Makeup Artists Love These Beauty Products Under $12



You know that feeling when you find a new beauty product that doesn’t make you break out into a sweat over the cost? So good. There are plenty out there already, and new goodies hit beauty shelves every once in a while, too. To highlight the best of the best, we asked pro makeup artists to share some of their favorite products that don’t cost a penny over $12.

1. Pixi by Petra +Rose Lip Nourisher, $9

Pixi-by-Petra+Rose-Lip-NourisherSource: Pixi by Petra

“I’m a huge fan of hybrid products and this little tube is a triple threat,” says Brett Freedman a celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Taylor Swift and Amy Poehler. “It’s part tint, part hydrating balm, and part gloss. I think it’s perfect for any kisser that loves a sheer, juicy hint of color, substantial moisturizing, and a touch of shine.” Freedman says he’s been reaching for this one regularly when doing Jodie Foster’s makeup while she promotes her new movie.

2. Milani Cheek Kiss Cream Blush, $11

Milani-Cheek-Kiss-Cream-BlushSource: Milani

Milani’s blush delivers on that lit-from-within look everyone scrambles to achieve. It’s a cream formulation that comes in four rich colors. “I have been a longtime fan of cream blushes for their ability to melt into the skin and give a natural-looking flush to the skin,” says Savannah Rae St. Jean, a makeup artist who specializes in bridal and editorial makeup. “This blush also contains ingredients to help blur imperfections and it is buildable to give you a customized wash of color.”

3. Revlon So Fierce! Big Bad Lash Mascara with Eyelash Tint, $11

Revlon-So-Fierce-Big-Bad-Lash-MascaraSource: Revlon

Revlon’s So Fierce! Big Bad Lash Mascara was originally available only in the United Kingdom, and it was wildly popular there. As of November 2020, it’s officially landed in the USA. “It’s such a fun name, but don’t discount the one buzzy feature of this mascara that isn’t touted as loud as it should be. Yes, it’s a great mascara as far as fullness and finish, but it also boasts lash tint technology that gradually darkens your flutter,” raves Freedman. “After a few uses, your more vivid lash line can honestly say ‘I woke up like this.’”

4. The Ordinary Concealer, $7

The-Ordinary-ConcealerSource: The Ordinary

The Ordinary, known for its no-fuss formulations and transparent pricing, made a splash when they side-stepped into the color cosmetics realm with their foundation. One of their most recent launches is a full coverage concealer, and St. Jean says it’s worth your cash. “This brand has always developed innovative products that are not only incredibly effective and live up to their hype, but are offered at an unbeatable price point,” she says. “The addition of silicone in their formulation means that it will help soften and blur imperfections. They’ve also developed their formula to resist settling into fine lines, which makes this the perfect undereye concealer.”

5. Aura Cacia Rose Hydrosol, $10

Aura-Cacia-Rose-HydrosolSource: Aura Cacia

Freedman says that refreshers – as in moisturizing mists – are a key part of his makeup kit. The post-makeup and mid-shoot spritz is literally built into his get ‘em glam process. “Back in the day we did Evian misting spray. These days, we see the value in getting a little power to the punch by choosing misters with a fresh natural scent and touch of moisture,” he says. “Rose hydrosol always brings a smile on actresses’ faces when I pull it out. Also, shhh… I spritz it on hands before applying cream.”

6. e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow, $6

Elf-Cosemtics-Liquid-Metallic-EyeshadowSource: e.l.f. Cosmetics

Leave it to e.l.f Cosmetics to deliver a playful, top-quality product that costs less than your go-to specialty latte. “This easy-to-apply, gel-based liquid eyeshadow gives you a serious punch of metallic color that doesn’t crease, and it stays all day,” says St. Jean. “The colors are absolutely gorgeous, and they offer something for all skin tones. Also, with the addition of multi-dimensional metallic pearls, you get an even more eye-catching look than you would expect.” We’ll take one in every color, TYVM.

Which of the above products strikes your fancy most? Honestly, you could buy one of each and get yourself a whole look!

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.