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Best in Beauty: My Top 5 Favorite Drugstore Makeup Finds


Hey, hey, pretty girls! The beginning of a year is a time to look back and assess what was a hit and what was a miss. You have your top TV shows, movies, fashion trends, but I’m most interested in your top makeup products.

Now, of course, where you choose to purchase your products is totally up to you. I, like many girls, love to switch between drugstore and high-end products to compare the quality. However, as a college student, I am very familiar with seeing a sad, empty hole where my wallet used to be. Therefore, I wanted to kick off the new year – and my new beauty column here at CF – with a list of my top 5 favorite drugstore makeup finds:

1. CoverGirl NatureLuxe Foundation

Covergirl natureluxe
Covergirl NatureLuxe Foundation – $11.98 at

This has to be my favorite foundation of all time, drugstore or high end – yes, I really do think it’s that good.

NatureLuxe foundation is great because it provides medium-to-full coverage while also feeling incredibly light on your skin. No one likes to feel like they’re wearing pounds of makeup, so this foundation perfect if you want to cover imperfections and still feel totally clean and natural. In addition, it also smells like fresh cucumber – honestly, what’s not to like?

2. Maybelline Dream LumiTouch Highlighting Concealer

Dream touch maybelline
Maybelline Dream LumiTouch Highlighting Concealer – $7.99 at | Photo Credit

This next product is a staple piece in my morning routine. Maybelline’s Dream LumiTouch concealer is the best at concealing and highlighting the under-eye area – it’s the only thing that can make me look awake for those agonizing 8ams. I also love its applicator – you twist the bottom to make the product come out and then the applicator itself is a soft brush that helps blend the concealer beautifully.

3. Maybelline New York “Lasting Drama” Gel Eyeliner

Maybelline eyestudio gel eyeliner
Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner – $9.99 at | Photo Credit

I’ve recently discovered my love for winged eyeliner, and this product has become an absolute essential. I’ve experimented with my fair share of gel liners, and Maybelline New York’s “Lasting Drama” Gel Eyeliner is among the best I’ve ever tried. (Editor’s note: We’ve featured it here on CF before and it consistently ranks among our faves!)

For under $10, you can achieve a dramatic winged-eyeliner look and not have to worry about it smudging throughout the day – this stays on for, like, ever! The consistency is incredibly smooth and easy to apply, and the brush that comes with it makes application a cinch!

4. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow

Maybelline color tattoo
Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow – $6.99 at | Photo Credit

I guess I must love Maybelline because yet another one of their products ranks among my top 5 faves. This past summer, I stumbled upon Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

Basically, this is a cream eyeshadow that works as a base to help intensify any eye look you’re trying to achieve. Color Tattoo helps brighten up any eyeshadow that is applied over it, while also keeping your shadows from creasing throughout the day! It’s like an eyeshadow primer, except way cheaper. (Compare it to UDPP – you’ll save $10+!)

5. L’Oreal Paris Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black – $8.49 at | Photo via ELLE

My obsession this year is definitely having long, dramatic lashes, and with L’Oreal Paris’s Voluminous Mascara, I can achieve that look with just a few swipes.

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara is another one of our favorite products here at CF, and for good reason: It lengthens and thickens your lashes while looking completely natural! And if you want your lashes to look more dramatic, just apply a few more coats for a false eyelash effect. The wand of the mascara is also amazing because it doesn’t leave your lashes looking like a clumpy mess. I prefer the Carbon Black color for the darkest look, but their other shades are equally lovely.

What are your drugstore favorites?

Now, of course, this is all my personal opinion! To each their own, right? So now, I’d LOVE to hear YOUR top 5 favorite drugstore makeup products in the comments.

I know it may be difficult to narrow it down, so it helps to ask yourself this question: If you lost all of your makeup and and were only able to re-purchase 5 drugstore products, which ones would you pick? (Scary thought, I know!) Tell me below – I’m excited to hear from you.

Posted on on January 8, 2013 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , ,

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47 Responses to “Best in Beauty: My Top 5 Favorite Drugstore Makeup Finds”

  1. 1
    January 8th, 2013 at 11:55 am

    If I could only choose five drugstore items to purchase, first off I would cry. And then I would put my big girl panties on and grab these:

    1) Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters – Smooth and a little glossy, they keep your lips soft and give coverage and color about halfway between a gloss and a lipstick. Great for everyday wear.

    2) Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink – A very inexpensive dupe for NARS Orgasm. Beautifully pigmented, if a little bit shimmery.

    3) Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse – The only foundation at the drugstore level that works for my dry skin. Super hydrating and gives good coverage for my acne scarring. Does provide more of a dewy finish as opposed to matte.

    4) Maybelline Lash Stiletto – Designed to lengthen, this mascara also gives your lashes a bit of volume for noticeable (but never clumpy) lashes.

    5) Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner – I don’t wear it enough to test its lash thickening claims, but it applies beautifully and stays on all day.

  2. 2
    January 8th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Liz, I absolutely love the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters- I have about 5 of them! I love how build-able the product is- It’s not as overwhelming as, say, a normal lipstick would be. I have yet to try the Maybelline Lash Stiletto but I have heard several great things about it! Thanks for sharing your top 5 favorite drugstore products with us!

  3. 3
    January 8th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I have used both the gel eyeliner and color tattoo eyeshadow and they are both excellent! I havent tried the other products in this post but I will try them now if you could rank them with those two Maybelline ones.

  4. 4
    January 8th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Kaitlin, I definitely recommend trying out the other products!

  5. 5
    January 8th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    The Maybelline Dream LumiTouch Concealer is definitely a must-have! It’s something I use almost every day.

    Drugstore Must Haves:

    1. Maybelline Dream LumiTouch Concealer in Radiant

    2. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus

    3. L’Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Eyeliner in Brown

    4. Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Brown

    5. L’Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator Eyeliner (I use the ivory end on the lower inner rim to brighten up)

    I also use a Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Beige on a regular basis.

  6. 6
    January 8th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I love all of these products! Great picks. Though I just wanted to say that my experience with NatureLuxe foundation is that it’s a light-medium coverage, not medium-full. I have problem skin though. Still a nice, lightweight foundation :)

  7. 7
    January 8th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Hayley, my younger sister said the same thing about the NatureLuxe foundation! Though she and I have different skin types- I have dry skin and my sister has oily skin, that may or may not make a difference!

  8. 8
    January 8th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Chelsea, I love L’Oreal’s eyeliner products- they are so great! Thanks for sharing your top drugstore faves!

  9. 9
    January 8th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I actually have never seen the Maybelline dream lumi touch concealer. But is it really that good, if it is i’m gonna need to keep looking for it. Is it a highlighter AND concealer?

  10. 10
    January 8th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    My favorite drugstore product is NYC’s waterproof pencil eyeliners. THEY ARE INSANE. super pigmented and really soft. And once it sets on your eye it never wears off. Not even kidding, that stuff is actually hard to get off. Plus it’s only 99. cents. Sooo good!

  11. 11
    January 8th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try the Maybelline eyeliner and color tattoo and the L’Oreal mascara but somehow never got around to it. I’m thinking I’ll try the mascara soon, as I’ve just run out my CoverGirl one. The CoverGirl Nature Luxe foundation broke me out and felt kind of heavy even though the coverage wasn’t that good (I have oily/acne-prone skin), but I’ve heard great things about it from everyone else, so it might just be me.

    1. Maybelline Dream Matte Powder
    2. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus
    3. eos lip balm in sweet mint
    4. CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion
    5. Rimmel nail polishes (I love the big brush)

  12. 12
    January 8th, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    First off, I love your writing style! I really enjoyed actually reading this post.

    I love Maybelline’s Natureluxe foundation. Very light and one of the few that I can find in my skin tone. I also love Dream Matte Mousse and Dream Matte Blush. They are sooo light and blendable.

    My favorite drugstore product, though, is L’Oreal’s BB Cream. Its magic in a bottle.

  13. 13
    January 8th, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Great post! I love all your picks, except the maybelline dream lumitouch because I’m still waiting for it to arrive to my country. But my top 5 are:

    1.- Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Bronze, beautiful and perfect for a bronzed smokey eye.
    2.- Revlon Just bitten kissable balm stain in all the colors, perfect for everyday color and I like them better than the Clinique ones.
    3.-Sally Hansen Complete salon manicure, by far the best formula I’ve tried.
    4.-Revlon matte lipstick in Really Red, a dupe for the MAC matte lipsticks.
    5.-Rimmel Volume accelerator mascara, I love it !

  14. 14
    January 8th, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I would choose:
    1. Physicians formula lash boosting eyeliner – it’s a felt tip eyeliner. Super precise, dark black, stays all day. I love it!
    2. Revlon lip butters- I love them all.
    3. Revlon whipped creme makeup
    4. Physicians formula cashmere blush in natural- my everyday color
    5. Rimmel volume mascara
    It was super hard to pick 5 items only… I have to say it’s getting easier to find good drugstore makeup.

  15. 15
    January 8th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I am obsessed with Revlon’s 3D Photoready mascara. I got it for free from this revlon promo and didn’t know if it would be any good but it’s amazing. It makes your lashes feel so natural and soft I literally forget i’m wearing mascara sometimes. it doesnt’ gloop or get sticky or anything and it stays on forever! also i love milani waterproof liquid eyeliner, e.l.f.’s brushes (technically not makeup but they’re only $1 and great quality), covergirl’s powders(all of theirs that i’ve tried work great). thanks for the post! i’ll have to try some of these; especially the concealer!

  16. 16
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Hey Eve! I’m glad I’ve found another e.l.f lover! A lot of my friends have no idea what I’m talking about when I bring up their products! I am a huge fan of their brushes- I use at least one everyday!

  17. 17
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Amy, I have to agree with you when you say that there are a lot of great products in the drugstore. A lot of the brands have changed their formulas, packaging, etc., to increase their sales and I’d say that was pretty effective! I also have to agree with you with loving all of the Revlon Lip Butters! I love how with the darker colors they almost act as a lip stain and stay on all day!

  18. 18
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Larissa, I actually have yet to try any Rimmel products- they always seem to be out of stock! So I definitely will keep my eyes peeled for the Volume Accelerator Mascara. Thanks for sharing your top 5 faves!

  19. 19
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Rin, thank you so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it!

    I actually have yet to try the L’Oreal BB Cream! I have tried CoverGirl’s, Maybellines, and Garnier’s and they didn’t “wow” me, so I think I’m going to check out L’Oreal’s! Thanks for your recommendation(s)!

  20. 20
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Angela, the product both highlights and conceals! I do sometimes put another concealer over the Maybelline one in case my under-eye areas are just looking dark that day!

  21. 21
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Liz, thanks for the recommendation! I’m definitely going to go search for it!

  22. 22
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Nancy, I am OBSESSED with EOS lip balms! They are the most moisturizing lip balms I’ve ever tried- and trust me, I’ve tried a lot of different ones.

  23. 23
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:33 am

    First of all, awesome writing! I can’t really relate because I don’t wear foundation/concealer etc, but you made me want to go out and buy those products! (Maybe look for work in advertising??)

    I’m sitting here realizing I don’t really wear that much drugstore makeup… but here are my top 5.

    1) Loreal Voluminous MillionLashes. I used to use Revlon lash fantasy but they stopped selling it in Canada for some reason. It’s still available in the states though!
    2) Revlon matte eyeshadow in vintage lace.
    3) Annabelle khol black eyeliner. Seriously, everyone I talk to loves these. I’ve been using this since highschool and haven’t wavered once (well, that’s a lie. But I’ve always come back to it.)
    4) Original Chapstick. Not makeup, but so so important. Seriously.
    5) I like the revlon lip butters quite a lot, although I don’t wear them daily.

    I love drugstore makeup, I guess I just couldn’t think of that many because I tend to buy department store eyeshadow and that’s what I wear on a daily basis. I find drug store colors fade quickly. Can anyone recommend a good, preferably matte, drugstore shadow palette?

  24. 24
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Hey, Emma! Thanks for sharing your top 5 products! I also love the L’Oreal Voluminous MillionLashes- they make my lashes look so long and spidery, which I actually prefer!

  25. 25
    January 9th, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Maybeline Falsies Effect mascara, waterproof, and in Black Drama
    Maybeline Baby lips lip balm in Quenched! LOVE this stuff.
    Garnier tinted undereye roller (I can’t recall what the name is exactly)
    Cover Girl Trublend Minerals Blush in Shimmering Sands
    And this one isn’t makeup, but it’s totally essential: Aveeno SPF 15 Positively Radiant moisturizer

  26. 26
    January 9th, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I try not to use too much drugstore stuff because of all the parabens, lead, and not-so-great things in them : ( but I REALLLLY love:

    1) Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters

    2) Revlon Colorstay Foundation (best ever!)

    3) L’Oreal Paris Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara (kind of clumpy, but good if you blot the wand with a tissue before using)

  27. 27
    January 10th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Kelsie, I use that Garnier under-eye roller, too! It has caffeine in it so it’s supposed to wake you up!

  28. 28
    January 10th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Carrie, I love love love the Revlon Lip Butters! I think I have about 7 of them!

  29. 29
    January 11th, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    NYX Lip liner in Red – lasts long and super pigmented
    Elf waterproof mascara – cheap and works just as well as the expensive stuff
    Elf lotion wipes in Mango – smells heavenly and gets the job done
    Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Glosses in Raspberry Reflections
    Ruby Kisses Gel liner

  30. 30
    January 12th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I love the natureluxe stuff when I experimented with it! When my budget was even less than that, though I found another I fell in love with. Here are my top 5…

    1.Rimmel Clean Finish Matte foundation. Perfect amount of coverage for me, goes on great, and if I recall correctly it’s under $5! It also has this wand in it that makes it easy to get out the last of it when you’re almost out.

    2. Nuetrogena Skin Clearing mineral powder. I’ve tried other powders but I always come back to this one. It’s amazing! the applicator even has two sides depending on the coverage/finish you want.

    3. Almay intense I-color. I love these trios. I’m terrible at picking eye shadow and putting them together so this is perfect for me.

    4. Mascara is hard and I rarely buy the same one twice but I really LOVED Maybelline Falsies mascara. I always got compliments on my lashes when I wore it. Currently I have Maybelline’s Mega Plush mascara and I’m loving it. Definitely honorable mention!

    5. I don’t branch out really ever on eyeliner and I’ve consistently bought this since middle school: Maybelline Define-A-Line eyeliner. I love roll up mascara and this is one of my faves. I think it goes on well and stays in place!

    So there we go! My top 5 picks. At least for now til I try out others mentioned here!

  31. 31
    January 12th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    This was a greeat article. I’m only 17 and eventhough I do not have college expenses I still feel that I never have money. I am also on a competition dance team were you must wear a ton of make up, and I find it hard to find makeup that is cheep and works well.

    My top 5 would have to be:

    1) covergirl trublend whipped foundation- works great on my dry sensitive skin
    2) cover girl classic color blush in rose silk
    3) l’oreal telescopic liquid eye linner
    4) lancome definicils high def mascara- pricey but works the best
    5) maybelline super stay stain gloss in Ruby red- stays on all day and smells great

  32. 32
    January 12th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Jessica, that is way cool that you’re on a competition dance team! I must say that L’Oreal has some of the best liquid eyeliners out there!

  33. 33
    January 12th, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Heather, I think I’m going to have to try the Maybelline Falsies after you said that! I have heard so much about it already and now I definitely need to check it out!

  34. 34
    January 12th, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Jillian, I love that you mentioned Elf! Have you ever tried their eyeshadow primer? It works like a charm!

  35. 35
    January 14th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I love the Maybelline Color Tattoos. I just got the shade Bad to the Bronze and I’m so excited to have a nice neutral color for an easy everyday eye look.
    My top 5 drugstore products are:
    1) L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara (amazing for lengthening eyelashes)
    2) Maybelline The Falsies Mascara (it literally makes you lashes look like false lashes. Thickens like no other.)
    3) NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (the texture and appearance of lip creams is ah-mazing. I just 3 more to my collection and I’m loving them.)
    4) Loreal Felt Tip Eyeliner (the easiest way to apply liquid eyeliner!)
    5) Neutrogena Makeup remover wipes simple, no hassle makeup removers. I still use a cleanser afterwards though and wouldn’t recommend this for waterproof mascara.)

  36. 36
    January 15th, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Silpa, I just bought the Maybelline Falsies Mascara and I hope it works!!!

  37. 37
    July 2nd, 2014 at 11:28 am

    #1 L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Carbon Black
    #2 Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Miami Strip (this one covers eyes & cheeks nicely)
    #3 Neutrogena MoistureShine lipgloss in 200 Natural Boost
    #4 Almay Intense i-color in 403 smoky-i for hazels (works wonderfully on all eye & skin colors)
    #5 Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer

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