It's summer. Makeup melts off your face (especially with 100+ temps and humidity). Magazines have all sorts of tips and products you can use to prevent that from happening, but they're usually absurdly expensive.
So here's what I've found that's dirt cheap and will still do the job.
You should have a facial primer. Even if you don't wear any makeup over it, it still fills in pores and keeps your face from getting as shiny. And if you do put makeup over it, it'll stay longer and you'll have to use less of it to get good coverage. I resisted it for a long time because of the annoyance of an extra step, but especially in the summer, it's definitely worth it.
The problem is, even the drugstore brands are at least 10-12 bucks. Rimmel has one for about $7, but it's got a tint to it, and it only comes in one orangey color.
Solution: Claudia Stevens primer. It's five bucks at Sally Beauty Supply. It's not quite as nice a consistency as Smashbox's or Mac's primers, but it does the job.
Again, I resisted for the same reasons: cost, extra step. And then I realized it's pointless to spend time putting on eyeshadow to have it disappear after an hour or two.
e.l.f. (available at Target) makes one for a dollar. And it works better than Smashbox (generally the upper level competition, though it's slightly less of a cult favorite Urban Decay's Primer Potion, which I've never tried. Both of those run about 20 bucks). Last night I put e.l.f.'s primer under black shadow, and it still had not budged after 5 straight hours of dancing - the last two at El Parador for salsa, when I (and everyone else) was sweating by the bucketful.
To sum up: good stuff. For a fucking dollar.
Oil Blotter Sheets
Again, e.l.f. For a dollar. You can normally get some for about five bucks or as much as twenty, but these seem to work quite well. I was especially impressed that it continues to keep your skin more matte afterward, as if you'd used a particularly effective powder.
Wins awards for staying put even after I washed my face. You could wear it in the pool and it wouldn't move. The Ulta website lists it as $9, but I got the smoke shade for $2 bucks the other day - I think they're switching out the packaging, so all the Ulta brand stuff is on clearance.
You do need an eyeshadow brush, but those are pretty easy to find for not much (I use Avon's, which was $3).
Benefit Feeling Cheeky Minis
Again, a cult favorite. But the full sized versions are $28 a piece, which is way too much of an experiment for my teacher budget. I've been using these travel-sized versions all summer, though, and they still haven't run out. The trio is exclusively at Sephora, and it's only $15. Put on one of the tints after your primer and base but before powder, and you get a really nice, natural glow. It lasts all day, and the colors are both perfect. They don't look makeup-y at all.
As lip tints, they're also really nice - they go on smoothly, and don't pool color in some areas more than others. Again, really natural looking, and they don't melt off your face like gloss and lipstick do in the heat. They seem to moisturize somehow, too. I still don't know if I'll put down $28 for the full size, but for $15, totally worth it. I get way more compliments on how I look when I'm wearing them.
I started using an eye cream a few months ago, but in the heat and humidity, it was too much. Olay's Revitalizing eye gel is ten bucks (you never find any sort of eye cream for ten bucks), and protects your skin without feeling heavy or greasy in the heat (or making your eye makeup run).
Let me know if you have any other cheap, effective products, or if you try these and they work for you~