Drugstore makeup has come a long way in recent years, not only getting better in quality but also variety. If you’re a makeup beginner, or maybe you’re just starting to explore the world of drugstore makeup, navigating the endless product options can be overwhelming. I’ve curated an updated list of amazing and affordable products that together create the perfect drugstore makeup starter kit.
Click the product to find it online, and keep scrolling for more details.
Face Primer: Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer ($7.99)
This primer comes in several versions depending on your skin needs— including a color correcting shade and an option with SPF! While I don’t regularly wear face primer, I’m all about skin prep whether that means sun protection, extra hydration or redness control. Whatever you’re looking for, there is probably a primer in this line for you.
Eye Primer: Milani Eyeshadow Primer ($6.99)
Arguably the best drugstore eyeshadow primer, and a small tube lasts a while! The nude shade dries invisible and helps intensify and prolong eyeshadow wear without creasing or fading.
Brow Pencil: NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil ($7.50)
The Micro Brow Pencil has been the highest rated brow pencil at the drugstore by fans for years. The ultra fine tip lets you apply natural looking strokes and define your preferred brow shape with precision. You can get natural or bold brows with this one tool.
Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation ($14.99)
This is my pick for best drugstore foundation at the moment. The Fresh Wear finish is natural with slight radiance but not dewy. The coverage is buildable from medium to full, and lasts all day while feeling comfortable and flexible on the skin. It’s waterproof, sweat-resistant and transfer resistant but feels lightweight as you wear it all day.
Concealer: NYX Cosmetics HD Concealer Wand ($4.29)
One of my all time favorite concealers, the HD Concealer smooths over and conceals blemishes and uneven skin tone. Its extensive shade range of 23 shades also includes color correctors!
Liquid Eyeliner: NYX Matte Liquid Liner ($4.59)
For all your winged liner needs, this is the liquid liner I’ve been loyal to for years and hardly ever stray from. The thin and flexible brush tip makes application more controlled, giving you clean lines and sharp edges.
Pencil Eyeliner: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner ($8.99)
I tend to gravitate toward long wearing, waterproof eye pencils— especially for tightlining. This one is my go-to, as it applies super rich and dark and stays put. It’s also available in a range of colors from neutral to bright.
Neutral Eyeshadow Palette: Covergirl TruNaked Nudes Palette ($8.99)
For the last five years, this is the eyeshadow palette I always recommend to makeup beginners at the drugstore. I think it’s a really handy neutral palette that gives you options for light everyday looks or sultry smoky eyes. Even with just eight shades, this provides the staple neutrals you need for staple eyeshadow looks.
Colorful Eyeshadow Palette: BH Cosmetics Take Me Back to Brazil Palette ($15)
For pops of color, a rainbow palette is always a great addition to your makeup collection. The Take Me Back to Brazil palette is my favorite on a budget— the shadows are bright and super pigmented, as well as being easy to blend and mix and match. While BH Cosmetics isn’t technically a “drugstore” brand, it’s available at Ulta Beauty and is definitely budget-friendly.
Mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara ($6.17)
The cult favorite Lash Blast mascara is the perfect every day mascara option. It lengthens and thickens, plus the comb brush helps separate and fan lashes.
False Lashes: Ardell Demi Wispies Multipack ($11.99)
If you want a little more drama, you can find awesome false lashes at the drugstore, too! The Demi Wispies are my favorite, I even wore them on my wedding day.
Liquid Lipstick: Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink ($7.99)
If you like a lipstick you can paint on and forget about, this is it. The Super Stay Matte Inks are the longest wearing liquid lipsticks at the drugstore that I’ve tried personally. They hang on through talking and eating, though they can feel drying and thick.
Classic Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick ($4.99)
If you stray more toward traditional, this bullet lipstick is iconic. Incredibly pigmented with full coverage color in one swipe, this lipstick is not only vibrant but comfortable with vitamin E and avocado oil in the formula.
Contour & Highlight: Physicians Formula Weylie Butter Collection Palette ($14.99)
I am obsessed with this all-in-one face palette, which includes two bronzers, two blushes and two highlight shades. Unfortunately, it only comes in one version so if you need a different shade to compliment your skin tone, I would suggest the individual Butter Bronzer or Butter Highlighter.
Blush: Honest Beauty Cream Blush ($12.99)
Cream blushes really help make your skin look bouncy and healthy with a flush of natural color. This is my favorite, being buildable and easy to blend. It’s also cruelty-free, and hypoallergenic.
Setting Powder: Physicians Formula Natural Defense Setting the Tone Finishing Powder ($14.99)
To help prolong your makeup and mattify, this powder just won the Glamour Magazine award for best at the drugstore! Not only does it set your makeup, but it adds a bit of extra coverage (available in 4 shades) and offers triple protection against the sun, blue light and pollution! This is a great way to re-apply SPF on top of your makeup throughout the day because we all know once in the morning isn’t enough.
Setting Spray: NYX Cosmetics Dewy Finish or Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray ($8)
If you prefer setting sprays, it doesn’t get better than the NYX sprays in either the Dewy Finish or Matte Finish. You can get them as a bundle for under $14 on Amazon.