Let’s face it. The drugstore makeup aisle is completely overwhelming. It’s so easy to STILL blow a ton of money on makeup that simply won’t work for mature skin! I thought I would make myself a guinea pig and try out a bunch of makeup from the drugstore and give you a solid review of what worked and what didn’t on my almost 50-year-old skin. My full face was done with the drugstore products I’m talking about today and nothing was more than $12. If you’re on a makeup budget or just looking for recommendations on the vast array of products at the drugstore, then read on!

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

*If you’d like to see all of my Amazon Favs, you can do that here.

I’ve linked the entire list of recommendations for drugstore makeup at the end of the post, so just scroll on down if you just want to know what worked.

If you’re interested in Budget skincare that works for mature skin, you can read that here.

*For reference: I’ve not had any procedures done (obviously, lol). I do use the NuFace Trinity device. I have normal to dry skin. I use Retin A that I buy online from Curology. I also used a 10x mirror when applying everything. (Which is both helpful and terrifying!)

Can I just say that the packaging on drugstore makeup is SERIOUS. I feel like a lot of my life was sucked away this week as I savagely tried to OPEN these products! Ain’t nobody tamperin’ with your stuff at the drugstore ladies….nobody.

Drugstore Makeup


I tried a few different Primers. A good primer will hide enlarged pores, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and improve the look of uneven skin tone. It will also help your foundation to go on smoothly and last longer. A GOOD primer will do that. Of the ones I tried, I can recommend the Trueblend Base Business by Covergirl in the “Skin Smoothing” type. While all of the primers FELT nice going on, this was the only one that delivered on the rest of what a primer should actually do.

The best drugstore makeup for women over 40.


The Visible Lift Serum Absolute by L’oreal was a real winner in the foundation department. You guys- this foundation is amazing. It performs like a high-end foundation. The selling point on this is that it is “Advanced Age Reversing Makeup”. Yeah- whatever, but this is a really beautiful foundation. It’s got great coverage and it’s a gorgeous satin finish that looks good on mature skin. It wears well all day, contains sunscreen and has 12 shades. I loved this so much that I bought another bottle and have been using it exclusively since I got it, replacing my usual foundation by IT Cosmetics. You will want to apply this with a damp Beauty Blender (my fav Amazon Beauty Blender dupe is here.)

The best drugstore makeup for women over 40.
bracelet here,(on sale) beauty blender dupe here


For concealers, I tried the two I’ve heard the most about and there was a clear winner. Simply Ageless Instant Fix by Cover Girl performs really well on mature skin. It blurs fine lines and wrinkles and gives medium coverage. I’ve heard people rave about the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer, but the 10x mirror tells a different tale! It settled right into my lines and looked worse and worse throughout the day.

Setting Powder

Both concealers were set with the most scant amount of setting powder. I tried several and the Maybelline Candid setting powder seemed to be the best, with the Airspun brand coming in second. I use only the tiniest amount of setting powder- just enough to keep things in place.


The bronzers/contour I can recommend are The “City Bronzer” by Maybelline and the “Butter Bronzer” by Physicians Formula. They give a natural bronze look with no sparkle and are easily able to be used for contouring.

Eyelid Primer

The ONLY drugstore makeup lid primer I could find (in 3 different stores, including Ulta) was this one from Revolution. And I have to say that it really did the job for $9. I still think that the best bet for lid primer is Two Faced Shadow Insurance. It’s $20, but it will last you half your life, so it’s a good value. (I’ve also heard good things about this one, but none of the stores near me had it.)

The best drugstore makeup for women over 40.


For brows I used a brow kit from Rimmel. And again, there was a little more fallout and only 3 shades to choose from, but it actually stayed on and did really well for the price!

Eye Shadow Palette

If you are looking for tips on applying eyeshadow to mature, hooded eyes, I have that here. I was impressed with this sweet little eye palette from Maybelline called “The City Kits”. As with most drugstore makeup, the color pay-out isn’t as good and there’s quite a bit of fallout, leaving pinky dust particles on your cheeks to be dusted off. But honestly- it’s pretty, not difficult to work with and while the pigment isn’t as good as a higher end shadow, it still does a decent job! I’ll be on the hunt for a creamier shadow palette in this price point and I’ll let you know if I find something. The creamier powder formulations look so much better on mature eyes, but a good lid prime goes a long way in helping.


I didn’t do eye liner, but the two mascaras that worked really well even on my sparse lashes were Loreal Double Extend (this is a tubular formulation, so two steps here but works really well!) and Voluminous Million Lashes by Loreal. Update: I’d also include this newer one from Loreal in my top picks for mature lashes and I prefer it to the other two because it also curls.

The best drugstore makeup for women over 40.
Bracelets here and here


I have a few lip combos that I ended up liking. My go-to lip liner is this one in the shade “Nothin’ But Nude”. It’s not a drugstore buy, but it’s $12 and it’s nothing short of perfection. But both Maybelline and Milani have nude lip liner shades that did the job pretty well! Maybelline in “Nude Whisper” is a more pinky neutral while the Milani in shade “All Natural” is more on the brown/neutral shade. On top of each of these, I used Wet n’ Wild’s “Send Nudes” and I really liked the look. Again, the lip pencils are more drying than a high-end pencil and the colors don’t stay as long – but nothing seemed to feather out into my lip lines, so I was happy.

P.S. -If you’re in the market for a full brush set, I still highly recommend these from BH Cosmetics. I’ve had mine for a few years now and it’s an excellent value for a quality starter set! Find All My Amazon Favs here!

The links to my recommendations of what worked well are all below. I hope you guys found this post on drugstore makeup helpful and if you’d like to see more posts on makeup and skincare, or if there is a particular product you’d like for me to review, do let me know. I love to write about what you want to hear!


Primer: Covergirl Trueblend Base Business

Foundation: Loreal Visible Lift

Concealer: Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Fix

Setting Powder: Revlon Photo Ready and Airspun

Bronzer: Maybelline City bronzer and Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer


Rimmel “Brow this Way”


Lid Primer: Revolution Prime and Lock

Eyeshadow Palette: Maybelline Pink Edge

Mascara: Loreal Double Extend or Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes


Lip Liner: Milani “All Natural” and Maybelline “Nude Whisper”

Lipstick: Wet n’ Wild “Send Nudes” (FYI- this one is an Instagram fav, so it sells out fast in the stores.)

You may also enjoy this post on whether or not you need an eye cream or this one on simple things that can make you look more vibrant today.

Thank you for sharing this drugstore makeup post on Pinterest.

The best drugstore makeup for women over 40.

Until Next time Lovelies!!