A Professional Makeup Artist Says These Drugstore Makeup Products Outperform Their Expensive, Luxury Counterparts

Photo: Stocksy / Studio Marmellata
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As any beauty lover knows, putting together a full face of makeup can get really expensive. And while pros will tell you that certain products—like a perfectly matched foundation or a creamy lipstick you'll wear every day—are worth splurging on, there are plenty of spots in your routine you can save on. These days, there are a slew of great products in every category available at the drugstore (yes, even foundation and concealer), and professional makeup artist Janelle Mariss revealed some of her favorites in a recent TikTok video.

"As a professional makeup artist, I'm going to share with you drugstore makeup that performs just as good if not better than high-end makeup," says Mariss in the video. "These are the best of the best products."

Not a single one of her picks will run you more than $25 (and many of them actually cost less than $10), which means you can easily put together an entire routine (and then some) for under $100. While some of them, like e.l.f.'s primers and L'Oréal's foundations, are fan favorites, others, like the No. 7 Illuminating Powder and Kokie Cosmetics Blush, are under-the-radar dupes for far pricier products.

Mariss' list includes options for all skin types and complexion concerns, so you can choose exactly what you need to create your own wallet-friendly face—whether that means going for a "no-makeup makeup" look or going full glam. Keep scrolling to shop for yourself.

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Maybelline Total Temptation Brow Definer Pencil
Maybelline Total Temptation Brow Definer Pencil — $8.00

This is Mariss’ favorite brow pencil at the moment. It features a teardrop-shaped tip to fill and define your brows and a spoolie brush to help you fluff them out, delivering a softly defined, natural-looking brow.

e.l.f Power Grip Primer
e.l.f Power Grip Primer — $10.00

“The e.l.f Power Grip Primer is the best primer at the drugstore right now,” says Mariss. It has a gel texture that grips onto makeup, holding it in place all day long. Plus, it contains hyaluronic acid to moisturize and plump the skin.

e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer
e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer — $9.00

“If you have a lot of texture and you’re oily I recommend the e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer,” she says. It provides a smooth, velvety base and is made with squalene for optimal hydration.

Versed Mood Lighting Glow Drops
Versed Mood Lighting Glow Drops — $18.00

“A good alternative to the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter is the Versed Mood Lighting Glow Drops,” says Mariss. “You can use it on its own, or I like to mix it with my SPF. It gives a nice all-over glow.”

L'Oreal True Match Nude Tinted Serum
L'Oréal True Match Nude Tinted Serum — $20.00

“My favorite base product is the L’Oréal True Match Nude Tinted Serum,” says Mariss. “I love this better than any high-end foundation that I own at the moment.” It features hyaluronic acid and luminous mineral pigments to instantly make your skin appear plump and glowy.

e.l.f. Camo CC Cream
e.l.f. Camo CC Cream — $13.00

“If you need something with a little bit more coverage I highly recommend the e.l.f. Camo CC cream,” she says. It provides medium-to-full coverage with a natural finish. Plus, it’s formulated with SPF 30 to help protect against sun damage.

NYX Bare With Me Concealer
NYX Bare With Me Concealer — $11.00

“The NYX Bare With Me Concealer is my favorite concealer at the drugstore,” she says. “It goes so smooth under the eye, doesn’t crease, and it has a nice natural finish.”

Revlon Colorstay Skin Awaken 5-in-1 Concealer
Revlon Colorstay Skin Awaken 5-in-1 Concealer — $12.00

Mariss likes to use this concealer from Revlon in a color that’s a few shades deeper than her skin tone to contour her face. “It melts into the skin and doesn’t look heavy,” she says.

e.l.f. Putty Blush
e.l.f. Putty Blush — $7.00

“I absolutely love the e.l.f. Putty Blush is in the shade Bora Bora,” which is a hot pink, says Mariss. It’s also available in other fun summery shades like coral.”

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter
ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter — $8.00

“ColourPop Super Shock cheek in wisp is my favorite champagne highlight,” says Mariss. “It has a nice cream-to-powder finish.”

L'Oreal Hydra Perfecte
L'Oreal Hydra Perfecte — $9.00

“L’Oréal Hydra Perfecte powder is almost as good as my Hourglass loose powder,” says Mariss. The biggest difference? It’s one-fifth of the price.

Maybelline Master Fix
Maybelline Master Fix — $4.00

“Before I start my under eyes I like to spray with my favorite setting spray Maybelline Master Fix,” she says. “It’s literally favorite even compared to high-end ones.”

No7 Lift & Illuminate Powder
No7 Lift & Illuminate Powder — $13.00

“The No7 Lift & Illuminate Powder in a darker shade makes the perfect bronzer,” she says. “It smooths out the skin and doesn’t go on patchy. I’ve heard some people say this is a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury bronzer.”

Kokie Professional Soft Gradient Blush
Kokie Professional Soft Gradient Blush — $8.00

“Kokie cosmetics blush in the shade heartthrob is my favorite blush of all time,” she says. “It’s so smoothing and pigmented and stays put all-day.”

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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