The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School
Photo courtesy of FCHS Journalism.

Photo courtesy of FCHS Journalism.

How to Find the Best Drugstore Makeup

May 15, 2023

Starting to wear makeupcan be considered to be a milestone in many teenagers’ lives. Whether it’s putting on mascara and lip gloss, or experimenting with different eyeshadows, wearing makeup has become an integral part of the teen years.

But teens aren’t exactly made of money, and it can be hard to know where to start once you choose to begin wearing makeup. What makeup brands are inexpensive or worth the splurge? For example, many teens may not be able to afford luxury makeup products, such as Dior Lip Oil ($40 per tube) or makeup brand Pat Matgrath ($120-$128 per eyeshadow palette.

As a result, many teens turn to using drugstore makeup from places like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, or Target. But they may be nervous about the quality of cheaper products that are lower than $20.

Luckily, a variety of drug-store products have earned many accolades for quality products at a low price. Here are some to consider:

e.l.f. Cosmetics

The brand e.l.f. Cosmetics has become one of the pioneer brands for good quality makeup at a very affordable price. They are found in Walmart, CVS, Target, and Ulta. This brand is animal-cruelty free, and has vegan formulas for all of their products. One of the notable products, Wow Tinted Brow Gel, has been a staple for the brand. The wax-based formula allows for the gel to be buildable, plus the fiber-infused in the gel can give the brows a fuller look. The brow gel cost $5 for a 0.12 oz tube and comes in four, easy-to-match shades like taupe, neutral brown, deep brown and brunette. Suggested by Beck, “I would suggest it, because it is a very nice formula. A lot of e.l.f. Makeup is pretty good quality for price, and the Wow Tinted Brow Gel really shows that.”

NYX Cosmetics

This brand has been keeping the makeup aisle stocked with their eyeshadow palettes and lip gloss for years. One of the many makeup brands owned by L’Oreal, they have made a name for themselves for quality make up at an affordable price. One best-selling product that has taken the internet by storm is their Butter Gloss. Coming in at just $5, it is a non-sticky but high-shine lip gloss that comes in 29 shades ranging from nude pinks to deep browns.

Even though this lipgloss has a ton of positive reviews, people should be warned that while NYX is 100% animal-cruelty free, some of their products are not 100% vegan, although most are indeed vegan.


Coming in at third on this list, Essence has slowly been making its way to the spotlight. Since the company was founded, their products have been 100% cruelty-free and 100% of their cosmetics are vegan. With this brand producing most of their products in Europe, it’s only fitting that their best sellers include their mascara line, Lash Princess. This mascara has four different types, all performing differently. They have a volumizing mascara, a sculpting mascara, a lengthening mascara, and a waterproof version of the lengthening mascara.

FCHS student Parker Watson says “I like the waterproof Lash Princess mascara, because it always stays on and it never smudges. My sister suggested it to me, and after that I never stopped using it.”

All of Essence’s mascaras cost $4.99 and can be found in Ulta, Walmart and CVS.


One of the oldest brands featured on this list, CoverGirl is cruelty-free, but they aren’t completely vegan. However, they do have some vegan products, like their Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation that claims to be friendly to all skin types. It contains coconut milk and aloe extract, which gives it a dewy look on the skin. The formula is lightweight, provides light coverage, and is not cakey. The foundation has 14 shades and ranges from $11.99 at Ulta to $8.98 at Walmart.

These are just some of the few drug-store brands that have high-quality products for a low price. Other brands like Maybelline, Wet N’ Wild, and Milani, also have some exceptional products for a low price. Even if it may be intimidating figuring out which brand to choose from, looking at the reviews across various platforms and seeing videos on the products can help you make decisions on purchasing a product. All it takes is to know what you are looking for, a bit of money and a makeup aisle in a drugstore.


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About the Contributor
Photo of Aniya Washington
Aniya Washington, Journalist

Aniya is in 12th grade. In her free time she likes to read, and play console games. Her favorite animal is her Dachshund dog named Abigail. This is her...

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