The Best 15 Drugstore Products

Sometimes, the last thing we have money to spend on is makeup, however there are some really great drug store products, that won’t break your wallet!

Here are my top 15 drugstore products (in no specific order):

Monistat Chafing Gel


I know this isn’t a makeup product, but this amazing gel makes for a fantastic face primer! I use this product almost everyday to give a my skin a smooth finish, before applying my foundation. This gel is very comparable to Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer.

Where to Buy: AmazoneBay, Most Drug Stores

Revlon Colorstay Foundation


This matte finish foundation is full coverage, even more so than many of my high end foundations. There is a wide range of colors for any skin tone, and formulas for any skin type.

Where to Buy: AmazoneBay, Most drugstores

Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic Pressed Powder


The Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic Pressed Powder works great for setting your foundation, or contouring. This pressed powder is very light and doesn’t appear cakey while worn throughout the day.

Where to Buy: Amazon, Most Drugstores

NYX 10 Eyeshadow Palettes


The NYX eyeshadow palettes are sleek, extremely pigmented, and a great quality. This is one of the best products by NYX so far. I truly do love these babies!

Where to Buy: Makeup Geek Store

Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner


This eyeliner is very smooth and glides easily onto the eyes. The texture of this eye liner is very similar to Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliners.

Where to Buy: AmazoneBay, Most drugstores

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner


The Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner has a small felt tip brush, and smudge proof formula. This eyeliner is extremely easy to apply and lasts throughout the day.

Where to Buy: AmazoneBay, Most drug stores

Loreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara


The Loreal Voluminous Mascara is my favorite drugstore mascara for thickening the lashes. Simply apply a few coats of this mascara, and you’re set for the day!

Where to Buy: AmazoneBay, Most Drug Stores

Ardell #301 False Lashes


The Ardell Accent eye lashes are easy to apply, with a seamless appearance. These lashes cannot be beat for the price!

Where to Buy: Makeup Geek Store, Some Drug Stores

Duo Lash Adhesive


The Duo eyelash adhesive is key to getting your lashes to stay in place all night.  This eyelash glue comes in a clear and dark tone formula.

Where to Buy: Amazon, Most drugstores

Maybelline Mousse Blush


The Maybelline Mousse Blush is a dream to apply as it glides easily on the skin leaving a fresh glow to your skin.

Where to Buy: AmazoneBay, Most Drugstores

NYX Powder Blush


The NYX Powder blushes come in a wide range of highly pigmented colors, all of which are matte finishes.

Marlena’s Picks: “Peach”, “Dusty Rose”, and “Natural”

Where to Buy: Makeup Geek Store, Select Drugstores

Revlon Matte Lipstick


The Revlon Matte Lipsticks are richly pigmented; they come in a wide variety of colors, all of which are great quality.

Marlena’s Picks: “Nude Attitude” and “In the Red”

Where to Buy: Amazon, Most Drugstores

NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss


The NYX lip glosses are super pigmented, and creamy without feeling sticky on your lips. These lip glosses come in a wide range of colors, and are a great price!

Marlena’s Picks: “Beige” and  “Lollipop”

Where to Buy: Makeup Geek Store, Select Drugstores

Sally Hansen Lipnotic Gem Gloss


These sparkling lipglosses are very similar to MAC’s Dazzleglasses, as they add a gorgeous shimmer to the lips to make them appear much fuller.

Where to Buy: Select drug stores

Essence of Beauty Duo Crease Brush Set


Don’t have money to spend on MAC brushes? No problem, as these brushes are a great substitute for the MAC 219 brush.

Where to Buy: Makeup Geek Store, CVS

Profile photo of Marlena

CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


Comments are now closed on this article.

Marlena- Thanks so much for making a list of the top drug store brands!!! I have already bought a few of these items because you recommended them in a tutorial, and I have loved everything I’ve got. I am also a huge fan of anything from Sephora, but it’s so nice to have some cheaper alternatives that work just as good. Thanks again, you’re awesome!

AWESOME! Thanks for the great tips. I do have a question, how do you find the best foundation for you at the drugstore, if you cant try it on???

Just do a lot of research to see what people are talking about, then try it yourself- most stores let you return if it doesn’t work out for you :)

Thanks for this list. I just got the matte Revlon one, I LOVE the nude one it works REALLY well and doesn’t make me look funny being so dark. Question: Do you think that maybe you could do a tutorial on lipstick brands that don’t have mercury in it? I heard that a lot of lipstick brands have a lot of mercury content in them.

I love the Revlon liquid eyeliner… I end up waking up with it in the morning after a night of clubbing!! (yes i know i should take my makeup off before i go to bed!) it’s pretty good and at a very good price to :) Also easy to apply

You may ban me from leaving comments after this! I almost fell off my seat when I saw the Monistat Chafing Gel. I recommend this all of the time for my friends who’ve had a night (or two or so) of hot, wild monkey love – so much it hurts, ya know what I mean? It would fabulously well to help you walk straight again. :)

Gee, I’ll have to try this as a primer for my face. Who knew?

So, like everyone else, didn’t believe the Monistat chaffing gel as a primer, and I shall never doubt you again oh great goddess of make up!

I love it when you put your picks of drugstore makeup that work and that is affordable. Being a mommy of 2 girls I love makeup and always want to look my best within my price range. Thank you soooooo much. Love this site.

thanks so much for putting up these top 10 products! they are fantastic, but unfortunately most of them are not available in Barbados where i live. :( however, the rly big popular brands like revlon and loreal are, so thanks for putting in a couple of those ones! just spent two hours on ur youtube channel watching loads of ur vids. theyre wonderful! especially loved the one for small eyes. do u think u could do one especially for ppl of African descent? using a model of course? cause its super-hard to find black tutorials of a decent quality and using good products on youtube. anyways, also loved ur smokey eye tutorials. bye!

I use the Revlon Foundation and i can agree with Marlene that is a great item to have. Great price great product. Another one is the NYX blushes there are outstanding as well as there eyeshadows. Im interested in buying NYX jumbo pencils after seeing there great reviews. Ardell lashes are also great, i just have to get the DUO lash glue. hehe. A have tried different mascaras but for me it has always been one that is made in Mexico but can now be found in drugstores there called Super Lash mascara by apple, there are either made of “mamey, avocado, or savila (aloe vera) your choice” it makes my lashes thicker and longer without clumps. I recommended.

These are all great and thank you for giving me a cheaper way of still looking fabulous. But there is one thing, when it comes to mascaras i’ve tried many but there is this one that i keep going back to and i plan to stay with it. It’s made in Mexico but sold in the US, I have even seen them in some drugstores but for the most part sold in little mom and pop shop where they sell beauty supplies. They are called Super Lash Mascara by Apple. You can choose from the ones that have Aloe Vera, Avocado or Mamey. Cost about 2 to 3 dollars and they thicken and length lashes and they dont clump. They are great.

i cant find a dark shade by revlon colorstay foundation , does the Beyond Natural foundation by revlon is good? because they have a dark shade… i have a client she is an indian but she is not really dark , but im having a hard time to look for a foundation that will match her complexion….i found a shade by revlon beyond natural but cant decide if i will get it , does the Beyond Natural by revlon does it work good??? i really hope you can help me with this…. really need a help,pls…
thank you

wow!thats great to see those kind of make up but i m from india nd only find maybellene products cheaper .if i buy these all products from the net is it safe.

FYI – On as 1/10 Multitasking Beauty Products
ChapStick Original
Primary use: Softens (and adds an oh-so-important layer of SPF to) lips without leaving a trail of residue or color.
Works double duty as: A base for powder eyeshadow. Before creating your smoldering eye makeup, slick on a light layer to add a bit of nongreasy stickiness to help powder shadow stay put.

ChapStick Original, $2 at

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the mascara is by Bourjois . carries a variety of Bourjois products. Their mascaras are awesome! I’d also recommend the Bourjois eyeliner effect mascara. It’s fantastic! ( I got it in brown) Seriously, no clumping, and it lengthens and looks totally natural, AND you really can skip eyeliner for the day. It really does have an “eyeliner effect”.

Another really great primer is Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum. I use it under my makeup and it provides a nice clean smooth canvas for my powder foundation! Plus you get added benefits of the product!

I have to disagree with the essence of beauty brushes. I bought them long before I had the money for mac brushes, but as soon I as used the true mac brushes, these went in the trash. If you are totally pressed, they are better than most, but if you can squeeze together the $20.00-25.00 for a mac brush, you will be very pleased.

What? Are you serious? I was just about to comment on here about my amazing experience with these brushes. I got them last week after reading about it here and I must say they are spectacular (comparable to my mac and sephora brushes). Two brushes for less than $5 vs $20-$25 is kind of a huge difference for me (plus CVS was having a “buy one, get one 50% off” so I got a large pencil/shader duo brush as well). Maybe your EoB brushes simply got old so when you finally bought mac, you were comparing your new mac brushes to old EoB brushes?

I should note that I cleaned these brushes with olive oil and Purity Made Simple when I first got them. I’m not sure if this made them even better…

Hi Marlena!

I’m new to your site. Its awesome. I wanted to thank you for the wonderful tips of Drugstore products. I will definitely be getting the Revlon foundation and that Maybelline mouse blush. Be Well.

hey marlena!!!!
u r totally rite!
the revlon colorstay foundation does work! ITS AS GOOD AS MY MAC!!! i cant believe it
thanx so much for puttin this up

Hey, Marlena! Have you tried Jandora products? They’re awesome… I have been using them for a long time now. Just thought I’d suggest it.

for eye makeup remover I have found that Aubrey Organics Jojoba Oil works amazing on removing MAC of which to me seems to be somewhat difficult to get all off. It will remove shadow, liners, and mascara with ease. This stuff is nice and it hydrates the skin at the same time.

thank you so much, i will try to look for that Aubrey Organics Jojoba oil, i just really hope that we have that in our country.. thanks a lot(“,)

Hi Marlena,

Thank you so much for all the great tips on drugstore products! I need HELP, I found your website trying to find a tutorial for Halloween makeup ideas. (and now I am hooked) I am planning on being Medusa this year, I would like to have kinda a glam Medusa look but cant seem to come up with anything on my own and have not found anything on line to help me. You are the expert— can you please help?

thank you so much!

Marlene, LOVE your site! I want to try fake eyelashes and saw Ardell the brand at Walgreens.. My question is.. what number do you suggestion for a Kim Kardashian look on the lashes? I bought a pair in #110 and Black but havent opened them yet until I hear back from you! I saw that you have #301 here but wasn’t sure if was similar to Kim’s look

Hey Marlena – I’d really like to see you do a look with the new NYX 10 shadow palettes. Maybe you have and I’ve missed them? I’d like to see what you can do with them!


I just love your website!! I have had to cut down on a few things so thanks I will definitely try these drugstore products!! I was wondering is there anything you would recommend for eyeshadow primer from a drugstore because I really cannot afford the urban decay one! Also I am going on a trip to Minneapolis at the end of October for work and will only be able to take a carry on and was wondering if you had any tips on what main things…Makeup and skincare related I should take that will work for business meetings, working out in the field or just touring the city at night!!



Thank you for all the tutorials! Thanks so much for making a list of the top drug store brands!!! I would like to accomplish your look the hair color. Would you please let me know what hair color you use?

I want to enter one of the contests but i can’t find where they are located? could you please email if u have time? Greatly appreciated! I love your work. I even tried the skittles one but did it more to “taste the rainbow”. once you email i’ll send the picture so you can effectively criticize haha

I am a major drugstore makeup fan, and one day in a near moment of fatal weakness, I went into Sephora and ALMOST bought the “Celebutante” eyeshadow by Lorac. $12 for this shadow, and it was outrageously beautiful. Then, as I picked up the box and was going to the checkout counter, I changed my mind and put it back. The next day, I was in Wal Mart and saw a duo called “Sea Glass”, and had to laugh. If you mix the two colors, it made the exact same color as the expensive $12 shadow. Basically, one day of patience saved me $10! Getting a bunch of cheap, but pretty well-made eyeshadows and blending the colors saves a ton of money in the long run. Why spend $12 for an eyeshadow when you can buy 6 of them for that price? As long as you have good brushes, the cheapies look just as good as the expensive ones. At least that’s been my experience!

I love the Revlon Nude Attitude lipstick. It’s such a perfect color and I’m a medium skintone. I have to try that mosaic powder because I contour all the time and my BE Warmth’s a little dark. Thanks for the tips, Marlena :). They’re always helpful.

I have a question for you: In your Drugstore Haul video, you said you adored L’Oreal Voluminous mascara, but you also said that you had a bad experience with L’Oreal. You never told us what is up. Can you respond or make a video sometime in the later future telling us why???

The first product on the list is the chaffing gel, and I was like, oh awesome! Cause I run around at work for 11 hours and my legs chaffe, but you said that you could use it as a primer! And I realized it does feel Photo Finish(I only have a little tube of the Photo Finish and I’m trying to hold onto it, lol)
I’m gonna try this out tomorrow for my primer and see what happens!!
Oh and I just found you today and I have to say you are AMAZING!!!! I’ve been watching all your stuff for about 3 hours now! I’m hooked!

thanks for all of those awsome product we were really in the need lol ! and by the way i really like all of tutorials but would like you to think about more arabic’s look cause i loved those one you published . i have also a question : where can i find NYX product in france ?

Your website is awesome! I am addicted : ) Thanks for all the tutorials and advice! Makes someone that is challenged in this department feel some hope ; ) PS- this list contains a few things I agree hands down on!

Hey! just wondering, i love buying the eyeshadow palettes, just because its easier than buying the single colours, im just wondering which one to buy.. i have aqua blue eyes, which colour would be best for me and my eyes??

I just want to let you know that whatever you recomend i just run and get it because i know for sure it will be so good to have some cheaper alternatives that work just as good as the brand name ones specially now with this economic crisis those with kids will understand :-) Thanks again, you’re awesome marlene + i’ll like to share with you that they have 4 locations withing 8 miles from my house selling NYX product this is new im so happy now i’ll try everything for sure hahha also just got a Ulta store open yupiiiiiiii i never been in one my close one was very far from me..

Do you know of any good drug store brush kits? I kinda want to get all the brushes I need at once since those tend to be the best deals… Do you know of any? I was thinking about going for The ECO 6 piece brush set that I’ve found at Rite Aid. (then just add on any others that I need latter when I get more $$$)

I have got to say I love you tutorials. I do not normally wear makeup but I love buying, trying and wearing it on special occasions. I came onto your site after searching for good “drugstore” makeup because every time I go into Sephora I spend like $50 because I love makeup but I don’t use it as often as I should so something good and inexpensive would always be better for me. I gotta say I fell in LOVE with Voluminous… it did wonders! My eyelashes look great!

I gotta ask for some quick advice though. I have a friend who really loves makeup and she recently discovered E.L.F brand ( were most products are $1 and they also have a mineral and professional collection. Some Target stores have some of their products but I want to try some of the stuff featured on the website. I wanted to see if you had tried it and had something you would recommend from this brand.

I have a question, ibought the revlon foundation<3 and the physicians formula magic mosaic in 6w beige/warm beige…. is the one you are using darker because i think this is too light too contour my face??? Also what drug store concealer do you recommend i purchased the physicians formula 2 sided wand with the yellow side and the skin side but it DOESNT cover well at all ; <
i have very tiny veins (like itty bitty spider veins)on the sides my face and this didnt work to cover them. I used to just aplly a lighter face poder (pur mineral) and then a darker all over and it worked very well but i do want to start using REAL concealer. Thank4 ur help..MUG

Hey love this it’s so helpful, but I am also looking for good quality brushes that arnt gonna break my budget. I find my face brushes to be irritating to my skin… should I invest in mac brushes? or sigma? what brand!!!
From a very confused little MUG,

Hi Marlena I have a question I brake out in itchy bumps from my blush and it seems to be with only pink shades. Do you know of any good blushes that are for sensitive skin? Thank you !

Have you ever tried lipstick? the creamy ‘old fashioned’ type in a tube. Not the semi perms or color lasts. You can dap a few dots on you cheak and blend with a semi moist (almost dry) sponge or you clean finger tips.

i was just wondering that are all of these things in America? Its because ive never herd of NYX so please reply back soon oh and thanks for doing all the great videos you are really creative could you do a look for like blonde goldy haired girls such as gold and bronzes thanks

hi.. thank you so much for all the great tips.. i have a dark tone to my face and its hard to find the right makeup. i have went to professionals and they all say they cant find my correct product needs…. plzz email me and help mee cuz i dont know if i can survive any longer looking like

chy chy

Have you tried mineral powder foundations? They are light weight and you can custom blend the color at home to suit you. Also, NEVER BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT mix colors at home. I have asian skin with yellow, olive, and pink undertones and have been mixing my own color at home for years. It takes a few minutes at first but once you figure out what you like it will become second nature or you can pre mix and hve a supply always on hand.

Hi so about a primer i do not wear makeup every day but about one a week so anyway i can not afford urban decay do you have nay other one hat could be found in most major drugstore in New York?

SOUNDS CRAZY BUT….I have been using these for years!
2 choices
1. Cheap but awesome – MONOSTAT CHAFING RELIEF POWDER-GEL – Can be found at your local wally mart or drug store in the ladies feminie isle IN A BLUE BOX with the words SOOTHING CARE vertically on the left. Don’t get this confused with the “down there cream”. THIS IS A CLEAR GEL and safe to use on you face!
Costs about $5 – $6 for a tube holds 1.5 oz

2. Cost a little more but works really well and has the added benefit of a daily moisturizer. MARY KAY HYDRATING GEL. Works as a moisturizer and primer gel. (Use sparingly) You can find it online or with a local Mary Kay lady. (it is easier to just order it online from them)
Costs about $30.00 for a purple jar that holds 1.8 oz. will last with normal use about 4 months.

I can’t start to tell you how much you site means to me… i was a makeup artist for years (started at 13 in my moms salon, then went to commercial work when i was 18) but lost my passion after some health issues came up (i was diagnosed with cancer in my 20’s) I found your site by chance and it literally renewed my passion!!

If it is not any trouble, could you please post more information on easy to find drug store finds? When i was doing makeup professionally i used every brand on the market and since i stopped doing makeup as a living I have only really used Sheer Cover (love it), Physicians formula and Mary Kay (surprisingly good) with a few tries here and there.

Anywho, long but grateful story later i should let you get back. THANK YOU!

PS: do you have a facebook page?!

Hey Ms. Marlena!! Love, love, love, all your tips and videos!! I was wondering, since I am very new in this MAKE UP world =) and I don’t wanna buy all the expensive stuffs, what would you suggest for me to buy that are must have’s?? I certainly don’t mind going cheap! LOL

Oh yah, where would you suggest for me to get all those eyeshadow pallets? Those are dreamy! Like lots of colors and cheap??? Thanks!

Essence of Beauty Crease Brush: I don’t have a Mac 219, so I can’t compare. However, I have a hodge-podge of brushes, MAC, sephora, Bobbi Brown, etc… These two little brushes are really really fantastic, best 8 bucks I’ve ever spent!