Shelves with cosmetics in a Target store. Target is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States
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Drugstore Beauty Products Editors Swear By Or Never Buy

Unfortunately, when it comes to the high end vs. drugstore debate, there is no guarantee that the products you buy are going to be what you expect. Not all luxury brand concealers are going to do everything you need them to and some of those mascaras lining the shelves at your favorite convenience store could very well end up being the best you’ve ever tried.

When it comes to high end products, the high dollar amounts are typically because of things like expensive packaging and the presence of a luxury brand name rather than the actual quality of the formula.

While there are definitely pros and cons to each side, making the decision between high end and drugstore beauty products ultimately comes down to a few things: your budget, your personal preferences, your beauty needs, and actual quality.

Drugstore Beauty Products Editors Swear By

Primer: As important as it is to include a primer in your regular makeup regimen, it’s not always necessary to choose the most expensive one out there. Products like Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer cost roughly $7 provide an awesome, skin-smoothing base for any look.

Mascara: The short shelf life of mascara makes the investment of purchasing one from a luxury brand difficult to justify. For a drugstore mascara that adds the perfect amount of volume and length to lashes check out L’Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara, which carries a not-so-hefty price of $9.

Lip-Gloss: As much as our thirteen-year-old selves would beg to differ, you probably don’t need to be as discerning about lip-gloss as you do with other products. As long as the gloss you choose is long lasting and keeps those kissers perfectly shiny, you don’t need to shell out any big bucks. $5 is all you need to enjoy the glossy wonders of NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss.

Facial Cleaners: If you care about your skin (which you should), you’ve probably been roped into spending obscene amounts of money on daily facial cleansers but products like Olay Foaming Face Wash and Neutrogena Deep Clean Daily Cleanser both market prices under $8 and leave skin perfectly clean and healthy.

Moisturizer: While moisturizer tends to be a bit more expensive than cleansers, their quality is eerily similar. Roughly $7 gets you CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, a fantastic moisturizer that perfectly hydrates and protects all skin types.

Blushes: The secret to an awesome blush is a deep, gorgeous pigment and while it may be true that luxury brands make slightly more pigmented products, blushes are extremely buildable. With a little bit of effort you can turn a $9 Milani Rose Powder Blush into something that completely transforms your face.

Drugstore Beauty Products Editors Never Buy

Foundation: Drugstore foundations may be buildable, but if you want a lightweight, heavy-duty foundation that offers a large color selection, high end products are the way to go. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation retails at $43 and offers all of these things, plus a little more!

Lipstick: Vibrancy and staying power are what really matter when it comes to buying lipstick. You don’t want to be on your second cup of coffee and find yourself left with unsightly half-painted lips. NARS Audacious Lipstick carries a price tag of $32 and boasts a gorgeously weightless, long-lasting formula.

Concealer: Concealer is meant to help you hide your problem areas—which means that you definitely don’t want to skimp on quality. The $29 NARS Radiant creamy Concealer is an all-purpose product that works to help heal and moisturize the skin while it conceals.

Eyeshadow: Those artful smoky eyes don’t come into fruition without the help of some amazing eyeshadow and great technique. While technique can be learned with a few minutes on YouTube, $16 MAC Eye Shadow and the $49 Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Palette provide tons of selection, crazy pigmentation, and the guarantee of some awesome insta selfies.

Setting Spray: There’s no use in creating an amazing look if it’s going to be foiled by an oily “T” zone or a particularly humid day, which makes a good setting spray crucial. For $30 the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray will keep your makeup in top form no matter how much you party.

The Takeaway

As a beauty editor, it is important to know when to splurge on certain products and when to stay within your budget and while this list serves as a general guide for which drugstore products to try and which ones to avoid, it is important to trust your judgment and use discretion. Drugstore beauty products can be a blessing for any makeup hound on a budget, especially if you choose the right ones!

Have any drugstore faves you think we should check out? Let us know!

Professional freelancer in love with all things beauty. When I’m not writing for Daily Beauty Hack I can probably be found hoarding liquid lipsticks, daydreaming about the beach, or binge-watching cheesy teen movies.