Beauty and makeup tips Beauty and makeup blog Beauty and makeup quotes Beauty and makeup supply Beauty and makeup conventions Beauty and makeup magazines Beauty and makeup matters Beauty and makeup bloggers Beauty and makeup hacks Beauty and makeup course. Why Beauty Supply Stores Are the Best Spots to Buy Makeup, Glamour

Ask me where my favorite place to buy makeup is and you won't hear the words Sephora or Ulta leave my lips. I'm sure this is considered blasphemy in some circles—a crime as high as accidentally knocking a Naked Palette off your vanity and watching its shimmery contents explode into smithereens. People usually guess the drugstore or Amazon next, and while yes, I am thrifty and love a good CVS haul, it's those nondescript (sometimes tacky-looking) shops smashed right in the center of a strip mall that I could go on about for days. I'll say it louder for those in the back: beauty supply stores are sorely underrated. Beauty and makeup.

My obsession with them has spanned as far back as I can remember, mainly because I fell in love with makeup years before I could afford to step foot in a Sephora. As a teen who grew up in Brooklyn and later on in Roanoke, Virginia, $30 for a (considerably cheap) palette—let alone a humble lipstick—just wasn't an option. Especially at the astonishing rate I burned through black eyeliner. Those were the days of emo music and angsty Jenny Humphrey, and I needed to be a part of it. The only makeup that came within the budget determined by my allowance were from brands like Kiss, NK Cosmetics, and Absolute New York. (If you're not familiar with them, don't worry, we'll get there.)

Even now, as a beauty editor with money leftover after rent and tons of access to beauty brands, I prefer my corner beauty shop to the bright lights and packed spaces of everyone else's beloved beauty meccas. They're low-key, there's no pressure to spend grocery money on a palette you'll use once, and the displays, no joke, are just as easy to navigate. I can say with certainty I've found the world's best matte lipstick and a $3 eyeliner that rivals every single spendy version I've ever tried—about a quarter of my makeup bag is filled with hidden gems I've picked up while strolling the shelves of Sally Beauty.

I'd be remiss—and honestly, just a really crappy beauty editor—if I didn't share some of my favorites. So after rummaging the shelves for years, I've put together a short list of the beauty-supply-store brands I'm impressed with time and time again. If you happen to find yourself near a corner shop ( here's an easy way to find one near you ) or spot one of these brands in the wild (they've been known to pop up in assorted drugstores), just know they come highly recommended. Also, one other tip: Don't forget to check at the front for coupons before you hit the shelves. The deals get so good, it's stupid.

Consider this brand the gateway drug to beauty-supply-store makeup. I'd slipped into my local shop to pick up some alligator clips and spotted True Matte at the register. Now I return to NK Cosmetics every time a viral beauty trend shows up on my feed. Why? Because I'm not going to drop $20 on a bright blue liquid lipstick until I know how it looks with my undertones (don't worry, it looks amazing). True Matte comes in 18 shades and swatches in creamy, true-to-tube color that dries down to a divine powder finish—literally a true matte. Since it's $2.99, I never feel guilty for grabbing every color that catches my eye.

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Oh, also, don't sleep on its other lipsticks. NK always has the latest thing, so glitter, ombré, all the wild stuff you see on Insta, all makes its way into the line.

I'm never not surprised by just how many options Absolute has of everything. Every time I see one of its displays, it rivals OG lines like NYX in size and offering. Above all, ABSNY—it's a mouthful to say, but that's how most of the brand's products are labeled—has really fine-tuned its pencils and liners. Confession: I've ducked into a Sally Beauty more than once to grab a lip liner or brow pencil after realizing I left my makeup bag at home. Truly, they're pit-stop-worthy.

Across the board from liquid to kohl, ABSNY knows how to draw a line. And if I had to pick a single favorite product from this brand it would be the Super Slim Brow Pencil. At $7.99, it's on the higher end of the supply-store price range, but it's one of the best options I've tried for creating a full, natural brow. That's right: brow powder, chalk, and gel—you've all been beaten.

One of the biggest downsides to drugstore beauty is the guesswork that goes into matching complexion products to your skin tone. I'm sorry, but no plastic paint-swatch-looking thing attached to a makeup display is going to accurately show how a foundation looks on my skin. (I've been burned more than once, and I'm not here to play.) Beauty supply stores, however, almost always have tester products available (if not, ask the rep at the checkout; they'll often create a tester for you to swatch). That's how I discovered—and promptly became crazy over—Kiss's highlighters, blushes, and concealers.

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Kiss also makes some of the best face makeup I've come across for under $20. And right now I'm not convinced that any strobing powder out there can do a better job than Kiss's Halo Strobing Palette. (Even if it does exist, I'm damn sure it costs more than $16.)

One thing you'll notice in a beauty supply store is that many of the brands are related to each other (the same thing happens with designer and drugstore makeup, but it's less obvious). Ruby Kisses is a sister brand of Kiss with an eye toward a slightly younger audience and a slightly lower price point. So basically, it's your kid cousin's dream come to life with a wide range of bright and colorful makeup that's just plain fun to use. But make no mistake: There's no age limit to color.

This is another one of those good "test the waters" brands when it comes to current trends. I refuse to spend $50 on an eyeshadow palette because I'm not an eyeshadow enthusiast (if I was, this would be a whole different story), but I'll rock a smoky eye if a situation calls for it. That's where this $5.46 palette comes in. Yeah, you read that right. And before you scoff at its quality, the brand recently added Moroccan clay to its shadow formulas for an ultra-blendable and -buildable finish. Like I said, I'm no shadow junkie, but that's exactly why I love this.

Posted by at 11:16AM

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