Highlights are bright and contours are dark. Use bronzer or darker eyeshadows (in the crease) to create depth or contour, and use illuminators, highlighting pencils, etc. to brighten up the face for the highlight areas. It will make a huge difference!
Sometimes, a personal budget just won't stretch far enough to buy premium brands of make up. In these circumstances, unless you're willing to go make up free - and who is ever willing to go make up free?