As an avid fan of Target and Ulta, I can assure you that some beauty products that are main stream actually work. Shocking, I know. So when your wallet is near empty but you still have to fuel that beauty fire, I suggest roaming the isles of your nearest Target or other basic store. Blogdorf Goodman often posts on steals and deals going on at these stores. For some good examples of what to look for, try products that you might actually use a lot, basics really. Here is a list of my drugstore staples. (Seriously, these puppies get me through the day like no other):
Maybelline Finishing Veil Translucent Loose Powder, $8.99 at ulta.com. After washing your face in the morning and with or without primer (depending on how awake you are, I suppose), top off your look with this baby. Because of the mineral base, this formula really makes your skin look healthy and refined. Just make sure that you brush it in in a circular formation, otherwise you'll look a little funny. Plus, it comes with its own kabuki brush...major steal.
Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller, $12.99 at ulta.com. For anyone who's stayed up a little later than they should have (which is pretty much everybody on the planet), waking up the next morning (always happens too soon) to see the nasty sight that is your face knows exactly what I'm talking about. Puffy eyes are never a good look, and it just screams "Yes, I just spent the entire night catching up on a certain t.v. show." You definitely don't want that. While I wouldn't say that this would work all day for people with extremely puffy eyes, it does just enough to make you feel awake, as caffeine is one of the main ingredients. Yeah, it is a little pricey for something so small, but it lasts a long time at least.
Covergirl Outlast Lipstain, $7.99 at ulta.com. After a while, I just got really annoyed with applying and reapplying lip gloss or lipstick throughout the day. So for a few months my lips were bare the majority of the time. Now I found an easy and inexpensive alternative, lip stain. This particular version comes in a few colors, smells fruity, tastes slightly fruity, and works like watercolor for your pout. If the stain is a little too dark for you, apply less and then blend it in with one of your fingers for lighter coverage. This lasts a decent portion of the day (unless you drink a lot of liquids, of course), and the color barely fades. Excellent.
Maybelline Define-a-Lash Lengthening Mascara, $7.79 at ulta.com. So, Megan is really picky when it comes to mascara, but I could almost honestly not care less. To me, all you really need to do it put it on, and if it gets a little clumpy, just swipe it quickly before it dries with your finger or tissue paper or something, presto! But for mascaraphobes out there, have no fear. This beauty does the trick. Not only does it go on easily, but it also lengthens your lashes. (A volumizing version is available too, although I've never tried it.)
Translucent Powder: ulta.com
Eye Roller: ulta.com