As your wedding budget escalates, it's nice to know that at least one piece of the money puzzle — your outlay for big-day makeup — can stay affordable. We found 10 fantastic beauty products that cost under $20. In fact, we came up with a makeup master plan for your complexion, eyes, and lips — perfect for your wedding day and other nuptial-reated parties.
On this day — more than any other — you want your makeup to stay fresh and fabulous. The secret? Primer, plain and simple. But not just any old primer, mind you. We like this one because it zaps redness (a boon for rosacea sufferers) while giving the skin a lit-from-within glow.
2. Stick Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation, $8.99
As far as foundation formulas go, we heart sticks for many reasons. One, because they're dabbed only where needed, they give a natural, you-but-better look. Two, they really cover what they need to cover. Three, they're super-portable — just toss 'em in your wedding clutch and go. This one is available in 12 shades, and its unique powder "core" helps eliminate T-zone shine. So smart!
3. Concealer:CoverGirl + Olay Concealer Balm, $7.99
We've already given this goodie a Brides Beauty Award, so obviously we're smitten. Why do we swoon over it? For starters, it's available in a whopping six shades. But mostly, it's because it's laced with hydrating serum, so it glides right on and doesn't tug on delicate undereye skin. Consider it a dark circle's worst enemy.
4. Blush: Milani Cosmetics Baked Blush, $7.99
Nothing perks up a face like a great blush. This swirly "baked" offering is seriously upscale for the price. Available in eight wearable shades, it's got a luxe powder texture and is housed in a mirrored compact complete with a better-than-average brush. In other words, a lot of blush bang for your buck.
On the brush front, you can pretty much get away with one big fluffy number for your face. But eyes are tricky. Because of the contours (the lid, the crease, the brow bone) you really need specialized tools. Treat yourself to this five-piece eye set from makeup guru Sonia Kashuk, whose brushes have a well-deserved rep for awesomeness.
6. Shadow: Almay I-Color Smokey-I Kit, $7.49
These eye color-specific palettes take the guesswork out of crafting a smokey look. Bonus: The shadows are long-wearing and crease-proof, and — as with all things Almay — hypoallergenic.
They glide on smoothly, but once they're on, these babies don't budge. Use solo, or layer them for a customized look.
8. Mascara: Benefit BADgal Waterproof Mascara, $19
Okay, so we're sliding under the price wire with this one, but it's so worth it. The monster brush yields massive, jet-black lashes. But here's the best part: It can withstand buckets of wedding tears, but is easy to remove.
9. Primer: MAC Prep + Prime Lip, $16
On your big day, you've got more important matters to attend to than whipping out your compact every five minutes for a post-pucker touchup. Set the stage with this colorless, moisturizing, lipstick-magnet primer.
10. Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, $4.99
Gloss is great, but it doesn't go the distance like a grownup lipstick. This cult classic is available in a staggering 82 shades and four textures. For weddings, we're keen on the classic creme finish. Why? It's comfy-cozy, glamorous and photographs really well.