Best makeup products for college students on a budget

Jasmine Soria
Staff Writer

You do not need to spend a fortune to look like a beauty queen. The secret lies in choosing the right products that will help you achieve a perfect base and beautiful lashes without leaving a hole in your pocket. Maybelline, ColourPop, Elf, Wet N Wild, and L’Oreal are your new best friends when it comes to affordable beauty products. These brands have amazing products that will keep you looking stunning while keeping your wallet happy. 

A mascara that has been around for 40 years and has the Allure Best of Beauty Award, Great Lash by Maybelline is known for its classic neon pink and green tube. It was the first ever mascara to be water-based instead of using beeswax. 

“Great Lash by Maybelline is my all-time favorite mascara, $6 is really affordable,” Maddie Martinez, sophomore education major, said. “You can get it anywhere; Target, Sephora, or even the gas station.” 

The mascara is available in three different colors, black, brown, and blue, but also has a clear mascara, perfect for priming the lashes or for a more natural lash look. It features a doubling formula and curved brush, giving the beautiful false lashes effect. 

Whether you are having a bad skin day, or want extra glowy skin, the ColourPop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Creamy Concealer is available in 26 different shades for only $9. It is dermatologist-approved and contains coconut water and hyaluronic acid, keeping the skin fresh and dewy all day. 

“I love ColourPop, I use their concealer almost every day because it stays; the great thing about ColourPop is that you’ll wake up from a nap and everything is still perfect,” Morgan Esebag, a junior music and psychology major, said. 

The concealer is full-coverage, perfect for going out, and cruelty-free. Since it is so hydrating, it is perfect for all skin types and has a creamy consistency. 

A good primer is life changing in your makeup routine, but most of the time they are expensive or are clog-poring. The Elf Grip Primer is a hydrating gel-based primer that is non-comedogenic meaning it does not clog pores. The primer costs $10 and has a silky gel texture that can be applied effortlessly on the skin, helping your make-up last all day. This primer has hyaluronic acid, which gives the skin an extra glow and absorbs the makeup without damaging the skin. 

“I love anything Elf, especially the Grip Primer,” Mia Byington, a freshman photography major, said.

No makeup brand is more affordable than Wet N Wild. Their lip liners have been around for more than 30 years and are priced at $1.29 to $3. 

“Wet N Wild have great affordable lip liners, they’re very creamy,” Justin Smith, an Ulta Beauty employee, said. 

The brand has their Color Icon Lipliner in six shades, including the famous Brandy wine color.

These are your classic wood lip liners made with a rich and creamy formula that provides smooth application and doesn’t break the lips. Those looking for an even smoother application the Perfect Pout Gel Lip Liner is a gel lip liner that has a twist up pencil, meaning no sharpener required. 

There are hundreds of affordable foundations, and with new ones on the market each week it is hard to find a perfect one. 

“L’oreal Pro Matte foundation is my go-to foundation and it’s only about $10, ” Alexis Ortiz, freshman digital media major, said. 

This foundation comes in 22 different shades and is a liquid semi-matte formula. Although it is matte it does not leave a flat finish but goes on airy and light. This leaves an even complexion and enhances any makeup look.

These beauty buys are proof you do not need a trust fund to look fabulous. Whether you are hitting up the campus library or heading out for the night, it is possible to look gorgeous without breaking your bank account. 

Jasmine Soria can be reached at

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Jasmine Soria, a junior broadcast journalism major, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.


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