**Update: Darling, this article is semi-ancient and will be updated soon. Feel free to read, but please check back again soon. In the meantime, refer to the main beauty section for newer (less antiquated) bits of brilliance.**
How often have you seen lists such as this on Pinterest? Perhaps a million or more.
I realize my beauty product related lists are often more condensed and published less frequent than many lists you may see in a magazine or on another blog. Please remember that I have neurotically high standards for all of the content I include within The Daily Doll. I am more often unimpressed by products than I am impressed. Also, I am not interested in wasting your time by recommending mediocre or “good enough” products.
If I recommend a product or method to you, I have personally tried it and been considerably impressed with it. My only request is that you please read each review thoroughly, for I try to consistently offer specific tips and warnings for specific skin types, complexions, etc. Just because I adore a product does not mean it is a product for you.
This list specifically contains products I feel are “Hall of Fame” status in terms of makeup which can be purchased from a drugstore.
Foundation & Powder
#1 Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer
This is a brightening, smoothing under-eye concealer which provides moderate coverage and will never crease under or around the eye. It does not feel heavy, nor does it appear “caked on” the skin. The sponge applicator works quite well, allowing a speedy yet efficient application.
I have applied this product without a mirror and it still resulted in a flawless application. Also, this product is not greasy nor excessively emollient. You do not have to be dry or of a mature age to use this product, so do not allow the “Age Rewind” claim to fool you. I have oily skin, and this is neither too heavy nor greasy for me. I believe it would work well for a wide range of ages and skin types.
This concealer is available in six shades, with one of the shades being a brightener. The brightener shade is less of a concealer and more of a highlighter. It does provide some coverage, but not in the same way the other shades do. I often use the brightener shade when highlighting and contouring, and it works perfectly.
#2 L’Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Makeup
This is a unique product, and truly the best drugstore foundation I have purchased to date. It is affordable, easy to apply and an overall optimal-performing product. Although it is not ideal for a sweaty night out dancing or for extended wear in a humid climate, I still consider it to be the best affordable foundation I have purchased for the purposes of quick, natural-looking, on-the-go day-to-day makeup wear.
This foundation is perfect for school, work, a simple dinner date or for a casual day of errands. It mimics the appearance of bare skin, provides a soft glow, and the high silicone content of the product provides my skin with a “baby smooth” appearance. There is no offensive fragrance, which I consider a lovely bonus. I currently have a plethora of high-end foundations in my arsenal which were two or three times the cost of this, yet do not perform half as well.
– Never Causes or Aggravates Breakouts
– Does Not Oxidize/Change Colors
– Easy to Blend/Difficult to “Mess up”
– Needs No Brush or Tool for Application (Finger Application)
– Smooths and Softens the Skin’s Texture
– Light to Medium Coverage, allowing the skin to show through somewhat
Additional Note: This product rivals the Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation in every possible aspect. In fact. it is one of the closest cosmetic dupes I have come across to date.
Blush & Bronzer
#3 Milani Baked Blush
Milani produces high-quality, well-pigmented cosmetics and sells them at affordable prices. This blush is no exception. Each shade is moderately-pigmented (which I prefer, actually), contains a small amount of shimmer and gives the face a subtle radiance and glow. There is simply no need to purchase more expensive blushes.
#4 Physician’s Formula Bronzers
Although I have previously devoted an entire article expressing my appreciation for Physician’s Formula bronzers, I could not avoid including my favorite within this list. Please read my thorough discussion of Physician’s Formula Bronzers here. In a nutshell, there is no need to ever spend more than $15 on a silly bronzer ever again.
This is my favorite bronzer of all time, including both broad market and high-end brands.
#5 L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara
I consider myself to be a mascara connoisseur. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that well-performing mascaras both fascinate and excite me. Therefore, labeling any mascara as “the best ever”, even in broad-market drugstore standards, is a strong set of words I seldom use. I do not toss those words around as though they mean nothing. I take my mascara recommendations more seriously than most.
I wear this mascara every “ordinary” day of my life (except my “yoga pants and a book days” when I’m hibernating, reading, brain-storming, drinking coffee and wear absolutely no makeup). The only times I wear a more expensive mascara (refer to my Hall of Fame Mascara List) are the occasions I have a photo shoot or special event to attend, and desire that my eyes look as striking as possible.
This is the best drugstore mascara I have ever tried. The formula is velvety smooth and provides thick, long, well-separated, vampy and “kitten-ish” lashes.
I recently tried L’Oreal’s “Miss Manga” mascara, and loathed it. Perhaps it will inspire my Halloween costume this year.
Unlike the “Miss Manga”, this “Butterfly” mascara has never failed me. Tube after tube and application after application, it continues to provide me with the ultimate eyelash satisfaction.
Try it. I’ll be awaiting your love letters.
#6 NYX Eyeshadow Primer
There are mixed reviews for this product online, however I have found it to be a phenomenal value. In my opinion, it far exceeds many of the more expensive eyeshadow primers I have tried. It assists the pigment of the eyeshadow in appearing more vibrant and maintaining its true shade, and assists the texture of the lid in appearing smoother overall. The product’s texture is quite creamy and spreads like a dream.
Many reviewers complain that it does not prevent the eyeshadow from creasing, but I disagree. If you apply too much eye cream to your lids, this product does not work as well. Apply your eye creams to your lid more sparingly, allow the cream to absorb for a a minute and then apply this shadow base. Also, I have found that it is best to allow this shadow base to “set” for a minute or two before applying shadow on top. Lastly, only apply a veil of this product. If you coat the lid too heavily, it may cause creasing. With this product, less is certainly more.
#7 Physician’s Formula 2-n-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner
Would you believe me if I told you it is entirely unnecessary for you to ever spend more than $12.00 on a liquid eyeliner again? This eyeliner provides the ultimate ease of application and is, therefore, nearly impossible to mess up. Additionally, it stays in place for hours yet washes away effortlessly.
This formula is marketed as not only an eyeliner, but a lash-boosting serum which claims to encourage the health and growth of the lashes. I cannot say if this is true, nor do I care. I view this as a simple liquid eyeliner which performs better than the most expensive, high-end liners contained within my ridiculously oversized vault of eyeliners.
#8 E.L.F Lip Exfoliator
I have likely raved about this product far too many times already, so I apologize if I seem redundant. I will likely never stop preaching about the benefits and value of this product, however. If you suffer from chapped, dry lips, find your nearest drugstore or Ulta, and try this.
I offer a full review of this product here.
#9 Milani Color Statement Lipstick
I never feel as though I am wearing an inexpensive lipstick, and continue to be amazed that none of the shades create a yucky film at the end of the day, as many long-wearing lipsticks often do. This lipsticks has never felt uncomfortable on my lips. The tube even feels high-quality in between my fingers. Best of all, they each smell like a watermelon jolly rancher.
#10 NYX Butter Gloss
This gloss actually feels like slightly melted butter comforting your lips. It is ideal for someone who desires hydrated lips and a moderate amount of color. It is not ideal for the person who desires a full coverage, “vinyl” high-shine type of finish. It is available in a wide range of shades, and they are all vibrant and beautiful.
There is nothing remotely sticky or uncomfortable about this formula, which is why I have opted to make it my “go to” for every day. It does not matter how chapped my lips may be. Even in the dead of winter, it comforts, hydrates and smooths my lips without ever creasing.
#11 Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Xtreme
If you desire a lip plumper which will cost you less than $10.00, pick this up the next time you are at the drugstore. It will not produce fireworks, however you will see substantial visible results from the first application.
I do not recommend the pigmented formulas. I only recommend the clear (original) formula, for the pigmented ones do not work nearly as well. I receive compliments on my lips when I wear this alone. For my full review of this product, go here.