Confession time: My name is Sarah, and I’m addicted to makeup. I’ll admit, the amount of makeup I own is alarming. Nothing gets me more excited than wandering through the beauty counters and seeing all the pretty, shimmery things! But while I do love the fancy stuff, some of my all-time best budget beauty buys are from the drugstore. The formulas and technology have improved so much over the years that drugstore brands really can go head-to-head with some of the more expensive brands.
The holidays are always crazy busy with tons of events, from kids’ events and activities to date nights to office parties. If there is one time of the year I really make an effort to look my best, this is it—I see people I haven’t seen all year and TONS of photos are inevitable. However, it’s also the time of year that I really shouldn’t be spending lots of money on beauty products for myself (hello, Christmas shopping budget!). Here are some of the absolute best budget beauty buys to help you stay fabulous (and maybe a little bit extra) all holiday season long:
5 Budget Beauty Buys:
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector: This under-eye brightener and concealer is just as good as the cult fave, YSL Touche Eclat, but for 1/4 the price. This product hydrates and brightens the under eye area instantly, making you look well rested, even when your children wake you up at 6am on Christmas morning! Pro Tip: apply product directly under the eyes and all the way up to the lash line, then blend out with a damp beauty blender sponge. Set with a finely-milled powder so it doesn’t look cakey (I love Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder—not a drugstore find, but still a good value as it lasts for-ev-er).
- Anything by NYX Cosmetics: Have you seen the glorious store at Stonebriar Mall? It is everything that my dreams are made of; I especially love their ENORMOUS selection of lip products in all different finishes. I’ve been wearing the Plush Gel Lipstick in Nude Beach nonstop lately: it’s creamy and hydrating, and a gorgeous nude color that can work for the gym or a night out, plus, it doesn’t require a mirror to apply—so perfect! Also great from NYX: High Definition Finishing Powder (it comes in pressed or loose formulas), Micro Brow Pencil, and the Butt Naked Turn the Other Cheek Palette.
- E.l.f. Cosmetics Brushes: These brushes are high density, velvety; they transfer product beautifully and wash well. And they are DIRT cheap. Run, don’t walk, to buy these brushes. My absolute favorites are the Contouring Kabuki Brush (it is $6, people!) and the Complexion Brush ($4?! Is this real life?). E.l.f. has several lines of brushes and some are better than others. Pro Tip: If you stick with the Luxe Brush Collection (all black handles) or the Beautifully Precise Collection (clear handle with silver metal at base of brush), you will not be disappointed.
- Eylure London Eyelashes: I learned about these lashes several years ago at a makeup artist conference I attended. All the artists raved about them because they are made (baked, actually) so the strip curves naturally to fit your eye comfortably. Besides being easy to wear, Eylure’s range and price is unbeatable! They carry a big selection now in store at Target and Ulta, among others. These lashes are luxurious feeling and look like a much more expensive lash! My favorite is Eylure’s Definition Line—every style makes my eyes pop! Application tip: try taking a tiny eyeliner brush and using it to brush a thin line of lash glue just like you would with liner. Then simply place the strip of lashes on top of the line of glue. For whatever reason, the line on the skin helps me apply them more accurately on the first try! Eylure lashes are reusable several times, so they really are one of the cheapest ways to glam up your routine for those fancy holiday parties!
- Profusion Cosmetics: I came across Profusion very recently at Target. The colors seemed densely pigmented and perfectly shimmered (not glittery, as some cheap makeup can come across). I literally had to look at the prices THREE times to make sure I was seeing them correctly. For $5-$10 per large palette, it’s worth at least trying, right? So I bought one, took it home, and tried it, and y’all, to my complete shock, this stuff is SO. GOOD. Try the Strobe and Glow Palette or the Highlight and Contour Palette. The colors glide onto the skin seamlessly and blend effortlessly, just like some of my more expensive products. Profusion is my little holiday gift to you…for these guilt-free prices, treat yo’self!
What are your favorite budget beauty buys and tips? Any products you can’t live without? Here’s to a happy, healthy, and GORGEOUS holiday season and 2018!