All-Time Favorites: Drugstore Dupes for High End Makeup

Hello and welcome! This was an unplanned blog post but I am super excited to round up my FAVORITE makeup items! I had a friend ask what makeup she should get if she was going to start from scratch, which really got me thinking about my absolute must-haves.

Below are my ride-or-die, can’t-live-without, desert-island, all-time favorite makeup products. I included drugstore dupes for all of the high end products to help fit any budget. While each dupe may not be a perfect match, to me they serve a similar enough purpose  that I would be fine with either in my collection. So, if all of my makeup was lost, stolen or burned in a fire, this is what I would repurchase:

Drugstore dupes for High End Face Makeup.png

If you’re a makeup newbie, this is also the order I would apply all of my makeup after skincare and sunscreen:

Primer: Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating Primer ($12.99) vs. Becca Backlight Priming Filter ($38) – Both of these primers are going to give your skin a gorgeous healthy glow, perfect for no-makeup looks in the summer.

Base: Physicians Formula Super BB Cream ($14.99) vs. It! Cosmetics CC Cream ($38) – The only problem with the Physicians Formula is that it only comes in two shades. It’s slightly thicker than the It! Cosmetics, but overall, a great dupe.

Concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer ($9.99) vs. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30) – If I was being picky, I’d want both. I prefer the Maybelline for my under eyes and the Nars for my face but both are amazing.

Under Eye Setting Powder: e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting Powder ($3) vs. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Diffused Light ($22) – General makeup tip: buy travel sizes to save money! Since I only use the Hourglass powder for my under eyes, it makes sense to buy the mini.

Face Powder: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder ($7.99) vs. It! Cosmetics Celebration Foundation ($35) – Both of these are fabulous full-coverage powders. To use them as a setting powder, just use a large fluffy brush and a light hand.

Bronzer: Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer ($14.99) vs. Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light ($50) – Both bronzers give you a glow without looking shimmery.

Blush: Sleek Rose Gold ($5.99) vs. Benefit Coralista ($29) – A coral, golden-glow that looks flattering on all skin tones.

Drugstore dupes for High End Eye Makeup.png

Eyeshadow: Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Eyeshadow Mink Brown ($10) vs. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette ($49) – The only thing missing in the Neutrogena quad is a matte transition shade but the formula of these shadows is incredible.

Eyebrow Pencil: NYX Micro Brow Pencil ($10) vs. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21) – While I haven’t tried the NYX pencil, NikkieTutorials says that it’s great, so if she likes it, must be great.

Setting Gel: Glossier Boy Brow ($16) vs. Benefit Gimme Brow ($24) – Boy Brow is my tried and true, but Benefit just introduced a slew of new shades if you have a finicky undertone to your brows.

Liquid Eyeliner: Physicians Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner ($10.99) vs. Stila Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($22) – Both of these are great liquid eyeliners that don’t smudge on me. The Physicians Formula isn’t as pigmented, but is a great drugstore option.

Pencil Eyeliner: Sadly, I don’t have a drugstore option for this category. The Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner is the only one I have found that doesn’t smudge on me. Plus, they have mattes, shimmers and satins in a bunch of colors.

Mascara: CoverGirl Clump Crusher Waterproof. I would take this baby over any other mascara on the market. It’s not waterproof, just water resistant, and comes off with my normal face wash, no tugging required.

Drugstore dupes for High End Lipsticks.png

Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks ($8) vs. Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26) – Both lipsticks are great but if you can splurge, the Bite Lipsticks are the best. Full coverage, super comfortable and they leave a natural stain to the lips.

Lipgloss: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss ($8) vs. Buxom Lip Polish ($20) – Both of these glosses are tacky, wet looking glosses so if that isn’t your jam, these aren’t for you.

Lip Balm: Glossier Balm Dotcom ($12) vs. Sara Happ Lip Slip ($24): I can’t really choose between the two. I have 4 of the Glossier Coconut staged around my apartment and wear the Sara Happ almost every day at work. It’s glossy goodness.

Brushes: Real Techniques and EcoTools, all day every day. There are also some e.l.f. brushes I really love. You can read more about my brush favorites here.

Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter. I’m done trying to find something better.

Highlighter: ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter Flexitarian ($8) vs. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Moonstone ($38) – If you have both, layer and blind the b!tches. You can also get the Becca in a mini for $19.

If you’re still here, yay! Those are my all-time favorites and I’d love to know, what are yours?



  1. May 24, 2018 / 5:07 am

    Have to take the Maybelline concealer ant eh Sleek blush to test!

    • nicolebolt
      May 24, 2018 / 5:19 am

      Hope you like them!

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