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Best Drugstore Makeup Finds for Women Over 45 — 7 Picks Pros Swear By

Look fab without breaking the bank

We all have those relics from the past taking up valuable real estate in our makeup bag. That black kohl eyeliner, pink powder blush or dark brown lipstick complemented our smooth, even complexion in our 30s but only seem to draw unflattering attention to creases, age spots and tired eyes since passing our 40s. Ready to toss them and start anew? Read on for the affordable upgrades beloved by women just like you, aka the best drugstore makeup products, backed by celebrity makeup artists. They each are perfect for your skin now and are sure to leave you glowing.

Best drugstore makeup finds

drugstore makeup products
Inna Mykhalchuk/Getty

Whoever said you need to spend your whole paycheck to get high quality makeup must have never tried these favorites!

1. To enliven dull skin: A peach cream blush

Cream blushes not only hydrate skin, they won’t settle into wrinkles like their powder counterparts can. That’s why the multi stick below, which contains moisturizing shea butter, is such a hit with the over-45 set. According to one online reviewer, the stick makes it “easy to control how much color you put on. Besides wrinkles, I have kind of dull, mottled skin, and this blush brings it to life!” Plus, adds celebrity makeup artist Andrea Claire, who’s worked with Alanis Morissette and Hillary Scott, “A peach-toned blush is universally flattering and can be used on the eyes and lips for a monochromatic look that brightens a dull complexion.”

e.l.f. Monochromatic Multi Stick in Glistening Peach

e.l.f. Monochromatic Multi Stick in Glistening Peach

To use: Apply just above the apples of cheeks; blend up to temples.

Related: Makeup Artists: The Strategic Way to Apply Blush to Accentuate Your Best Features

2. To restore radiance: A ‘glotion’

There’s a reason beauty lovers are singing the praises of this glow enhancer, which in our opinion, easily makes the cut for the best drugstore makeup buys. This luminous tinted moisturizer hydrates skin, imparts a lit-from-within glow and optically blurs fine lines and wrinkles, says Claire. Best of all, it’s made with glycerin, which locks in moisture so skin remains radiant after makeup is removed! And this Amazon reviewer agrees: “This tinted moisturizer gives my skin a dose of hydration, so it feels refreshing, adds a glow and is so lightweight!”

L’Oréal Paris Lumi Glotion
L’Oréal Paris/Target

L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion

To use: Apply a dime-size amount to the face with fingers, then buff in with a brush and add more where needed (like around the nose and on cheeks); blend with the brush.

Related: Best Bronzing Drops for Women Over 50 + Why They’re the Hottest Trend in Makeup

3. To awaken tired eyes: A blendable eyeliner

When it comes to helping make eyes look wider and more awake, the fan-favorite by Urban Decay below, a creamy brown eyeliner, does the trick for any skin or eye color. “The natural, subtle hue creates an eye-opening effect,” says Celebrity Makeup Artist David Maderich, who’s worked with Kate Hudson and Drew Barrymore. Plus, thanks to its jojoba and cottonseed oils, it glides on easily — no wrinkle-causing­ tugging on skin needed when applying. “Hands down, the best waterproof liner… buildable, easy to remove and it doesn’t damage my lashes or eyelids,” exclaims one reviewer on the brand’s website.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Demolition
Urban Decay

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Demolition

To use: Line the upper lash line, then add a dot of liner on your ring finger and press it at the outer corner of each eye while swiping upward. This creates a small flick that helps offset saggy eyelids.

4. To volumize lips: A tinted lip oil

The answer to lips that don’t look as full as they used to? Swap your thick cream lipsticks that bleed into lip lines for a tinted lip oil. It offers the color of a lipstick, the shine of a gloss and the lip-plumping benefits of a balm. One that’s loved by online beauty reviewers and Maderich? This NYX one. “I use the Missed Call shade on all of my clients — it’s a gorgeous rosy pink shade that suits everyone,” says Maderich. The oil’s sheen tricks the eye into seeing a fuller pout, and its blend of moisturizing raspberry and cloudberry oils plump up thinner lips even more.

According to one reviewer, this lip oil is a must-have. “The color is divine, it adds just the right amount of tint for a natural yet polished look. Its velvety glide on my lips is pure luxury.”

NYX Professional Makeup Fat Oil Lip Drip

NYX Professional Makeup Fat Oil Lip Drip

To use: Outline lips with a liner in a hue similar to lips’ natural color, then apply a small dab of oil onto lips. The liner helps the oil stay on lips so it won’t seep into and make lines around the mouth look more noticeable. 

Related: What Is Lip Oil? The Science Behind the Viral Makeup Trend That’s So Much Cheaper Than Lipstick

Bonus: 3 best drugstore primers for melt-proof makeup

Adding a step to your routine may seem like a pain, but prepping skin with a primer ensures makeup goes on smoothly and stays put. Here, the best drugstore makeup primers that do even more than that!

1. To hydrate dry skin…

Milani Skin Quench Primer

Milani Skin Quench Primer

This not only preps skin for makeup, but the water-based primer contains coconut water, which sinks into skin to replenish lost moisture so makeup doesn’t cling to dry patches.

2. To reduce redness…

Wet n Wild Prime Focus Glass Correct Primer
Wet n Wild/Target

Wet n Wild Prime Focus Glass Correct Primer

For rashy splotches that can still peek through makeup, this color correcting primer has a green tint which neutralizes redness and plant extracts that calm irritated skin.

Related: Makeup Artists’ Easy Secret to Nixing Redness, Dark Circles and Sallowness for Skin That Absolutely Glows

3. To combat shine…

Neutrogena Mattifying Primer with Shine Control

Neutrogena Mattifying Primer with Shine Control

An oily complexion can cause makeup to slide off, but using this primer can help. Its niacinamide helps tamp down on excess oil production, banishing a shiny T-zone and ensuring makeup stays put all day.

Related: 9 Skincare-Infused Makeup Products to Give You an Immediate Glow

For more of our favorite beauty products, click through these stories:

Makeup Pros Share the 9 Best Mascaras for Thin Lashes + the Application Trick That Boosts Volume Instantly

Best Clean Beauty Swaps for Gorgeous Skin and Hair Without Harsh Chemicals

The Best Drugstore Foundations for Mature Skin for Under $20 That Will Make You Glow

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