Bargain beauty products: 4 complete makeup looks for $25 or less!

bargain beauty products
bargain beauty products

If you’ve ever spent more than 60 seconds inside a Sephora, you know how quickly things can rack up. A Guerlain bronzer here, a Chanel lipstick there, maybe even a Nars eyeshadow quad or two—and suddenly your makeup bag is worth more than your designer handbag. It makes us long for the days when a splurge was considered dropping $4 on a drugstore Lipsmackers.

Saving money on beauty products seems like a great idea in theory, but is it possible to save funds and still look fabulous? The short answer: YES! With a mix of drugstore brands and savvy shopping skills, it’s more than possible to create a complete look for less than $25. (And one that’s just as glam as a look created with top dollar products!) To show you just how easy it is to do beauty on a budget, we challenged the Beauty Panel to share their bargain beauty buys.

Challenge 55: How do you create a beauty look for under $25? See the answers now! »

Never ones to balk at a challenge, our blogging experts rose to the occasion and traded in their luxe products in favour of wallet friendly goods. Beauty PhD’s Maggie Ng uses drugstore beauty brands and a few quick tricks to stretch her budget, while This Was Forever’s Emily Chan perfected her spring beauty look with ease, offering up plenty of shopping advice. Read on to see all the bargain beauty buys and you’ll see: Saving money never looked so good.

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


bargain beauty products emily

Emily Chan

Just because you’re on a tight budget, it doesn’t mean that your makeup look has to look it. I’m a firm believer that beauty doesn’t need to be costly. Here is a $25 beauty look I have created to get the most for your hard-earned buck.

On my face, I’m using one of my favorite foundations: Maybelline’s Fit Me. I love this foundation because of it’s wide color range. I have a really yellow undertone, and this foundation suits my skin more than most high-end foundations. I used the Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil to thicken and shape my brows. I prefer eyeliners for my brows instead of brow pencils because the color lasts twice as long.

For my eyes, I have kept it very simple and only applied false lashes to my top lashes. The ones that I’m wearing are from an online boutique called Born Pretty Store and are very natural. The most affordable lipsticks with the best color payoff are the Wet and Wild MegaLast Mega Last Lip Color. The lipstick glides on so easily and doesn’t cake or feather. With such a bold lip, I skipped blush and straight to contouring to finish up the entire look. I applied the N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder diagonally under my cheekbones and on the sides of my nose from the bridge straight down.

And there you have it! No high-end products needed to create this fun and playful look that’s so perfect for spring.

Products used: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in “220,” Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in “Stable Brown,” Born Pretty Store Fantastic Brown False Eyelash, Wet and Wild MegaLast Mega Last Lip Color in “Don’t Blink Pink,” N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder

bargain beauty products maggie

Maggie Ng
Toronto | Beauty PhD

Trying to achieve a makeup look on a budget is totally do-able! Especially if you visit your local drugstores and find items on sale. I guess beggars can’t be choosers. The quality or packaging might not be the BEST, but there are some decent drugstore brands out there that perform quite well. You just have to get creative with the application! Here are the products I used with a budget of $25.

For my face, I used Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in Natural Buff which was on sale. Score!

For my eyes, I turned to E.L.F. Essential Brightening Eyeliner in Black. The trick with pencil eyeliner is you can apply it onto the entire eyelid and using a makeup brush (or fingers or Q-Tips), it’s usually soft enough to blend out like an eyeshadow. Especially the kohl liners. This is commonly done by makeup artists as eye pencil tends not to be as messy as using black powdered eyeshadow, which usually has a lot of fallout. After you achieve your eyeshadow look using the Pencil/Blend technique, with the same eye pencil, I went over my top and bottom eyeliner, lining the inner rim to define my eye shape. I topped off my lashes with Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Show Off Mascara in Black which was on sale.

For my blush, I used E.l.f. Blush in Tickled Pink and Annabelle Lip Liner in Buff.

Add them all together for a grand total of $24.11! Since we live in good ol’ Canada, tax can always be an issue when it comes down to the final price. So if the budget is $25 including tax, then I would’ve taken out the blush and lip liner and opted for a low-cost lipstick and used that same lipstick as blush! So there’s always an alternative! Hope you enjoyed this and will have fun trying out your own makeup look on a budget!

Products used: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in “Natural Buff” ($5.96), E.l.f. Essential Brightening Eyeliner in “Black” ($2.25), Rimmel Scandaleyes Show Off Mascara in “Black” ($5), E.l.f. Blush in “Tickled Pink” ($4.95), Annabelle Lipliner in “Buff” ($5.95)

bargain beauty products janella

Janella Panchamsingh
Toronto | Bold n Beautiful Makeup

Beauty on a budget is very important to me. I look for various ways to stretch my dollar as much as I can, especially because after working in the beauty industry I know there are misconceptions on how well products perform based on their prices. I am always out to prove that more expensive products don’t always perform as well as their price tags. These are a few of my favourite items right now, for a look that costs just over $25—which is perfect for a beauty on a budget.

Products used: Avon Eye Dimensions Eyeshadow Quad in “Khaki Chic” ($10), Red Cherry Lashes #523 ($1.50), NYX Blush in “Copper” ($3.50) Maybelline Buff Collection Lipstick in “#945” ($8.00), Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in “Caramel” ($5.00)

bargain beauty products stephanie

Stephanie Lau
Toronto | Fun Size Beauty

In the past few years, drugstore brands have been stepping up their makeup game. From multitudes of colour to innovative formulations, you can get some serious bang for your buck. Plus, if you use coupons and shop sales, you’re bound to get a great deal and great product.

Shopping my makeup collection for a full face of product with only $25 is as easy as pie. First thing’s first. A base. If anything, a good foundation is what I’ll splurge on. The CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation is high coverage yet natural looking. In fact, it’s so high coverage that it can double up as a concealer. To warm up my cheeks, I used the NYC Bronzer in “Sunny.”

For the eyes, I kept it simple with a pop of purple eyeliner by Wet n Wild and no-fuss, no-smudge mascara from NYC (at under $5 for both). To finish off, I swiped a peachy pink lipstick by Annabelle.

And there you have it. A full makeup look for less than $25.

Products used: Annabelle TwistUp Lipstick in “Bubble” ($6.60), NYC Big Bold Curl Mascara ($3.99), NYC Bronzer in “Sunny” ($2.99), Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation ($11), Wet N Wild Color Icon Pencil Eyeliner in “Purple” ($1.09)