My Favorite Drugstore Brands

Everyone loves to save money, whether it’s on everyday purchases or textbooks (for my fellow students). For makeup lovers, running to grab the latest Too Faced palette or Benefit Cosmetics latest eyebrow gel is not always an option because bills (#responsibilities… am I right?) Some of these inexpensive brands can be found in drugstores such Walgreens and Rite Aid while others are in beauty shops like Sephora and Ulta.

These brands will make any makeup fanatic squeal with joy because while the products are cheaper, they provide quality products that match cosmetic brands with more expensive price tags.
Black Radiance
Black Radiance aims to produce quality products for women of color. Founded by Eric Chen in 1984, the brand was revamped in 2002 and steadily grew its presence among the African-American community, though other ethnicities have used the products. The company’s motto is “Love your shade of beauty”, promoting self-love and pride in their customers of every color.
Most of the products cost less than a meal at a fast food restaurant and the colors are extensive as well as very pigmented.  The contour palettes are among favorites of the brand. And there are lip kits  with three shades that are perfect for when you hit the town for a night of… well whatever it is that you do.
True Complexion Contour Palette ($8)
Perfect Tone Lip Creme ($3.99)
BH Cosmetics
BH Cosmetics was founded in 2009 and have, in my opinion, the best eyeshadow palettes in the beauty industry. Their Weekend Festival Palette create some of the best looks I’ve seen on Instagram. And the brand frequently does collaborations with makeup artists like Youtuber Itsmyrayeraye, who created an entire collection including brushes.
Highly pigmented, the eyeshadow palettes are also easy on the wallet with most costing between $8 and $20.For lip products, the liquid lipsticks start at $5 and the color lasts for hours. Another bonus: BH Cosmetics have sales every day on their website! Most of the sales last up to three days and some products are discounted up to 50% off.
Liquid Lipstick (Charlotte)- $5
Weekend Festival Palette- $12


This brand brightens my day due to the variety of gorgeous colors they include in their eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks. Colourpop was founded by brother-sister duo John and Laura Nelson in 2014 and has rapidly grown with its assortment of colorful products that create gorgeous looks for fans of highlighter and bright eyeshadow.
Fans of the brand are quick to point out that the investment into Colourpop products are worth it because the makeup is long-lasting and gives fans feelings of confidence and giddiness. One of the most popular products from the brand is their Super Shock line of highlighters, eyeshadows, and blushes. Highly pigmented and cruelty free, the brand is one of my faves.
Ultra Matte Lipstick (Arriba) $6.50
SuperShock Highlighter (Teasecake shade) $8


Everyone in the world knows about Covergirl. With their spokeswomen like Sofia Vergara, Ellen Degeneres, and Queen Latifah, Covergirl’s reputation as one of the world’s best cosmetic companies still holds today. One of the best things about this brand is it can be found in drugstores as well as stores like Sephora or Ulta.
Favorite products recommended by Covergirl fans include their Lash Blast mascara and their TruBlend foundation. Most of the products are under $10 and Covergirl is a must-have brand for any makeup lover and is great for beginners.
Flourish by Lash Blast Mascara- $9
Covergirl TruBlend Liquid Makeup- $7

E.l.f (acronym for eyes, lip, and face) is one of the best brands if you are looking to splurge on makeup but don’t want to fork out a lot of money. The brand is sold everywhere; Target, Walgreens, Ulta, etc.

E.l.f has everything you need for a full makeup collection and their brushes are cost-friendly and work as well as high-end cosmetic brushes. Plus they have skincare products! One of my favorite products from e.l.f is the Hydrating Face Primer. If you are looking for beauty on a budget, e.l.f is definitely the way to go.
Day to Night Lipstick Duo $5
Hydrating Face Primer $6


Essence proves that it can hold its own against other cosmetic juggernauts. Hailing from Germany, Essence was founded by Christina in 2001 and by 2011, the brand had expanded its reach to the US and won its first award from Allure magazine. Essence is available in select drugstores and has its own section in Ulta; this is a testament to the brand’s popularity.
The highlighters and blushes receive rave reviews due their brilliant colors. The eyebrow kit is perfect for beginners who have a difficult time finding the perfect shape/arch for their eyebrows. Right now the Make Me Glow liquid highlighter has been essential in my routine. With most of the products costing less than or around the price of a Venti coffee from Starbucks, Essence is perfect for any makeup collection.
Brow kit
Make Me Glow liquid highlighter $5.49
L.A Girl
L.A Girl is a gem to its fans. With the right assortment of products, man people appear to have had their makeup professionally done. L.A Girl’s face products have been praised on Youtube and in blogs.
Prices are quite affordable and all products are of superb quality. One of the most reviewed products on Youtube is the Pro Matte foundation. The colors are fan (wait-for-it) tastic and their color eyeliners work for any eye color (the blue eyeliner makes brown eyes pop). I recommend this brand to anyone in love with vibrant and trendy looks.
Fineline Eyeliner- $6
Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation- $7

Founded in 1909 by Eugene Schueller, L’Oreal has been called the best cosmetic brand in the world. This French brand has been a staple in the beauty industry for decades. From makeup to hair, the brand has everything you’d need for creating your LOTD (Look of the day).

One of the best products from L’Oreal is their Voluminous Original Mascara. The True Match foundations stand the test of time against other high-end brands.
Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara (prices vary)
True Match Super Blendable Makeup (prices vary)

Makeup Revolution

One of my favorite brands ever, Makeup Revolution has some of the best highlighters and eyeshadow palettes. With four lines within the brand, there are products for everyone.
Most of the eyeshadow palettes cost between $7 and $15. The eyeliners offer the perfect winged liner looks. One of the newer products and something that I can’t wait to try is the Renaissance Flick eyeliner pen. Ulta usually has great deals if you don’t feel like waiting for your items to ship from the UK.
Violet Chocolate palette
Renaissance Flick Eyeliner Pen
The #1 makeup brand in America and can be found everywhere (Target, Walgreens, Walmart, etc). Maybelline shows no signs of slowing down. Founded in 1917 by Thomas Lyle Williams, the brand’s humble beginnings led to becoming a world-renowned brand. It doesn’t hurt that their list of celebrity endorsers include Adriana Lima and Gigi Hadid.
Maybelline‘s mascara is the first thing that comes mind when people hear “Maybelline”. One of my favorite products is the Fit Me foundation, which boasts over forty shades and offers two finishes: matte and poreless or dewy and smooth. The foundation applies smoothly and you are guaranteed to find your shade. I definitely recommend having some Maybelline products in your collection!
Fit Me Dewy+Smooth Foundation $7 (ulta)
Lash Sensational Mascara $7
Milani is famous for their gorgeous lip and face products. The company really provides a variety of shades that fit every skin tone; their lipsticks and glosses really make your lips stand out. For those who love doing their nails, Milani has a line of beautiful nail polishes (my favorite is “Enchanting” from the Color Statement nail lacquers.
Milani can be found in an assortment of stores (Ulta, CVS/Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Meijer) and you can stock up on the essentials for less than $30, depending on what you get.
Color Statement Nail Polish $4
Color Statement Lipstick $6

For the creative makeup addicts out there, Nyx Cosmetics is an important brand to keep in your bag. The brand hosts Face Awards every year, in which people create fascinating looks with Nyx products and submit their photos, hoping to be one of the winners.

Popular products from Nyx include their Lip Lingerie line of lip glosses, metallic glitter, and single eyeshadows. Perfectly pigmented with little fallout, the brand produces high quality eyeshadows and eyeliners. Make sure to check out the Face Awards on Instagram.

Lip Lingerie Set 4 $12


Love In Paris eyeshadow $5

Ah, Revlon. The first time I heard of this brand was during America’s Next Top Model’s cycle 1, when the winner Adrianne Curry was offered a contract to represent the brand. I loved watching Jay Manuel work the lipstick and eyeshadows on the girls and the looks they created. Years later, as I began my foray into the beauty world, I looked toward Revlon. Plus they have some of the best models/representatives; Gal Gadot and Ashley Graham among others.

If you like bold lip colors, definitely stock up on Revlon lipsticks or glosses. I am a red lip kind of girl so Revlon is a go-to for me. If you happen to go into your local drugstore or stores like Walmart, check out the Exactify Eyeliner. Winged eyeliner never looked so cool!

Colorstay Brow Kit (prices vary)
Colorstay Overtime Color (prices vary)

Photo Credits:

Black Radiance (website)

 BH Cosmetics (website)

Colourpop (website)

Covergirl (website)

E.l.f Cosmetics (website)

Essence (website)

L.A Girl (website)

L’Oreal (website)

Makeup Revolution (website)

Maybelline (website)

Milani (website)

Nyx Cosmetics (website)

Revlon (website)

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