My FOUR favorite & {affordable} makeup products that you probably didn't know existed.

HI Y’ALL! So, little confession from me, not only am I a wedding photographer, but I’m also a secret makeup and skincare hoarder.

I am also cheap, which means I’m an expert at finding bad ass products that are HELLA affordable.

So, without further ado, my four favorite makeup products that you’ve never heard of. Or maybe you have. And some selfies for proof.

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Essence Lash Princess

I have tried a ton of mascaras in my life. Mascara is my “if I was stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one thing” product. I’ve tried the most talked about expensive mascaras and the popular drugstore ones. This one trumps them all. Essence is a European brand so it is by default vegan and cruelty free. And AND the best thing? It’s $4.99. You can buy it at Ulta and I’ve seen them occasionally at Target (but not often).

catrice matt liquid lip powder

Catrice Ultra Matt Liquid Lip Powder in Cafe Americano

Now, this one is specific to the color. I have tried a few other colors and I’m not a fan. BUT, Cafe Americano is the perfect “my lips but better” color and it’s one of the rare liquid lipsticks that I find doesn’t flake off throughout the day. It wears down, yes, but it does it in a subtle way. This is my every day color and I want to say it would be pretty flattering on most skin tones, but don’t quote me on that, I’m a pale pale pale girl. This gawjus lippy sells for $7.99. Catrice is a cruelty free brand but not completely vegan.


C.Y.O. is a new brand sold exclusively at Walgreens (I believe only online). Their lifeproof foundation is one of the best foundations I’ve ever put on my face and I have tried… too many foundations to count. C.Y.O. is cruelty free and does not test on animals, however, I’m not 100% sure if they are vegan or not. How much will it cost you? $7.00. I literally have this stuff on a subscription and I get two at a time because I love it so much and it was sold out for months last fall. So yes, I’d say it’s worth it.

Now, I don’t vouch for this as a lip color, but for me, it’s the perfect cheek flush. It’s dewy so it not only gives you a perfect natural blush look, but it also provides a very nice highlight as well. I’m personally a fan of cream blushes, I think they look more natural and they’re easier to work with and build. I don’t use a lot of powder products - as you can tell - I like dewy skin (AND SO SHOULD YOU!) This product is $7.99 and Palladio is cruelty free but unfortunately does not have a list of which of their products are vegan at this time (that I know of).

I can definitely get a full face of makeup out of these four products - aside from my brows. Maybelline TattooStudio Brow Pomade is my current go-to brow products if you’re wondering.


Now, unless you’re just super bomb at makeup, I always recommend hiring a professional hair and makeup artist (ask me for my vendor list!) for photos - it is just so worth it. These products are great for an every day face, though, and if you don’t love them, let me know!