Finding makeup that is just as affordable as it is comparable to the quality of high-end beauty products can feel overwhelming, discouraging, and all right, we’ll say it – downright impossible. The drugstore offers hundreds of reasonably priced beauty products, from foundation to blushes, but how do you know which ones are actually worth purchasing? To solve this enduring problem, we decided to put drugstore makeup to the test so that you don’t have to. Below are our 5 favorite “holy grail” products that we believe are dupes for high-end makeup in terms of quality, consistency, pigmentation, and coverage.
Why we love it: This medium-to-full coverage foundation is lightweight, oil-free, and provides a seamless airbrushed finish. Drugstore foundations are notorious for having pink or peachy undertones, which typically make the skin appear more orange than natural. This foundation, however, has a yellow undertone that better complements a greater variety of skin types and doesn’t leave the face looking cakey.
Tips for wearing: For best results, use a mattifying primer before applying makeup with a beauty blender. Because this foundation is only available in 11 shades, it may be difficult to find a perfect match for you. If this is the case, consider purchasing a foundation one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone, then contour with a darker concealer or bronzer to deepen the color.
Why we love it: This concealer doesn’t just have to be used as a dark circle treatment. We love this product because of its stand-out ability to brighten up the under eyes and highlight the face when applied to the T-zone. No matter if you’re contouring for a night out or simply trying to look like you didn’t just roll out of bed, this concealer’s easy application makes for quick and flawless face coverage.
Tips for wearing: Don’t be afraid to apply the concealer generously to cover up troubled areas before setting with a translucent powder. This product is buildable, which means you can apply several layers without your makeup looking cakey. We also recommend purchasing the concealer in a shade lighter than your skin tone to maximize its brightening effect.
Why we love it: Kardashian makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic is famous for using banana powder to give Kim her signature look. Although this compact HD finishing powder isn’t applied in quite the same way as loose banana powder, it gives the skin a similar glow. The banana shade equally complements all skin tones, reduces redness, and doesn’t smudge or crease easily.
Tips for wearing: Apply under the eyes with a small powder brush directly after concealer application. For even longer-lasting wear, use a setting spray once all face makeup is completed. If you have oily skin, you may find it necessary to touch up this powder once or twice throughout the day, so be sure to keep blotting paper in your purse if you are out and about.
Why we love it: First of all, how gorgeous is this color? Milani’s baked blush has a silky texture, lasts all day, and glides onto the apples of the cheeks with minimum effort. Unlike many drugstore blushes, the product is highly pigmented and provides even coverage for a peachy, shimmery glow.
Tips for wearing: Using a blush with a light shimmer eliminates the need for a highlighter, so be sure to avoid making this over-glittery mistake. Also, remember that a little of this blush goes a long way, so lightly tap your brush into the product before sweeping it onto your cheekbones. It’s always better to apply more later than to realize you applied too much!
Why we love it: Not only is this product the best drugstore bronzer we tried, but it’s also the most affordable. The powder’s consistency provides sunkissed-looking skin that never clings to dry patches or looks blotchy. While some drugstore bronzers make the skin look orange, this one’s deep brown undertone means that achieving a summer tan just got that much easier.
Tips for wearing: Get a goddess-like glow by applying this product just below the jawbone, at the top of the forehead, and along the base of the jawline, just as if you were contouring. By carefully applying your bronzer in only the right places, then blending it out, you will achieve a much more natural look than if you simply brushed the product all over your face.