Like me, I know a lot of readers here are on a tight budget. So I figured I'd visit my favorite place in the world, Target (!), and scoop up some budget beauty to review.
Here I can always find clean, brightly-lit rows of all of my favorite affordable beauty brands: Revlon, Pixi, Maybelline, Sonia Kashuk, e.l.f., Physician’s Formula, Essie, Sally Hansen, Wet ‘n’ Wild...you get the idea. I just love spotting products with those orange clearance stickers. I once found a set of really nice quality Sonia Kashuk brushes for only $8!
Aiming to keep my total around $10, I went on the hunt for things that would blow your mind, but not your budget. I kept it simple and limited my picks to full-price products.
e.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen, $3
I can’t talk about budget beauty without mentioning e.l.f. It’s so easy to add these $1 and $3 items to your shopping cart. It doesn’t hurt that they’re almost always great quality, too. One of e.l.f.'s most useful products is its Makeup Remover Pen. It’s a white felt-tip pen that cleans up smudged eye makeup, wonky cat-eyes, and the like.
I'll tell you upfront that it is not perfect: sometimes it picks up too much makeup and smears it around, so you have to wipe as you go. That said, I consider it a staple and I always keep it in reach when I’m doing eye makeup.
Wet ‘n’ Wild Mega Last Lip Color, $2
I have so many of these, including Purty Persimmon (my favorite orange-red ever), Stoplight Red (a perfect blue-based red), and the hot pink I’m wearing above, Don’t Blink Pink. Each one packs an intensely pigmented punch of matte color that stays on all day without fading. Some of them can be a bit drying, but it’s nothing a little bit of exfoliation and lip balm beforehand can’t fix. Also, the packaging is the worst because it always gets messy, but I’m willing to overlook such faults because I’m blindly in love.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, $5
I used this (in the Fair shade) daily until I graduated to its pricier dupe, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. The two are often compared to each other, and for good reason. This concealer is creamy, easy to apply, non-cake-y, and good for covering most spots and under-eye circles.
I wouldn’t say it’s heavy duty, but it does look very natural while managing to conceal most issues. The range of five shades is pretty good, but it could definitely be expanded.
If the NARS concealer is out of your budget, give this drugstore option a shot. I would say it’s the best in its price range, just based on my own experience.
So...in our cart we have a fun, long-lasting lip color, a great concealer, and a tool for flawless eye makeup. All for a grand total of $10.
Of course, I ended up gathering a few more odds and ends from the clearance section before I made it to the checkout counter.
I hope you guys like these recommendations. Feel free to share your own in the comments.
Editor's note: Aside from Kelly's fabulous reviews and photos, what are your feelings on budget beauty posts like this one? Would you like to see more of them on xoVain? What price point? What products? Let us know!