The Best Eye Makeup You Can Buy for Under $20

eye makeupWith approximately one zillion beauty products available (and that's just eye shadow), sorting out what really works from what just looks good in the package can be a real hit or miss experience. Spending an afternoon playing in Sephora or at the makeup counter in the mall is always fun, but who has time to do that on a regular basis? Here are 9 of my all-time favorite eye makeup beauty picks that are not only beautiful and high quality, but totally affordable.

I'm starting with mascara because that's far and away my favorite beauty product!

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MASCARA

I've shared this before, but I have to share it again: my all-time #1 mascara is CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara, in Very Black. It makes my lashes look great, it doesn't smudge, and it's easy to get off. My only complaint with this product is that it seems to get a little dried out before the tube is empty; it definitely has a shelf life. HOWEVER, I know you're supposed to change out mascara frequently anyway, and it's so affordable (generally under 7 bucks) that I don't mind needing to restock. ($6.23 at Drugstore.com)

Agent Flirt mascaraAnother great mascara that I just discovered is FLIRT! Agent Lash Mascara. I had no idea that Kohl's carried this makeup line, but lo and behold, you learn something new every day. I added this to my shopping bag after being reeled in by the cool packaging, and I quite like it! It's very glam and volumizing. (Regular price: $16; on sale now for $8 at Kohls.com)

Benefit BADGal waterproof mascara is a little pricey, but at $19, it squeaks in under the $20 mark and it's quality stuff. I generally dislike waterproof mascara because it can be sticky and make my lashes look stringy, but this product is quite good. ($19 at Benefit.com)

EYELINER

Sephora smoky creamThe great thing about Sephora waterproof smoky cream liner is how versatile it is. You need an eyeliner brush to do a thick line, but you can also create a pretty smoky effect with a q-tip! It comes in a whole array of really beautiful colors; pictured here is "Made in Manhattan" (a "smoky sapphire with blue shimmer"). There's a gorgeous bronze shade and an electric turquoise color that would both be beautiful for summer. ($12 at Sephora.com)

Rimmel makes a whole line of very nice, very affordable beauty products. I'm a big fan of their Exaggerate Full Colour Eye Definer eyeliner; it goes on very smoothly and you don't need a pencil sharpener, which is AWESOME. I hate having to sharpen eyeliners! ($4.99 at Ulta.com)

EYE SHADOW

Body Shop bakedThe Body Shop's Baked Eye Color palettes come in several pretty shades, and you can use them dry or wet for some great effects. The "baking" process (whatever the heck that is) seems to ensure a really rich pigment that lasts a long time. Right now they're having a "buy one, get one 50 percent off" deal. ($12 each at TheBodyShop-USA.com)

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal Eyeshadow offers excellent, long-lasting coverage. I love the way a cream eye shadow looks, even without any other eye makeup, and this cream gel formula goes on beautifully and stays put. ($6.99 at Ulta.com)

EXTRAS

A primer might seem like a wasted extra step AND expense, but it's really not. A good primer not only creates a nice base for your eye makeup to go on, but it helps it last a lot longer. This Ready Set Prime set from Too Faced is a great deal. You get two primers: Original Shadow Insurance, a colorless formula, and Shadow Insurance Candlelight, a shimmery gold formula that adds luminosity to your look. Both will help your eye makeup stay put! ($12 at Sephora.com)

Sonia Kashuk

Sonia Kashuk is my go-to recommendation when it comes to makeup brushes, and her Essential Eye Kit is no exception. Perfect for use with creamy and powder shadows and liners. ($11.40 at Target)

What's your favorite eye makeup look?


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