The Best Back-to-School Beauty Supplies on a Budget


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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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It’s that time of year again… The time when we restock on shiny binders, pretty planners, (rose gold) desk supplies, and, of course, our favorite affordable and easy-to-use makeup. I always look forward to taking a few extra minutes out of my day to do my makeup so today, I am sharing my personal favorite back-to-school makeup products that won’t break the bank.


Although I often wear a lightweight foundation for school, BB creams are ideal because they look more natural on the skin and are more  versatile due to their myriad benefits. The Garnier SkinActive Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream is my favorite because it blends seamlessly into the skin, provides great coverage, and controls oil without feeling drying. The formula for combination and oily skin lasts much longer than my typical dewy foundations, which is exactly what I need for a long day at school.

My top drugstore recommendation for those of you who are returning to school is none other than the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. I  love this one because it offers medium coverage with a lightweight consistency and a natural, radiant finish.

A high quality translucent powder is essential for school, ensuring that your base makeup doesn’t transfer or become too shiny. The Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is not only budget friendly, but also effective, especially for on-the-go touch ups.

Few people have enough time and energy to spend an entire hour doing their makeup, so having a two-in-one product is so helpful. I enjoy using the E.L.F. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in ‘St.Lucia’ because both shades look beautiful on the skin, adding so many dimension. The neutral matte bronzer shade is great for accentuating your Summer tan while the peachy-pink blush instantly makes you look put together with a refined shimmer.

For a subtle glow suitable for class, I rely on my beloved Hard Candy Glow All The Way Baked Highlighter in ‘Tiki’, which has a natural sheen rather than visible shimmer. You can simply pop this one the cheekbones and inner corners, or you can also mix it in with your face powder for an all-over radiance.

I know eyeshadow is a step most people skip, but if you would like to add some definition to your eyes, I highly recommend the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Eyeshadow in ‘Creamy Beige’ for carving out the crease. These creams are the absolute best for school because they are quick and easy to use, blend out to different finishes, and never fade or smudge.

If you are looking for a pigmented powder formula that you can swipe onto your eyelid without a brush before rushing out the door, then the L’Oreal Infallible Paints Eyeshadow Metallics in ‘Rose Chrome’ will be your new best friend. This shimmery peachy-pink is surprisingly wearable and pairs beautifully with the other shades mentioned in this post.

A few layers of mascara can do wonders, helping you look more awake and defined, so I plan to reach for the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara on early school mornings. It adds maximum volume, length, and curl without looking clumpy or spidery.

I don’t think there are many things worse than taking the time to do your makeup only for it to disappear a couple of hours later. Prevent this catastrophe with a few spritz of the L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray. This is a great alternative to high-end brands like Urban Decay and really works well.

No matter how much I love a classic lipstick and lip gloss combo, I don’t always have the time to reapply throughout the day, which is why I have been loving my NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Stockholm’. With its long-lasting yet extremely comfortable formula, these innovative liquid lipsticks wear wonderfully during 8 a.m. classes and late night study sessions. This particular shade is a gorgeous tan shade with lovely peachy undertones, complementing many different skin tones and makeup looks.

Hopefully, you now have some amazing new products added to your back-to-school shopping list! What are your most-loved budget-friendly beauty supplies for this time of year?


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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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