Huge Drugstore Makeup Haul + Mini Reviews


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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.


Because the majority of my drugstore makeup was discontinued and expired, I decided it was time to go on a shopping spree! Keep reading to find out which products were hits and which were misses…







  • Milani Prime Perfection Hydrating & Pore-Minimizing Face Primer ($7.50): Although I have not found my perfect primer yet, one of my favorite makeup tricks is to mix a pore-filling primer with my moisturizer to create a unique hydrating and smoothing canvas; I was hoping this would have that same effect. It does feel nice and smooth on the skin but so far I have not noticed significant hydration or pore minimization. I was also disappointed in how little product the packaging contains — it was sealed but felt nearly empty.
  • Revlon PhotoReady Rose Glow Finishing Primer ($11): This serum-like product is new to the drugstore and I have not seen anyone use it before. In addition to the cute packaging, the subtle shimmer adds a beautiful luminosity to the skin that works well under makeup. It does have these squishy oil beads but instead of melting into the skin, they just sit on top until removed.
  • Ulta Beauty Dewy Makeup Setting Spray ($10): The Ulta Beauty brand had a buy two get two free deal so I chose this as one of my free products. I was really looking forward to this mist but it is more than disappointing — it is terrible! The second ingredient is alcohol, which stings my eyes even when I am careful to close them and makes my face feel dry and stiff.
  • Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Full Coverage Concealer ($7): I wanted to venture outside of my L’Oreal and Maybelline comfort zone and try a different brand. This is said to be a dupe for Tarte Shape Tape, which I have never used before. It has good coverage and I think it would work well on those who do not struggle with dry undereyes, but on me it creased, looked crepey, and faded.
  • L’Oréal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer in ‘Light‘ ($9): I have been on the hunt for a liquid highlighter and I thought this would be a good dupe for my BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in ‘Rose Gold’. This is a stunning rosy shade and even though it is not as metallic as the BECCA one, it provides a lovely dewiness. It looks stunning worn underneath foundation or on bare skin, mixed in with foundation, or tapped on top of the cheekbones after foundation.
  • Ulta Beauty Face Sculpting Color Stick in ‘Deep Cool’ ($10): I had the hardest time finding a cream contour at both Target and Ulta so ended up going with this little stick. It is a great dark shade that is not too warm or too cool. It is very pigmented and blends so well, easily carving out the cheekbones, temples, and jawline.
  • Ulta Beauty Peach Pop Blush Palette ($18): This collection of six warm-tones blushes has been on my wishlist for quite a while and I finally purchased it. The palette is a lot smaller than I assumed it would be which I actually find more practical. The variety of neutral and coral shades in both matte and shimmer finishes looks beautiful on fair to deep skin tones. They are pigmented and blend nicely but the formula is pretty dusty.
  • Essence Satin Touch Blush in ‘Satin Love’ ($3): I cannot believe this product is only a few dollars — it is comparable to higher end brands like Tarte and MAC! This pinky beige shade appears matte in the pan but once applied, it has a gorgeous sheen minus the shimmer. I highly recommend blush!
  • Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Blush in ‘Toasted Cinnamon’ ($9.50): I purchased this based off of KathleenLights’ recommendations since she said it is the perfect nude color with a beautiful sheen. I love the formulas and the way it blends into my cheeks but find this particular shade a little too bronzer-like.
  • Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in ’01 Be My Highlight’ ($4.50): Another Kathleen-inspired purchase, this highlighter is similar to my favorite Hard Candy ‘Tiki’ with a baked, shimmer-free formula but with a more natural, skin-like finish. This would be great for mature or textured skin and even works as a luminous all-over face powder.
  • Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in ‘Molten Rose Gold’ ($8): This is one of the most hyped up beauty products at the drugstore and I am only now trying it. I adore this light pinky shade and find that the intense metallic finish blends beautifully onto the cheekbones.
  • Pixi Glow-y Glossamer Highlighter Duo in ‘Delicate Dew’ ($18): Another product I have always wanted to own, this highlighter duo contains one pale, cool-toned icy pink and one medium, warm-tones rose god. The one on the right is my favorite but both are intensely pigmented and incredible quality. I can’t wait to use this more!
  • L’Oréal Paradise Enchanted Scented Eyeshadow Palette ($9.50): As much as I love drugstore makeup, I prefer to opt for high-end eyeshadow palettes due to the formula and color story. This is one of the few eyeshadow palettes that I have been immediately drawn to. It has very similar shades to my favorite Too Faced Sweet Peach palette and although it feels a little powdery, the pigmentation and blendability are wonderful.
  • BH Cosmetics Hangin’ in Hawaii 16 Color Shadow Palette ($16): BH Cosmetics is another brand I have never tried before and I was a little nervous about the quality. I do think the shimmers are too similar to one another but overall, I am in love with all of these shades. So far the formula has been incredibly impressive other than the summery purple in the corner which did not show up. If you’re looking for a pretty and affordable palette for summer, check this one out.
  • Ulta Beauty Automatic Lip Liner in ‘Spice’ ($8): The second product I chose for free was this darker brown lip liner. This felt similar to the Maybelline liners I always rave about, as it is creamy but does not budge. This is a great shade to add fullness and dimension to the lips.
  • Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Pillow Plump XXL Lip Gloss in ‘Nude in Town’ ($12): One of my friends owns this gloss and let me try it so I decided to purchase my own. It feels very tingly for about 20 minutes which a lot of people might not like and it smells like hot chocolate. This metallic pinky nude shade looks great on nude and mauve lipsticks and I do think it temporarily plumps my lips.
  • Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumper in ‘Nude Shimmer’ ($8): Last but not least is this gloss, which features a wearable metallic finish and warm, golden shade. Dab a small amount in the center of the lips and blend into the lipstick underneath for a pouty effect. It has a barely there tingle and a minty scent.

Blush Swatches from Left to Right: Ulta Peach Pop Blush Palette in ‘Coral’, ‘Bubblegum’, ‘Terracotta’, ‘Apricot’, ‘Spice’, and ‘Tuscan Sun’, Burt’s Bees ‘Toasted Cinnamon’, and Essence ‘Satin Love’


Highlighter Swatches from Left to Right: Maybelline ‘Molten Rose Gold’, Pixi ‘Delicate Dew’ Duo, Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in ’01 Be My Highlight’, and L’Oreal Glotion in ‘Medium’


Swatches of the L’Oreal Paradise Enchanted Eyeshadow Palette


Lip Swatches Left to Right: Ulta Lip Liner in ‘Spice’, Soap & Glory ‘Nude in Town’ gloss, Milani ‘Nude Shimmer’ gloss

I had so much shopping for all of these affordable products and  sharing them with you. Let me know if you want dedicated reviews on any of these products. What are your favorite makeup products from the drugstore?

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Read the Comments +

  1. […] Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer in ‘Light’: A new addition to my collection, this drugstore liquid highlighter immediately became one of my most treasured products. Whether worn all over bare […]

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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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