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Drugstore Beginner's Makeup Set

I came to the realization while I was doing my makeup the other day that I've been toying around with makeup for about ten years now. Ten years. I mean, the only thing I can remember keeping up with for ten years has been the Jonas Brothers (twelve years and still going strong, y'all) and let me tell you, staying committed through their breakup is hard. I digress, I started messing around with foundations (albeit, really, really terrible foundations) and tinted lip balms around age twelve because if you remember, Taylor Swift had a line with CoverGirl and I needed everything that Taylor Swift had her hands on. I mean, it was just a rule of 2008!

When I was younger, I didn't really have anyone to steer me right when it came to makeup. I mean, bless my mother because she's taught me everything else in life, but when it came to fashion and beauty...well...that's where the internet and trial and error came in handy. I didn't have older sisters and while I had older cousins, I guess I always approached things at a more "you can learn this yourself angle!" and ended up learning from YouTube videos. So honestly, shout out to Meghan Rienks, Lauren Elizabeth, Arden Rose, Zoe Sugg, and all of the OG YouTubers who used to be "beauty gurus" despite just being teenage girls who bought makeup and liked to play around with it. Y'all were the real MVPs.

The thing was, back in 2008, there weren't as many options as there are now. I mean, have you watched a PR unboxing? There are so many shades and new releases that it seems like a never-ending cycle of new products that seem tempting to try out. If I had to start fresh today, I think I'd be too overwhelmed by all of the options and too drawn into Sephora. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Sephora haul, but I also know how pricey it can get and honestly, you don't need to go to Sephora or Ulta or anywhere that sells higher end makeup to have a good quality starter makeup set for yourself. You don't have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars getting the products you need for a basic face of makeup. If you're a beginner, whether you're a teen or even just someone that just wants to start getting more into makeup, there are tons of options at the drugstores that will work for you.
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You can break down the face into a few different sections: foundations, concealers, setting powders, bronzers, and blushes. I'm going to be honest and admit that I don't personally own any drugstore highlighters, but I know of a few that do the job right without being a $38 highlighter from Becca. 

Foundations: CoverGirl Outlast All Day 3-In-1 Foundation (medium to full coverage, matte), Neutrogena Healthy Skin (light to medium coverage, dewy/satin finish), Milani Conceal and Perfect Foundation (full coverage, satin finish), Elf Flawless Finish Foundation (light to medium coverage, satin/matte finish), Revlon ColorStay Foundation (medium to full coverage, satin/matte finish).

Concealers: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind (good for brightening undereye circles, Maybelline Master Conceal (good for redness and blemishes), NYX HD Concealer (good for blemishes), Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (good for brightening), Elf Lifting Concealer (good for undereye circles), L'Oreal Pro-Glow (good for all over the face). 

Setting Powders: Rimmel Stay Matte (good for all over the face), Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder (good for setting undereye concealer, "baking," and all over the face), Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder (good for all over the face), RCMA Makeup No Color Powder (good for setting undereye concealer, baking, and all over the face), Elf High Definition Powder (good for all over the face).

Bronzers and Contour: Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer, NYC Smooth Skin Sunny Bronzer, Rimmel Natural Bronzer, Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer, Milani Baked Bronzer, NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette. 

Blushes: Elf Candid Coral, Elf Blush & Bronzer duo (dupes for NARS duos!), NYX Terra Cota, NYX Glow, Milani Baked Blush, Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush.

Highlighters: Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighter, Pixi by Petra + Aspyn Ovard Glow-y Powder.


Eyeshadow: Wet n Wild (I love the trio in Walking on Eggshells), Elf Naked Prism Eyeshadow Palette, Revlon ColorStay Quad (I have Addictive), L'Oreal Infallible Shadows, NYX Pigments, Morphe Palettes (so, so many options and now available at Ulta!).

Eyeliner: NYX Epic Ink Liner, Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner, Wet n Wild ProLine Felt Tip Eyeliner, L'Oreal Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner, Black Radiance Fine Line Liquid Liner. 

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational, L'Oreal Lash Paradise, L'Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara. 


Lips: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick, NYX Matte Lipstick, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color, Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Lip Color, NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick, L'Oreal Infallible Lip Paint.

Brows: NYX Micro Brow Pencil, Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer, Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara (would not recommend this mascara in any color for lashes, but great for a clear eyebrow setting gel), L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Pencil.

Miscellaneous: NYX Wonder Pencil is the only miscellaneous product because I don't know where to categorize it. I use it to rim my bottom lashline to make my eyes look bigger and more awake instead of a white pencil (too harsh for me). You can also use it to spot conceal blemishes and also to line your lips to prevent your lipstick from bleeding. A total must have, especially for under five bucks!

Brushes and Sponges: Real Techniques (definitely for the sponge, but they have great brushes too), EcoTools, Sonia Kashuk, Elf, Morphe.

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Honestly, all in all, never doubt the powers of NYC, Elf, or Wet n Wild. Those brands with surprise you with their good quality products at solid low prices. I've also heard great things about some LA Girl products, I just haven't personally tried any myself. If these products don't suit you, these brands are all ones that I'm totally comfortable buying from as well. And if all else fails, reviews on Ulta's website or Influenster. There are a lot of honest reviewers who get pretty in depth about why things worked and didn't work. 

What's one of your drugstore must-haves that you'd recommend to anyone?


  1. That L'Oreal Lash Paradise mascara is seriously one of my favorites! It's also a great dupe for Too Faced's Better than Sex mascara!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    1. Yessss, a total dupe for a fraction of the price! My favorite kind of dupe hehehe.


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