Expanding My Drugstore Makeup Collection


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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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So much of the affordable makeup in my collection was either expired or broken, so I decided it was time to try some new products. I love sharing drugstore price points with you, so keep reading to find out about my favorites and least favorites.

+ ELF Hydrating Camo Concealer: ELF has been coming out with some incredible products lately, and this concealer is such great quality. It is full coverage but never looks cakey, making it perfect for covering up blemishes and discoloration. I have dry skin, so this is more matte on me, but it is never drying.

+ Wet n Wild MegaGlow Contour Makeup Stick in ‘Where’s Walnut: I love cream products and wanted more affordable options to share with you, so I picked up several bronzer and blush sticks. This was my favorite of the two bronzers, as it is easy to blend and less expensive. It is ideal for a more natural, everyday look.

+ Physicians Formula Sculpting Bronzer in ‘Mocha: I may have picked up an expired product, but this was so dry and stiff, making it difficult to blend, especially without removing my foundation underneath. There are only two shades in the line. This darker one was very pigmented and long-lasting but not user-friendly, so I returned it.

+ Wet n Wild Stick MegaGlow Blush Makeup Blush in ‘Floral Majority’: Cream blushes are such an easy option for every day makeup, and this warm rosy shade is lovely. Like the contour stick, this is more sheer and emollient, so it is great for a natural look on normal and dry skin types.

+ Physicans Formula Natural Defense Multicolor Stick in ‘Natural Rose: The shade range is beautiful, but most of them would be too light to show up on my skin tone, no matter how pigmented. This formula was much easier to use than the sculpting bronzer, but it was more expensive than Wet n Wild, so I returned it. If you have oilier skin, than you would most likely prefer this one.

+ Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush in ‘Coral Ember’: I was looking forward to using this liquid blush, as it seems like an alternative to Glossier’s Cloud Paint, but once blended, this was not only sheer but completely invisible. Apparently this is popular on TikTok, but for me, this is not worth the hype at all. I returned it.

+ ELF Brow Wow Gel: This is another repurchase, and I could not recommend it more. I have never enjoyed filling in my eyebrows, but with a tint and fibers, this makes it easy to add color and fullness while also making them fluffier.

+ ELF Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Summer Breeze’: I have been doing a lot more all matte eyeshadow looks lately, and this color story is absolutely stunning. The shaes tend to blend together a little too much so it’s harder to get the full color payoff, but for the price, this is a great option.

+ ELF Bite Size Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Cream & Sugar’: I have heard such great things about these quads and find that I reach for smaller palettes so much more than bigger ones. The purple color combinations were tempting, but I opted for this bronzey nude one, which has both mattes and shimmers. This would look beautiful on everyone, and the quality is impressive.

+ Burt’s Bees Squeezy Tinted Lip Balm in ‘Sweet Peach’: I may or not have bought this just because of the packaging, but it feels really buttery to prep the lips before makeup. The scent is a little off putting, but the peachy color is pretty.

+ NYX Butter Gloss Kit: These lip glosses are a drugstore classic, and this trio of the brand’s most popular neutral shades is replacing my expired tubes. ‘Creme Brulee’ is a light pink, ‘Fortune Cookie,’ is a light nude, and ‘Madeleine’ — my favorite — is a medium nude. These are beautiful layered over lip liners, lipsticks or both.

+ NYX Bare with Me Multitasking Spray: This doesn’t make my makeup last much longer, but it does help the powders melt into my skin. It is glowy but not greasy, and it’s great for refreshing makeup after a long day, especially if you have dry skin.

+ ELF Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Spray: Now that I am working full time and in person, I need my makeup to last all day and all night. I purchased this hoping it would be a dupe for my favorite Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, and although it’s not as good, it is a great affordable alternative. It would work well for all skin types.

What are your favorite drugstore makeup products?

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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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