Best Drugstore Face Products

Hello Beauties!

As I was working on my drugstore blush post last week, (AKA looking like I had been attacked by a Blush Swatch Monster) I started thinking it might be helpful to also share the best drugstore foundations, concealers, and powders. I mean, what’s the point of blush if the rest of you is looking rough?

If you asked me what makeup product I could never give up, I would definitely say concealer and foundation. And lipstick. And mascara. And shimmery eye shadows.

So if you are also addicted to getting that flawless face, read on!

Disclosure: I don’t get paid to do any of these reviews. These products are bought with my sad grad school funds and opinions are my own!

The best makeup products for your face-on a budget!

The best makeup products for your face-on a budget!


1. Primer

NYX Studio Perfect Primer and Maybelline Baby Skin

Since my days during the academic year can have me away from my house from 10-14 hours, I always prime before I get started.

My personal favorite is Maybelline’s Baby Skin, $6. It applies very smoothly and I actually noticed my pores did look smaller.  Some people compare it to Benefit’s Porefessional, but the  formulas feel very different to me, although I guess this could be a cheaper alternative. I wouldn’t call it a true dupe, though.

A close runner up is NYX’s Studio Perfect Primer, $13. This one is a little bit more expensive, but I usually have good luck with it helping my makeup last longer.

2. Foundation

Best Drugstore Foundation

I touched on my favorite drugstore foundations in my post about skincare on a budget, which you can find here. But for a quick summary, I think Revlon’s Colorstay foundation($10) is perfect. It has full coverage and stays on all day without too much shine.

My runner up would be e.l.f.’s Studio Flawless Finish Foundation ($6). There are only a few shades available in this line which is a downside. However, it’s oil-free, and that’s a win in my book. It has medium coverage and doesn’t last as long as the Revlon foundation, placing it in second for my fave drugstore foundations.

3. Concealer (aka my best friend and soulmate.)

Best Concealers on a Budget

Best Concealer on a Budget

For my under eyes, I love using Maybelline’s Dream Lumi Touch in Radiant, $6. The orangeish/pinkish color helps hide my dark circles, and it doesn’t crease too badly in my fine lines from never sleeping during grad school. The color of this concealer actually reminds me of Benefit’s Erase Paste, but it’s much, much cheaper.

As for blemishes and anything else I feel like hiding on my face, I usually use e.l.f.’s Studio Concealer, $6. I like this product because it’s oil free, and has medium coverage that I can get to blend in well.

Now for days that something terrifying is happening on my face and I need maximum coverage, I use Hard Candy’s Glamoflauge, $6. This stuff is thick and very pigmented, a little bit will go a long way. If you’ve got something to hide, this is going to get the job done.

4. Powder

Best Drugstore Powders

Now that you’re all spackled up, you need to set your makeup with something cheap. I’ve got you covered. No pun intended?

Rimmel’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent ($5) is my go-to for setting my make-up and staying shine free for up to 4-5 hours.

The internet loves e.l.f.’s Studio High Definition Powder, ($6) so I thought I would include it here. It sets my makeup but I have yet to see it do anything truly amazing and worthy of its’ internet praise. (I’m waiting for it to tapdance, tbh.) You also have to be careful, if you use too much you will have a ghost face.

5. Brush Cleaner

Brush Cleaner on a Budget

I don’t believe in setting spray, so I’m skipping that step. (If you have an amazing drugstore setting spray that you believe in, please share in the comments. But, I’ve tried e.l.f.’s and NYX’s and both of them had the same effect as spraying water on my face.)

So, you look gorgeous now. It’s time to clean your brushes up. My favorite cheap brush cleaners are e.l.f.’s Daily Brush Cleaner ($3) for daily use, and then when I remember once a week I use their Brush Shampoo ($3) for a deep clean.

Cleaning my brushes regularly also helps prevent those pesky breakouts (AKA my mortal enemies) so this is important step I try not to forget.

If you are in the market for some cheap, new makeup for making your face look flawless try these options out and let me know what you think!

Questions of the Day:
-Do you have a favorite drugstore foundation or concealer?
-What is the hype surrounded e.l.f.’s HD Powder? Do you know? Am I doing it wrong?
-What are your thoughts on setting sprays?




9 thoughts on “Best Drugstore Face Products

  1. sshhbeauty says:

    WOW was this post helpful! You got in some great tips. Looks like I’ll have to go shopping later to pick up some of these bits! x

  2. OK… I love questions of the day so here we go: favorite drugstore foundation is the Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1. I find that it has just as nice coverage and finish as a super high-end foundation I’ve also experimented with. It works fabulously with a beauty blender.

    2.I think people have said the e.l.f. powder is a dupe for the super popular Makeup Forever HD powder. I don’t have experience with either but I’m pretty sure that’s where the hype is from.

    3. I use setting spray everyday except when I forget… I’m not entirely sure it makes a difference but there is something psychological about it. Like thinking that you are getting an extra layer of security on your face. I use the Urban Decay sprays (whichever is not out of stock when I go) but I have also worked with the one from e.l.f. before and it was OK.

    • Hi Rachel!
      I will definitely have to check out that Covergirl foundation. I’m just about finished with my Revlon Colorstay, and I love experimenting.

      I haven’t tried the Makeup Forever powder either, so that might be why I’m missing the excitement with the e.l.f. powder. I may just be more of a pressed powder girl, in general, though.

      I know sometimes they sell the Urban Decay Setting Spray in a travel size for cheaper, I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I’m at Ulta or Sephora. (AKA all the time.) Maybe that one will work better for me.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m excited to try the products you mentioned!

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