Drugstore Makeup Kit Under $50 – Affordable Makeup to Start Your Makeup Kit
Makeup totally does not have to be expensive. I know there’s a myth that to wear makeup, you must spend tons of money to do so.
And that’s not true! Yes, there are very expensive makeup products out there. And yes, to wear makeup everyday over the course of many years can add up in cost.
But, don’t let that stop you from trying it out!
I know there are many people out there in which the high cost of makeup is one of the biggest factors in stopping them from wearing makeup.
And this is where I come in.
I want to show you that there are amazing products that perform really well for just a small amount of money!
Drugstore makeup brands are totally giving high-end makeup brands a run for their money because the quality of drugstore makeup just keeps getting better and better.
In today’s post, I will show you how you can create an entire makeup kit that’s perfect for everyday use, that costs under $50, TOTAL!
Yes, it’s totally possible.
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.
For the purpose of this post, I will be using the manufacturer’s price of each product. But, keep in mind that prices always vary depending on retailer.
(And they are often a lot cheaper at some retailers when combined with store coupons! Amazon also may have items for better prices, so don’t forget to check there!)
I tried to do my best in researching prices and linked each product to the retailer with the best price at the time of posting. :)
And before you even make any purchases on new makeup, don’t forget to sign up for Ebates (now called Rakuten)!
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Full Face of Drugstore Makeup Under $50
I’m going to be honest here – I haven’t tried either of the primers that I’m about to list because I have my go-to primers that I almost never change.
BUT, both have good reviews on Ulta and after reading through tons of them, the overall consensus seems to be that these are solid primers. If you try them out, let me know what you think!
Essence – Prime + Studio Glow Boosting Primer | $4.99
This primer is formulated to give your skin a subtle glow while smoothing out fine lines and pores, leaving the face fresh and radiant.
Since it is a glow boosting primer, it would be suitable for those with dry skin. But, there is also a matte version available.
Wet n Wild – Photo Focus Face Primer | $4.99
This is a mattifying primer that smooths fine lines and pores, while keeping oils under control. It is often compared to the popular Smash Box Photo Finish Primer in the way in performs – not in the way it looks because the Wet n Wild one is white and the Smash Box one is clear.
The Photo Focus Face Primer is mattifying, so it will probably be best for those with oily skin. However, there is also a dewy version available.
But, wait – do you even really need primer?!
You actually can totally skip primer completely! I know many people who don’t use primer even though I, personally, cannot live without a foundation primer.
It does depend on how much face makeup you are going to put on because I feel like using a primer really helps any product you apply on top of it blend more seamlessly.
However, with all of that being said, if you’re really not going to be applying a heavy amount of products on your face, I can totally see not needing a primer at all. (Just wash your face well and moisturize!)
Wet n Wild – Photo Focus Liquid Foundation | $5.99
Hands-down, this foundation will give you the most bang for your buck – across all foundations. Despite it being such an inexpensive foundation, it provides medium-buildable coverage with a natural matte finish and it looks great on the skin!
The only downside is that it totally smells like paint. It’s great if you can get past the scent, though.
A few other options that are slightly higher in price, but still very affordable are:
This is another amazing drugstore foundation that provides medium-buildable coverage, looks great on the skin, and is a steal for the price!
Also seen in: 25 Best Foundations in 2019
Makeup Revolution – Fast Base Stick Foundation | $9.00
This foundation is my personal favorite out of these three, although it's the most expensive. It has a radiant finish and provides medium-full coverage that makes the skin look flawless!
My most favorite part about it is the ease of application that a stick foundation provides. Perfect for those rushed mornings! It can also double as a concealer stick/cover-up stick to mask blemishes.
Also seen in: Best Drugstore Foundations for Dry Skin
You may not actually need a concealer for your makeup kit. It really depends on how “heavy” of a makeup look you want and/or if you have blemishes you wish to cover up.
If you will be wearing light face makeup most of the time, you can totally go without concealer and just build up your foundation in areas you want more coverage on.
However, if you do foresee yourself using concealer, these will have you covered (pun intended hehe):
Wet n Wild – Photo Focus Concealer | $3.99
Just like the Photo Focus Foundation, you get so much bang for your buck with the Photo Focus Concealer! It’s a medium-coverage concealer that blends out easily and is great for brightening up the under-eye area.
LA Girl – HD Pro Concealer | $4.99
This concealer is totally one of the best full-coverage drugstore concealers around! It was actually a holy grail for many, back in the day.
I think it’s been forgotten about recently because there are so many new concealer releases, but it still is one of the best in my books!
It’s so full-coverage, easy to blend out, and it doesn’t crease under the eyes. There are also many different shades available, including shades for color-correcting if you’re feeling adventurous! (An affordable concealer like this one would be perfect to use when experimenting with color-correcting.)
Also seen in: Best Makeup Under $5
e.l.f. – 16HR Camo Concealer | $5.00
Speaking of new releases, this new concealer from e.l.f. pretty much shook the entire beauty industry when it was first released! From day 1, it’s been touted as a dupe for the beloved Tarte Shape Tape Concealer.
I’ve been testing this concealer out recently and YES, IT’S GOOD. It’s really full-coverage, so it definitely competes with Shape Tape there. The real difference I see between the two is that the e.l.f. one dried down quicker and has more of a matte finish.
So, it may not be the best if you struggle with dry under-eyes. But overall, very solid concealer.
Powder is an item that depending on the type of makeup you wear, you’ll want a different type of powder than the next person.
You may not even need a setting powder if you wear very light base makeup. If you wear just a tinted moisturizer or light coverage foundation and if you are okay with your skin not being dry to the touch, you may not need a setting powder.
And if you do full-glam foundation and base makeup, you’ll definitely want to use a loose setting powder to set everything in place.
Whichever way you go, some great, low-cost options would be:
e.l.f. – Prime & Stay Finishing Powder | $2.00
This is a translucent pressed finishing powder that would be perfect to set your face makeup in place if you are using very light makeup.
It’s also great for a quick touch-up during the day or it can also be worn alone to provide a smidge of coverage and oil-control for days when you don’t want to put on a full face of makeup.
Essence – Brighten Up! Banana Powder | $4.99
I LOVE this powder so much. This is such an amazing banana powder that brightens up the under-eye area so beautifully!
It doesn’t make your under-eye concealer crack, crease, or cake up – it just brightens up the face so nicely!
If concealing dark circles under your eyes is one of your main concerns, this powder is your new best friend.
Also seen in: Best Makeup Under $10
e.l.f. – High Definition Powder in Soft Luminance | $6
This loose powder is great for setting all of your base makeup in place. In addition to that, it creates a soft focus effect to the skin that blurs the appearance of fine lines.
(My holy grail loose setting powder is the Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder, but it costs slightly more at a retail price of $7.99.)
For myself, brows are a very important step in my makeup routine – I can’t step out of the house without my brows on!
However, if you are blessed with beautiful brows and don’t feel the need to do anything to them, you can totally skip this step!
And if your brows need maybe just a little bit of filling in, but you don’t feel the need to shape them and “carve” them out, I’d recommend just using an eyeshadow that matches your hair color to fill them in.
If you’re like me, and need some help in the brow department and need to use a pencil (at the very least) to shape and fill in your brows, here are some great options:
e.l.f. – Instant Lift Brow Pencil | $2.00
Essence – Eyebrow Designer Pencil | $1.99
I’m going to be honest with you again and admit that I haven’t tried either of these pencils, but they both have about a 4.5/5 star rating on Ulta, with over 400 reviews each. I’d say those numbers are good enough to give it a try!
Catrice – Eye Brow Stylist | $3.99
I initially bought this eyebrow pencil in hopes that it would be a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil. Well, it’s not quite a dupe, but it still gets the job done!
If you’re familiar with the ABH Perfect Brow Pencil, it isn’t as pigmented in comparison, but it does have a similar texture.
I wouldn’t recommend this pencil for defining the outline of your brow, but it’s great for creating natural hair-like strokes to fill in your brows.
Catrice – Slim’Matic Ultra Precise Brow Pencil | $5.99
I haven’t tried this pencil, either, but I HAD to include it in this post because Tati always raves about it in her videos!
If you don’t know who Tati is, she’s definitely one of the biggest beauty YouTubers right now. And she is always using this pencil in her videos!
Blush is one of my absolute favorite things right now! One could argue that blush isn’t super necessary, but I just think it adds so much life to the face and plus, it’s pretty!
Essence – Satin Touch Blush | $2.99
Essence – Matt Touch Blush | $3.99
You really can’t go wrong with either of these blushes. They’re basically the same thing – just one has a satin finish and one has a matte finish (don’t know why the matte version costs more).
They both have great pigmentation and blend out seamlessly! You can read more about the Matt Touch Blush in my January 2019 Favorites.
Wet n Wild – Color Icon Blush | $3.00
This used to be the only blush I would use for a very long time! It performs like it’s a high-end blush – seriously.
My favorite shade is Pearlescent Pink, which is a cute peachy pink shade with a hint of shimmer in it. It blends out beautifully and it’s super long-wearing.
Also seen in: Best Makeup Under $5
Bronzer is kind of like blush, where some people will argue that it isn’t really necessary. I personally did not wear bronzer until a few years ago, but now I think it is definitely necessary!
It gives such a nice warmth to the skin, especially after flattening the color of your skin by applying foundation. And I’m a huge fan of the sun-kissed look right now!
Also, by applying it to the perimeter of your face and under your cheekbones (for a light contour), the center of your face stands out, creating the illusion of a slimmer face.
Great affordable bronzer options are:
Essence – Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder | $4.99
Essence – Luminous Matt Bronzing Powder | $4.49
Just like the Essence blushes above, these Essence bronzers are pretty much the same thing, except one has a matte finish and one has a luminous finish.
Both bronzers are SO GREAT for the cost. The pan is huge! You get so much product in it.
They are both very subtle bronzers, that are easy to blend out, making it very simple to use, without the fear of applying too much.
Deciding between the two would just depend on which finish you prefer!
I have to admit that I am completely obsessed with highlighter. It’s probably the one item that I have the most of in my collection. And I just can’t stop buying more!
It just adds so much to the entire makeup look – I love the glow!
e.l.f. – Baked Highlighter | $4.00
This highlighter will give you a stunning, bright, highlight that will make your cheekbones pop! It is a baked highlighter, so the top layer can be a little hard.
If you end up trying this highlighter and noticed not much product is being picked up by your brush, gently scrape off the top layer of the highlighter to reveal the softer powder.
Essence – Pure Nude Highlighter | $4.49
I absolutely love this highlighter! It’s currently in my makeup routine almost every day and it was featured in my Best Makeup Under $10 post.
It’s a very subtle highlighter, which is perfect if you’re just starting out with highlighting, if you wear light makeup, or you just don’t want anything too dramatic.
I actually use this highlighter as more of a finishing powder in areas of my face that I want to draw attention to – yes, I like to glow that much.
Wet n Wild – MegaGlo Highlighting Powder | $4.99
Arguably one of the best highlighters at the drugstore, this was one of the first highlighters I fell in love with.
I love so many of the shades and they all give you a gorgeous, blinding highlight. My most favorite shades are Precious Petals and Golden Flower Crown.
If you are just starting out on your makeup journey and are just beginning to build your makeup collection, I’d recommend getting a lipstick in a nude shade that can be worn every day and with many different eye looks.
Whether you go for a matte or velvet/satin finish will depend on your preference, but I personally prefer a velvet/satin finish because it tends to be more moisturizing and more comfortable to wear throughout the day.
Some great options are:
e.l.f. – Matte Lip Color | $3.00
This isn’t your typical lipstick, as it comes in a pen-like component – but, that’s exactly what I like most about it! It makes it so easy to apply, especially in the hard-to-reach areas, like the corners of your mouth.
The application is smooth and seamless, and the formula is enriched with Vitamin A, C, and E, making it moisturizing and comfortable to wear.
e.l.f. – Velvet Matte Moisturizing Lipstick | $3.00
e.l.f. – Moisturizing Lipstick | $3.00
Both of these lipsticks are essentially the same, except the Velvet Matte version has more of a matte finish.
They both glide on smoothly, have great color payoff, are very moisturizing on the lips, and are very long-wearing.
Although I don’t wear liquid eyeliner every day, I think it’s a must-have in any makeup collection for those days when you want to be a little extra and rock a winged liner!
e.l.f. – Expert Liquid Liner | $2.00
This liner has a fine brush tip for precise application, intense pigmentation, and it is super long-wearing! And for only 2 bucks, can you really go wrong?!
L.A. Girl – Gel Glide Eyeliner | $3.99
If you prefer a pencil eyeliner, this is a great choice. I personally love it to apply it on my waterline and am very impressed with how long it lasts.
It glides on easily and as someone with sensitive eyes, I’m happy to say that it does not irritate my eyes at all!
To stay within our budget of $50 for an entire face of makeup, a versatile palette that can be used every day is definitely the way to go.
The shades in the palette you choose will come down to preference, but I recommend a neutral palette with wearable shades that can easily take you from day to night.
There are a ton of great drugstore eyeshadow palettes that are affordable, but to get the most bang for your buck, there’s no denying that the Wet n Wild Color Icon palettes is the clear choice.
The quality of the shadows are solid and the price can’t be beat!
Wet n Wild – Color Icon Quad | $2.99 - $3.99
You don’t get a ton of shade options in these palettes (there are 6 color schemes available) since, as the name suggests, there are only 4 shadows in the palette.
But, it’s a great option for those that want a quick and easy eye look without having to think too much about it.
It’s also great if you’re a beginner when it comes to makeup because there are notes on each shade that tell you where to place each one!
Wet n Wild – Color Icon 10-Pan | $5.29
If you want more options when it comes to shade selection, the 10-pan Color Icon palette is your answer. It still boggles my mind how these palettes are so cheap!
The quality of the shadows are way too good to cost only $5.29. Sure, they’re not the absolute best shadows out there, but they definitely get the job done!
To see swatches of the color scheme Rose in the Air, check out my Drugstore Dupes post, where I compare it to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette.
Spoiler: totally a dupe.
Setting spray is definitely not necessary for everyone, although I use it every day. Since we had some money left in our $50 budget at this point, I decided to include setting spray in this post!
However, if you want to spend a little more on any of the other items in this list, I would say that it would make sense to cut out setting spray first.
Yes, it totally makes a difference in the longevity of your makeup. Do you need it for your makeup to look good? Probably not. In fact, I only started using setting spray maybe about 2 years ago. That means I went many years without using it!
e.l.f. – Matte Magic Mist & Set | $4.00
e.l.f. – Illuminating Mist & Set | $4.00
Both of these e.l.f setting sprays do a great job at keeping your makeup in place and many people even compare them to high end setting sprays!
The difference between the two is that the matte version helps control shine and the illuminating version adds a bit of radiance to your makeup.
And that’s it! Your full face of makeup for under $50 is now complete!
The grand total is: $42.43!
This total is made up of all the cheapest products in each category of this list. I know I listed other options that differed in price, but they were all still very affordable!
And if you totaled the most expensive item in each category of this list, the total is $57.23. So, there isn’t a huge variance in price. You’ll definitely still be able to get a full face of makeup for around the $50 mark!
If you decide to pick any of these products up, please let me know how they work out for you! And if you’ve already tried some of them, I’d love to know what you think! Be sure to let me know down in the comments. :)
And don’t forget to use Ebates (now called Rakuten) if you are going to purchase any new makeup!
SIGN UP HERE FOR FREE AND GET A $10 BONUS after you make your first purchase using Ebates (Rakuten)!
Thanks for reading and until next time. <3
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