Everyone loves budget beauty right? We’ve talked about our drugstore favourites, more than once actually, and yet we can’t help but bring up the topic again simply because we cycle through new favourites all the time. Call us flighty, but that’s the blessing (and curse) of testing out new products every week. For your benefit, dear readers! Stick with us as we bring you through our current beauty favourites, all under $16 by the way — basically, the ones we’d spend money on because they’re way too much a steal.
“Do you use makeup brushes? Do you clean them each time they are used? You should. Dirty brushes encourage bacteria growth, plus your makeup brushes become less effective with product build-up. While I obsessively give my makeup tools a good thorough cleaning every weekend, I use this spray to refresh them each day. Just spritz straight onto the bristles, brush back and forth onto a tissue, and you’re good.” — Adele Chan, Editor-in-Chief
“I love lipsticks, which explains how I constantly have at least 3 on me always, and while I’m partial to the luxurious packaging of more high-end ones, truth be told, drugstore brands work just as well too. So obviously, I’m gonna include my recent go-to nude colour here. I’ve been using Maybelline’s Hypersharp Eyeliner since I first knew makeup anything, and then their lipsticks, and I must say, the brand has been consistently bringing their A-game since. While I was initially skeptical, though also mildly excited, of a matte lipstick that promised twice the matte intensity — for fear of parched lips and an uneven finish — I was pleasantly surprised at how the Powder Mattes lipstick delivered. It glides on way more smoothly than a normal one, like running your fingers through silk, while the pigment goes on packed and pigmented even with just one swipe, with none of that horrible cracked effect. Plus, can I say how flattering this nude shade is?” — Amelia Tan, Associate Editor
“Since I didn’t want to splurge on the infamous Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz or Benefit’s Precisely My Brows, a friend of mine recommended the NYX Micro Brow Pencil, which is known as their closest dupe within the beauty community. My natural brows aren’t that sparse, so the skinny tip gives the perfect amount of precision when I’m feathering in fine lines here and there to mimic my brow hairs. When I used it for the first time, a colleague commented, “Your brows look extra good today.” Sure, it might have also been the new Glossier Boy Brow, but I’m pretty sure she was complimenting the bold work done by this brow pencil. Now, the only issue here is that I go through these pencils relatively quick, but when it’s priced at $15, I’m really not too bothered by it.” — Jade Yeo, Writer
“I do believe that you get what you pay for to a certain extent, which is why I can be quite dubious of really cheap makeup from street brands. I was really disappointed by Primark’s makeup line (what was I really expecting from a £1 pound lipstick), but H&M’s limited edition makeup range managed to save the day! From the first swatch, I was in love with the colour, the intensity, and the creaminess of their eyeliner. I ended up bringing home an Electric Blue eyeliner that I often used to line my lower lid for a pop of colour that got me countless compliments. The eyeliner could last an entire day in hot and humid weather without smudging even when my face becomes a bit oily, making it a steal at $8!
Could you imagine how thrilled I was when H&M finally announced that they were bringing their beauty line to Singapore? Alas, H&M had revamped its entire beauty line before the relaunch, and all my favourite colours were nowhere to be found. They do however have a similar muted electric blue shade with a metallic finish that I also love. Here’s hoping that one day H&M will decide to bring back their neon colours range, even if it’s for a limited edition launch.” — Michelle Ng, Writer
“I get a thrill out of finding cheap beauty products that don’t disappoint in terms of function, and this one supports the statement that ’all good eyeliners are found in a drugstore’. At a price this good, you’re getting almost every quality the brand is touting – it’s humidity-proof, sweat-proof, waterproof…all that great stuff, but doesn’t quite hold up to being smudge-proof, which might not be that much of a deterrent since it’s easily manipulated to achieve that smoky eye we all love sporting. Application-wise, it’s pretty similar to an eyeliner I raved about not too long ago — soft and vivid pigment in a single stroke. I own quite a few brow products and a pressed powder from Rimmel, too, and all of them have yet to disappoint.” — Patrene Mathieu, Designer
“When I started experimenting with falsies, I’ve always thought that the more expensive it is, the better it will look on. I started off buying 2 pairs from a brand many raved about — they looked nice but it felt heavy on my eyes and it wasn’t comfortable at all so I was really disappointed that I wasted quite the amount on them. Then, I recently discovered that Daiso carries a wide range of false lashes and thought I’d give them a go, just for fun. Tried them on and I was immediately sold! They give you just the right amount of lash drama and are really light and super comfortable on the eyes, but most importantly, you get quality lashes for just $2!! I’ll be heading back to Daiso soon to stock up, and I’m definitely going to purchase 10 pairs this time round.” — Nurasyiqin Sedik, Media Executive
“Not only are the Essano Facial Wipes made using a natural formula, they have added benefits you would want from your makeup wipes. With certified organic ingredients such as Rosehip Oil, Aloe Vera and Green Tea, I get the extra comfort of no nasty chemicals and it being fragrance-free is perfect for my sensitive skin. It also comes from one of my favourite countries, New Zealand. This gem product is a great essential item for my routine, whether it’s removing makeup before cleansing or before a workout.” — Eleni Kontorigas , Media Executive