Best drugstore makeup of all time

Best Drugstore Makeup—Superior Quality, Super Affordable

Drugstore makeup has come a long way in recent years, offering high-quality and affordable options to create a soft natural look on one end and a full coverage look that lasts all day. But with the amazingly wide range of products available now at drugstores—in-store and online—getting started can be overwhelming. 

walgreens makeup aisle

But fear not because I have researched, reviewed, and selected the best makeup items from foundation to mascara—all available at your favorite drug chain or discount store. These products will give you a flawless finish without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a seasoned makeup pro or a casual user, these affordable, high-performing products will help you achieve the look you want at a price you’ll love. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the best drugstore makeup of all time.

Drugstore makeup

The products and brands listed below are available in drugstores and discount stores, such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Amazon.

You will find an Amazon link for each product, which will enable you to browse the item with a single click. Remember that while Amazon is a convenient option, you should also be able to locate these items in the makeup aisle of your local drugstore or discount store.

In some instances, I have indicated specific colors, which are for my skin tone and preference. Your color choices will be unique to you.

Brushes

Real Techniques Everyday Essentials 2.0 with Miracle Complexion Sponge set has you covered. Four brushes do it all: blush, bronzer, highlighter, concealer, and shadows. Miracle Complexion Sponge gives you an airbrushed look and flawless application.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


 

This everyday eye set has every high-quality brush you need to create flawless eye looks from natural to glam. It includes a brush for every application need. And look at that price! A single brush can run more than this entire set at the department store makeup counter.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


Primer

 

This fabulous primer visibly reduces and blurs pores while mattifying shine. It creates the perfect canvas for the foundation. Long-lasting, weightless feel. Oil-free, fragrance-free.
Suitable for all skin types

Also at …

Walmart


BB Cream

 

This light coverage bb cream is formulated with beautifying Beads; encapsulated pigments infused with antioxidants Vitamins C & E. Multi-tasking bb cream delivers 4 actions in 1: primes to smooth skin’s texture, corrects skin for a healthy looking even complexion, hydrates for all day moisture, perfects to hide imperfections. Instantly transforms to your perfect shade for a flawless, bare-skin finish.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


Foundation

 

Beauty expert Dominique Sasche calls this the hardest working multi-tasker in her cosmetics bag! It combats under-eye circles, redness, and other skin imperfections. It is a water-resistant, foundation plus concealer in one.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


 

Concealer

 

If you prefer a separate concealer, this is a full-coverage, 16-hour wear concealer that conceals, corrects, contours and highlights for flawless skin.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


 

Eyelid Primer

 

Preps your eyelids for smoother, longer-lasting and crease-proof eye shadow

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


Eyebrows

 

This flexible micro brush tip pen allows you to create thin to thick lines for that microblade look; Tinted, buildable shades allow you to go from a super natural to super snatched in a few quick flicks.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


Eyeshadow Palette

 

Achieve beautifully natural eye looks with the Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette. This palette features ten highly-pigmented neutral shades designed to make your eyes look strikingly beautiful.

Also at …

Walmart


Eyeliner

 

Go from subtle to dramatic in the blink of an eye with luminous, high pigment shades
Easy-to-sharpen tip for precise application; eye makeup comes off easily with makeup remover.

Also at …

Walmart


 

Mascara

 

Waterproof, smooth glide. Beautiful!

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


 

Loose Powder

 

Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder is a mineral-based formula designed to help control shine and smooth skin texture with a hint of color; This mineral powder provides the perfect finishing touch to your makeup base.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


 

Pressed Powder

 

Ideal for normal to oily skin, this long-lasting powder leaves a natural, poreless-looking finish with long-lasting shine control. Perlite Mineral technology absorbs oil to mattify skin, while pores virtually disappear thanks to blurring micro-powders. Dermatologist tested. Allergy tested. Non-comedogenic. Ideal for normal to oily skin.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


 

Lipliner

Available in many shades. Easy to use, excellent results, at drugstore price.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


Liquid Lipstick

Also at …

Walmart
CVS

 

Lipstick

This pigment-rich formula provides superior, bold color with a full matte finish. The easy, glide-on formula dries comfortably and lasts for up to 8 hours of wear. Available in 17 shades.

Also at …

Walmart
CVS


 

Lipgloss

Excellent lip gloss, in a number of colors, at an excellent price.

Also at …

Walmart


Blush

Richly pigmented and highly buildable, the beautiful matte and shimmery shades of Baked Blush are the perfect cheeky pop of color for every skin tone.

Also at …

Walmart

CVS


 

Makeup Wipes

Cleansing towelettes, biodegradable micellar water for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic, fragrance free

Also at …

Walmart

CVS

 

Makeup Remover Towelettes: Gently wipe face with towelette, removing dirt and all traces of face and eye makeup. There is no need to rinse. Dispose of the towelette in trash receptacle (do not flush). After removing towelette, reseal pack. Makeup Remover Liquid: SHAKE WELL. Apply with cotton pad on closed eyelids. Gently rinse with warm water.

Also at …

Walmart

CVS


 

 

Face Wash

Oil-free face wash for oily skin and for sensitive skin with niacinamide. Unscented

Also at …

Walmart

CVS

 

Setting Spray

The e.l.f. Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist locks on makeup for up to 16 hours of wear, keeping your makeup looking fresh from AM to PM. Touch-ups are now a thing of the past.

Also at …

Walmart

CVS


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19 replies
Newer Comments »
  1. Wenonah Chonich says:

    HI Mary, you’re column has changed my life (many times) through the years. I so appreciate you. I am 67 years old and I am looking desperately for an under eye primer, lid primer and color corrector and a foundation to put it over it that won’t accentuate my creases. Experimentation is very expensive. Thanks for any input. PS – I have horrible raccoon eyes (without the assistance of mascara 🙁 )

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Consider purchasing beauty items (makeup) from a drugstore that gives a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, such as CVS and Rite Aid You can try products and return them within 30 or 60 days (check ahead of time to make sure you understand the return policy). Just make sure you keep your receipts!

      Reply
  2. Rose says:

    Hi Mary!
    I love your post on make up but was looking for any suggestions on eyebrow help. You missed that part of the face.
    Keep up the great post!

    Reply
  3. Hannah Tiblier says:

    Hi Mary!
    The way the makeup brands are listed makes it look as though L’Oreal owns 50 brands. There were no colons in the second paragraph. I don’t see 8 different companies. Please clarify. Thanks, Mary, and God bless.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes, L’Oreal owns all of the brands listed there. Estee Lauder and L’Oreal are two of the eight huge companies that make up the beauty industry.

      1. L’Oréal
      2. Unilever
      3. P&G
      4. Estée Lauder
      5. Shiseido
      6. Beiersdorf
      7. Coty
      8. Johnson & Johnson

      Reply
      • Pat Behles says:

        How do you choose colors when Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, etc no longer have testers? Can makeup be returned like any other merchandise. And if so, how many times before you’re happy with the colors?
        Thanks,

  4. linda says:

    so where does revlon fit in all these brands? i have always preferred revlon [i think they also own almay] because they don’t do animal testing.
    i am about to give up and go out and buy [my least favorite four word phrase in the english language] a separate product for mascara removal. i use waterproof mascara and it is destroying my white washcloths! even after washing and stripping they are grey in the middle and nothing seems to work.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Have you considered black washcloths created specifically for makup-up removal? You can even get them with “makeup” embroidered. As for Revlon, it is a fine brand, loved by many. This post does not preclude any brands. Beauty manufacturers have finally addressed those of us who want quality products but refuse to pay the outlandish prices of so-called name brands at cosmetic bars in fancy department stores. The point here is to showcase the best of the best … now appearing at a drugstore near you.

      Reply
  5. Judy Becker says:

    Hi Mary,
    I have used Revlon lipstick since I graduated high school in 1959. That’s right, 64 years ago! My favorite shade is Softsilver Red. I didn’t see Revlon on your list. Maybe I overlooked it. Love your column. Judy

    Reply
  6. Mary says:

    Hi Mary,

    I didn’t see a blush included in the list. Do you have a favorite? I love your makeup recommendations, the ones I’ve tried have worked out very well, so thank you!

    Reply
  7. Caye Cooper says:

    Hey Mary, great job! I marvel that you have the patience to research all those names!
    Recently I tried IL Makiage and I really like it; but stopped using it because I found that they sell all your information. I can’t seem to find it in a store. Do you know anything about it and where I can purchase it off line?
    I really LOVE reading your articles, Mary. You help, bunches! Thank you.

    Reply
  8. Joan says:

    Great post!
    I was using Urban Decay eyeshadow primer but recently took a chance on the Elf brand, and I really like it! It is a fraction of the cost.
    Thank you Mary!

    Reply
  9. Mary Tasillo says:

    Hi Mary,
    I have used Clinique for many many years as I am very allergic to many cosmetic products. Which of the products you have listed are best for my type of skin??? Thanks. Hugs

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Click through the links and you will find all the details in the descriptions. I think you will find that nearly all are hypo-allergenic, but please do your own independent research on that!

      Reply
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