Back to School Drugstore Makeup Must-Haves | Ulta Haul


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I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.






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Beauty Book

This 32-page magazine is a guide to my all-time favorite beauty products.


This is such an exciting time of year; not only are our favorite beauty bloggers starting to publish long-awaited back to school posts, but, as of today, I have officially left for college! But before leaving, I went to Ulta and used up all of the gift cards I have hoarded to purchase my favorite, tried-and-true everyday products as well as a few other products from my most-loved brands that I have never tried before. Each of these products are amazing quality and very affordable, making them perfect to use on an everyday basis for school!


  • L’Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation: The first item I added to my shopping bag was, of course, my all-time favorite foundation! I have gone through countless bottles of this and plan to continue to do so during my time in college because it has a light to medium coverage with a beautiful (and never greasy) glow, absolutely perfect for everyday. I highly recommend this for those of you who are in school and want something that looks natural yet still put together.
  • L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation: I am a little embarrassed to admit that I — a L’Oreal-obsessed beauty blogger who lives for a dewy base — have never tried this foundation before, but now that I have tested it out, I completely understand why so many people love it! It is very similar to the previous foundation in the sense that it has a lovely dewy finish, but it has a medium to full coverage and last even longer. What more could you ask for?
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: If you are familiar with my blog and I, then you know that I had to buy a back-up of this concealer not only because I go through them like crazy, but also because it is the best everyday product for simultaneously highlighting and concealing. With its lightweight consistency, medium coverage, and skin-like finish, it is definitely a back-to-school essential!


  • L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray: I have not received my final college schedule yet, but I know that I will have some very long days and when I do wear a full face of makeup, I want to make sure it lasts from my first morning class all the way until my last evening class! Since I only use my pricey Urban Decay setting spray for special occasions, I picked up this one after reading some good reviews, and although it is not as amazing as the All Nighter, it certainly does extend the wear of my makeup for school.
  • Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater: Multi-purpose products are very convenient to have as a student, and this affordable yet high-quality facial mist is one of my favorites. I love to spritz this all over my face before I do my makeup to tone and hydrate my skin, after finishing my makeup to make it look less powdery, and before I go to bed to boost the hydration of my moisturizer.


  • Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Translucent Powder: This has been the only setting powder I have used for about a year now and since I ran out of my last one, I knew I had to repurchase it. This basic translucent powder is a simple and effective way to set my under-eyes and my oily t-zone, and I am sure I will be grateful to have it in my book bag for mid-day touch ups!
  • Real Techniques Expert Face Brush: Real Techniques makes some of the best brushes on the market, and this one is amazing for applying light-weight liquid foundations, but I also enjoy using it to contour under my cheekbones and blend out my cream bronzers. I had this same brush before, but because it was so well-loved, it kinda sorta maybe fell apart when I washed it…


  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Yogurt”: One of my best friends swears by this cream eyeshadow stick and after noticing how perfect this shimmery champagne shade with rose gold undertones would be for my basic everyday makeup looks, I instantly added it to my shopping list. This is very pigmented, silky, long-lasting, and easy-to-blend, and for less than $5, I think it should be a staple in everyone’s back to school makeup bag!
  • L’Oreal Infallible Paints Eyeshadow Metallics in “Rose Chrome”: I first heard about this new launch from one of my favorite beauty YouTubers, Tati Westbrooke, and since I trust her reviews so much and I already love L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Eyeshadow in “Amber Rush,” I just knew I would like this one. It is a beautiful gilded pinky-peach shade, lovely for a shimmery wash of everyday color on the lid or even a highlighter to compliment your summer tan before it fades away.
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Stockholm”: For school days, I look for a lip product that is long-lasting, but does not compromise comfort. These liquid lipsticks are never drying and they last a very long time, plus they have tons of different neutral shades to choose from! This peachy nude one is my favorite because it is very wearable while still being unique enough to elevate the rest of your makeup look.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post, and I hope this all drugstore haul  gave you some inspiration for your own back-to-school beauty routine!


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Read the Comments +

  1. That facial spray looks so good! Can’t wait to get my hands on it! 🙂
    Love, Sophie

  2. hudapervez says:

    I love so many of these products and really want to out the L’Oreal lumi foundation as I love dewy foundations! Great post xx

    • Yes, these are all such high quality and affordable products, you really can’t go wrong, especially for school! Lumi is my all-time favorite foundation for everyday, and I highly recommend it! xoxo

  3. Hi! Great post! I quite like the NYX soft matte lip creams and I own a jumbo eye pencil but I can’t seem to be able to make it work for me! If I blend it, the colour fades and it creases like crazy! Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hey, thanks so much for reading!!! I’ve found that with cream eyeshadow products, priming your eyelids is really important to prevent creasing. I also have dry skin, but I know if you have oily skin or eyelids, that leads to a lot of creasing. As for the fading problem, the key is to pack the color all over the lids and the blending only the edges with a brush! If you blend all over the lid, it is a lot more likely to blend away rather than blend together. I hope that helps and please feel free to ask more questions, leave post requests, or just let me know if you ever need anything! I’m always here to help! xoxo

  4. I love and own so many of these products, they’re all amazing! I definitely need to try the Pro-Glow foundation because it sounds amazing, I’m all about a long lasting base! Best of luck at college!!

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Hey, I'm Makena.

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.

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