Makeup Products » The Best Drugstore Makeup Products of 2022

The Best Drugstore Makeup Products of 2022

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Makeup is one of life’s little luxuries. It makes each day a little brighter and more fun, allowing you to get creative with your face as the canvas. But makeup can also get expensive. Really expensive. 

Fortunately, drugstore makeup brands have stepped up their game over the last decade. They’ve expanded their shade ranges, amped up their pigmentation, and created products that look identical to high-end makeup once they’re on the face. 

We’ve created a list of some of the best drugstore makeup finds, so you can create a full-fledged, glamorous look with drugstore products that are all under $20.

Best affordable makeup overview:

How we chose the best affordable makeup products

To compile this list, we researched retailers, ratings, and more, to create a short list of the top drugstore makeup products. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions and reviews to find the best cheap makeup for each category.

Our picks for the best drugstore makeup

Best overall
L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Makeup

What we love

  • Broad, well-appointed shade range
  • Buildable coverage
  • Versatile natural finish

What we don’t love

  • Not easy to dispense

Since foundation is the base for every full makeup look, we’ve chosen it as the category to kick off our list. 

There are many phenomenal drugstore foundations out there, but True Match stands out because of its massive shade range and formula that can work for just about anyone. The 45 shades are categorized based on undertones, making it easy to find your precise match. 

It has buildable coverage that starts out medium. You can blend it for lighter coverage or add more layers for full coverage. The natural finish makes things easy to adjust since all you need is some powder to mattify or a highlighter for a more dewy look.

Size: 1 fl oz | Shades: 45

Best concealer
E.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer

What we love

  • Full coverage
  • Matte, crease-proof finish
  • 16-hour wear

What we don’t love

  • Can look dry

E.l.f. is as budget-friendly as a drugstore brand can get, but its offerings are still impressive. The Camo Concealer stands out as a long-lasting, high-coverage concealer that costs about the same as an intricate Starbucks order. The matte formula is crease-proof, so you won’t even have to set it with powder. As you can tell from the name, it wears well for up to 16 hours. 

It’s a reliable option for covering blemishes and discolorations, and it’ll also work for brightening the undereye area. You can even pick up a darker or lighter shade for contouring or highlighting. 

It’s a little on the dry side, though. If you prefer a creamier concealer, there’s also a hydrating version available.

Size: 0.203 fl oz | Shades: 26

Best mascara
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Mascara

What we love

  • Dramatic volumizing and lengthening effect
  • Extra budget-friendly
  • Easy to remove

What we don’t love

  • Can smudge

This stunning mascara rivals more expensive counterparts for a fraction of the cost. It’s even more affordable than most other drugstore mascaras.

The brand offers a thickening and lengthening formula that creates massive lashes. Many compare its exceptional results to Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, so if you like drama, give it a try. 

The formula is washable, and removing it at the end of the day is quick and easy. However, it may smudge on hot and sweaty days.

Size: 0.304 oz | Shades: 1

Best eyeshadow
ColourPop Nude Mood Eyeshadow Palette

What we love

  • Wearable, timeless color story
  • Easy to work with
  • Pigmented, smooth shades

What we don’t love

  • Too warm-toned for some

A nude eyeshadow palette is like the white T-shirt of the makeup world: simple, timeless, and versatile. ColourPop’s take on a nude palette is a classic, with its smooth, blendable shades that are a breeze to apply. The pigmentation is excellent, especially in the shimmery or Supershock shades. 

This palette includes a range of finishes, so you could use it for any level of glam, and the warm brown tones could easily double as eyebrow or contour shades. However, you’re highly cool-toned, this palette might be too warm for your coloring. 

If you prefer buying individual shadows, you can’t go wrong with ColourPop’s Supershock formula.

Size: 8 x 0.04 oz & 0.05 oz | Shades: 9

Best setting powder
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Loose Setting Powder

What we love

  • Versatile
  • Soft focus effect blurs skin texture
  • Options for all skin tones

What we don’t love

  • Can get messy

If you want your makeup to last all day, setting powder is a must. Wet n Wild’s translucent powder is our top pick for this category because it looks beautiful no matter how you use it. It works for lightly setting foundation or locking undereye concealer with a sponge. 

It has a soft focus effect that helps to gently diffuse and blur skin texture, so it even looks nice over bare skin.

Because it’s translucent, it doesn’t impart much color. Even so, there are three shade options to choose from: Translucent for light-to-medium skin tones, Banana for a warmer look, and Deep for medium-to-deep skin tones.  

The formula doesn’t contain any reflective minerals that can lead to “flashback” in photos, so it’s great for both day and night. The only drawback is that it’s a loose powder, which can get pretty messy, especially compared to pressed powder.

Size: 0.7 oz | Shades: 3

Best blush
Milani Baked Blush

What we love

  • Smooth and blendable
  • Gorgeous shade range
  • Shimmer and satin finish options

What we don’t love

  • No matte blushes in the range

Milani’s blushes are cult-favorites for a reason. They’re soft, smooth, and blendable, and they come in a whole range of stunning shades. Luminoso, a glowy peach, is the most popular of the bunch, but there are plenty of other color options for all skin tones.

These blushes come in two finishes: satins that look natural but still add some luminescence to the skin and shimmers that could easily double as highlighters. That said, if you prefer matte blushes, you might be disappointed.

Size: 0.12 oz| Shades: 10

Best eyeliner
Rimmel Scandaleyes Gel Eye Liner Pencil

What we love

  • Creamy, easy-to-use formula
  • Waterproof
  • Ideal for smoky looks or waterline

What we don’t love

  • Ideal for smoky looks or waterline
  • Not great for sharp wing

Smoked-out eyeliner is quite popular these days, so a pencil eyeliner is a must. It’s also a more beginner-friendly option when you want to define your eyes. Whether you’re looking for a dark, sultry waterline or more of a smudged wing, this gel eyeliner from Rimmel is one of the best affordable makeup products to buy. 

It has a creamy formula that imparts color with ease and sets to be completely waterproof and long-wearing. It comes in five shades, including a nude that can brighten up your waterline. You’ll just need to pick up a pencil sharpener separately to keep it fresh.  

That said, since it’s a pencil, we don’t recommend it if you love a sharp wing. Liquid and gel liners are more suited for that.

Size: 0.04 oz | Shades: 5

Best lipstick
Maybelline Super Stay Vinyl Ink Longwear Liquid Lipcolor

What we love

  • Lustrous finish
  • Smudge-proof and long-lasting
  • 25 gorgeous shades

What we don’t love

  • Not hydrating

Maybelline’s Matte Ink Liquid Lipsticks are the most well-known, but makeup trends are moving towards lips that look hydrated and glossy. 

This liquid lipstick formula is as long-wearing and smudge-proof as the original but with a reflective finish that makes the lips look oh-so-juicy. It comes in 25 opaque shades, from soft nudes and pinks to dramatic reds and fuchsias. 

That said, even though it makes the lips look glossy, it’s not particularly hydrating, so you’ll want to wear a lip balm underneath it.

Size: 0.14 oz | Shades: 25

Best brow product
NYX Micro Brow Pencil

What we love

  • Multiple application styles
  • Large shade range
  • Excellent longevity

What we don’t love

  • Minimal amount of product

Whether you’re new to makeup or an old hat, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil is a safe choice for filling in the brows. The ultra-slim tip gives you a few options as far as application style. You can use it to mimic hairlike strokes for a feathered look or create an outline and fill it in for a bold, defined look. 

The formula is creamy and pigmented, and a brush on the end allows you to blend and soften the look. While it’s not waterproof, most reviewers raved that it has excellent longevity and some water resistance. 

It comes in 12 shades, including options for hair colors that are under-represented in the makeup world, like gray, auburn, and ash. You’ll be able to find a match no matter your coloring, and it’s even excellent for creating faux freckles.  

The only drawback is that each pencil contains a tiny amount of product, so it doesn’t offer the best bang for your buck.

Size: 0.003 oz | Shades: 12

Best highlighter
Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Highlighter

What we love

  • Buttery and smooth
  • Creates a dewy, non-glittery sheen
  • Shade options for every skin tone

What we don’t love

  • Twist to open packaging

Achieve the glowiest look with this exquisite Physician’s Formula highlighter. The ultra-buttery formula has the properties of both a cream and a powder, so it glides over the skin to give a nourishing yet long-lasting highlight. 

We love this highlighter formula because of its finely-milled reflective minerals  — it looks more like a sheen than glitter on the face. The shade range is also inclusive, with options for every skin tone and undertone. 

The only thing we don’t love is the packaging because the jar twists to open, which is much less convenient than popping open a compact.

Size: 0.17 oz | Shades: 8

Beauty on a budget 

Having a tight budget shouldn’t stop you from looking glamorous. Our selection of the best affordable makeup products features excellent, high-quality items that look just as good, if not better, than a lot of high-end makeup. If you’re just starting out, you could build an entire makeup collection for yourself for around $100. 

Our top pick, L’Oreal’s True Match Foundation, is a versatile foundation with a sizable shade range, a perfect jumping-off point if you’re just starting to build your collection. But no matter which product you need to replenish, there’s something in our guide that will round out your makeup collection. 

How to pick the right drugstore makeup for you

Shopping for makeup at the drugstore is no different from shopping for high-end products. Here are the things to keep in mind as you expand your collection. 

Skin type

  • Dry. When shopping for foundations, concealers, and other complexion products, aim for products with creamy formulas and natural or dewy finishes. 
  • Oily. Opt for matte, long-wearing products. Powders typically offer better oil control than creams. 
  • Balanced. You can use both cream and powder products. Look for options with a natural finish, or enjoy matte-finish products without the need for setting powder. 


  • Warm. Look for complexion products with yellow undertones. For eyeshadows, lipsticks, and blushes, use neutrals or warm shades like gold and coral. 
  • Cool. Use complexion products with pink or red/purple undertones. Try pinks, grays, purples, and red-based browns when working with color.
  • Neutral. Choose foundations and concealers advertised as beige or neutral. When working with color, you can experiment with most shades. 
  • Olive. You’ll find your match with a warm-toned or neutral foundation. You may want to avoid purple eyeshadows and lipsticks. Gold, khaki, and neutral shades will flatter you the most. 


  • Natural. Choose low-coverage products and earthier shades. Cream formulas tend to look more natural, too. 
  • Glam. High-coverage products and a lot of contrast between textures and finishes will help you create more glamorous looks. 
  • Artistic. If you like to get creative, it’s all about curating a diverse and colorful makeup collection, so affordable drugstore products come in handy.


Is it OK to buy drugstore makeup? 

Yes! Drugstore makeup brands have come a long way over the last few decades, with formulas that easily rival their high-end counterparts. Many brands are owned by the same parent companies as luxury brands, so the formulas and results are often similar. 

Is drugstore foundation as good as high-end foundation?

Many drugstore foundations are just as good as high-end ones. We certainly think that’s the case with our top pick from L’Oreal, which is a versatile foundation that comes in a vast range of shades. 

What’s the best makeup brand?

As you can see from our list, different brands excel in various categories, and no single brand is “the best.” You can’t go wrong with a L’Oreal foundation, an Essence or Maybelline mascara, or a Physician’s Formula highlighter or bronzer. When shopping on a budget, do some research to determine which products from each brand are most frequently recommended, and don’t forget to take your skin type, skin tone, and makeup style into account.