Collab: $20 Makeup Challenge

When my blogging pal MyStyleInsideOut (formally known as FilipinoInsideOut) tweeted if anyone was interested in doing a $20 drugstore makeup challenge, I jumped at the opportunity!  As you know, February is the first of my Low-Buy month for 2016.  My budget limit is $50 for the month.  We decided to hash out the details of this challenge:
• $20 before taxes (when she asked if the $20 challenge to be before or after taxes, I laughed and laughed and said it has to be before taxes – we pay 13% tax here [I am in Toronto, Canada] and there’d be no way I could manage $20 after taxes – as it is, it will still be quite a challenge.)
• Makeup items only – skincare and brushes not included
• Must be a full face of makeup

Here’s what I got:
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I’ve seen the $20 makeup challenge on various YouTube videos and blogs so I knew some strategies. My plan of attack was to find items that could be multi-purpose.

My first stop was Winners but I was sorely disappointed. In my mind, I thought I’d be able to pick up some makeup items for $5 or less but there weren’t many options. I saw some palettes from the brand “Max Makeup Cherimoya” which I’ve noticed has been popping up at Winners lately. But they were all between $10-15. That would really eat into my $20 budget! So I went to the lowest extreme end of where to buy makeup: Dollarama, which is Canada’s major dollar store.  I was able to score this 15 eye shadow collection by a brand named Mariposa for only $3!
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There were at least 5 different colour combinations of these palette collections available and I settled on this one because it contained both shimmer and matte shades, and I thought perhaps the matte brown powders could double as brow powder or liner.  In addition, there are rosy tones in the middle palette could possibly be used as blush.
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I also picked up the Wet n Wild MegaProtein mascara for $3 at Dollarama.
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My next stop was Walmart. I don’t frequent Walmart because it’s not close to where I live, and generally, I don’t enjoy the shopping experience. So I beelined for the cosmetics department, honing on Wet n Wild and NYC displays. NYC turned out to be more expensive than I remember it to be… so more Wet n Wild to the rescue: I got 2 Color Icon Kohl Liner Pencils (Taupe of the Mornin’, and Pretty in Mink) in a 2 for $3 deal.  I planned to mix the 2 shades for my brows, and the dark brown to line my upper lash line.
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At Walmart I also got a MegaLast Lip Color for $2.84. Unfortunately most of the shades were out of stock – I was eyeing 3 available options: Mocha-licious, Spiked With Rum, or Wine Room. My instinct was to get Wine Room which was a MLBB type of shade, but instead I went with Mocha-licious, which is a mauvey brown that’s very on trend a la 90’s lips. I’ve since learned that it’s a dupe to MAC’s Verve, which is described by MAC as “Muted brownish-plum”.
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I was stumped for a base product – drugstore foundations are at least $10 here and the dollar stores don’t carry foundations. In the end, it was sheer luck that I stumbled on the W7 HD Foundation at Winners, for $5 only!  There was just one shade available: Buff. It looked to have a good under tone and I’m often the shade “Buff” in drugstore foundations (but I’ve since learned that Buff is the lightest shade available within this range… so it might be too light for me).
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Finally, I needed a face powder and decided to go to one of Toronto’s discount institutions: Honest Ed’s. For those not familiar, you can read about it here.  It’s a kitschy shopping experience – everything is covered in a layer of dust and all the signs are hand-drawn – it’s sad that the store will be closing at the end of this year for a condo development.  I went to Honest Ed’s because I knew they carried LA Color, and I snagged a for $1.99.
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I also decided to get a concealer after all – I’d originally planned to do without for this challenge but the concealer was only $1.99.

My grand total:
• Mariposa eyeshadow palettes $3
• Wet n Wild mascara $3
• Wet n Wild eyeliner pencils 2 for $3
• Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color $2.84
• W7 HD Foundation $4.99
• LA Color pressed powder $1.99
• LA Color concealer $1.99

Total: $20.81

😳 I went over by $0.81 – I probably shouldn’t have bought the concealer!

Now for the true test, wearing this makeup on my face!  First, I should get this out of the way: every item I picked up was made in China. I’m not a big fan of makeup made in China but I’m not entirely opposed to them (I mostly get angry when expensive brands have their products made in China and sell at huge markups). If given the option, I wouldn’t seek out makeup made in China. But, since I was quite challenged in finding inexpensive makeup for this exercise, I had little choice.  I applied the makeup for a weekend, and here are my impressions:
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Ariposa eye shadow in Collection Mimosa
I’m actually quite impressed with these. The shimmery shades do have an over-spray but the colours beneath are pretty.  They are a tad powdery so there is a bit of fall out.  And while they’re pigmented, they do tend to blend away to nothing quite easily.  Over a primer, I experienced some fading by the end of the day.  Here are the shades I used for my look:
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The mid-tone brown (2) all over the lid, the deep brown (1) along the lash line and outer “v”, the matte pinky taupe shade (3) as my transition / blending shade, then a champagne highlight (4) for brow bone and inner eye area. I used the medium shimmery pink shade (5) as my blush and the hint of shimmer provided a highlighted appearance – this lasted all day on my cheeks.
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Bonus: here are all of the eye shadows swatched from the 3 palettes
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The best ones out of these were the shimmery neutrals – I don’t want this post to be all about these eye shadows but they were quite good. 🙂
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Wet n Wild Mega Protein mascara
This provided some definition but no volume. It also couldn’t hold a curl very well. And it smudged under my eyes. I wouldn’t use this again.
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Wet n Wild Color Icon Kohl liners in Taupe of the Mornin’, and Pretty in Mink
While these 2 liners are from the same line, they do not perform the same. The dark brown Mink shade was much drier in formula which made it difficult to apply on my upper lash line, however it applied nicely on my brows. The Taupe shade was much creamier which I didn’t like for my brows but  it hardly showed up when I used it to line my lower lash line. I wish I hadn’t bought this shade – it was essentially useless. These were made in Mexico, I stand corrected, not everything I got was made in China. 😛
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Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Mocha-licious
The colour was less scary than I thought it would be. I found this formula to be a bit drying though. I would mix this with a nude coloured gloss to get a more wearable formula / colour.  It wore well – lasting around 4 hours before requiring a touch-up.
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W7 12 Hour HD Foundation in Buff
THIS was the star of the whole challenge! I’m SO impressed with this foundation! It applied flawlessly with either my fingers or with a Beuaty Blender type sponge. It has a light / medium coverage that was buildable. The concealer I got turned out to be pretty useless and this foundation was used under my eyes to conceal – it covered well and didn’t crease. It has a satin finish and also good oil control. Honestly, if I did not know this was a $5 foundation, I would have thought it was something from Sephora or a department store.
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The shade Buff turned out to be a perfect match for me. I would repurchase this foundation in a heartbeat!  I guess the main downside of this would be the shade selection – if Buff was the lightest shade available and I’m around MAC NC20, then there’s a bunch of people who will find this too dark for them.
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LA Color Pressed Powder in Beige
This was the second best item from this challenge – a really nice powder with decent coverage and good oil control. I wore this for at least 5 hours before I had any shine, and even then, it was really subtle. The shade Beige was slightly too dark for me but I applied lightly and it wasn’t noticeable.
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LA Color concealer in Light
Pretty useless. This was the lightest colour available which was too dark for me. It almost had a peachy hue so I used it as a corrector of sorts – but it didn’t provide much coverage at all – I applied the foundation over top which worked out fairly well.
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In hindsight, I could have done away with the Taupe eye liner and the concealer and saved myself $3.49 – then I would have come under $20.  I really enjoyed this challenge! It got me outside of my comfort zone with makeup brands and allowed me to explore multiple uses for products. 🙂 I’m very happy to have discovered that W7 foundation – I might check out other W7 cosmetics (any recommendations?)

How do you think I did?  Have you ever done the $20 Makeup Challenge? I dare you! 😀

Please go check out MyStyleInsideOut’s post to find out how well she did! ❤

76 thoughts on “Collab: $20 Makeup Challenge

  1. You did amazing! It definitely is a challenge, but like you said, this helped with getting out of your comfort zone. I never would have known that those eyeshadows were that great from the dollar store.
    I am now going to be on the hunt for W7 foundation. I see their palettes all the time at Winners/Marshalls, but never the foundation.
    Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly never pay attention to no name brand makeup at Dollarama. I only look for brand name stuff that pops up there like Revlon or CoverGirl. I’m very impressed with those eye shadows – even to play around with some unusual shades, they’re decent. One of the colours in the pan is a near dupe for the Burberry eye shadow in Naked I got! 😮
      I hope you find that W7 foundation – I did some searches online for reviews of it and it seems everyone else also love that foundation (it’s readily available in the UK).

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      1. I’ve always assumed Dollarama makeup sucked, which makes me very ignorant. However, they have been stepping up their game with the products their products.
        I really hope to find it, the whole brand is something I want to try.

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  2. Great job staying within the limit! (The $0.81 doesn’t count, okay?) It’s REALLY hard to find anything decent under $5 at the drugstore. I would fail miserably at this challenge because I’m awful at finding deals!

    The eyeshadows look impressive. I love the shade you used as blush, and just the pink palette in general. So awesome that you managed to find a good foundation through this exercise. It looks really nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really did hit me that it’s nearly impossible to find anything for less than $5. Not sure how kids these days do it. It seems they all skip the drugstore store and go straight to Sephora now? I’m shocked all the time how many kids are at Sephora – where are they getting the moolah from? Babysitting? Paper route? lol
      I LOVED that shade for the blush. I was so shocked it was intact at 10pm that night. The sheen was so pretty too – if I told someone it was a Nars blush, no one would have doubted me! It just goes to show… brand name / packaging really sways us.
      I was really worried the foundation would break me out – in fact, I didn’t want to smear it on my face! But I’m SO pleased with that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think kids skip the drugstore and go straight to Sephora partially due to YouTube beauty gurus! Growing up, we didn’t have people advertising products to us on that scale, so we started from the bottom 😛 As to where they’re geting their money, I guess paper routes pay a lot nowadays 😛
        Definitely looks like it could be a Nars blush! Funny because most of us wouldn’t even look twice at a product like that, except when we absolutely need to (like you did).

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  3. L.A Colors used to have great formulation but now it’s crappy.. I’ve seem them in every dollar store around and never thought of getting one.. Even their nail polishes have gorgeous shades but the quality isn’t.. It’s just a waste of your $$. I love the eyeshadows though the shades are so much fun and happy! 😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think LA Colors really needs to up their game in general. I don’t hear people raving about them like I used to. Other brands like Wet n Wild and e.l.f. have really stepped up their game!
      The eye shadows were a surprising hit! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree! I used to see WnW at the Dollar store before just like LA Colors but now not so much.. And yes! I really like the eyeshadow.. Such a pretty colors..😍

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  4. I was curious how you would pull this post off without putting anything on lol and you actually did great! It looks like you coulda saved your money on a few things but those shadows don’t seem bad at all for the price and the foundation sounds really good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Joy mentioned that she thought I’d put up an illustration showing the makeup but I got lazy. Plus, this is a fairly boring look so I wasn’t thinking it’d look interesting on da face. I guess in hindsight we ALL have crap we bought and didn’t need haha! 😉

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  5. What a fun challenge – glad you liked the foundation and the colour match suited your skin tone! I went to a makeup sale two weekends ago and purchased a few things from W7 myself: a lipstick, a makeup sponge and an eyeshadow palette. The sponge and eyeshadow palette are meant to be dupes for the Beauty Blender and Naked 3 palette. I know W7 have released dupes of all the other Naked palettes as well.

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    1. Thank you SO much for the insight on other W7 items. I know it’s always the grass is greener but I swear the UK drugstore (high street) brands are SO much better than ours! I’m envious of your choices like Sleek, Makeup Revolution, MUA, Barry M, Freedom.. and W7!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great idea! I think only going $0.81 over is pretty good, especially with prices slowly increasing here in Canada. I don’t know if I would be able to do this, but it would be interesting to try it! My issue I think would be foundation, my skin is fairly oily so if I don’t choose wisely I end up practically reflective pretty quickly, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew you’d understand as a fellow Canadian! Dollarama isn’t even a dollar anymore… the cheapest thing is $1.25 now! 😛
      Yes, the foundation was definitely the trickiest item! If I hadn’t spotted that one from Winners, I would have copped out and just used the concealer and powder and called it a day. You should give this a try – it was fun! I had to hit up FOUR stores to get everything though hah!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great job!! =) I love Taupe of the Morning, it’s what I use to fill my brows in, haha. I just adore WnW liners. That foundation was an excellent score! The eyeshadows look beautiful, too.
    Poor Canada… =( You can get everything but liquid foundation for $1 at our Dollar Tree, then a foundation at Dollar General for $3.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For your colouring, I can completely understand how Taupe of the Mornin’ would be perfect for you! For me, it was just meh. It was good to tone down the Mink colour since it was really stark on its own. Those Wet n Wild liners are LONG – you definitely get your money’s worth!
      Foundation for a dollar? That’s insane. 😮

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      1. Aye – I think it’s Colourmates or LA Colors that has the pressed powder foundation for a buck… it’s Wet n Wild’s liquid foundation for three bucks, and it’s surprisingly good, been using it for awhile now. =x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The packaging of the W7 foundation didn’t state it was made in China and I’ve noticed that stuff sold in the UK do not require labeling to indicate country of origin – so weird. But my assumption is that yes, it’s made in China since all the other W7 stuff are made there. If you do get it – let me know how it works for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Now I’m googling W7! You really got a good find there. The packaging could also pass for a high end counterpart ( I see glass) and the pump. 👍🏻 I also liked the eyeshadows. I loved how they could be multi-functional. I pretty much focused on the eyeshadows, lol! I want to have a walk-through of knowing my eyeshadows well via stashy the eyeshadow expert. 👍🏻

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    1. The bottle itself isn’t glass but a thick good quality plastic which I don’t mind. But yes, a PUMP! Isn’t it amazing? Haha, I’m not an expert in eye shadows, I just know that I like and what works for me. Everyone is different! 😛 I hope you do this challenge Filipino style! What would the PHP amount be?

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      1. I’m currently planning this collaboration with lipsticks and bottles about this. Let’s see what she says if we’ll have it summer themed. 🙂
        1 CAD = Php 37.15 so it’s around Php 703.41

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    1. Glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like that mascara. I had limited options though… no $1 mascaras around here!
      The eye shadows were a shocker… I’ll look at dollar store no-name brand items a little bit differently now.

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  9. Whoa, that actually turned out really well! Makes you feel bad about spending >$20 on one makeup item, doesn’t it? (Hahahaha j/k!) I bought some of those Mariposa nail polishes at Dollarama a while back – glad to hear the eyeshadows are actually good! Bodes well for the polish. The W7 foundation looks amazing. I picked up one of their matte eyeshadow palettes at Winners (again, untried). They’re showing up at Winners a lot, lately. I haven’t seen the foundation, though, so you did get very lucky!

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    1. I was surprised about the Dollarama stuff. I like dollar store stuff as much as anyone but the no-name stuff always has me questioning the quality.
      I’m definitely going to try more W7 stuff now – I saw blushes there too. I think I have $10 left in my Feb budget… might to nuts and buy some W7 makeup! 😛

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          1. It’s called the w7 store and it is predominately w7, but they do have cco high street brand djscontinued items from rimmel etc and very very occasionally can you find bits from Becca (I bought 5 Becca brushes for about £15!) urban decay, korres and Estée Lauder. Whenever I go to the outlet it’s always worth a quick walk round to see what you can see because those kind of brands sell out quickly, probably why I never pay attention to w7 because I have my eyes peeled for hardcore bargains from other Brands!

            Liked by 1 person

  10. You did very good. That being said, since I’m aware of your *HUGE* makeup collection, there is little chance that you will use these products often !!! Again I could be mistaking ?!!! … Not a challenge for me (That 20$ is too precious in my low-buy :P)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear what you’re saying – the foundation will definitely be in my rotation (in fact, I’m wearing it today) but probably the liners and lipstick will go to waste. I think it’s still pretty amazing that for $20, if nothing else, I found an amazing foundation that I’d use up (hopefully!).

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  11. That foundation looks neat! Even the bottle looks sleek and it has a pump ohhh wow! I think that shade would go with my skin tone .. might try finding it online! 😛 those eyeshadows look okay, I mean okay as in a good okay because I’ve tried many drugstore shadows like hardcandy and even the old Maybelline quads and they suck lol those 3 dollar shadows have more pigmentation!! Maybe I won’t neglect shadows from the dollar store lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah those dollar store ones aren’t bad – 15 colours for $3 is pretty amazing. I’d say Wet n Wild is way better than these. But yes that W7 foundation is AMAZING! I’m so impressed from the formula, to the bottle to the shade and even the ingredients. I’m going to look for other W7 products at Winners.

      Liked by 1 person

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