FYI: Makeup Artists Say These 9 Beauty Products Aren't Worth the Splurge

I've spent my entire beauty-obsessed life (so basically 6th grade and beyond) spending entirely too much money on makeup. And skincare. And bottles of shampoo and conditioner and volumizer. I'm not precisely sure why or when my middle school self decided reasonably priced drugstore finds were beneath me, but I have a hunch it was around the same time I subscribed to virtually every beauty magazine, combing through the glossy pages cover to cover like religion. I decided early on I wanted to become a beauty editor or a makeup artist, and at the time, I thought I needed an understanding of only the most expensive, cult classic, holy grail beauty products in order to be successful (a super-misguided conception, I've come to realize).

Of course, there have been a select few drugstore offerings I've monogamously stood by over the years (CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara $9, I'll love you forever), but for the most part, I've been a complete brand snob. I realize this isn't exactly an attractive admission, but it's a 100% honest one all the same. However, after first getting my start in the industry as an intern for Byrdie, then graduating to assistant beauty editor, and then landing a dream job as associate beauty editor here at Who What Wear), I've slowly been proven increasingly wrong as far as the worthiness and quality of drugstore makeup.


(Image credit: @tobimakeup)

Turns out, beauty editors, celebrities, and even makeup artists (the pickiest of the picky) totally love a great drugstore find. The rub? Not all drugstore offerings are created equal, and there are only certain beauty staples makeup artists recommend reaching for at the drugstore.

Since there's some strategy involved and since I don't want you to end up like me (succumbing my paychecks to prestige makeup and prestige makeup, alone), we're sharing which beauty products makeup artists say are worth the investment and which beauty products worth the save. Oh, and we also asked them to share all of their favorite formulas with us—save and splurge alike. Ahead, the very best product investments according to four of the industry's best makeup artists. Keep scrolling!

Save On

Lip Liner

Lip Gloss



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Clear Brow Gel

False Lashes

Facial Cleanser


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Eye Shadow

Splurge On



Lash Curler

A Bronze & Highlight Duo

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Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.