5 Makeup Must Haves… Each Under $5

April 3rd, 2013 By  |  16 Comments   

Hi Everyone! Emily here. It might sound strange, but one of my favorite pastimes is finding great “diamond in the rough” makeup products. Ever since high school, I’ve loved picking up new drugstore makeup, and experiencing the trial and error. Fast forward 15 years, and I’ve tried a lot of very good (and not-so-good) bargain makeup products. I’d love to share five great finds with you (I’m wearing them all in the above picture)… and I didn’t spend more than five dollars on any of them!

NYC New York Color Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny ($2.99, Drug/Discount Stores)

Clearly this is a much-loved bronzer in my collection! I love that it’s a 100% matte, non-orangey bronzer, which makes it great for giving the whole face some natural-looking color. It also works well for contouring the cheekbones, forehead, and jawline. When fair to light skinned people ask me for a bronzer recommendation that won’t look overpowering, I direct them to this product!

 ELF Studio Blush in Pink Passion ($3, eyeslipsface.com)

These blushes from ELF are an amazing buy, and are comparable to many high end blushes in my collection. There’s great color payoff, and a little goes a long way! While I love Pink Passion and think it’s great for spring, some other terrific shades from this line are Blushing Rose and Candid Coral. Each one comes in a sleek black compact that includes a mirror.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in Silent Treatment ($2.99, Drug/Discount Stores)

This brand has come so far, especially where the eyeshadows are concerned. I love this particular trio because it can go from natural to smokey in a snap. The shadows are soft, pigmented, and very long-wearing, and there are very few drugstore brands that I can say that about across the board. For a couple dollars more you can get an 8-color palette, but in terms of some other great trios, I’d recommend Walking on Eggshells and Don’t Steal My Thunder.

Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara ($4.99, Ulta)

This one barely makes it into the under five dollar price range, but it’s definitely worth mentioning! This is one of my newer finds, and I love how quickly it builds up volume and length on my lashes, without making me feel the need to pile on coat after coat (my sparse lashes can’t handle that!) The formula isn’t overly wet, and the rubber brush has lots of bristles- including some tiny bristles at the tip which really help with separation. The end result for me is more length, and the look of more lashes!

Jordana Easyliner for Lips in Baby Berry ($1.99, Drug/Discount Stores)

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great lip liner! These retractable liners from Jordana come in a variety of colors and are a long-time favorite of mine. They’re very smooth and creamy, therefore it’s very easy to fill in your lips entirely and wear them alone! The staying power is great. In the picture above, I’m only wearing the liner in Baby Berry on my lips. I also like using that shade for added definition with pink and berry lip colors. The shade called Tawny is a great neutral from the line.

There you go! Five great makeup products that won’t break the bank! Several are the kinds of must-haves that are so essential to me, I’ve repurchased them multiple times. So what are your best makeup finds for under five dollars?

-Emily, Beauty Broadcast

16 Comments + Add Comment

  • That’s what I love from you… you are so humble and give us reasonable recommendations in terms of price and quality :)
    The only bad part (just for me) is that from those pieces I just can get two (essence and jordana) of them because those brands are not sold here in Chile (the last country in SouthAmerica xD) but I always try to create my own dupes to emulate your looks :D

    Cheers from Chile…. <3

  • Thanks for sharing!! I love Essence bronzer.
    What’s about the worst cheap products? those that you ignore why they are still sold in stores!!!

  • I love, love, love this Mascara by Essence. There is another one in such a big black tube called “I love Extreme – Volume Mascara”. Love this one too. My favorite ones at the moment :)

    Hugs from Germany

  • I have a ton of the elf blushes, and I also own the NYC bronzer in Sunny! It truly is amazing at how far drugstore makeup has came.

  • Thanks for the list! This is a great post. I love the ELF blushes, too. I’ve been looking for a good bronzer that won’t overwhelm my fair skin, so I might have to try out that NYC one! Thank you so much for the recommendations! You’re the best, Emily! :)

  • I agree with Jimena you are so awesome when it comes to recommeneding reasonably priced options. I have taken your advice on so many things that have ended up becoming favorites.

  • Love that elf blush! Top fav!

  • me encanta tus esplicaciones y maquillajes de buen precio!1

  • Jimena, have you looked at drugstore.com? They have a bunch of drugstore and high end brands and I think they ship internationally.

  • Have tried lots of high end lip gloss, but my FAVE is E.L.F. Plumping lip glaze!!! The plumper tingles and really plumps your lips, and the gloss is VERY moisturizing!! AND, it’s $1… Really fantastic stuff!

  • Emily, was at a mall and went into my Makeup Forever Store. I was wearing the W&W trio that you just recommended. I was complimented so much by the ladies who work there. They thought I had just had my makeup professional done.
    Another time I went into Macy’s and was checking out UD. The UD sales lady loved my eyeshadow and asked what I was wearing. I told her W&W, Walking on Eggshells.
    No joke ladies, but it is also discouraging to me. I have Naked 2 and MAC eyeshadows and the only time I get complimented for my eyeshadow is when I am wearing Wet and Wild.

  • Emily, forgot to say or anyone here. I am very pale and I have Sunny but it doesn’t really go with my skin tone. It is a little too light. If any of you who are very pale like me, REVLON Photoready Bronzed &Chic is a great bronzer. It is more than 5.00 though.

  • I loved the Sunny Bronzer until I realized it was breaking me out really bad :[

  • Wow! Cool products! The Essence mascara sounds wonderful!

  • I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of your
    site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  • best blogging out there……I may be 44 but I still like to apply makeup for work and play and all your tips and tricks are great. Thanks Love the drugstore high end blend

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