This top-reviewed concealer is the game-changer you need in your beauty routine.
Does the perfect concealer exist? That depends on your skin type, the time of year, and the climate. If you are looking for a great beauty product that’s actually affordable, it might seem like an impossible task. However, 96,500+ people may disagree with that sentiment.
You can use this beloved product to conceal fine lines, blemishes, redness, and dark circles, according to the brand. Or you can get a darker shade and use this to contour. If you’ve tried everything, you might as well check out this amazing deal. For $7, what do you have to lose? The (the appearance of) some under eye bags.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer, Brightener
This concealer has up to 12 hours of hydrating wear, according to the brand. It’s crease-resistant and you can use it to 1. conceal 2. color correct or 3. to contour. This applicator makes blending it so easy to blend your look and there are 18 beautiful shades to choose from.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer Reviews
A shopper declared, “Holy grail concealer!!!! HELLO where have you been all my life? How have I slept on this drugstore product for so long?! It gets glowing reviews everywhere and now I know why. Started using concealer about 6/7 years ago and never in all those years found something that either matched my skin tone or didn’t crease and look awful – or both. From the high end to the organic to the low end, never found it. Enter this simple product and the quest is over. Formulation is light and creasing is barely noticeable on me even without setting.”
Another shared, “I like the product so well that I am on my third one. I use this all over my face where needed to blend In any dark spots and under eyes . It never cakes. Light is a perfect blend for my skin. Cant tell I have anything on . I feel that it makes me look years younger.“
Someone else explained, “I have tried countless concealers for my under eye circles—most of which cost triple the price of this one by the way. I figured I’d try this on a whim because the reviews were so great and it was so inexpensive. It’s officially become my new favorite concealer. It’s not cakey, it blends easily, it doesn’t crease and it lasts all day.”
An Amazon customer said, “This inexpensive dark circle concealer is the best I’ve ever found. It goes on very easily and stays on for hours on my skin. It blends easily with a light touch of my finger. It really does hide my dark circles! I feel so lucky to have tried it. I was fortunate to order the right color for me. I am 72 years young and had almost given up on products like this. It’s never too late.”
Eyeliner is a makeup bag staple for a reason: that seemingly simple line traced around your eyes makes a statement. Heck, the use of eyeliner dates as far back as 10,000 BC across Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt where that statement read, the thicker the lines, the higher your status. Thankfully, in today’s modern world, finding a quality eyeliner doesn’t require a high standing status—or a splurge for that matter. One stroll down the drugstore aisles will reveal dozens of eyeliner options to meet the needs of beauty professionals and first-time liners alike; many of which have also lined the eyes of celebrities like Emma Stone, Camila Cabello, and Sofia Vergara.
But truth be told, the right eyeliner can mean the difference between crisp, lined definition, and a smeary, smudgy mess. That’s where we helped cut through the beauty clutter and rounded up a collection of editor- and makeup artist-approved drugstore eyeliners that you can rely on for any makeup look.
If you’re searching for a great everyday product, Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner received the best overall for its waterproof formula, always sharp tip, and wide range of colors—from neutrals to jewel tones.
From classic pencils in unexpected vibrant colors, to liquid and gel liners that hold up to the elements, these drugstore eyeliners are proof that it doesn’t take a designer liner to master a gorgeous eye makeup look.
What We Love: This creamy, waterproof liner has a built-in sharpener so you’ll always have a fine tip for easy lining.
What We Don’t Love: You will need a good makeup remover and gentle rub to take it off.
There’s a reason—scratch that—many reasons—why this eyeliner is a beloved favorite among beauty professionals and novices alike, and earns the top spot on our list. The hybrid design combines the precision tip of a twist-up pencil, with the ease-of-use of a traditional pencil liner. The dual-ended pencil houses a creamy, waterproof formula on one end, and a blending tip on the other, which also pops out to reveal a tiny, shreds-free sharpener for an extra-fine point. The pencil glides on smooth making it ideal for everything from simple lining to graphic swooping, and stays put until you decide to wash it away.
Best Pencil Liner: L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner
What We Love: The soft, jet black pencil is intensely pigmented for dramatic lines.
What We Don’t Love: This pencil is only available in one shade.
This classic pencil liner strikes the delicate balance of having a just-soft-enough tip that is perfect for strategic smudging, without turning smeary and messy. “While sometimes we’re looking for a pencil that doesn’t move, we also might want something smudgy and sexy,” makeup artist, Ashleigh Ciucci told InStyle. “This pencil is super soft and creates nice density but it blends out effortlessly for a smoky liner look,” she adds. While the dark kajal pencil is only available in an inky black shade, it’s an intense black that’s perfect for a smoldering eye makeup look.
Type: Pencil | Color Range: 1 black shade | Waterproof: No
Best Liquid Liner: Milani Stay Put Matte 17 Hr Wear Liquid Liner
What We Love: The deep matte pigment is intensely bold at first swipe and holds up well to moisture.
What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t have the finest point for precision lines.
There’s something about the two-piece ink pot and applicator design that makes this drugstore eyeliner feel exceptionally fancy as you apply it. The rich pigment goes on smooth and dries in seconds, so that meticulously traced line remains smudge-free from the minute it hits your face. The pretty matte finish adds a softer, understated effect to the eyes that pairs well with bold shadows, and the long wear pigment lives up to its all day (and night) promise without so much as a crease, crack, or smear.
Type: Liquid | Color Range: 4 dark shades | Waterproof: Water-resistant
Best Ink Pot: e.l.f. cream eyeliner pot
What We Love: The creamy pigment is rich and inky, but sets in seconds and won’t smudge.
What We Don’t Love: It requires a fine point eyeliner brush for application.
If winged eyeliner is your beauty mantra, this gel-pot gives you ultimate control so you can pack as much (or as little) pigment onto your brush as you need. The rich cream-gel formula is silky smooth, making it easy to manage how thick, thin, subtle, or dramatic your eyeliner looks. A single pass of any one of the three highly pigmented shades (black, brown, and teal) delivers intense color payoff. Plus, the long-wear formula holds up impressively well through anything, including happy tears and hot yoga.
Type: Gel | Color Range: 3 shades | Waterproof: Water-resistant
Best Gel Liner: CoverGirl Ink It Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner
What We Love: The mechanical twist-up pencil gives you a fine tip for every use.
What We Don’t Love: The color selection is limited to only two shades, black and brown.
Here’s a tried-and-true eyeliner that strikes the goldilocks ideal. Its texture is just soft enough for an easy glide application; the tip, just fine enough to master a precise tightline or dramatic wing; and the formula sets just fast enough, so lines remain crisp without any bleeding. However, you also have just enough time to buff or blend for a sexy smudge. The twist-up mechanical pencil ensures a precise tip for every application and its waterproof-ability is a notch above the rest.
Type: Mechanical gel pencil | Color Range: 2 shades | Waterproof: Yes
Best Longwear: Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer
What We Love: The smooth glide formula traces a fine, yet bold line with one pass.
We Don’t Love: The long-wear waterproof formula is difficult to remove.
If you’re looking for a sharp line that you don’t have to continuously trace over for bold, striking color, this retractable twist-up pencil delivers. The dual-sided liner hosts a creamy gel formula on one end, with a built-in smudger on the other, which comes in handy for subtle blending when you’re going for a softer, blurred effect. The soft tip glides on like a dream without dragging or tugging, and once the lines set, it’s there until it meets a good makeup remover and a bit of rubbing.
Type: Mechanical gel pencil| Color Range: 8 shades | Waterproof: Yes
Best Felt Tip: NYX Epic Ink Liner
What We Love: The fine, flexible, pointy tip is ideal for precise lines and effortless wings.
What We Don’t Love: The inky formula has a longer dry time.
The flexible, paintbrush-like tip makes this liner stand out from the pack, and with good reason: it allows for an ease of use that makes cat-eye flicks and graphic, winged swoops completely effortless, no matter your beauty skill level. You’ll need to wait a good 20 seconds for the pigment to set before any fussing, but once it dries that crisp liner look will remain sharp and defined all day. The glossy hue is also rich enough that all you need is one coat for striking definition around the eyes.
Type: Liquid | Color Range: 2 shades | Waterproof: Yes
Best Cruelty-Free: Wet n Wild Mega Last Breakup-Proof Liquid Eyeliner
What We Love: The pigment gradually dispenses as you line for added control.
What We Don’t Love: The marker tip can dull over time.
This eyeliner looks more like a fine-tipped marker than a traditional pencil liner and that’s exactly what makes it special. The marker is thicker than most liners and sits comfortably in your hand, allowing for better control which is especially helpful for more novice makeup do-ers. “I love this marker’s fine point, it glides on smoothly and is blacker than black,” Ciucci told InStyle. The feathery tip is fed by a mini built-in ink tank that dispenses a steady flow of pigment as you line, helping with an even application. “The real selling point for this baby is that it’s beyond waterproof and doesn’t pill.”
Type: Liquid | Color Range: 1 black shade | Waterproof: Yes
Best for Cat Eye: Maybelline Tattoo Studio Liner
What We Love: The gel liner is sharpenable and available in a nice array of shades.
What We Don’t Love: The formula sets fast, posing a challenge for smokey eye looks.
This unique gel-pencil liner delivers the best of both worlds: a silky gel-like formula paired with a pencil-like fine tip. Unlike most twist-up gel liners, which fall short in delivering an ultra-sharp tip, this gel pencil is sharpenable, giving you a precise point for easy lining and allowing you to better control the thickness of the lines for more dramatic cat eye styles.
It also swaps the drier, waxier pigments of a traditional pencil liner with a rich, creamy gel that glides on smooth, saturated with color, and stays put, even along the waterline. It has a wide shade range of nine colors, in classic and playful hues.
Type: Gel| Color Range: 9 shades | Waterproof: Yes
Best Color Variety: Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen
What We Love: The liner is available in tons of colorful shades and different finishes.
What We Don’t Love: This pencil requires frequent sharpening to maintain a fine tip.
The super-soft liner glides on smoothly and gives just enough time to smudge out for a sexy, smokey effect before it dries and sets for hours. It’s also available in a playful variety of vibrant and classic colors, which includes shiny, matte, and shimmer finishes, at an inviting price point that encourages experimentation. The creamy texture makes it especially comfortable for tracing along the waterline without tugging or poking at the delicate eye area, but you will need frequent sharpening to keep a fine tip for precision lining.
Type: Pencil | Color Range: 23 shades | Waterproof: No
Best for Waterline: NYX Professionals Slim Eye Pencil
What We Love: This intensely pigmented liner comes in an impressive range of classic and vibrant shades.
What We Don’t Love: The formula is not waterproof.
One pass of this superior pencil liner is enough to recognize it’s a cut above the other pencils of its kind — and at a fraction of the price. The vibrant range of ultra-pigmented liners are formulated with coconut oil which keep the pencil tips silky enough to glide along the delicate waterline without poking, tugging, or pulling. It also has impressive staying power so it won’t disappear after you blink. The $5 price tag is reason enough to add a pop of color to your makeup bag, and the vibrant mint green, baby blue, and purple liners will serve as a welcome change from classic black and brown.
Type: Pencil | Color Range: 24 shades | Waterproof: No
Best for Sensitive Eyes: Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner
What We Love: It’s formulated with conditioning olive oil and shea butter that won’t irritate the eye area.
What We Don’t Love: The creamy texture can smudge on oily lids.
Nourishing isn’t typically a word we associate with eyeliners but we’ll admit, this formula lives up to its name. The creamy tip contains olive oil and shea butter that gently conditions the delicate area as you trace with it, so you don’t experience any creasing or cracking from dry skin. The formula is also made to not irritate sensitive eyes and skin.
While the color selection is limited, the shades feature light-diffusing pigments which appear as a soft, subtle shimmer that, once applied, highlight the whites of your eyes for a more defined gaze. The built-in sharpener and smudger on the opposite end of the pencil also make for easy lining.
Type: Gel | Color Range: 4 shades | Waterproof: No
What to Keep in Mind
Eyeliners come in many different forms, each with their own unique benefits when it comes to control, precision, and ease-of-use. There are traditional pencils which require frequent sharpening to maintain a point, and mechanical or twist-up pencils with a gel-like formula that sometimes have a built-in sharpener. You can also find liquid or cream pigments in pots that require a fine liner brush for application. These formulas tend to be for more advanced makeup wearers.
Finding the right pigment type (kohl, kajal, liquid, gel, or cream), and application mechanism (pencil, pen, felt tip, or brush) to match your comfort level and preferred style will make for easier application.
Identifying the right formula for your eye makeup look will help guide you to the best result. If you’re looking to achieve a smokey effect, you’ll want to look for softer, creamier formulas that allow time for blending and buffing, but will also set so you’re not left with a smudgy mess. There are also long wear and waterproof formulas that promise to hold up through hot days, sweaty workouts, or marathon nights. In that case, look for a formula that sets quickly and won’t wipe away at the first sign of moisture.
The finish of an eyeliner might seem like a subtle detail (as compared to the finish of an eye shadow), but shiny, matte, or shimmery liner can make a big impact on your overall look. Matte liners offer an understated definition, while shiny and shimmery liners can create a dramatic, eye-catching effect. In the end, choosing the finish comes down to personal preference.
The creme de la creme of drugstore brands, E.L.F Cosmetics’ Camo Concealer has a creamy formula and perfectly designed applicator, plus two different finishes—hydrating and matte—that puts your favorite high-end one to shame.
Vitamin E, antioxidants, chamomile, and soy work to brighten and depuff those pesky bags under your eyes, while the flow-through brush applies the perfect amount of product for flawless coverage.
Wet n Wild Mega Last Incognito AllDay Full Coverage Concealer
The sorcery this concealer does makes it hard to believe it’s only $4. This drugstore staple is full-coverage, so it can be used without foundation to conceal impurities and blends seamlessly with your other makeup players.
L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer
Everyone has had a LA Girl concealer at one point in their life because it’s just that good. A little goes a long way with this concealer. Plus, it has an expansive shade range so you’ll be able to highlight, concealer, and contour with multiple shades.
Milani Conceal + Perfect Longwear Foundation + Concealer
To be a regular full-coverage concealer is one thing. But Milani conceals while nourishing the skin with hyaluronic acid, shea butter, olive fruit oil and more.
L’Oréal Infallible Full Wear Waterproof Concealer
If you’re a fan of the foundation, the concealer will be your new favorite. The applicator is large enough to help you sculpt all over your face. You don’t have to worry about it separating because it’s also water-resistant and transfer-resistant.
Revlon PhotoReady Candid Antioxidant Concealer
A concealer with anti-blue light ingredients? Revlon spoke to the social media influencer in all of us. No need to worry about dark circles or puffiness, this concealer erases it all.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
This concealer hides blemishes but allows for the real you to shine through with it’s light-but-effective coverage. Reviewers suggest using a darker shade as contour and a lighter shade as a highlighter because the formula works so well together.
NYX Professional Makeup Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand
Photoshop in a tube. The full coverage formula can cover the worst of breakouts and rivals Nars’ cult-favorite concealer, but at a fraction of the price. It goes on smooth without caking under your eyes, which is a major indicator of a great concealer.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer
Dark circles disappear with this concealer thanks to Gogi berry that brightens the under eye area and leaves your face illuminated for up to twelve hours. Tip: Spend the other twelve hours in the day sleeping to get rid of those dark circles for good.
Revlon ColorStay Concealer
The salicylic acid in Revlon’s ColorStay concealer is a pimple’s worst enemy as it eliminates blemishes in no time. Treatment plus coverage equals happy skin. Cover up now then say goodbye to your zit for good.
Best Overall: Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain
There’s nothing better than a multi-use product that looks incredible no matter how you wear it — and few compare to Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Rose Lip Blush & Cheek Tint. Not only does it act as a stain for your lips, it also adds a gorgeous flush to your cheeks, too.
Upon application, the liquid formula looks pretty glossy, but as the color soaks into your lips and sets, the end result is very natural, leaving a tint that looks like you just finished a cherry popsicle. The best part is that the pigment won’t fade or budge — it’ll stay in place for up to eight hours, even if you’re eating and drinking. The swipe-and-go formula is ideal for those no-makeup makeup days to instantly add a pop of color to your face.
We do wish we could change the tiny applicator, though, because the brush is a bit flimsy and sometimes causes the stain to feather along the lip line. To avoid this, it’s helpful to use your fingers to blend out the formula.
Shades: 5 | Wear Time: 8 Hours | Finish: Natural
Price at time of publish: $30
Best Value: e.l.f. Glossy Lip Stain
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a quality lip stain. Case in point: The e.l.f. Glossy Lip Stain. The lightweight, glossy formula glides onto lips leaving behind a juicy, long-wearing sheen that’s completely buildable. One swipe gives you just a hint of color, while two coats increases the opacity — this customizable finish makes it a great lippie to transition your look from day to night. If you’re like me and need to have a lip product in every purse you own, this is one you’ll wish you had on hand in every single color. And at $6 a pop, it’s completely attainable to own each of the eight hues. The only downside is that the glossy finish is prone to fading, so to maintain a glazed look, you’ll need to reapply every so often.
It’s one thing for a product to have pretty packaging, but when the formula inside is just as impressive, it’s truly a winner. That’s the case for Dior Addict Lip Tint. The velvety tint feels and looks luxurious, making it worth the extra pocket change. While the lip stain has a semi-matte finish, it’s still incredibly hydrating and keeps lips comfortable for hours thanks to its key ingredient, cherry oil.
As much as we love the formula, the color payoff isn’t where we want it to be. The product is actually quite sheer in comparison to other lip stains. Keep this in mind, especially if you decide on a darker hue because it won’t be as bold as you would expect it to be.
Best Color Payoff: FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain quickly went viral on TikTok shortly after its release in June, which ultimately led to the product selling out by the beginning of July. Luckily, the product is back in stock, and you’ll want to grab it stat.
The application differs from other stains because you actually want to wipe it off after you apply it — this removes the glossy excess, but you’re left with a beautiful, natural-looking pigment that makes your lips look like you just enjoyed a juicy popsicle. The shade names are just as delightful as the color payoff, too: Strawberry Sangria, Berry Banger, Mai Type, and Zesty Bestie are odes to the feelings and flavors of summer.
If your lips are prone to drying out, make sure to exfoliate before applying this lip stain. The formula tends to cling onto dry patches, and can make the overall finish appear splotchy.
Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 7 Hours | Finish: Natural
Price at time of publish: $24
Best Matte: L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain
If you’re always on the go and looking for a lip stain that will get you through an entire day, this is the one for you. While lip stains are designed to stay on longer than other lip products, the Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain from L’Oréal Paris creates the ultimate transfer-proof look. Personally, I usually opt for more matte lip stains, and this is one of my favorites because I don’t have to worry about reapplying during long work days — even after lunch or a coffee break. The pointed applicator allows you to precisely apply the product, and makes it easy to line as well as fill in your lips. The formula feels heavy when you first put it on, but rest assured that once it dries you won’t be able to tell that you have anything on your lips.
Shades: 37 | Wear Time: 10 hours | Finish: Matte
Price at time of publish: $6
Best Shade Range: Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Always Red
It’s not common to find a lip product that’s available in over 20 shades, let alone nearly 100. But Sephora is here serving variety and quality with their Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick. When testing the product I couldn’t help but fall in love with the color range, which includes everything from trending colors like Coral Sunset (a brick red), to all-year staples like Honeymoon (a nude pink). The best part is that once you apply the product it truly does not budge — I even tried Dare To Be Pink, a hot pink, and it stayed for hours without fading, feathering, or transferring. If you do choose a darker hue, you may need to swipe on an extra layer on the center of your lips because I find it to be a little sheer after just one swipe.
Shades: 79 | Wear Time: 10+ Hours | Finish: Matte
Price at time of publish: $15
Best Plumping: Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain
If you want an extra boost in the pout department but are wary of getting fillers (we get it, needles can be scary), Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain is a great alternative and immediate solution that doesn’t require long term commitment. The serum-like formula features hyaluronic acid (an ingredient used in fillers) to hydrate and plump, and it coats your lips with a juicy, glossy color. You won’t experience the uncomfortable tingling sensation that you get with other lip plumpers, making it very comfortable to wear, too. Though the color payoff lasts for about four hours, you’ll probably need to reapply if you grab a bite to eat.
Shades: 7 | Wear Time: 4 Hours | Finish: Gloss
Price at time of publish: $22
Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick
While this product is technically marketed as lipstick, it acts just like a lip stain, earning itself a spot on the list. The precision applicator is shaped like an arrowhead, which allows you to have the utmost control when applying — this is key, especially since matte finishes are more difficult to correct once dried. And once it’s dry, you best believe it’s not going anywhere. Like the name suggests, it has super staying power and is completely budge-, transfer-, and kiss-proof for up to 16 hours. I even went out for pasta with a friend after work, and there was minimal fading after the meal. Keep in mind that the formula does take a little bit longer to dry. As a result, it may feel stickier compared to other products on this list, but once the lightweight formula sets, you’re good to go.
Shades: 40 | Wear Time: 16 Hours | Finish: Matte
Price at time of publish: $7
Best Moisturizing: Clarins Water Lip Stain
Lip stains have a tendency to feel more drying than other lip products, but this one from Clarins could double as a lip balm thanks to ultra-hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and raspberry. The four shades initially apply bold and bright, but as the day wears on they sheer out and look more natural. The watery consistency of the formula can be hard to control with the included applicator, so we recommend applying it with your fingers for the best results.
Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 8 Hours | Finish: Natural
Price at time of publish: $29
Best Sheer: Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint
Sure, Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint looks gorgeous, but what makes it stand out is what it does for your lips behind the scenes as you wear it. Not only does it keep lips hydrated with ingredients like squalane, but it also subtly plumps lips thanks to sodium hyaluronate and mustard sprout extract, which also work to soothe the lip area so you won’t experience that irritating tingly feeling that comes with some plumpers. If you prefer a more sheer lip, this is the perfect product for you because it provides a very low-key, natural look — but if you prefer more dramatic color payoff you may want to go with something else.
Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 10 Hours | Finish: Natural
Price at time of publish: $36
What to Keep in Mind
Similar to lipsticks, lip stains also come in a range of finishes. Although it’s more common to find matte or satin formulas, some lip stains can be glossy, too. While finish is totally a personal preference, matte and satin lip stains tend to wear longer than those with glossy ones. For a matte formula, we recommend Dior Addict Lip Tint, but if you’re after a more satin or natural finish opt for our best overall pick Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Rose Lip Blush & Cheek Tint. As for a glossy option, you can’t go wrong with Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain.
While you can’t really turn satin or glossy products matte, professional makeup artist and founder of Beia Beauty, Brittany Lo, says that you can make matte products glossy by swiping a clear lip gloss on top.
Not only do lip stains look more natural, but they were also invented to be long-lasting. Most formulas will stay put for four to eight hours, but there are others that can last upwards of 10. (Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick can last up to 16 hours!) Keep in mind, though, that how you prepare your lips will impact the longevity of your lip stain. Lo recommends grabbing a lip scrub, then swiping on a layer of lip balm to give your lips a boost of hydration before applying your stain.
Typically, a lip stain can dry out your lips much more quickly than other lip products, so it’s important to look for ingredients that maximize the hydration factor. Lo says to look at the label and opt for formulas that contain oils, beeswax, or humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. All of these will help lock in hydration so your lips stay comfortable all day. We find Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain to be one of the most comfortable, non-drying lip stain formulas.
If the formula doesn’t have these ingredients Gloria Lu, Cosmetic Chemist in Residence at Revela and creator of Chemist Confessions suggests “layering a lip balm over top to keep lips moisturized.”
When you think of must-have beauty products, your brain will probably overlook eyebrow gel. However, if the latest innovative brow gel formulas are any indication, it might be time to change that. The truth is, eyebrows, and brow products, are severely underrated.
Eyebrows have the power to make a face by shaping, lengthening, and defining its features. Beyond the basics, filling and defining the brows can completely change and elevate a makeup look—much the way the right hairbrush, blow-dryer, or volumizing product is key to a bombshell blowout. You can’t have great hair without great hair products, and the same goes for eyebrows.
Whether you’re looking to tame, fluff, or simply keep your ’90s-inspired skinny brows in place, these products have your arches covered. Read on for the best eyebrow gels for all your grooming and glamming needs, according to Glamour editors.
Glossier Boy Brow
She’s an icon, she’s a legend, she’s been the moment since she first launched in 2015—she is Glossier’s Boy Brow. A legion of fans swear by her super-light but thickening formula, which delivers the softest and fluffiest brows. Just a couple swipes will make your brows look groomed and defined, never cartoonish. When I’m pressed for time or want to do a minimalist makeup look, this is my go-to. —Ariana Yaptangco, senior beauty editor
Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel
My first experience with this eyebrow gel was testing it for the Glamour Beauty Awards earlier this year, and it’s stayed in my rotation ever since. I like how light the product texture feels—no greasy, clumpy sensations here. Instead I’m left with a perfectly subtle yet fluffy brow. —Anna Moeslin, deputy editor
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
I didn’t know I needed an eyebrow gel until I tried this one from Anastasia Beverly Hills. It holds my eyebrows in place and gives them a sleeker look. Sometimes I pair it with my Anastasia Brow Definer, but for the most part I’ll only use a few coats of this gel. It looks good regardless, and I will definitely be repurchasing once I run out! —Monique Wilson, editorial assistant
Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel
My go-to for hot summer days and special occasions, Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel is the Black + Decker of brow gels. Layer on a little too much, and you might end up leaving clumps of dried product behind (been there). But the tackiness is a godsend for arches that tend to fall throughout the day. Slicked on with a decisive hand, this gel will give you serious hold and definition. Plus, the dual-ended plastic applicator makes precision a cinch. —Hanna Lustig, staff writer
Tarte Big Ego Sketch & Set Brow Pencil & Tinted Gel
I’m obsessed with Tarte’s brow duo mainly because the gel side is pigmented enough to add some depth but not so much that I look as if I literally drew my brows in with a Sharpie. I’m also partial to eye products that are packaged in super-slim tubes, like this one, as they allow for greater control. Extra points for the inclusion of nourishing babassu oil, which leaves brows soft, never crunchy. —Perrie Samotin, digital director
Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color
I’ve always appreciated my eyebrows, but after I shaved my head, I realized how lucky I was to have the same bushy eyebrows my grandfather has. Since my brows were now the focal point of my face, I got very into keeping them perfectly plucked and in place. The Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color quickly became a regular in my beauty routine. I use the Primer side to keep any rogue hairs in place, while the pigmented side helps define my brows. The product is light enough to not make your eyebrows feel hard and allows for a more natural look. —Krystyna Chavez, senior social media editor
Refy Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel With Lamination Effect
I have naturally thick brows, and while I used to be ashamed of them, I show them off proudly now. This gel is unlike any other brow product I’ve used before. It sculpts my arches while maintaining a natural look thanks to the laminating effect. I took one look at brand founder Jess Hunt’s brows and knew this would be a game changer for me. —A.N.
L’Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Waterproof Topcoat
Face sweat is my biggest enemy during the summertime—especially during the current heat wave. As a result, my makeup products have been given the impossible task of fighting off humidity and perspiration. This waterproof eyebrow topcoat from L’Oréal does not budge—ever. My brows stay in place from morning to night, no matter how much I sweat or how often I spritz cooling mist onto my face. —A.Y.
Nyx Professional Makeup The Brow Glue Clear Laminating Gel
I love a good drugstore find, and Nyx never disappoints me. With naturally curly hair comes naturally curly brows, so not every brow gel on the market can tame these bad boys. The Nyx brow glue keeps those brow ends down and straight with just a few swipes. I also love that I don’t have to worry about any sticky gel residue as the day passes. —Andrea Navarro, commerce writer
Benefit Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel
I’ve used Benefit’s Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel for as long as I can remember. It perfectly shapes, fluffs, and defines my brows without weighing them down—it’s not at all hard or crunchy. At this point I’m so attached that I don’t feel like my makeup look is done until it’s applied. It’s just that good! —Danielle Sinay, associate beauty editor
Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel
I have basically nothing in common with Hailey Bieber, except for the fact that we share a favorite eyebrow product. In her viral “Lazy Makeup Routine” on TikTok, the only thing the model puts on her brows is Milk Makeup’s Kush Brow Gel—and same here, girl, same. The gel perfectly fluffs up arches and defines hairs for a soft-soap brow look without any residue. I use a dark brown and tend to heavy-up on areas that are a bit more sparse. It may be a “lazy” product for Mrs. Bieber, but it’s an everyday thing for me. —Shanna Shipin, contributing editor
Too Faced Fluff & Hold Laminating Brow Wax
I typically don’t use eyebrow gel (just an eyebrow pencil and spool for me!), but when I want to make sure my brows stay in place for when I’m doing a full face of makeup, the laminating liquid wax formula of TooFaced’s Fluff & Hold totally does the trick. Plus, the dual-sided brush applicator makes it super easy to get the full-brow look I want. —Jessica Radloff, senior West Coast editor
Makeup by Mario Master Hold Brow Gel
I’m a huge fan of celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic’s beauty line because you are able to see his years of industry work reflected in his products. The Master Hold Brow Gel is no different—the slim packaging makes it easy to control and navigate the curves of your brow, while the spool is big and fluffy to catch every hair. —A.Y.
Drugstore makeup dupes are everywhere. If you’ve got your pulse on the beauty industry or scrolled any TikTok beauty threads lately, you’ve likely heard makeup lovers rave about cult favorites like Nars Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, or the Fenty Beauty’s Gloss Bomb. And just in case you’re wondering, these makeup products are as good as they say. But stocking up on these high-end holy-grail finds can get expensive.
The good news: There are often drugstore products that do a comparable job at half the price—you just need to know which ones are the hidden gems.
Nars Light Reflecting Foundation gives you a natural finish. Although it’s a splurge, the flawless base layer and full coverage are well worth the price.
L’Oreal Infallible gives you a great matte finish. You might be worried that a foundation that holds this well will be heavy, but we find it to be breathable and lightweight. It goes on smoothly (and once you apply it, it’s there to stay for the long haul).
Charlotte Tilbury has become one of the most popular beauty brands over the past few years, and the Flawless Filter is particularly famous on #beautytok. It provides sheer coverage, a beautiful glow, and it’s a great foundation for oily skin.
According to TikTok’s Mikayla Nogueria (and other makeup influencers), E.L.F’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter is an exact dupe for the CT’s Flawless Filter. She says, “There is pretty much zero difference.” If you’re looking to save money on this step of your makeup routine but still want a glowy, sheer look with adaptable shade coverage, try the E.L.F. option.
Nars’s radiant creamy concealer seems like everyone’s go-to concealer, especially for dark circles. When shopping for a new concealer, my Sephora advisor pointed me into Nars territory. The product lives up to its name and is indeed creamy. It goes on easily and conceals for hours at a time without having to reapply.
When it comes to drugstore products, Revlon is one of the best drugstore brands. Its Photo Ready Candid concealer is one of the best drugstore concealers because it provides long-lasting and brightening coverage. You can build it up or use it sparingly for light application, and similar to the Nars version, it has a creamy formula.
If you’re looking for a glowing, bright blush, look no further than Ilia’s multi-stick. It brightens cheeks with beautiful pink and red hues, and the shades can be layered depending on how many colors you’re looking for. The wide range of colors means there are options for many different skin tones. Bonus: You can use it as a lip tint or eyeshadow if you want.
Fan-favorite E.L.F makes a similar multi-stick that makes for a great blush. This blendable stick goes on easily for a shimmery finish, and the product is so creamy that it’s almost indistinguishable from its luxury sister. And, similarly to Ilia, this stick can be used for more than just blush.
Lancôme’s Lash-Lifting and Volumizing Mascara helps you achieve that false-lash look with the swoop of a wand; it’s a high-end mascara that will help lift and lengthen your lashes. It stays on long and doesn’t smudge.
A few months ago, I wandered into Ulta before a wedding, needing a great mascara—but I wasn’t looking to spend a lot. The Ulta advisor immediately brought me the Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara and WOW—I was impressed. It’s been my go-to for dramatic, long lashes ever since. My lashes appear 10 times longer, and the formula goes on clump-free. I recently got my makeup done professionally and was delighted to see the makeup artist was using this product too.
Anastasia Strong Hold Brow Gel has grown in popularity as folks try to achieve the “clean girl aesthetic.” This brow gel does a great job of wisping brows up and making sure stray hairs stay in place.
When it comes to brow gel, the most important aspect is that eyebrows stay where they need to stay. The E.L.F. Cosmetics Brow Lift won a 2022 Health Beauty Award this year because it helps brows stay put all day long. The gel goes on smooth and clear and stays on all day.
Cult-favorite Stila eyeliner is a classic for a reason. This liquid liner stays put all day long and stays on through sweat, tears, rain—you name it.
Maybelline’s budget-friendly eyeliner gives us a similarly thin tip and lasts for hours. The pen applicator makes it easy to do a super-thin line, or layer it for a thicker, more dramatic look.
Tarte’s Tartelette Eyeshadow Palette features both matte and shimmery neutral hues. With colors that look good on pretty much everyone, this palette is highly versatile. Meanwhile, Amazonian clay in the formula makes the shadows smooth without being chalky.
NYX’s eyeshadow palette features almost identical neutral colors for a fraction of the cost, and the blendable formula allows for easy application. And the 16 colors (Tarte only has 12!) make it easy to use this for everyday wear, a night out, and everything in between.
One of the many gifts that Rihanna has blessed us with is Fenty Beauty, and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer helps you achieve Riri’s glossy lip look in a single swipe.
But I’ll be honest: Lip gloss is one of the places I look to save money in my makeup routine. I am usually reapplying it a few times throughout my day (after meals, after happy hour, you get it). Beauty By Artrice on TikTok let me in on a great secret: Revlon’s Super Lustrous The Gloss is an amazing, affordable version of Fenty’s Gloss Bomb. The shades are great, leave lips shiny, and don’t break the bank.
Absolutely no other lip balm can touch La Mer The Lip Balm. Yes, it has a hefty price tag, but if you have inherently dry skin, it’s so worth it. While you often have to reapply lip balm, this product is so moisturizing that you will find yourself using it sparingly. Its glossy finish is a nice cherry-on-top too.
That said, Aquaphor lip balm never disappoints. This multipurpose balm is a classic because of its intense hydration powers. At just under $5 and available on Amazon, it’s a must-have for any person looking for softer, more moisturized lips.
While shopping at Sephora once, I asked a beauty advisor if they had a popular bronzer in stock; they did not, but she pointed me in the direction of Rose Inc and said that this would be the next viral product. I immediately bought it, and the purchase did not disappoint. I apply Solar Infuzion Moisturizing Cream Bronzer around the frame of my face and cheekbones, and it gives me the perfect bronzed look. It’s a cream bronzer rather than powder, and its creamy texture makes it easy to add layers or keep it simple.
But Physicians Formula takes drugstore bronzer to a new level. The ingredient-conscious brand created a bronzer that is lightweight and buttery. Similar to Rose Inc, it’s easy to apply and leaves you looking like you just returned from that yacht trip in Mykonos.
Selena Gomez is one of the many celebrities that have recently come out with makeup lines, but she seems to have done something right: Rare Beauty continues rising in popularity and has become a favorite of makeup connoisseurs. The Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlighter provides a nice glow without being too shiny. Thanks to its applicator stick, it goes on smoothly and is a great finishing touch for any makeup routine.
Made with shimmering pearl pigments, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter offers a similar buildable glow. For a fraction of the price, it helps me shine in all the right places and complements any foundation and blush I pair it with.
The most important part of any makeup routine? A high-quality sunscreen. Dermatologists and makeup artists agree that SPF is an essential step, and EltaMD’s formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and blends easily under makeup. (If you want skin care and makeup all in one, they have a tinted sunscreen version as well!)
Aveeno’s face SPF is just as refreshing and lightweight as EltaMD’s solution. This SPF is made with nourishing prebiotic oats to help you feel moisturized and protected under your makeup. It’s non-greasy (goodbye, oily skin!), hydrating, and will help you save a few bucks while protecting your skin.
A lot can be said about eyebrows. For one, they frame your face, so they have the power to completely change the way you look. And, as the saying goes: Most eyebrows are sisters, not twins, so it’s rare for them to be symmetrical. Whether you have a few sparse patches that need filling in, are trying to make your brows look more even, or are simply looking to accentuate what you’ve got, the right brow product can make all the difference.
As far as brow products go, there’s a ton of options ranging from gels and pomades to powders and pencils. According to brow expert Joey Healy, if you want to lengthen the tail of your brows, create more of a peak in your arch, or fill in a sparse spot, the easiest, most effective choice is an eyebrow pencil. You may have guessed it — these handy, pigmented pencils work like actual pencils and can be used to draw, shape and define your eyebrows. “A pencil feels more familiar,” says Healy. “You can really direct the color in a concentrated way.”
There are so many different eyebrow pencils out there, making it hard to narrow down the best of the best. After keeping texture, ease of use, color payoff, and shade range top of mind, the editors determined the seven best brow pencils of 2022. Ultimately, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil was the most impressive, thanks to its non-drying, creamy texture and beginner-friendly shape.
Best Overall: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil
What We Love: The tip’s triangular shape is user friendly and makes defining your brows a seamless experience.
What We Don’t Love: We wish this formula was waterproof.
Anastasia Soare knows a thing or two about brows. Aside from being responsible for JLo’s snatched eyebrows, she also is the mastermind behind her eponymous brand, Anastasia Beverly Hills. We tested two brow pencils from the brand, but this one, which our tester calls “the gold standard of brow pencils,” reigned supreme. The slim, retractable pencil makes drawing soft, hairlike lines a cinch.
“The pencil isn’t too thin, nor too fat and wasn’t heavy in my hands,” the tester says. The tip is triangular and “perfectly slanted” so you can’t mess up, regardless of whether you shade your brows in one swoop or cautiously make thin, hairlike strokes. Once you’ve penciled everything in, you can easily flip the product over and use the built-in spoolie to style your brows to perfection. And although the Brow Definer isn’t waterproof, our tester assures us that the pigment is long-lasting and doesn’t smudge.
Shades: 12| Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Vitamin E, Hydrogenated castor oil
Best Value: e.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil
What We Love: For under $5 you can shape, tame, and define brows with this dual- ended pencil.
What We Don’t Love: There are only five shades available.
The e.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil is a dual-ended precision liner and spoolie duo that allows you to tame, shape, and define your brows in seconds. Between the price point (ahem, five dollars) and a creamy, smudge-proof formula, there’s a lot to love about this option. Ideal for filling in sparse areas, the eyebrow pencil goes on smooth and can be manipulated — with the help of the spoolie — to disguise the look of sparse areas. “I have thick brows, so I used it to fill in some gaps,” the tester shares. “It goes on heavier than other options I’ve tried, but it’s easy to use and it helped me achieve fuller-looking brows.” Aside from adding pigment, the formula also helps condition and promote brow growth over time thanks to a touch of nourishing grapeseed oil and vitamin E.
One thing our tester wishes she could change: The color range. “It only has five shades, so there isn’t much variety,” she says. “But, nonetheless, I would recommend this one, especially given the price.“
Shades: 5| Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Grapeseed oil, Vitamin E
Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer
What We Love: The thin-tipped brow pencil is retractable, so it’ll never dull after you use it.
What We Don’t Love: If you press too hard, the pencil can be too pigmented.
This drugstore find is a favorite for a reason: The pencil has a precise tip, a connecting spoolie, and comes in 10 blendable shades. The ultra-fine tip — which is 0.5 millimeters to be exact — is the ideal size for replicating the look of super tiny brow hairs. And, because it’s so thin, it’s lightweight and fits nicely in between your thumb and pointer finger. A soft spoolie on the other end also helps to seamlessly style brows and blend out the pigment after it’s been applied.
The most underrated feature, though, is that it’s retractable. Unlike other pencils that require a sharpener to keep the tip in pristine condition, all this needs is a quick twist to dispense more of the formula. Plus, once you’re done using it you can twist it back down to fend off bacteria and keep the tip in pristine condition.
The tester notes that the pencil can be too pigmented if you press too hard, so keep that in mind during application. “Thankfully, the pencil is really thin, so it’s easier to control and eliminate any excess pressure,” she says.
Best for Thick Brows: NYX Professional Makeup Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pencil Pomade
What We Love: It’s great for those with thick brows who are looking to fill in sparse areas.
What We Don’t Love: It’s pigmented and applies thick, so it’s not ideal for creating hairlike strokes.
If you have thick brows, you may not need a ton of help, but having a trusty brow pencil on hand to even out your brows is a total game changer. Not only is the Fill & Fluff Eyebrow Pencil Pomade shockingly affordable, but it works like a charm to fill in the gaps between thick brow hairs — even Stacy Wodu, the makeup artist behind Zoë Kravitz’s fierce brows in The Batman, can confirm.
Professional makeup artist Kelli Anne Sewell says that no matter the thickness of your brows, a creamy formula is key. “To achieve a natural-looking, fluffy brow, I turn to brow pencils that have a creamy consistency,” she explains. This option, according to our tester, is creamy and easy to blend, but stays put once it’s had a few minutes to set in. “It’s a better option for filling, rather than shaping,” she says. “One side is thick and one side is thin and angled, which gives you options. Just be careful which side you’re applying to different areas of the brow because the payoff can be different.” It’s not ideal for gently drawing hairlike strokes, but it’s highly effective for filling in and buffing out sparse areas.
While the shade range isn’t too extensive, the available shades are super pigmented. The line also includes a clear wax option, which is harder to come by.
Shades: 9| Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Micro-crystalline wax, Castor oil
Best for Thin Brows: Charlotte Tilbury Brow Cheat Refillable Hair-Like Eyebrow Pencil
What We Love: This refillable pencil seamlessly mimics the look of real-life brow hairs.
What We Don’t Love: Some shoppers say the tip can fall out of the pencil.
If there’s one product on this list that outshines the others when it comes to drawing hairlike strokes, it’s this one from Charlotte Tilbury. The refillable pencil has a super precise tip that helps mimic the look of real-life brow hairs. “It’s a classic pencil shape, so it’s easy to grip and maneuver across your brows,” the tester explains. “The tip itself is pointed and angled so you can easily draw on tiny hairs.” The pencil is accompanied by an attached brow brush to assist with smoothing hairs into place both before and after application.
The formula contains carnauba wax, which gives stretch and elasticity to brow hairs, easy-to-glide micro-crystalline wax, and pure pigments to create natural-looking color without ashy undertones. “It goes on smooth and has a creamy yet sturdy texture,” the tester says. “It doesn’t drag either, but rather glides in between brow hairs.” As for the pigment: It’s rich but not overwhelming. “You only have to apply each stroke once — you don’t need to layer it on,” she says.
Despite the fact that the tip retracts into the applicator when not in use, some shoppers have found that the tip can fall out. When this happens, it’s hard to use again.
Best Shade Range: Kosas Brow Pop Clean Dual-Action Defining Eyebrow Pencil
What We Love: The ten blendable shades ensure a match for every brow color.
What We Don’t Love: It has a natural finish that can appear light if you don’t press hard enough.
As the name suggests, the Kosas Brow Pop Clean Dual-Action Defining Eyebrow Pencil does quite a few things. The triangle-shaped tip is multipurpose: The thick side fills in bald spots, while the thin side helps sculpt and add feathered strokes that replicate brow hairs. The built-in spoolie brush then helps blend it all in for perfectly snatched brows.
The extensive shade range doesn’t go unnoticed, either. With a variety of colors including Honey Blonde, Taupe, Auburn, four different brown shades (Soft, Medium Chocolate, Medium, and Dark), Brown Black, Black, and Gray, there’s a match for everyone. Though pigmented, the finish can be lighter than expected. “The payoff is great for a natural look,” our tester says. “It shows very lightly on the skin, so you have to play around with it to get the finish you want.“
In addition to having a deeper shade range than some of the other options on the list, there’s also conditioning benefits to consider as well. Shoppers have said that the pencil also increases brow volume over time. While our tester can’t speak to that just yet, the formula includes castor oil and panthenol provitamin B5, which the brand says helps brows reach their “full growth potential.”
Shades: 10| Waterproof: No | Ingredients: Castor oil, Panthenol pro vitamin B5
Best Waterproof: Huda Beauty #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil
What We Love: The waterproof formula is excellent for triple digit temperatures, high humidity, and even unexpected rainstorms.
What We Don’t Love: The shade range, which skews darker, could be better and more inclusive of lighter options.
There’s nothing worse than having your brows come dripping down your face in 100-degree heat or during an unexpected rainshower. With the Huda Beauty #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil, you can get sweaty or even dance in the rain and know that your brows will stay put. How? Well, the pencil’s pigment adheres to hairs and the skin between them. You do have some time during application to manipulate it, but once it dries down, it stays there until you intentionally remove it.
Thanks to the pencil’s geometric, ergonomic shape, the tester found it easy to hold. Despite the size, this small but mighty pencil seriously packs pigment. “It can be overly-pigmented if you are heavy handed with it, but it works really well,” the tester says. “It doesn’t drag or skip, either.”
One thing we wish we could change is the shade range. After taking one look at the color options, you’ll notice that it skews dark, with the blonde hue looking more like an ashy brown.
To avoid breakage and achieve a more precise look, consider a retractable pencil with a fine tip. “Big chunky pencils or ones that need to be sharpened are a pain and can be inconsistent,” Healy says. “It’s easier to manipulate a pencil with a retractable tip.” And, according to Sewell, pencils with a slanted tip offer more versatility (think: filling in and drawing on hairs), which is one of the reasons why the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil claimed the Best Overall spot.
When shopping for a brow pencil, consider the finish. Some options have shimmery sheen, and, although pretty, Healy says to avoid them. “For a more natural look, find something that is matte, as it mimics the look of real hair,” he says.
Some brands don’t offer enough shades, and other brands offer too many, which makes things confusing. According to Healy, it’s best to match your brow pencil shade with your eyebrow color, not your hair color. “For example, a lot of blondes who are very blonde have darker brows,” he explains. “In this case, you’d match the brow pencil to the dark brow color instead of the golden blonde hair color.“
Here, find the 12 best drugstore foundations you can buy. Plus, keep reading for some more expert advice from makeup artists.
BEST FOR ENLARGED PORES Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
This foundation is a classic for all the right reasons. It dries down into a matte finish that blurs pores and lets the skin look healthy and natural. It’s a great option for oily skin, since it uses clay to absorb excess oils.
BEST FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN L’Oreal Makeup Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation
Normally, breakouts and makeup don’t go well together. But this foundation uses ingredients that won’t clog your pores. Plus, this foundation is super long-wearing, thanks to its oil-absorbing properties that make sweat and rain non-issues.
BEST FOR LIGHTWEIGHT FULL COVERAGE e.l.f. cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation
If you want a full coverage foundation that doesn’t look too cakey, this is a great option. The formula is incredibly lightweight, but will give you an even complexion that still looks natural.
BEST FOR DRY SKIN L’Oreal True Match Nude Hyaluronic Tinted Serum Foundation
The latest TikTok viral product, this lightweight, serum foundation is ideal for anyone who wants to achieve glowing, hydrating skin without packing on too much product. This foundation uses hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the skin.
BEST FOR GLOWING SKIN Covergirl Clean Liquid Foundation
For a full coverage foundation that still lets the skin look dewy and fresh, look no further. This foundation won’t clog your pores, but is so creamy and hydrating that it makes blending an absolute dream.
BEST FOR FINE LINES Covergirl Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
This isn’t just a foundation, it’s a skincare product. Designed for aging skin, Olay and Covergirl collaborated to create this creamy foundation infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to make sure the skin is looking hydrated and glowing, with or without makeup.
BEST FOR SELFIES Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation
This foundation was designed so that everyone’s skin can look camera-ready. Whether you’re on set of a photoshoot or taking a selfie on the way to work, this creamy, lightweight foundation will make sure you look your best.
BEST FOR OILY SKIN Revlon ColorStay Matte Finish Foundation
For oily skin types that are on the hunt for a long-wear, matte foundation, look no further. This product controls oils and creates an even complexion that is protected with SPF15.
BEST FOR BUILDABLE COVERAGE L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation
Looking for a foundation that blends in with your skin perfectly? Not only does this product contain no pore-clogging oils, but it’s also incredibly versatile. It layers beautifully, so you can create either a sheer finish look, or build up to full coverage if you so desire.
BEST FOR SMOOTH SKIN Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
If you want to feel poreless and smooth like a bay seal, this foundation can get the job done. It dries down to a satiny matte finish, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. Plus, for only $2, you can gift one to every person you’ve ever met.
BEST FOR FULL COVERAGE Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer
This foundation is so full coverage that you won’t even need to add concealer. And with over 40 shades, you can definitely find one that suits you. If you’re not a full coverage person, you can also use this product as a jumbo-sized concealer.
BEST FOR WRINKLES Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector
Don’t be fooled by the tint, this product is more about the skin than it is about makeup. With retinol and SPF 2o, this product targets signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles to give your skin a youthful glow.
What makes a great foundation?
“Something that everyone can agree on is that they want their foundation to make their skin look its best and last as long as possible,” says Tricome. “You achieve great skin with a variety of finishes, whether that is more matte or more of a dewy finish. I think more dewy, glowy foundation finishes are currently more popular with consumers. Everyone is very into skin looking like skin and having a radiant finish as opposed to super matte.”
Are there any tricks to making foundation look its best?
“Skin prep is the MVP here,” says Moore. “Freshly washed face with a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid daily works wonders. While applying foundation, I warm the foundation up on the back of my hand. I use a dampened Beautyblender so the foundation applies more smoothly.” Using a primer can also help, adds Tricome. “If you are using a primer, like skincare, you want to make sure it is fully settled into the skin and interacts well with your foundation. If you are using a water-based foundation, a silicone-based primer is not going to work in combination with that product.”
When buying a drugstore foundation, are there any tricks to shade match?
“Know your undertones, this can make all the difference when choose a shade,” says Moore. “Also, make sure you match your face and not your hand. If you can swatch on the side of your cheek or jawline this is best, but if you’re not able to, try holding the bottle to your face. And if you get it wrong you can always exchange for another shade!”
There’s nothing worse than spending the time and effort to perfect your eye makeup, only to notice that your glitter eyeshadow and concealer has worn off after only a few hours. Enter: eyeshadow primers. These handy cosmetics are specially-formulated to prevent eye makeup from creasing and fading — much like your favorite face primer does for foundation, powder, and blush. While these primers may sound like an unnecessary product, once you start using them, they’ll quickly become an essential step in your long wear makeup routine.
With so many eyeshadow primers available, finding the right one for your needs can feel overwhelming. So to help you out, makeup artists and editors have researched the best ones to make your smokey eye last all night without a single touch-up. When putting together this list, all paid close attention to each primer’s formula, lasting power, and ability to keep eyeshadow color vibrant. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion was a standout for its gentle formula and incredible lasting-power — it keeps eyeshadow in place and smudge-free for hours on end!
Ahead, find the best eyeshadow primers you can buy.
What To Love: Prevents eyeshadow from budging for 24 hours. Not So Much: It’s expensive.
This eyeshadow primer from Urban Decay is sure to become a staple in your makeup bag. The product claims to keep your eye makeup “vibrant and crease-free for 24-hours.” The wand makes it super easy to apply, and the rich formula blends smoothly and quickly onto the lids, leaving them prepped and ready for eyeshadow. It works on all sorts of eye shapes—from hooded to round—without transferring or pilling, and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. There are four different shades: two are transparent, one is matte, and one is shimmery. And while it is on the pricier side, a little of the product goes a long way and the long-lasting results are well worth the cost.
A Commerce Editorial Director, Laura Gurfein, is also a fan of this primer. She has used it for over three years and said, “This is the primer that made me believe in the power of primers. It doesn’t matter what eyeshadow I use (prestige/drugstore) or where my night goes — my shadow’s not even creasing a little bit until it’s doused in micellar water.”
Size: 0.33 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 4
Best Value: CoverGirl Lid Lock Up Eyeshadow Primer
What To Love: The sticky finish allows eyeshadows to cling to the base. Not So Much: The eyeshadow color dulls throughout the day.
If you’re looking for a high-quality eyeshadow primer that’s still budget-friendly, this CoverGirl option is your best bet. The neutral-tone primer dries clear, evens out any discoloration on the eyelids, and leaves a nice smooth base to apply eyeshadow on top of. It does feel a little tacky on your skin when you first apply, but it provides an excellent amount of grip for the eye makeup to attach to. It also dries pretty quickly, so you can still apply a smokey eye even in a rush.
Although all wish it would help keep the eyeshadow colors vibrant for longer, it’s a great affordable option that can hold its own against some of the more high-end primers when it comes to preventing creasing and smudging.
Size: 0.96 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1
Best for Sensitive Skin: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
What To Love: It has nourishing, gentle ingredients, and is dermatologist-approved. Not So Much: It could blend better.
This NARS option is one of the most popular eyeshadow primers around, and for good reason. It comes in five different shades, ranging from light to dark — so there’s an option for every skin tone. The best part is that it’s ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested as well as fragrance-free, so it’s a great option for people with sensitive skin and eyes. The formula even includes nourishing ingredients like deep sea and rice bran extract, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It will also increase pigment payoff and keep even the most dramatic looks in place all day or night, making it well worth the price tag.
Size: 0.26 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 4
Best Waterproof: Too Faced Shadow Insurance
What To Love: It’s waterproof and has a smooth, matte finish. Not So Much: It goes on a bit spotty.
The Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer has a fade-proof formula that is not only lightweight, but incredibly easy to apply and quick to dry. Instead of being tacky, the product dries with a matte finish that immediately smoothes out your skin tone and covers up any veins on the eyelids. It will also make the color of your eyeshadow bolder and more pigmented than ever before — plus, it stays that way all day long. If you want to make your eyeshadow really pop, you should definitely consider this primer. To top it off, the unique formula will even protect your skin from blue light damage and it’s waterproof, so your makeup look won’t budge even if you get caught in the rain or happen to shed some tears.
Size: 0.2 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1
Best Lightweight: Ilia Natural Brightening Eye Primer
What To Love: It has all-natural, brightening ingredients. Not So Much: It can burn a little and is not ideal for sensitive skin.
This clean eyeshadow primer uses natural ingredients and has a very lightweight formula, so it’s great for anyone that doesn’t like the feeling of a heavy product on their eyes. The formula boasts botanicals like rosehip oil, arnica, and jojoba, which brighten and depuff the lids. It also soaks up excess oil, so wave goodbye to greasy lids. The illuminating base for makeup can be worn on its own for a glowy boost and under shadow for a more finished look. It delivers in the lasting-power department as well and your eyeshadow will not budge.
Size: 0.14 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1
Best for All Skin Tones: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Amplifying Eye Primer
What To Love: It’s specially designed for all skin tones and is very lightweight. Not So Much: It can cause creasing.
Rihanna’s beauty line Fenty Beauty is all about inclusivity, and this eyeshadow primer is no different. The product has an invisible pink tone that is specially formulated to become invisible on all skin tones. The weightless, creamy formula also absorbs into the skin immediately upon application and offers an excellent amount of grip for eyeshadow. It boosts color vibrancy and locks in your smokey eye for 24 hours without a single smudge.
Size: 0.27 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1
Best for Vibrancy: C’est Moi Visionary Gentle Non-Toxic Makeup Crayon
What To Love: It comes in tons of different shades and has a clean formula. Not So Much: It can be difficult to remove.
This C’est Moi Makeup Crayon is made with clean ingredients like mica, carnauba wax, and daffodil. It’s also hypoallergenic and dermatologist-approved, so it’s ideal for sensitive skin types and it won’t cause any irritation. Even better, the brand itself is Environmental Working Group-vetted, and all of its products are made with recyclable materials and without animal testing. The crayon application method makes it easier than ever to apply and it comes in tons of colors, such as sapphire, ruby, and turquoise, making it a great base for a bold look.
This crayon is a beauty writer Rachel Nussbaum’s go-to eyeshadow primer because it’s the only product that prevents her eyelids from “eating eyeshadow like it’s candy.” She prefers to use the white version of the crayon called “Dove” to prep her lids, as “it goes on smoothly and accepts whatever shadow I layer on top, and then keeps it there all day long.”
Size: 0.06 oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 12
Best for Concealer: Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don’t Stray Primer
What To Love: It has anti-aging benefits and works on the undereye area. Not So Much: It doesn’t do much for controlling oil.
If you notice that it’s not just your eyeshadow fading by the end of the day, but your under-eye concealer starts to lose its effect too, consider trying this long-lasting primer from Benefit. The dual-action formula can be applied to both the eyelids and the under-eye area, preventing eyeshadow color from fading and concealer from creasing. It melts into the skin effortlessly and dries with a matte finish. What’s more, it is also infused with sodium hyaluronate to hydrate the skin, along with vitamins C and E to help diminish signs of aging — meaning it’s effective as both a makeup and a skincare product.
Size: 0.33 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1
Best for Oily Lids: Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer
What To Love: It helps combat greasiness by soaking up excess oil. Not So Much: It doesn’t come with a lot of product.
Excess oil is one of the main culprits behind eye makeup that fades or melts off throughout the day. So if you have oily eyelids, check out this primer from Bare Minerals — it’s specially formulated to prevent oil from ruining your eye makeup. When blended onto the lids, the creamy formula turns translucent and offers a nice smooth base for eyeshadow. Besides preventing any creasing from occurring, the primer also helps eyeshadow pigment stay intense and true-to-color all day long. All especially love that the product is oil- and fragrance-free, as well as allergy- and dermatologist-tested, so you don’t have to worry about irritation.
Size: 0.1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Paraben-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1
Best Long-Lasting: Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot
What To Love: It doubles as a cream eyeshadow. Not So Much: It can be hard to apply as it dries very quickly.
If you’re looking for an eyeshadow primer that will keep your eye makeup looking flawless all day and night without any retouches, check out this beloved primer by Mac. The multitasking product can be used as both a primer or a cream eyeshadow, and it’s dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-approved, so it can be used on all skin types. The primer is opaque when applied, which provides a solid base for brightly colored eyeshadows and some shades can even be used as a concealer. It comes in 15 different shades, ranging from everyday neutrals to vibrant pinks and sparkly golds.
The E-commerce Editorial Apprentice, Alyssa Brascia, is a huge fan of this product and recommends it to everyone.”This primer blends like a dream with either a brush or your fingertip and holds color in place all day with minimal to no creasing,” she said. “I’ve used this primer for years after my mom put me on it, and I’ve never looked back, even after trying others!“
Size: 0.17 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Paraben-Free: No | Number of Shades: 15
What to Keep in Mind
The main purpose of using an eyeshadow primer is to make your eyeshadow last longer, so an effective primer shouldn’t budge for 12 to 24 hours. The consistency of the product can also play into its lasting-power. If a primer is more tacky, it can provide a ton of grip for the eyeshadow and keep the shadow in place longer, acting like a glue. No matter what the occasion is, how long you intend on wearing eye makeup, or how dramatic your eye look is, the goal is to avoid needing touch ups and a good primer will ensure this.
On top of keeping your eyeshadow in place and preventing creasing or smudging, a good eyeshadow primer will also maintain the color of your eyeshadow or make it pop even more. Look for a primer that will increase the vibrancy of your shadow and if you want even more pigmentation, many primers come in different shades that you can use as a colorful base.
It’s always a win-win if a product can do more than one thing, and an eyeshadow primer with a good formula can not only extend the wear of eyeshadow, but it can also hydrate your eyelids, reduce puffiness, or even out your skin tone. A primer with nourishing ingredients or hydrating ingredients can aid in these beauty benefits, so pay attention to the ingredients label if you want the most bang for your buck.
Whether you’re going full glam or in the mood for a more natural look, mascara can really bring any makeup look to life. Finding the perfect mascara for you can be a little tricky since there are so many out there. While higher-end mascaras may seem more promising, you’d be surprised by the impressive formulas and lasting effects of mascaras found in the beauty aisle of your local drugstore. What’s more, they provide the same results as any Chanel, Dior, and Charlotte Tilbury mascaras out there– just at a more affordable price.
BEST FOR EXTRA VOLUME : Mega Volume Mascara by Wet n Wild
You may need to use multiple coats
You’re bound to receive lash envy with this mega-volumizing mascara complete with a full spiral fiber brush. Your lashes will not only look thicker and fuller but they will also be moisturized and nourished with vitamin E.
Voluminous Original Mascara by L’Oreal
Builds lashes evenly
Comes in a variety of shades
Not waterproof- the colored shades may run down your face from tears or sweat
Ready for full, dramatic lashes? The L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara helps to build your lashes five times their natural thickness. You won’t have to worry about clumping or buildup with its wand, which separates and hugs every lash for a bold look.
BEST FOR CLEAN BEAUTY : Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara by Covergirl
Hard to hold handle
Argan and marula oil condition your lash while the vegan formula works to create the high-volume lash look of your dreams.
CULT-FAVORITE : Lash Sensational Sky High Mascara by Maybelline
Hard to remove
This viral TikTok mascara features a lightweight formula that won’t cause any flaking or smudging. The mascara is designed with an exclusive flex tower brush that will reach every single lash no matter the length.
BEST FOR A SPIDER EFFECT : Big Mood Mega Volume & Lifting Mascara by e.l.f. Cosmetics
Lasts all day
Hard to apply with brush handle
Get big, bold lashes in one stroke. Infused with jojoba wax, this e.l.f. Cosmetics mascara has a smooth, creamy formula that helps hold your lashes’ curl. It will plump and lift your lashes and last all day. It’s also smudge and flake-resistant.
BEST FOR SHORT LASHES : Telescopic Original Lengthening Mascara by L’Oreal
Difficult to remove
Dries out quickly
Short stubby lashes are a thing of the past, thanks to the L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara. This drugstore gem lengthens even the shortest lashes and has a smooth formula that applies easily and smoothly, providing you with a desired clump-free result.
BEST FOR LAYERING : Lash Princess False Lash Effect by Essence
The Essence Lash Princess mascara features a fiber brush wand that will give your lashes a dramatic volume while achieving a sculpted length. It’s a no-hassle application as it won’t clump up or leave product build-up.
BEST FOR FULLNESS : Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara by Maybelline
Dries out quickly
After one application of the Lash Stiletto mascots, your eyes will look brighter and wider. The mascara’s formula includes pro-vitamin B-5, which conditions and smooths your lashes to help them shine.
BEST FOR LENGTHENING : Mega Length Mascara by Wet n Wild
Multiple applications to see results
If you’re looking to increase definition and give yourself longer lashes instantly, Wet N Wild has you covered for just $3. This wand allows for precise application and hugs every lash from root to tip, encouraging optimal length.
BEST AFFORDABLE OPTION : Volumizing Mascara by e.l.f. Cosmetics
Stays on throughout the day
Hard to remove
The e.l.f. Cosmetics Volumizing Mascara adds volume to create fuller, thicker-looking lashes that will widen your eyes. Apply the product to your eyelashes from root to tip and work in a zig-zag motion to fully coat your lashes for the best result.
BEST FOR SUBTLE VOLUME : Great Lash Washable Mascara by Maybelline
Gives you volume and definition
May transfer to skin after drying
Considered America’s favorite mascara, the formula of the Great Lash Washable Mascara glides on seamlessly to build healthy lashes. This mascara will give you a natural volume and will easily become a staple waterproof mascara in your makeup routine.
BEST FOR EASY REMOVAL : Full ‘N Soft Washable Mascara by Maybelline
Maybelline’s thickening formula nourishes each lash with Vitamin E. The best part of this mascara is its quick dissolve system that allows for easy removal with no residue.
BEST FOR A LASH-LIFT LOOK : Clump Crusher Water Resistant LashBlast Mascara by Covergirl
Difficult to remove
The innovative curved brush of this Covergirl mascara will separate your lashes, courtesy of its double-sided design that evenly coats each hair clump-free.
BEST FOR LONGWEAR : Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara by Maybelline
Difficult to remove
The fanning brush of the Lash Sensational mascara has ten layers of bristles, which grabs onto your lashes for a perfectly fanned look. With a waterproof, buildable formula, it’s a great product to trust as your all-day, every day mascara.
What should you look for in a drugstore mascara?
When shopping for mascara, makeup artist Desiree Delia says to think about what your ultimate goal is for your eyelashes. Are you looking for length? A little volume? Or maybe both?
Volumizing and lengthening mascaras are key to creating that fake lash look without having to use any lash glue. In just two to three coats, you’ll see that your lashes appear thicker and fuller. While there are options of falsies and lash extensions, there’s nothing better than being able to get your desired lash length every day without the pricey upkeep. Plus, using a lengthening mascara is the easiest and most effective way to add some length to your lashes. Waterproof formulas become locked into the lashes, which prevents smudging.
It is also important to keep an eye out for three key things: the formula, the wand, and the removal process.
Look for a mascara that won’t clump, dries quickly, and washes off considerably easily. If you are looking for a clean product, you’ll want to consider a cruelty-free formula. If having a longer-lasting product is important to you, you should look for a waterproof formula.
To help you achieve your lash goal, it’s important to look at the mascara wand and its bristles. Delia says a fluffy brush helps to thicken the lash, whereas an hourglass-shaped brush helps to volumize the lash. “If you’re unsure, a more rectangle-shaped brush is a general brush that helps target all your needs,” she adds.
Mascara is great for making your eyes pop throughout the day, but sometimes, it can be a challenge to remove. Ensuring you’re using a product that can be easily removed with your face cleanser or wipes is important. If it’s a hassle to take off your mascara, it may not be the product for you. With waterproof mascaras, Delia explains that you must use an oil-based cleanser or baby oil to remove the mascara, and often the removal process may require some extra care. But, you’ll find that non-waterproof mascara will come off a little easier.