L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara
This mascara thickens lashes up to 5X their original natural thickness. And while a lot of other mascaras make similar claims, this is one of few that never smudges and lasts forever, yet comes off in a jiffy with a swipe of make-up remover. It's made with an extremely creamy formula and a little goes a long way.
L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara ($5.60)
e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer
A good primer will change your life; your face will feel and look smoother and makeup will glide on and stay in place. Beauty mavens love the silky feel of this primer and rave about how it keeps oil and shine at bay--and does so at a fraction of the cost of luxury brand primers. If you're looking to cut costs, your primer is a good place to start.
e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer ($5.99)
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder
This smart eyebrow compact features two shades--one light, one dark--that can be used to fill in brows, plus a little pot of wax that is perfect for taming stray hairs, a slanted brush, and a round wand for shaping. Fans of the kit say NYX has done a fab job of creating shades that match most women's natural brows.
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder ($5.99)
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing
Clay cleansers that can magically extract blackheads are big news lately and I have to say: given all of the incredible reviews this affordable product enjoys (more than 2,400 five-star ratings!) I am seriously thinking of converting from my $78 clay cleanser. Women and men who suffer from large, clogged pores say they are shocked at what this mask can do and have reported seeing their pores shrink and their blemishes vanish right before their eyes. There is a small catch with this product, which is made up of calcium bentonite clay: you'll have to mix it with equal parts of raw apple cider or water. A small price to pay for flawless skin.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing ($9.35)
Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes
While you don't want to tug at your lashes to remove eye make-up, you probably also resent having to pay big bucks for what amounts to gentle soap and water. These wipes remove cosmetics in a flash and won't leave your face feeling greasy or dry.
Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($4.79)
Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer
This concealer does it all: hides dark circles without cracking, brightens and illuminates, and lasts for hours. Fans love the sponge applicator and say it doesn't dry out their skin like some concealers. The biggest complaints about this product is that users say the plastic packaging is difficult to remove and that the concealer is a bit too "pink" to suit many skin tones.
Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer ($6.64)
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Shadow Liner
All hail products that have more than one function. This lovely pencil doubles as an eye shadow and can be used on top of your primer and beneath your eye shadow to make your shadow shade even richer. And the colors--swoon. For the great price, you can afford to stock up on all of them, including Baby Blue, Strawberry Milk, Slate, and (my fave) Pots & Pans.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Shadow Liner ($5.99)
Sigma Beauty Flat Kabuki
I'm not one to recommend skimping when it comes to make-up brushes, which can make or break your look. But if you're going to buy one brush, this is the one. Its dense, flat head features feather-soft bristles and is perfect for foundation application
Sigma Beauty Flat Kabuki ($24)
Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick
Holy hotness. This is the deep red lipstick of your retro red lipstick dreams. With zero orange in its base, it delivers a true red punch, though some wearers say it can be a little on the drying side and recommend that you wear lip balm beneath it and apply with a lip brush.
Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick ($4.50)
Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream
This popular BB cream has 8 benefits: it conceals imperfections, brightens and evens skin tone, moisturizes, smooths, enhances your complexion, provides sun protection with SPF 30--and does it all with no added oils or heavy ingredients. Users love it because it provides light coverage with no fragrance and blends well into most skin tones.
Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream ($5.98)
Coastal Scents 88 Original Palette
If you're on the hunt for vibrant (and I mean extremely pigmented, likek hot pink, electric blue, and lime green, in addition to an array of neutral shades) you can't do better than this comprehensive eyeshadow kit. The palette is made up of 88 matte and satin shadows with shimmer and is a budding makeup artist's dream come true.
Coastal Scents 88 Original Palette ($17.06)
OPI Nail Lacquer, Coney Island Cotton Candy
There are days when you want to look polished and don't have the patience to apply a color that is going to look like hell when it chips even slightly. This gorgeous OPI shade is for those days. The hue is a perfect combo of pink and beige and instantly gives its wearer elegant piano-playing fingers.
OPI Nail Lacquer, Coney Island Cotton Candy ($6.50)