Holy Grail Drugstore Products: Makeup Edition!


Makeup addicts are well aware of a not-so-little secret…a product doesn’t have to be expensive to be amazing. The beauty aisle at the drugstore is full of stellar budget-friendly products – some that are even better than comparable items that are ten times the price. I’ve spent years experimenting with different drugstore makeup products, and listed below are the hidden gems I can’t get enough of. The items I find myself finishing and buying again and again; my holy grail drugstore products. Check them out below and let us know what you’re top drugstore finds are on Pampadour!

Milani Luminoso

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso is a product you’ve probably heard about in YouTube beauty videos. What’s so spectacular about this inconspicuous peach blush? First, it’s a shade that flatters a majority of skin tones. It’s that perfect, natural hint of color. I love using it during the day to give a little hint of color to my cheeks. It’s also ideal when the rest of your look is bold – love to pair it with an intense smoky eye. It doesn’t compete with the other aspects of your look. I can’t say enough good things about it – it’s the only blush I consistently finish.

Maybelline Color Tattoo

I bought Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige on a whim. I wanted a subtle color I could wear to the beach on vacation that wouldn’t look like I was wearing intense eye makeup. It’s a fantastic daily eye base. Bad to the Bronze is even better. I find myself reaching for this eye product more than anything else I own. It’s just so easy. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to think of an intricate eyeshadow look and blend, blend, blend until it all comes together. This is one product that I apply with my fingers on my lid, and, voilà, I have a pretty, evening eye look. I always get compliments on my shimmery, metallic eye when I wear this Color Tattoo. If only they knew it took me approximately thirty seconds to create!

LOreal Gel Liner

L’Oreal Infallible Gel Liner in Blackest Black is my favorite gel liner out there. To be completely honest, gel liner is one of those products I would never consider splurging on. Like mascara, it dries out way too quickly to justify spending more than twenty dollars on. The L’Oreal liner is the best drugstore gel I’ve ever used – the pot lasts a surprisingly long time, the liner doesn’t smudge all night and the black is a truly dark jet black. The only thing I would say is that the brush it comes with is not the best; I prefer using my own angled liner brush (like this E.L.F one)  for a more precise line.


When Wet n Wild MegaLast Lipsticks are on sale (which is often), you can literally grab one for about a dollar. Now that is a bargain! For that price, I wouldn’t even care if these only lasted me a week, but they’re actually pretty great. They live up to the name – they really stay put on your lips, especially the more vivid colors. Minimal touch-ups are required. Also, they aren’t drying – something I absolutely cannot stand when it comes to lipstick. Shown above are my three favorite colors: Stoplight Red, Don’t Blink Pink and Just Peachy. It’s definitely worth picking up one, two or ten of these!

Maybelline Lipsticks

If you’ve never tried a Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick, run, don’t walk, to your local drugstore and pick one up now. Where to begin?! These are the most comfortable lipsticks I’ve ever worn. They are so creamy and moisturizing, but the color somehow lasts a very long time. There are dozens and dozens of colors to choose from, from nudes to brights to deep, vampy shades. Shown above are three of my all-time faves, from left to right: Make Me Pink, Blushing Bride and Vibrant Mandarin. Vibrant Mandarin, an almost-neon red-orange, is my go-to summer lip color. The finish – a creamy almost-matte – flatters almost everyone; it isn’t too severe. The only possible downside to these lippies, is that they have a sweet, vanilla-like scent. I personally love it, but I know many people prefer their lipsticks to be unscented. If that doesn’t bother you, try one of these creamy lippies ASAP!

ELF Bronzer

Before I discovered E.L.F’s Golden Bronzer, I would spend upwards of $40 on NARS’ Laguna. Safe to say, my wallet is very thankful for my discovery!! The ELF one is literally 1/13th of the price, and I honestly prefer it. It’s not too orange or too dark; it gives me a sun-kissed look without looking too fake, shimmery or heavy. I apply it with a kabuki brush (love my soft EcoTools one!) and a light hand, adding more if I need to. ELF, as a whole, is an incredible drugstore brand. I’m so impressed by the quality of their products considering just how inexpensive they are.

LOreal Carbon Black

I tend to refrain from buying full-sized mascaras. They dry out so quickly that I rather buy travel-sized versions that last me about two months. The one exception to my mascara rule is L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara. My friend @GlamSetGo recommended it to me a few months ago, and I’m truly hooked. It makes me lashes long, fluttery, full and jet black, all in one swipe. It’s the only mascara that gives me absolutely no clumps. I can’t say enough about this incredible product!! (To master the technique of flawlessly applying mascara, check out this blog post!)

What are your holy grail drugstore makeup picks? Let us know in the comments below and on PAMPADOUR.COM!