As we talked about in Issue 2 of Anyway, makeup is a fun way to express yourself. But when you're learning what you like, there's no need to spend a lot. That's why we’ve curated a list of makeup essentials that teens and tweens will love, without breaking their piggy bank or your Apple Pay account. (We've also included the splurge options as well as the inexpensive dues, if you want to pick one or two special items as a gift!)
Step 1: Primer
Sure, the Milk Primer is great, but Elf Primer is garnering a similar cult following for its same hydrating ingredients, long-lasting grip, and dewy finish. Plus, it’s infused with hyaluronic acid to ease acne-prone skin.
Milk Primer (.33 oz $20) v. Elf Primer (.81 oz $10)
Step 2: Foundation
Glossier’s branding is unbearably clean and cute, but their petite products don’t offer much bang for your buck. L'oreal’s medium-coverage foundation will get you much farther both in value and in precise coloring matching (they got 47 tints v. Glossier’s 12).
Glossier Skin Tint (.17 oz $26) v. L'oreal Super Blendable Foundation (1 oz $14)
Step 3: Medium to Full Coverage Concealer
Blemishes are pesky but don’t need to slow you down. From lighter coverage to a full face paint, here are some dubiously good dupes.
Tarte Shape Tape (.34 oz $31) v. Hydrating Camo Concealer (.20 oz $7)
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Full Coverage Foundation ($44) v. e.l.f. Camo CC Cream (1.05 oz $15)
Step 4: Eyes
Eyes are the window to the soul-crushing beautiful makeup look. Make them pop with a shimmering lid, long lashes, and perfectly sculpted brows.
GrandeLASH Serum (.067 oz $68) v. Multi-Peptide Ordinary Lash Serum (1 oz $14.50)
Lacôme Volumizing Mascara (.27 oz $30 ) v. L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara (.27 oz $10.99)
NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel (.3 oz $5.99) vs. Makeup By Mario Master Hold Brow Gel (.63 oz $22)
Crown OMG Eyeshadow ($22) v. Morphe Color Palette ($39)
Step 5: Lips
Pucker up for the look’s finishing touch, and don’t feel bad when you lose these affordable lipsticks at the bottom of your purse.
Kylie tinted butter balm (.08 oz $18 ) v. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (.09 oz $4.99)
Fenty Beauty Lipstick (.09 oz $24) v. ColourPop Lipstick (.12 oz $10)
Caroline Brammer is a New York City–based writer prone to backcountry misadventures. She loves cash-only restaurants, run/walking in the park, chance encounters, and advocating for the preservation of lighthearted antics by working in teen outdoor education.
Please note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, but we only share products we sincerely like. Thanks so much.