Listen, I love me some products from Too Faced, Benefit, Tarte, Urbran Decay, Nars, Becca…YOU NAME IT. And I cannot live without my Mac products! OK I could but it wouldn't be a happy life, ya feel? But these products come with a price.
In my dream life I would have a professional makeup artist come beautify my face and hair every day while I snap myself chugging chlorophyll water like I’m Olivia Culpo (does anyone know if that actually works?? Lmk), but let’s face it. Most of us single working ladies can’t realistically afford to sport a full face from Sephora on the daily.
I found this out the hard way about a month into my first big girl job. Gone are the days of rolling out of bed ten minutes before class, throwing on norts and some moisturizer, hair in a bun and calling it good. Turns out for the professional world you have to actually ummm put some effort into yourself.
So, I did some experimenting and found the drug store products that work best for me, whether I use them daily for work or running some errands. My skin is crazy sensitive and can break out very easily from new products, so if you have the same issue most of these should be good for you as well. Also, shout out to my girlfriends who recommended some of these amazing products. Now my little Sephora babies, Kylie Lip Kits, and YSL lipsticks can be reserved for the weekends, special events, and date nights. It makes it kind of special to bust them out after a long week in the office, plus you save major mula $$$$.
Keep in mind throughout this post I am not bashing the more expensive ones in any way, in fact I LOVE all the products I'm comparing. This post is about being able to still look and feel your best without having to break the bank. Once you find what works for you personally, you can alternate products to best fit your budget and lifestyle. So gather round children, here are my favorite drugstore dupes!
Maybelline Baby Skin $6
These work exactly the same in my opinion!
L'Oreal $11 in shade 103
I normally wear NC15 and 102 in these, but I needed something darker for my summer glow. Oily skinned girls, this is your new holy grail! This stuff is full coverage and keeps me matte all day like no foundation ever has.
Instead of MAC Pro Longwear Concealer try L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD ConcealerMAC Pro Longwear $21 in shade NC15
LA Girl $3 in shade Natural
I have to thank makeup artist Kelsey Kinsman for this one!
Follow her! insta: kelseykinsman snap: kelseyksnaps
Instead of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural try L'Oreal Paris True Match Naturale Mineral FoundationMAC Mineralize Skinfinish $32 in shade Medium
L'Oreal $11 in shade Natural Ivory
I use this powder to set my L'Oreal Infallible foundation for full, all day coverage. IF I feel like stepping it up I use the same powder in shade Soft Ivory to "bake" my under-eye and chin area. It's a loose powder that comes with a brush attached. It can be messy putting on so don't apply this powder wearing your outfit for the day. I have gotten more compliments while wearing this powder than my MAC!
Instead of MAC Bronzing Powder Wash & Dry try NYX Matte BronzerMAC Bronzing Powder $27.50 in shade Matte Bronze
NYX Matte Bronzer $9 in shade Dark Tan
I mostly use bronzer to carve out my cheeks and contour my nose and forehead. If I have been in the sun a lot and my body has tanned, I will top my makeup off with an all over bronze to make sure my face matches my neck. Ghost white face and tan body is NOT flattering.
Instead of NARS Blush try Milani Baked BlushNARS Blush $30 in shade Orgasm
Milani Blush $8 in shade Luminoso
Thank you once again Kelsey Kinsman for guiding me to this blessed product.
Can we just take a minute to address the names of all the NARS products? Orgasm, SUPER orgasm, sex appeal, desire, luster, deep throat?! I'm blushing just thinking about these names. Wait..I SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE NOW, WOW. Clever, NARS, very clever.
Instead of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Soft & Gentle try e.l.f. Baked HighlighterMAC Mineralize $32 in shade Soft & Gentle
e.l.f. Baked Highlighter $3 in shade Blush Gems/Peachy Cheeky
MAC's highlighters seriously last me for months so this is not one I have too much trouble burning through. But it does have a lot of fall out and I get that not everyone wants to spend $32 on one product. I like my highlight to have a peachy tone to it, this is just a personal preference. But this e.l.f. highlight is spot on in matching the color of Soft & Gentle!
Milani Shadow $10
This is a really good pallet for a soft, every day shadow. The Milani pallet doesn't have as many colors, but the ones it does have are very similar shades. Shimmery neutrals are my favorite!
Instead of MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner try Maybelline Unstoppable EyelinerMAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner $20 in shade Deep Black
Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner $6 in shade 701 Onyx
Two words: No. Smudging.
Instead of Benefit They're Real! Mascara try Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Maybelline Lash Sensational $6 in shade Blackest Black (like my soul)
CoverGirl Lash Blast $7
This one was a tie for me because I always go back and forth between these amazing drugstore mascaras. And mascara is definitely my favorite makeup. Without lashes I look like a 12 year-old boy. Lash sensational is what I've been using the past couple months, but Lash Blast is old faithful. One thing I really love about Lash sensational that may be a little odd is when you wash your makeup off it comes off in clumps instead of just melting into a black mess.
L'Oreal Brow Pencil $8
Instead of Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Brow Gel try Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow MascaraBenefit Brow Gel $24 in shade Medium
Maybelline Brow Drama $7 in shade Soft Brown
For my brows, I fill in with a pencil then go over them will a brow gel so no little hairs go wilds and to get that extra tint so everything blends. I go through brow pencils pretty quickly but the gel lasts me so long. All you need is one swipe per brow.
Instead of MAC Lipstick try CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick
MAC Lipstick $17 in shade Blankety
CoverGirl Lipstick $6 in shade CremeThis lipstick is my all time favorite nude lipstick. Like ever. That's coming from a girl who owns an unreasonable and concerning amount of lipsticks. Layer it with NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee for my go-to lip!
Instead of Kylie Cosmetics Gloss try NYX Butter GlossKylie Gloss $45 in shade So Cute
NYX Gloss $5 in shade Tiramasu
Picking out lip colors at the drugstore can be such a hit or miss since you can't swatch anything. I picked up this NYX gloss in a few shades on one of my Target binges and it was a hit! If you love how creamy the Kylie Gloss is, NYX Butter Gloss has that same consistency. Use a couple layers alone or one layer over lipstick. And It comes in so many pretty shades!
Some of the prices may vary depending on the store, I rounded up. I linked most through Target or Walgreen's! Let me know what your favorite drugstore finds are!