New and Old Drugstore Makeup Favorites


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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.


Drugstore makeup will always have my heart, and today, I am sharing a bunch of amazing drugstore makeup products — some of which I have repurchased more times than I can count and some of which I am finally trying for the first time.

For years, I have been wondering whether the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge was comparable to my beloved BeautyBlender, and I finally have an answer: It is a great dupe! It is a little more dense than the luxury version and has the flat edge which a lot of people love for precision, but other than that, it works just as well. Flawless foundation, here we come!

I’ve raved about the L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer since I discovered it last summer and am continually impressed by its versatility. I like to wear it all over my face without any makeup, underneath my makeup as a luminous primer, mixed in with my foundation for added glow, and on top of my foundation as a liquid highlighter. Either way, it looks stunning. I usually opt for the shade ‘Light,’ a shimmery rose gold, but this time, I tried ‘Medium,’ a more subtle tan shade that gives an airbrushed effect.

When I was in high school, the L’Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation was my go-to makeup product; I wore it nearly every day and loved how it made my dry skin look dewy while providing light yet buildable coverage. I decided to start wearing it again, and oh my gosh, it is beautiful. If you struggle with acne or discoloration, this may not be your best option, especially if you don’y have a full coverage concealer, but I’ve made it work.

With a similarly beautiful formula to True Match Lumi, the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation has medium to full coverage coverage and a less dewy finish. It still has a watery consistency which contributes to its buildable and undetectable appearance. If you have had a difficult time finding an affordable foundation that offers both coverage and hydration, then this is for you.

I am less familiar with the Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation than I am with the two L’Oreal options, but I already feel comfortable recommending it to you. With a natural, skin-like finish and medium, buildable, coverage, it will work well for almost any skin type and skin concern. It looks absolutely stunning in person and in photos. I just wish it didn’t smell like spray paint.

The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is by far my most repurchased product; I always make sure to have several backups because I use this almost every day and like to apply a generous amount. The formula is lightweight and hydrating, making the base makeup look smooth and flawless. Long story short, you need this!

I’ve always loved to apply my foundation and concealer with a damp beauty sponge, but lately, I’ve also been using one to apply my setting powder, as it is less drying and more natural-looking than with a brush. However, using the same sponge for both liquid and powder products can quickly become a cakey mess, so I picked up this Real Techniques Miracle Powder Sponge. It is just like the Miracle Complexion Sponge but with a unique velvety finish that works so well with powder formulas.

Although setting powder makes me nervous because of my dry skin, I decided to trust Tati Westbrook, one of my favorite beauty gurus, and try the famous Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder. It feels high quality despite its affordable price tag, and a little goes a long way. This smooths and mattifies my skin while setting my makeup in place all day, and as long as I refresh with a hydrating face mist, it isn’t overly drying. My only critique is that is has a strong ‘old lady’ scent!

As is the case with many other makeup lovers, the Milani Baked Blush in ‘Luminoso’ is an absolute staple in my makeup collection, and I recently purchased a new shade called ‘Petal Primavera.’ It has the same lit-from-within glow as ‘Luminoso’ but with slightly less shimmer and a more neutral pink color. I am in love!

Ever since it first launched, the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara became one of my holy grail makeup items! It makes my lashes full, long and fluttery — never stiff or flaky.

A true classic, the L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara is another one of my favorites, perfect for achieving big, black lashes. This one is a few dollars cheaper than Lash Paradise, but when it comes to L’Oreal mascaras, you really cannot go wrong.

The Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in ‘Blackest Black’ is the only eyeliner — drugstore or highend — that I have ever loved enough to repurchase. My first pot lasted me years before running out, which is crazy considering it’s only around $10. This is dark, matte, smudge-free, and easy to use.

I am so happy to finally be able to cross the Milani Color Statement Lip Liner in ‘Spice’ off my makeup wish list. So many people swear by this lip liner, and I immediately understood why: It is highly pigmented and long-lasting, but it glides onto the lips and does not feel drying. This shade is the perfect medium rosy-brown for both everyday and glamorous occasions.

I hope you are doing well and staying safe!

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  1. ROLLY Mag says:

    I wish we had more of the lumi range in Aus! great picks xxx

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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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