I have a bit of both... I could do a whole face with drug store make-up and make it look really good but I do prefer most high end eye shadows and foundations. Here are my fave drugstore buys:
This isn't technically makeup, but the best primer I've ever used is Monistat chafing relief powder-gel
. No shine all day long and it doesn't break me out. This stuff is the GOAT. Seriously.
I've also used Rimmel London's primer, which only comes in one shade I believe. It comes out looking pretty orange, but once you put in on it has a sheer cover and provides a good even base for your makeup. I can't remember how it works on shine because I haven't used it in a while. But I do remember it being a little drying.
I buy all eyeliners and lip liners at drug stores or beauty supply stores because I refuse to pay more than $3 for any of them.
Most of them work well for me, however one I will NEVER buy again in the Wet and Wild megalast eye liner in the retractable stick. The crayon is super hard and hurts to put on. I'm not sure if I just got an old one, but I won't buy it again to find out.
I buy most mascaras at drug stores too. I have a variety, but my fav is the Maybelline Great Last Lots of Lashes in noir. I usually do a few layers of different mascaras for a dramatic look.
I use the E.L.F. 100 shade eye shadow pallet. With a good primer, it works fine for me and gives me lots of options to blend with my more expensive eyeshadows. It's also nice because it's inexpensive and I don't mind sharing it with my friends or letting people play in it. Some of my darker complexioned friends have complained that the colors don't show up on them, but if you add a little water, they work a little better.
NYX single shadows and pallets work well.
Loreal HIP shadows work well. (Not sure if they are still selling these)
I also have the E.L.F. studio high definition powder. Which I like in person, but you have to be really careful not to use too much because it will give you a ghost face in pictures.
It is very difficult to find foundation in drug stores since you can't try it on in the store. I've tried the Covergirl TrueMatch, but never really found my TrueMatch in the their powder. I used the liquid in CremeCafe for a while, but I don't really care for liquid foundations(I use Smashbox BB cream now mostly)
My fav is Maybelline FitME powder foundation, although it seems like most stores have stopped carrying my shade. It has light coverage, and it's not oily. I like to use it with a kabuki brush over my concealer.
NYX has the best concealer I have ever used, the Above and Beyond Full Coverage concealer works well for under my eyes and blemishes and it blends really well.
Rimmel London's Kate Moss Matte colors are awesome. I think my fave is #107. I think I bought like 5 of them when they came out because I thought they'd end the line quickly. lol
I also like Revlon's Super Lustrious Lipsticks. My fave shades are Coralberry, Just Enough Buff, and Primrose.
I really like the Milani mineral blush in Sunset Beach... it's a beautiful full pigmented orangey color. Looks good on my for everyday use.
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush is also really good. It goes on sheer. I like it in peach satin and plum wine.