I am an admitted make-up addict. To me, every occasion is the perfect one for fake eyelashes and receiving my Ipsy bag is on par with Christmas. However, like any makeup junkie, I face the largest problem with my addiction, cost. Although I thoroughly believe every Naked Pallet I own is worth it, my college student income likes to tell me differently.

Every time I walk through Sephora or the makeup department at Nordstrom, all of the beautiful makeup is sitting there waiting for me. Beautiful Chanel blushes, Urban Decay eye shadows and MAC pigments entice me with pretty packaging and just enough cosmetic grade glitter. However, my exhausted bank account is not so easily amused. Being a college student means the little money I make goes quickly to the things I don’t want to spend money on.

The unfortunate reality of my financial situation meant I had to give myself a “beauty budget”. Call me crazy, but it’s how I can still allow myself the joy of getting new makeup, but also not letting myself get carried away so I still have money for the boring things I have to pay for. What I have discovered since disciplining myself on makeup purchasing is that some things should always be bought from the drug store.

I had never used drug store makeup very much until I started limiting myself on how much I would spend on makeup. To my surprise, I found there are things I believe I will always buy at the drug store.

1. Mascara

Ok, I admit, Diorshow Mascara is still my all time favorite mascara, but to be honest I found myself being almost as happy with the Voluminous Butterfly Mascara from L’Oreal. I feel that it gave me almost an identical look, it was a smooth application that didn’t require several coats and the packaging is pretty! The biggest plus to the L’Oreal is the cost. I paid $7 for the Butterfly affect vs. $27.50 on my Diorshow. That’s nearly enough savings to buy myself a Jeffree Star liquid lipstick!

2. Loose Powder Used for Baking

Almost everyday, I do some form of baking my face under my eye area (If you don’t know what baking is, Tati on Youtube has a wonderful video explaining in in full detail). The idea of baking is to use concealer on places you would like to highlight, apply a generous amount of powder on top and let the two “bake” with your body’s heat leaving a very smooth finish on the face. I’ve done this for years now and I have always used the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. Not that this powder isn’t a miracle in a jar, it is, but it is very expensive. The powder I use to bake runs out very quickly due to the amount of powder it requires. Buying Laura’s magic powder got so expensive so quickly; I needed something different for baking. The Coty Airspun Translucent Extra Coverage loose powder soon took Laura’s place on my vanity. Honestly, it is not as nice as the Laura Mercier powder, but the cost definitely makes up for it. You get 2.3 ounces for only $7 as opposed to Ms. Laura who is charging $25 for .14 oz.

3. False Lashes

I am obsessed with false lashes. I love the look and I almost feel naked without a strip of lashes glued to me eyelid. Lashes, like all other cosmetics, can also be costly. I have experimented with a lot of different brands of lashes to find a set that is reasonably priced, holds their shape wear after wear and also looks good. I have tried different styles of lashes from MAC, Urban Decay, Unicorn Lashes, and a few other brands. What I discovered is that my lashes seem to only last me 2-3 weeks regardless of price. In fact, I think the sets I have purchased from MAC were some of my least favorites. The brand I truly fell in love with is Ardell. The Ardell 111 Black lashes are my absolute favorite to wear on the daily. They look great, the lash band is easily concealed and I can wear them for 2-3 weeks before they begin to loose their shape. The best part about Ardell is how affordable they are. I usually pay between $4-$6 on a set of Ardell lashes depending on the style. I always reach for these lashes when it’s time for a new set!

4. Eyebrow Pencil

To be perfectly honest, I am a brow pomade girl. That is my favorite way to do my eyebrows, however, it takes a long time and some days I don’t have the patience or the time. On those select days I use a brow pencil to fill and shape so I don’t look like an alien. I am a fan of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade so naturally the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil seemed like the best option. It didn’t impress me, especially when paying $23 for it. The Femme Couture Perfect Arch Soft Powder Brow Pencil is what I reach for now. I can find this pencil at Sally Beauty Supply for $6.50. This pencil is just enough to add some color and shape to my brows, the texture is great and it’s super affordable.

5. Liquid Lipstick

In my opinion, every liquid lipstick out there eventually leaves your lips looking like The Thing from X-Men. They all seem to crack and fade after I’ve worn them for hours. Sometimes I use lip balm under the actual product, sometimes I don’t, either way none of them seem to wear that well. The Smashbox liquid lipsticks are probably my favorite formula, however they do eventually crack and they are still extremely drying. Plus, at $24 a tube, they aren’t exactly affordable. Colour Pop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks are super affordable at $6 a tube. NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks are another great option for liquid lipstick. They are only $6.99 a tube and wear just as well as the others. Neither of these is the smoothest formula ever, but knowing how most liquid lipsticks wear, I’m always going to stick with an affordable brand.