Best Drugstore Makeup - The Very Best of 2018!
Hello, my friends! Hope you had a great holiday season! Today’s post is a very exciting one as I’ll be rounding up the absolute best drugstore makeup of 2018!
I tried out a ton of drugstore makeup in 2018 and I have lots of favorites, but the products that made it into today’s post are my top drugstore favorites of the year.
And the best part about this list is that every single item on it is under $20. In fact, most of them are under $15! Only ONE product on this entire list costs more than $15.
I always go back and forth on including or not including brands like ColourPop in drugstore posts.
Technically, ColourPop is not a drugstore brand, but it is also very affordable and falls into the same price range of drugstore makeup, so I will be including ColourPop in today’s post.
Just as I do in my monthly favorites posts, I’ll be focusing on the products that I’ve tried within the year, even if it was released prior to 2018.
And at the very end, I’ll mention a few of my favorite drugstore products from 2017 that I still reach for all the time.
I won’t keep rambling because I know you just want to get to the good stuff.
*Products will be organized by brand, alphabetically, for ease of reading.
Also, check out the best luxury makeup of 2018!
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Affiliate links may be used in this post, which I may receive a commission from, at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
Sun Lover Glow Bronzing Powder
I’m obsessed with this bronzer. I’ve been really into having a glowy bronze recently, and this bronzer does the job perfectly.
It has just the right amount of shimmer in it to give you a beautiful glow, without being too shimmery.
I’m pretty extra, so on some days I will top my bronzer with a highlighter in a bronze shade. Yes, I like to look that glowy LOL.
But, on days when time is an issue, this bronzer is definitely my go-to for a glowy bronze.
Double Entendre Palette
This palette is totally the standout affordable palette of the year for me. In fact, it’s the only eyeshadow palette on this list!
ColourPop makes great quality eyeshadows, especially for their price point. It actually boggles my mind how they can put out such great quality for such a low price.
The Double Entendre palette is seriously the perfect everyday warm-neutral palette.
You can create a handful of looks with it and it’s versatile enough to go from day to night. Totally a great everyday one-stop palette.
The compact size of the palette along with it being a one-stop palette makes it perfect to take traveling!
I took only this palette on a 2-week trip to Australia and I couldn’t have made a better choice.
Related: Double Entendre Palette Review
Jelly Much Shadows
I admit I don’t use the Jelly Much Shadows nearly as often as I should. And I really don’t know why because they’re amazing!
With no other shadow (that I’ve tried) do you get such intense pigment with just one swipe.
You might be hesitant to try them out because of their weird consistency, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
They dry quickly, they don’t crease, and they don’t lose their intensity throughout the day.
Related: Jelly Much Shadows Review
No Filter Foundation Stix
This is the newest addition to my foundation collection and I have been obsessed with it!
It’s such a great foundation for such an affordable price. It’s on par with luxury-branded stick foundations and I even find myself reaching for this foundation over old favorites!
It goes on smoothly, blends out flawlessly, lasts all day, and has a medium-buildable natural finish. You couldn’t ask for much more than that!
Related: No Filter Foundation Stix Review
Super Shock Shadows
in Fluffy, Sixth Sense, Lady Bird, and Six in the City (L-R in photo)
First seen in: January Favorites
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know I LOVE ColourPop Super Shock Shadows! And if you’re a new reader, now you know!
The formula of these shadows is honestly magic. They glide on so smoothly, have intense pigmentation (and intense shimmer/glitter in some shades), and they stay put all day long!
You’ll never have to worry about the intensity wearing off or the glitter flaking off.
I use a Super Shock Shadow every single day. Fluffy is my go-to lid shade for my everyday bronze-brown smoky eye.
But, I often use other shades on my lid while keeping the matte part of my eyeshadow the same.
You can create tons of different looks by just swapping out the lid shade and keeping the rest of your eyeshadow neutral.
The best part is that these shadows are only $5 and ColourPop often has BOGO free promotions on them.
I seriously have about 50 shades in my Super Shock Shadow collection LOL.)
Brighten Up! Banana Powder
I’ve never been an avid user of banana powder in the past, just because I never really thought it was a necessary step in my makeup routine. Until I tried this banana powder!
Recently, I’ve been using this powder to set my eyeshadow primer (which is concealer) and it works really well for that!
It works really well because it suits my skin tone, so I would not recommend using a banana powder to set eyeshadow primer for all skin tones because well…it’s yellow.
It’s always best to set your eyeshadow primer with a shade that’s close to your skin tone.
I also use this powder for its intended purpose, which is a brightening powder.
It works wonders on my under-eye area, especially if I’ve been wearing my makeup for a while and I need some freshening up.
Another great way to use this powder is to cut your contour. Instead of baking the sides of my nose, I use this powder to tighten up my nose contour.
And while I normally bake under my cheek contour, if I decide not to bake, I will use this powder to sharpen my cheek contour.
Pure Nude Highlighter and Sunlighter
These two highlighters might just be my favorite dupe find of the year. I had no idea it was going to be a dupe and I didn’t buy it with that intention, but it was a happy coincidence!
Although these are highlighters, they are so subtle that I actually use them as finishing powders.
The Pure Nude Highlighter is gorgeous when applied all over the face for an all over glow. And the Pure Nude Sunlighter is amazing as a bronzer topper, if you want a glowy bronze.
So, because I use them as finishing powders, I think they are total dupes for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders.
The Pure Nude Highlighter is probably closest to the shade Ethereal Light in the Ambient Lighting Powder.
And the Pure Nude Sunlighter is probably closest to the shade Nude Bronze Light in the Ambient Lighting Bronzer.
Such an amazing find! Especially considering that it’s about a tenth of the price of the Hourglass powders!
Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
This is such a classic mascara that it’s crazy that I only tried it out this year. I sure was missing out!
It does pretty much everything you could hope a mascara would do – it lengthens, separates, volumizes, and it doesn’t flake off throughout the day. Can it get any better than that?
I also love the tapered tip of the brush as it makes it easy to coat the lower lashes and the hard-to-reach outer corners.
Fast Base Foundation Stick
Along with the ColourPop No Filter Foundation Stix that I mentioned above, the Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick has been my other go-to stick foundation recently.
It has more of a dewy finish and is a much softer texture than the ColourPop stick foundation, so it really just depends on what I’m feeling on any given day!
The Fast Base Foundation Stick has great coverage, blends out effortlessly, and it lasts a fair amount of time.
Being that it’s a dewy finish, it’s not as long-wearing as matte foundations, but it will more than suffice for a normal day at work!
The Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighters have been such a blessing in my makeup routine.
Before I started using them, I always struggled with getting a glowy finish. I set my entire face with loose powder so it really mattifies foundations that aren’t matte.
Liquid highlighters are the answer! I apply a few drops all over my face before foundation and I mix a few drops into my foundation (if it’s a liquid).
Glow for days! And still glowing after setting powder.
The two shades that I use all the time are Starlight and Champagne.
Soph X Highlighting Palette
If you want to buy only one highlighter palette for the rest of your life and at an affordable price, I would highly recommend this one.
It’s so versatile! It includes both pressed and baked powders, different shades that can be used for a number of different things, and they all layer nicely with each other.
I really enjoy using one of the pressed shades as sort of the highlighter “base” and then topping it with one of the baked shades for an extra pop!
With any highlighter palette you buy, there are bound to be shades that you won’t use.
For me, the two darkest shades are too dark for me to use as a highlighter, but they make great bronzer toppers! (Another affordable alternative for the Hourglass Ambient Bronzer.)
Iconic Fever Palette
Makeup Revolution really just killed it for me this year! This palette is definitely one of the brand’s most ridiculously priced products. It retails for $7! Absolutely insane.
And the quality is really good! Some of the shimmer shades aren’t the best I’ve ever tried, but girl, the mattes work. And they work well!
The quality of the matte shades is way better than you’d ever expect from a palette that costs $7. I’ve even tried some luxury palettes that weren’t as good as this one…
Makeup Revolution has a ton of these Iconic palettes, but Fever is my favorite one of the bunch.
The shades included make up a great warm-neutral palette that’s perfect for everyday use.
I recently took just this palette on a 2-week trip to Japan and it worked out great!
Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Powder Foundation
First seen in: January Favorites
If you’re looking for a solid powder foundation from the drugstore, you will not be disappointed with the Fit Me! Matte and Poreless Powder Foundation.
I used to apply this powder over liquid foundation for a little extra coverage (before setting powder) and it worked very well for that.
Now, I keep this powder in my purse and it’s perfect for when I need to powder my nose or touch up any areas that aren’t looking the best.
I’ll even brush this powder all over my face when I’m going to do a quick errand and want a bit of coverage, but don’t want to go through my entire foundation routine.
All around, just a solid foundation powder!
Nikkietutorials MasterChrome Highlighter
When the MasterChrome highlighter first came out in 2017, it seriously left the beauty industry shaking. And it is still, no doubt, one of the best drugstore highlighters out there.
When the queen of glow, NikkieTutorials, came out with a collab shade in this formula, I knew I had to have it ASAP. And I definitely was not disappointed!
This highlighter is BRIGHT. If you want a beaming highlighter, this is the way to go.
It still has the same amazingly creamy metallic formula of the MasterChrome predecessors, but this one might just be the most blinding.
I would describe the shade as a very light champagne and is definitely suited towards lighter skin tones and I can see that Nikkie designed this as something she would probably wear.
Baked Blush in Luminoso
I honestly was so late to the party on this blush and I have no idea why I waited so long to buy it!
After the very first use of this blush, I completely fell in love. It has so much pigment and the shade is the most beautiful peachy pink with a hint of gold shimmer.
The Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso is totally one of my go-to blushes for everyday wear.
Butter Bronzer in Bronzer
Although the Butter Bronzer wasn’t new to me in 2018, the shade Bronzer was. Prior to picking up this shade, I was using the shade Light Bronzer since I was not yet a fan of the bronze look.
HOWEVER, I’ve turned over a new leaf in 2018 and I have been living for a bronzed sun-kissed look.
This shade has to be one of the most universal bronzer shades out there as it’s not too warm and is probably the best bronzer to start off with if you’re new to bronzer.
It isn’t crazy pigmented when you first apply it, but you can easily build it up and it’s a breeze to blend out.
Bonus: It smells like coconuts and it’s amazing.
c/o Pixi Beauty
Eye Define Waterline Pencil in Tightline Black
First seen in: April Favorites
I tight-line my eyes every single day and my preferred shades are black or dark brown as I really like a dark, sultry look.
Before the Pixi Beauty Eye Define Waterline Pencil, I was using a MAC pencil since forever ago and more recently, an Ardency Inn pencil. But, I really wanted to find a drugstore alternative because to me, liner doesn’t have to be a splurge item.
SO, I was so happy to discover this amazing pencil from Pixi! It goes on super smoothly and it’s REALLY BLACK (which I love), and it stays on my waterline all day.
Finding waterline pencils is not always easy since the pencil needs to be soft enough to smoothly apply on such a sensitive area and it must not smear at the slightest bit of moisture.
Huge win for Pixi with this pencil.
First seen in: Everyday Makeup Routine
This is another product I was so late to the party on. I saw so many people raving about it on social media!
Toner has never been a staple in my routine because I have extremely sensitive skin and many of the toners I’ve tried in the past have really dried out my skin.
But, not this one! It actually even feels moisturizing on my skin.
I love to use this especially in the mornings because it feels so refreshing and it does such a good job in prepping my skin for the rest of my routine.
I also love that is has glycolic acid in it because ya girl surely doesn’t exfoliate as much as she should, but this definitely helps.
Glow-y Gossamer Duo in Subtle Sunrise
This highlighter is SO GOOD. Even though I’ve only been using it since July, I already consider it one of my holy grail products. It’s just that amazing.
I use the golden shade more than the pink shade, but both shades are gorgeous and sometimes I’ll even mix the two!
The texture of the powder isn’t as smooth or finely milled as other highlighters may be, but it still sits very nicely on the skin.
It doesn’t emphasize skin texture at all and it blends out very nicely.
If you like a bright, blinding highlight with a slight amount of glitter in it, this highlighter is totally the way to go.
Mattelast Liquid Lip
I’ve never been a huge fan of matte liquid lipstick because of how drying and uncomfortable they can feel.
But, the Pixi Mattelast Liquid Lip completely changed my mind about that!
The formula of this lipstick is so moisturizing that it’s comfortable to wear all day. The trade-off is that it’s not completely transfer-proof, but I’m okay with that.
All of the shades are so pigmented and opaque that you really only need one application to completely coat your lips.
Pixi recently released a bunch of shades with many of them being nude shades, perfect for everyday wear.
Related: Mattelast Liquid Lip Review & Swatches
Miracle Complexion Sponge
Before trying this sponge, I only used brushes for applying my foundation and I never really found a sponge that I loved enough to replace using a brush for foundation.
UNTIL THIS SPONGE.
It’s important to note that I have never tried a beautyblender – I just can’t bring myself to spend that much money on a single sponge.
This Real Techniques sponge has totally changed my life! It makes the finish of my foundation so flawless that I’m mad at myself for waiting so long to try it.
I still use a flat-top kabuki brush for the initial application of my foundation because it gives me the best coverage as using a sponge takes away some coverage.
Then, I’ll apply concealer and blend that out with the Real Techniques sponge. I’ll go over my entire face with the sponge to make sure everything is blended out nice and GIRL, it’s flawless.
It’s so smooth without any streaks or patches.
Things I'm Still Using from 2017:
Some things are just too good to give up! Even with all of the new drugstore makeup I’ve tried in 2018, I’m still constantly using these winners from 2017.
Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
First seen in: July 2017 Favorites
Even though I mentioned above that I’ve been really enjoying the L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara, I’ve still really been enjoying the Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara.
This is always the mascara that I come back to after trying out different mascaras because I know I can count on this one.
It does such an amazing job of lengthening and thickening my lashes, while keeping it clump-free. I also love that it’s a super lightweight formula and it doesn’t flake off throughout the day.
Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder
First seen in: October 2017 Favorites
It is so finely-milled that it makes your skin look airbrushed and it does an amazing job of extending the wear of your makeup.
Totally a dupe for the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder in my opinion, except that it comes in shades. And it’s less than a quarter of the price.
MasterChrome Highlighter in Molten Gold 100
First seen in: October 2017 Favorites
I mentioned the MasterChrome NikkieTutorials Highlighter above and this shade is the OG MasterChrome shade.
This shade is slightly too dark for me, but idgaf because it’s gorgeous LOL.
I will live with the slight cast on my cheekbones when looking at my face straight-on for the beautiful golden highlight when looking at my face from the side.
If you’re into the sun-kissed vibe, I would totally recommend this highlighter.
The formula is amazing, it gives you such a gorgeous sun-kissed glow, it’s under $10 and it rivals many of the luxury-branded highlighters out there.
Super Stay Better Skin Concealer
First seen in: October 2017 Favorites
I haven’t found another drugstore concealer that I like better than this one.
The consistency is just so creamy, it has amazing coverage while still being lightweight, and it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.
I’ve found that a lot of drugstore concealers irritate the skin around my eyes (and my actual eyes) when I use them to cover up my under-eye circles.
The Maybelline Fit Me concealer is one of them, despite being loved by so many. But, the Maybelline Better Skin concealer has never given me that problem!
Wet N Wild
Coloricon Blush in Pearlescent Pink
First seen in: June 2017 Favorites
Yet another product that I consider one of my holy grails!
I’ve been trying out a lot of new blushes recently and while I have a lot of blushes that I like and use, this one is the one that I always come back to.
It’s almost a habit to just reach for this blush because I know I love it and it’ll never let me down.
It’s the perfect peachy-pink shade for my skin tone and it has a hint of shimmer for a subtle glow.
And that’s it for my 2018 drugstore favorites! Wow, that was a long list, wasn’t it?
2018 was a year of me really diving into drugstore makeup more than I ever have before and a lot of amazing products were discovered along the way!
What were your favorite drugstore products of the year? Be sure to let me know down in the comments – I always want to try more things! :)
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