Beauty on a Budgdet

It is so nice to be home for a week on spring break! However, there is still a blog post that needs to be written, so here I am. Today’s post is going to be something a little different. For the most part, I am a lifestyle blogger- meaning I write a blog about life and my experiences and other things. However, today, I am going to become a little more of a beauty blogger. Some of you may know that I have a decently extensive makeup collection, but I don’t pay a lot for my makeup. So today, I’m going to give some brands/products that I love that won’t break the bank. As a college student with a part-time job, this allows me to still wear nice makeup without forking over my entire paycheck to do so.

First of all, I shop at places I can find discounts, coupons, or great deals. My list of places include Ulta beauty (become a member if you can. It’s totally free, you get frequent coupons, and a free reward for your birthday), Walmart, Dollar Tree (everything is a dollar! Win!), and Five Below (where everything is $5 or less). There is quality makeup out there that does not require a price tag that makes you wonder if it’s really worth it. That’s what I look for, and that’s what I use.


  • With eyeshadow palettes sweeping across the nation, it’s hard not to get caught up in the craze. I have a couple decent palettes, none of which are name brands, but still do just as good a job. The first one is L.A. COLORS® Little Black Book of Eyeshadows. I got this at the Dollar Tree. Granted, it’s not super huge, but I definitely get a lot of use out of the colors. I got the “Glam” one, so it’s pinks, purples, and greens. This is most of the colors that I wear on a regular basis since these colors look really good with green eyes. It is a really smooth formula, and it lasts through a lot. Also, these colors are really easy to blend with each other, so you can create a lot more looks!
  • The second palette that I have I got at Five Below. It’s Beauty Treats® Glitter palette. I have discovered that this is better as an accent rather than just regular eyeshadow. Since it’s glitter, it is a little harder to apply and does not cover as much. Also, shedding sparkles the whole day can be a real issue. I still enjoy this palette, but it is probably not something I will use as much because it works better as an accent. (I got it for $4).


  • Eyeliner is one of the staples in my arsenal of makeup. There are so many ways to wear it, and so many colors to try. Probably my favorite eyeliner is NYX Professional Makeup Retractable Eyeliner. I feel like I won’t be able to say enough about this. Ulta Beauty sells them for $4.99 each, and there are 13 colors! (Check them out here). These are so precise and go on so smoothly! The colors are pretty genuine too. I have multiple of these, but I want to focus on the white one in particular. As you may know, I am pretty pale. I do not wear a lot of white, because I feel it sometimes washes me out. However, this white eyeliner is not only visible on my eyes, but it makes my eyes look bigger. I seriously cannot recommend this enough!
  • Nevertheless, if you’re a more felt tip kind of person instead of a mechanical kind of person, I have a product for you! I use Essence Eyeliner Pens when I want a black winged eyeliner. Ulta is one of the only stores that carries this brand, but that doesn’t mean that because they are exclusive that they are expensive. They sell for about $2.99 apiece, and the quality is great. Most of them are waterproof as well, but they still go on smooth and come off easily with makeup remover.
  • Both of these brands are cruelty free (if that’s important to you), and I will talk about more of both of their products!


  • I have naturally long eyelashes, so there is not too much of a need for me to wear mascara. That being said, I still enjoy wearing it because it completes my look. If you want a mascara that provides excellent volume, look no further than L’Oréal Voluminous mascara. Comparatively, this is one of the more expensive items on my list, but you can find it at Walmart for $5.84 (Get it here). The formula is thick but not super clumpy. It definitely allows for extra volume, but doesn’t hurt your budget.
  • Back to Essence. They also have my favorite waterproof mascara. It is their Get Big! Lashes volume boost Waterproof. Ulta sells it for $3.99 (buy it here). The formula, though waterproof, is not thick at all, so it is really easy to feel like you’re not wearing any mascara at all, while still getting the look you want.
  • If you have a little more to spend, I also really like Mary Kay mascara, which runs about $15 apiece. It’s a thin formula, but it’s not runny or clumpy. However, if you’re tight on money or just starting out, maybe go with the cheaper options first.


  • I need to provide a disclaimer. I don’t wear a lot of lipstick, so I’m not as well-versed in this area. However, that being said, I do have a couple brands that I really like. The first is Wet n Wild. I got this at the Dollar Tree ($1). It’s super smooth, and actually feels more like chapstick than a tube of lipstick. I have a habit of licking my lips when they’re dry (even when I’m wearing lipstick), and I don’t have to do that with this on.
  • The second is NYX. This is probably one of my favorite brands of makeup if you haven’t noticed, so there shouldn’t be much surprise that I love their lipsticks as well. I have two kinds of lipstick that I use from them. The first is their Matte Lipstick. This is easy to use and the color is bright. Ulta sells it for $5.99 (I have the Eden color. You can get it or check out the other colors here). There is one downside though. This leaves my lips really dry, so I’m left either licking my lips or putting chapstick on, which transfers the color to the chapstick. So, for this, I would recommend putting on some sort of lasting moisturizing chapstick or lip balm. The other lipstick I like is the Soft Matte Lip Cream, which Ulta has available for $6.50 (I have Copenhagen and you can purchase here or check out the other colors). While this one is a lot softer on my lips than the Matte Lipstick, the color is not as vibrant. My recommendation is either to put on multiple layers of one color, or use it as a layering piece to get a color closer to what you want.

Other facial products:

  • Primer- I use E.L.F Illuminating Face Primer, but Walmart carries other options as well. They all sell for $6 each, but you only need a little bit at a time. These are pump bottles, so usually one to one and a half pumps covers my whole face.
  • Concealer- I use two types of concealer. The first is NYX (back on NYX) Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand. (Ulta- $4.99 here). I use the green to counter any red spots on my face. At least for this, you only need a small amount. It spreads so easily and covers so much. Then, to provide a surface closer to the color of my actual skin, I dab a little bit from Maybelline Cover Stick, which looks like a nude tube of lipstick (Walmart- $4.94 here). Both of these are more for spot correcting rather than whole face, and I am looking for a whole face one. I’ve looked into multiple, but I have yet to settle on one I want. (I’m always looking for suggestions though).
  • Foundation- When I use foundation, I use Rimmel’s Match Perfection. (Walmart sells it for $4.97 from here) I’m pale, so I use the Classic Ivory Color (it’s darker than you think though). It moisturizes, is infused with sunscreen, helps minimize pores, and smells amazing. Smell should not really be a selling point, but in this case, it is to me. I don’t want to wear makeup that leaves me smelling weird, so I like that it smells good.

Nail Polish:

  • So nail polish can get really expensive after a while. You’ve probably heard of brands like O.P.I., Sinful Colors, or Essie, so I’m not going to talk about those. Instead, I’m going to talk about some cheaper brands that I love. Another trend that has been everywhere recently has been gel nail polish. It’s supposed to last longer, but it can also get a lot more expensive. So if you’re wanting more of a gel style without the gel price, Essence The Gel Nail Polish has you covered. Like the other Essence products on this list, they’re cheap, cruelty free, and excellent quality. Ulta sells these nail polishes for $1.99 apiece. This is a much smaller line (Ulta currently has 9 colors- check them out here), but these are incredible. I absolutely love the dark purple and gray especially.
  • The other brand of nail polish I like is Funky Fingers, which are $2 from Five Below. The colors are super vibrant, and they don’t flake off as easily as some other cheap nail polish. The formula is a little thicker, so take that into account, but that usually means that less coats need to be applied.

In closing, I hope these suggestions help. However, beauty is about finding what works for you and what you like to wear. I know some people who will swear by only the more expensive brands and won’t try the cheap stuff. That’s great for them, but not everyone has that kind of money to spend on makeup. I hope you learned something about makeup that is out there. If I’m doing a full face of makeup, it takes me about 15 minutes, and I’m not putting $100 worth of product on my face. I would love to hear any other suggestions from you or any stories that you have about any type of makeup!

Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments!



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