It’s been 9 years since I was in front of the camera everyday, working as a TV news reporter in Tampa Bay, Florida. Back in those days, my TV station sent me to Sephora with a stylist (oh how long ago!), and she’d pick out a bunch of expensive makeups for me to wear on-camera. Fast-forward to almost a decade later, and I’m a stay-at-home mom with 4 kids. The other day, as I was putting my makeup on in between episodes of Bubble Guppies, I realized I’ve inadvertently started using drugstore makeup to replace all of the items I used to get at Sephora. And I like most of them better! So I thought I’d share.

Click here to watch a makeup tutorial (from the most non-makeup trained person you know *wink*) on a Facebook Live! 

1. Foundation

Foundation I used to use: L’Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Foundation

In full disclosure, these are both awesome drugstore brands. In my TV days, I asked the consultant for a great drugstore alternative to the Sephora stuff, and she recommended L’Oréal True Match. It worked great for TV and special events, and I used it for years, but once mom life began, it ended up being too heavy for carline and play dates and all the things.

Foundation I use now: Maybelline Makeup Dream Fresh BB Cream

Now, I love my BB cream. Even with my splotchy, greasy skin, I love how the minimal coverage of the BB cream goes on. It’s translucent, but it evens out my skin tone and lets my face breathe. I first tried it when I asked my sister what kind of foundation she uses, since I always love how her skin looks. And this is it. Since trying it, I’ve never gone back! If you’ve never tried BB cream, I highly recommend it! It’s way better than traditional foundation.

2. Primer

Primer I used to use: NYX HD Studio Photogenic Primer

I used to swear by this stuff because I loved how it went on, and it literally helped my makeup stay on all day. Literally, I remember I’d be sweating all day, out in the hot sun for a spaceship launch at NASA, and at the end of the day, literally even my suit was wet from sweating so much. But I looked at my face and it was flawless. It was so odd how it helps the makeup stay put!

Primer I use now: none

The great part about BB cream for me, is that it stays on fine, and I don’t feel the need for primer. Because it’s so light, it seems less likely to slide off my face in heat and humidity.

3. Powder

Powder I used to use: MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder

Powder I use now: e.l.f. Perfect Finish HD Powder

I found this on accident, when I ran out of my expensive powder from Sephora, but didn’t have time to get to the mall (because, with 4 young kids, who does?). I saw this at Walmart while I was grocery shopping, and at $12 a container, I figured I had nothing to lose. Turns out, I love it! The only difference I notice is that the expensive HD powder almost adds a glitteryness to my face, which I do love, but not enough to spend $18 more per container and 2 hours trekking to the mall with kids.

4. Bronzer

Bronzer I used to use: Benefit Cosmetics Dallas Bronzer

Bronzer I use now: RIMMEL Natural Bronzer


Again, I’d run out and saw this at Target, and figured I have nothing to lose, and really, how different can bronzers be? Well, not very. I don’t notice any difference, except that the more expensive Dallas bronzer might have more of a pinky tone. But that’s more about color, not how it goes on. Total win!

5. Eyeliner

Eyeliner I used to use: Maybelline New York Ultra-Liner

Eyeliner I use now: Maybelline New York Ultra-Liner

Sometimes, you just don’t mess with the best! I have always used this inexpensive Maybelline liquid liner, and that didn’t change when I left TV news. It’s easy to apply (once you get the hang of it), and it’s cheap!

6. Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow I used to use: Sephora Collection Eye Love Eyeshadow Palette

Let me start by saying there is absolutely nothing negative I would say about this product. I loved the colors, and I loved how awake I looked with these the pink tones on my eyelids (which is surprising, since I’d think pink would make my eyes look more tired). But, I found something that’s also great, and less expensive.

Eyeshadow I use now: L’Oréal Paris Amber Rush Eyeshadow

I prefer to just buy one color of eyeshadow in a color I actually love, rather than having several in a container but only using one of them. I love that I can just buy the colors I like. These go on well