Affordable Makeup for Dry Skin: AKA my Travel Essentials

Dry skin makeup

Affordable makeup for dry skin.

Dry skin can be a real struggle, and finding affordable makeup for dry skin is a new struggle altogether! If you’re like me then you want to look glowy and radiant, but not have your makeup only last a couple of hours. We want that longevity too! So, while I’m on holiday now, I’ve packed a few of my favourite products, which really complement my dry skin. Because I’m at the sea, I don’t apply a full face of intense makeup, but I still enjoy making myself look more or less alive! With that being said, here are my affordable, dry skin, travel makeup essentials…

Travel makeup Dry skin makeup


I love a good primer. I like to think that it sets the mood for the rest of your makeup! The one I’ve been using nonstop, particularly on drier skin days, is the Essence You Better Work gym-proof primer. (R79,95) I love the thick consistency of this primer. I’m always drawn to thicker products, so that works perfectly for me. I feel that it moisturizes the skin with more effect. It’s green in colour, so it’s also great for reducing any redness. For those of you who wake up with puffy, red cheeks, you’ll love this in the morning! It calms those suckers down and gives your skin the love it needs. Plus, it’s perfect if you want to workout after work or school, seeing as that’s exactly what it’s made for! My dry skin certainly soaks it up and, once applied, my face has a good texture, ready to hold down my foundation for the day. The affordable price point is attractive too.

Affordable primer Dry skin foundation


Interestingly, I wasn’t a fan of this product at the beginning. However, the more I used it, the more familiar I became with it, and eventually, the more I loved it. With the right primer, it doesn’t dry your skin out, nor does it fade easily. The Revlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution foundation (R139,95) is what I’m going on about.

Initially, the hype around the product really intrigued me, and also, the packaging. (Obviously) I love that it has a pump and a squeezy tube, and of course, it’s pink! But apart from this, the actual product feels like a thick cream. When I first tried it I couldn’t figure out how to blend it properly and how much to apply. What I found though, was that if you apply a pump or two onto your fingers and then push that onto your face before blending with a brush or a sponge, the warmth from your skin makes it a lot easier to blend out. Once I started doing this and using it over the Essence primer, I began to see its full, beautiful effect. It’s easy to build up the coverage, and it has some cool features: the anti-pollution and anti-blue light ingredients are the standout ones!

It’s been a perfect travel foundation; one that has lasted, can look natural or be built up to medium coverage, and works with my dry skin. The perfect characteristics!

Dry skin makeup foundation


I use this every single time I do my makeup, without fail. The Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer is a cult classic, and probably in most beauty lovers’ makeup drawers! (For some reason, I couldn’t find it online anywhere! But I think it’s around R220-R250 if I’m not mistaken.)

The name ‘butter bronzer’ is absolutely spot on. If you feel the powder you will experience such a smooth texture. And that’s exactly how it glides onto the skin. With a lot of powders the skin can look textured and dried out very quickly, but this Physicians Formula bronzer is truly such a silky product. It gives a gorgeous bronzed glow in the most natural way. And if you’ve never smelt this product, do yourself a favour and find your nearest Physicians Formula stand. It smells heavenly! The one con is the packaging. It’s a bit bulky, which can be slightly more difficult to travel with. Though that’s never been a problem for me. For this bronzer, I will make room!

Butter bronzer Butter bronzer


For a long time, I wasn’t into blush. I found my cheeks rosy enough. But then I seriously got into makeup, learned how to properly apply it, found some golden nuggets, and now I’m converted! I’ve mentioned this on my Instagram a few times, purely out of my love for it. The Essence Matt Touch Blush in Peach Me Up is the winner here. (I also couldn’t find this online – is everything sold out??? Though I think it’s around R30)

This blush may be called ‘matt’ but its definitely got a glow to it. It makes the cheeks look perfectly flushed, without emphasizing texture. I’ve also found that this blush stays on my face all day. Blush is the first thing to fade, so it’s important to remember to apply it as one of the last steps in your routine. This colour, in particular, is also very natural on light/fair skin tones, which is great for an everyday look. (Or a beach holiday face!) The bronzer and this blush also work really nicely together – their formulas blend on top of each other beautifully and their shades complement one another.

Dry skin blush


While I don’t find this the most full coverage concealer, it’s still one I love to wear. The Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Eye Concealer (R169,95) is a good all-rounder. I get very bad dark circles, I have since I was little, and this concealer still allows the purple/blue hue to show through. But it definitely minimizes them! For someone who is lucky enough to have lighter under-eye circles, this will probably appear pretty full-coverage to you. However, I use this all over my face too, to highlight and then to cover any blemishes. This is why I say it’s a good all-rounder. It’s also got a very moisturizing formula, and my under-eyes absolutely love that! That’s one of the reasons why I enjoy using it over and over again. The other reason is that even though it may not be the best coverage for my circles, it’s very easy to blend and is a firm favourite for every day.

Affordable concealer Moisturizing concealer Dry skin makeup Dry lips


The last product in my dry skin, affordable, travel makeup round-up is one that fosters laughs from my friends and family. The Palmers Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick (R39,95) is easily mistaken for glue and I’ve received some strange looks while using it. It’s bigger and thicker than most lip balms or lip ice, so in fairness, I don’t blame the strange looks. However, that aside, the creaminess of this product is amazing. It’s got Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E, which are supposedly very nourishing for dry, chapped skin. It also provides a glossy finish almost. I love that, especially when I’m at the beach and I don’t want to constantly be applying lipgloss. Having a lip balm that can nearly mimic the shine of a gloss is so handy! My lips just soak up this product, and what’s cool as well is that you can apply it anywhere on the body that’s suffering from dryness.

Dry lips Dry skin products round-up
There you have it; my round-up of my favourite affordable, dry skin makeup products that are essentials in my travel makeup bag! These are all loved because of their ease of use, portability, and natural finish. Let me know what your favourites are down in the comments!


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