Our childhood selves didn't know how good they had it when it came time for back-to-school shopping. It's all gel pens and monogrammed lunch boxes when it's on mom's dime, but as we get older, the frills fall off, and the first day of school means a very depressing trip to Walmart to grab the cheapest spiral notebooks our summer babysitting money can buy.
Because it's only natural that your shopping budget and summertime high spirits both take a hit as first semester looms, we're making your BTS makeup haul easy and affordable. Whether you need a waterproof mascara to hold up through your end-of-summer tears or a dewy highlighter that'll turn heads when you step on campus, we've got the must-have basics covered — and everything's less than $11.
Check out the best back-to-school makeup from the drugstore, ahead. Because your upcoming shopping trip should be more fun than doom, gloom, and ugly three-ring binders.
There is a lot of product out there — some would say too much. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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If you have dark skin and you're on the hunt for the perfect bronzer that doesn't turn ashy and doesn't cost you $28 and a trip to the Bobbi Brown counter — consider this drugstore powder. Makeup artist Renny Vasquez, who touches the skin of Serena Williams and Brandy, loves it because it adds dimension to deeper skin tones without going reddish.
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This liquid liner is so precise, you won't need a cotton swab to clean up mistakes, making it the perfect product to stash in your pencil case.
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Use it as a shiny eyeshadow or dab a bit on your cheekbones. Either way, this glowy highlight will turn heads at roll-call.
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You can't go wrong with a simple six-pan rose-gold eyeshadow palette — especially when it's only $8.
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This waterproof mascara will hold up long after your final cannonball into the pool.
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This sheer, multitasking blush is gorgeous as an everyday cheek color, and can even be used as a shadow in a pinch.
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Think of this silky potted highlighter as your Champagne-taste-on-a-beer-budget version of the RMS Living Luminizer: It delivers the same creamy, radiant finish on the skin, at a fraction of the price.
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Because we don't all have $20 to throw on a BeautyBlender, this $6 makeup sponge will do the trick, seamlessly buffing foundation and concealer into the skin.