What’s in Travel My Makeup Bag

I like to pack light, mainly because I am always packing at the last minute and just grab the bare minimum. Years of practice (?) have honed my skills. Here’s what I packed for my upcoming weekend trip to Louisville. All of it fits in ONE makeup bag!

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Face:

  • Figs & Rouge Mattifying Emulsion and Pore Refiner Primer
  • Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation in 110
  • Nyx HD Concealer in Fair
  • Airspun Loose Face Powder in Translucent
  • Elf Mist + Set spray
  • Nyx Blush in Taupe
  • Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten in Tropical Hues

Eyes:

  • Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
  • Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Primer
  • NYC City Proof 24 Hour Eyeshadow in Taupe
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe (for my brows!)
  • Wet n Wild Megaclear Clear Mascara + Brow Gel
  • Maybelline One by One Waterproof Mascara
  • Tarte Tarteist Clay Liner

Lips:

  • Colourpop Lippie Stick in Tootsi
  • Pacifica Power of Lover Natural Lipstick in Nudie Red

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Tools:

  • Real Techniques Powder Brush
  • Flat Contour Brush, no name brand- bought on Amazon
  • Elf Blush Brush
  • Elf Crease Brush
  • Beau Gachis Smudge Brush
  • Crown Brush Deluxe Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet
  • Studio M Eyebrow Brush, bought from local big box store- Meijer
  • Spoolie, no name brand- bought at CVS
  • Tarte Eyeliner Brush
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
  • Estee Lauder Eyelash Curler

Inner Beauty: Be Your Own Biggest Cheerleader

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It’s okay to be self-centered sometimes. Really. I know that our society has this weird stigma about actually liking yourself, but it’s about time that we stop self-deprecating and start self-loving! I am so guilty of this. Instead of being proud of myself for my accomplishments or rooting myself on in my endeavors, I continue to tear myself down and discount everything I may have done that deserves a pat on the back, and I think a lot of you can relate to that. But it’s time to stop that.

Self-love is a journey, but the first step is knowing that you are worthy of love, praise, and admiration. Good things happen because you deserve them, and you are so worthy of all the good the universe can bring you. You are unique, beautiful, and above all else, WORTHY. You deserve love, respect, and positivity, and you should settle for nothing less. A lot of us fail to see our worth and settle for being treated (or even treating ourselves) poorly. Sometimes we can be our own biggest enemy.

So how can we battle this? Well, it takes conscious effort to love yourself, lift yourself up, and let your light shine. You are a result of millions of years of evolution. Everything that has happened before you has led up to creating the perfect, flawless person that you are. Own it! Own your uniqueness, your quirks. They are what make you special. I have always been “weird”, but weird doesn’t equal unworthy or unlikeable, and when I realized that, I was able to start loving myself for all of those things I used to view as flaws. Yes, I’m loud. I talk too much. I make weird references that people rarely get. But that’s okay, because I am a good person, with a good heart, and I am just as worthy of success as anyone else.

It’s okay to be a little conceited at times; you are beautiful, funny, smart, and it is okay to recognize that! Be your own cheerleader. Encourage yourself to follow your dreams. And know that you are so worth it and worthy of every success in the world!


 

If you or someone you love suffers from depression or anxiety, visit http://www.adaa.org/finding-help for locating resources and assistance. Sometimes, even with all the self-help and mindfulness in the world, you still need therapy or daily medications, and that’s OKAY! Getting help for mental illness can be the first step in a whole new path in life.  

First Impressions: Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme

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Thanks to my one true love, Sephora, I got a chance to try this foundation! (Finally a useful sample, amirite?) I rarely try out “high end” foundations, but I was really excited to try this. Becca is know for their highlighters, but I was very interested to try their complexion products.

About the Foundation

This foundation is a full coverage, liquid formula. It claims to cover blemishes, redness, and even skin tone while also hydrating. It comes in 20 shades. The color ranges from pale-pink porcelain to a rich, chocolate brown. I am very impressed at their range, particularly the selection of medium to deep shades! The bottles are 1 fl. oz. and are $44 from Sephora.

Application + Coverage

I used the shade “Shell” for my first impression application. I dabbed it all over my face and used a Real Techniques stipple brush and a Real Techniques beauty sponge to buff it into my skin. I would recommend using a sponge or Beauty Blender with this foundation, as I was not satisfied with how the stippling brush worked with it. I was very impressed with the coverage. I had a lot of redness in my cheeks and around my nose and chin, and it did cover it. It also covered up the acne scarring on my chin.

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Full face after using the Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme [Artificial light]

Full Impression

This foundation is awesome. The coverage is medium to full, but it does not settle into my lines, enhance my skin texture, or look cakey. The finish is a very soft satiny matte, but I did set it with a loose powder and finished with my Elf Mist n Set. It looked radiant and had a lot of dimension. My skin is pretty normal in regards to moisture; I am not really oily or dry. I do have a lot of texture on my cheeks and chin, as well as hormonal acne on my chin. I also have fine lines around my eyes and my undereye tends to get pretty crepe-y. I did not feel it settled into my lines or enhance any of the texture on my face. It covered my redness and blemishes. I did use the Nyx HD Concealer for my dark circles and darker pigmented acne scarring, but I used less than I typically do with my Maybelline Fit Me foundation.

Final Opinion

It’s a really good foundation for my skin and the skin issues I personally have. It covered amazingly while also not looking to heavy or cakey. That price tag is hard to swallow though, especially because I usually pay $7-10 for my foundation from the drug store… However, it may be worth the investment due to just how beautiful it does look on the skin. I have two nearly-full bottles of Maybelline Fit Me, but once I use that up, I will be getting a full size of the Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme.

Brush Cleaning 101 + Tips for Extending the Life of your Makeup Brushes!

I am so guilty of letting my makeup brushes go quite a long time without a proper cleaning, but “new year, new me” right? Today I’m going to break down how I clean my brushes and also some tips and tricks to properly care for your brushes! Spoiler alert, my whole routine costs less than $10!

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What You Need

All I use is two items to get my brushes squeaky clean and sanitized: Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Castille Soap and a BrushEgg!

I have very sensitive skin, so a natural soap like Dr. Bronner’s is ideal, and it does a wonderful job of cleaning my brushes, even the ones saturated with foundation or thick concealer. It lathers wonderfully, but if your brush is particularly dirty, it may take a couple rinses before it suds up. I find that I have to scrub and rinse the brushes I use with cream products a couple of times before it begins to foam up. Dr. Bronner’s is very affordable, and can be found both online and in drugstores! A 8 oz. bottle (which will last you FOREVER, a little goes a long way) sells for around $6.

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The BrushEgg is a convenient rubber scrubbing surface that can really help deep clean your brushes. Many companies have these BrushEggs, and they sell anywhere from $5-15, but I will let you in on a little secret… I bought mine for ONE DOLLAR from eBay! It shipped from Hong Kong, so it did take about 20 days to arrive, but I am a sucker for a good bargain and this one was too good to pass up! They are available in several colors. I personally got the mint green! Here is the exact listing I used!

Get Cleaning!

I dampen my brushes first with warm water and then use a drop or two of soap per brush. I swirl the brush around the textured surface of the BrushEgg until it begins to lather up. Rinse the brush and repeat gently swirling on the BrushEgg until your brush is completely clean. Rinse with warm water and allow to dry. Voila! Brushes as good as new!

Tips for Brush Care to Extend Their Life

  • Try to only get the bristles wet. Water can loosen the adhesive holding your brushes together and can cause them to fall apart!
  • If your brush does separate from the handle, a drop or two of super glue or another strong adhesive will bind them! Just make sure you don’t get any on the bristles.
  • Don’t scrub too hard! It can cause the brush to lose its shape and some of the bristles to come loose.
  • If your brush starts to lose its shape, you can restructure it by using a no-crease hair tie. Don’t tie it too tight, as this will have the opposite effect. Loop it around the bristles after you wash the brush, while it is still damp. In about 20-30 minutes, take off the hair tie and the brush should be back to its original shape! For eye brushes, those tiny plastic hair bands work great!

 

 

 

Review and Swatches: Sugarpill Edward Scissorhands Eyeshadow Palette

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When I first saw this palette on Instagram, I was immediately in love. Not just because I adore Edward Scissorhands, which I do, a whole lot. No, I was in love because the shades are S T U N N I N G. Look at Heart-Shaped Cookie. LOOK AT IT! It’s beautiful. And Suburbia… insert heart eye emoji here. But I digress. Once I saw it, I immediately started planning the looks in my head and knew I had to buy it. I’ve never purchased anything from Sugarpill, because I am a little scared of all that bright color they are known for, but I knew the quality is proclaimed as beyond amazing, so I took the plunge for this beautiful palette. It was $36 plus $6 shipping on the Sugarpill website, and is limited edition. I know that as of right now, the palettes are sold out, but that may change by the time you read this, so be sure to check! The collection also includes two polishes that are $10 each, but I didn’t pick up either of them (they look gorg though, so get ’em if you want ’em!).

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The ordering process itself was a breeze. I didn’t have any issues at all with the site, even though I was on within minutes of the release. By late afternoon I was alerted that the shipping label was created, and it shipped out two days later. I received the package exactly one week after I ordered it. For a big release like this, I was pleasantly surprised by the speed of the process. Great job Sugarpill!

The palette features six beautiful shades: four mattes and two shimmers.

  •  Home Sweet Home: A matte, powder blue
  • Ice Angel: A white with a blue-violet shimmer
  • The Inventor: A steely dark blue-gray shimmer
  • Suburbia: A bright matte coral
  • Heart-Shaped Cookie: A matte neutral beige
  • Castle on the Hill: Cool toned matte brown with slight plum undertones

Below are my swatches from the palette, in the order they are in in the palette, with and without flash! Notice that Heart-Shaped Cookie is almost exactly the color of my skin tone, so it is a bit hard to see the swatch.

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Flash

These shadows are .08 oz each, which is a very generous size for a multi-shade palette. They are very pigmented, blend so beautifully, and have very little fallout. The quality is just as good as I anticipated. The color range is versatile and will be useful all year around.

Here are a couple pictures from the look I created as soon as I received the palette. I put Heart-Shaped Cookie all over the lid, Suburbia and Castle on the Hill in the crease, and the Ice Angel on the browbone. I really like the contrast of the cool highlight with the warm crease shade

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Outdoor lighting

All in all, I am so happy that I purchased this. All of the shades are beautiful and the mix creates a very versatile palette that is a perfect and unique addition to my collection! If you find this baby in stock, definitely grab it!

Have you ever tried Sugarpill? What did you think?

xo

Mani Monday: Barbie Pink Sparkle

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Quick post for this Monday morning, because I was out of town and under the weather all weekend (’tis the season…). What a better way to start the week than with a Barbie pink sparkle manicure? And even though Grumpy Cat isn’t enthused, I can’t stop staring at my bright nails!

Sinful Colors’ “24/7”, Cream Finish

I used Sinful Color’s 24/7 as the base coat. This is my favorite neon pink and is only $2 at Walgreen’s, CVS, ect! I topped it with my newest nail obsession, the Revlon Transforming Top Coat in Matte Pearl. This top coat mattifies the polish, obviously, but it also has micro-fine violet glitter that is stunning. I am not sure if this is permanent or limited edition, but is a very unique and necessarily addition to your polish collection and is only $4! So go get it right now.

Revlon Transforming Effects Top Coat in Matte Pearl

This girly manicure is perfect for starting off the work week! What are you rocking on your nails right now?

xo

Full Review & Swatches: L.A. Colors Eyeshadow Trios

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L.A. Colors is a very cheap makeup and cosmetics brand that is available at discount stores like Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree. Most of their products are $1-2, and these eye shadow trios were just $1 each! I decided to pick up two of the more neutral trios to try out. I grabbed “Natural”, an all matte trio featuring an ivory shade, an ashy brown, and a dark brown. I also got “Sunflower”, which is an all-shimmer trio with a pale gold, reddish copper, and a bronze-y brown. There are also several other trios is varying shades and finishes if you want to try them out but aren’t fond of the ones I picked.

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Sunflower Trio (I dropped it and the bronze pan partially crumbled, so ignore how ratchet it looks…)

I have a very split review on these, because I LOVE the Sunflower trio, but don’t really love the Natural trio. The Sunflower trio reminds me of a foiled eyeshadow, due to its pigmentation and butteriness. It does have a bit of fall out, but not very bad, and I love how creamy these are. The Natural trio on the other hand… this trio kind of sucks. It swatches nicely on the finger, but on the skin and eye it comes off as patchy and is so powdery that there is insane amounts of fallout. The pigmentation isn’t amazing, no where near as good as the other trio, and I have many other matte colors similar to these that I choose to reach for instead of these when I am doing my makeup at home, just because the fallout and patchiness is a pain to deal with. I was really hoping it would rock, because these would be beautiful crease and transition shades, but they are just not pigmented or smooth enough for me to really love. I will still continue to try and make this work, because the colors are nice shades and it is so small that it is great for travel or on the go, but it is pretty “meh” for me. I found that it works best over an opaque white base (see swatches below).

Natural Trio

Below are swatches from both trios. The three shades on the left are from the Natural Trio and the three on the right are from the Sunflower Trio. I swatched them over two bases, Nyx Milk Eye Pencil and Urban Decay Primer Potion, and then on just bare skin. You can see that on top of the Milk Eye Pencil base the colors, even from the Natural Trio, show up the best and brightest.

Nyx Milk Eye Pencil (top), Urban Decay Primer Potion (middle), and bare skin (bottom)

For $1, these shadows are alright, especially the shimmers. They are compact and are the perfect size to throw in your bag or purse for on the go. They definitely require a primer that is very tacky, and an opaque base such as Nyx Milk will make them stand out even more and look more pigmented on the eye. If you plan on using the Natural Trio, make sure you wait until after the eye is done to do under eye concealer, because clean up is required due to the fall out from the darker shades. If you were just going to get one, I suggest getting the Sunflower Trio, as there are better neutral matte shades out there, even at the drugstore.

What is your cheapest beauty find? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

xo


Fall 2015 Trends | MAUVE LIPS: Top Three Favorites & My Trick for Flawless Matte Lips

IMG_50490The dream of the 90’s is alive in makeup trends. Brown, grey, and dusty rose shades are popping up everywhere, from the drug store to the high end counter. The easiest way to dip your toes into this trend is by starting with a beautiful, matte, mauve lip.

Mauve lips are all the rage this season, and for good reason. The color, ranging from warm, to neutral, to cool, can flatter anyone, and is very easy to wear. A matte finish adds to the grungy appeal and creates a long-wearing low maintenance lip look that is perfect for every day wear, from the office to happy hour. Below our my three favorite mauve shades that I am loving right now. All three are a matte or semi-matte finish, and all three are very affordable!

From left to right: Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Bare it All, City Color Be Matte Lipstick in Cappuccino, and Colourpop Lippie Stick in Tootsie

1. Wet n Wild Megalast Lip Color in Bare it All | $2

A semi-matte, creamy opaque warm brown-toned mauve, with dusty rose undertones. This formula is a bit stiff at first, but warms up on the lips and provides a long-wearing, opaque finish. This $2 drugstore lipstick is also a dupe for the cult favorite MAC Velvet Teddy!

2. City Color Be Matte Lipstick in Cappuccino | $5

Ok, this one might not be a true mauve, but it’s in the same family, so I had to include it. This is an uber matte lipstick. It can be a bit tough to apply, due to this, but once applied this baby is staying on. The color is very warm, which is perfect for fall, and the pigmentation is phenomenal. I got this lipstick in my Ipsy bag a few months ago, and I’ve been loving it since.

3. Colourpop Lippie Stick in Tootsie | $5

This mauve leans into “greige” territory, but that is one of the reasons I love it. It’s so beautiful, creamy, and long lasting. It’s cool toned and just lovely. Colourpop also sells a matching lip pencil for $5 as well, and pairing the two, I have had the color last (even with eating!) for around 5-6 hours! These lippie sticks are such a good value, and I highly recommend them all, but in particular this color.

| My Trick for Flawless Matte Lips |

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My secret weapon for hydrated lips

Matte lips can be a bit intimidating, because the show off every single line, crack, dry piece of skin, ect. Believe me, I know the struggle. My lips chap at just the mention of winter. The biggest secret I have is not really much of a secret… Moisturize your lips generously every single day. Especially at night. Give your honey a kiss goodnight and then slather on a moisturizing lip butter, balm, or mask, and when you wake up your lips will look plump and nourished. And when your lips are especially dry, use a gentle sugar lip scrub to slough away the dead skin before putting on your butter, balm, or mask. My current FAVORITE for both day and night is the Nivea Lip Butter. This stuff is thick without being sticky, smells amazing, and has drastically improved the appearance and feel of my lips. Even better? I got this full sized tin for ONE DOLLAR at Dollar Tree! It is also available at Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, Target. ect. Looking for a splurge? Try out Youtube Celeb Nichole Guerriero’s Best Damn Lip Mask for supreme moisture and nourishment!

There you have it, my top three mauve-ish lip colors for fall and how I prep for matte lip colors. Have you found a stunning fall lipstick or killer lip balm? Let me know in the comments!

xo

First Impression: Revlon Gel Envy Nail Color 2 Step System

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My nails chip super easily; that’s just a reality that I have come to accept. Even Seche Vite didn’t really work for me, which is a modern tragedy in and of itself, so I have been wanting to try one of the various no-light gel kits that many brands are offering now. Revlon was on sale at Walgreen’s this week, so I picked up one of the Revlon Gel Envy colors, as well as the Gel Envy Diamond top coat. The polishes and top coats are usually $5 each, but they were on sale for “buy one get one 50% off”, so I got the color Checkmate, which is a beautiful neutral beige and the top coat for about $8 with tax.

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The color polish is supposed to be a base coat and color in one, so I did not apply a base coat before starting. It applies smoothly, and dries down quickly to a semi-matte finish. I used two coats to reach the opacity I desired, and it did not get goopy or hard to work with as I added the second coat, which sometimes I find I have problems with. I let the color dry down for a few minutes and then applied one thick layer of the top coat, which added a lot of shine to the nail. It did take a while to fully dry, and clumsy me nicked my pinky nail and left a couple small scrapes on it, but honestly I didn’t care enough to re-do it.

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Day Two Shot of the Nails. Ignore the bumpiness; my nails are super damaged from overuse of press-ons and I’m growing them out.

As for wear, I saw a few teeny tiny chips on day two, which weren’t even noticeable honestly. I also experienced some shrinkage and peeling at the very tip of the nail, but I fixed this by going over it with another layer of the top coat. I think that this may be due to operator error, as this may be the type of polish that needs to be carefully applied to the very tip of the nail and slightly on the underside to prevent shrinkage and cracking. I started to see more significant wear and chipping on day 3, but it still wasn’t large chips, and some nails did not have any chipping or wear at all, even until I took the polish off on day 5. Weirdly, it cracked horizontally near the tip of my nail, but the polish did not flake off, which I thought was impressive. I decided to remove it on day 5 to put on a different color, but if I hadn’t wanted a change of color, I would have just let it be, as it still looked pretty decent.

Again, the ridges of my nail show up really badly, but you can see the slight chipping on the edges, as well as the cracking.

For $5 per bottle (and even cheaper if you can catch them on sale at Ulta, Walgreen’s, or CVS like I did!), I was impressed with the longevity and quality of the polish. One downside is that the polishes do need a top coat, since it’s a 2 step system, so it isn’t great for a super quick mani pedi, but that isn’t something that really bothers me, as I try to use a top coat every time I paint my nails anyway (because, like I said, they chip like a mofo). All in all, this is a great product, affordable, and the range of almost 40 colors is an amazing selection for a new, drugstore collection! I’ll definitely be picking up a few more colors from the line… or maybe all of them.

What’s your all time favorite long wearing nail polish or top coat? I’d love to try them out.

xo

Mini Reviews: A Handful of New Drugstore Products I’ve Been Trying

I’ve been trying out a lot of new drugstore products lately and wanted to share a few of them and what my thoughts are. Drugstore makeup quality has been improving so much in the past couple years, and now more than ever there are amazing, affordable drugstore products. My favorite place to get drugstore makeup is Meijer, which is a big box retailer similar to Target or Wal-Mart, but I think they are exclusive to the Midwest. Target also has a stellar selection, including exclusive brands like Sonia Kashuk and Boots No. 7, and Walgreen’s also rocks and has sales ALL THE TIME. Walgreen’s also has the widest selection of Wet n Wild that I’ve found, and you guys know how much I love Wet n Wild.

Below are five affordable products I’ve been trying the last couple weeks. Suprisingly, I like them all, so check out the reviews to see if they might work for you!

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1. Wet n Wild Tame & Define Clear Brow+Lash Gel – $2

I’ve been needing to pick up a new brow gel, since the one I had been using was pretty old and getting a little gross (don’t judge me, you know you have makeup guilty secrets too). This is marketed as a clear mascara AND brow gel, but I only use it to set my brows. The wand is pretty big and it picks up a bit more product than I’d like, but the formula isn’t too goopy or hardening. It didn’t change my life, but it didn’t suck either, and for $2 you really can’t complain.

eY_52. City Color Contour Kit – $8

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I got this on Amazon, not from the drugstore, but it’s so affordable that I had to lump it into this post. I had my eye on this for maybe six months before I finally decided to buy it. This kit is perfect for fair skin tones. The palette has three pans: a contour shade, a bronzer shade, and a highlight shade. All three pans are very large and very pigmented. The contour shade is cool toned, which is perfect and hard to find in cheaper contour palettes. The bronzer shade is light and warm, and the highlighter has a very nice pearly sheen. All three blend like a dream. I really like this and recommend it if you have a fair to light skin tone!

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3. Maybelline Baby Lips Lipgloss – $4

I have a mixed opinion of the Baby Lips collection of products. I think the lip balms are garbage. The primer, on the other hand, I love (it reminds me a lot of the Smashbox primer), so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the lip gloss, but I actually really do. I got the shade Taupe With Me, which is a neutral nude. This particular shade isn’t super pigmented, but I’m not mad about it because the formula is A W E S O M E! The texture is more like a lip butter than a lip gloss and is SO comfortable to wear. I will definitely be getting more shades, especially the more pigmented ones, and highly recommend the formula even for people who don’t usually like glosses.

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4. Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation – $6

I have been hearing a lot of great things about the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation, but I have dry skin, especially on my forehead, so I knew that the matte formula just wouldn’t work for me. I saw they had a dewy option for dry skin, and picked it up because it was cheap and I figured, hey why not? This foundation has medium coverage, but is buildable, and has a dewy finish as the name suggests and does look very smooth. I always powder my face to set it, and with setting the foundation lasts me all day. The longest wear time I had was 9 hours, and it still looked pretty great, with a little bit of separation in the corners of my eyes and around my nose, which is totally understandable. I am loving this foundation and will repurchase once I finish this one. The only con is that there is no pump, so you have to pour it out on your hand or onto your sponge or brush. Annoying, but not a deal breaker.

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5. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – $7 (or get a 2 pack for $10!)

I am probably the last person to jump on the Miracle Complexion Sponge bandwagon, but I finally bought one and it is just as good as it was supposed to be. First, it’s so affordable, especially compared to the Beauty Blender that sells for $20 for ONE sponge. Mama ain’t got that kind of money, so I will stick with cheaper alternatives, and the Real Techniques sponge is the best affordable makeup sponge I’ve found. It is super pointed on the end for precise concealer blending, the side is big enough to easily blend my foundation, and the flat edge is great for concealer around the eyes and nose, as well as for use with a powder to set the under eye area. I have been using it for almost two weeks, and I noticed a few micro tears on the flat side, but nothing that inhibits its job, so I am pretty satisfied, and for the price, I will definitely be buying more!

What drugstore makeup have you been loving lately?

xo