Beauty on a Budget: The 4 Makeup Products You Can Actually Make A Full Face With

Yeah, I’m guilty. I like to spend way too much time doing my makeup, with way too many products. I got started doing makeup when I was in 7th grade, and I’ve been enthralled with all its possibilities since.

As I’ve gotten older though, I’m finding less and less time to devote to sitting in front of my mirror perfecting the cut-crease I’m never seriously going to wear out. And, although I have a box full of products, I notice myself gravitating towards the same few items over and over.

So, whether you’re a minimalist or trying to stick to a budget, these four types of products are really all you need to do a full face! It takes a some research to find a formula that complements you, and a little ingenuity to find new ways to use old products, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

Start yourself off with a simple base - foundation isn’t necessary. Click through the gallery below to see my favorite (actually tried and tested) concealers!


Especially during the dry months, try to stick with something creamy. You can always blot the excess away if you prefer a more matte look.

For a budget-friendly but powerful concealer, I recommend trying the following:

  • Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Concealer ($6.29 at Target, Avail. in 12 shades)

  • Makeup Revolution’s Conceal & Define ($7 at Ulta, Avail. in 24 shades)

  • L.A. Girl Pro Conceal ($4.99 at Ulta, Avail in 43 shades)

  • NYX HD Photogenic Concealer ($6 at, Avail. in 23 shades)


Yep, mascara is made for eyelashes, but did you know you can also use it as an eyebrow gel? If you don’t have black eyebrows, just try a brown mascara - plenty of brands have great formulas in both colors!

Mascara isn’t a type of product I focus on too much, so I don’t have any strong recommendations. But, click through the gallery above to see a few I’ve tried and liked over the past year.


Lipstick is truly a can-do-all kind of product. Other than its obvious use, you can use it as a crème blush, eyeshadow, or contour/bronzer. Just tailor the shade you pick to your specific needs!

A few I love for their demi-matte finish and ability to work well for a variety of applications are:

  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Crème in Stockholm ($6.50 at Ulta)

  • MAC Lipstick Little in Velvet Teddy ($10 at Ulta)

  • Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit ($5.49 at CVS)

  • Milani Color Statement Lipstick ($4.99 at Target)


If you haven’t topped your fresh-faced look off with highlighter, you don’t know what you’re missing! Use this powerhouse of a product on your cheekbones, cupid’s bow, under the brows, bridge of the nose, use it as a natural eyeshadow…do you get the picture?

I’m a strong advocate for the crème variety, but I’ve included two well-loved powder variants in the gallery above if you’re so inclined! Like mascara, there are so many great highlighters out there now, so use the gallery as a starting off point to do your own research.

Hope this simple guide helps you find new uses for your beloved stash! Have fun next time you’re out shopping, and send me any new tips you think up along the way!