7 Inexpensive Makeup Brands for Your Makeup Artistry Kit - QC Makeup Academy

As we’ve mentioned before, building your makeup kit doesn’t need to cost you a fortune. Even though you may be dreaming of a high-quality kit with all the latest palettes, there’s more to your career than spending your hard-earned money on overpriced makeup!

Check out these 7 makeup brands that rival the professional products you’ll find at Sephora or M.A.C – and start experimenting at a fraction of the cost!

MUA Makeup Academy

Let’s start out with this AH-maz-ing makeup brand that offers some of the best drugstore products that fit into anyone’s budget. In need of a new bronzing palette? Or how about a brush cleansing balm? What about some fancy new brushes? MUA has everything you need, and won’t break the bank.

One of their best products is the Intense Color Gel Eye Liner – and when they say intense, they definitely mean it! These liners come in a selection of gorgeous shades – from Emerald to Gunmetal Metallic – meaning you can create any look you dream of.

Building makeup kit on budget

NYX Cosmetics

Oh, NYX – this brand has been exploding the past few years and has quickly become a staple in every makeup artist’s repertoire. And for a good reason! Their makeup is truly professional quality, and they sell it at drugstore prices. What more could you ask for?

Their main staple? The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams and Liquid Suede lipsticks. These products are to DIE for – they go on soft, smooth, and give you a powerful punch of pigment. Plus, their products are made for both professional makeup artists as well as the average Joe.

Pick up one of their user-friendly contour sticks for yourself, and one of their concealing palettes for your kit! It will only cost you a grand total of $24.00 for a huge amount of pro product.

Hard Candy

Can we talk about how this Wal-Mart brand has one of the BEST concealers we’ve ever tried? The Glamoflauge formula is full coverage, and trust us – you only need a small dot to cover even the most stubborn under-eye circles! And if you haven’t tried their eyeshadows, you are truly missing out.

Another thing to love about this brand: they don’t test on animals!

Building a bridal makeup kit with affordable makeup brands

Wet n Wild

This brand takes us back to our high school days – but this time, we’re over the cheap lip gloss and oxidizing foundations. Wet n Wild has come leaps and bounds from a few years back, with their products rivaling some of the most well-known drugstore brands (sorry, Maybelline).

The megaglo Highlighting Powder is gorgeous for any skin tone, and it’s literally $5.00! From the reviews, we understand that you don’t need too much of this product to get a lovely glow, which means you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Just as well, their coloricon Blush will give you a fabulous dusting of color for a mere $3.00.

e.l.f. Cosmetics

We couldn’t publish a list about inexpensive makeup brands without this drugstore leader! Even though they used to be known for “dollar makeup”, this cosmetic line has since launched a lineup of pro-grade products that we can’t get enough of.

Looking for a primer to brighten your client’s skin? They have it. Need a new face mask? Find it here. How about a variety of face palettes at a fraction of the cost Sephora sells them at? There’s no question – e.l.f. is one brand you should already be stocking up on.

ELF cosmetics makeup brushes

Spiced Cosmetics

Here’s a brand that we are extremely proud of – after all, it was started by a QC alum! Spiced Cosmetics prides itself on highly pigmented mineral makeup, with a gorgeous range of shadows and liquid lippies. They remind us a bit of the lipsticks from HUDA Beauty, albeit a lot less expensive!

Oh yeah – the creator of this cosmetic line is a QC Makeup Academy student!


A true drugstore makeup brand that presents themselves as fun and affordable! Their products consist of smaller palettes that are perfect for a freelance makeup artist. We’re also consumed by how pigmented and creamy their Longlasting Lipsticks are – with the perfect nude shades for every skin tone!

Find out more about building your kit with professional and drugstore cosmetics with these tips from celebrity makeup artist Nathan Johnson!

Author Katie Deck

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