9 Drugstore Foundations Under $15 That Actually Work

Like most people, I am of the mistaken, but unwavering, belief that everything I put on my body needs to be a verified Luxury Item. You know, ones that come from fancy, nice-smelling boutiques (not “stores”) outfitted with doting attendants and sparse, but tasteful, items to choose from. But, also like most people, I don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend on the luxury items I feel I deserve. This is especially true when it comes to makeup. I can justify spending a lot of money on things like technology or clothes that I know I’ll wear often, but makeup, by its nature, gets depleted, which means that dropping, like, $75 on a Holy Grail foundation or mascara means that you have to keep dropping that amount of money if you want to maintain your look.

The good news? You don’t actually have to spend exorbitant amounts of money in order to get good makeup–especially good foundation. In fact, there are a bunch of great options that are literally just lying around at the the drugstore that’s, like, half a block away from where you live. So, if you’re *not* trying to break the bank right now, but still want a luxury-adjacent foundation, check out these drugstore foundations that are both super cheap and super effective:


L'Oreal True Match

True Match has one of the widest breadths of options available for drugstore makeup, which is definitely a plus. It also builds easily and provides great coverage without ever getting cakey or patchy.

Buy it at Walmart for $7.97

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

If you're a BB cream girl, Maybelline Dream Fresh might be your new favorite product. Lots of makeup artists swear by itto provide the effortless, slightly dewey look that comes from a good BB cream.

Buy it at Jet for $6.79

NYX Stay Matte Powder Foundation

If you like powder foundation, this one from NYX is a good option. It absorbs oil but doesn't give your face the dry, flaky look that often comes from powder foundations.

Buy it at Target for $9.49

Covergirl Clean Matte

This is a great foundation if you've got oily skin but want to stick with liquid foundation. It goes on easily, blends well, and helps you stay shine-free all day.

Buy it at Walmart for $9.59

Essence Pure Nude

If you've got dry skin, you should use Essence foundation. I use this foundation a lot, and it really does deliver on its promise of having a "no make-up feel" while still providing great coverage.

Buy it at Target for $4.99

Rimmel Stay Matte

For more combination skin, try this It's matte, but has a "body butter"-type consistency, so it'll go on smoothly and without giving you dry, flaky patches.

Buy it at Walmart for $4.97

Maybelline Fit Me

Not *quite* sure what kind of skin you have? Try this foundation from Maybelline, which works well on most skin types. It's lightly matte, so it'll help absorb any excess oil you've got on your skin, but it also won't totally dry you out.

Buy it at Maybelline for $7.99

Neutrogena Skin-Clearing Makeup

If you've got acne, wearing makeup can often lead to more breakouts, which leads to more makeup, which leads to a very vicious, stressful routine. Break the cycle with this foundation from Neutrogena that helps clear up skin while covering up existing blemishes.

Buy it at Ulta for $13.99

Covergirl Queen

If yo've got dark skin, you should look into the CoverGirl Queen line, which provides shades that are usually ignored by most drugstore brands. It's also a three-in-one foundation--combining elements of liquid foundation, concealer, and powder--so you don't have to do a ton of steps when you apply it.

Buy it at Amazon for $9.39

Have you ever used any of these brands? Did I forget any good ones? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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