Ballin’ on a Budget

illustration shows a woman putting blush on
Photo credit: Kiv Bui

In the beauty world there are so many products that are trending, however, not all of them are considered affordable. Here are some holy grail makeup alternatives to achieve a full face look with high-end quality that don’t break the bank.

Starting off with a great base, priming the face is a must. The Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser ranges anywhere between $5 to $7 depending on where you purchase the product. When applying your primer, remember to focus it on the T-zone of the face and gently push it into the skin with your fingers, then simply apply it to the rest of your face.

Foundation

Usually one’s skin type determines what type of foundation is the right pick. The L.A. Girl Pro Coverage HD Longwear Illuminating Foundation is an amazing foundation that you can customize the coverage from light to full.

When finding the right shade of foundation, make sure the shade matches your neck, not your arms. Choose between a damp beauty sponge for light to medium coverage or a flat top kabuki brush for medium to full coverage for application. The foundation ranges from $7 to $11 based on the purchase location.

Concealer

This should be a couple shades lighter than the foundation and shouldn’t crease under the eyes. An alternative is the Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer and the price costs $5 to $7. Concealer is mainly applied under the eyes in an upside down triangle shape and on the center of the forehead, tip of the nose, cupid’s bow, and chin. Blend the concealed areas with a damp sponge or small stippling brush.

For setting the face, the Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder has been trending as an affordable dupe in comparison to many high end powders and only costs about $6 at Walmart. The powder does not cling on to dry patches or areas of the face and it helps to achieve a flawless finish.

Eyebrows and Eyeshadows

Moving on to the brows, for only $4, the Elf Cosmetics Lock on Liner and Brow Cream has great color payoff . Apply the brow cream with a small thin angled brush by drawing hairlike strokes for a more natural look.

The BH Cosmetics collaboration with Carli Bybel on a Deluxe Edition 21 Color Eyeshadow & Highlighter Palette for $22.50 is a great two in one option. The eyeshadows and highlighters have great blendability and pigmentation. During eyeshadow application start with a transition shade in the crease of the eye and blend in circular and windshield wiper motions going back and forth.

Start with a small amount of eye shadow and then build up the color gradually. Use fluffy domed brushes instead of dense brushes when blending. For the shimmer shades, use a flat synthetic brush, dampen it, dip it into the shimmer and then apply it to the lid in a patting motion. When highlighting the face, use either a fan brush or a small tapered brush. Blend the highlighter on the high points of your cheekbones for a nice glow.

Contour

Go with the NYX Professional Makeup Matte Bronzer which costs $8.99 at Ulta Beauty. It comes in a compact powder form and has such a well pigmented and blendable consistency that doesn’t get patchy. One recommendation would be to use a medium size angled brush for contouring to help achieve to look.

Lipstick

For lips, spend about $3 at Target for Wet n Wild’s Megalast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick. It is basically a liquid lipstick with a cruelty free formula and a doe foot applicator. The longevity of the lipstick is unbelievable and creaminess dries to a nice matte finish on the lips. Prior to wearing such kind of lipstick, remember to exfoliate and moisturize your lips for a more smooth appearance.

Mascara

Lastly, the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara sold at Target for about $6 completes the look. The mascara brush separates the lashes and evenly distributes the product nicely. It adds volume and length to your lashes giving an almost false lash look.