If you’re anything like me, you refuse to buy anything from Sephora. The sky-high prices for something as simple as eyeliner are just plain depressing.
Sometimes, settling for a low-priced brand can lead to runny mascara, cakey foundation, or faded eyeshadow – but that isn’t the case with all cheaper brands. These inexpensive beauty and makeup brands prove that you can still look beautiful on a budget.
E.l.f. stands for “eyes, lips, and face,” meaning you can find almost any beauty product for less. Try not to be shocked when you check out the prices for concealer and foundation – you’ll pay under $10 for almost every product!
Despite the rock-bottom prices at E.l.f., most of its makeup meets expectations. The positive reviews from customers, coupled with my own great experience makes it worthy of trying.
This budget brand offers a ton of variety when it comes to colors. Its lipsticks, glosses, and eyeshadow pallets have both subdued and vibrant colors for you to choose from. You can find almost any product you need with Nyx, and it will barely make a dent in your wallet.
3. Physician’s Formula
While Physician’s Formula is slightly higher than some brands on this list, it’s one of the best budget makeup and beauty brands that focuses on organic, natural ingredients. They even have a vegan line of products. So, if you’re trying to put fewer ingredients you can’t pronounce on your skin and save money, it’s hard to beat this brand.
You can score 12 nude shades of eyeshadow for just over $20. For hypoallergenic, natural makeup that’s perfect for sensitive skin, you’ll love the prices and quality versus more expensive brands.
4. BH Cosmetics
If you watch beauty vloggers on YouTube, you’ve probably heard of BH Cosmetics. The site has tons of sales and promotions. Even without a discount, the prices of its products are always affordable.
BH Cosmetics doesn’t skimp on quality either. The amazing Take Me Back to Brazil palette is loaded with pigment – one swipe with your brush is enough to coat your eyes with any of these brilliant space-themed shades.
Maybelline is a staple in the world of budget beauty brands – you can always count on it to provide you with some of the most reliable makeup products for a low price. Plus, you can easily find Maybelline inside your local drugstore.
Keep in mind that some Maybelline products might work for you, and others might not. That’s why it’s a great idea to experiment with a mix of cheap products before you give up on budget brands altogether.
Like Maybelline, L’Oréal is another one of those well-known brands that you’re probably all too familiar with.
If you need makeup fast, L’Oréal and Maybelline are your best bet, as they’re almost in stock at every store. Feel free to mix and match between both brands – where one brand is weak, the other fills in that gap.
Just like Physician’s Formula, Pacifica is focused on clean beauty. However, Pacifica makeup and beauty products are all 100% vegan. Usually when you see “vegan” makeup, you automatically think expensive, but this isn’t the case here. You can even get mascara complete with coconut oil and vitamin B for just $14.
You’ll find everything from affordable cruelty-free makeup to hair care all in one place. Plus, switching to all natural, vegan ingredients just might make your skin and hair look even better.
Also, check out our list of other great cruelty-free makeup brands.
8. SHANY Cosmetics
In addition to SHANY’s affordable makeup sets, the brand also offers rolling makeup cases and travel bags for the traveling makeup artist.
Milani‘s products are always cruelty-free and PETA certified. The brand even has a line of vegan products that don’t contain any trace of ingredients like carmine, beeswax, or lanolin.
Both the vegan and non-vegan products are totally affordable. Everything from the concealer, lipstick, and brow pencils won’t cost you your entire paycheck, and are backed up by tons of positive reviews.
You might associate Morphe with the controversial makeup vloggers James Charles and Jaclyn Hill. Don’t let these influencers’ bad reputation tarnish your perception of this brand – its makeup is still solid despite the drama surrounding these makeup influencers.
Morphe sets its products at a higher price when compared to the other brands on this list, but it’s still not even close to the price of luxury makeup products.
11. Flower Beauty
Actress Drew Barrymore created the Flower Beauty brand with the intention of providing cruelty-free makeup at a reasonable price. In addition to providing makeup-lovers with brushes, fragrances, and cosmetic bags, it also has a series of facial masks, skin care products, and all your makeup essentials.
Flower Beauty might not have a huge list of products in every category, but that just means that the brand puts care into each one.
ColourPop offers unique makeup sets that come with a fun theme. Right now, you can delve into the mint chip kit, play around with the birthday cake kit, and even experiment with the strawberry shake palette.
If you’re really feeling creative, you can even create your own palette on ColourPop’s website. Incorporate your own choice of eyeshadow, blushes, and highlighters, in a single, budget-friendly palette.
13. Black Radiance
Darker skin tones don’t always get the attention their deserve from makeup brands. But, Black Radiance not only ensures people of color are properly represented, but does it at a budget-friendly price. For instance, a medium to dark contour palette is just $9.
You’ll find the biggest savings with Black Radiance’s gift and makeup sets that come with multiple shades and items at significant discounts compared to buying individual items.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do budget makeup and beauty brands use sub-par ingredients?
Reputable brands don’t. While there are some budget brands that give all all budget brands a bad name, most are actually quality products you can trust. Just because something is cheaper, it doesn’t mean it’s not high-quality.
Budget brands, like the ones listed above, often sell their items in drug stores and lower-cost retail chains. By selling their items in more locations, they’re able to sell more and thus offer more affordable pricing. Many high-priced brands aren’t sold in as many locations, so they market themselves as luxury makeup brands and sell items at a higher cost.
Often, drug store brands win out over high-end brands, as you can see in this comparison.
Will budget brands last as long?
Yes. You can expect your lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, and so on to last just as long as more expensive brands. Obviously, you should replace budget and high-end brands regularly based on expert recommendations, such as always replacing your mascara every three months to reduce harmful bacteria near your eye.
As far as wear, budget brands usually wear just as long. Of course, how long the product wears before fading depends on what the packaging says and your own skin type. Also, make sure to keep your makeup brushes clean to help your makeup last longer.
Should I shop online or in-store?
Honestly, pricing is roughly the same online and in-store. However, the brand and stores often run sales and clearance events, so don’t hesitate to comparison shop to see who has the best prices on the brands you love most.
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