I'm going to be brutally honest here: Finding high-quality makeup under $25 is hard. By high-quality, I'm talking about products with incredible color payoff, flawless blendability, extensive shade ranges, and epic staying power. These are not easy standards to meet, no matter what the price point is, but when your budget is $25, it becomes even more of a challenge. Trust us: No one knows this better than the persnickety product junkies on team Byrdie.
So you can trust that the following 15 products—our all-time favorite makeup picks for under $25—are the real deal. Out of all the affordable makeup we've tested over the years, these eyeliners, brow pencils, and lipsticks have remained our holy grails. If you're looking for truly first-rate makeup on a dime, you've hit the jackpot. Keep scrolling to shop the 15 best makeup products you can buy for $25 or less, according to Byrdie editors.
"I could not make a list of my all-time favorite makeup picks without including the OG Beautyblender. I've tried other, similar makeup sponges, but nothing is as soft or gives my makeup as flawless a finish at this gem. I use it every single day and will continue to repurchase (which only happens every four months or so), until the day I stop wearing makeup. Which will hopefully be never?" — Amanda Montell, associate features editor
"I recently ran out of this pencil and didn't have the chance to go to a Nyx store to pick up a new one, so I got a drugstore standby (no, this drugstore wasn't carrying Nyx at the time). As expected, it didn't perform nearly as well as my trusty tool, and neither did any other pencil I had laying around my apartment, either. I better hope it's never discontinued, because my brows will be in dire straights. (Nyx: I'm pleading with you!)" — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"I test pretty much every black eyeliner that comes my way, and Eyeko's is the best above the rest. Not only is it easy to apply (you can layer to build the intensity, or just do one swipe for a natural-looking line), but it somehow withstands even the hottest days without smearing or smudging on my oily lids. Black magic, indeed." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"This Burt's Bees lipstick is a staple in my makeup bag. I'm sort of scared of bright lipsticks (although I'm currently trying to change that), so this nude one is a perfect everyday go-to. The formula is creamy and highly pigmented. Plus, my bank account can afford to buy more once I run out." — Mary Nunes, editorial intern
"My big sister used to use this cult lip liner on me for dance recitals when I was much too young to wear makeup, and I haven't really strayed since. No matter how many other lip liners I try, there's no color or formulation I love more than this one. I use it pretty much daily—wearing it with a natural shade of lipstick or filling lips in with the pencil for something a bit darker and topping off with a lip balm. Unless I'm switching things up with a bright red, I never apply lipstick without it." — Dacy Knight, weekend editor
"Somehow, this $3 blush in this orangey-nude shade is as pigmented and blendable as products 10 times the price. Yes, the packaging is janky and breakable, but the product itself always seems to yield me hoards of compliments. I'm a fan of wearing it on my lids too for a monochromatic look." — Amanda
"I've used just about every brow gel on the planet, and this is hands down the best one. Coming in at just $10 a pop, it conditions, keeps every last hair in place without ever feeling crusty, and has a matte finish for those days I want to look like I'm wearing nothing at all." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
"I definitely have a thing for black liquid liner. It can make anyone look awake and effortlessly chic. This one, in particular, seems everlasting (seriously, I've had it forever) and the quality is exceptional. It stays all day without chipping, and the spongey applicator allows for the formula to glide over my lash line seamlessly." — Mary
"This isn't necessarily a product for every day (although if wearing tiny hearts and stars all over your face is something you like to do regularly, I'm into it). On nights out, I love dotting this inky black stamp across my eyelids as a playful alternative to eye shadow, and when people inevitably ask me about it, I'm always eager to tell them it's only $12 and they should all own five of them." — Amanda
"This is truly the only lip color that I use on a daily basis. I prefer a natural look, and I can't stand messy color, so the sheer, demi-matte finish of Gen G is simply perfect for me. Cake (a lovely nude) and Leo (a light brown) are my two favorite shades. I also love applying them to my eyelids for an ultra-flattering wash of color." — Victoria Hoff, news editor
"This mascara does it all—lengthening, thickening, and curling—and is far less pricey than its competitors. I love how tiny the brush is, I can get every last hair coated in color. And it never smudges, flakes, or leaves me with raccoon eyes, which is a truly dreadful side effect of some of the most effective mascaras out there." — Hallie
"I just discovered this new iteration of Benefit's cult-fave Boi-ing concealers, and I'm hooked. I use the tiniest bit (a little goes a long way) to brighten up my dark circle–laden under-eyes. It has melon undertones, so it does a bit of color-correcting, but the genius is the texture—it's blendable with just your fingers and somehow never creases on my oily lids or on top of my dark circles. It's a game changer, for sure." — Hallie
"This matte lipstick surpasses all others for one reason alone: longevity. I applied this lipstick around midday, and I kid you not, it stayed on my lips through dinner, washing my face, and even showering. I woke up the next morning and stared confusedly at my reflection, where my skin was bare but my lips were still a flattering shade of bright plummy-pink. It's perfect for lazy people like me who forget to reapply lipstick throughout the day. Plus, it smells like marshmallows." — Faith
"This waterproof liquid eyeliner is wallet-friendly and my go-to for the perfect bold cat eye. Its thin, marker-like tip is great for precision and fine lines. Since it's a waterproof formula, it doesn't smudge or run, so it keeps you fresh and fierce no matter what your schedule looks like." — Zoe Glaser, editorial intern
"I swear by this pencil because the tip is super skinny, so you don't have to worry about over-drawing, you can emphasize your sprouts, and you never have to sharpen it." — Aimee Jefferson, social media editor
What's your favorite makeup product under $25? Tell us in the comments below!