Affordable/Drugstore Brands

Hello again!

Let me begin by apologizing for my absence. I have fallen victim to Superwoman syndrome. I’m trying to balance a new job and a marriage while simultaneously trying to eat healthy, drink more water, exercise AND maintain a social life. I’ve accomplished maybe half of these, but that’s another story. None of this will stop me from buying and trying makeup!

So this month my interest is more affordable brands. I love the higher end products way too much. I love them so much that my pockets asked me to take a break. That’s when I started looking at dupe products and different brands that are more reasonably priced. However, I was and still am doubtful of the quality of lower end products. The only way to really know is to try them right? So here are some of the affordable brands and products I’ve tried and plan to try.

e.l.f. Cosmetics 

Eyes. Lips. Face. This is a brand I have flirted with the past few years. I’ve tried things here and there from brushes to eyeshadows to lip products. They have such a wide variety of products and they’re so incredibly affordable that I found it hard to literally pass by in stores.

This past December I purchased the 100 count eyeshadow palette from e.l.f. cosmetics just for kicks. I came across it in Target for only $10 and it appeared to have every color in the rainbow plus mattes, shimmers, neutral and bold colors.

100 count eye shadow palette

After purchasing it, I pretty much let it sit there and collect dust until I picked it up this month. Sorry to say I’m halfway disappointed. I tried using a number of the brown and black mattes as crease colors or to smoke out looks, but I found the colors to be extremely powdery. The moment I would dip my brush into a color I could see the kickback falling into the surrounding shades. The colors blended moderately well, but again I mentioned it was only $10 for 100 colors right?

While the mattes were touch and go, the shimmers were great! I found them the easiest to apply with my fingers. I added the shimmers on top of a little glitter glue and the colors came out perfectly. Honestly, the shimmers made the palette worth while for me. The bolder greens and blues are a little frightening, but I used this palette to really practice using bright colors and experiment. I would be willing to try some of the other eyeshadow palettes based on this one.

Swatch of three shimmers from the e.l.f. 100 count eyeshadow palette

Another thing I really appreciate about e.l.f. is their brushes. Foundation, contour, highlight, eyeshadow, you name it, they have it all ranging from $3-$10. It’s really helped me build my personal collection with qualify stuff.

NYX Cosmetics

The brand won me over with its Soft Matte Lip Creams! I just can’t resist a nice matte lipstick. I’ve purchased so many of these that I’m ashamed to count them, but these are my ideal lip product: liquid, matte and $6.50!

Because of my love for the Soft Matte formula, I also tried the new Powder Puff Lippie Lip Cream. The way it was described was so interesting, but it was true. I purchased the color Pop Quiz, described on NYX’s website as berry. The product applied like a soft liquid lipstick but it dried down to a powder feel. I was sold instantly and want to go back and purchase all 8 colors.

Photo courtesy of @nyxcosmetics

The greatest discovery so far from the brand for me is the Shine Killer primer. This primer has a soft, clear gel like consistency so I was doubtful that it would work with my liquid foundations on top of oily skin. However, NYX was right and I was gladly wrong. It’s been my primer of choice for the last month and I think I’ll continue to purchase it for only $15 versus Becca’s Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector for an arm and two legs (that’s approximately $38).


Last but not least from the brand, the NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick. I found this literally yesterday in Target for $7.99. I’ve considered buying similar highlighting sticks like BareMineral’s Crystalline Glow Highlighter Stick or Fenty’s Match Stix but I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this type of highlighter. Turns out I do prefer a powder to cream stick, but the color is just so pretty and again, its only $7.99 compared to $20+. Again, this experiment has turned out to be a great way to test products before committing to a hefty price tag!

Bright Idea Illuminating Stick in the color Pinkie Dust



Now this brand is completely new for me. I’ve always aligned the brand for people with fairer skin so I shied away. To be honest, I think I’ve always saw drugstore brands as not for me or my skin color.

After the release of new shades for Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation, YouTube seemed to blow up with reviews with women of color. My favorite beauty guru, Jackie Aina, did a review and I trust Auntie Jackie.

Maybelline Fit Me in the shade 355 Coconut

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hopeful! The foundation is available for only $5.99 at Target and the shade range was quite impressive. I might try this product out for a week or two and see how my skins likes it.

Maybe I’ll do a full face of affordable products 🤔. I would like to hear about your experience with these brands and others. What are some of your favs??

Leave me a comment or two below!


Chaneé L.

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