Inexpensive Products That Will Take Your Makeup Game to the Next Level
1. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
What It Is: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils are creamy, super pigmented eyeshadow sticks that can be used anywhere on the eye. ”Milk” is a creamy matte bright white that is opaque and very smooth.
Why It’s Awesome: Apply this all over your eyelid and then apply your eyeshadow over top for SUPER bright color. White bases help your eyeshadow really pop, no matter what color. You could also apply this to your waterline (it shows up really well and lasts a long time) to make your eyes look bigger and more awake. Apply a small amount just under the arch of your eyebrow and blend with your finger to create the perfect matte highlight.
Splurge: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils cost $5 and are dupes of Stila Smudge Crayons
2. Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
What It Is: Gel eyeliner is easy to apply, like a pencil, but has the same look and texture of a liquid. Maybelline Lasting Drama is inexpensive, soft and dark, and doesn’t smudge or budge all over your eyelid.
Why It’s Awesome: You can use gel eyeliner to create any eye look… wing it out thick or thin, add an extra wing, apply it to your waterline, or create intricate designs. You can also blend it easily to get the perfect, easy sultry smoky eye! Apply it as a base on your eyelid underneath dark eyeshadows to make them look extra lush.
Splurge: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner costs $6 and is a dupe of MAC Fluidline and Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner
3. ELF Makeup Mist & Set
What It Is: Setting sprays are spritzed on your face lightly before or after makeup application.
Why It’s Awesome: ELF Mist & Set contains skin refreshing ingredients like aloe, green tea, and vitamin C. Apply it before your makeup to help foundation blend easier, or spray it on after you’ve applied your makeup to set it and remove any powdery or cakey texture. Mist & Set is also a great pick-me-up throughout the day if your makeup starts to look dull. Keep it in your fridge during hot days and use it whenever you’re feeling steamy!
Splurge: ELF Makeup Mist & Set costs $3 and is a dupe of MAC Fix+ and Model In A Bottle Original Spray
4. Milk of Magnesia
What It Is: Milk of Magnesia is a liquid saline-based medical supplement that can also be used as a primer for people with oily skin.
Why It’s Awesome: If you have skin that gets severely greasy throughout the day, applying milk of magnesia underneath your makeup can help control oil all day. This creates a perfectly matte finish and lasts for the whole day. Just apply it with a cotton pad to the areas on your skin where you get shiny, and then do your usual makeup routine. It has even helped some people with acne.
Splurge: Milk of Magnesia costs about $3 and could be a replacement for Smashbox Anti-Shine
5. Hard Candy Baked Bronzer in Tiki
What It Is: This baked bronzer is shimmery and easy to blend. It can be used anywhere on the face or body.
Why It’s Awesome: Although it looks a bit dark in this picture, Tiki actually is a very light golden color that makes the perfect highlight for any skin tone. It blends flawlessly onto the skin and isn’t glittery or sparkly… it just catches light effortlessly and gives your whole face a flattering glow. Use it on your cheekbones, browbones, forehead, cupids bow, chin and the bridge of your nose to get the perfect highlight.
Splurge: Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer costs $9 and is a dupe of MAC MSF in Soft & Gentle
6. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Translucent
What It Is: This pressed powder helps control shine without looking powdery. It gives a gorgeous satin matte finish that flatters your skin. The translucent shade is colorless and works for most skin tones.
Why It’s Awesome: Pressed powder isn’t specifically for your oily nose - you can use it for so many things. Apply a bit with a concealer brush over your lipstick to help it last longer and give it a sexy matte finish; use it to set your concealer; gently pat it over your filled-in brows to keep the color in place.
Splurge: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder costs $4 and is a dupe of Laura Mercier Pressed Powder and Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder
7. Wet n Wild Color Icon Lip Pencils
What It Is: An inexpensive pencil that provides a smudgeproof matte finish
Why It’s Awesome: Lip liner is SO not old school! Lip liner is normally used to create a perfect clean line on your lips and to keep your lipstick from feathering, but it has many uses. Apply it all over your lips as a base to create perfect, long lasting lips; use a contrasting color on the outer corners and blend it in with lipstick to partake in the super trendy ombre lip look. Using a slightly darker shade of liner around the outer part of your lips will make your lips look more full and plump.
Splurge: Wet n Wild Color Icon Lip Liner costs $1 and is a dupe of Illamasqua Medium Pencils
8. Monistat Soothing Care Powder Gel
What It Is: Monistat Gel is a silicone-based skin product that can be used as a makeup primer.
Why It’s Awesome: Much cheaper and more available than most primers, this can be used all over your face or on your T-Zone to create a smoother surface for makeup to adhere to. Because it’s silicone based, it will fill in fine lines and enlarged pores, smooth over dry skin patches and help your foundation give you more coverage. It dries to a powdery finish so it won’t make you greasy or shiny. It also contains fewer useless ingredients, fragrances and dyes than most makeup primers!
Splurge: Monistat Soothing Care Powder Gel costs $5 and could be used in place of Benefit PoreFessional
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