Drugstore Makeup for a High-End Look

A common misconception when it comes to drugstore makeup is that a lower price equates to lower quality. However, as a college student on a budget and a YouTuber who reviews makeup, I like to cover all ends of the beauty spectrum, from the most affordable to embarrassingly expensive. I’ve handpicked some of my “holy grail” finds from the drugstore; if you were to rip off their labels, you might think you were wandering into high-end territory.

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REVLON PHOTOREADY PORE REDUCING PRIMER

$12.99 USD

This primer from Revlon’s new PhotoReady™collection is a newfound favorite of mine and quite literally a cheaper dupe for the Becca Velvet Blurring Primer ($38 USD). Not only does the velvety texture leave your skin silky smooth and blurred to perfection, but the peach-colored tint also helps to color correct and neutralize your complexion – no filter needed!

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E.L.F. BEAUTY SHIELD ANTIOXIDANT ARMORED SETTING POWDER

$8 USD

e.l.f.’s new Beauty Shield Collection, from the packaging to the formula, is nothing if not luxurious. The standout product from this line is the loose finishing powder, which is formulated with antioxidants like Licorice Extract, Vitamin E and Vitamin C so it keeps your skin looking good and feeling good. The no-fuss powder smooths over the skin and softens texture, and leaves behind undetectable coverage without any dryness or cakiness.

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MILANI STROBELIGHT INSTANT GLOW POWDER

$9.99 USD

This highlighter is hands down my favorite discovery from the drugstore and a go-to in my everyday routine. The light-reflecting pearls give off a soft, radiant finish that never emphasizes pores or texture.The formula is foolproof for those who prefer a more natural, wet-looking highlight, but can also be built up to an illuminating intensity. Ten dollars spent on this Milani highlighter is ten dollars well spent.

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E.L.F. AQUA BEAUTY VELVET TOUCH EYESHADOW PALETTE – COOL MIST

$12 USD

e.l.f. constantly amazes me with the quality of their makeup for how low their prices are – I’m even an “A-lister” in their rewards program now, but that’s beside the point – and this palette is no exception. The velvet touch eyeshadows are a unique cushiony cream formula, similar to the puddy-esque ColourPop Super Shock Shadows. ‘Twas love at first sight with the color selection of the “Cool Mist” palette, which features a mixture of blue hues, earthy brown tones, an icy pearl white, and even a duo-chrome shade for all your cool-toned needs. Although on the pricier side for the brand, the six shadows definitely do not lack in payoff or pan size.