Sometimes more expensive doesn’t always mean better. While I understand the “you get what you pay for” sentiment, on rare ocassions, you get what you pay for plus a massive bonus.
Honestly, if you scraped these products out of their tubes and compacts and into more expensive packaging with a fansy brand name, I would believe it. I would believe they were really high-end products being sold at a fair price. The gems I mention below are absolute steals that I think everyone should have in their makeup bag. The quality for the price is really mind boggling and will save you some big bucks if you’re shopping on a budget.
1.) Milani Baked Blushes ($8.49)- These are incredible quality for the price and in my opinion, are extremely comparable to the MAC Mineralized blushes. The pigmentation is out of this world awesome and they are super blendable. I love the beautiful soft highlighted sheen they give to the cheeks. You get tons of product in its pretty gold packaging that certainly gives you a great bang for your buck. I love the peachy-coral color “Lumeneso” for summer and the wine color, “Red Vino.”
2.) Rimmel Show-Off Lip Lacquer ($4.99)- I’m obsessed with these liquid lipsticks! The doe foot applicator has a little pocket that deposits the perfect amount of product for each use. They go on so comfortable and stay that way throughout the day and even with multiple applications. For a drugstore lipstick, the longevity is incredible. I love how beautifully these wear and slowly fade to leave a nice tint to the lips. Added bonus: they smell fruity and amazing like a Jolly Rancher.
 
3.) Real Techniques Brushes- bought separately, each of these runs for under $10. My favorites are the powder brush ($9.99) and the blush brush ($8.99). They are softer than a baby’s butt and only have minimal shedding over time. These brushes are definitely professional quality for an unbeatable price (good brushes run expensive now adays). The bottom of each brush is flat so you can even stand them upright if you want. You can find a full list of my favorite Real Techniques brushes and other makeup brushes in this blog post and an easy tutorial on how to wash and take care of your brushes in this blog post. 
4.) e.l.f Glitter Primer ($2.00)- Super comparable to Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue, this is definitely the more affordable dupe. I lightly pat this over my eye area and use it to hold down messy loose glitter. It keeps the glitter on all day and is just wonderful!
5.) Jordana Easy Liner ($1.99)- These lipliners are just so easy to use. It has an easy retractable top so you don’t have to bother with sharpening and they go on silky smooth. They wear for a decent amount of time considering they are so cheap and not advertised as a long-wearing product. I always have one of these in my purse for quick touchups. My favorite colors are a brown-nude, “Rock n’ Rose” and a mauve color, “Tawny.”
6.) NYX Slim Lip Pencil ($3.50)- These remind me of the MAC lip liners in their consistency and texture. I love the endless array of colors to choose from so that you can match almost any lip color. You can easily find the color you’re looking for by the swatch at the end of the pencil. They go on smooth and creamy and I would honestly choose a lot of these over the more expensive MAC pencils.
7.) Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner ($7.99)- Again, another amazing product for the price. I am always amazed at how it never smudges once it sets on the eyes and the dark color pigment it delivers. I even wore this on my wedding day over more expensive gel liners because I knew I could trust it not to budge. It gives a great matte line once on the eye. My favorite color is “Blackest Black.”
8.) Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser ($6.99)- This is basically an exact dupe for the Benefit Porefessional Primer. It has the same silky smooth texture on the skin and primes the face and fills the pores almost just as well. I’ve honestly never seen a massive difference with either primer (if you have huge pores like me it ain’t gonna totally fill in those holes to China), but I do believe it creates a smoother base for your foundation to easily glide over top.
9.) NYC Liquid Liner ($2.99)- The amazingness of this cheapo liquid liner is pretty much mind boggling. It’s dirt cheap but makes applying liquid liner simple–even for beginners. It has a stick thin wand and applicator that makes controlling where product goes a synch. I love to do my winged liner with this and then apply a black eyeshadow on top just to ensure it won’t be going anywhere. I use this method a lot to keep eyeliners in their place.
10.) NYX Butter Gloss ($5.00)- This smell like legit cake and I’m tempted to eat it on a daily basis. This is one of the smoothest, creamiest lipglosses I have ever applied. It doesn’t feel sticky and gooey and really does go on like butter. It has a beautiful light to medium wash of pigment that is the perfect topping over my favorite lipsticks. I only have one at the moment but I kinda want to buy them all (tee hee…)
Do you have any favorite must-have beauty steals?
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  • Thats an awesome list you have compiled. Would really love to have a few in my kit since given their price effectiveness and the ease of use they present to the user. I have been quite particular about Skin brightening and am sure these under $10 products are going to help me a long way.