Top 10 Makeup Buys for Under $10

Walking up and down the aisles of a makeup store, looking at all the brightly colored eyeshadows, lipsticks and blushes can make a girl feel like a kid in a candy store…until you look the prices.

Trying to find quality makeup at reasonable prices can be quite an intimidating task at best. Inevitably, you can begin to feel somewhat disheartened at the thought of never finding a good product at a reasonable price!

However, finding a quality product for a sensible price isn’t that difficult if you know what you are looking for. We know you don’t want to spend a lot of money on quality makeup, so to help you out we have put together a list of the top 10 things you will want to have in your makeup collection all under $10 USD.

Milani Liquify Eyeliner

Price: $5 – $7
Where to Buy
Amazon , eBay

These remarkable eyeliners are very highly pigmented and very smooth. These are comparable to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide on Pencils. They have remarkable staying power but glide on smoothly without budging. They are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way.

They work wonderfully in the waterline of the eye as well.  These range in prices from $5.99 USD to $7.99 USD. Another great alternative is the L’Oreal Hip Eyeliners which retail for approximately the same amount.


ELF Bronzer/Blush Duo

Price: $3
Where to Buy: Target, Drugstore, Amazon

The quality of ELF’s inexpensive products can be hit or miss.  However, If you are looking for a good bronzer and blush duo that will complement each other perfectly for a reasonable price than look no further.

This is a nice duplicate of the Nars Blush & Bronzer Duo. The blusher in the Elf duo leans toward the peachy-coral tone and is reminiscent of NARS Orgasm blush which complements the bronzer beautifully. These are perfect for those of your with fair to medium skin tones.

Both the bronzer and the blush are highly pigmented and have a slight shimmer to them, perfect for summer! This retails for approximately $3.00 USD at Target.


Coastal Scents Camo Quad Concealer

Price: $7.89
Where to Buy
:  Makeup Geek Store

These amazing little quads come in four shades, light, medium, and dark. The concealer quads come with a white for highlighting and three shades that can be mixed to achieve your perfect shade. All the shades are very creamy and smooth.

The velvety hues are medium to full coverage and will hide even the most problem areas. They will work well under the eyes because they aren’t so thick they will become cakey and perfect for blemishes because it’s does not have a liquid texture.

These are perfect for dropping in a makeup bag and taking with you on the go for quick touch ups. All of these can be purchased in the Makeup Geek store for $7.89 USD.


Palladio Rice Powder

Price: $4.89
Where to Buy:
Ulta,  Makeup Geek Store

This face powder comes in a loose powder form and is triple milled for an easier application and a silky finish. It helps to control the oils produced by your skin throughout the day without becoming cakey which is especially great since we are now in the hot summer months.

The powder doesn’t leave a chalky appearance on your skin, but instead settles into it giving you flawless appearing skin. It works just as well as other high end powders without breaking the bank. It comes in 3 shades; natural, translucent, and warm beige. You can purchase this for $4.89 USD at Ulta and the Makeup Geek store as well.

Ardell False Lashes

Price: $3.99
Where to Buy
: Drugstores,  Makeup Geek Store

Used by everyone from makeup pros to beginners, these are without question the best lashes on the market. What’s great about these specific lashes are the base is completely invisible which gives them the appearance of looking more natural. They are lightweight and easy to apply.

They come in a variety of styles such as natural, glamour, dramatic, individual, and even ones with rhinestones. Regardless of which type you choose, the ability of these lashes to look and feel real is amazing. The only thing better than the quality of these eye-catching lashes is their amazing price.  Ardell lashes retail for $3.99 USD in drugstores and our very own Makeup Geek store.

L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

Price: $6 – $8
Where to Buy
:  Drugstores, AmazoneBay

Possibly one of the best mascaras on the market today, this one has been around for a while and for good reason. This mascara is perfect for everyone, even those with sensitive eyes.

L’Oreal’s Voluminous mascara makes your lashes look fuller and thicker while adding dramatic length as well. The carbon black color is a true blacker than black shade which helps to define your lashes without them appearing overdone or giving you the dreaded spider lashes.

The wand is the perfect size for reaching the bottom lashes as well as those lashes toward the inner corner of your eye. This sells for $6 to $8 USD depending on where it is purchased.


Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow

Price: $6.99
Where to Buy
: Ulta, Drugstores, Amazon , eBay

These highly pigmented cream eyeshadows have been on the market for a while now and received rave reviews. The gel/cream eyeshadows have intense color payoff without creasing or fading, have incredible staying power and are completely waterproof.

They also have a creamy, smooth texture that allows them to glide on easily. These can be used alone for a soft wash of color on your lids, as a base for other eyeshadow, or as an eyeliner.  With ten colors to choose from you are sure to find more than one to fall in love with.

The Color Tattoos retail for approximately $6.99 USD at Ulta and other drug stores. But keep your eyes open, these often go on sale for BOGO. You can check out my review of these here “Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows


Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

Price: $5.99 for Pans, $7.99 for Compacts (and discounts with bundles)
Where to Buy:
Makeup Geek Store (Pan Version) (Compact Version)

Yes, we may be a bit biased, but we guarantee you will have a very hard time finding a better shadow for a lower price.  These highly pigmented, smooth and creamy eyeshadows are the same quality as high end eyeshadows like MAC, Urban Decay or Makeup Forever, just without the expensive price tag. Made here in the USA and with a range of about 60 colors to choose from you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for. These stunning eyeshadows come in both pan and compact form.

The pans are perfect to drop into a palette like the Z-Palette or the MAC Pro Palette which allows you to custom design your very own palette. These also come in handy compact forms as well for those of you who want a few to carry in your makeup bag or just prefer individual compacts over palettes. So whether your prefer pans or palettes, these striking eyeshadows are a definite must have.

The Makeup Geek pans retail for $5.99 USD and the compacts sell for $7.99 USD at The Makeup Geek Store. Make sure to watch for the bundle packs that help you save money as well.

Makeup Geek Lipsticks

Price: $7.99
Where to Buy
:  Makeup Geek Store

With the same high quality as other high end lipsticks, the newest addition to our own makeup line makes these a must have. The only thing you won’t find here is the high price tag to go along with them. These highly pigmented lipsticks are creamy, smooth and non-drying so they glide on for flawless application. With 16 lush shades to choose from you can find a shade that is perfect for you (check out Marlena’s favorites and see swatches). And the low price allows you to be able to purchase 2 for what you would pay for other notable lipsticks. These astonishing lipsticks retail for $7.99 USD in our very own Makeup Geek store.


NYX Lip Liners

Price: $3.59
Where to Buy: ULTA, Makeup Geek Store

These are a must have for lip lovers everywhere. These come in 60 astonishing shades and are known for their creamy texture. These glide on smooth and easily with no pulling or tugging and aren’t overly drying. The smooth texture makes these perfect for not only lining your lips, but filling them in to help create the ideal lip. These amazing lip liners won’t bleed like some other lip liners will and wear for long periods of time. And with so many shades to choose from it’s easy to find one to match your favorite lipstick. Try pairing these with our new Makeup Geek lipstick to create the perfect luscious lip!  These retail for $3.59 USD at Ulta and the Makeup Geek store as well.


There you have it: 10 incredible products all under $10.00. Looking good and having good makeup doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With so many brands on the market these days, finding good affordable makeup doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it seems. These 10 inexpensive makeup finds are sure to help you achieve that flawless looking face everyone desires. As always, stay happy and be safe!

Profile photo of Marlena

CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


Comments are now closed on this article.

I’m really looking for a very soft matt eyeshadow for older skin. I think something with a pale soft pink would be pretty. Do you have anything in your Makeup Geek line that would fit this? Thanks

Have u tried the coastal scents natural pallette? It has 88 different nude and natural shadows and the majority of them are matte!!!!

Joni, Try maybe Cupcake. It’s a very pretty soft matt pink. I think that may be what your looking for. :) hope that helps

I love your eyeshadows. They feel so soft on the eyelid and are so, so pigmented. My lids are weird I guess because most eyeshadows that I have bought before I had a hard time getting to show up. So thanks! I can’t wait to try the lipsticks (I love lipstick!).

Oh, and I forgot to ask, has anyone had problems with the Voluminous mascara? I bought the waterproof and it made my eyes burn bad. Maybe I should try the non-waterproof version? I seem to have the most luck with Revlon mascaras as far as getting good volume without making my eyes burn. Right now I’m using Revlon 3D Photoready but I also like the Luscious (without plumping, I wasn’t fond of the brush or formula with that one). The thing I like about the Luscious one is it makes my lashes feel so healthy. So just my experience with mascaras. Guess everyones lashes are different :).

I had the SAME problem!! terrible burning. waterproof always makes mer nervous and i was not a fan of this AT ALL. im sticking to maybellines stilleto.

I just bought the Voluminous mascara (waterproof) on Marlena’s suggestion and it did not live up to the waterproof claim. I had racoon eyes all day after going on splashing rides at a themepark. Luckily, I wore shades for most of the day but in the pics where I had them off I look hideous. The worst thing is no one bothered to tell me!

Oh I hate that! How can anyone look you in the eye and not to think to tell us we look like we just fell out of the trees? We have all been there! I use the one that is not waterproof and I have never had a problem with it and actually I really love it… I guess we are all different and have different sensitivities though.

The other really good one is Lancôme Telescopic… Not a cheapie but fantastic.

That’s so strange. I’ve used this mascara for a long time and have never had any issues with it at all. It never burns, smudges, runs, flakes or misbehaves in any way. I layer it over the regular L’Oreal Voluminous nearly every day. Zero problems. Covergirl & Maybelline mascaras are a nightmare for me. Worst ever. And I just don’t like any Revlon products.

Hi Marlena, I’m very interested in your eyeshadows but could you verify that your products are cruelty-free and meet the requirement that both (1) the final products and (2) individual ingredients from supplies are free of animal testing?

Thank you!

Marlena can you PLEEEASE do a look using the gold maybelline color tatoo??? I’m having a hard time using that one. When I put it on my eyelids, (even with a primer) its so waterproof that it almost looks dried out :/ but I’m not gonna give up on it

The elf studio line makeup brushes are amazing synthetic brushes, I cant get enough of them!

What a great video! Soo perfect! I really want to get the palladio rice powder! I had no idea it was under ten bucks! Thanks for this video Marlena!

Hello Marlena!
I´m going to Las Vegas next weekend and I´d like to know if you can tell me where can I find makeup stuff that will help me with my oily skin at a good price becasue I live in Mexico and the prices here are a little bit high and I can´t find most of the things you mentioned… Can u help me? PLEASE???

my favorites are E.L.F. HD loose powder, wet n wild eyeshadow (I like MUG ones too), and L’Oreal true match blush. I love those Milani eyeliners and voluminous too!!

Hi Marlena! I love this kind of videos because sometimes we have a little budget but we don’t want to end up buying something we’ll regret. I live in the UK and would like to know if the make up brand e.l.f. is any good, because here is really cheap. The eyebrow kit is £3.75. I love MAC but sometimes is impossible to buy. Please I would like to know. Thanks XOXOXO

Hey there Marlena, How and where to get started to make your own brand of line of makeup? Im just curious if you dont mind sharing that information with all of your makeup geek fans. :)

I absolutely love the L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara!!! I agree with Marlena that it is definitely the best mascara out there. I have tried both drugstore and department mascaras and there is not another mascara that beats it. This will forever be my favorite mascara.

I tried the Carbon Black and it gave me raccoon eyes. Not my cup of tea, unfortunately. Still searching for the holy grail mascara…

As far as inexpensive products go, I’ve fallen in love with L.A. Colors. I bought a bunch of eyeshadow palettes at the dollar store on a whim, and they are incredible! Super pigmented, easy to apply, last all day… I love bright colors and they definitely fit the bill. I’ve been able to dupe just about all of the bright looks from Jangsara, MUG, Pigments and Palettes, and Beautiful Life of a Girl Next Door with these shadows. :) I went three days with one eye look (this includes showers and washing my face around my eyes) with only minor touchups using L.A. Colors eyeshadows and E.L.F primer and “Mist and Set.” :D I get excited just talking about them!

A friend introduced be to Blinc mascara – it is a very different formula and takes some getting used to, but it will not smudge. It basically forms little tubes around your lashes that come off with makeup remover or washcloth and water. The downside is you can’t layer it – one coat is all you get. If you try to add more it’ll just get spidery. I absolutely love it. It lasts all day and into the night.

This is very helpful! However E.L.F. Brush/Bronzer is NOT a dupe for Nars Blush & Bronzer Duo.

I think you shouldn’t put here your own products. It’s kind of annoying… And makes this portal untrustworthy. In the past i loved makeupgeek… Now it’s only about making money….

Are you kidding? I’ve seen reviews on her makeup and i’m sure she’s worked very hard making a gerat product for a great price. I’m grateful for all her hard work she’s put in to teach people about makeup, its a testimonial that she worked just as hard making these products, and I am very excited to try them out.

Makeup Geek’s whole goal is to make high-quality products and have them available worldwide at affordable prices. Our product costs are almost guaranteed to be higher than the big brands, but we’re keeping our profit margins lower to make them affordable.

Makeup Geek is a business that employees 25 people (many in Michigan a state that has some of the worst employments decreases in recent history). Marlena doesn’t do this for the money. She does it for the love of the industry and to create jobs.

Our profits simply get recycled into our staff and towards building up more high-quality but affordable products.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to message me.

Nick (Co-Founder and Business Manager)

-Try them out once or twice before you apply them for a night out
– Find a good adhesive… I haven’t had very good luck with ones that come with them

I’ve worn them a couple times and I love the way they look but it’s not the easiest thing to do. They’re so fun though!

And also search the tutorial videos. Marlena has a false eyelash application video on there!

I own quiet a few of the ELF products and I find them simply amazing. The eye shadows work great with the ELF eye primer! The only things I dont use are the ELF eyeliners and mascara I find it wears away to fast and clumps awful. For cheep makeup though the color lasts till its time for me to go to bed!

I just wanted to pitch in a few ideas here. I like a lot of ELF products as well, especially for their price. If you are just getting started and looking to explore some new techniques their products are pretty good. I use their brushes, eye primer, liquid liner and keep a pressed powder in my purse for hot days. I’ve also noticed that many of the products Marlena mentioned here are available at Sally’s Beauty Supply too (if you don’t have an Ulta, etc). I just picked up a face primer (by FISK Ind.) and I LOVE it!

But I’ve noticed a lot of comments on mascara so I also have to share that I tried out YES, THEY’RE REAL mascara (available at Sephora and others) and I absolutely LOVE IT! There are smaller tubes available for you to give it a try at about half the price of a full size tube. I can’t rave enough about this one.

Hi Marlena! For the rice powder, what color is it recommended to get with medium-toned light tanned skin? translucent or natural? I bought the translucent at Sallys Beauty Supply today, but now i’m thinking of exchanging it for the natural color….what do you think? any suggestions would be useful! thanks! :)

I haven’t tried the Milani ones yet, but I heard that Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliners in Deepest black is supposed to be a dupe for UD’s Perversion (I had it but I returned it because it absolutely REFUSED to stay on my waterline for more than half an hour). I don’t have that one because my ULTA was sold out, but I LOVE the intensity, creaminess and colors (I have Strong Slate and Fierce Blue) of that particular line. Maybe you could do a review on them some time and see what you think?

girls, the prices above are acceptable. However, have you ever heard something about clinique bonus time? it is a promo period from Clinique brand. they will give you some products for free after making a purchase there.
try it… for the latest offers: