May 26, 2013

Beauty Budget: Foundations

The one product that is probably the most challenging to buy is foundation. There are so many criteria you have to check the box for - formula for your skin type, finish, coverage and color match. On type of all this, there's a price point you may be limited to and would want to shop from the drugstore. The four that I bought were from Walmart (Neutrogena and L'Oreal) and CVS (Revlon and Rimmel). Here's my experience on the search for my normal-dry skin.
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup: A liquid foundation with a blend of antioxidants and SPF  20. Packaged in a bottle with an open top, it can get a little messy to pour it on the back of your hand and also wastes some of the product since you can't control how much you need. Classic Ivory is the lightest shade they carry in their 12-color range and matches me pretty well. It gives light-to-medium buildable coverage with a satin finish. Many people with dry skin recommended this but unfortunately, it didn't quite work well for me. It accentuated flakes on my forehead and around my nose and no matter how well I prepped my skin by exfoliating or with moisturizer, the flakes still showed. With or without primer and even switching from using brushes to fingers didn't help and it somehow always looked streaky. After a 3-4 hours, the foundation would melt into the skin a bit better but I don't want to wear a product that will look bad for a few hours so I returned it.
  • Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Normal/Dry Skin: A long-wearing liquid foundation with SPF 15 to last for 24 hours. The oil-free formula has Time Release Technology that is supposed to continuously hydrate the skin. This also comes  in a bottle with an open top and is quickly becoming my least favorite packaging. 150 Buff is the second lightest shade with a yellow undertone in their 12-color range and matches me well. It has medium-to-full coverage with a semi-matte finish. Although this is supposed to be suitable for normal/dry skin, I find it too drying for me. With the right skin prep and different application techniques, I couldn't get it to work. When I applied a thin layer, it still emphasized the flakes and when I settled it with powder, it made it look even worse but I guess powder isn't really necessary since it's a long-wearing foundation. I never wore it for 24 hours, or any makeup product, to confirm if it does last that long but I noticed my skin looked better as the day progressed. I think when the oils broke through, it creates more of a dewy finish and therefor, looks more natural. Unfortunately, this foundation also went back to the store. If it was a little more moisturizing, I might have been able to make it work for me.
  • Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation: A sweat, heat and humidity proof foundation to last for up to 25 hours. Unlike the last two foundations I bought, this comes in a squeeze tube which makes it so much easier to use. Infused with Mineral Complex and Aqua Primer, the skin is supposed to keep hydrated all day. Out of the four foundations I bought, this was actually my favorite in formula. The texture was super creamy, didn't grab at the dry flakes and had a dewy finish. Although it claims to last for 25 hours, I think it's a little rich for oily skin types and probably best for dry to combination skin. 100 Ivory is the lightest color in their short 5-color range and sadly, the color was way too dark for me. I'm a NC20 in M.A.C's color range and I would say this shade is around NC25. If I were to tan, I could maybe get away with wearing it. I would definitely purchase this again if they expanded the color range.
  • L'Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup: A liquid foundation that is supposed to improve the skin's complexion with antioxidants and Vitamins C and E, hydrate the skin all day with 40% water, and give the skin a radiant glow with their Liquid Light Technology. Finally, a drugstore foundation with a pump! What's nice about their True Match line is that they have a color range for various undertones: cool, warm, and neutral. n1-2 Soft Ivory/Classic Ivory is the lightest shade in their 15-color range and matches me well, although it's slightly on the beige side since it has a neutral undertone to it. It has light-to-medium buildable coverage with a natural subtle sheen to the skin. The texture is easy to blend and feels lightweight. I can wear this on its own and it lasts for least 6-7 hours with a little shine at the T-zone but it also works well with powder on top with no cakey- ness.

As you can see, it was trial and error to find a foundation that would work for me. There was always some flaw, whether it would be with the formula or color. Sometimes it's worth it to just spend a few more dollars on a department store brand foundation to not go through the hassle of returning them, even if it's a drugstore product. What has been your experience like when buying drugstore foundations? Any favorites that you'd recommend?

 Glamour Girl

May 17, 2013

Beauty Budget: Drugstore vs. High-end Beauty Products

Drugstore makeup has come a long way since I've bought them when I first started getting into makeup - and that was in middle school! You can find nearly every type of beauty product that is similar to the high-end brands, from makeup to skincare to hair care.

But don't be fooled, just because it's drugstore, doesn't mean it's cheap makeup. Some of the products cost almost as much as a mid-range product such as from M.A.C or Urban Decay. Shopping at various pharmacies for the best prices can help though. Depending on where you go, the price can differ by a few dollars and using coupons or even online offers can help.

Sometimes stores don't carry all the products or get sold out quickly as well. For example, the Revlon Nail Arts that I bought were only found at my Walmart and a lot of them were gone. Also, if it's a new or limited edition product, it takes a while for them to get stocked.

The difference between a drugstore product an expensive product can be anything from the quality, to the packaging and shade selection. Some of the quality in the inexpensive products are "watered-down" a bit, the pigment either not as intense or the textures not as smooth. The packaging is quite noticeable as well. Expensive  products have glass or metal casing that are sturdier and just look more luxurious, whereas drugstore products are made of plastic which can feel and look flimsy. With higher end brands, you'll also find a wider range or more unique shades. When searching for the "perfect" foundation for instance, you might find a better match at a department store especially for those that in-between colors. For fun products like eyeshadows and lipsticks, you may find luxury brands use complex shimmers and pigment but with affordable makeup, they have more basic colors.

The experience of shopping from the drugstore versus department store is different, too. Being able to test products or even take home samples from the makeup counters makes it much easier to know what you're buying. At the beauty aisle almost everything is sealed and if you are able to swatch products, the testers are so dirty that you don't even want to touch it.

I used to be a beauty brand snob but now I'm a little more open-minded since I've take the time to research what's out there and have found some hidden gems. My favorite blog to find out what's new in the beauty aisle is Nouveau Cheap, she even lets you know the weekly sales. To coincide with reviewing the products I've bought, I'll be filming makeup tutorials to show that with the right products and techniques, you can do a full face makeup. I've done two already, a Taupe-Bronze Eyes, Berry Lip Stain and Peachy-Pink Cheeks look and a Rose-Gold Eyes, Matte Wine Lips and Contoured Cheeks look.

What drugstore products do you recommend that I should check out? What type of products do you think matters when spending a little more than drugstore?

 Glamour Girl

May 08, 2013

Beauty Budget: Rose-Gold Eyes, Matte Wine Lips, Contoured Cheeks

This is a complete glam look with affordable products, down to the lips which I've gotten many compliments on and are surprised that it is a drugstore product. To start off the look, it's a metallic rose-gold eye with a classic black winged liner, matte deep wine red lips and finished off with soft contoured cheeks.

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