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Beauty on a budget

Look achieved with craft store glitter, Maxfactor lip color, and Avon Glazewear lip gloss
Look achieved with craft store glitter, Maxfactor lip color, and Avon Glazewear lip gloss

With today's unpredictable economy it is becoming increasingly difficult for a lot of American women to justify spending the money for designer labels on their jeans, $200 on a hair cut, and makeup counter prices for cosmetics; however each of these items seem absolutley necessary in their own right. Jeans cover your bottom half, a hair cut helps keep a woman looking well kept and up to date in her appearance; and well lets face it, most of us need cosmetics to look "alive".

For the past couple of months we have been trying drug store and other non-department store cosmetics and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality and price of many of the products we tried. If you are one of the thousands of women looking for less expensive alternatives to your daily makeup routine, read on for our list of the top makeup products for under $15; some are even as low as $2. Of course we do not recommend any brands over any others and we aren't saying there aren't equally valuable products from other lines available, we simply took some of the most popular makeup lines available in the U.S. and many other countries around the world and tested some of their more popular cosmetic products.

2009 Top picks for low cost; high quality cosmetics:


Here are some products I really liked from Avon. Best of all Avon is known for having sales on these products; some of them can even be picked up for around $1.99 from time to time.

SuperShock Mascara gave amazing volume and length to my lashes, the formula is creamy and doesn’t flake off as it dries.

Glazewear Lip gloss not only goes on nicely with its own built in wand, but the gloss isn’t sticky and for the most part stays put. I used glazewear own its own as well as on top of lipstick and it held up to both challenges.

ANEW Clinical Eye Lift eye cream isn’t a cosmetic; however this less than $30 eye cream really surprised me. This award winning eye cream has matched if not surpassed some of its department store competitors.


L’oreal is a name every household in America is familiar with in one way or another. Although I really liked some of their mascaras, the color matching for facial cosmetics like foundations and concealers was more difficult.

Double Extends lash lengthening mascara comes extremely close to matching L’oreal’s sister brand Lancome’s lengthening mascara. The lengthening fibers don’t clump and don’t fall into your eyes like some other brands have a tendency to do.

Volumous mascara has actually become one of my personal favorite mascaras. With its no clump formula, it doesn’t leave lashes stuck together like spider legs and even after a 16 hour day the mascara never flaked or smudged; the formula itself is extremely creamy and the wand is shaped just right.

Max Factor

Max Factor used to be one of Hollywood’s leading makeup brands, although it has since become a drug store staple, some of its products and colors are still on point.

Vivid Impact lip stick is a creamy, not sticky lip stick formula that smells like lip stick, I get sick of a lot of perfumes in my cosmetics so the smell of waxy lip stick is a plus for me. The lip stick is a good quality and comes in great colors like Rouge red.

Erace Cover-Up concealer is a thick stick concealer that must be used sparingly, but once you get a gentle touch and can use little bits at a time you’ll love it!


Rimmel may be a relatively new company compared to some of its predecessors, however they do offer some fun funky colors that can compare at least in hue to some of the same edge MAC has become famous for.

Soft Khol Kajal eye liner pencil. This pencil is awesome for it price. It comes in nine shades and is made of Khol (the one true ingredient any eye liner worth its wait should be made of).

Color Rush eye shadow comes in a trio palette of mixed colors. The colors are cool and funky and are easy enough to blend. you may have to build the color a bit more carefully than your high quality shadows, but the end effect is quit nice.