Luxury doesn’t always mean quality, just like Drugstore doesn’t always mean cheap. There are some really great beauty products out there that are very affordable AND great to use every day. I’ve come up with a list of some of my favorite beauty items that won’t break the bank and have superb quality. I personally use each and every one of these items so I know how good they are.
Favorite cleanser: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser – 8 Oz, Price: $6.99 at Drugstore.com
Why I love it: This product will wash off all the makeup on my face without making my face feel super dry afterwards. It’s also extremely gentle so it takes off all of my mascara when I really scrub my face in the shower. I usually have to use two pumps to wash my face and neck and then one more pump to get all the black mascara off my face.
Favorite Body Wash: Johnson & Johnson Baby Bedtime Wash – 15 fl oz., Price: $4.89 at Target
Why I love it: I know it says “baby wash” on it, but this is my favorite night time body wash that I use more than occasionally in the daytime as well. I’ve actually gotten many compliments on how my skin smells, when only using this one product. The lavender helps you sleep better and the formula is so soft, it makes your skin feel like a baby’s… well, almost.
Favorite Eye Makeup Remover: Sonia Kashuk® Remove – Eye Makeup Remover, Price: $10.19 at Target
Why I love it: I used to use Clinique “Take The Day Off” Cleansing Balm, but ever since buying this at Target years ago, I’ve never gone back! It’s the same great quality, but a fraction of the price! Super gentle so it doesn’t pull when removing even the most stubborn waterproof mascara!
Why I love it: I have really sensitive skin, but it’s also oily, so this deep cleaning toner really does what it says it does. Safe to use in the morning and at night, this is my go-to toner that’s in my medicine cabinet and my travel bag.
Why I love it: The smell and little scrubbing beads really do a great job of waking you up and deep cleaning your pores. I use this in the shower on my bare face to really clean my skin. I don’t recommend it as a makeup remover. Careful around your eyes, this isn’t for the sensitive areas around your face.
Favorite makeup setting spray: NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray, Price: $7.99 at Ulta
Why I love it: When this says “Matte”, it means matte. There is also a dewey finish but I don’t use it that often because of my oily skin, plus it doesn’t last as long. I use this once all my makeup is on, and the trick I’ve found is to spray this into a fan and let it mist onto your face while the fan dries the spray. If you have large pores, this might make them stand out more, but I’d rather have large pores then a shiny face.
Favorite Liquid Eyeliner: Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, Price: $5.99 at Target
Why I love it: This long lasting formula really does last all day, but it isn’t waterproof. The teeny tiny tip makes it super easy to create a dramatic wing. The best part is that it comes in three colors!
Favorite Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation, Price: $5.94 at Walmart
Why I love it: This Matte + Poreless foundation comes in the same great color range as the first Fit Me line of foundations that came out a couple years ago, but this one is super great for girls like me whose faces have large pores. While I still use a primer when I’m going to be out all day, this texture makes my face happy. Many beauty bloggers love the L’Oreal 24hr Matte Foundation, but I found that that foundation caked on my face soon after I set it. This is now my daily go-to foundation.
Favorite Face Powder: Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder, Price: $6.49 at Drugstore.com
Why I love it: The “Holy Grail” of most drag queens, this loose face powder really is my #1 Drugstore secret! I love the Translucent Extra-Coverage because it offers my acne-scarred skin a little more coverage over my foundation. This powder does fly everywhere so be careful. I turn the container upside down, tap the bottom a few times, then slowly take the bottom off from the top and then dip my brush into the product in the lid.
Favorite Oil Absorbing Sheets: Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, Price: $4.49 at Target
Why I love it: Small and portable, these sheets are the best I’ve ever tried. I know they are a little pricey compared to rice sheets you might find in Chinatown or at your local beauty store, but these don’t remove any of your makeup as they soak up the oil. A must have for any girl with oily skin!
Favorite Makeup Brush: E.L.F. Studio Large Stipple Brush, Price: $3
Why I love it: Three dollars! Three dollars for a stipple brush is a great price. The only downside is that there will be some brush fiber shedding. But once you’ve used and washed it a couple times, there is no more shedding. I use this for powder contour and bronzer mainly, not foundation, because it can leave brush strokes in your foundation and look streaky.
I hope you find this list informative and helpful! I spend a lot of my paycheck on makeup every month, and because of that, I try to find a great deal when I can. Have fun and feel beautiful! Xoxo -Marianne
Click here to read more about Marianne Meissner.