What has been your best budget beauty product discovery?

That’s tough! I love the L’Oreal Silkissime Eyeliners, L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows, Maybelline Vivid ColorSensational Lipcolors… those are three that really stick out to me.

— Christine
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Katherine T. Avatar

*Colour Pop!! If I had to start my stash all over again, I would start with Colour Pop –basically buy almost everything on their website because it’s all excellent quality (shadows, blushes, liners, highlighters, lipsticks, lipliners, etc) and dirt cheap, then fill in the gaps with other brands.
*For specific product, WNW Fergie Take on the Day Eye Primer– a total game changer for me. I spent a small fortune on eye primers before finding this one. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to wear many of my shadows, I stockpiled tubes before it got DC’d. Let’s hope the new Photo Focus formula is same or better

Katherine T. Avatar

Yep, that WNW Fergie was a kickass eye primer AND dirt cheap!! I tried +20 eye primers/cream bases (no joke), all failed, before finding that one, and then they DC it! WT*#%*??? I haven’t tried the new one yet, but we’ll see………

Christine Avatar

Thanks! A faint scent sounds like it will probably be fine. I have no idea what ingredient is a problem for me–I just know I can’t use Guerlain products near my eyes. It makes me so sad! I will try the Bourjouis Happy Light Foundation–I’m so pleased to hear it is similar to Lingerie de Peau! Thank you!

Anne Avatar

Bourjois is soooo good in general (obviously with exceptions). I bought a ton of their stuff when I was in Canada for university, and now that I’m back in the states I’m so glad I can get it on Feel Unique and a few other sites.

Julia Avatar

I have just bought blushes from Amazon. Not ideal since they are not authorized vendors, but I have been able to get a selection of colors at okay prices. Good luck!

Astrild Avatar

Oh, I have to try it. I love Bourjous foundations so i’m curious. Healthy mix is my favorite but I haven’t tried the Happy Light one.

Nancy T Avatar

WnW Fergie Take On The Day Eye-shadow Primer and also, their Reserve Your Cabana bronzer which is my *perfect* setting powder. I’m a huge fan of the Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick line as well. Colourpop has become a favorite for me this year. Lots of great budget goodies!

Marion Avatar

Wet’n Wild Fergie Eyeshadow primer for sure. Also really like the NYX Wonder Pencil. I have an uneven lipline and using this to give me a sharper edge and makes everything look so much better. And Essence Gel Liner in 01. It’s THE best.

Ray Avatar

My favorite drugstore product is Revlon’s balm stains ($9) and the cheapest product I use is elf’s clear mascara ($2). The best surprise is Essence’s Silky Touch blush ($3). It has nice pigmentation in a forgiving, skin-friendly formulation.

Erica Avatar

I don’t really discriminate when it comes to lower and higher end brands. Good and bad products in both. To me it is about ingredients and a lot of lower end and higher end brands are owned by the same parent company anyway. As for budget brands, I love the following:

Loreal infallible e/a
Loreal silkissme eyeliner
Infallible foundation
Maybelline lash sensational mascara
Revlon l/s
Maybelline color tattoo e/s pots
Maybelline Master Fix setting powder
Essie nail polish
Opi nail polish
Nyx HD blush
Rimmel Scandal eyes e/l
Rimmel provacalips liquid lip
Real Technique brushes
Elf brushes
Earth Therapeutics blender

Just to name a few?

Emily Avatar

I mentioned these recently in another post here, but La Femme blushes. Great colors, loaded with pigment, for around $5. I have a little problem with “over collecting” them. More blush is the last thing I need, but it’s hard to say no to $5 blush!

I also love the lip balm stains from Wet n’ Wild and Jordana.

Quinctia Avatar

Definitely the ELF Matte lip colors. They are only $3 and wear really well on me. I started with a nude, and was so impressed, I keep buying them up as I find new colors.

Only warning is to maybe not start with the shade Tea Rose unless you check out swatches first. I personally like the color, but a lot of folks on reddit were surprised at its grayish purple undertones, despite it looking close to a nude shade.

Kimberly Avatar

The Revlon Photoready and Colorstay line! Love their pressed powders, very comparable to the high-end stuff. Honourable mention for the L’oreal Le’teint True Match foundation which I LOVE but don’t use much anymore because I usually wear bb creams nowadays. It’s a great lightweight foundation that lasts all day and has medium-full coverage with a demi-matte finish.

Anne Avatar

I feel like ColourPop has really changed the game as they’re more “mid-range” quality with a low-end price, and all the other brands are having to up their game to compete. Thank you ColourPop!

Kelsey Avatar

For me that’s the L’oreal Lumi Cushion foundation. It’s the first budget foundation that suits all my needs. The colour is a pretty good match, the dewy finish right up my alley and it stays on pretty well! Before this foundation the only match I could find was NARS Sheer Glow. So my wallet is very happy right now. I know the cushion contains less foundation but I don’t use a lot at all so that’s okay 😉

Zee Avatar

Have you tried the L’Oreal True Match Lumi? I love that stuff. Also a gorgeous dewey finish, so easy to apply, stays on well (esp if you set it).

Mariella Avatar

The night cream I use – it’s Eucerin Co Q 10 and I think it says something about sensitive skin or something like that. Also the L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadows, WnW Reserve Your Cabana “bronzer”, Comfort Zone, Nutty and the now discontinued Vanity eyeshadows along with some of the 3-pan ones, Coty loose powder and mattifying powders from Essence and Rimmel. That’s more than one, but those are all such great and inexpensive products.

nina Avatar

I agree with the Wet n Wild eyeshadow in Nutty!!!I have been using it since high school. It is the perfect taupe. The Wet n Wild shadow in Brulee is also amazing.

Gillian Avatar

I have one but it’s not makeup, it’s eye makeup remover.

I used to use a Clinique one but I decided to try Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover and it’s really good! And it’s much, much cheaper- £3.89 for 125ml (although I always get it cheaper online) compared to Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips at £17 for only 100ml.

It’s a big saving, especially since it’s something I use every day. That money is better used elsewhere! Although I can’t guarantee that it won’t be used to buy makeup. ?

Julia Avatar

#1 absolute favorite is CoverGirl Lash Blash Mascara. I also really like Maybelline’s Master Conceal and Fit Me! concealers. Oh – and of course Real Techniques brushes! The blush brush is one of my very faves.

Susan Parker Avatar

Hi Julia! I’ve read quite a few articles in which people say they use the Real Techniques blush brush for bronzers, contouring and face powders but not for blush due to the size of the brush. Your thoughts??

Julia Avatar

Hi Susan! The blush brush is on the larger, fluffier side so I think it is great for getting a nice diffused blush look, and I’m sure it would work great for bronzer and all-over powder. The shape is sort of elongated/ oval (rounded taper?) so you can concentrate the application a little bit if you’re careful and get into smaller pans of powder. But, I don’t think this would work well for contouring since it’s so fluffy and flexible. I think they make an angled brush that would work for contouring, but I don’t have that one. Hope that helps!

Fran Avatar

Several CeraVe products are great for my sensitive skin, and the price is excellent if I get them at Target, or at Ulta or CVS with coupons. I love CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser in the morning, when I’m just washing off some skincare products and a night’s worth of oil. It’s totally non-irritating; even Neutrogena Hydrating Cleanser and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser irritate my face. I also love their PM face moisturizer and their moisturizing cream for hands. Their eye cream is also very good.

Sally C Avatar

I agree! Beautipedia lists CereVe products with a 5 star rating, based on their ingredients and gentleness to the skin. I use the cleanser, the AM and PM moisturizers, and the body cream in a jar. The products are easy to find, way cheaper than other skin care lines and good for your skin. Can’t beat that!

Maggie Avatar

Agreed. Cerave is amazing– I always have to have these from Cerave: Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Cleanser (I sometimes mix both), moisturizing lotion, AM, PM, and Moisturizing Cream. Going to try the healing ointment next–hear it is better than aquaphor.

Not a fan of Neutrogena either–I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on that brand trying things for my sensitive skin and things are either average or irritate my skin. I honestly wouldn’t miss Neutrogena if it disappeared.

Mon Avatar

The best Budget beauty discovery for me so far was the L’oreal True Match foundation, not the classic one but the one designed for Asian skin or something. I love love love it. The very subtle gold shimmers are a selling point for me. Super in love with it. My only problem is with the staying power but with it being this cheap, can’t complain.

Brandi Avatar

Colourpop, hands down. I haven’t been let down by them yet and they are so affordable. There are some e.l.f products I use, like the facial care products, that are not too shabby either..

Julie Avatar

Do I have to pick one? I love a good budget find! L’oreal infallible eyeshadows & the silkisseme eyeliners, definitely. I’m also loving their new mono shadows…Milani lip gloss, revlon lip butters, wet n wild for face powders–highlighters, blush, bronzer…I’m sure there’s more!!

Ginny Avatar

Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzers. Maybelline color tattoo pots. L’Oreal Carbon Black Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner (quite a name, but it’s great). L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner (comes with a little filbert shaped brush that works wonderfully, stays on all day and the pot doesn’t dry up. I’ve had mine for at least two years and I’m just needing to replace it because it’s getting dry). Sephora Contour Eyeliners…. lots of great budget products out there.

Christina D. Avatar

Milani has become one of my favorite budget brands over the years, and one of the few that I still check out when I’m in the drugstore.

However, I have recently become completely enamored with Makeup Revolution, and this began prior to Ulta carrying a limited selection of the line (although they have added a few more items recently). The majority of my purchases have been through their UK website.

LMM Avatar

The Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser in the shade Brightener – it’s a peachy pink and if you are fair-skinned with bluish undereye discoloration, this stuff will completely blank it out.

LMM Avatar

No, it never has! I go through the product pretty quickly, though, so I don’t think it has a chance to get gross. And I think it applies the perfect amount of product!

LMM Avatar

I use it on its own, although I do sometimes place a dot of a more skin-toned concealer (I’ve got more yellow than pink in my skin, and sometimes the brightener looks a bit stark on its own – usually only if I’m wearing foundation, though, if I’m just wearing CC cream it looks fine) over it and blend.

Stephanie G Avatar

1. WnW Comfort Zone palette. The quality is on par with many of the mid to high end eyeshadows I usually buy.

2. Elf brushes.

3. Those Real Techniques Beauty Blender knockoff sponges. I don’t know if the BB sponges are any better and while I’m willing to drop cash on brushes from time to time and makeup all the time, I’m not about to spend $20 on a sponge.

4. I need a cruelty free dupe for this, but CG Lash Blast Fusion works well for me. I’m using what I have until I run out.

Kay Avatar

L’Oreal has a bunch of great budget beauty products. My current favorite is the True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation. Travel friendly, cute packaging, and a very flattering finish.

Anithet favorite is L’Oreal Silkissime e/l in green ivy which I snagged on clearance at Target. And of course the L’Oreal Voluminous mascara. Looking forward to trying out their Brow Stylist Definer.

Priscilla Avatar

Definitely Cerave Hydrating Cleanser! My dermatologist recommended it many years ago for my ultra sensitive skin and I love it. My other longtime fav is Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 (mineral based) for no makeup days. Great stuff!

Nancy T Avatar

Jade, I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I am after reading about your *primer*! Because at least now I don’t feel like I’m the only one using an, um, nontraditional primer. I use Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel to Powder! Cheap as heck, but it WORKS.

Desiree Weston Avatar

If you want a good dupe for Smashbox primer, try Monistat powder chafing gel! It works well, and it’s inexpensive–under $6 a tube. Smashbox is $36.

Nancy T Avatar

I agree 110%, Nicole! That powder actually looks and feels similar to one of the Hourglass Ambient Light powders. I set my foundation with it, and look radiant, but not oily. Love it!

Astrild Avatar

That the one I was thinking about!!! I have some texture in my cheek skin and that’s the only highlighter that doesn’t emphasize that. And it’s subtle enough to use it on a regular basis. I really love it.

Erin Avatar

I like the same liners and shadows from L’Oreal too, the HD lip glosses from Revlon were great. You also liked a few of the blushes from NYX and Milani as well as the Butter Gloss from Nyx I think. I have yet to try any of them but the better rated ones all looked comparable to mid level brands!

Rachel R. Avatar

Of all time? Dang, that’s hard! I love me some budget beauty/drug store stuff. Most products by e.l.f., Nyx, Sleek, Makeup Revolution, City Color Cosmetics, bhCosmetics, Coastal Scents, and Wet n Wild. Thanks to you, Christine, ColourPop and the L’oreal Infallible Silkissimee liners (I’m sure there are others I can blame…er, credit… you for, but those stand out the most.) Thanks to Allison from Never Say Die Beauty, Jordana Cat Eye liquid liners and Dramatic Effects Mascaras: Such amazing colors and inexpensive to boot. Jcat Pout-holic lipsticks and Wonder Lip Paints. Thanks to our lovely Momo and Celia, Looxi Beauty Highlighters and Aurora eyeshadows. Milani Rose Powder Blushes, especially Coral Cove. Thanks to several Temptalia readers, Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+ . It became HG facial sunscreen instantly: It doen’t make my oily skin even more greasy, it absorbs fully, and has really high SPF.

Vanessa V Avatar

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer I buy them 2 and 3 at a time because Sand and Medium are usually out of stock, Rimmel Scandal Eyes in Nude I buy those 2 and 3 at a time also, Maybelline Mascaras I try all of them and they all work out pretty well for me, lastly Revlon Lip Butters I have a nice little collection of those as well!

Helen Avatar

Ruby Kisses setting powder in bananas! Exact dupe for Ben Nye!

Ruby Kisses eyeshadow primer. Identical to Urban Decay primer potion! Both only cost around 4.99!


Colourpop eyeshadows and Rimmel waterproof eyeliner, liquid eyeliner and eyemakeup remover. Colourpop eyeshadows are simply amazing. They’re pigmented and so gorgeous. I don’t know about Rimmel’s other products but their waterproof pencil and liquid eyeliners are amazing! I have very sensitive watery eyes and my eyeliner never smudges when I use their products, and their eye makeup remover gets rid of every ounce of eyeshadow.

RJ Avatar

Nyx Butter lip glosses – I am a notorious gloss-hater but I can’t get enough of these. I think I’ve got 7 now, which is more than any other brand of gloss in my stash combined.

Glenda Avatar

I absolutely ADORE the Bourjois Healthy Mix Luminous Foundation in Vanilla. The color match is astounding and the finish is absolutely lovely. I’ll put it up there with any high end foundation, I love it so much. It’s my go-to foundation and I’ve not found anything in the price range that can compare.
Maybelline Soft and Full Mascara, a recent discovery for me. OMG, I love this soooo much. It lengthens lashes, adds some volume without all the clumping. Love it so much.
WetNWild Color Icon single eye shadow in Brulee. Perfection! Lays a very good foundation for any other colors (including vivid colors) to add on top of that. Covers discoloration, veins, etc. and it’s $.99 cents!
For skincare: Cetaphil face wash and CeraVe face washes. Those are my morning face washes, gentle but do the trick! Very reasonably priced and can be found anywhere.
Lips: my ultimate favorite is the Maybellene Creme Matte Lipsticks – those are fabulous. NXY just about anything but the Creme Matt Lipsticks are insanely luscious and the colors….sigh.

Laura Avatar

I was waiting for an eye cream to arrive in the post when I ran out. I went to Bodycare and picked up a cheap one to tide me over until the other arrived and ended up falling in love with the cheap one! I’ve repurchased numerous times and any other eye cream would have to be amazing for me to switch. The cheap one I bought was Balance Active Snake Venom Eye Cream; before I used it, my dark circles were quite bad and looked a bit like bruises in dark light! This eye cream significantly improved them in just a couple of weeks as well as hydrates the undereye area. It was so cheap too, like £2.99 so like I mentioned above, I repurchase all the time now!

Laura Avatar

Definitely Kiko mascara. The Ultra Tech is my favorite. It usually costs 7.90€ but was on sale over the weekend for 4.90€. I bought 6… For me and to gift!

SMITA Avatar

some I like : maybelline great lash clear mascara for brows, maybelline instant age rewind eraser for dark circles in neutralizer to highlight- I use orangey concealer underneath, and maybelline’s instant age rewind primer.
I also like CG Lashblast waterproof mascara and I have a color tattoo e/s in bad to the bronze that I like. I love Avon lippies because they have nice colors.

Genevieve Avatar

I have quite a few:
L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows – especially Golden Emerald
L’Oreal Silkissme eye liner in Ivy
Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipsticks: I have Red Revival, Coral, Untainted Spice, Divine Wine and my favourite In Style Sienna and a few more..
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation and setting powder in light porcelain.
Mascaras – I am currently using a Maybelline one and it is quite good.

RMW Avatar

I hate to sound so cliche, BUT, Lol .. Being New to the group, I have loved all the dupes and reading all the blogs and responses. They helped me seek out and conquer a whole new realm of awesome beauty products at half the price, awesome quality and quantity! *Awe* 🙂 I’m proof that you are never too old to keep learning. L. So on that note, every product I purchased since recently joining the T Team. Thank You Gal’s!! 🙂

Claire L Avatar

Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in 01 Fair and 02 Light, I wear one or the other or a combo of both depending on the season. Best cheap concealer I’ve found that I don’t react to. Kiko LE Rebel Romantic line – bouncy blush, lipsticks and lipliners. Just gorgeous and lasts well. Zoeva En Taupe eyeshadow palette, great cool neutrals and really affordable.

Debbie Avatar

I keep going back to Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara in Very Black, and Lash Discovery

Wet n Wild’s Reserve Your Cabana Bronzer

Revlon’ Super Lustrous Lipsticks in Pink in the Afternoon, Certainly Red, Sassy Mauve, Cherries in the Snow, and Fire and Ice.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Mono Eyeshadows

And of all things the Sally Girl Eye Shadow Connecting Compacts

Kat Avatar

Ah, so many! I think my staple budget products are the NYX HD Studio Photogenic loose powder, which I use for setting my under eye concealer, and then Maybelline Age Rewind concealer! The under eye is my trouble spot, just proves that sometimes a low price doesn’t mean a bad product! I also adore the ColourPop Pearlized Super Shock Cheek, as highlighter, blush, and bronzer.

AG Avatar

colourpop, as everyone else has said, but i bought maybelline’s superstay better skin foundation a few weeks ago and i absolutely LOVE it. i only use it around the center of my face but because the color match and texture are so great, you can’t tell that it’s not blended out completely. lasts ALL day and looks perfect and keeps my blush totally intact, which is unheard of.

i also like maybelline age rewind concealers! such a nice texture.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

This isn’t truly a beauty product but skin care. I love the Cere Ve line, lotions, creams, sudsing and non sudsing cleansers for face and body.
I use it when my skin has swimming pool or winter weather nervous breakdown s. My skin stops itching and is less dry in a short time.
I actually learned about it from my dermatologist.

Madame Miyagi Avatar

L’Oreal Double Extend mascara – a totally buildable water-resistant formula that comes off with only water; great for lazy gals with sensitive eyes who like to hang around a pool without having to sacrifice their makeup (aka me).

L’Oreal True Match Foudation – super blendable + impressive range of shades.

ELF brushes – lowest price tag + they don’t shed.

Susan Parker Avatar

Marcelle’s CC Cream, concealer and loose powder. This trio has become my holy grail! Jean Coutu’s Personnelle eye makeup bamboo-handled brush set. These are by far my favourite eye brushes!

kellly Avatar

NYX. They’ve gotten a lot more popular and high-profile lately but I’ve been a NYX fan for quite a few years now. I liked those little jars of colored powdered eye shadows, which I use to mix custom colors.

Dana Avatar

I mix high and low but these are my go to when I want more bang for my buck and need a beauty fix. I buy Coastal Scents palettes because they are so similar to MAC. I love NYX matte lippies and their mascara. My quest now is looking for cheaper makeup removing wipes if anyone has any suggestions. Right now I use Oleg Henriksen and $15 a month is like a bill.

ShariP Avatar

I use the Equate brand at Walmart. They have a dupe for the Olay brand that works really well. It says that it’s for sensitive skin, but my skins not too sensitive so I really can’t say if that claim is true. The price is $3.50 for 30 wipes.

Jen Avatar

My HG wipe is the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Cleansing Towlettes. They come in packs of $25 and retail for about $7 a pack, but you can always find sales on Neutrogena. They also sell 2-packs which tend to be more affordable.

Stacy Avatar

Colourpop eye shadows; Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara, Jordana waterproof eyeliner pencils, Neutrogena Moisture Smooth lip crayons, Milani eyelid primer… What else, what else?… the NYX Avant Pop eye shadow palettes are fantastic. I’m sure there are more (especially mascaras), but those are the ones that come to mind the quickest.

BonnieJ Avatar

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara with the curved brush, Neutrogena cleansers, makeup remover wipes, and their Visibly Even Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 are my drugstore favorites.

Karen Avatar

These stand up to a full day of work without smudging, flaking or melting. Favorites are WNW eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks, Maybelline Vivids lipsticks, Falsies mascara and Fit Me foundations, Infallible shadows, Revlon Lip Butters and some lip stains and balms, most NYX lip products. I love the luxurious feel of some higher end products but I’ve tried enough drugstore products to do a full face makeup. .

Jackie Avatar

Jordana Easyliner lipliner in Plush Plum (I buy it over and over again), Wet ‘n Wild lipsticks, and ELF Translucent Mattifying Powder, to name a few. 🙂

Angelcat47 Avatar

Jordana Waterproof Lip Liners….cheap,go on creamy but last. I got mine on Amazon(3 for $10) but I believe Walgreen also carries them.

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