I Tried Dollar General’s New $5 Makeup Line… and Here’s My Honest Review

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believe beauty from dollar general makeup products and bag

Wait… did I really just replace my mascara with a Dollar General cosmetic?

Budgets and beauty are two topics I love, though it gets a bit dicey when they’re in the same sentence. When I heard Dollar General was breaking into the makeup game with their own Believe Beauty line (with all products priced at $5 or less), I HAD to check it out for myself.

holding Dollar General mascara(Scroll down to see why I’m obsessed with their $4.50 mascara!)

If you’re a clean beauty aficionado, this makeup line likely isn’t for you. The ingredients list is hidden under the barcode tag and is filled with words I can’t pronounce – but since my makeup bag is open to anything and everything, I tried out a full face of the new Dollar General products anyway. Here’s what I thought.

believe beauty from dollar general makeup primer

Believe Beauty Pretty & Primed Stay Put Makeup Primer – $5

There are three primer options available from this line, and I was excited to see the slightly tinted formula. It glides on fairly smooth but doesn’t leave a super silky feel, which I’m guessing is so that the primer can make the following layers of makeup cling to the face.

primer drop on fingertip

It did a great job setting up a smooth base for my foundation and kept all the contour lines where they should be, though it probably works best with a setting powder or spray to lock it all in.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

believe beauty from dollar general foundation

Believe Beauty Skin Finish Foundation – $5

This foundation is marketed as medium- to full-coverage, even though it has a thinner viscosity. While the foundation does feel slightly heavy, it doesn’t dry cakey or flakey. In fact, it really does have a natural skin-like finish.

foundation on hand

I’m very impressed at how well this foundation blended with just my fingertips without any color oxidization. That said, if oiliness is an issue for you, consider finishing your makeup with a mattifying powder to cut down on the dewiness.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

believe beauty from dollar general liquid concealer

Believe Beauty You’re Covered Liquid Concealer – $4

At first glance, this concealer looks much darker than what’s in the bottle, so I was worried I chose the wrong color. Surprisingly, it actually ended up matching somewhat decent (plus, I’m tanner than usual, thanks to some beach time this summer).

concealer undereye, slightly off pigmented

That said, I would have liked going just a shade lighter since I primarily use concealer under my eyes and want to lighten my dark circles.

Performance-wise, it’s medium coverage and does a spectacular job against creasing. Better yet, there’s no flaking or dryness as I’ve seen in the past with other undereye concealers.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

believe beauty from dollar general contour stick

Believe Beauty Dual Ended Contour Stick – $4.50

Full disclosure: I’ve never used a contour stick, but after trying my hand at it testing out these DG products, I’m adding it to my permanent makeup rotation. I used the light end on the tops of my cheeks, brow bones, bridge of my nose, and under eyes (to brighten that aforementioned concealer) and the dark end underneath my cheeks, hairline, sides of the bridge of my nose, and jawline.

emily's contour lines on face

The jumbo crayon-like application glides on super smooth and blends out with ease. It would probably be best to use a blending sponge, but I used my fingertips with no problems whatsoever. The result is subtle (I’m not trying to look like a Kardashian here), but it provides just enough definition to give a professional makeup application effect.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

believe beauty from dollar general highlighting stick

Believe Beauty Perfect Glow Highlighting Stick – $4.50

I love highlighter, especially for bright, dewy summer looks. With the Believe Beauty line, there are multiple colors available, so I went with Champagne Kiss to be neutral against my skin tone. Application is as easy as running the chubby stick over the tops of my cheeks and eyelids and blending with fingertips.

highlighter comparison between swipe amount

While I knew this shade would be subtle, the shimmer is very minimal. It would take a few strokes to get the highlighting pop I’m used to, though this would be a great option for anyone just starting out with highlighting.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

believe beauty from dollar general eyebrow pencil

Believe Beauty Brow Defining Pencil – $4

This pencil combines the ultra-pigmented qualities of pomade in an easy pencil application, but you’ll want to use a very light hand when applying because a little truly goes a long way. The spoolie end is perfect for blending, especially if the strokes are too harsh when first applied.

filling in eyebrows with eyebrow pencil

While I really love how well this product glides on (without the flat brush typically needed for pomade), I wish the tip was narrower to create really defined, hair-like strokes. I also wish it was a twist-up pencil instead of a stick that requires a sharpener.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

believe beauty from dollar general liquid eyeliner

Believe Beauty Metallic Liquid Liner – $4.50

I didn’t realize this was called metallic when I purchased in-store, but luckily it’s not shimmery at all. Upon the first stroke, the liner works fine, but it loses its luster very quickly. It’s only pigmented when the entire tip is placed flat on the eyelid, and it doesn’t distribute product to the very tip all that well.

liquid eyeliner line comparison

This liner also doesn’t create that tiny crisp line that I can achieve when I use my favorite liquid liner. I’ve compared drawing the lightest stroke possible above and you can see the Maybelline line is thinner.

It does seem to work better if you stop and shake the liner between strokes, but that’s way too much effort in my opinion.

Rating: ⭐

believe beauty from dollar general high drama fiber mascara

Believe Beauty High Drama Fiber Mascara – $4.50

WOW! That’s all I can say about this mascara. I picked it specifically because it looked like the Maybelline tube I always use and was intrigued by the “tiny fibers” inside. You guys… with each swipe, my lashes seemed to grow in length. Then upon a second coat, they filled in with volume. It seriously looks like I’m wearing a set of false lashes. 🤯

I’ve used The Falsies by Maybelline for so long and have never found a mascara to compete with it, but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) I’m giving it up in favor of this Dollar General mascara!

side by side of mascara from believe beauty

My go-to method of applying (for all mascaras):

  • Curl lashes with a lash curler
  • 2 zig-zag strokes from the root to tip
  • 2-3 swipes straight up
  • Let dry for 60 seconds
  • Quick re-curl
  • Finish with 2-3 more swipes

Dear DG, can you please make this in a waterproof formula and send me a case of it? Thanks!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

dollar general makeup before and after

As much as I would love to spare you all from my non-makeuped face, here’s my before and after with ONLY Dollar General Believe Beauty makeup. I normally wouldn’t wear this much makeup each and every day so it started to feel a bit heavy.

I’ve even worn this makeup through a barre class (so not a ton of sweating but my face heating up definitely puts some wear on the cosmetics) and it held up well! I started to notice a bit of creasing after the class and my blemishes were slightly more noticeable but that’s not uncommon for me with my other everyday makeup.

believe beauty section at dollar general

As I said in the beginning, it’s not clean beauty that’s becoming a huge trend in cosmetics, and the product origins vary between the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Taiwan. But for makeup that rings in under $5 with surprising performance, they’ve definitely made a believer out of me! 😄

I tested BH Cosmetics against my favorite makeup products—here’s what won.

About the writer:

Emily obtained her Bachelor's degrees from Clarkson University with 5 years of content writing experience specializing in health, beauty, fashion, home, & living frugally.

Join The Discussion

Comments 38

  1. Crb

    Thank you for the review !!!!! So good to know!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Of course! Glad you liked it!

  2. Amber

    Thanks for the review. I love saving on mascara!!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Happy you enjoyed it, Amber! That mascara is seriously amazing!

  3. Jan g

    Headed To DG Today! Thank You!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Hope you enjoy checking out the new products!

  4. karen b.

    I am addicted to Falsies mascara too! Good to know there is an even cheaper dupe!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Right?! I really thought nothing would tear me away from Falsies so I’m truly shocked that Dollar General was the reason 😂

  5. Aliese

    Anyone have a comparison review with the Maybeline Falsies and Younique’s 4D mascara? This will also give me an idea of how it compares to the DG falsies as well. Thanks!

    • TJ

      So I used to buy both Younique and Falsies. I used Falsies for every day and Younique for special occasions, because of the price. I felt like Younique definitely made my lashes look fuller and longer but not so much so that I didn’t still love my Falsies. I stopped buying Younique only because I got tired of makeup and often wasted money on it. I now only use mascara and lip gloss. Falsies for my mascara and Soap&Glory Sexy Motherpucker for lip gloss.

      • Aliese

        Thank you!

  6. rebecca

    for this type of post, it would have been nice to see some pictures of your face. especially so we could view how the finished before-and-after is for the mascara, or so we could see the highlighter on you. maybe you were feeling a little shy today, but i’d like to see a full finished face photo! (or half done-up finished vs. other half with no makeup.)
    thanks for the writeup and testing!

    • Lori

      I agree….it would be helpful to see your finished look.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Rebecca! While I don’t *love* the idea of putting my non-makeup face out there for the world to see 🤣I’ll try to get some half and half shots like you requested to add into the post—I totally understand the value! Keep an eye out for those in the next day or two.

      • rebecca

        thank you for considering this! it could even be a fully made up face right after applying, then show us an update 10 hours later so we could see the lasting power of the formulas. or have all makeup on except mascara, then show before and after mascara.
        thanks again.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Rebecca & Lori! New pictures have been added to show the products in action. Great suggestion and hope that helps!

  7. Dana L Hobbs

    I LOVE tinted moisturizer for those moments when you just need to run in DG and not put on full blown make-up. I was doing research and ordered Loreal Magic BB Cream (medium) and Neutrogena healthy skin anti aging perfecter (40) Now each of those has reasons I wanted to try like Sunscreen or Retinol treatment but my tint wasn’t in any store I looked so I was waiting on my order to arrive. I notice while at DG they had Believe Beauty tinted moisturizer for $5.00 (the other were $9-$12 BUCKS) so I bought! IT’S MY FAVORITE!!!!! Great Coverage. I bought my Mom, sister and BFF some because I was so impressed!

    • CJS

      Oh, nice! I’m looking for a BB cream or tinted moisturizer, so I think I’ll try to find the Believe in my shade!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      I was sooo tempted to try the tinted moisturizer but went with the foundation instead—I’m so happy to hear that it works well! Thanks for the tip, Dana! I’ll have to pick some up myself 😁

  8. Laura

    I’m loving your reviews! (And I love makeup!) Best of all, I appreciate that you’re not being paid to say nice things about the products you write about. With that said, I’m intrigued about the fiber mascara as well. Did you have any trouble removing it from your lashes at the end of the day?

    • Joy

      Yes and what about flaking halfway through day or end of day? And are these cosmetics made in China?

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Laura and Joy! So glad you appreciate the authenticity, I would never recommend a product that I wouldn’t personally use.

      As far as the mascara goes, I had no trouble removing it and didn’t experience any flaking. I wash my face with Aveeno Clear Complexion foaming wash and that takes even my waterproof mascara off with ease. I’d imagine since the Believe Beauty mascara isn’t waterproof, it would come off fine with any makeup remover.

      For the product origins, some of the products come from the United States (primer), Germany (foundation, concealer, eyeliner), Canada (highligher), Italy (mascara), and Taiwan (contour stick, eyebrow pencil). Hope that helps!

  9. Debbie

    Thanks so much for the reviews!! Now I have to buy the mascara for sure! Maybe some of the others too. Thank you!!!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      So glad you liked it, Debbie! Let me know what you think!

  10. TJ

    I couldn’t remember which mascara you had recommended, but I bought the one in the gold tube in the Believe line…and I was really impressed with that as well. No clumping, made my lashes look fuller and best of all no itchy eyes from it. I will try the one you recommend but the other one was great too. Thanks for your review….I would have never thought to try it!!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so glad you liked it, TJ! I still can’t get over the Dollar General mascara and have been wearing it daily… and recommending it to pretty much everyone I see ☺

      Thank you for your sweet comment and for leaving your review on another mascara offering from the Believe Beauty line — I’ll have to try that one out after I run out!

  11. Laura

    I am absolutely in love with the mascara!! I bought both the lengthening and the fiber enhanced ones and I like them both better than my $30 brand. I am fair in color and the brown color is perfect for me. Thank you so much for posting about this brand!!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      So glad they worked out for you, Laura!

  12. Kelly Flippin

    You should do a makeup review with the “Five Below” cosmetics next. I found a $2 mascara that has fiber in it and now it’s all I use! (I used to use Katy Perry’s Kat eye). It’s seriously amazing and 2 dollars??!!! YES!!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      I didn’t even know Five Below had makeup products! 🤯I’ll definitely have to check them out, thanks for the tip!

  13. Amy

    I love your review of all the products. Do you use any of their eyeshadows, brushes or any finishing powder?

  14. Peggy

    Love your review. I started out purchasing a lip liner and loved it. Couple weeks later I purchased several items from foundation/matte lip stick/highlighter/brow gel, etc. LOVED THEM. Thanks for the reviews.

  15. Tudy

    I was just a DG checking out this but didn’t purchase anything… thanks for the feedback.

  16. Jen

    The only question I have bc I sometimes use their foundation and concealer but I’m extremely picky when it comes to mascara. I’ve tried IT cosmetics and their fiber lash mascara. And although it worked after 10 mins I looked in the mirror only to see all the fibers all over my face. A huge let down. I even tried the usual makeup tips I found and NOTHING worked. So with that all said…..lol…. have you ran into that issue while using Believe Fiber Lash Mascara?

  17. Tami

    Did they stop making the tinted moisturizer, I can’t find it anywhere?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Tami! I don’t find it listed when searching for it online. Darn!

  18. Linda Schaefer

    After complimenting the flawless skin on a mature woman the other day, I will be making a beeline for DG.
    She said she uses Believe Beauty in porcelain [my shade] and said it perfectly covers any sun damage.
    Have tried Falsies; but, went back to L’Oreal Fiber mascara that isn’t quite as good as it used to be, and, it seems
    the tubes are always half empty as well.
    Can’t wait to replace just about everything in my makeup arenal with Believe Beauty.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Hoping you love the Believe Beauty cosmetics that you try out, Linda! Good to know how well the foundation covered sun damage. 💕

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