Hey everyone, it’s me, your friendly neighbourhood university student, and I’m here to tell you that you are not alone, we are all suffering and we all have debt up to our noses thanks to this brilliant higher education that probably won’t help us get good jobs in the end cause the job market is a terrible place. Let’s get that out in the open, off our chests. Feels good to say it out loud, right? Not really but hey, at least we’re all suffering together!
All jokes aside, being in uni is rough. Being an adult in general is rough, especially when you don’t really have a stable income because either your part-time job doesn’t pay enough or you aren’t currently employed so that you can focus on your studies in order to get a good job (*raises hand* YUP). Whatever your spending money on, whether it’s schooling or accommodations or groceries, or maybe just saving every spare penny for the ~future~ then you might not have a lot of extra money to spend on make-up. Thankfully, there are a ton of really great affordable beauty products out there, if you know to look in the right places! I think of myself as a bit of a drugstore brand connoisseur and I’ve found some gems over time.
Today, I thought I’d share some of my favourite drugstore brand products that I’ve been using this summer to help y’all out with staying glam throughout the season on a budget!
E.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation [$6]
Hello, yes, it is I, continuing to champion e.l.f. cosmetics products. WHAT ELSE IS NEW. But seriously, what could be said against this brand? It’s inexpensive, the products are beautiful, and best of all, it’s cruelty-free! The product I love most by e.l.f. is their flawless finish foundation. It’s a mostly full-coverage formula that gives skin an even, beautiful glow without being shimmery or “wet” and it’s phenomenal when you take into consideration the pricetag (hello, $6 foundation!!). I’ve been using - and raving about - this foundation for a few years now and as long as my budget is tight (aka the foreseeable future) I will continue to do so. I find that it can be easily applied with either a foundation brush or blending sponge which makes it super versatile depending on your preference or if you’re like me, on your mood lol. Personally, I have very dry, sensitive skin and this product works amazingly for me. During the summer months, I’ve transitioned from the Snow shade for my sad Victorian-lady pale skin (although it is a tad too pale for me) to the Sand shade as I’m working on a tan, and I’ve loved both shades equally.
NYX Worth the Hype Waterproof Mascara [$8]
This one’s a new favourite of mine that I’ve been loving this summer. NYX in itself is an amazing brand. I find that it’s high-end quality for drugstore prices. While elf is my favourite drugstore brand, NYX might just take the cake for being better quality (albeit for slightly higher prices). The tapered tip of this mascara wand is to die for honestly. I picked this mascara up on a whim as I’d never tried an NYX mascara before and I was in the market for a new one so it seemed like perfect timing. I gotta say, I absolutely love this one. As I’ve already got long eyelashes, I’m not really too concerned about a product that lengthens my lashes, I much prefer something that separates and thickens. This totally does that. Like to an extent that I was not prepared for. It’s taken a lot of practice to not get this all over my upper eyelids lol but once I get the hang of it, I end up with big, fluttery lashes!! So lovely and the waterproof feature is an absolute god send in this Florida heat (and daily torrential rain storms!)
E.l.f. Cosmetics Blush in “Candid Coral” [$4]
Y’all let’s talk about peach tones for a sec ok? I’m game for anything in a pretty peachy shade. I think it’s girly and cute and fun, plus it goes perfectly with a tan. Perhaps my all-time favourite peach product is this e.l.f. blush. The colour is actually called “coral” but let’s not let semantics get in the way of our fun. This lovely little powder blush is my knight in shining armour. I pop a bit of this blush on my cheeks every damn day, especially now that it’s summertime. Remember when we thought blush was unnecessary or uncool or whatever and we walked around like boring, dull contoured weirdos? We all did it, let’s be honest. Blush has become absolutely essential to my everyday makeup look, I cannot imagine not wearing it now. This gives a really healthy, bright look to my face, which has been even more necessary this last week as I’ve been fighting off some weird cold/stomach bug and have looked like a dead girl walking!
E.l.f. Cosmetics Beautifully Bare Cheek Glow in “Soft Peach” [$4]
Oh look, another blush lol what a shocker. Seriously though, this was an actual surprise product for me!! It’s not the sort of product I’d typically reach for, mostly because it’s cream-based. Cream blushes remind me of my early makeup preteen years and kind of makes me shudder involuntarily. But this was actually a huge hit for me! It’s not just a cream blush, it actually is a cream-to-powder blush, so I don’t find it as clumpy as pure cream blushes typically are. Mind you I’m judging all cream blushes based on the formulas of the early 2010s so take that with a grain of salt haha. Of course, this is another peach shade. It looks very natural on the skin especially if you pat it down a bit with a blending sponge (there’s my little amateur tip for y’all). Although the product looks very orange-y in the pan, I promise it doesn’t come off so vibrant!
NYX Matte Bronzer [$9]
I genuinely adore this bronzer. Mostly, I tend to reach for more shimmery bronzers, especially when it comes to summertime when I’ve got a tan and I just feel like it gives a really healthy glow. This matte bronzer by NYX totally surprised me. I picked it up because I wanted a daytime bronzer and with this unbelievable Floridian heat, I was already looking a little too glow-y for my own good and not in a nice way haha. So I finally gave in and bought a matte bronzer, and I don’t regret it in the slightest! This powder bronzer is so pretty and stays in place through rain or shine, and humidity or (yuck) sweat. I love it and could not recommend it enough.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Kabuki Face Brush [$6]
This brush is absolutely glorious. I had never really considered using a kabuki brush until I picked this up on a whim at Target. Kabuki brushes are particularly good at applying powder and I’ve been using this to apply bronzer, especially to my neck/chest area where I didn’t get as much sun as the other areas. The kabuki brush is large enough that it doesn’t require a lot of effort to apply the powder, even on a large surface like my neck/chest area. It applies the product really evenly and makes the bronzer look super natural and not like batches of makeup lol. Not to mention e.l.f.’s brush is way cheaper than other kabuki brushes, even from other drugstore brands (the NYX one is nearly $20!!). This is a must-have drugstore brand brush for sure.
And that’s all for now! What drugstore brand products have you been loving this summer?