Sunday, August 12, 2012

Worth your cash

My love of makeup has been established. I wish I had a relative who worked in the cosmetics industry, or a friend who worked at a beauty supply company and could hook me up with an employee discount, but I don't. So instead I take advantage of sales, coupons and rewards points to help reduce the cost of my habit, yet still end up spending way too much...because, well, pretty and shiny and new! I do generally try to research products before I buy them - but am not immune to the occasional impulse buy, particularly if I need a pick-me-up.

Most of my friends know that I'm always reading up on all things beauty, and often ask me for recommendations when they are looking to buy something new. As someone who has spent a lot of my hard-earned money on makeup, I thought I'd share some of my favorite makeup items under $10 - which also happen to be what I've been wearing the most this summer. So if you're not as much of a addict as me, but would still like to add something new to your collection, here are some things I believe won't leave you feeling like you just wasted your money. I've grouped my favorites by brand.

If you're on a budget, and you haven't already, I recommend looking into ELF (Eyes Lips Face) products. Their complete line is available through their website, and you can also find some of it at Target, and occasionally at Big Lots and dollar stores. The vast majority of their products cost $1, $3 or $5. Not at all of it is great, but some of it is pretty darn good, and an amazing value, particularly if you hit their website when they're having a sale, which seems to be pretty often. I am a big fan of their false eyelashes ($1) - which are particularly helpful if you're experimenting with the concept. The glue they come with isn't good, but that tends to be the case with practically any set of false lashes out there. (I suggest buying a lash glue separately.) I also like their brushes - not all, but some of them are really good, and again, an amazing value at $1 or $3.
ELF (eyes lips face) favs: makeup remover cloths, blush/bronzer duo, mineral lipstick (Royal Red comes awful close to that elusive shade I've been searching years for), eyelashes, and brushes. Best of all, this whole stash only set me back $15.
A budget brand I think is awesome is NYX. Not as cheap as ELF, but better quality overall. I honestly have not been disappointed with any of the products I've purchased from the line. I'm really impressed with their range of colors for everything (they have an eyebrow kits for redheads, which is rare) and the pigmentation of their eye shadows and blushes, which I think is comparable with more expensive department store brands. I just wish it were available in more places - you can buy it from Ulta or directly from their website.  
NYX favorites - eyebrow pencil, lip pencil, mega shine lipgloss, eye shadow palette, powder foundation and slide on eye pencils

I am generally not a superfan of Maybelline products - I particularly hate their mascaras, which have lured me in with false promises and left me looking like a raccoon on too many occasions - but I have to say, I love their Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows. I have oily skin and things only get messier in the hot, humid summer months, but these puppies actually have staying power. They have worked well for me on their own, just set with some translucent powder, or as a base for other color. They claim to be 24-hour, but on me, given the oil/humid conditions previously mentioned, they've been more of an 8-hour thing, which I consider a hit. I own almost all of them, I collect them like a hoarder.
Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows
Revlon may be my favorite drugstore brand. I've been a fan of their lipsticks for decades, but in the past couple of years, I've also become a big fan of their Colorstay line in general. I have a hard time finding products that wear more than a few hours on me, but their stuff has served me well. And in the past few months my favorite lip products by far have been the new Just Bitten Kissable balm stains. I wrote them up as a favorite back in June, and have been wearing them everyday since.
Revlon favs include: lip butters, Colorstay liquid liner pen, Colorstay foundation, and Just Bitten Kissable balm stains.
L'Oreal has been a longtime favorite of mine for one thing: mascara. I have tried countless mascaras in the last twenty+ years I've been using the stuff, from super high-end crazy $25 tubes to super discount $1, and I always end up coming back to L'Oreal. Their formulas and brushes just really work for me. This summer the one mascara I've been wearing every day is the waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black, which is awesome. The regular Carbon Black formula is excellent, and a holy grail product for a lot of the beauty bloggers out there, but for me, in the summer with the sweating and all, the waterproof formula has been the bestest. It stays put until I take it off at night (and it requires a good eye makeup remover to do so.)  I also like the new Infallible eyeshadows. Again, they're supposed to be 24-hour wear, I find it's more like 8-10 until is starts creasing, but for me, that's excellent.  I think they layer over the Maybelline color tattoos really nicely, and you get better color pay-off if you apply them with a damp brush or your finger.
L'Oreal favs: Infallible eyeshadows, and my #1 mascara, the waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black
I sell Avon, and sometime feel a bit odd talking about it because I don't want to sound like a pushy salesperson who says "this is THE BEST" just to get a commission, but I really am a fan of their products, and truly do think some of it is pretty great, especially if we're talking value for your money. By far my favorite product right now is the "Perfect eyebrow pencil" - which I do think is perfect. It's not too soft but blends really well, I love that it has a brush on one end to blend it through, and it lasts all day. I like their glosses and waterproof eyeliners a lot too.
Avon favs: liquid liner, eyebrow pencil, Mark gloss, fruity lip gloss, and waterproof eye liner
Some other budget favorites:
  • I'm not a huge fan of Almay in general, but their makeup eraser sticks are awesome at fixing makeup application blunders. Considering I'm a klutz, these are a must-have.
  • EOS lip balms look funny (the container looks like a little ball) but they work great. Love that they're natural and paraben free too. I have them sprinkled all over my house and carry one in my purse.
  • Milani is a drugstore brand I had never tried before this year, but I was in the market for a truly waterproof eyeliner, and saw a post from one of my fav beauty gurus that said the stuff didn't budge, so I gave it a go. And she was right.  It is by far my favorite product I've tried this year. It is 100% sweat proof. Love it, and am looking forward to trying other Milani products.
  • Last, but not least, my Wet & Wild 666 lip liner. It's been used and repurchased many, many times since I first tried it, in the 90s. Love the number, the color, and the .99 price
Other favs: EOS smooth sphere lip balm, Almay makeup eraser sticks,Wet and Wild lip pencil in 666, and Milani Infinite liquid liner.

Those are some of the things I think are worth the money, and recommend. Maybe you'll try some, maybe some are your favorites too. And if you have some budget recommendations, I would love to hear them.

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