Makeup is one of many art mediums. It enhances personal beauty and branding when used routinely.  Getting glammed up is one of my favorite outward expressions of self-care and femininity!

Listen, if a product works, it works.  There is no need to pay for a celebrity endorsement unless the makeup outperforms other less expensive brands.

Over the course of a year, -and dare I say a lifetime, the cost of beauty products will add up! Women of color have the added challenge of matching our unique skin tones. Yet, many of the essentials can be purchased without paying department store prices.

Here are my top ten high performing favorites…

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  1. Iman Second To None Foundation –Homage to one of the first black supermodels! Iman is not only a fashion icon and a global treasure, she has also harnessed her resources to create the perfect inexpensive foundation option. This formula performs like a skin magic-eraser to even out discolorations and tiny imperfections much like stage makeup, -but the finish is natural and breathable. All for under $20 and available at Target stores. This product must never be discontinued!
  2. The best cheap mascara award goes to Rimmel London Voluminous Mascara. Nothing is worse than purchasing a mascara tube that offers volume, color, and length, -only to find that the liquid inside is actually the consistency of water and does absolutely nothing to enhance the lash-line. This formula delivers great everyday volume for under $10. LoveIsOn
  3. I initially did not believe the hype when I researched Revlon’s Love Is On red lipstick. The claim is that the color looks great on everyone. Since I was in the market for the perfect red shade, I gave it a try. Now that I am in love with this infectiously scented tube of joy, I noticed that it is often sold-out in the big box stores like Target and Walmart, where the cost is about $5. You may pay a bit more at drug stores but it is worth twice the price, -scoring points for the smooth feel, lovely tube, and that wonderful scent!
  4. Buxom plumper lip gloss is a little more high end, but it is worth the cost for flawless wear and a plumping tingle sensation that functions like a face-lift for your lips! I have worn several different shades and they are all equally flattering, retailing at $20 each.Makeup Trio
  5. For special occasion make-overs, I prefer easy to apply lash enhancements over lash extensions. Eylure Naturals get the job done quickly and under budget costing about $10 for several pair. Anyone can apply these!
  6. Brow color and intensity can be tricky, so a natural color is essential. While MAC Cosmetic’s brow pencil has my heart, NYX Precision Brow Pencil wins for beauty on a budget. It costs less than half the price of the MAC pencil and is available at Ulta Beauty stores.  The wide color selection provides great options for brow enhanced makeup looks.
  7. e.l.f. liquid liner  is a no-brainer because at only $2 it has great lasting finish and a high quality brush for precision application.
  8. Black Opal Flawless All Over Concealer is a well kept secret for women of color. I normally find this brand only in superstores in highly diverse neighborhoods but for color this natural at under $10, I will travel and buy in bulk!
  9. Black Opal Invisible Oil Blocking Powder outperforms some very popular department store brands that I will not list here by name. Both the loose powder and the compact wick away shine and are amazingly translucent, so you do not need to match your skin tone, one powder works for all.
  10. Okay, -so not all eye color is created equally. Major brands contain enough pigment to show up on most skin complexions. For low cost eye brightening color, the  award goes to Black Opal EyeShadow! At under $10, there are no mid-day creases, even without primer. The compacts are long lasting and don’t crack easily when dropped!BlackOpal

What are some of your favorites? Comment and share!

Everyday Makeup

2 thoughts on “The List: High Performing Inexpensive Make-up Brands

  1. Very informative. I’m just starting to use makeup , now that I’m almost 50 😊 So i’m lost when it comes to purchasing products and application . I appreciate your help and you look great !!


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