Don’t get us wrong: We love a beauty haul from Sephora as much as the next girl. It’s just that sometimes our skin is like, “Actually… I think this $50 foundation doesn’t agree with me,” while our wallet cries uncle. Fortunately, that’s what drugstore beauty is for, but we’re not talking Maybelline or CoverGirl (although they’re both perfectly fine too). Stylists, makeup artists and luxury brands have been teaming up with your favorite drugstores to release products that are big on quality and value. Swing by these local shops to discover some new favorite brands.
1. Circa Beauty by Eva Mendes: This makeup line ranges from $8 to $15 and is meant to bridge the gap between cheapie buys and professional makeup products. Eva Mendes is the creative director, and she knows all about the struggle of finding makeup to suit darker skin, so this collection has plenty of hard-to-find shades.
2. Nonie Creme Colour Prevails: Butter London is one of those prestigious nail polish brands that we’d buy in every shade… if we could possibly afford it. Then creator and top manicurist Nonie Creme came out with this affordable line, exclusive to Walgreens. Polishes are HALF the price of Butter London, and there are even some makeup products to match. (Photo via @colourprevails)
3. Jenna Hipp: This manicurist is known around Hollywood as the Celebrity Green-Nail Stylist, because she created a line of “5-free” nail and hand products. In addition to being eco-friendly, these polishes come in trendy colors and don’t break the bank, with an eight-piece mini set going for just $25 at Costco.
4. Orlando Pita: Orlando Pita is big deal in the fashion industry, styling for haute couture runways and editorial spreads, but you’ll also find him in the aisles of Costco. His hair products run on the pricier end, but you wear your mane every day — give it the pro treatment!
5. Dr. Jessica Wu: Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Wu treats beauties like Katherine Heigl and Lisa Ling. Their skin is so flawless, you know she’s working some magic. She’s created two lines of skincare products, but one is prohibitively expensive(we’re talking $125 for a moisturizer, people) and hard to find. Opt for her Costco brand instead, which is more in the $50 range.
6. Kristofer Buckle: Check out Kristofer’s Instagram, where you can find him doing makeup for the likes of Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Chastain and Khloe Kardashian. Now you definitely want to know what all the fuss is about, right? Grab one of his red carpet-ready makeup sets for less than $50. (Photo via Kristofer Buckle)
7. Pati Dubroff: Another one of L.A.’s favorite makeup artists, Pati has styled the likes of Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron and Miley Cyrus. Create your own versatile looks with one of her great neutral palettes, eyeliners and lip colors, ranging from $10 to $44.
8. Flower Beauty by Drew Barrymore: Drew’s new makeup line is the ultimate budget-friendly brand. It’s got everything you need for a complete beauty arsenal — lip glosses, nail polishes, BB creams, eyeshadow quads, cheek chubbies and more — yet nothing retails for more than $13!
9. Ken Paves You Are Beautiful: You probably recognize Ken from countless makeovers on Oprah, America’s Next Top Model and various reality shows with former BFF Jessica Simpson. Who wouldn’t want hair like hers?! Nowadays, you’ll recognize him at your local Walmart, where you can score his salon-quality hair products.
10. Hard Candy: YES! That’s right. Your go-to brand for sky blue nail polish in the ‘90s is still going strong, with lots of fun, sparkly nail colors and cosmetics. It’s as cheap as ever too, with everything under $10. (Photo via @hardcandylife)
11. Sonia Kashuk: We’re sure you’ve noticed this brand of makeup brushes, cases and cosmetics on a Target run, since it’s been there for over 15 years. But what you might not have known is that Sonia is a pioneer in the beauty industry, as one of the first to bring luxury beauty products to the masses. Seriously, buy her brushes — they win Allure Best of Beauty awards alongside the likes of Tom Ford and Dior.
12. Laneige: Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness… is the essence of beauty. Yup, water — or more specifically, mineral water — is the secret ingredient to this South Korean skincare line. It’s incorporated into everything from anti-aging masks to complexion-correcting makeup.
13. Makeup Academy: MUA gained popularity in the UK for being a professional-level beauty brand without the high street prices. Lucky for us, it’s made its way over to your neighborhood CVS without losing its great value. Lip colors and false lashes start at just $5, while brushes start at $8. Now when can we get the rest of the makeup in the US?
14. Nuance Salma Hayek: Salma’s philosophy behind her new product line for CVS is that makeup should enhance natural beauty. The secret to those enhancements? It’s all in the family. She’s taking inspiration from the local ingredients her grandmother used while growing up in Mexico. Abuela definitely knows best, because this has been CVS’s best-selling proprietary brand ever.
15. IT Cosmetics: Ulta carries many prestige brands, but one of the best things about it is that it sells them right next to your usual drugstore brands. So next time you’re picking up some L’Oreal, check out IT Cosmetics. In addition to makeup that’s been developed by plastic surgeons and dermatologists, you’ll find over 60 Ulta-exclusive professional makeup brushes.
Have you tried any of these brands before? Which do you think rival those high-end beauty products? Give us your review in the comments!