Hey there, it’s Lauryn and I’m attempting a comeback to one of my favorite things in the world: blogging about beauty. Really though, just talking about beauty, or anything related to beauty excites me. I do get asked fairly regularly for product recommendations and I live for that. In fact if I am being honest this post was inspired by a very recent conversation with my massage therapist. I always try to give the most complete answer possible. What does that mean? It means that while I love the products I am going to mention, that does not necessarily mean you will. We all have different skin types, desired end results, and tools they work best with. It gets complicated quickly. That being said, I also have to admit I prefer high-end products more often because I seriously have found that they work better. That is not always the case, as I am hoping to discuss in my next post. Whenever possible though, I’ll latch onto a more affordable product that performs just as good. These are some of my current favorites I have in my beauty routine that are very budget friendly. So let’s get started…
I bet when you saw me posting about makeup favorites you didn’t expect Wet ‘n Wild to make the cut. Well, my childhood is screaming because the brand has made a huge comeback in recent years with some honestly amazing products. This foundation is easily the most affordable one I’ve tried but I am in love with it. For less than a Venti Starbucks coffee I get 1oz of product and it comes in 20 shades & has a spatula-like applicator that I apply directly to my skin and blend out with a sponge. The product was recommended by a YouTube-r and I actually wanted to try it long ago but the shade range was crap. There is no nice way to say it. I am caucasian and I couldn’t find a dark enough shade. Read that again. Luckily, at a recent trip to Ulta I saw they’d brought the brand into all stores and had a much larger selection of shades available. FINALLY! I could see if it was worth it. I think I paid $3 because they had some beauty deal promo on it so I figured even if it’s terrible I’ve wasted more money on less. (note: at the time I am posting Target currently lists it at $2.77) I was immediately impressed with the coverage and the wear. Product claims: high-performing matte foundation.Your skin, only better. The new skin-perfecting foundation underwent major road testing under seven different photo lighting conditions to deliver flawless camera-ready makeup every time. Cruelty-free.
Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Full Coverage Foundation. This Oil‑free, Paraben‑free foundation is something I was turned onto because of one of my favorite YouTube-rs, Casey Holmes. She, like me, enjoys a full coverage foundation and has combination/oily skin and texture. This is important because no matter how much you love a beauty guru, if they have a totally different skin type than you do it is unlikely that you will enjoy the complexion products they do. That being said, not everything Casey loves is something I do, and that’s another blog post in the works. This one though, is amazing. It’s $12, comes in 24 shades and you get a good amount of product at .8oz. Most commonly, foundations are 1fl oz. for your reference. It is a liquid foundation, but has a unique doe-foot applicator (think every lipgloss you’ve ever owned). I apply with the applicator directly to my skin and blend with a sponge. I buy mine at Ulta because you can use your $3.50 coupon on this brand (if you spend $15), and you can also return it if you hate it! I cannot say it enough: DO NOT KEEP MAKEUP PRODUCTS IF THEY AREN’T WORKING FOR YOU! You earn the money you spend, if a product isn’t doing what it claims, take that baby back. Just keep your receipt and don’t wait until it’s 1/2 gone to figure that out. That’s just tacky.
Concealer/Highlighter/Eyeshadow Primer/Brow Perfector/whatever you wanna use it for. Let’s face it, concealer is not just for covering blemishes anymore. This is probably one of the most versatile products in your makeup bag and you may not even know it! I have an entire drawer full of concealers (yes, really) because I am addicted to trying concealers. There are a number that I really love and a few are pictured above. If I find one that I like, I will probably purchase in a couple shades because I use concealer to brighten my undereye area and highlight the high points of my face. And the reality is, I don’t necessarily want my entire face as bright as my undereye.
NOT PICTURED: but also a major fave is the Colourpop No Filter Matte Concealer, $6.50 for .14oz at Ulta. I have several of these, so I can’t believe I forgot to include it in my mediocre photo, it is so good! Product claims: Vegan, cruelty-free, full coverage concealer formula is infused with marine extracts to hydrate and protect delicate under eyes, while the soft blurring pigment technology delivers a flawless, creaseless complexion that lasts all day.
Anyhow, the breakdown of the other drugstore favorite finds pictured is as follows (L-R):
e.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer $5 for .2oz at Target or Ulta. Has a large doe-foot applicator to use directly on the skin and comes in 18 shades of this insanely high pigment formula. Product claims: 16 Hour Camo Concealer, has full coverage with a matte finish. Conceal redness, highlight, contour. Cruelty-free.
Revlon Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser $6.29 for .2oz at Target, but you can buy it almost anywhere. It has a sponge-y tip applicator to apply directly to the skin, comes in 18 shades and is Anti‑aging, & Fragrance‑free. Product claims: Super concentrated formula with goji berry and haloxyl helps to erase the appearance of dark circles and fine lines, while visibly diminishing the appearance of puffiness around the eyes.
Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer $7 for .11oz (or $10 for ‘supersize’ .45oz), at Ulta. Similar to the foundation (which came after the enormous success of this concealer), it has a doe-foot applicator and comes in 24 shades (!). Product claims: Vegan, cruelty-free. Lightweight yet full coverage concealer to cover blemishes, even skin tone and counteract dark circles, with a matte finish that won’t settle or accentuate fine lines and pores.
Flower Beauty Light Illusion Full Coverage Concealer $8.99 for .22oz at Wal-Mart. It is also sold at Ulta for $10, coupons can be used. The brand has claims to include “exclusive blurring pigments” in this product, and while that sounds like a marketing gimmick, Drew Barrymore hit a home-run when her brand developed this concealer. It does only come in 6 shades, not great compared to the others I’ve mentioned. Product claims: A high coverage concealer it imparts a subtle radiance as it conceals imperfections. The formula does double duty to calm and reduce puffiness with an infusion aloe and chamomile extract. An added boost of caffeine firms up and give targeted areas a boost of antioxidants.
Highlighter, my absolute favorite makeup item. It’s one of the last things I apply but I am obsessed with highlighters. In my opinion, it makes such a huge difference in a look. Some are subtle, some are beaming. This one from Maybelline is the latter. You could use a light hand, though, if you prefer not to be seen from space. There are 4 shades in the regular rotation, but limited edition ones (as in the Puma one shown) emerge from time to time. This highlighter is hyper-pigmented, creamy, applies easily, and blends out very well. It doesn’t make your cheeks look “muddy”, just leaves an incredible glow. It even won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award, so I’m certainly not the only one who loves it. It can be used on all skin types. Product claims: illuminating powder consist of a blend of pearl pigments and metallic chrome sheen that leaves a reflective finish for a brilliant skin glow. The illuminating highlighter is available in richly-hued, molten metal shades.
NOT PICTURED: Wet ‘n Wild MegaGlo Loose Highlighter $6 at Target. Your cheeks will blind your coworkers, just saying. This product comes in 4 permanent shades, I have ‘I’m So Lit’, which is a champagne shade that is universally flattering on most skin tones. This is a MUST TRY. Product claims: Vegan. Cruelty-free. Paraben & Fragrance Free. Micro-fine pearl pigments combine to boost skin glow for a targeted multi-colored highlight.
Morphe products seem to get a lot of attention, and not always in a good way. The social media beauty community first loved the affordable brush brand, but then a couple makeup collaborations later, they aren’t always universally accepted as they once were. My experience with their products has been nothing but positive! Their shadows are amazing, their brushes work as good or better as some of my MAC ones, their bronzers, sponges, setting spray, and lip products all perform well, and you just cannot beat the price point of their products! The brand was once very small but has since grown to include any makeup product you’d be looking for. I haven’t tried everything they make (foundations & concealers, eyeliners), but when it comes to a great eyeshadow palette this is where you need to look if you’re ballin’ on a budget! 35 shades for $24 (a bit more if it’s a collab), you just can’t beat that. The palettes are huge and they continue to expand the range of shades (warm neutrals, metallics, purples, pinks, colorful) so there is one for everyone. They even make 9 shade palettes for $12 if 35 seems unnecessary for you. The thing that you need to remember is that not every shadow is perfect, and for the price yes, it may have more fallout than a $60 Too Faced one, but in my opinion it performs (pigmented, blendable) just as well. I could write an entire entry about Morphe, but as this post is already longer than expected I am trying to keep it brief!
I’ve found it! The most perfect and universally flattering shade of nude-pink lipstick for all skin tones. And it’s $6. Maybelline’s Shine Compulsion Lipstick in ‘Baddest Beige’ is not too pink, and not too nude. It’s super moisturizing and leaves a good pigment on the lips with a shiney finish. So if you’re a matte liquid-lipstick gal, you won’t care for this one. I am obsessed, and apparently so was Jaclyn Hill since shortly after I found this at Ulta her next video ‘Favorites’ included this item and I immediately knew it was going to start selling out so I panicked and bought more. You can find Maybelline anywhere which is also a huge plus. Product claims: Maybelline’s first oil-in-stick lipstick has 60 percent reflective oils for an irresistible shine.
These liners are both fantastic, and yet very different. The Morphe liner (shown in Love Bite) is a little more affordable but will require a sharpener. It is creamy and pigmented, not stiff at all like traditional pencils can be. The Maybelline Shaping Lip Liner (shown in Beige Babe) is retractable, which I tend to prefer. One less thing to think about. I am unsure how many shades are in the Morphe range because they list 70, but that number includes their eyeliner shades as well. Which I suppose they could be interchangeable, but that is not the world I live in. Maybelline offers 21 shades for their lip shaping wonder. I’ve also found that the pricing varies quite a bit depending where you’re shopping.
Loreal’s Paradise Enchanted Blush collection is a range of 4 shades that are all incredibly flattering, in my opinion. They’re peachy, pinky, coraly, and will not make you look like you’re using your grandmother’s rouge. No offense to your grandmother. They claim to be fruit scented, I smell nothing and do I really need my face to smell like food? Marketing genius. The ingredient list does include cocoa, which confuses me even more. Product claims: soft, velvety texture allows for ultra-blendable application, rich color pay off and lasting results. Loreals Chromatic Bronze Loose Pigment (shade As If, pictured) may be tiny, but oh she is fierce! I know that’s a quote not sure I got it right. Anyway, MAC sells loose pigments in a wider range of shades but also more than twice the price (and not twice the product). Nothing against the brand, but this one from Loreal works just as well. It is metallic and can also be used as a cheek highlight, although I use it strictly on my lid to give an intense metallic look. There are only a couple shades in the collection but they are gorgeous! Tip: wet your brush first, dip into the jar and then apply. That will turn up the intensity for an even more incredible look!