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wikiHow to Find Inexpensive, Good Quality Makeup

Three Methods:Finding Your ProductsMaintaining Quality Makeup ProductsChoosing Your Look

Makeup can work wonders for faces, create depth, and perhaps a "new" bone structure and look. However, not everyone is able to spend huge amounts for every moisturizer, powder compact, lipstick, and other beauty products sold in today's market. Brand names with flashy packaging go to great lengths to get you to buy the more expensive product. But with research and a little bit of effort, you're bound to find quality makeup dupes (inexpensive look-a-like) at a cheaper price.[1]

Method 1
Finding Your Products

  1. Image titled Find Inexpensive, Good Quality Makeup Step 1
    Browse through drugstores. Drugstores are going to have the largest selection of inexpensive cosmetics. It is possible to find high quality products nearly equal to department store brands at a lower cost. In fact, some of the drugstore brands are owned by the same companies that are sold in high end department stores. This doesn't always mean it is the same quality, but there are many hidden gems if you take a good look.
    • Ask about the return policy. Buy from drugstores that allow you to return cosmetics if the color or quality turns out to be wrong.[2] Make sure you aren’t stuck with something that’s just going to collect dust.
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    Search online. If you don't feel comfortable with drugstore makeup, look online for deals on higher-end makeup. You can also try finding a new online exclusive brand you've never used before. But buying online can be tricky. Since you cannot test it out on your skin, be wary in purchasing large amounts. Check to see what the return policies are online. Keep in mind that you may have to pay for shipping as well.
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    Find coupons and sales. Oftentimes, drugstores, supermarkets, and sites online offer deals for high quality makeup. Look through places like Sephora, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Groupon, and Slickdeals. See if you can buy the quality products you want at a better price.
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    Ask for samples. Department stores will often give you samples if you spend a certain amount of money or buy an advertised product. If you make a purchase, be sure to ask for a sample and test to see if you'd like to purchase a bigger bottle in the future.

Method 2
Maintaining Quality Makeup Products

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    Splurge on the products you need most.[3] You should invest in things you use on a regular basis, such as cleanser, moisturizer, & foundation.[4] You may also consider splurging on products that have a longer shelf life. Concealers and blush usually last from 1-2 years, whereas eyeshadows, eyeliners, and mascaras grow bacteria so the safest bet would be to throw out those products every three months.[5] Save on products that you aren't going to use very often.
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    Test the quality. Go beyond the packaging, and start reading the fine print.[6] The first step is to test the quality of the pigment. Cheaper cosmetics can show up dull and come off more easily. Take a bit of the product, and swipe it onto your skin. Rub it in so that the makeup sticks to your skin. The color should appear true to the packaging. Foundations, concealers, eyeliners should never feel heavy or greasy. It should absorb and blend in well with your skin but should not smudge too easily. Lipsticks and glosses should not be greasy, sticky, or dry. [7]
    • To keep up with competition, drugstore brands will use the same ingredients as brand name companies. Compare the ingredients, and analyze before buying.[8]
    • Dry skin is not the best surface to test on because the makeup will not properly adhere. Hydrate your skin by moisturizing after washing daily. [9]
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    Purchase good quality makeup tools and brushes. Quality brushes will be soft to the touch. The brush fibers will stay in tact and continually feel soft through continued use.[10] Using the proper tools can make or break how well a cosmetic performs. Choosing the right tool for the right job is how you are going to make the most of low cost cosmetics. Invest in good primers for your eyelids and skin that illuminate and have holding power for long-lasting stay.[11] Using a brush to apply your foundation, blush, lipstick and shadow will reduce the amount of product you use, and give you longer lasting results.[12]
    • Quite often, you get what you pay for when it comes to brushes. Build your collection slowly. Quality triumphs over quantity in the realm of tools.
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    Wash your makeup brushes regularly.[13] A high quality set of brushes will last you a lifetime if cared for correctly. Wet the bristles (avoid getting the handle wet). Lather with a gentle soap or shampoo in your palm. Rinse again, squeeze the water out, then allow the bristles to air-dry on the edge of a table. Place a dry paper towel underneath the brush. A clean brush makes for quality makeup application and a well-blended, finished look. [14]

Method 3
Choosing Your Look

  1. Image titled Find Inexpensive, Good Quality Makeup Step 9
    Research the brands. Peruse through fashion magazines, and online reviews for low cost cosmetics. This is your first and best step to finding makeup. You will find hundreds of helpful reviews from beginners to professionals online. But as always, don’t believe everything you read. You’ll never really know until you try it on yourself.
    • For good quality brands and products available at drugstores, read the products credits next to photos in fashion magazines. Professional makeup artists tend to use less expensive and readily available products.[15]
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    Know your complexion. It can be overwhelming walking into a cosmetic department with so many options. To combat that, start by deciding on the look or products you are going for. Take into consideration your complexion, eye color, and hair color. Search out looks that are similar to those, to help prevent the confusion of color choice.
    • Skin tone breaks down into two types, yellow based (olive skin), and pink based (pinkish, peach skin). Do not let surface redness or scars confuse you. When you tan do you turn olive, bronze, or golden? If yes, you are yellow based. If you turn rosy, red, or a reddish brown, then you are pink based.[16]
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    Test the product on your skin. Just because it claims to be the best of the best or look amazing in the bottle doesn’t mean it is. It’s always a good idea to test the product out before you buy it. See if it's possible to try the cosmetics on beforehand.


  • The best way to purchase great makeup is to try it before you buy it.
  • Set a budget, and stay within those boundaries. Makeup purchases can get lofty easily.


  • Some make-up products have been known to cause some side-effects that could be harmful for the skin.[17]
  • Beware, sometimes you get what you pay for. Cheaper price, can mean cheaper quality.[18]

Article Info

Categories: Basic Makeup