The Best Drugstore Makeup for Women Over 40

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!

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

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

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 products 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.

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.

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.

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.

The ONLY drugstore brand 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!

I was impressed with this sweet little eye palette from Maybelline called “The City Kits, Pink Edge”. As with most drugstore shadows, 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.

The best drugstore makeup for women over 40.

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.

The links to my recommendations of what worked well are all below. I hope you guys found this 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.)

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!

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 post on Pinterest.

The best drugstore makeup for women over 40.

Until Next time Lovelies!!


Melissa is an unrepentant shoe hoarder who is obsessed with travel, wine, good food and her family. (Not necessarily in that order!)

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook

Thanks so much for sharing!


    • melissa
      May 26, 2019 / 7:57 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      ~Melissa xx

  1. jenniferpickering22gmailcom
    May 24, 2019 / 6:40 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever used any of these products!!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • melissa
      May 26, 2019 / 7:58 am

      Jennifer, I don’t typically use drugstore products so I was actually surprised by the good quality of several of these- they far surpassed my expectations- particularly the foundation! Thanks so much!
      ~Melissa xx

  2. Jodie
    May 24, 2019 / 7:24 am

    How’d you find these for lasting all day, Melissa.
    It’s always nice to save money!!

    • melissa
      May 26, 2019 / 8:02 am

      Jodie- the foundation and concealer definitely exceeded my expectations in every way including staying power. The eye makeup lasted well with the lid primer under it, but I doubt it would without it. The lip colors were …meh….for staying on, but thats pretty much what I expected. They do look pretty…….just needed reapplication several times. Thank you so much for the comment- thats good info for people to know!
      ~Melissa xx

  3. May 27, 2019 / 10:37 am

    Melissa! You did such a great job with this. The Loreal Extends (double end) mascara has been my fav for as long as I can almost remember…at least 10 years. I’m terrified they’ll stop making it. You had me totally chuckling about the 10X mirror. LOL Love it!

    • May 27, 2019 / 1:42 pm

      Thank you Lisa! Oh man- it’s so true about that mirror! After I got one, I remember thinking, “Have I actually been going around like this? Why has no one told me???” 😀 Hey- if they ever stop making that Loreal mascara (heart be still), try Thrive Causemetics, it uses the same “tube technology” and it works incredibly well. Thanks so much for reading!
      ~Melissa xx

    • melissa
      May 28, 2019 / 11:29 am

      Thank you! And thanks so much for stopping by!
      ~Melissa xx

  4. This Main Line Life
    May 28, 2019 / 9:08 pm

    Your makeup looks great, really natural. The NuFace Trinity device sounds interesting. I’ve been looking at that, but haven’t made the leap yet.

  5. Simply Avalon
    May 28, 2019 / 9:15 pm

    I love a natural makeup look and even though I’m not your intended audience I can still appreciate the look!

    – Avalon from

  6. lovejoling
    May 30, 2019 / 1:27 pm

    So many great picks! And your skin looks so flawless.

    xo, Joling

  7. mummabstylish
    May 30, 2019 / 4:14 pm

    Good choices, thanks for sharing on #chicandstylish today. Jacqui Mummabstylish

  8. August 5, 2019 / 11:58 pm

    Really its will help us best use of the foundation, concealer, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighting Glow Kit. But which product is best for skin?

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