Save or Splurge: The Best Drugstore Makeup Buys

Hey, Fellowers! I know, I know, you follow this blog because you love the Fellows sisters, and I’m technically not a Fellows girl. But as one of Olivia’s best friends, I like to claim honorary Fellows status. So, I’m taking over the sisters’ blog today to talk to you a little bit about one of my favorite topics: beauty products.

Like the Fellows gals, I love my prestige makeup. But with two young boys, a mortgage, my own business to run, and tons of college debt eating at my monthly budget, I can’t justify splurging on high-end makeup all the time. So for the past 15 years or so, I’ve made it my mission to find drugstore products that feel and perform like prestige makeup. Here’s a list of my favorites:


L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation: This stuff is just amazing. Most of the year, I wear the Lumi edition of the True Match foundation in N1-2. I find it to be super blendable and buildable. I have a pretty good natural complexion, but I do have some darker areas and redness that I like to smooth out. The Lumi foundation gives good coverage while adding a beautiful, healthy glow to the skin.  In the summer, I like to use the original formula in N3. I tend to have a little bit of a light tan in the warmer months, and because it gets HOT in Indiana in the summer, I do not need any added glow from my foundation. I “glow” enough chasing around my 4- and 6-year-olds in the heat and humidity, so switching to the original formula during warmer months keeps me from looking like I’m perpetually covered in a sheen of sweat. Win. I know Olivia loves her Tarte foundation, but at under $10, I wouldn’t trade my True Match.

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner: I have hooded eyes, which means that eyeliner transfer is a huge issue for me. That’s why I love, LOVE this liner. I hate the included felt applicator, so I use an eyeliner brush to apply it. I just run my own brush along the applicator to pick up the product, then I can control it so much better. It lasts all day, and I never have it transfer, smudge or collect in the corner of my eye. At less than $6, this product is an absolute steal.

e.l.f. Studio High Definition Power: TBH, I’m pretty new to this product. I’ve tried other loose translucent powders, as well as matte compact and loose powders, but I’ve never found anything I love. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to commit to this product yet, but e.l.f. powder is my current favorite. I feel like it adds a nice “blur” to my skin, and it just disappears – in a good way – after I apply it. I would put this product up against the Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder any day. And it’s just so absurdly affordable – almost $30 cheaper!

Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum, Ultra Black: I’ve just been using this eyeliner for about a year now, but I have to say, it’s pretty fantastic. I’ll be honest, I don’t think the serum does anything at all. That’s not why I use it. I love it because the brush tip applicator is on point, the product stays put, and it’s convenient for travel. This isn’t my go-to liner because I don’t like wearing black every day, and I just prefer the control of using my own brush. But it’s the only drugstore liner I’ve found that holds a candle to my beloved ColorStay.

Milani Baked Powder Blush: I know, I know. Everyone already knows that the Milani blush in Dolce Pink is the best dupe out there for one of the most popular blushes of all time: NARS Orgasm. I’m totally on board with that. I don’t think it has quite the lasting power that NARS has, but considering that it’s about a quarter of the cost, I can deal with reapplying it before going out at night. Don’t stop at Dolce Pink, though. I’m also a huge fan of Berry Amore. Milani’s blush game is pretty amazing, and for less than $10 a pop, you can afford to experiment.

So that’s my list of drugstore products that you’ve got to try. Honorable mentions include  NYX Setting Spray, which I absolutely choose over the much pricier Urban Decay setting spray, and CoverGirl LashBlast mascara, my favorite waterproof mascara of all time. For me, I’m totally spending the money on Anastasia eyebrow products, Urban Decay or IT Cosmetics eyeshadow, Tarte, Clinique or Urban Decay lip products, and Benefit POREfessional primer. Where do you save and splurge on your make-up? What amazing drugstore products did I miss? Let us know in the comments below!

That’s me, Kristen, wearing all those beautiful products that I just blogged about. I love the natural look!

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