Makeup Drawer Must-Haves

Updated: Jul 9

By Skye Cross


After years of searching through countless brands and products, I can confidently say that through trial and error, the collection of makeup in my drawer are all products that I plan to repurchase for years to come.

If you wear a full face of makeup like me, you know the struggle of finding the perfect foundation or the best eyeshadow palette on the market. Below, I have devised a list of products in my makeup drawer that I reach for daily. I included some of my favorites from more prestigious brands along with products that will not break the bank for those of us on a budget.


Face Products


Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation has been my go-to foundation for almost four years. I can remember saving up to purchase this in high school for weeks, but it has proven again and again to be worth every penny. The coverage it provides along with the lightweight feel is unbeatable. However, if you are looking for a drugstore alternative, I would recommend trying L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation. I tend to reach for this foundation because it gives you buildable full coverage and leaves your skin with a luminous, natural finish.

Liquid highlighter and cream bronzer are not typically things that I would reach for, but with summer weather coming up, they are always good to incorporate into your makeup drawer for days you don’t want to load up on powder products. Glossier Futuredew Oil and Cover FX Custom Drops are great for mixing into your foundation to create a more glowing finish to your foundation or to place in areas you want to highlight. Revolution Liquid Highlight is a drugstore choice that is very similar to the Cover FX Custom Drops and is only $9.00.


As for other cream products that work great, Huda Beauty Tantour Contour and Bronzer is easy to use, especially if you are new to cream products, because it blends into a powder making it easy to control. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit is also a great option because it includes highlight shades and has several different shade choices so there is one out there that will work for all skin tones. If you are looking to purchase this kit, check your local TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack because they are infamous for offering this product at lower than retail cost that will be easier on your bank account.

After using your liquid and cream products, use Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder to provide extra coverage and set the makeup in place. This product has held a heavy presence in the beauty community for several years and is raved about by celebrity makeup artists. However, Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder is available at the drugstore and is what I reach for daily because of the added coverage and velvety finish it leaves my skin with. The Airspun Powder also gives you 2.3 ounces for less than $6.00. compared to the standard one-ounce companies usually use to package their products.


Although no universal bronzer exists for all skin tones, I recommend looking at MAC Blushes and Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour products because they have a wide range of shade options available no matter your shade. For blush, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso is a drugstore blush that looks great on a wide range of skin tones and gives a natural glow.

Of course, everybody needs a good highlighter to finish off the face. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Opal is perfect for a natural, yet noticeable glow. If you are looking for a dupe for a fraction of the price, ColourPop Super Shock Highlighters have several options available.

Eye Products


There are so many eyeshadow palettes on the market today it can be hard to know which one to choose. Morphe palettes have overtaken my makeup drawer recently as they are extremely affordable, and they have a variety of color options available. If you are willing to spend a little more on a palette, I would recommend any of the palettes created by Anastasia Beverly Hills. Two staples in my makeup drawer will forever by the ‘Modern Renaissance’ and the ‘Soft Glam’ because they contain the perfect mix of neutrals and subtle pops of color. These palettes are usually set at the standard price of $50.


Personally, my hooded eyelids are not very eyeliner friendly. However, I have tried out countless liquid eyeliners looking for one that was easy to use and would not make me look like a panda after a long day. The best option I have found is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. Despite the price of $21, there are not many eyeliners that have this kind of precision, and not to mention, it is a vegan friendly product. A great drugstore alternative is the L’Oreal Infallible Super Sim Liquid Eyeliner which will give you the same long wear as high-end eyeliners.


If you are looking to spend a little more on mascara, I would suggest the Too Faced Better Than Sex to lift and make your lashes look full. However, Maybelline Falsies mascara has been a drugstore alternative I have repurchased several times. Lastly, if you are like me and love to finish off your everyday makeup with false lashes, I would recommend looking for your desired style on Amazon. My favorite ones are 25mm lashes that come in a five pack for only ten dollars.


Skye Cross is an Editorial and Marketing Intern who specializes in writing pieces related to beauty, current trends in media, and social equality.

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