I hope you guys are enjoying the latest series on all of my budget friendly favourites! Today is the first of the makeup posts – yes, I had to split them up into 2 parts as there are so many incredible and affordable makeup items out there. This post will focus on face makeup, and the next one will be all about the lips and eyes.
It actually blows my mind how makeup can be affordable and yet such high quality. I’ll admit that I own some pretty high end products that really do prove their worth, yet there are some insanely high quality products available at such low prices you won’t even believe!
BUDGET FRIENDLY FACE MAKEUP
One of the best mattifying primers on the market, this one from L’Oreal requires only a little bit used on your T-zone for smooth makeup application, mattified skin and longer lasting makeup.
I’ve used up 2 of these tubes, and for someone who doesn’t use primer every day – that’s saying a lot! The tube lasts for ages as you only need a tiny amount.
TOP TIP – when applying a primer high in silicone such as this one, pat it into the skin rather than ‘massage’ it in. Simply apply the product to the areas that need it, then use your fingertips to press it in until you can’t really feel it anymore. This way you smooth out any pores and fine lines. Often with silicone-based primers you’ll find that massaging it in causes it to ‘pill’ or ball up, and it also won’t help blur your pores.
I actually so badly need to repurchase this primer! It didn’t feel heavy or slippy like some silicone primers can, it felt more like a hydrating cream – yet it was sensational at increasing the longevity of my foundation.
It also helped to slightly soften the look of pores and fine lines, and mattify the skin slightly. I loved how it felt using this, and found myself reaching for it time and time again, and when the time came I cut the tube open and made sure I scraped every last bit out.
It seems like all of the local resellers are sold out of this, HOWEVER it also looks like Cult Beauty are shipping globally again!
The OG pore-smoothing primer, this works in much the same way as the L’Oreal one, but it’s main purpose is smoothing out pores and leaving you with soft, smooth skin. And trust me, it works!
Just make sure you wait a few minutes after applying this BEFORE you apply your foundation, as it really does need that time to settle. Once it’s done so, your foundation will go on like an absolute dream!
I know what you’re thinking – SHIV, A MEN’S AFTER SHAVE? SERIOUSLY?
Trust me. Nikkie Tutorials made this famous back when I first started blogging, and YES I still keep a bottle of it (in both my collection and my pro kit). It contains no alcohol, but is very high in glycerin, making it not only calming and hydrating but also fabulous at keeping makeup in place!
Basically take a small amount and massage it all over your face, really massage it in until you feel it get tacky. That tackiness is what’s going to help your makeup stick to your face for longer.
I have sensitive skin, and while this has a light fragrance I’ve never had an issue with it. I find this very soothing to apply to my skin before foundation, and it really makes a big difference in the overall look and longevity of my makeup.
This L.A. Girl foundation has been the love of many people’s lives for some time now. It’s an absolute for drier skins, as it has a dewy finish to it – and it’s full coverage!
While I really enjoyed the coverage of this foundation, I did have to primer with a more mattifying primer and set with powder as I have a combination skin. However it was worth it and still lasted beautifully on my skin, and I still really enjoyed the finish. I cannot recommend it enough for dry and normal skin types. However, I moved on to the next foundation when they launched that for the oilier skin folks.
This foundation is GORGEOUS. It provides the same great coverage as the original one, but has a beautiful matte finish. I don’t find the need to even set this with powder, and it still lasts all day long.
What I love the most is that L.A. Girl took the initiative when they saw that their other foundation obviously didn’t appeal to all skin types. You can also purchase a plain white foundation to lighten and a really dark one to deepen the tones if you can’t find your match AND they sell coloured foundations to mix and match so you’ll always find your right tone, whether dark/light/cool/warm!
This foundation is my holy grail drugstore foundation. I have had a bottle of this in constant rotation since I first discovered it! Not only does it provide the most gorgeous fresh (yet matte) finish to skin, I don’t need to set this with powder and it still looks great all day long. It gives me the closest in coverage and finish to my holy grail high end foundation (Estee Lauder Double Wear), yet looks a tiny bit more satin in finish, which I really REALLY love.
I buy this in 2 different shades (010 for when I’m not wearing any tanner, and 040 for when I’m self tanned) and then when I’m inbetween these I just mix them to get the right shade.
I recommend this first off to all who ask me for recommendations on affordable foundations. Catrice knows their stuff when it comes to face products!
I got distracted and stopped using this foundation for a few months, as I had some others in my collection that were new. Then I recently started using it again and fell in love with it all over again!
I love that this new Candid range from Revlon is a more affordable option to their regular products AND that the quality is so great. Plus, they’re contain antioxidants, protect against pollution and blue light, and contain no nasties. The foundation blends like a dream and gives skin a lovely natural finish. It also lasts decently throughout the day, and the tube with a pump is so travel friendly and non-bulky.
A budget-friendly foundation post wouldn’t be a good one without this Wet n Wild foundation. Not only does it give no flashback, but it is a medium coverage that is definitely buildable, and leaves skin matte but not flat. It also has a bit of a soft-focus effect to the finish too, and it blends very nicely.
My only negative on this foundation is the scent of it – but it didn’t irritate my skin, and once it’s dried down the smell goes away, so it’s easy to look past.
One of the drugstore foundations that in my collection is most repurchased, is definitely this one from L’Oreal. It’s also got the reputation of being a dupe for my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear, although I think it is slightly more matte in finish. The coverage is also medium to full, and easily buildable.
This is another one of those foundations that I don’t feel the need to set with powder – yet it will still look fresh and last well throughout the day. If you’re an oily skinned girl, pair this with the matching primer and you’re set for flawless skin all day long!
L’Oreal really knows how to make great foundations. This True Match foundation comes in different undertones (you get a warm one, a neutral one and a cool one), and they all contain a subtle iridescence. Don’t worry though – this won’t make you look like a sweaty disco ball, but rather it diffuses light to give your skin the most beautiful flawless finish.
I find it very easy to get a shade match in the True Match foundation because of the different undertones, and I can go without setting this with powder in the winter when my skin is a tad drier. However, even when dusted with a little powder, my skin always looks natural and fresh when wearing this foundation. In fact – I need to buy a new bottle!
The very first BB cream I ever bought, this is a beautifully hydrating wash of colour that evens out your complexion (it is light coverage), hydrates and protects. I find it a little too much on the moisturising side now – when I used it before, I was on the pill and my skin produced a lot less oil (it was smack bang normal). Now that I most definitely have a combination skin, I can only really use this in winter – otherwise I reach for the next product.
Garnier are knocking it out the park now with BB creams. They have a formula for every skin type you could think of! I always opt for this one for oily/combo skins (although there is an active one, I prefer this for my skin).
The formula isn’t flat matte, but it works so well on my skin and lasts even when not set with powder. The coverage is definitely light to medium, but I find I get a medium coverage with ease – not using a lot of product at all, but just blending it out correctly.
If I were to recommend one BB cream to try, I’d say choose the Garnier one in your skin type, as the coverage of this is so damn good for a BB cream.
The best concealer I’ve ever used. Drugstore concealers are honestly where it’s at, and while I do sometimes go for a higher end one on the odd occasion, I don’t feel I NEED to, more than it’s one I want to just try out. The drugstore concealers are such fantastic formulas that I could very easily never purchase a high end one again.
This comes with a big sponge tip, and while it is more designed for the under eye, the formula also covers blemishes really well. Plus, it’s hydrating, so when I use this I don’t find any fine lines in my eye area looking dry or cakey. It’s just so gosh darn beautiful, and well worth the hype! I’ve bought them overseas previously, but already gone through 2 of the local ones as well.
Just like the foundation, this Wet n Wild concealer is superb in terms of coverage and finish, plus it won’t give you any flashback. It blends really nicely too and doesn’t look cakey at all. GREAT product for carving out brows and using as a primer on the eyelids prior to eyeshadow application.
I love this Catrice concealer as it’s waterproof – when you’ve applied it and blended it out, it won’t budge! That means ZERO creasing or smudging, and no way that you’ll need to touch it up during the day. It’s also super high coverage.
TOP TIP: Blend this out as soon as you’ve applied it to your face – if it has any time to dry down a little before you blend it, you could struggle to get it to blend evenly. That being said, if you blend it out straight away, you’re in for a treat with how beautifully it covers.
The cream pot version of the above concealer, this is great for covering blemishes or pigmentation. It’s super high coverage and also dries down once blended out. I do still set it with powder, although it’s not really necessary.
This is FAB to have in the same shade as your skin/foundation for those pesky spots, AND amazing to keep in your makeup bag. I find that it makes the perfect touch up to skin during the day, as it blends in so easily with just a fingertip. Just make sure those hands are clean!
Another very high coverage concealer, I adore how this one blends out – so many very full coverage concealers can look cakey, but not this bad boy! Plus, you can also buy this in a darker shade to contour and bronze up your skin!
I love the fatter tube and large doe foot applicator of this, as you really need just one quick swipe to sort out under each eye. I’ve started using this as my travel concealer, as I know for sure it’ll cover both darkness under my eyes and any blemishes (I don’t use a super light one under my eyes as I’m not largely into the very stark contrast to brighten on a day to day basis).
I keep this concealer in my makeup bag daily, as it’s fab for touching up around my mouth/nose during the course of the day. Being a slightly more hydrating formula, it blends without turning cakey.
That being said, I do find that with it being hydrating – if I use it under my eyes, I absolutely have to set with a little powder, or it creases. It still looks lovely, and I really enjoy the finish it gives.
Said to be a dupe for the infamous Tarte Shape Tape (which I’ve still yet to try), I loved the full coverage, finish and lasting power of this concealer.
It’s another concealer you can use to both highlight, contour AND conceal (when used in different shades), and I mostly loved this for the super high coverage and the lack of any cakiness to it. It’s really beautiful!
Maybelline does GOOD concealers guys. This fit me concealer is a lot more skin-like, and more on the medium coverage side, but it works like an absolute bomb. It conceals darkness under the eyes AND blemishes, and it lasts all day long. This is another one I’d happily take away with me as the only concealer in my makeup bag.
My favourite product from the Candid range. The packaging is super travel friendly, and really helps you from making a huge mess of your loose powder.
The powder itself is also very finely milled, doesn’t leave you looking cakey and also helps your makeup last longer.
BEST POWDER OF ALL TIME.
Guys, as I’ve mentioned above, I have combo skin. But I’m also in my mid 30’s now, so I don’t want to be layering up the heavy powder on a day to day basis. Yet I need it to keep oils at bay.
This powder not only sets your makeup in place and keeps your skin shine free, it also has an every so subtle sheen to it that leaves your skin looking fresh, glowy and not cakey at all. I find it also brightens my skin a little too, and it’s definitely become my go to for setting under the eyes.
Catrice – don’t you DARE discontinue this product! I will be devastated and will have to buy as many backups as possible.
Wet n Wild have showed up so well in this post. The Photofocus Pressed Powder is actually said to be a dupe for the MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural powder. I’ve never tried this, but what I can say is that it’s a very soft powder that sets makeup really beautifully with no flashback or cakiness.
As with all Wet n Wild products, it’s also certified cruelty free!
If you REALLY suffer with shine, then this is the powder for you. It will most definitely keep makeup looking super matte, and lasts like that all day long!
I cannot go a day without bronzer – it adds so much dimension to your face, and even on minimal makeup days, you’ll see me with a little concealer, mascara and bronzer on. I even use bronzer on my eyes to contour the crease and lower lash line when I’m not wearing other eye makeup.
I love how soft and natural the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer is. It comes in a couple of different shades (I have the light one), and it smells like a summer holiday. Plus, it also lasts forever – I’ve owned this for a couple of years at least, I use it a few times a week and I’m only NOW hitting pan.
I have never enjoyed shimmery bronzer until this Catrice one. It’s not glittery, but rather gives a gorgeous celestial glow to the skin – making you the ultimate bronzed goddess.
I used this on my face and eyes almost daily and it took me over a year to finish this bronzer. I so badly want to repurchase it, but I’m trying to finish up a few others in my collection first.
I absolutely loved this little palette. I won’t lie, I didn’t use the highlight shade all that much (but at the time I owned this, I wasn’t really that clued up on using a lighter powder on the right areas of my face, and it was FAR too light for under my eyes because I used a LOT of self tan haha). However the shade of bronzer was super – warm enough to bronze the face, yet neutral enough to contour with.
I’d actually like to repurchase this and test out the lighter shade again!
These blushes are small enough to be travel friendly, yet they pack such a punch in the pigmentation department! They come in 4 shades that are all beautiful (I’ve used all 4), but my favourite is Pink Fog (a dusty rose with a slight satin sheen).
Baked into a dome, the small blush will last for ages, and even though they’re very pigmented, they blend with ease. All of them are so easy to use, and achieve that natural flush with. Also – the flush of colour lasts all day, with no fading!
I cannot seem to find a local link for these blushes, yet my local store is still selling them. I just know that they’re under R100 (as far as I remember), in a massive pan, and come in a huge array of shades for all skin tones. This colour, Just Natural is a beautiful peachy shade that gives a natural flush of colour to the skin.
They blend beautifully, and last well, and you can buy them in matte finishes (like this one), satin finishes or shimmery ones.
This is actually a full face palette, but considering that it contains more blush than other products, I threw it in here.
3 blushes in varying finishes and colours (I enjoy sweeping a brush through all 3 for a 4th, beautiful shade), 2 bronzers (1 matte and 1 with a sheen to it, both relatively neutral) and a GORGEOUS champagne highlight, all in this slim palette make it a dream for travel.
The best part of this palette? You can not only create multiple face looks with it, it’s fab to use on the eyes as well! I love to use the matte bronzer in the crease, the shimmer bronzer all over the lid and the highlight on my inner corner and brow bone. BAM – day time eyelook! Just add a little mascara and you’re set.
I’ve seen that Catrice has now done this highlight in another shade or 2, but this is just gorgeous for light skin tones. It’s a gentle warm tone, but you can apply it with a light hand for a subtle glow, or go a little heavier for a really intense shine.
This is also a massive pan of highlight so it’s lasted me forever already and I’m not even halfway through. I also like to add a little to the centre of my eyelid with a finger tip (to add a bit of a halo effect), to my inner corner and my brow bone.
These Wet n Wild highlighters are SUPERB. I actually want to get another shade or 2 in this formula, as it’s buttery and soft. No chunky glitters, just intense, wet looking shine.
I love using this for a night out, but it can easily be used day to day if you just buff it out a little more. Whenever I wear this out, I get asked what highlight I have on. This shade is more golden, whereas the shade Blossom Glow (next on my list!) is more of a rosey hue. Both are absolutely beautiful! They do come in a deeper tone too for darker skin tones.