7 Super Affordable Makeup Products I Can’t Live Without

I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely obsessed with makeup.

It’s sad to say, but I’m the type of person that needs makeup to look good. It completely transforms me into someone else… and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling good about how you look.

While I own wayyyyy more makeup than I could possibly ever need, there are a few products that I absolutely need in my arsenal… at all times. Sounds high maintenance, right? Well, they’re actually pretty affordable and easy to obtain.

Here’s the thing: I’m a frugal chick, and with two kids, I have to cut corners where I can. But even then, I gotta have my makeup.

So with all that being said, here are 7 super affordable makeup products I always have in my makeup bag…

I'm pretty obsessed with all makeup but there are a few makeup products I absolutely need in my arsenal. Find out what they are now...


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1. Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Eyeliner is a non-negotiable for me. The shape of my eyes requires heavy eye makeup to pull them up and out.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s actual footage of me with and without makeup 😱:

I'm pretty obsessed with all makeup but there are a few makeup products I absolutely need in my arsenal. Find out what they are now...

Unfortunately, the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is one of the more expensive items on my list, but definitely one of my most favorite makeup products.

100% vegan and cruelty-free, this eyeliner comes equipped with a super precise brush tip that allows you to perfect the cat-eye look. It’s also designed for layering, so you can keep applying more eyeliner until it’s perfect, without getting too cakey.

Even Cheaper Alternative:

  • L’Oréal Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner– Even though I think that the Kat Von D goes on so much smoother and makes it easier to get a sharper point, I could go for a drugstore brand, if needed. L’Oréal is easily one of the better drugstore brands for eyeliner.

2. NYX Pore Filler

NYX Pore Filler Primer

While I could skip out on face makeup if I really wanted to, I usually use this product to help fill in my pores. I have the type of skin that needs all the help it can get, so I take it where I can.

NYX Pore Filler is a great face primer that creates the perfect base for foundation, powder, and blush.

But the question on your mind is: does it actually fill in your pores? The answer is YES.

It goes on super smooth and definitely minimizes your pores, leaving your skin feeling soft and silky. Sometimes I even add a second layer to really blend them out.

My only gripe with this product is that it isn’t long-lasting. I would imagine that your skin either absorbs the product or it just goes away… but either way, you’ll have to reapply a couple of times throughout the day for best results.


3. Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette

Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret:  I have an eyeshadow addiction. I seriously have way more eyeshadow than I could possibly ever use and I still want to buy more.

The Full Exposure Palette by Smashbox has been my go-to eyeshadow palette for the past four years. It has the perfect blend of matte and shimmer, and the natural shades are just too amazing.

While I look good in brighter shades like blue, green and purple, they’re getting harder to pull off as I get older, and I don’t spend as much time doing my makeup as I used to. Likewise, I have to wear more matte textures since my eyes get more hooded with age.

On the other hand, it’s great to add a pop of shimmer here or there for emphasis, which is why this palette speaks to my soul.


4. IT Cosmetics Brow Power™ Eyebrow Pencil

IT Cosmetics Brow Power™ Eyebrow Pencil

I’ll admit that right now my IT Cosmetics Brow Power Eyebrow Pencil is MIA (I have a toddler that enjoys makeup as much as I do). As soon as it was deemed missing, I went to purchase a new one. However, when I got to Ulta, I decided to try the Anastacia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil instead.

While I do like the Brow Wiz, I think I’m still gonna have to give the award to IT Cosmetics.

You see, I’m one of those unfortunate people that doesn’t have any eyebrows (as you probably noticed in the picture above). They are really light, and I have to pencil them in to avoid looking strange.

While microblading is definitely in my future, right now I’m just sticking with a penciled-on brow, which you can learn how to master with my very own eyebrow tutorial.

Even Cheaper Alternative:

  • Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil– I actually used this exact pencil, in Hazel, for YEARS before I branched out to try higher-grade products. If I had to go cheaper, it would be a no-brainer for me.

5.NYX HD Photo Concealer

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer

I used to not care so much about using a good concealer, but I’ve grown fonder over time. I’m a fan of the NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer since it goes on light and smooth but still has good coverage. It doesn’t cake and crease in your lines, which is a huge bonus for me.

I really like to apply this concealer to my eyelids and undereye area with a beauty blender, which blends out the fine lines and sets the stage for eye makeup.

Like I previously mentioned, I can skip out on face makeup during the weekend, but it’s nice to have a light concealer to cover blemishes when needed.


6. Ulta Tinted Eye Primer

Ulta Beauty Tinted Eye Primer in Champagne

I think I stumbled upon the Ulta Tinted Eye Primer one day when I was trying to get to the “free shipping” threshold. I’ve been kinda hooked ever since.

It’s really light and subtle and can either be worn under eyeshadow (to make it pop) or by itself. Sometimes I like to just wear it with some light, natural eyeshadow, and a heavily-winged eyeliner.

It also works great as a primer and keeps the eyeshadow in place all day long. I’ve never noticed any problems with creasing or smudging while wearing this product.

The only thing I’ll say is that it probably wouldn’t work well as a base for brighter, cooler eyeshadow colors since it comes in neutral tones. However, there is a pearly white shade, but I haven’t tried it yet.


7. Mascara of Some Type

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara

I’m not super picky with mascara, and I don’t see a lot of difference between high-end and drugstore mascara. If I’m able to, though, I try to layer 2-3 different types of mascara at a time. It might just be in my head, but I feel like layering them makes my eyelashes longer, thicker and prettier.

If I had to choose one mascara to rule them all, it would be the Monsieur Big Mascara by Lancôme.

I love this product. It does a killer job at adding volume to your lashes and doesn’t flake at all.

HOWEVER, I’d be perfectly fine using drugstore mascara, if needed. I mainly just need some form of mascara in my bag at any time.

If you want to go the cheaper route, I’d probably go with something like Rimmel Scandaleyes or Lash Sensational by Maybelline.


Bonus Makeup Products:

Bonus Icon

There are a few other products that I really love but could sacrifice if I absolutely had to.

  • NYX Studio Finish Translucent Powder – The most crucial part of using translucent powder for me is that it holds my eyebrows in place. As stated above, I don’t really have eyebrows, so I have to draw them on every day. It’s nice when they don’t come off 10 minutes later.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation – This is definitely my go-to foundation. I tried a sample a few years ago and have just been using it ever since. I have really sensitive skin that breaks out easily, but this foundation has been good to me. Since I can go without foundation if needed, I try to ditch it on the weekends.
  • Lancôme Le Crayon Kôhl – This is hands-down the best pencil eyeliner I have ever used, and it’s been in my rotation for about 15 years now. It makes tight-lining your waterline a breeze.
  • Morphe Jaclyn Hill Master Brush Collection – My husband bought this brush set for me for Valentines last year (with a little prompting, of course) and I LOVE it! I’ve been looking for a solid makeup brush set for a long time, and nothing has even come close. The tapered brushes make blending eyeshadow so easy that I can’t even use anything else.
  • PÜR Bronze & Brighten Cheek Palette – I received this palette in a Boxycharm box a while back, and I really like it. I’ve never been disappointed by anything I’ve tried from PÜR, but this is my favorite. The highlighter and bronzer are both really shimmery, and I love how they look.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts Icon

Throughout all my years of wearing makeup and trying every brand possible, I’ve narrowed it down to 7 essential makeup products that I have to keep at all times.

Because of my eye shape, I have to go heavy on the eye makeup, which pulls my eyes up and out. I also have a strong need for good eyebrow makeup since I don’t really have good natural brows to start with. I feel like these are the products I spend more money on since I’m so reliant of what they offer.

You’ll notice that I don’t really care about lipstick, and the truth is that I really don’t wear it. Sometimes I’ll put some on for a special occasion, but I’m more of a chapstick kinda girl.

I wear face makeup on most days, but I try to go more natural on the weekends and days when I don’t have anything going on. Since my skin is so sensitive, I try to give it a break wherever I can.

YOUR TURN: So now what are your favorite makeup products? I’m talkin’ the ones you couldn’t possibly live without. Drop them in the comments section below 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

Until next time,


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