skin gals – you probably won’t enjoy this.

Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation – I like this foundation and chose it as one of my favorites because I feel like it is a good combination of the best parts of the Pro Glow and the Photofocus products.I love that it has an SPF, for one, but the formula itself is really great too. This product gives the skin a natural luminous glow, yet it isn’t as “glowy” as the Pro Glow foundation, but it’s certainly not matte. This also has long wearing power.


Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – I don’t have too many drugstore concealers, simply because Tarte Shape Tape will forever be my love, but if I had to choose, it would be the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. It reminds me of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but I just wish they had some lighter shades. I use their lightest shade and it’s still just about the same color as my skin tone, so if you’re super fair, you may want to pass on this product, but if you have light/medium or medium to deep skin tones and prefer a more medium coverage concealer, you’ll enjoy this.


Models Own Grand Finale Setting Powder – I was actually pleasantly surprised with this product because, to be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like it. Come to think of it, it actually reminds me of the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. It’s not white, but has a mind skintone-like color (which is great for avoiding flashback white casts in photography) and it feels the same way on the skin. Highly recommend for a more cost effective alternative!


Milani Baked Bronzer “04” – I love these. I’m actually pretty bummed out because the stores around me don’t sell the bronzers in the Milani Cosmetic line anymore, I’d have to repurchase them online. Do your stores sell them? I love this shade. These baked bronzers are shimmery, but they’re gorgeous. I’ve been opting for a more shimmery bronzer look this summer and if you like yours the same way, you’ll love this one. It has a bit of a red tone in it, which I love because when you dust it around your face/body, it looks like those are the areas where the sun naturally hit you and gave you a bit of a rosy look. I think it’s beautiful. I want to get my hands on the entire bronzer line.

Note: I also love the Wet ‘N’ Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in “Ticket to Brazil”.


Flower Beauty Flower Pot Blush “Peach Primrose” – This is probably the peachy blush that I reach for the most often, no doubt. It’s matte and pigmented (but not too pigmented) and blends very easily. I think Flower beauty hit it out of the park with this one. They also have some more rosy shades, but this one is my favorite.


Essence Pure Nude Highlighter – Honestly, I LOVE this highlighter. I use it more than my high-end ones, and quite honestly, I PREFER it. It’s a champagne color and looks beautiful on the skin. When you first see it in the pan, it doesn’t look like much. But it’s so incredibly natural (yet buildable) and there’s no glitter, just strictly gorgeous shine. If you haven’t tried this…seriously…get it. You will love it.

Honorable Mention: I also really enjoy the Models Own Sculpt and Glow Contour and Highlight palette. It comes with a great contour shade, highlighter, and shimmery peachy blush.


Milani Make it Last Setting Spray – I’ve heard the hype about the Milani setting sprays, but hadn’t tried one until recently. It does make my makeup last a bit longer throughout the day and gives a little boost of hydration after applying my makeup. It also have a fresh scent which I love.


NYX Brow Gel “Brunette” – I’m sorry ABH, I just couldn’t get on board with the 20-something-dollar Dip Brow Pomade. I just couldn’t make it work for me. This NYX Brow Gel is unique and may be hard to work with for some people, but I truly feel like I can’t use anything else. I kept an old makeup powder lid where I dispense a TINY dot of the gel (a little goes a long way), and use an angled brush to apply to my brows, creating little hair-like strokes to fill them in. I find that as opposed to the Dip Brow, this product doesn’t slide around when applying it, it’s more opaque, and it doesn’t go anywhere, damnit. This stuff stays put. Just be warned that you have to work quickly with this, because it does have some crazy staying-power. Make sure you’re careful with where you put it, because it hard to take off once the other makeup is on your face if you mess up. But it’s great.

L.A. Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil “Brunette” – I’ve always been a eyebrow gel kind of girl up until recently. I’ve owned brox pencils before but I could never get my brows to look how I wanted them. They were always too thick and it made my brows look messy. I love this micro-brow pencil, because I can create hair-like strokes to fill in the sparse areas without overdrawing. I have much more control and can make the brows look much more precise.

Best Drugstore MakeupMASCARA

Maybelline Colossal Mascara “Classic Black” – If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is my all-time favorite mascara. I hate trying new mascaras because I am SO picky about them that I have repurchased so many damn tubes of this because sometimes you just have to stick with what you know, but I feel like this mascara does a great job lengthening, volumizing and not over-applying product to your lashes.


NYX Matte Liquid Liner “Black” – I always need a matte black liquid liner on hand. This is a brush-tip applicator, so steer clear if you prefer a felt-tip. It’s a little harder to get a defined wing with a brush-tip in my experience, but I really enjoy this formula, it stays in place, doesn’t fade and well…it’s matte of course.


Rimmel London Lipstick “First Class Nude” – There aren’t too many drugstore lipsticks I’m a fan of. This is because: #1, I like nude lipsticks, and #2, typically drugstore lipsticks are cheap. Nude cheap lipsticks are not a good combination. Why you ask? Well, with a cheap nude drugstore lipstick, the shade can look GORGEOUS in the tube, but can be thin and streaky on the lips and settle into every fine line that you have (and if you’re like me, that’s a lot of lines, girl). There are a few hidden lipstick gems at the drugstore, however and this is one of them. It has a creamy formula that just melts into the lips and actually applies the opaque color, rather than a streaky mess. Definitely a must have drugstore lipstick.


NYX Butter Gloss in “Madeleine” – Literally my favorite lip gloss ever. Seriously. I’ve already gone through three of them this month… and no, I’m not exaggerating. I keep one at my work desk, one in my purse, and one in my makeup bag and one at home in the bathroom. 9 times out of 10 when you see me on a day to day basis, I have this on my lips either by itself, or over another lipstick or liner. It’s just so easy. I self tan, so oftentimes, my actual lip color is lighter than the rest of my face with makeup on. Typically when a lip color starts to fade, my lips can look a little too white and this stuff is perfect to even out the color. It’s cheap, it’s not sticky, it lasts a long time, and I don’t get that horrid line on the inside of my lips when it’s been on there for a while. It typically just blends into my natural lips before I apply more. NYX has a rather huge shade-range for their Butter Glosses, but this shade is the best by far (in my opinion), simply because it’s easy. It’s a nude shade, but can be layered with other lip products, and it’s just the perfect wash of color. Now, it’s not a long-wearing lip color by any means, and I reapply about each hour or two, but this is my absolute favorite lip gloss of all time at the moment



Did I miss anything? What are your all-time drugstore favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 Comments on "The Best Drugstore Makeup | 20 Must-Have Products"

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Julie @ Running in a Skirt

Ohhhh I can be a makeup junkie too but can spend way too much on fancy brands. Have been looking for some good drugstore finds-I’ll have to try these!