All products featured on Squeaky Deals are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, Squeaky Deals may earn an affiliate commission.
We’re back with our Beauty School Dropout series and excited to share drugstore beauty that beats high end counterparts. It’s no secret that drugstore beauty has undergone quite the overhaul in recent years. The push to provide high quality, lasting makeup at affordable prices has resonated with consumers in a way that the beauty industry was not expecting. For decades, customers have been fooled into believing that the higher the price tag, the better the wear, but now, customers and brands are waking up to the myth that feeling and looking good should cost more.
Drugstore Makeup Better Than High End
Thanks to Walgreens, Target, Ulta and other retailers who have given their health and beauty departments an overhaul to expand brands, products and price points, consumers are finally getting the department store treatment at everyday low prices. Here are some of our personal favorite drugstore makeup finds as well as those given the internet’s seal of approval.
Power Grip Primer by e.l.f. retails for $10 at amazon.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Hydro Grip Primer by Milk Makeup retails for $25.49 at amazon.com.
Real Review: “Works great, keeps my makeup on, doesn’t look patchy or react weird with my foundation and most importantly doesn’t break my skin out.” - Cheyann, Amazon customer
Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator Skin Veil by Wet n Wild retails for $4.98 at amazon.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint by Fenty Beauty retails for $32 at fentybeauty.com.
Real Review: “I was searching for a new bb/cc cream and saw this at Target for only $5 and purchased the Light Medium shade. I only used the product once before I went on Amazon to buy another! I love the feel and look of it! Super light weight, but also has a smooth covered finish. I have weird combination skin and have yellow undertones and this works beautifully for me in that shade. I prefer it over foundation now because it doesn’t look cakey! I set with powder and it holds really well! Will be purchasing more!” - Jennifer Nguyen, Amazon customer
Lifter Gloss Hydrating Lip Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid by Maybelline retails for $7.48 at amazon.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer by Fenty Beauty retails for $20 at fentybeauty.com.
Real Review: “This is the best drugstore lipgloss on the market. It’s akin to high end glosses and Moon is almost an exact dupe for Fenty Glow (the original first one, which I have actually and was able to compare). The color is a smidge less pink but it’s absolutely passable. Same glitter, same shine, though the Fenty is a bit thicker and has an obvious scent and flavor to it that this gloss doesn’t have. If you want the Fenty Glow and don’t want to shell out the cash, get Moon instead. You’ll won’t miss anything with the Fenty and this one is larger.” - TickTockAlice, Amazon customer
Instant Age Rewind Instant Perfector 4-In-1 Glow Makeup by Maybelline retails for $12.99 at ulta.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Hollywood Flawless Filter by Charlotte Tilbury retails for $44 at sephora.com.
Real Review: “I am sooo happy I picked this up! It has been such a game changer for me in the mornings when I don't have a lot of time to do my makeup. The lightest shade is a tad too dark for me but the undertone is PERFECT so I blend it in with my SPF and make my own little tinted moisturizer! It covers up my redness, brings luminosity to my skin, lasts all day, and has an excellent price point. I will definitely continue to purchase and wear.” - della_e4, Ulta customer
Volume Booster Lash Primer Mascara by Essence Cosmetics retails for $4.99 at amazon.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Cils Booster XL Thickening Mascara Primer by Lancôme retails for $28 at ulta.com.
Real Review: “First off. I love that this is a vegan beauty product. Second. I love that it was less than $5. Here are some tips to love it more: let it dry before adding your mascara, if i apply mascara right away it doesn't look as drastic. Apply to the top and bottom of upper lashes to coat them from each side. Apply to your bottom lashes, when your top is this drastic looking you want a little on the bottom. This stuff will make your mascara stay in place all day so get a good makeup remover.” - Lola, Amazon customer
Mosaic Blush in The Berry Connection by Essence Cosmetics retails for $4.99 at ulta.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Backstage Rosy Glow Blush by Dior retails for $39 at dior.com.
Real Review: “Love this product! Glad I didn't wait around for the Dior to come into stock. The price is great and it's a pretty color to layer over my liquid blush. It's worth a try and the cost is great!” - Jessie, Ulta customer
Baked Blush in Luminoso by Milani retails for $7.97 at amazon.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Blush in Orgasm by NARS retails for $32 at narscosmetics.com.
Real Review: “I think Luminoso is the perfect blush for many skin tones. I was worried it was going to be too coral but it’s just perfect. To help anyone, I have light skin (more on the fair side) with pink undertones. People have compared this shade to Nars **gasm shade and so I have a side by side comparison of the two on my skin tone. To me the Nars shade is much more pink and between the two I definitely prefer Luminoso. It applies easily (use a light hand) and blends out great. If you are thinking about trying this shade just do it, you will love it there’s a reason it’s so well liked.” - Bailey Boo, Amazon customer
Lash Paradise Mascara by L’Oreal Paris retails for $7.59 at amazon.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced retails for $25 at amazon.com.
Real Review: “Since getting this mascara, I have wondered why I did not discover it earlier. I am not being paid to write this. I am 53 years old and have used many a mascara in my life. It is simply the best, best product I have ever used!! It gets every single lash on the first try. It literally builds them with the brush on the first coat. I have called so many friends letting them know-this is the ONE, Amazing product!” - Barbara Lynne, Amazon customer
Infallible Full Wear Waterproof Concealer by L’Oréal retails for $13.99 at ulta.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Shape Tape Concealer by Tarte retails for $30 at ulta.com.
Real Review: “I was using TooFaced and Tarte concealer and wanted to try a cheaper option, and this works great! I'll stick to using this brand and save some money.” - Andrea, Ulta customer
Brow Lift by e.l.f. retails for $6 at ulta.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Brow Freeze Styling Wax by Anastasia Beverly Hills retails for $23 at ulta.com.
Real Review: “I don't have anything bad to say about this product! It does the trick and is such a great dupe for the high end version. I love to set my brows in place I just prefer a softer look. This had a little too much shine for my liking. So if you like the freeze brow kinda shine look grab this! You cant beat it!” - JorieJae, e.l.f. customer
Mirco Brow Pencil by NYX Professional Makeup retails for $8.78 at amazon.com.
Drugstore Dupe For: Brow Wiz Ultra-Slim Retractable Brow Pencil by Anastasia Beverly Hills retails for $23 at ulta.com.
Real Review: “NYX is my absolute favorite when it comes to brow products. I’ve tried so many brow products and they’re always either too creamy or too dry. The formula for this product is just perfect for both natural and dramatic looks. And the tips stay so precise throughout use. Some tips: be conscious of what cap you’re putting into what end and make sure to roll down the pencil before capping it again. Pics include with one eyebrow done and then with both brows done.” - Jolly, Amazon customer