sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Can’t Do Without Drugstore and High-End Makeup I’ll Always Repurchase

By Elise Marquam-Jahns September 14, 2023 Beauty

I imagine that you – like me – have some can’t do without makeup favorites that you’ll definitely repurchase. So today I want to share with you my can’t do without drugstore and high end makeup products that I wouldn’t hesitate for a nanosecond to repurchase and recommend.

Best Brow Bets

Over the years, I’ve tried so many eyebrow products – as I’m sure you have – but my go-to Holy Grail eyebrow products are the ABH Brow Powder Duo, NYX’s Micro Brow Pencil and Maybelline’s Brow Fast Sculpt Brow Mascara (now renamed Express Brow Fast Sculpt Mascara) – which is a tinted brow gel.

What sets apart the ABH Brow Powder Duo for me is the fact that it comes with two different shades – a lighter and a darker – which is brilliant because having two shades in one small, compact allows us to get exactly the perfect color for our brows. And this product will also last a very long time.

The NYX pencil has the perfect small tip to draw on brow hairs or to fill in sparse areas of our brows or brow tails. And the Maybelline product tints our brows, holds them in place – and more importantly – is one of the few brow gels that actually covers white and grey brow hairs.

Eyeshadow Faves

Next up is eyeshadow. I’m including some neutral palettes as well as eyeshadow palettes whose color story just makes me smile. My smallest drugstore eyeshadow: Elf’s “I Love You a Latte” palette is comprised of all matte eyeshadows which are beautiful on mature eyes. These light to dark neutral colors work for just about all of us. And the quality is unbelievable for the $3.00 price tag. And this isn’t just a good palette for the price. It’s just a good palette, period.

My mid-range can’t do without eyeshadow choice is the “Warrior II” palette from Juvia’s Place. The size of the pans is huge – so this is a great value. Plus, there’s a very light color – and a deep color – and there are a number of mid-range options as well. And the lighter and darker orange shades offer a great way to add a touch of interest to a neutral eyeshadow look.

And my high-end neutral choice is Natasha Denona’s “Biba” Palette.  I love the fact that this palette has universally flattering neutral shades – including greys – which are primarily mattes, but also has three gorgeous metallics. Each row in the palette is grouped by color with the top row featuring rich brown shades, the middle row with wine and burgundy shades and the bottom row with blue-grey shades. And these are beautiful, buttery formulas.

My last can’t do without colorful drugstore palettes are two from Colourpop. The “Cabana Club” palette and the “In the Springs” palette. One of my all-time favorite colorful eyeshadow palettes is from Natasha Denona: her “Retro Glam” palette which I’m wearing in the video. This color story is so unusual, and the soft pinks and greens are gorgeous and wearable.

Mascara Stand-Outs

My top mascara choice is Doll 10’s Effortlash Mascara and Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes since they’re two of the few mascaras that don’t irritate my sensitive eyes. However, if I could wear a drugstore mascara, my choice would be L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise.

Face Primers Perfect for Dry Skin

My longest running favorite face primer is from makeup artist Eve Pearl – her Priming Moisturizer Treatment. It works beautifully under every foundation I’ve ever worn – which is truly saying something – and it’s wonderfully hydrating and feels soft and lovely on the face.

A face primer I’ve recently discovered that I won’t do without is the face primer from the clean beauty brand RMS Beauty: their Re-Evolve Radiance Locking Primer. This primer does exactly what the name says – it locks in radiance – and it’s also extremely moisturizing so it’s especially wonderful for dry skin.

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!

Favorite Foundations

I love the result I get when I combine the Catrice True Skin Foundation with L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Serum Foundation. The good coverage it provides – along with a soft glow – is a look I love on my dry, mature skin. And I won’t go without Wet and Wild’s Photo Focus Foundation in both the matte and dewy formulas because combining the two creates a lovely satin finish.

As for high end products, I have two clear-cut winners: one is the Light Reflecting Foundation from Nars and the other is Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Foundation which looks gorgeous on dry, mature skin. Of all the makeup products available, foundations definitely are the most complicated to formulate – and make the biggest difference in how we look. So, I do think it’s worth it to invest in one top notch foundation that we can use on special occasions.

Top Concealers and Contours

I didn’t have to think twice about my concealer choices. For under eye concealing, l use my Elf Hydrating Camo Concealer on a daily basis, but for special occasions I reach for my Kosas concealer because of the brightening effect it has. However, the concealer with the best coverage is my Clinique Even Better Concealer.

One way to test how well a concealer actually does conceal discoloration is to apply a little over the vein on the underside of the wrist. If you can’t see the color of the vein after applying the concealer, you’ve found a concealer with excellent coverage.

I have three contours that are definitely stand-outs for me. To make it to my all-time favorite list, a contour has to apply and blend incredibly easily, and all of these contours fit that description. One is Makeup Revolution’s Ultra Cream Bronzer which comes in four shades. And the other two contours are Em Cosmetics’ So Soft Bronze + Sculpt stick in “Terra” and Huda Beauty’s Tantour Contour and Bronzer Cream which is an outstanding product that comes in five true contour cool shades.

Top Notch Blushes and Highlighters

Our skin absolutely looks its best when we use the most flattering blush colors. And the most flattering blush colors are those colors that work the best with the undertone of our skin. (And if you’re not sure of the undertone of your skin, check out this video that will help you determine if you have a warm, cool or neutral skin undertone.)

The blushes I’ll repurchase have to be easy and foolproof to apply. My drugstore choice is Flower Beauty’s Blush Bomb gel blush. My other two long time favorites are Daniel Sandler’s gorgeous liquid watercolor blush and Rare Beauty’s Stay Vulnerable cream blush. Two new entries in this category are Makeup by Mario’s new cream blush – called Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil – and the new Nars After Glow Liquid Blush.

There are many really good highlighters at every price point, but two of my favorites are from the drugstore. One creates a soft glow and one creates a stronger glow. I love L’Oreal’s Lumi Glotion which comes in four shades and works beautifully under makeup, on top of makeup or mixed with makeup.

For a special occasion, I’ll often reach for Wet and Wild’s Megaglow Liquid Highlighter in “Halo, Goodbye.”  But if I had to pick just one highlighter, I’d choose RMS Beauty’s Luminizer in the shade “Magic.” It’s a stand-out because it creates a soft focus lit-from-within look which is especially gorgeous on mature skin.

Powder Perfection

An outstanding undereye setting powder is Maybelline’s Lasting Fix Banana Powder. And my go-to finishing powder is an all-time favorite that I’ve had for years: the Ambient Light Finishing Powder from Hourglass. It’s an absolute star in this category.

Lip Faves

Although I’m still mourning the loss of my favorite lip gloss from Huda Beauty, I do have a new favorite in this category from Lawless. This gloss comes in several different formulas. I love the feel of this gloss – and how it can transform the look of a lipstick.

I think we’d all agree that finding the right lipstick shade may be one of our toughest makeup challenges since in order for a lipstick to look its best on us, it has to once again work with the undertone of our skin. And many of us also need a lipstick that’s moisturizing.

Once again, my favorite lipstick was discontinued, and I’ve been trying out various combinations of colors and formulas, but I have yet to land on a combination that’s an absolute favorite. So, I’d love to know in the comment section below what some of your favorite lipsticks are.  

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are some of your drugstore “can’t do without” products? Do you have any high-end products that you’ll always repurchase? What are your favorite lipsticks?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I have one lipstick Covergirl 24 hr coverage #342 Brazen Raisin. get compliments on my lip color. But recently Covergirl did something to formula and it hasn’t stayed as before-I even wrote Coty…lol. But mascara is my weakness-Grande MD sems to be at the top and I am waiting for Mally’s Higher Love mascara to be restocked on QVc. This will become my favorite. Favorite eye liner: Stila’s black (aka stringray)…I love makeup products.Foundation IT Cosmetics CC also has SPF 50..thanks for concealer tips-one thing I haven’t found “the one:>”

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Angie–There’s nothing like a great mascara! So sorry to hear about the Covergirl lipstick formula change. Boy, that can be frustrating. Thanks so much for sharing your other makeup favorites as well!


Since we all should wear a good sunscreen when we walk outside, I’m wondering if any of these recommendations have a build in sunscreen? I’m not a person who wants to wear many different layers on my skin, so I want a sunscreen that also can be my moisturizer or my foundation.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Lin–Thanks for asking about this. Yes, sunscreen is certainly an essential for all of us. The L’Oreal Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation has a built in chemical SPF 50 sunscreen. The other foundations mentioned in the article/video do not have sunscreen.

Stephanie Bryant

Loose powder is the only kind of foundation/concealer I can use, other types shows my pores.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Stephanie–It sounds like you’ve found a product that works well for you which is great. If you ever do want to use a liquid foundation or concealer, one good option to help with covering up the look of pores is to use a face primer that’s specifically designed to cover pores just on the area where you have an issue with pores. This product would be applied before foundation or concealer. One really good one is Benefit’s Hydrating Porefessional Primer. (Or if you have oily skin, their Porefessional Primer that doesn’t have the word “hydrating” in the name).


My favourite expensive product is YSL Touche Éclat for dark circles under the eyes. I rarely use foundation now, just a primer to even out any redness and a tinted moisturiser with SP15, topped with translucent powder.

Most of my other makeup is budget to mid price brands. In Britain I buy mid price No 7 and budget priced Rimmel cosmetics. In Switzerland my budget buys are a German brand called Manhattan.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Linda–The YSL Touche Eclat is certainly a cult classic that works beautifully. There definitely are certain products that can be worth the splurge! And thanks so much for mentioning the other budget priced brands you love. No 7 is available at Target stores in the US and Rimmel at Walmart for those in the US who might want to check out these brands. I personally love Rimmel’s powder!


Rimmel eyebrow pencils, lip lining pencils and concealer are great budget buys. Manhattan is like a German version of Rimmel. I found a Rimmel shop in a side street on a visit to Venice about 4 years ago.
One of the main supermarket chains in Switzerland had the licence to sell No 7 when I first moved across here, then sadly they stopped selling it. I have to stock up on my visits home to Scotland, my favourite buys are Shield and Defend City Light Tinted Moisturiser and Extreme Length Mascara.

Another product I love is Body Shop Elderflower Eye Gel – I started using this product daily in 1986 when I was 25 and at 62 still have no lines under my eyes!

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.

You Might Also Like