I'm sure we're all familiar with your typical drugstore brands of makeup. While there are certainly some great drugstore products out there, they can be very hit and miss as far as quality goes. Sephora and department store counters can offer higher quality, but at a price. Wouldn't it just be great if you could combine the best of both worlds...
...oh yeah, you can :) Here are 2 brands I really like that offer upscale quality at low prices.
NYX is located in various stores, so check their website to see if it's carried close to where you live. If not, you can order directly from the website. Most items cost only a few dollars. Below are what I think are some of the best:
Jumbo Eye Pencil
These can do triple duty, really. Eyeliner, eyeshadow, or as a base for your powder eyeshadow. Using a base can make your eyeshadow last longer and give the color more intensity. These come in a great variety of colors.
Concealer in a Jar
A little of this goes a long way, which is great in a concealer. In addition to the skin tone shades, you can also get it in yellow (for undereye circles), green (for redness), and lavender (for yellowness). When you use the skin correcting colors you do need to put regular concealer over them, otherwise your skin will have a yellow/green/lavender tint - probably not what you're going for.
Silky texture - NARS. Quilted compact - Chanel. Rich pigmentation - MAC. $6? A steal.
These are just a few of many great items. The eyeshadow trios, bronzers, mosaic blushes, and several of the lip products are also very well reviewed. You can check videos on YouTube and MakeUpAlley reviews if there are other products you're interested in.
e.l.f. has gotten a lot of attention as a brand for offering all of their products for - wait for it - $1. I believe Target now carries e.l.f., but if you can't find it where you live you can order from their website. One thing I particularly like about e.l.f. is that they offer near duplicates of products other brands have, but you can get them for $1 instead of paying a much higher price. Some of my favorites (and their more expensive counterparts):
I've used some of e.l.f.'s brushes in the past, and while they're not quite on par with MAC or Bobbi Brown brushes they are close, and are definitely as nice as drugstore level brushes like Sonia Kashuk. At $1 they're a fraction of the price you'll pay for anything else.
Cuticle pens are a great, non-messy way to keep your cuticles moisturized. Sephora makes one for about $12, and Sally Hansen has one as well that I'm sure is more than $1.
Waterproof Eyeliner Pen
Waterproof eyeliner is usually much more long lasting than regular eyeliner. Even drugstore brands of eyeliner cost $5-6 at the very least, and since you have to be careful with how long you use your eye makeup products, this is a great place to save some money.
I should add that both NYX and e.l.f. have lots of lip products that for the most part get great reviews. One thing you tend to notice in lower end lip products is the taste. Department store brands tend to mask it more, but sometimes with these brands you get somewhat of a plastic taste. This is very subjective - it doesn't bother some people at all and drives others crazy. I'm in the it drives me crazy camp, but if that doesn't bother you, you should definitely try out their lip products as well!