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The Best Drugstore Makeup to Buy Right Now

Beauty bargains for under $15!

best drugstore makeup
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Who says you have to spend a ton on quality makeup? Drugstore beauty products are getting better and better, with more shades, styles and effective formulations being offered every year. And because of the wallet-friendly price tags, drugstore makeup is also the best way to play around with new looks and trends.

Here, we've rounded up the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab's top-tested drugstore makeup products and brands, including formulas backed by the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal, as well as picks from our beauty editors and celebrity makeup artists Maya René and Kristofer Buckle. These affordable mascara, concealer, foundation, highlighter and primer finds will leave you looking flawless and ready for the day (or night!) no matter your budget, and are all available to shop online right now.

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BEST DRUGSTORE EYESHADOW
Revlon
Illuminance Crème Shadow
Revlon
Best Drugstore Foundation
COVERGIRL
TruBlend Liquid Foundation
Covergirl
BEST DRUGSTORE BB CREAM
Maybelline
Dream Fresh BB Cream SPF 30
Maybelline
BEST DRUGSTORE PENCIL EYELINER
COVERGIRL
Exhibitionist 24-Hour Kohl Eyeliner
Covergirl
BEST DRUGSTORE CONCEALER
NYX
Photogenic Concealer Wand
NYX
BEST DRUGSTORE BRONZER
Physician's Formula
Butter Bronzer
Physician's Formula
BEST DRUGSTORE SETTING POWDER
Coty
Airspun Loose Face Powder
Coty
BEST DRUGSTORE BROW GEL
L’Oréal Paris
Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel
L’Oréal
BEST DRUGSTORE BLUSH
CoverGirl
Cheekers Blush
CoverGirl
BEST DRUGSTORE HIGHLIGHTER
Flower
Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette
Flower
BEST WATERPROOF DRUGSTORE MASCARA
CoverGirl
LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara
CoverGirl
BEST DRUGSTORE SETTING SPRAY
e.l.f.
Makeup Mist & Set Setting Spray
e.l.f.
BEST DRUGSTORE MASCARA
Maybelline
Total Temptation Washable Mascara
Maybelline
BEST DRUGSTORE LIQUID EYELINER
CoverGirl
Get In Line Liquid Eyeliner
CoverGirl
BEST DRUGSTORE NAIL POLISH
essie
Nail Polish
Is drugstore makeup as good as high-end makeup?
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Drugstore makeup can certainly help you achieve the same look as higher-end products, and you can even find many excellent dupes for your favorite luxury makeup at the drugstore. In fact, some drugstore products are made in the exact same factories as high-end makeup, according to René. "For example, L’Oréal and YSL are under the same umbrella: if you love the YSL Rouge Pur glossy stain, a great substitute could be the L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Extraordinaire Lip Color."

However, don't expect all drugstore makeup to offer the exact same quality as high-end makeup brands. "For example, an eyeshadow palette that you purchase at a drugstore might not have the same longevity or pigment payoff as a product you purchase from a high-end brand," says René.

What to consider when shopping for the best drugstore makeup
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✔️ Write a list. Go in with an idea of what you’re shopping for, recommends René. There are so many brands and options that it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

✔️ Read the reviews. Since you’re not able to open products for testing, René advises saving yourself time and money by reading online reviews to find out if a product is worth a try or not.

✔️ Peek at the ingredients. Depending on your skin type and if you have any sensitivities, you may want to search for makeup that doesn't have any potentially irritating ingredients, such as parabens or fragrances, she says.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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With a background in color cosmetic development, Danusia Wnek has spent years as a chemist in the Good Housekeeping Institute's Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Lab, where she tests everything from eyeliners and mascaras to longwear lipsticks in order to recommend the best makeup products on the market. To test the longevity claims of makeup products, for example, she has evaluated waterproof mascara by monitoring testers' eyelashes after exposing them to water and has rated the transfer of longwear lipstick on coffee cups. She loves to spend hours in the cosmetic aisles at pharmacies researching the newest makeup launches for upcoming studies.

Jacqueline has spent years researching and experimenting with makeup products that work with her severe eczema and subsequentially began her career covering everything from buzzworthy buys to sensitive skin staples. She regularly consults with professional makeup artists and collaborates with GH's Beauty Lab to put together product reviews on the very best skincare out there, according to consumer and Lab testing.

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