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This Ridiculously Inexpensive Makeup Look Is One of My Favorites

By Elise Marquam-Jahns February 09, 2023 Beauty

What could be better than being able to create a favorite makeup look for a ridiculously inexpensive price? Well, I think we can all think of a few things that could be better – but that’s for a whole different article.

So today in this article and accompanying video, I thought it would be fun to share with you some amazingly affordable drugstore makeup products that can absolutely create a beautiful look for those of us with mature skin.

Brow and Eye Products

Milani makes a good eye primer for a great price, but it’s clear so it doesn’t cover up discoloration. I haven’t yet found an inexpensive eye primer that is tinted and matches skin tone. But if you know of one, please do let us know in the comment section below.

In the video I’ll use the Eye Primer Potion from Urban Decay in the color “Eden.”  For my brows I used Elf’s Instant Lift Brow Pencil and their Elf Wow Brow which gives more volume to the brows.

So first we’ll start with eye shadow. I really love the Elf No Budge Matte Shadow sticks which come in 8 colors. These are great for a quick and easy eye shadow look. But I’m going to go ahead and use some of Elf’s $3.00 Bite Size Eyeshadow Quads. There are 12 of these quad palettes, and I need to clarify the quality of these quads does vary slightly.

I love the “Pumpkin Pie” quad, the “Cream and Sugar” quad which has two shimmers and two mattes, the “I Love You a Latte” quad that has four mattes, the “Carnival Candy” Quad which has three mattes and a shimmery blue and the “Truffles” palette which has two mattes, a black with some slight sparkle and a grayish taupe metallic.

In the video I’ll use some shades from the “Cream and Sugar” palette and the “I Like You a Latte” palette. The quality of each of these little quads is pretty darn amazing. They’re pigmented, they glide on easily and the shimmers are quite stunning. I’ll use the deepest brown from the “Cream and Sugar” palette as my eyeliner.

Top-Notch Drugstore Mascaras

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a drugstore mascara that works for my sensitive eyes, so I’m going to curl my lashes and use my Tarte mascara for my upper lashes. But the product that drugstore brands do the best is mascara. I particularly like L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise, but Cover Girl, Essence and Maybelline also make really good ones.

A Drugstore Foundation that Rivals High-End Products

There are several really good drugstore foundations, but the one that gets my vote for the best foundation at the lowest price is Wet ‘n’ Wild’s “Photo Focus” Foundation. It comes in a matte formulation and a dewy formulation. For my dry skin, I prefer the dewy formula which comes in 18 shades.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

An Excellent Concealer Option

Elf’s Hydrating Camo Concealer is one of my all-time favorite concealers for under the eyes and for other areas of my face. The “Light Peach” shade works great for me as a corrector and the “Fair Beige” works well applied over the corrector and on the rest of my face.

Several Great Powders

To ensure that my concealer doesn’t crease, I’ll pat some Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in the shade “Creamy Natural” under my eyes and also apply it to my T-zone where I get shiny.

Elf also has a great setting powder called Halo Powder, but it’s more expensive than the Rimmel Powder which is why I opted to use Rimmel today. Now I’ll finish up under the eyes by lining the outer 1/3 of my eyes with a lighter shade than I used on top and also applying my Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara to my bottom lashes.

A Long-Standing Favorite Contour

For my contour I’ll use a drugstore product I’ve used for years: Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Contour Stick in “Where’s Walnut.” It also comes in two lighter shades that have a warm undertone. Since it’s a stick – which can sometimes be a little more challenging to blend out if it’s applied directly to the skin from the applicator – I’m going to apply the contour to the back of my hand and then blend in a very small dab of a moisturizer.

Then I’ll pick up the product with a brush and apply it. Adding the moisturizer makes it far easier to blend this product into the skin.

Best Blush Option

I love Elf’s Putty Blush and their Luminous Putty Blush. But in order to create a more cohesive look, I’m going to use my lipstick color as my blush. And it saves $7.00 to use the lipstick as a blush rather than using a separate blush product.

I’m going to use the same application method I used for the contour product. I’ll put the lipstick on the back of my hand and then mix in some moisturizer so it will be far easier to apply. I’m using this gorgeous shade “Garnet” from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Silk Finish Lipstick line. This lipstick is such good quality, and I don’t think you can find a less expensive lipstick out there.

These lipsticks are pretty long lasting with a great shade range of 23 colors and a number of them are dupes for high end lipsticks. After trying one of these lipsticks for the first time I went a little crazy and bought six other shades. But all six shades together cost less than what it cost to ship them.

Now of course the colors I’ll show you in the video work with my cool undertone skin, but there’s a gorgeous peach which can work on neutral and warm undertone skin and a beautiful coral color that look fabulous if you have a warm undertone. And there are some deeper, richer colors as well.

My Go-To Highlighter

I’m sticking with Wet ‘n’ Wild for my highlight product as well. My favorite is their Liquid Highlight in the shade “Halo, Goodbye” and this liquid formula also comes in three other colors – two of which look great on warmer skin tones.

But Wet ‘n’ Wild’s less expensive highlighter comes in a stick formulation and that’s the one I’m going to use today in the shade “When the Nude Strikes.” I’ll apply it in the same way I applied the contour and lipstick as blush. This product also comes in some beautiful warm toned blush colors.

Some Outstanding Lip Products

I already have concealer along the edge of my lips, so I’m just going to apply my L’Oreal Age Perfect Lip liner and then the Wet ‘n’ Wild lipstick in “Garnet.” The L’Oreal Age Perfect lip liners are a little more expensive than the Revlon Color Stay lip liners – which I also love – but the L’Oreal Lip liners help prevent lipstick from migrating into fine lines which is my goal. And my gloss is from Maybelline. It’s their Lifter Gloss in the shade “Opal.”

Try This to Keep Makeup in Place Longer

The final touch is setting spray. Elf makes a wonderful one called “Dewy Coconut Setting Mist.” I’ll spray some on my dampened makeup sponge and then press it in. Now, of course, setting spray isn’t a step we have to take, but it does help makeup stay in place if we’ll be out and about for most of the day and/or evening.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Are you a fan of cheaper makeup products? Which one(s) do you use? What do you especially like about it/them? What’s the best makeup product you ever found at the drugstore?

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Lisa Stege

In general, I’m not a fan of cheaper products, although I do like L’Oreal’s mascaras and one of their lip colors. My savings comes from simplifying the number of products that I use on my face. Since I no longer work and have moved away from the polluting effects of the city, I find that I no longer use foundation, only Lancome’s dual finish pressed powder. No lip liner, no gloss, no concealer, and at this point, I rarely use mascara, although I love my shadow colors. Oddly enough, I’ve been getting more compliments on my eyes than I used to.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Lisa–It sounds like you have a wonderful system in place that’s working beautifully for you. Knowing what works best for each of us is what it’s all about.


Interesting article but it seems like an advert.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Jean–Since I hear from many women that they appreciate finding good quality makeup that doesn’t break the bank, I love searching out and sharing great makeup finds that are inexpensive. And I definitely get excited about finding these great products that very often rival high end products.

Lynn Nelson

Thanks for the good info. Are you sponsored or paid in any way by these products?

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Lynn–You’re welcome. I always enjoy finding–and sharing–information about great inexpensive products and only recommend products I’ve tried which I strongly believe are good products. Sixtyandme has a policy in place where only two links in each article can result in a small commission for the article’s author. Any other links do not provide a commission. In general, YouTubers are able to make small commissions on products that are linked and included in their YouTube description box or on other social media sites. For those who earn a living by doing this work or who are helped by additional income, this is very helpful. In my weekly YouTube videos I talk about products I’ve purchased that have worked–or which have not worked well–and am honest in sharing my opinions. Rarely do small YouTubers like myself receive PR from companies or are gifted products. But when I do, I always stipulate that I will not accept a product for a video unless I can give an honest opinion on it. I hope this information is helpful.

Lynn Nelson

Very helpful. Thanks for sharing this info – definitely adds to your credibility.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Lynn–I’m glad this was helpful.

The Author

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional makeup artist who is passionate about helping women 50+ get their glow back. She is the founder of Boomer and Beyond Beauty and runs the “Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise” YouTube channel. Elise has authored the free guide The Top Four Research-Proven Makeup Techniques That Help Us Look Our Best Now.

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