Make Up Staples on a Budget

I don’t know about you, but I love make up. Starting at 12 years old, I grew to really love to play with make up and experiment on myself and my younger sister – granted, I wasn’t an extremely talented individual in 7th grade, and I certainly went on to experience plenty of failures on my journey. Over 7 years later, my ability has definitely grown and with that comes the inevitability of investing in higher priced items. However, you don’t have to break the bank every time you buy your every day staples!

My day-to-day look is very simple and I have used a wide range of products, but my must-haves with my make up are: 1) It cannot feel too heavy – I really would prefer forgetting I have make up on than to constantly be aware. 2) It needs to last – in high school and at college, I maintained a relatively active lifestyle and was involved in a lot of activities, so I want my make up to look fresh most of the day. My go-to’s for daily wear are eyebrow pencil, mascara, concealer (if my skin is being particularly nasty that day), and eyeliner if I’m feeling a little bit fancier than usual.

Before I fill you in on my finds, I need to tell you my favorites that led me to my wonderful make up now. For these, I will link them to Sephora’s website and use their price because I have found their prices to be *surprisingly* better than Amazon’s for these items (because I am looking out for you and not letting you overpay for these things).

Eyebrow Pencil: Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil  

  • I loved the texture and durability of this pencil. It made my brows look so good and was pigmented enough to give me the color I wanted. Of course, it lasted all day and, like most brow pencils, you really didn’t feel it on your face. I prefer pencils to gels because they look more natural and you can get just as dark and intense of a look, but you have more versatility.
  • Price: On Sephora’s website, $44

Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

  • Personally, I love thick, soft brushes for my mascara. Better Than Sex has a dense brush that really picks up the mascara and brushes it onto your lashes so nicely. I never use false lashes because of this mascara. Your lashes look so volumized and long. It lasts all day and also is not heavy. I do not use the waterproof version, so I cannot speak for that one, but the non-waterproof never flakes (unless it is old and time to replace, but make sure you check the expiration dates – pink eye and staph infections aren’t fun)!
  • Price: On Sephora’s website, $23

Concealer: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

  • This product provided the coverage I needed and blended well with my skin tone as I don’t normally use foundation. It is technically also a foundation; however, I used it as a concealer. I like a lot of Clinique’s products and have never found them to be too thick. Their products, like this one, tends to last me all day. I have combination skin, so this may be different for some.
  • Price: On Sephora’s website, $28

Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

  • This is the HOLY GRAIL of eyeliners. Talk about long lasting and lightweight! This eyeliner has lasted me through tennis matches in 110 degree weather! Beautiful black pigment and smooth application. I used this for nearly 4 years and haven’t converted or regretted buying this once.
  • Price: On Sephora’s website, $20

Alright, now that I have showed you my favorites and demonstrated that you can in fact spend $115 on a very simple look, I will share my secrets with you. For these products, I will link them to Amazon as that is where they are cheapest and a few of them you can only find on Amazon.

Eyebrow Pencil: Etude House Drawing Eye Brow (in Gray Brown)

  • This pencil works just as excellently if not completely better than the Bobbi Brown one I listed before. It lasts all day and does not budge. I have had nights that I forgot to take it off and fell asleep in it and my brows still looked wonderful the next day. I use this pencil in Gray Brown, but I do know they sell it in different shades. It works so well and the pencil can last anywhere from 1-4 months with regular use depending on how much you’re using.
  • Price: On Amazon, $4.07 – this varies for some of the colors, but every color I have seen seems to be under $5 and most are Prime or free shipping for Prime members. As for the shipping, it seems to almost always be 2-day unless otherwise specified.

Mascara: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise

  • If you are on the hunt for a cheap dupe of the Better Than Sex mascara, look no further; you have found it. Many others have said the same, and let me just repeat: THIS MASCARA WORKS JUST AS WELL AS THE BETTER THAN SEX MASCARA FOR LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE. Stays on all day and looks great. No flaking or smearing. Just beautiful voluminous lashes!
  • Price: On Amazon, $7.49 – it does get a couple cents more expensive with the waterproof, but still less than half the price. If you subscribe to get it monthly or whenever you decide, it only costs $7.12. The only bad side about getting this on Amazon is that it is an add-on item, so you can find it at a Target, Walmart, or any drugstore for around $8, which is still less than half the price. Also, this seems to arrive around 2 days after ordering,

Concealer: LA Girl Pro High Definition Concealer (in Light Ivory)

  • Wow wow wow, you guys! This concealer is gold. Lightweight, excellent coverage, lasts all day, and sooooo cheap! It goes on so smoothly. I have never felt like I am wearing a million pounds of make up. This stuff truly is so excellent. It covers blemishes, dark circles, and really anything you could imagine. I use this pretty regularly and it has lasted me about 4 months so far and still has plenty of life left!
  • Price: On Amazon, $4.80 – here we are again with another product that varies in price with the color. Our price range for this concealer is anywhere from $2-$7. It comes in many different shades as well as the color correcting ones like red, yellow, and green. This is also an add-on on Amazon for some of the colors, but I do not know where else you can buy it (if you know, please tell me). Shipping on all shades is 2-day and Prime eligible.

Eyeliner: Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

  • About 4 years ago, I stumbled upon the beautiful goodness that is Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and I never thought I would stray from it (and didn’t for 4 years) despite how much it costs. However, I really do love saving money – it’s on my top 5 list of favorite things. When I found this eyeliner, I wanted to hate it honestly, but after just one use, I could not deny how frighteningly similar it was to my favorite Kat Von D liner. It is just as dramatic, I’d say even more lightweight, and so long lasting. I love it even more than I love the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and oh my goodness does my wallet and my fiance’s wallet thank me! It is literally a perfect if not BETTER dupe for Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, so note to self, never spend $20 on one eyeliner ever again.
  • Price: On Amazon, $6.57 – yet another add on item. However, I did you a great service and linked the one I bought which was 2 eyeliners for $13.53 (and it has free shipping and is not an add-on item). At Walmart or Target, they charged around $8-$9 for one eyeliner, so buying just one or the two pack like I bought is a steal. Still, buying two of them from Walmart or Target is still less expensive than the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, so I would certainly still invest. It is not Prime eligible, but it does ship in 2-days (or has for me) and they will likely give you a shipping time frame of about a week.

So moral of the story is don’t spend a fortune on every day products because you do tend to go through those just a bit quicker than your others. I have spent a total of $29.89 on all of these products and I am so content with them. They have lasted me for at least over a month I have saved $85.11 with each time I purchase all of them. Thanks for reading, guys!



If you have any favorite products, let me know!

Signing off,

Kaitlyn Summer



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