Not everyone is into make-up but I’m a fan. I enjoy the process of applying it, experimenting with new products, and it makes me feel more put together and ready to tackle my day. It can be expensive though, especially if you lean towards higher end products. If you gave me free rein in Sephora I could easily spend hundreds of dollars. There are other options, and cheap beauty products can work just as well as some of their pricier counterparts.

Whether you are an infrequent or ever day make-up wearer, it’s always good to look for the best deal. Today I’m sharing my favourite beauty products that will keep you looking good and your wallet happy.

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara

This is kind of a cult classic among beauty bloggers and for good reason. There’s none of that fancy new mascara technology here, no weird rubber wands or extravagant promises just a classic formula that actually works. It goes on smooth and won’t clump. I like natural looking mascara and find this one is perfect after one coat, but it does layer up if you want a more extreme look.

Another money-saving tidbit…If your mascara is nearing the end of its life and is getting a little cakey, warm it up before applying. Stick it in your bra while you’re doing the rest of your make-up and it will loosen up and last longer.

E.L.F Moisturizing Lipstick

lipstick is one of those things I hate spending a ton of money on because no matter what I do, it wears off. I’m not a fan of the super long-wearing formulas because they dry out my lips. I’d rather have to re-apply than be uncomfortable. The problem with re-applying is that you go through a tube way faster and that adds up fast if your lipstick is $30 a tube.

This formula from E.L.F. really is moisturizing, comes in a bunch of colours and best of all, it’s only $3! The Ravishing Rose is my go-to (the perfect ‘my lips but better’ shade), but I also like ‘Flirty & Fabulous’ for something a little brighter.

I’m a huge fan of E.L.F. in general. I find they’re good quality, super cheap, and cruelty-free. They can be a bit hard to find in Canada, but it’s not too bad ordering from the States. You will have to pay for shipping but their prices are so low, and they ALWAYS have promos on. Keep an eye out though; I’ve started seeing E.L.F. products in more and more retail stores.

E.L.F. Ultra Precise Brow Pencil

The second entry for E.L.F. on the list. I fill in my brows almost every day, even if I’m not wearing other makeup. I find it’s such a quick and simple thing that makes a big difference. This pencil makes it super easy. The thin tip gives you precision and it looks natural.

If you’ve ever used the Anastasia brow wiz pencil then it’s really similar. The formula isn’t quite as amazing, but for less than a quarter of the price it wins for me.

Vaseline Lip Therapy: Rosy Lips

I’m a big fan of these little Vaseline Lip Therapy tins. I always keep one in my purse and also have one in my desk at work and my bathroom cabinet. I’ve tried both the rosy and the original versions, and both are good. I find I use the rosy more often though. It gives the right amount of shine and colour, and keeps your lips moisturized. Easy, breezy, wait that’s Covergirl.

If you’re a Vaseline user then these are a great (and more transportable) option.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is essential. If you don’t have a good dry shampoo in your arsenal, you are seriously missing out. I’ve tried so many different ones but this is the one I keep coming back to.

I go through it too fast to justify buying a higher end brand, and some of the really cheap ones still look powdery after brushing like crazy. This one goes on white but disappears after it’s sucked up all your oil. I find it also gives my hair a nice boost and a bit of texture. Exactly what second (third, fourth, whatever) hair needs. It’s not the cheapest drugstore product you’ll find, but it gets my vote.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

I used to be totally brand loyal to the Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray but that stuff if not cheap. After having success with the Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo I figured I’d give their sea salt spray a shot. And, it’s also great. Smells yummy and gives just the right amount of texture to my somewhat limp locks.

Honestly, if I won the lottery I’d go back to B&B but until then, I’m sticking with this one.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

Again, not the cheapest nail polish you can buy at the drugstore, but this stuff goes on like a dream and actually holds up. I’m lucky if I can make it through one day without chipping my nail polish but these lasts longer than almost anything else I’ve tried.

I really like the ‘Dig Fig’ shade but also wear ‘Rhadsody Red’ regularly. There’s a huge selection of colours though, so you won’t have a problem choosing a couple.

Make sure you use a base coat though. I have found the darker colours can stain your nails if you skip that step. Not really that unusual for darker shades but keep it in mind.

Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

I’m sure anyone who treats makeup like a hobby has dreamed of owning an Urban Decay palette, but the $65 price tag is such a dealbreaker. The problem with palettes is you rarely use all the colours, and when you’re spending that much you really want to use every last speck of pigment.

When you’re only paying $15 it’s a different story. Then it doesn’t feel so bad if not every shade works for you. I’ve found this Maybelline palette has every colour I need and the shadows are good quality. I always wear an eyeshadow primer (right now I’m using E.L.F’s) which makes a big difference for pigmentation, creasing, and fading.

The Ordinary

I wanted to include skin care because I’ve had such great results with The Ordinary brand. Skin care products used to be one of the items I would splurge on because more expensive really did mean better. Now I’m not so sure about that. The Ordinary

I’ve been using the Buffett Serum and the Rose Hip Oil for almost a year and my skin is better than ever. I would highly recommend their products. Skin car is very individual but they have products for all types and concerns. Check out their site and I’m sure you’ll find something that’s the right fit. If you have current products you are using then look at their ingredients and see if you can find a close match. You’ll likely be as shocked as I was at the price difference. Some of their products start at only $5.

The Face Shop Sheet Masks

Have you tried sheet masks? I’m a total convert! Sure it’s weird to sit with this tissue like thing on your face but the fact that you don’t need to scrub or peel them off is a big win. Peel off masks hurt, and clay masks are so messy but sheet masks are just easy. I’ve ordered these variety set a few times and like almost all of them. I find my skin sucks up all the goodness and is glowy and soft for days after.

They also make great stocking stuffers at Christmas time.

If you have other cheap beauty products you use I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to share in the comments and spread the knowledge. 

Makeup doesn't have to be expensive to be good. Check out my favourite drugstore products that work!

This post was proofread by Grammarly

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