You could walk out of Sephora with three products and $150 less in your bank account, or you could throw your cash at budget-friendly beauty buys that satisfy both your wallet and your heart. Drugstore beauty products are getting better by the day, and these fresh launches are proof of that. From a poppin’ highlighter and a primer that’s an absolute dream (and costs less than your morning cuppa) to a gel-formula blush that gives Glossier a run for its money, these are our top drugstore beauty buys of the moment.
1. L’Oréal Bambi Eyes Mascara, $11
There’s a certain drugstore brand that gets all the hype when it comes to mascara (cough, Maybelline, cough), but L’Oreal’s latest mascara debut is racking up rave reviews. Its goal isn’t to cake on product for max volume. Instead, its lightweight formulation and unique combo of short and long bristles make lashes longer, wispier, and separated. The result is eyes that appear larger and more “doe-eyed,” just like Bambi.
2. Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush, $8
If you’re familiar (and obsessed) with Glossier’s Cloud Paint, you are definitely going to be giddy about this new addition to the Maybelline lineup. Cheek Heat is a water-based blush that creates a dewy, glowing finish – something you can’t really achieve with a powder. You just tap a small bit of the product into your cheeks and then blend out with your fingers or a sponge. It’s available in six universally flattering colors that you can build in intensity.
3. NYX Cosmetics Dazed & Diffused Blurring Lipstick, $9
Forget spending money on another matte lippie that just dries your lips out. NYX Cosmetics’ new Dazed & Confused Blurring Lipstick features a velvety-matte texture that hydrates like hell at the same time. One side features a crayon and the other is a blending brush that allows you to blur the edges for a softer finish or even an ombre look if that’s your thing.
4. Wet n Wild Photo Focus Water Drop Primer Coconut Dreamin’, $6
You don’t have to drop a wad of cash in order to get a great primer. Wet n Wild’s newest primer comes in at an easy $6 and delivers hydration, a soft-focus effect, and a nice base for your makeup. The oil-free formulation is made with dimethicone (a common silicone known for its silky texture that’s found in lots of primers) to smooth and blur, and hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate. Bonus: it smells amazing.
5. Maybelline Fast Sculpting Brow Gel, $8
You better believe we’re recommending another Maybelline newbie to you, but it’s only because it’s that good. The Fast Sculpting Brow Gel is a tinted brow “mascara” that’s essentially a dupe for ABH’s much-lauded Tinted Brow Gel and Glossier’s Boy Brow. It comes in six shades (including clear) and can serve as the only (or final) step in your brow regimen.
6. Physicians Formula Natural Defense Sheer Line of Defense Foundation SPF 30, $16
Physicians Formula just launched a new line of products – The Natural Defense Collection – that has three primary objectives: to protect against UV exposure, blue light, and the environment. While there are brands and products that specialize in one of the three, it’s pretty revolutionary to combat all three at once and we love that it happens to be at a super accessible price point. The whole line is fab, but we’re shouting out the Sheer Line of Defense Foundation, which provides buildable, lightweight coverage while boasting an SPF of 30. Your derm is gonna be so proud.
7. Milani Baked Highlighter, $11
It’s super fresh off the assembly line, but we’re real pumped about Milani’s shiny new Baked Highlighter. Not only are the four shades divinely gorgeous, but they’re versatile AF. Each is made with a multi-tonal, micro-fine luminescent powder, which means you’re going to get a natural sheen versus glitter effect. Second, the texture is buttery soft, which makes it easy to blend and sheer in coverage. Finally, you can build up intensity, and you can even apply it wet to make the color stronger.
8. Peripera Cushion Pang Lip Tint, $10
For those days when you’re craving a hint of color but can’t be bothered with a full lip moment, a tint will serve you well. K-beauty brand, Peripera, delivers exactly that with their new Cushion Pang Lip Tint, which just hit shelves at CVS. The product imparts very sheer color through a spongey tip, and it’s available in six shades ranging from peach to red.