10 Best Cheap Makeup Brands (that are so Good!)

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10 Best Cheap Makeup Brands (that are so Good!)

When it comes to makeup, I love saving money without losing quality. Some people hear the words “cheap” and “makeup” in the same sentence and want to steer clear of it. The concept of drugstore makeup is one that sometimes gets a bad rap.

I will be honest with you: there are some bad drugstore makeup products. But just because drugstore makeup is cheap, it doesn’t mean all of it is bad. 

In fact, I’ve written many articles looking at the best dupes for trending products, and affordable makeup products, because there are so many amazing ones that only cost a few dollars! 

Today I am sharing with you my top 10 cheap makeup brands.

With each brand, I will be highlighting a few of my favorite products, some distinct features of the brand, and why it makes this list. 

So if you have been looking for an affordable but trusted makeup brand, look no further. Let’s dive right into my top 10 favorite budget makeup brands!

Cheap makeup products to use when you are on a budget

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

NOTE: When I’m talking about CHEAP MAKEUP BRANDS and products, I mean it! The prices of the following brands and products are ranging from $3-$5-$10 and nothing costs more than $20!! I’m including in this list the BEST AFFORDABLE drugstore (and not drugstore) makeup brands I personally love that offer cheap prices without sacrificing QUALITY. Feel free to click on the products to check the current price.

#1 Elf Cosmetics

Elf is an American cosmetics brand that hasn’t actually been around for that long. It was founded in 2004 in Oakland, California, and has since become a drugstore staple. I like to think of Elf as the perfect representation of luxury products at an affordable price. But there are a few distinct features and amazing products that have landed this brand on my list. 

Distinct Features

  • Unique Style: One thing that sets Elf apart from other makeup brands is that it has a very unique style. While some drugstore brands try to hop on every trend, Elf doesn’t. Elf’s style has always been elegant and sophisticated, and no viral trend has gotten in the way of that. 
  • Vegan and Cruelty-Free: One concern that is often addressed in drugstore makeup brands is the fear of animal testing. Luckily, Elf is proudly vegan and cruelty-free. And if you want another bonus, all Elf products are hypoallergenic.

Favorite Products

The Camo CC Cream is one of my favorite Elf products. It comes in 20 different shades, and it provides medium to full coverage. It is also infused with Hyaluronic Acid that hydrates your skin, and it has SPF 30, to protect you against sun damage. It is also lightweight and lasts all day. You truly can’t beat this CC cream.

  • Complexion Perfection Brush Kit 4 Piece Set ($10-$15)

This amazing set comes with four different brushes which include: a blending brush, a contouring brush, and two concealer brushes. These brushes are 100% synthetic (so no animal hair is used) and they are professionally tested and designed. They are also soft, apply product smoothly, and are easy to clean!

And of course, I needed to add this truly amazing concealer to my favorite ELF products list!

This is my everyday concealer, is highly pigmented (almost as good as my other favorite tarte shape tape concealer) it doesn’t crease under my eyes and I just love the price!

#2 SheGlam Makeup

SheGlam makeup originates from Shein, a popular clothing company that is notorious for incredibly cheap and fun clothing. SheGlam began in 2019 and has been creating high-quality products at an affordable price ever since. 

Check my post: FULL FACE MAKEUP Tutorial only using SHEGLAM Products and my honest review about the brand!

Distinct Features

  • Driven by Customer Feedback: One quality that sets SheGlam apart from other cheap makeup brands is that it is driven by customer feedback. SheGlam sends out a survey every week to thousands of customers to improve their products. New products and new variations of products are entirely driven by customer data and feedback.
  • Trend-Setter: SheGlam is big on releasing new products. In fact, they release new products and collections every single month, which means you will always have something new to try!

Favorite Products

  • Dual Eyeliner

The first product I want to highlight is their dual eyeliner. This eyeliner pencil has two different tips for all of your eyeliner needs. It is also waterproof, and this pencil lasts up to ten hours (proven by a HOODED EYE GIRL!). Another bonus is that this eyeliner is made with botanicals that nourish and hydrate the skin. 

  • The Breeze Palette
Cheap makeup brand sheglam eyeshadow palette

SheGlam has a few eyeshadow palettes that have matte and metallic shades, but this one is my favorite. The colors are all rich, and they have a soft and blendable texture. You can wear one shade, or mix and match shades to create a variety of eye-catching looks! Without mentioning the incredible price!

  • Matte Allure Lipstick

This matte lipstick comes in a variety of bright red and subtle nude shades that are all gorgeous. All of the shades are highly pigmented, and they are also waterproof and they don’t dry out your lips, but feel hydrating and smooth instead.

#3 Makeup Revolution

Makeup Revolution was created in 2013 in an effort to create affordable beauty products for everyone. They are also one of the leaders in the “fast beauty” category, which is devoted to creating products for the latest trends quickly to market. 

Distinct Features

  • Upcycled Ingredients: Have you ever heard of upcycled ingredients being used in makeup before? One way that Makeup Revolution is unique to other brands is that it uses residual ingredients that might otherwise be thrown away, like the residual pulp from a fruit. One part of their mission is to make sure that ingredients aren’t wasted, which is exactly why they implemented upcycled ingredients.
  • Zero Retouch Policy: Another awesome feature of this company is that they do not retouch any of their photos on social media. Makeup Revolution is a big proponent of authentic beauty, and so they want to showcase their products without digital editing.

Favorite Products

  • Luxury Banana Powder

This face powder is one of the best loose powder foundations on the market. This powder will give you a beautiful and silky matte finish and does not leave your face looking ashy or white cast.

  • Conceal & Define Concealer

Revolution’s Conceal and Define Concealer is amazing if you are looking for a full-coverage concealer. It provides a matte finish, and it provides all-day coverage with built-in SPF protection.

  • Golden Sugar 2 Rose Gold Ultra Professional Blush Palette

You may know eyeshadow palettes, but did you know that there are blush palettes as well? This blush palette gives you a serious bang for your buck. It comes with all the tools to highlight and sculpt, and it has a variety of shades to suit every skin tone.

#4 Beauty Creations

Beauty Creations was founded in 2016 by Esmeralda Hernandez, who was raised by a single mother and started working at 15 years old. Now the company centers on creating products that anyone can afford.

Distinct Features

  • Bold Colors: Beauty Creations is best known for its eyeshadow palettes (I will share a couple of my favorites below), specifically its use of bold and daring colors. They have a wide variety of palettes and promise that everyone will find one to fit their specific tastes.
  • Free Samples: How many companies still give out free samples? Beauty Creations is one of them. They want everyone to have a foundation that perfectly matches their skin tone, so they offer four free foundation samples that you can grab on their website.

Favorite Products

  • ESMERALDA II Eyeshadow Palette ($10-$15 or $45-$50 if you want the set)

This eyeshadow palette is inspired by the founder herself! It comes with 15 shades that include both matte and shimmer. You can also purchase both versions (Esmeralda I and II) together if you want the founder’s full line of stunning shades.

  • Olivia Color Pro Palette ($15-$20)

The Olivia Eyeshadow palette is one of Beauty Creation’s most popular palettes, and rightfully so. It includes 35 matte and shimmer shades that are lightweight and blend beautifully. 

  • Peach Setting Spray

Beauty Creations does not just have eyeshadow palettes. Another popular item is their setting spray. They have four different scents, but the most popular scent is the peach spray linked above. Not only does it smell amazing, but it sets makeup firmly in place and lasts for the entire day.

#5 BH Cosmetics

BH Cosmetics was founded in 2009 as an eyeshadow palette company. They have since expanded to entire makeup lines. If you ever wondered what the BH stands for, it is “Be Heard,” because the company wants every voice to be heard and have an influence on its products. 

Distinct Features

  • Collaborations: One unique feature of BH Cosmetics is that many of its products are created with popular influencers. The company aims to create products that will be loved by the Gen Z generation, which is why they have a plethora of collaborations.
  •  Emphasis on Experimentation: Another feature of BH Cosmetics is that they love to experiment, and encourage their customers to do the same. They keep costs low because they want to allow customers to take risks in their makeup, and try something new. They also experiment with their own products, like creating a double-sided eyeshadow palette. 

Favorite Products

  • Take Me Back to Brazil Eyeshadow Palette

This eyeshadow palette is one of BH Cosmetics’ most popular products. It comes with 35 bright and exciting matte shades. Each shade is highly pigmented, waterproof, and long-lasting.

  • Galaxy Chic Eyeshadow Palette

If you are looking for a statement piece in an eyeshadow palette, this palette is the one for you. Each shade is inspired by a different planet, and I can guarantee you, it will be hard to use them because they are so pretty to stare at. This palette also comes with a built-in mirror.

  • Sculpt and Blend 2 Brush Set, 10 Count

This 10 brush set will provide you with every brush you could ever need. Each brush is specifically designed with a purpose and is designed to use with virtually any product. With this set only costing around $20, it is a steal for the number of brushes you receive.

#6 Covergirl

Covergirl is an American company founded in 1961. Since then, the company has been well-known for its affordable products that are still high-quality.

Distinct Features

  • Their Own Store: While many drugstore brands are sold in other retail stores, Covergirl has begun branching into having its own stores. The first store opened in New York City, and the company hopes to expand into more areas soon.
  • Biggest Cruelty-Free Company: In 2018, Covergirl became the largest makeup company to be certified as completely cruelty-free. They continue to hold this title today.

Favorite Products

  • Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Defying Foundation with SPF 28

Covergirl partnered with Olay to create a series of foundations that are good for your skin. This foundation is amazing for full coverage that is made with Hyaluronic Complex and Vitamin C, which are both amazing for your skin.

  • Lash Blast Mascara

This mascara is one of Covergirl’s best-selling products. It gives your lashes a huge volume boost, and it is free of smudging or clumping. 

  • Outlast All-Day Lip Color

This is also one of Covergirl’s most popular products for its dual-action formula. This lipstick comes with the color, but it also comes with a unique topcoat to lock the color in place and avoid smearing or smudging. 

#7 Wet n’ Wild

When you think of drugstore makeup, Wet n’ Wild is probably one of the first brands that come to mind. While it has come to get a bad rap for its extremely cheap prices, there are a few products that are high-quality and extremely effective.

Distinct Features

  • Inclusive: Wet n’ Wild is big on inclusivity. One of their slogans is “no matter who or where you are in life, we have a product for you!” They have a huge emphasis on creating products for all skin tones and making them affordable and accessible for everyone.
  • #1 Value Brand in America: That’s right. Wet n’ Wild is labeled the #1 value brand in America because of its extremely affordable prices. 

Favorite Products

  • Photofocus Foundation

This foundation is one of Wet n’ Wild’s most popular products because of its comparison to the Luminous Silk foundation stick. This foundation prevents the common white cast in photos so that you will look flawless in every picture.

Related Makeup post: The 12 Drugstore Foundations Dupes (You will love!)

  • MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick

This matte lipstick is a steal for how affordable it is. It is a long-lasting lipstick that is filled with nourishing vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, shea butter, and sunflower oil. 

  • Color Icon Eyeshadow 10 Pan Palette Not a Basic Peach

This matte and shimmer combination palette has an assortment of red hues, and then a pop of color with a turquoise shade. These 10 shades are all highly pigmented and silky smooth.

#8 Essence 

Essence was founded in 2001 in Germany and puts an emphasis on fun products. While they are best known for their mascara line, they have an assortment of other amazing makeup products as well.

Distinct Features

  • Manufactured at Home: While many companies outsource their manufacturing to China, 95% of Essence products are made and manufactured in Europe, where the company is located.
  • Minimal Advertising: If you have ever wondered why you have never seen an Essence ad on TV, it is because they do not invest a lot of money in advertisement. Instead, they state that the money they would use for ads and endorsements, they instead put towards offering high-quality products at a low price.

Favorite Products

  • Lash Princess False Lash Mascara ($5-$10)

This is the #1 best-selling Essence product because of its amazing ability to create the look of false lashes without any glue involved. This mascara has incredible volumizing effects and lasts all day long.

  • Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel

This eyebrow gel sculpts and fills your brows to give the illusion of thicker brows. It also sets your brows firmly in place and it still retains a natural brow look. 

#9 Milani

Milani was founded in East LA in 2001. The founders were inspired by the melting pot of people in LA and wanted to create a makeup line that anyone could use. 

Distinct Features

  • Luxury Look: Let’s face it, some luxury brands just look cheap. Not Milani. All of Milani’s products have a high-end luxury look, from the packaging to the product itself. 
  • Beauty is For Everyone: As seen in their slogan, Milani believes in inclusive beauty for everyone, no matter your ethnicity, background, or income. They consider themselves a judgment-free company that does not look to couture models for inspiration, but to the real people that buy their products.

Favorite Products

  • Rose Powder Blush

You will not want to use this blush because of its gorgeous rose design. This pigment-rich blush will give your cheeks a beautiful pop of color, and it has been trending on Pinterest for how beautiful it looks. 

  • Color Statement Lipstick

This rich lipstick comes in 15 different shades, each with an empowering message for a name. It is also long-lasting and does not smudge or fade with wear.

  • Stellar Lights Highlighter Palette

This highlighter palette with three shimmery shades is absolutely gorgeous, and a must-have if you love to highlight. It is extremely blendable, and there are no chunks of glitter, but an even spread of shimmer across your face. 

#10 Maybelline

Maybelline was founded in 1915 and is the oldest company on my list. Since it has been around for over 100 years, they have done a lot to influence and shape the makeup industry. Today, they continue to be one of the leaders in budget-friendly makeup. 

Distinct Features

  • High-Fashion Reputation: One quality that is unique to the Maybelline brand is how respected it is. For many high-fashion events, Maybelline is represented alongside products that are three times the price. For example, they were a part of New York Fashion Week last year!
  • International Presence: Another thing that sets Maybelline apart is that it has a strong international presence. Their products are available in 120 countries worldwide.  

Favorite Products

  • Baby Skin Pore Eraser

This primer has been around for over ten years and is still one of the best primers on the market. It is perfect to blur pores without clogging them and remove fine lines while hydrating your skin.

  • New York Tattoo Studio Eyeliner

This eyeliner pencil is waterproof and comes in several different shades. It lasts for over 24 hours, and it is smudge-resistant.

  • Color Tattoo Eyeshadow

This eyeshadow advertises for 24-hour use, and it delivers. Customers love that this eyeshadow stays in place for the entire day, and it retains its color. It is also waterproof and comes in both neutral and bold shades. 

Final Thougths on the Best Cheap Makeup Brands

As you can see, cheap makeup does not always mean bad or even low-quality makeup. In fact, you will find many amazing products for a fraction of the high-end price. So the next time that you are looking for a new product, don’t ignore these affordable makeup brands. Trust me, you will not regret it!

Related Makeup Posts:
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What’s the REAL difference between Drugstore vs High end makeup?
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10 Best Cheap Makeup Brands (that are so Good!)

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