Affordable Drugstore Swaps for High End Cosmetics

Think only high-end products will get you the look that you want? Think again! Swap that high dollar mascara for a drugstore brand that will work just as well

I used to work in Corporate America in the software industry. It’s a profitable business to be in. The more money I made, the more I spent. I LOVED spending money on beauty products and fashion. As such, I developed a makeup routine consisting of high-end, high-dollar makeup products.

I still LOVE makeup, of course. Once I broke up with my corporate job and started to build my freelance career, I had to take a long, hard look at my expenses. This meant dividing expenses into necessities and non-essentials. Turns out, $25 mascara is not a necessity.

I don’t mean to insinuate that a good makeup splurge is not sometimes in order. However, I am insinuating that a Practical Product Paramour will also shop for beauty bargains. Turns out, you can certainly find some awesome, inexpensive cosmetic swaps an your local drugstore.

The Drugstore Switcheroo

I took some of my favorite ‘daily routine’ products and swapped them out for some Drugstore brands. No one noticed the difference in my look, but I definitely noticed the difference in my pocketbook.


High-End brand: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $25.00 
Drugstore brand: L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara $9.47 
Savings: $15.53 

Why you’ll love the Drugstore swap: It’s all about the brush! For me, this mascara’s brush is every bit as fabulous as the expensive formula brush. The brush is the perfect shape to coat my lashes well for a perfect application every time. It doesn’t clump and the product lasts as long or longer than the high-end brand.


High-End brand: MAC Powder Blush in Peachykeen $25.00 
Drugstore brand: L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Blush in Baby Blossom $11.98
Savings: $18.00 

Why you’ll love the Drugstore swap: This blush gives cheeks a subtle radiance that is buildable. Both options give you a smooth, natural looking application. So you feel like your cheeks are getting high-end treatment but at an affordable price!

Blur Stick

High-End brand: Nudestix Nudies Tinted Blur Stick in Light 1 $30.00 
Drugstore brand: Maybelline Master Blur Stick in Light/Medium $9.49
Savings: $20.51 

Why you’ll love the Drugstore swap: The first thing you’ll take note of is the gigantic cost savings! WOW! In the summertime, the blue stick has become an all-in-one primer and tint for me. It glides on and is super easy to use. It shrinks those pores and mattifies my super oily skin! Sometimes I finish with a little Ulta Mineral blush and I am good to go! The Maybelline brand doesn’t have as many shade options but otherwise is very comparable to the Nudestix option!

Brow Kit

High-End brand: Benefit Foolproof Brow Powder in Medium $24.00 
Drugstore brand: e.l.f Cosmetics EyeBrow Kit in Medium $3.00
Savings: $21.00 

Why you’ll love the Drugstore swap: Here is another impressive cost savings! I like to keep a variety of brow products on hand just in case. The e.l.f. variety has definitely made its way into my rotation! This kit has a tinted wax and setting powder combo that are very complimentary. I can use both for a bolder look or apply the setting powder alone for a more natural look. For $3.00, I’ll definitely take it!

Matte Lipstick

High-End brand: MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in Scattered Petals $19.00
Drugstore brand: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipcolor in Daringly Nude $8.49
Savings: $10.51 

Why you’ll love the Drugstore swap: Like it’s MAC counterpart, the matte Maybelline option has a creamy texture that hydrates. There aren’t as many shade options in the drugstore brand but the nude shade is very comparable.

Final Thought

The moral of this story is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks. Also, trying out a few drugstore cosmetic options could save you you a pretty penny!

If you are looking to save some money but are nervous about giving up your upscale favorites, try swapping out just one at a time to start. You just might end up replacing your whole cosmetic bag with bargain buys!

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