Best Underrated Affordable Makeup Brands

I get it. You want to look your best, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on makeup. I’ve been there, scouring the aisles for hidden gems that won’t make my wallet cry. And you know what? I found them. The best underrated affordable makeup brands that deliver serious quality without the hefty price tag.

These brands are the real deal. They’ve got everything from creamy concealers to pigmented eyeshadows, all at prices that’ll make you do a double-take. I’m talking under $20 for most products. Crazy, right?

So, if you’re ready to elevate your makeup game without breaking the bank, keep reading. I’m spilling all the tea on the 10 best underrated affordable makeup brands you need in your life. Trust me, your face (and your wallet) will thank you.

Table of Contents:

10 Best Affordable Makeup Brands You Need to Know About

Let’s get one thing straight here: there ain’t no shame in the drugstore makeup game. Just because something is affordable, doesn’t make it any less pigmented, long-lasting, or just overall better than a higher-end product, Here at Allure, we love a good bargain â after all, we dedicate an entire category to steals every year in our Best of Beauty awards.

Plus, we like to look at it like this â if you’re spending less money on one product in your makeup routine, you’ll have more money to spend on other steps. Don’t get us wrong, we do love a good splurge but think about it, if you save that $100 you were planning to blow on a foundation and use that money in a drugstore, it’ll get you so many products for pretty great quality too.

Why You Don’t Need to Break the Bank for Quality Makeup

That’s right, just because something is affordable, doesn’t mean it’s not as pigmented, long-lasting, or high-performance as a high-end product. Take a look at legacy makeup brands like L’Oréal and Maybelline for example. They’ve stood the test of time, continually evolving and improving their formulas over the years, but still keeping their prices accessible.

What Makes These Brands Stand Out

Meanwhile new brands like Glossier and e.l.f. Cosmetics have found their fame through social media vitality—as sure a sign of any that a product is worth hunting down, regardless of its price tag.

Now, we get it. The drugstore is a really big place and now that so many brands are sold online at retailers like Ulta Beauty, Amazon, and Walmart you can just add these affordable picks to your cart and sometimes you’ll get them the next day (shoutout to Prime). So, where do you start? We rounded up the 11 best drugstore brands and our favorite products from each.

1. NYX Professional Makeup

Ask any makeup artist what their favorite affordable makeup brand is and we can pretty much guarantee they’ll say NYX. It’s another U.S. import and has quickly become a favorite amongst those looking for affordable and accessible makeup products. Since the products are designed and formulated with makeup professionals in mind, they’re seriously good quality.

Lip products are one of NYX’s specialties, and with a collection that includes lipsticks, lip stains, lip glosses, and liquid lipsticks, there really is something for everyone. This double-ended lipstick-gloss hybrid is a favorite amongst makeup artists.

2. Flower Beauty

Founded by actress Drew Barrymore, Flower Beauty offers a wide selection of makeup and skincare products that are both affordable and effective. The brand is committed to using clean, cruelty-free ingredients and often features unique packaging that reflects Barrymore’s fun and quirky personality.

3. e.l.f. Cosmetics

E.l.f. has some of my favorite products. Their eyeshadow palettes are pigmented and blend easily, and their liquid lipsticks are comfortable and long-lasting. I also love that they’re constantly releasing new, on-trend products to keep my makeup routine fresh and exciting.

4. Wet n Wild

Wet n Wild is a classic drugstore brand that consistently delivers quality makeup products at an unbeatable price tag. Their Color Icon eyeshadow palettes and MegaLast Lip Color lipsticks are some of the best drugstore products out there. They also have a great selection of affordable brushes and tools.

5. Essence Cosmetics

Essence Cosmetics’ Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara has gained a cult following for its ability to deliver dramatic, voluminous lashes at a budget-friendly price point. The mascara’s unique brush and formula work together to coat and separate each lash, creating a falsies effect without clumping or flaking.

Essence Cosmetics’ Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara is a must-have in any beauty bag. This affordable mascara delivers high-end results, making lashes look fuller, longer, and more dramatic with just a few swipes. The wand’s shape and bristles work together to separate and coat each lash, while the formula stays put all day without smudging or flaking. It’s no wonder this mascara has gained a devoted following among beauty enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure

6. Milani Cosmetics

Milani Cosmetics is an Italian-inspired brand that offers a range of high-quality makeup products at affordable prices. Their Color Statement Lipsticks and Baked Blushes are particularly noteworthy for their rich pigmentation and smooth, blendable formulas. Milani is also committed to creating products that are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

7. L.A. Girl

L.A. Girl’s HD Pro Conceal is a must-have in my makeup bag. This creamy concealer has a buildable formula that covers dark circles and blemishes without creasing or looking cakey. It comes in a wide range of shades to suit different skin tones and undertones.

8. Colourpop

Colourpop is an online-only brand that has gained a massive following for its trendy, high-quality makeup products at affordable prices. Their Super Shock Shadows, Ultra Matte Lips, and Pressed Powder Shadows are some of their most popular items. Colourpop frequently collaborates with influencers and celebrities to create limited-edition collections.

Product Description Price
Colourpop Xtra Celestial Clearly In Love Pressed Powder Palette Nine-pan palette with metallics and mattes to create an array of looks $14
Colourpop Pressed Powder Blush Pigmented powder blush in two shades: Swirled (dusty rose) and Toffee Cake (rich berry) $5

9. BH Cosmetics

BH Cosmetics offers a wide selection of affordable eyeshadow palettes, makeup brushes, and other makeup essentials. Their palettes often feature a mix of matte and shimmer shades in highly pigmented, blendable formulas. BH Cosmetics also offers a range of cruelty-free and vegan-friendly options.

10. Makeup Revolution

Makeup Revolution is a British brand that offers a vast array of affordable makeup products, from eyeshadow palettes to base makeup. Their Conceal & Define Concealer and Baking Powder are cult favorites for their ability to create a flawless, long-lasting base. Makeup Revolution is also known for its frequent product launches and dupes of high-end bestsellers.

Key Takeaway: 

Drugstore makeup can be just as pigmented and long-lasting as high-end brands. Brands like NYX, e.l.f., and Wet n Wild offer quality products at a fraction of the price, letting you save money for other goodies. Remember, great makeup doesn’t have to break the bank.


There you have it, the 10 best underrated affordable makeup brands that prove you don’t need to spend a fortune to look and feel your best. From NYX’s professional-grade products to Essence’s lash-transforming mascaras, these brands offer serious quality at prices that won’t make you cringe.

But here’s the thing: these brands are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many incredible affordable makeup brands out there, waiting to be discovered. So don’t be afraid to experiment, to try new things, and to find what works for you.

Remember, makeup is about expressing yourself, having fun, and feeling confident in your own skin. And with these best underrated affordable makeup brands in your arsenal, you can do just that – without sacrificing quality or breaking the bank.

So go ahead, give them a try. Mix and match, find your favorites, and rock that look like the boss you are. Because at the end of the day, makeup is about you – and you deserve the best, no matter your budget.

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