As a college student, scoping out great deals tends to become a bit of a pastime. Whether it be a necessity item or a reward for surviving another week of school, there's nothing quite as satisfying while out shopping than coming across a hidden gem. After all, it's harder to feel guilty about treating yourself when it's only a couple of bucks, right? One of my own vices comes in the form of makeup products, and through years of being sidetracked by the cosmetics aisle, I have come across a few personal favorites that I would recommend time and time again. Here's a compilation of some of my trusty, more affordable products of choice that I can't help but come back to. The best part? They're all under ten dollars!
Maybelline Great Lash
It's hard for me to remember a time that this tried and true, pink and green bottle was not a staple in my life. Before I was hooked on this mascara, I can recall seeing it in my mother's makeup bag. This was long before I started to take my own makeup collection seriously. This is an excellent everyday product, with a simple formula that lasts through the day and won't get all spider-y looking. You might want something with a bit more flare or volume for a more dramatic look, but this mascara is perfect for polishing off your daily makeup routine.
Hard Candy Velvet Mousse Matte Lip Color
As a theatre major, finding long-lasting makeup is practically a necessity, especially when you're someone who does their own makeup for shows. I am a huge fan of the whole liquid lipstick trend for that very reason: Hard Candy's formula really does its job of staying put! With proper application, retouching shouldn't be necessary unless you are planning on eating something very messy. Not only that, it isn't super drying like some matte finishes and it comes in an absolutely beautiful decorative tin. Sure, it might not be space efficient, but the case and mirror combo make it perfect for on-the-go lipstick application.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
I will come right out and say it: this is my absolute favorite drugstore find. I came across this foundation while searching for a formula with enough coverage to last through musical performances and, while I chose Fit Me on a whim without any prior research (as I would typically recommend when choosing a foundation), I was not disappointed. Fit Me does not feel heavy on the face and when blended properly, provides what I would consider medium coverage. Someone who prefers a greater coverage or thicker formula may not be fond of this line, but I believe this could easily be mended by combining the product with a heavier concealer. My favorite part is that the matte finish actually does a thorough job of reducing the shine on oily skin.
Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder
As I've mentioned before, I love products that are light with a matte finish. I have relatively oily skin, so sometimes having just a matte finish foundation is not enough to keep my face feeling fresh and clean throughout the day. Swiping some Stay Matte powder on is instantly refreshing, and it helps to set the foundation and concealer underneath! Even better, it helps to minimize the appearance of pores.
Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipstick
It's probably no secret that I'm a pretty big fan of Maybelline's products, and these lipsticks are no different! While liquid lipstick is certainly convenient, there's nothing quite as empowering as swiping on a daring shade from a new tube of lipstick! These lipsticks are almost completely opaque, with just enough sheerness to make them perfect for those who are new to bright colors. They have a comfortable, creamy consistency that won't dry up or smudge too much, though they certainly aren't as budge-proof as a liquid lipstick. Maybelline's Vivids are also pretty pigmented, which keeps the color strong even with longer wear. I'm personally a big fan of the purple shades.
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder
"On fleek" eyebrows have become incredibly popular in the past few years, but not everyone wants to invest crazy amounts of time into making them look great. That being said, I'm pretty lazy myself and I get frustrated with my unruly eyebrows pretty quickly, so a cake powder duo has become the answer to my prayers. The wax helps to keep your eyebrows in place more than an eyebrow pencil alone does, and the powder helps to color all the spaces between! Once you brush them through with the little spoolie brush, you're left with natural looking, tame brows. What more could you want from an eyebrow product?
Makeup may not be for everyone, but as someone who enjoys the artistry and empowerment that comes with it, I'm always looking for new products and great deals. These staple products are an excellent choice for those who are looking to start their own collection or even the seasoned veterans looking for less expensive alternatives between paychecks (I see you eyeing that new Too Faced palette and I feel your pain). Fun, functional, trusty favorites are always good to have on hand, no matter where you are or what you're doing!