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Sep. 26th, 2009

11:11 pm - Beauty Faves: The Look for Less

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Today's post is inspired by old school beauty magazines. They always had an article that promised "The look for less!" So this is a modern roundup of favorite, affordable beauty products!

Revlon Colorstay Foundation: $13.

Honestly this stuff is like the holy grail. I have $40 foundation I never wear because this stuff stays on so well and looks great all day, why would I? Revlon makes two formulas: Normal/Dry and Combination/Oily. I recommend the Normal/Dry unless you have super oily skin, because it stays smoother throughout the day.

Sigma Makeup Brushes: $39 for a complete eye set of seven brushes.

I have MAC, and I have these. There is so little difference when you're putting on your makeup, it's worth it to get these, which are seven for the price of one or two MAC. Also, they are numbered just like the MAC ones, so it's easy to know what you're getting. Some brushes they don't have (like my beloved MAC 208) but it's hard to complain!

Styli-Style 24-Hour Power Line & Seal: $6.

These are remarkably close to the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (which is $17). They're soft enough to apply without discomfort. The color is a little sheerer than the Urban Decay, but they can be layered to get the same intense effect. Staying power is excellent.

NYX Cosmetics Slim Pencil Lips: $3

These are fantastic lip pencils. They're smooth and comfortable to apply, while still clinging on and holding your gloss or lipstick in place. They come in a ton of colors. I'd compare them favorably to designer brands, but you can buy four or five of these for the price one designer lipliner. (Note: I don't recommend the NYX eyeliners; they're too hard.)

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color: $4.

I was skeptical. Nail polish always chips on me within 24 hours. This stuff dries fast enough you can plausibly do it on your way out the door, giving you more chip-free hours. And since it dries so fast, you can take it with you to a mini touch up should your nails chip anyway.

Zoya Nail Color: $6.

Not quite as bulletproof as Sally Hansen, and takes a long time to cure, but it's free of toluene and DBP. Long-wearing, healthy polish. The color range is massive and gorgeous! (Note: If you use base coat, you need a toluene and DBP free one, or the polish won't stick; Zoya sells a good one, as do other brands.) My special fave is the Sparkle Gloss topcoat, $9, which adds fairy shimmer on top of any of your polishes.

Zoya Hot Lips Lipgloss: $6.

They look small, but these actually contain 1.5 times the product of an average high-end lipgloss. Also, the squeeze dispenser is more sanitary than dipping a wand in your gloss. The texture is lush, with shimmer colors feeling almost the same as the new MAC Dazzleglass Creme--plush color with microshimmer. At $18 per tube for the Dazzleglass Creme (or $27 for the same amount of product as in these little squeeze containers) these are a great deal.

Nature's Gate Herbal Shampoo: $6.

This stuff smells heavenly, works without buildup, and leaves hair shiny and healthy. A cult product. Worth every penny.

Burt's Bees Hair Repair: $8.

Once-a-week treatment that works better for me than salon product. It smells a bit weird (like Shea Butter and Grapefruit, as it says on the label!) but leaves my hair revitalized.

High-End Mascaras: $0-$5.

I prefer high-end mascara. For years, I used Maybelline and Cover Girl, and it's my opinion these cheaper brands de-condition your lashes (leading to breakage) and cling, even when you remove them carefully (pulling your eyelashes out by the roots!)

But please don't pay a lot. Most places are happy to throw mascara samples at you for free if you're buying something else. They are frequently available as a Beauty Insider bonus at Sephora, on the MAC website if you use the "live chat" option, or in beauty gifts-with-purchase like from Estée Lauder.

Since most mascaras only last one month before they get dry and clumpy (not to mention become full of bacteria from constantly double dipping the wand) these baby sample sizes are the perfect one-month supply.

I'm heartbroken Stila has stopped selling their perfectly portioned Major Lash and Lash Visor for $8, opting to package them in a uselessly giant tube and sell it for $22. Buy the last of Major Lash on StilaCosmetics.com for $5 per tube (free shipping on all Stila purchases thru 9-27-09, with FALLSHIPPING promo code).

Do you have any affordable beauty favorites? Let me know!


[User Picture]
Date:September 27th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
I love it!!

Okay, here are my favorites:

Sally Mini Lipsticks

These little mini lipsticks are great quality; they moisturize and aren't cakey or clumpy. Each tiny tube is only 99 cents so I have one of each color. I love to experiment and mix up the colors.

True Match Foundation

The only foundation I use is L'oreal True Match in Porcelain. My skin is extremely fair, so any redness or blemishes stand out like neon. This foundation goes on like silk and covers evenly. I buy it at Walgreen's or Target for about $10, but a little goes a long way and I can usually make the bottle last one or two months, depending on how often I wear full makeup.

Lush Shampoo Bar

For my hair, I use nothing but Lush solid shampoo bars. At nearly $10 each they seem pricey at the outset, but I wash my hair daily and one bar will last two months or longer. I have the tin, so it's easy to dry the bar out between uses.

Great comm!
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[User Picture]
Date:September 27th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
OMG, now I'm obsessed with the mini lipsticks! :) Will have to hunt those down!

I like the True Match a lot, it's very gentle. I'm just the hardest, worst person ever on my foundation (always running around the humid city, dehydrated office environment, late nights out, etc) so the colorstay is my foundation bff :)

And I'll have to check out Lush, I haven't been there in ages and everyone loves it! :)

So glad you like it here, yay!!! :D
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[User Picture]
Date:September 27th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
I'm really hard on foundation, too. I usually end up having to reapply the True Match at least once during the day. Hmmm, maybe I should give the Colorstay a try!
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[User Picture]
Date:September 27th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
It might be worth a shot! For color match, you could compare the bottles in the store since they're both clear glass.

I am very light and wear the second shade, so maybe the lightest would work for you? Good luck! :)
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