This year, we were blessed with some great makeup releases that were instant faves, while some old faves held their position at the top.
Throughout 2022, these drugstore makeup picks impressed on a budget, performing the best in their class and even better than high end in some cases.
Click the picture of the product to find it online. Keep scrolling for more on each product.
Best Drugstore Face Primer: e.l.f. Power Grip Primer
If you’re looking for a primer that will keep your makeup in place and looking fresh all day, this is the one. The e.l.f. Power Grip Primer has a sticky consistency that holds on to your foundation so it won’t budge, even through sweating. I love it for full face glam and special events. Looking for a different type of primer? Check out these drugstore primers for all skin types.
Best Drugstore Foundation: Catrice True Skin Hydrating Foundation
While here in the US you can only buy this online, the Catrice True Skin Hydrating Foundation performs way above its price tag. It rivals high end foundations with a natural finish and buildable coverage that feels comfortable to wear. It’s also cruetly free and vegan!
Best Drugstore Concealer: Catrice True Skin High Cover Concealer
From the same product line as the foundation, the Catrice True Skin High Cover Concealer is a waterproof concealer that is a thinner consistency. This makes it easy to blend and feels more lightweight than other full coverage concealers.
Best Drugstore Brow Gel: Honest Beauty Healthy Brow Gel
I had been on the hunt for a new brow gel all year, and the Honest Beauty Healthy Brow Gel checked all the boxes: pigmented but not too heavy looking, medium hold, and a precise applicator.
Best Drugstore Eyeshadow: e.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks
Eyeshadow sticks are definitely on the rise recently as people start to streamline their routines and embrace more simple looks. Without a doubt, the e.l.f. No Budge Shadow Sticks were my most used eyeshadow this year, with a creamy and blendable formula that sets to be smudge-proof and long lasting.
Best Drugstore Eyeliner: Essence Extreme Lasting Liner
This has been a go-to for years now, and remains the best pencil liner at the drugstore. The Essence Extreme Lasting Liner is creamy and pigmented, blendable, and long lasting. Great for tightlining!
Best Drugstore Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational Lengthening Mascara
Maybelline probably makes the best drugstore mascaras in general, but the Lash Sensational Lengthening Mascara is on a whole different level. I recently identified it as a dupe for the Lancôme Lash Idôle Mascara, as it gives the same dramatic length, lift, natural volume and separation to make your lashes look fuller.
Best Drugstore Bronzer: Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
The Butter Bronzer has been a drugstore favorite for years, with new limited editions coming out regularly and new shades being introduced. The original Butter Bronzer has had an expansion, the Matte Monoi Butter Bronzer was introduced last year, and I particularly liked the shades in the Bread & Butter collection released in 2022.
Best Drugstore Blush: Morphe Blush Balm
Morphe has infiltrated the drugstore space with many products under $15, and their availability throughout Ulta and Target stores. This cream blush is so pigmented and smooth on the skin, plus it’s waterproof and won’t fade. It dries down to more of a powder finish so it blends well with other face products, cream or powder.
Best Drugstore Highlight: Milani Supercharged Multistick in Power Highlight
2022 was the year of the dewy highlight, and the Milani Supercharged Multistick in Power Highlight is unmatched. It creates a glossy glow that makes your skin look incredibly bouncy and hydrated. You can wear it with a full face of glam, or over bare skin for a radiance boost.
Best Drugstore Lipstick: Maybelline Super Stay Vinyl Ink Liquid Lipstick
Maybelline blew every other lipstick out of the water this year with the release of their Super Stay Vinyl Ink Liquid Lipstick. A glossy lipstick that lasts like a matte, this is the most comfortable long lasting liquid lipstick available right now. Apply a thin layer to achieve full color that wont fade or transfer. See swatches and my full review here.