So, I would like to preface this article by saying that I am no expert with make up, but I have been working with it pretty regularly for the past 11 years. I'll also only go into the products I use, which are vegan and therefore aren't tested on animals. That being said, you are more than welcome to use other brands, I just hope that you choose the vegan brands.
Base: The first part of my routine is making sure my face is clean. I wash with a dirt removing wash, then finish with a charcoal wash (Both cost about $8 total). I then put in my contacts (if I need them), and prime my face with the New York Color Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer ($2). I use shade 684 because I am as white as the freshly fallen snow. The only downside of this primer is that it has glitter in it, so I look like I'm straight out of Twilight, and find myself looking down and wondering what fairy I squished before realizing it was my primer. I let that layer dry, and move onto the next step.
If I need to glue down my eyebrows, I use an Elmer's glue stick. I prefer the purple one, since it dries clear, so I know when it's ready. I can get a 3 pack for like, $1.50, and then use Elf's liquid foundation ($1) to cover my eyebrows to give them a clear surface to draw my eyebrows on. If I don't need to do anything special with my eyebrows, I go straight to the next step.
Foundation: I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder in Fair 10 (~$7), with these amazing Elf brushes. My favorite brand right now is Elf, as it's vegan as well as inexpensive, so it doesn't break the bank while making me look good. I quickly move to the contouring, which is also a pallet I got from Elf in their basic skin tones ($3). I use a different brush than the foundation brush (I got this in a set of 10 brushes from Target from their gift set, which was $20, but I picked it up from $10 after Christmas. I believe this brush runs for $2) and depending on what character I am cosplaying, I'll make myself look more masculine or feminine. Luckily, I have a pretty androgynous face, so it doesn't take too much.
Eyeliner: I use Covergirl Perfect Point Plus($3), Hard Candy Stroke of Gorgeous ($5), and Ben Nye ($6). The Covergirl is great for filling in eyebrows, and it even has a little "eraser" for giving it a bit of a faded look. Hard Candy is amazing for bold lines and super dark eyeliner. Ben Nye is my go-to for really crazy colors and if I need to draw on lines for accessory looks (ie: Sesshomaru's lines and crescent moon, Jinx's clouds and bullets on her stomach, and Maya's dots)
Eye shadow: I use a crappy pallete from 5 Below which just so happened to be $5. This is also super helpful if you have to use crazy colors for your eyebrows. I also use CoverGirl ($3) or even Ben Nye ($5). Basically, all the brushes I use are Elf, and average between $1-3. I do know that some of the brushes get more expensive, but I don't believe they go over $10.
Mascara: Wet n' Wild is where it's at in my opinion. It costs about $3.50 and makes my feminine cosplays look amazingly feminine. Did you know that you can let it dry and pull the excess off your lashes to keep you lashes dark, but not super full for more masculine cosplays? I learned that from the ever amazing Aimee (find her on Instagram under @Stripeyspots).
Lips: There are so many products you can use. I don't use a lot of lip products as most of the characters I choose to cosplay don't use lip colors. My absolute favorite lip stain right now is Cover Girl, in the shade Super Model which is a navy shade and it stains for hours. I can eat with it, drink with it, and as long as I waited until it was dry, it doesn't come off without wiping it off with the makeup wipes. It is a little steep, I believe it cost me $8 for the tube, but it's lasted me at least 5 applications, and should for many more.
Sealing: This is extremely important for anyone that wears make up. There is nothing more annoying that finding your makeup on your white outfit. I use Hard Candy Fast & Fabulous 12 Hour Power Makeup Setting Spray. It costs $3 and only needs a couple of spritzes in order to seal your makeup. Make sure you let it dry completely before going out. I use this for the long days that I'm planning on spending a hot minute in my cosplay, or it's going to be really warm out.
Finishing the Day: After you're tired of your look, or you are ready for the next one, you need to wipe your makeup off by using the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. These cost about $4, but you get 25 wipes. I'm trying to move to a more green option of making my own wipes with this handy tutorial: https://livesimply.me/2015/02/15/diy-homemade-reusable-facial-cleansing-wipes/ After the makeup is washed off, I'll wash my face again with the dirt remover and the charcoal washes. If I have to do a full makeup job (Maya, Jinx, anything more than my face) I will just hop in the shower and wash it all off.
I really hope this has been an educational journey on the makeup routines for an average cosplayer.