As any beauty addict knows, the phrase “cheap makeup” is basically an oxymoron. With low prices usually comes low quality, right? Think again. With hundreds of dollars worth of matte lipstick and eye shadow palettes on my Sephora wishlist, it can be devastating to be harshly reminded of my “college student on a budget” financial status by my not-so-hot bank statement. Luckily for me, after years of experience with bargain hunting, I have rounded up some awesome hidden gems of the cheap makeup side of the beauty industry.
Growing in popularity as drugstore beauty becomes a huge market, NYX has quickly become a fan favorite. With matte lipsticks, palettes and face products like concealer, blush and bronzer, NYX is a force to be reckoned with.
Pricing: All products are under $35
While Smashbox may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think of “cheap” makeup”, it definitely has some affordable yet super high-quality options such as their travel size products and the mini versions of their most popular eyeshadow palettes! If you’ve ever wanted to give Smashbox a try, now is the time!
As its name suggests, e.l.f. carries a whole range of products for eyes, lips and face. With major name recognition, e.l.f. has been able to remain its reputation as a tried-and-true favorite for drugstore makeup addicts.
Pricing: Lip products range from $1-5, face products are under $11
A European-based company, Essence has really peaked the beauty industry’s interest in recent years. The company aims to provide beauty lovers (that’s you!) with the highest quality products for affordable prices. It’s definitely one of the major players in the cheap makeup industry due to its extensive amount of lip products.
Pricing: All products are under $20
Physician’s Formula is another brand that you might recognize if you frequent the drugstore beauty aisle. As a brand that seeks to “marry health and glamour,” their products are great for sensitive skin. Physician’s Formula carries the #1 bronzer in America. They pride their brand on providing high quality, natural products that are within reach for the average consumer.
Pricing: All products are under $25
Barry M is a London-based line of quirky and cute products. Their range of products includes palettes, contour sets, lipstick and mascara. All sold in super cute and bright colored packaging!
Pricing: All products are under $15
Although it may not be the chicest pick from Sephora’s massive selection, the Sephora brand products are a baller-on-a-budget’s dream. They are high-quality, trendy and classic, all within an affordable price range. Personal favorites include their lip liners, liquid eyelinersand lip stains.
Pricing: Lipsticks are all under $16, and face powders are under $25
BH Cosmetics proves that cheap makeup doesn’t have to mean “wear it once and throw it away” makeup. Their selection of gorgeous eye shadow palettes, lip color and face products are the perfect addition to any beauty addict’s collection. Plus, they’ve partnered with beauty-obsessed celebs like Ashley Tisdale to keep on top of and ahead of major trends.
Pricing: Eye shadow palettes are all under $20
When the beauty bloggers got their hands on Kylie Jenner’s infamous Lip Kits for the first time, a battle for finding the best dupe ensued. Whoever found ColourPop exposed their glorious liquid matte lipsticks to the world. Thus the online beauty brand was hurdled into the spotlight. Their liquid mattes are a perfect dupe for Kylie’s Lip Kits, but are about $30 cheaper. ColourPop’s super smooth lipsticks and shimmery eye shadows are just the beginning of what is quickly becoming a major game-changer for the beauty industry.
Pricing: Lip products are all under $6
Hard Candy has made a name for themselves in the makeup industry through their bold, shimmery packaging, love for metallic and all things glitter while remaining classy and chic enough for the everyday girl. Not to mention, their prices are super affordable! If you’re looking for a new highlighter, bold eyeshadow, or some sparkly blush to make those cheekbones pop, Hard Candy is your one stop shop!
Pricing: Most products sit around $10 or below