20 Parent-friendly beauty products under $20

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When a kid enters your life, suddenly you don’t have quite the same budget you used to. Understatement of the century, we know. We’re firm believers that you should still find ways to spend money on yourself after having a kid, even if you’ve got to lean towards cheaper options now. 

For some, making the transition from high-end to low-end makeup can be a bit jarring. Like, “you’re telling me I can pay a quarter of the price for a product, and it’s still high-quality? No way.” Yes way! Let us show you our top 20 favourite makeup products under $20 that are so good, you’ll never go back to high-end makeup, even when you get back the budget for it. 

Additionally, for those just getting into makeup (which is, by the way, a totally normal stage to be in at any age), it’s better to start with budget-friendly makeup like those on this list before working your way up. There’s truly no need to spend $60 on your first blush, that’s simply ridiculous. We’ve also put the products in the order we’d use them to give you an extra leg up!

elf Poreless Putty Primer 

$17

Those newer to makeup might be confused about primers, but we assure you they’re essential if you’re doing foundation, concealer, etc. They smooth out your skin and give the makeup an even surface to work on, so your makeup looks better throughout the day. Our favourite budget pick is definitely this one, which we swear works like magic to make pores disappear.

Spectrum Pink Wonder Sponge 

$8.94

We’ll tell you a secret: there’s no need to spend any more than $10 on a blending sponge. They all basically work the same and are generally the same shape. Pro tip if your beauty sponge isn’t working as well as you’d hoped: run it under some warm water and squeeze it out. The sponge will become larger, more pliable, and the dampness will help products melt into the skin. 

Maybelline Superstay Activewear Concealer – Tan

$12.49

They aren’t kidding about the “activewear” title! This concealer was built to stay on for 30 hours straight, even if you’re playing a sport or out in the sun all day. If you set it properly with powder and setting spray, it even becomes water resistant! It’s extremely lightweight and skin-like so it never looks cakey. 

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation – Toffee 

$12.99

If you’re looking for budget foundations, Maybelline’s always got something great. Seriously, we’ve never tried a Maybelline foundation we didn’t like. However, our favourite’s got to be the Fit Me Matte foundation. It makes your skin look airbrushed, and it comes in 37 shades. 

NYX Professional Makeup Brow Glue Stick – Clear 

$14.99

The Brow Glue is perfect for natural makeup and heavy glam parents alike. It’s clear, so it can be worn on its own without looking like much, or you can add some colour on top for definition. It’ll keep your brows in place all day so they don’t look totally crazy, even if your life kinda is. 

NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil – Espresso

$19.99

To define your brows and fill in any gaps, try out this brow pencil from NYX. Unlike other brow pencils, it doesn’t require any sharpening and comes with a spoolie at the end to fluff up and shape your brows. It’s also ultra-thin for a more natural look. 

Australis Dewy + Daring Cream Bronzer – Summer Fling 

$14.95

Especially during the winter it can be hard to stay bronzy, so sometimes we need a bit of help. Our favourite helping hand is this stick bronzer, which fits perfectly into any bag and can be blended with your fingers for those on-the-go touch-ups. 

Milani Baked Blush – Dolce Pink 

$19.99

If you’re into a cute, buildable pink with a bit of shimmer, try out this blush! Unlike many liquid or cream blushes, it doesn’t pull off foundation or get patchy at all. If you’re not a pinky person, they’ve also got shades of orange, bronze, berry, and champagne. 

Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter – Molten Gold 

$19.95

We’re in love with Maybelline’s highlighters as they create the most beautiful bright sparkle on the high points of the face. Molten Gold is our favourite – it’s super bright but also natural. 

elf Blush Brush 

$11

elf Flawless Concealer Brush 

$9

elf Contour Eyeshadow Brush 

$9

If you don’t love beauty sponges, brushes can also be used for foundation and concealer. For powdered products like blush and eyeshadow, you definitely need a good brush. We love these three from elf as they’re soft, high-quality, and don’t break the bank. They’ve got a huge collection of brushes at this price point if you’re looking for more!

Australis Dream of Me Eyeshadow Palette 

$19.95

If you’re looking for a high-quality palette that’s affordable and wearable for every day, look no further! We love Australis’s palettes, especially this one with gorgeous matte and shimmer shades. If you’re looking for something in a similar price range with brighter colours, check out Australis’s Barbie ™ Palette instead!

Maybelline Master Liner 24Hr Creamy Pencil – Black

$15.99

Parents don’t often have 10 or 20 extra minutes to get their liquid liner absolutely perfect, which is why we turn to cream pencils instead. Slap it on and blend the edges out in less than a minute!

elf Mechanical Eyelash Curler

$5

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect – Black 

$8

We’ve tried tons of mascaras, both low and high end, and this is our favourite of all! It truly does give the effect of false lashes. One drawback, though, is that it can run a bit a few hours into wearing it especially if you’re sweating or in a high-humidity area. There’s a waterproof version if needed!

Maybelline Color Sensational Made for All Lipstick – Mauve for Me 

$10.49

If there’s one thing Maybelline knows well, it’s their lip products. Almost any Maybelline lip product you pick up will be a winner, but we especially love this one. It’s made specifically to look great on every skin tone, and it feels lightweight and moisturising as it’s formulated with honey nectar. 

Maybelline Lifter Gloss Plumping Lip Gloss – Silk 

$18.95

Meet the ultimate lip gloss! Unlike most other glosses, it features hyaluronic acid, an ingredient often used in skincare products to add moisture to the skin. The doe foot applicator is large and luxurious despite the low price point, plus the formula is non-sticky and super shiny. 

BYS Powder Loose HD Microfinish Ultra Fine

$9.95

Powders are especially important if you get oily throughout the day, and they set your makeup in place so it doesn’t slide all around. While we admit the higher-end powders might be worth splurging for once, we recommend the BYS Powder for a budget option. It does its job for less than $10!

Maybelline New York Lasting Fix Setting Spray

$18.99 

The last step in every makeup routine should be setting spray, especially if you’ve got a long day of parenting ahead. Maybelline has some great options we love, particularly this one that keeps your makeup in place through absolutely anything. 

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