$50 for one tiny bottle of foundation? AND it made you break out still? No thank you!
If spending a lot of money on makeup isn’t your thing, you’re not alone. Lucky for us budget-nistas, there are tons of affordable makeup options out there these days.
We know what you’re thinking. But if it’s cheaper, isn’t it worse for my skin? Doesn’t perform as well? Just isn’t good?!?
Not necessarily. Plus, many cheap makeup brands are performing as well as high-end ones these days, according to influencers and makeup experts!
In fact, if you’re regularly trying new products or love a full glam look, you should definitely try opting for cheaper makeup brands. It can save you a lot of money in the long run! Even if your makeup preferences are more on the natural side, and you only use products like skin tint; you can still save a few bucks.
Even though these brands won’t make your pockets hurt, CosmeticsList is a great way to find the lowest prices available at our partner stores! Whether you’re an in-store or online shopper, we break it all down for you.
Top Picks for Cheap Makeup Brands
#1 Elf Cosmetics
Elf tops our list for cheap makeup brands because of its affordability and availability. You can find high-performing concealers, primers, brushes, and more from Elf. They have a wide range of shades for foundations and concealers, some of which are found on our best drugstore concealer and best drugstore foundation lists. The company’s products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free! Elf is available at drugstores, Target, Ulta, and online.
Fan favorite: Power Grip Primer
Your makeup isn’t going anywhere. Elf’s Power Grip Primer is a gel-based, hydrating primer that smooths out your skin, grips to your makeup, and ensures your look lasts all day (or night)! At just $10, we recommend checking this one out!
#2 Wet n’ wild
Wet n’ wild is another dependable and inexpensive makeup brand you can find at drugstores and online. Did you know: The company started selling lipsticks and nail polishes for 99 cents over 40 years ago, and those prices have nearly stayed the same since? Today, you can score a tube of Silk Finish Lipstick from Wet n’ wild for less than $2. There’s one way to beat inflation!
Fan favorite: Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator Tinted Skin Veil
Skin tints and natural, “clean” makeup is really in these days, so it’s no surprise people love Wet n’ wild’s Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator Tinted Skin Veil. This tinted moisturizer has squalane and hyaluronic acid to give you a sheer, yet buildable healthy glow!
Morphe is a cheap makeup brand that gained notoriety from some of the OG beauty influencers back in the day on YouTube. By back in the day, we mean like 2009, okay? Now, Morphe is available at Ulta, Target, in Morphe stores, and online.
Morphe teams up with influencers and creators on products and lines that, as they put it – “break the Internet, not the bank.” If you’re looking for high-quality but inexpensive makeup brushes or eyeshadow palettes, Morphe is your go-to.
Fan favorite: Continuous Setting Mist
No more fading, caking, or melting makeup. The Continuous Setting Mist has been around since setting your makeup was first touted as a “must-do” by beauty influencers. The original cult-favorite formula creates a radiant finish on top of makeup and can be used to refresh dry or creased makeup later on in the day.
#4 L’Oreal Paris
L’Oreal Paris is one of the largest and most reliable cheap makeup brands you can find at a drugstore. With a variety of different foundation types, formulas, and shades, L’Oreal is an inclusive brand that makes a powerful punch with performance and wear (but not your bank account)!
The Telescopic Mascara has probably been in your makeup bag at some point in the past, or you’ve at least seen it raved about on TikTok for the dramatic look it creates without clumps.
Fan favorite: L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion
The True Match Lumi Glotion will give you a healthy, enviable glow! It can be used under your makeup as a primer or alone, as your last step in your routine.
#5 Juvia’s Place
Juvia’s Place has some of the highest-pigmented eyeshadows around, even without the lower price. The brand’s founder previously struggled with finding makeup suited for her deep skin tone, and inclusivity is what Juvia’s Place is all about. Juvia’s Place is available at Ulta, Target, and online.
Fan favorite: Bronzed Duo
The Bronzed Duo will give you a bronzed, sun-kissed look no matter how fair or dark your complexion. The palettes are smooth, pigmented, and won’t make you look orange!
Revolution Beauty is one of the most affordable makeup brands you can find that packs a big punch. With most products sitting at under $20, Revolution has a variety of makeup and skincare products. The Loose Baking Powder went viral on social media a few years ago, and for good reason! With a variety of shades and coming in at usually around $8, it’s hard to beat.
Fan favorite: Ultra Cream Bronzer
The Ulta Cream Bronzer is creamy, blendable, and will bring natural-looking warmth to your complexion.
It’s easy to mistake Milani for a high-end brand, even when you spot it at a drugstore. Its products look and feel luxurious and expensive, but they’re totally not. With products that regularly go viral on TikTok, Milani is a must-try for anyone.
Fan favorite: Baked Blush
The pigmentation and wear of Milani’s Baked Blush are similar to that of high-end brands, but for a fraction of the price. If you’re a blush junkie or going for the blush sunburn look, definitely try them out and see for yourself!
Essence is another cheap makeup brand with prices so low, you almost can’t believe their products can be that good. But seriously, they are! With most products ranging from $2.99 to $9.99, you can’t go wrong with a couple Essence items in your makeup bag.
Fan favorite: Lash Princess False Lash Mascara
The Lash Princess False Lash Mascara may make you cancel your next eyelash extension appointment, or skip putting on falsies altogether. Try it out and see for yourself why so many call it the best mascara ever!
Nyx Cosmetics will really make you second guess the price tag on many of their items when you see the quality and pigmentation. Their OG cult-favorite Butter Gloss rose to popularity years ago, and many regard it as their favorite lip product still, to this day. You can snag eyeshadow palettes, primers, concealers, and more, for around $5 to $20 each.
Fan favorite: Micro Brow Pencil Vegan Eyebrow Pencil
Long over are the days of shelling out $20 or more for a decent eyebrow pencil, let alone a great one! The Micro Brow Pencil comes in a variety of shades and does it all – shapes, fills, and defines for a natural look.
#10 LA Girl
If you love bright, bold, and trendy makeup but you don’t want to compromise your budget, LA Girl is your brand! Like some of the other brands we’ve mentioned, LA Girl products will make you feel like you’re using prestige makeup, but it’s super affordable.
Fan favorite: Pro Color Foundation Mixing Pigment
Do you ever feel like your foundation is just a smidge off? Maybe it looks mostly like the right shade, but a tinge more yellow or pink than you’d like. Before you throw it out or buy a new foundation, LA Girl’s Pro Color Foundation Mixing Pigment may solve your problem! Choose one of four pigments that adjust the color of your foundation to give you an exact match to your skin.
ColourPop is all about redefining what luxury makeup is really all about: how much it costs or how it makes you feel. With a dedication to cruelty-free, affordable products, ColourPop is all about colorful products that make a statement.
Shopping for pigmented eyeshadow, blush, or lip products? ColourPop should be on the top of your list!
Fan favorite: Fade Into Hue Pressed Powder Shadow Palette
Find all of the colors in the rainbow in this single palette, in different shade ranges and finishes. Whether you’re a matte or shimmery eyeshadow aficionado, you can find it all in the Fade into Hue palette.
#11 Physicians Formula
Physicians Formula products are designed for sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic formulas don’t have to be out of your price range; the company’s products will leave you feeling like you paid more for your makeup than you actually did!
The company’s mission is all about what’s not in their products, such as harmful or questionable ingredients.
Fan favorite: Murumuru Butter Bronzer
While Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer is on the pricier side compared to other cheap makeup brands, everything about this product makes it totally worth it. The summer-scented bronzer will give you a goddess glow that is creamy and soft on your skin.
There’s a reason why Maybelline’s products consistently make award-winning lists for best makeup. This is in part due to how affordable and accessible the company’s mascara, foundation, powders, and more are. Maybelline was founded over 100 years ago and still tops our list of best cheap makeup brands because of their innovative and iconic products.
Fan favorite: Fit Me Mineral Loose Powder
Put the perfect finishing touch on your makeup while controlling shine and oil with the Fit Me Mineral Loose Powder. If translucent powder isn’t your thing, it comes in a variety of shades to fit you best.
#13 BH Cosmetics
BH Cosmetics is one of the best cheap makeup brands you may have never heard of. Like Morphe, BH Cosmetics gained popularity from some of the first beauty gurus and influencers on YouTube, primarily thanks to their eyeshadow palettes and brushes. All of their products are cruelty-free, vegan, and super budget-friendly.
Fan favorite: Low Key Love You 9 Color Shadow Palette
If you’re an eyeshadow enthusiast and you’re not getting your palettes from BH Cosmetics, you are doing yourself a disservice. With a wide variety of shades and color schemes that are pigmented and wear well, you can get a nude, bold, smokey, and shimmery palette for a really great price. You’ll be set on eyeshadow for life!
The Best Places to Buy Cheap Makeup Brands
Shopping for cheap makeup brands is often easier than splurging on high-end ones because of their widespread availability.
You can find most of the brands mentioned above and more in drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. These stores frequently have deals such as buy one, get one 50% off, or offer cashback you can use for even better discounts. Sign up for in-store rewards for your best deals!
Plus, many of these brands are available at Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Ulta (which also has a killer rewards program)!
The Bottom Line
Whether you wear a little or a lot of makeup, it’s all about feeling good and beautiful in your own skin. It shouldn’t cost a fortune to do so! There are plenty of cheap makeup brands out there. The best case scenario is when you find a product that’s so good, you can’t believe the quality for the price. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the next cult-favorite viral beauty product!
Natalie Tarangioli is a full-time marketing director. Her passion for all things makeup and beauty has spanned over a decade. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.