Budget Friendly Make Up for the WIN


For some of my new friends here, you may not know this but I was a TV news anchor in Phoenix, Arizona for nearly 15 years. I started at the bottom...literally worked in a small closet turned TV studio and reported traffic for the top rated morning show here in Phoenix.

Guess how much sister here was rollin' in??

$10 an hour...say what?! Holla, for yo' girl. 🤣

Everyone starts somewhere. Those smart beauties you see on the national platform too started in a small town or a big town like me in the smallest of roles and learned EVERYTHING there was to learn from EVERYONE who would teach me. That is how we move on up...it's not ever fast and it is never a perfect ladder.

Kind of synonymous. I left that amazing career in September of 2018...after a year of prayer and asking for clarity of where I was to go next...I knew it was time and I did not resign my contract. That is the very bare bones of the story, I love details but we can save the WHOLE story for another day...for now, lets get to the important stuff...MAKE UP.

I know what you are thinking..."Is she this vain?!"


Not at all.

I Just Needed All The Make Up

Showing up on TV and waking millions of people up everyday meant I had to look put together. Make up, hair and all the things. Nope, no one did it for us. That would have been a dream come true to roll in with tired eyes and say "WORK YOUR MAGIC!" I was the magician in the morning. Some days my magic was a little off and I barely got myself to a TV standard of "presentable."

I remember when they rolled out High Definition...and O.M.G. You would have thought we all got a death sentence. We all went out and bought even more expensive makeup that was 'high def compatible.'

Yep, I was the best consumer ever..."The viewers will see all of YOU if you don't use ALLLLLL THESE THINGS." SO, I spent LOTS of money. Mind you these were pre-debt free days. I spent without regard or intention because "I am on TV and need this to do my job." I know I am not the only one who justifies my spending with "I need it for my job. I work hard. I deserve it." Then, we just add more $ to the debt that keeps occurring. Here I go, digressing. You know me by now. If we are friends, then you know this happens with my convos.

So, back to make up...for years I bought all the high priced "it will make you look like Kim K, take 10 years off your face and shrink your bags under your eyes." I literally have spent thousands of dollars over the years on these things. You too?

When we began our debt free journey in 2011, I HAD to figure out a new way. Yes, I needed make up for my job...it was just a must. We had to look presentable and you know I am all for YOU DO YOU, GIRL, duh but TV is a bit different, I couldn't roll in with a top knot and bed sheet scorn face.


Not ever unfortunately.

Plus, I do believe we as women, no matter what you do for a living, we want to feel fancy sometimes. We want to do our hair, put on lipstick and blush and highlighter because inside all of us is a little girl who loves to play dress up. Not to cover up our true identity but to have fun and feel good.

Do you know it is okay to want to doll up? It is also okay to not want to do this all the time. Neither make you more worthy or better than your fellow sister.

Here are my FAVES

This list below is simply MY faves that I have loved over the last 9 years.

My drugstore faves.

My fancy department store rivals.

My TV face that didn't cost 1/4 of my mortgage.

It was born out of necessity because I simply could not afford the high priced make up I once loved. Our priorities shifted when we dug out of debt and our budget didn't say "MAKEUP AND STUFF IS A PRIORITY"...for us creating a life that was not dictated by banks we owed money to was more of a priority.

Regardless of where you are financially, I am going to share this with you because the millionaires I know next door don't spend alllllll their money. They love to save too, it is how they became millionaires. I won't quit my budget friendly makeup probably ever.

It's a habit that is here to stay and I am convinced everyone can still feel good, look good and save money. YEP. HERE.FOR.THAT....and I am not gonna stop sharing that truth.

1. Make Up Remover Cloths

These are the best!

I used to wear heavy makeup everyday and these are "water only" remover cloths. Remove make up and then wash with your fave cleanser for a fresh face. The one habit I have never quit or wavered on was washing my face EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.

I can count the times on one hand that I have gone to bed with make up on. I am not more righteous than you so don't take that that way...I just HATE the feeling of makeup on clean sheets.

2. Concealer

For the days when the bags under your eyes look like they should be "checked baggage" on an airline. Okay, who are we kidding?! This is what we need everyday to come alive! Picture Julie Andrews singing, "The hills are alive!"

Except you are singing "My eyes look alive!" and swirling and twirling in utter bliss. Yes, it is that GOOD.

3. BB Cream

I love BB cream. I actually wore it on TV all the time. It too me was "heavy enough" especially with powder to set it. It is also great for "less makeup" days when you just want a nice even coverage.

I get really red and this always helped to create a nice canvas to begin. It's also around $7. #boomshakalaka

4. Foundation

I swear this rivals any of the department store versions. It covers wonderfully! It is also under $6...can I get a "hallelujah?!" YESSSSS. It is not heavy but definitely full coverage. So good.

5. Touch Up Concealer

What the heck is that? Well, it is what I call it so go with it and stay with me. In TV we would reapply a lot throughout the day and this was one of the ones that was just enough for a touch up. The one I mention above is a bit too heavy to use as a touch up.

You will have pancakes under your eyes if you do...don't do that. I may have learned the hard way. Here as sister A to tell you 'No, don't do that.' Plus it has one end that is a highlighter and I use this to prep and prime my lids for eye shadow. So pretty!

6. Eye Shadow Palette

Gimme alllll the shadows! I love pinks, corals, tans and purples as they seem to work great with my eye color but YOU DO YOU, SIS. Palettes are my fave because you get a great color scheme and the family of shadows always blend to make a fun, beautiful eye.

This is the one I jam on and always go back to. I bounce with eye shadow but it is always inexpensive and I mix a lot of tones to get my achieved color. I love this one in 'Spice' but check all of the colors as you may love one more than this. Here is one that is more nude and works on all.

7. Eye liner

I always have a deep brown, black and a color pencil in my make up tool box. Dark brown for everyday, black is what I use to set the seam in my lashes when I wear my fun falsies and a color because it makes your eyes POP. Deep purples or navy is my FAVE. Here is my fave brand. Goes on so smooth and doesn't tug on your eye. I linked the navy but here is a link for a black one or the deep brown too!

8. Mascara

I have used EVERY mascara under the sun. Lancome used to be my fave but I can not bring myself to spend that kind of money on a mascara that I go through in a month sooooo this is my fave rival to a high priced make up counter version.

9. Mascara Primer

My bestie turned me onto mascara primer...basically I was not really living until I found it. She spreads the truth and the gospel and I am here for it. YOU.NEED.THIS. It will change the livelihood of your lashes and will make any mascara better.

10. Brow filler/pencil

I am telling you, if the world ends, Heaven better have me some brow pencil to fill my blonde brows in or I will smuggle it in. Before Jesus calls me home I NEED my brows filled.

I am dramatic. You know this by now. You love and accept me as me.

Brows change everything on your face. Get yourself a good brow gal who won't over pluck or wax you and then you fill those babes in everyday even when you are not wearing makeup...you will instantly feel alive. Again, Sister A knows this one. This link is for a 2 pack.

11. Long Last Lipstick:

I love wearing dark lips or red but for TV it was hard because it was very harsh on camera. For everyday this was always my go to. And it is under $4 and alllll the coffee drinking and such will not take it off. Add your fave lip liner or go at it solo. It is matte so a slick of gloss is pretty too!

12. Everyday Gloss

A slick of this has become my go to after my TV career but I loved it then too. It is beautiful way to enhance your lips and leaves just a natural shimmer or slick it over anything to soften it.

13. Face Highlighter


Yes, I just shouted that. A brush of this on your cheeks, forehead and chin make for a perfect "set the look", "dewy" finish. Again, I tried all the pricey ones and still have a marriage with this cheapie.

14. Bronzer

Always a go-to in my make up bag. My Norwegian skin always needs a bit of love via bronzer. I use sparingly or our "bronzed" look turns "MTV Spring Break" real fast. Less is more. Again, the motto to live by forever in life.

15. Blush

I love blush. Maybe too much. Sometimes I look back at pics and I am like "what in the actual heck? Does no one love me? No one cared to say "hey girl, use a little blending next time."

Anyway, this one is an easy pink for all. It is a quad so you get a little bit of everything. You know me and my "blend all the colors to make it right." I usually contour with the bronzer first and apply blush only to the apples of my cheeks.

Smile and lightly stroke on the apple-y part of your cheek. Learned this from so many makeup experts who came on our show over the years.

16. Pressed powder

I am jiving on this lately. I always end up going back to it because it is like $5 and it covers perfectly. I never use the sponge always a kabuki brush. Makes all the difference in how it covers and is applied.

17. Lashes

I LOVE fake eyelashes. They were a game changer in TV because it was an instant way to look awake at 4 am plus, I will be honest, they made me feel glamorous and there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel that way.

So, still today, when I want to fancy up I always add my lashes. They take some practice. Here is a pro tip: curl your lashes first, then apply your eye liner, then a light coat of mascara...trust me.

Next, apply a thin line of glue to the fake lash strip. Let sit for about 20 seconds until the glue gets tacky. Then, with tweezers apply in the middle first and then stick the sides of each eye down. Let dry completely and then apply another swipe of mascara. I apply lashes last after my shadow and eyes are done.

18. Lash Glue

Still my fave glue for lashes. It applies well, not goopey and has a great little liner brush to make application less messy. It dries clear too so don't worry if it gets a little crazy. Practice, you will get this!

19. Make Up Organizer

By far one of the best ways to see and know what you have is to keep it organized. I used to just throw all of my make up into a big bin and scramble and dig around every morning for what I needed.

One of my intentions for 2020 was to stay organized with simple systems. This was a $15 system that has been a game changer. Helps me not over buy makeup because what fits fits and what doesn't gets tossed. It also looks great on my counter and it stays clean. CHEERS TO THAT!

Staying organized helps with my overwhelm and it will never be grand and big things you do to squash the overwhelm but little things everyday that clear the clutter in your head and in your home.

There You Are...

Okay, sisters, there you go!

This is everything currently in my make up bag that I use EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Not one item is over $15 and every single item can be found at a drug store or big box store, hello Tar-Jay!

I simply found links for you on our friend, Ms. Amazon, to make it convenient because I know getting out with kids and the schedule you hold is HARD. So browse the links and because I will always be transparent with you, if you buy through any of these links I receive a small commission.

You can simply search on your own if you don't feel comfortable with that. The price isn't increased either based on my small commission. Honesty always, it is what I live and stand for!

I hope you enjoy this and it helps you feel good, look great and save money. THERE is always a way even when living on a budget, sister. I GOT YOU! 

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  1. Mehri Brunet on January 22, 2020 at 11:58 am

    You rock! Thanks Andrea! ❤

    • Andrea Robinson on January 29, 2020 at 10:35 am

      You rock too my friend!! Sure appreciate you!!!

  2. Charlotte from AZ on January 22, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    I have quickly read thru this, and I want more! I’m in a time crunch at the moment, but will be back soon to read all in detail.
    Thanks for this Andrea!

    • Andrea Robinson on January 29, 2020 at 10:34 am

      You are so welcome!! I will keep sharing more my sweet friend! XOXO