The Best of Affordable Makeup

From blindingly metallic eyeshadows to holy grail foundations, affordable makeup brands have released some absolute gems over time! A few weeks ago I published my first Disappointing Products post, which sadly ended up being primarily made up of makeup you could grab at your local Priceline. Since then I have been dying to round up, what I think is, the best makeup items the affordable side of the beauty world has to offer! So, let’s crack on to the good stuff and if you enjoy this post, please give it a “like” so I know!


The Base

My entire face routine is, and has always been, made up completely of drugstore products. I wear a (natural looking) full face of makeup every time I leave the house,  so I need my every day staple products to come at a great price! In terms of foundations I have two holy grails that I have actually been mixing together recently to create a “ultra holy grail/neither of these is my exact skin tone but together they look fab” concoction.

Revlon ColourStay Foundation – I absolutely love this foundation. The one for Oily/Normal skin is a holy grail among girls with oily skin as it just doesn’t not budge and keeps the oil at bay for hours on end. I’m currently using the one for Dry/Combination skin but I think I prefer the other one. This foundation comes with a pump (score!) and just feels and performs like a much more expensive foundation.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation – If you want a luminous, glowy, healthy looking foundation, then look no further! This Bourjois foundation has become a favourite of mine. It’s one of the only foundations found at the drugstore that has a neutral to yellow undertone, as opposed to pink, it’s so hydrating, blends out perfectly and evenly and has great longevity. Since I used to have oily skin and I can’t move on with my makeup before setting my whole face with powder, the glowy element of this foundation probably isn’t what I need, but I’ll take it anyway.


Maybelline Master Conceal Concealer – This concealer is so good! It has a yellow undertone to it which means it cancels out under eye discolouration better that a heap of other drugstore concealers I’ve tried. It barely creases on me, blends out so evenly and is so pigmented. Seriously, I’ve used it every single day since getting it in September and I still have half a the left. Plus, the squeezy tube is a super sanitary way of using concealer, as opposed to the fluffy applicator that touches all your blemishes!

Revlon Sculpt + Highlight Contouring Kit – I love this kit! It has all your essentials in it and the lighter palette of the two offered is perfect for fair skin! The shades are pigmented and blend nicely, the banana powder actually helps cancel out discolouration, and the highlight is pretty and natural, but you could definitely amp it up if you had some Mac Fix+ lying around. Plus you get a huge mirror inside and the packaging is super sleek and chic.

Real Techniques Sponge – While I’ve only tried cheap beauty blenders from a couple of brands like Chi Chi and Manicare, this one from Real Techniques is definitely my favourite! It puffs up so big when wet, washes clean incredibly easily, it doesn’t seem to absorb insane amounts of foundation, and it just blends everything seamlessly!

Highlighters + Blushes

Sleek “Pink Lemonade” Blush Trio – I really love this trio of blushes as I think you get a lot to work with in one sleek looking product. One blush is a cream formula and the other two are powder, and I’m always drawn to using them in the winter time for some reason!

Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter – This highlighter man, this freaking highlighter! This is where it’s at. If you want a gorgeous, glowy, natural looking highlight, Mary Lou has your back. I didn’t use this at first when I bought it, but from the day I picked it up to use it I practically haven’t put it down. I know “ultra blinding highlighters/put your sunglasses on haters” highlighters are all the rage right now, but this little guy was the holy grail for a long time because it’s such so universally flattering.


Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette – Now this is the new kid on the affordable makeup block that everyone is raving about because it’s actually insanely pigmented. You get a bunch of different shades in this palette in different formulas, plus the gold reflective packaging is just goals. I don’t actually use this much as it’s a bit wild for every day, but I like that I have it for when the occasion calls for it.

Rimmel Sculpting Palette – Such a cute little palette filled with all the essentials! This palette is actually really nicely pigmented and the contour shade is cool toned so it’s perfect for proper contouring! The highlighter is more on the natural, glow from within side which makes it perfect for school or work.

Palettes + Single Shadows

Chi Chi Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palettes – I feel like owning one (or three) Chi Chi palette at some point is a rite of passage for every Australian beauty junkie. These palettes have such mixed reviews but I personally think they’re incredibly pigmented, have great longevity, and have the most shade selection of any affordable makeup brand I’ve ever seen! I own the Spices palette (highly recommend), the Rich Gems palette and the Smokeys palette.


ColourPop Super Shock Shimmer Shadows – I cannot recommend the shimmery ColourPop single eyeshadows enough. When I swatch them on my arms I have to actually scrub them off as their unique formula doesn’t budge easily! They’re super pigmented and come in every colour under the sun at such a good price, so definitely check them out now that ColourPop ships to Australia!

Australis Metallix Shadows – I died when I saw someone swatch this online and went out to buy it the very next day. I have the rose gold shade named “Pearl Jammin” and it’s super pigmented, metallic, reflective, urgh you name it. I will say this though, this tends to crease on your eyelids but since it’s so reflective and pretty, you don’t really notice the tiny little lines you get on your lid.


Rimmel Lipsticks – I think Rimmel have some of the best lipstick formulas! They’re always super hydrating, pigmented, stay on and they have a wide range of shades in nice packaging! I own a couple of the new rose gold anniversary collection, but also their popular 107 red shade (made popular by Zoella!).

Chi Chi Cosmetics Viva La Diva Lipsticks – A much more matte formula is the Chi Chi lipsticks and I absolutely love these! Much like their eyeshadows they have a huge range of shades, they have great staying power and the packaging is so cute! I once picked up a set of four full sized lipsticks as their Christmas sets were marked down, so I ended up buying four lipsticks for about $20 when full priced they would have been almost $70! Shown below is the shade “Game On”.


NYX Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipsticks – For the price, these NYX liquid lips are so nice! They come in a range of super flattering neutrals, are very mousse like in consistency, aren’t drying at all and have great staying power! Show here in the shade “Bedtime Flirt”.

ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips – I love this formula, it’s a liquid lipstick but it doesn’t dry down fully. That does mean it gets on glasses and other people, but at least it doesn’t dry down and make your lips crack like other brands super matte liquid lipsticks do! Again, ColourPop has a crazy amount of colours and shades to choose from!

Eyes + Lashes + Brows

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – Do I even need to talk about this? I have raved about this mascara for months on end. It gives my lashes length, depth, volume and fans then out, all the while not smudging. Amazing!

Chi Chi Brow Pomade – Such an incredible pomade if you don’t want to blow your life savings of ABH’s products! This pomade is super pigmented, so if you’re new to using this type of product I suggest you grab a very precise brush and take your time. I rarely use this but when I do, it makes my brows so much fuller and darker, plus its super easy to subtly change the shape of your brows, such as lengthening the tail, like I always do when I use this.


L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper – Hands down just such an incredible brow gel. It works, it doesn’t make my brow hairs feel crusty, gives them colour and volume and sets the hairs in place. Plus, the applicator is so tiny that it’s perfect for delicate brow work!

Maybelline Master Precise – This liquid liner is such a holy grail in my eyes and has provided me perfect wings on so many occasions. I can’t be bothered with liquid liner these days, but this is such a great starting place if you’re on a budget or don’t want to fork out $30 for the Stila version.

So that is everything I consider to be the “best of” when it comes to affordable makeup! I know there are so many products people love that I haven’t tried yet, but from what I own, this is every thing that I would recommend to a friend!

What are some affordable makeup items you love? Leave me a comment below so we can chat!

Also don’t forget to give this post a “like” if you enjoyed it!

All the love,



35 thoughts

  1. Great post!
    Mary loumanizer is getting so much love right now I need it (I’m a highlighter junkie from high end to drugstore)
    I’ve just reviewed Laura Mercier indescretion illuminator……

    I’ve hit pan with old faithful Mac mineralize Soft & gentle which I keep returning too as I can wear it for day and dampen for jlo glow for eve.

    Oops sorry to write an essay! 🙊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This post couldn’t come at a more perfect time! I’ve been running low on foundation and I’m going to pop in the drugstore tomorrow to pick out something different. I’ll have to try the Revlon foundation you suggested! Thank you! I love your posts so much! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes omg I certainly picked up a shade too light last time and it’s almost empty so I’m actually really excited to go back to Priceline to pick and choose another shade haha 😂❤ And Mary Lou is just stunning! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been using Revlon colorstay for over a year now after swearing that foundation was the one thing I would never go drugstore on..I’m obsessed with it! Great post, and your photograph is really beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my humble opinion it’s the best foundation the drugstore has to offer! 😍 It’s such a holy grail of mine! Aw thank you so much, that means a lot! Thanks for reading lovely 😊 xx


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