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:
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!
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.
I also picked up the Wet n Wild MegaProtein mascara for $3 at Dollarama.
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.
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”.
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).
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.
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
😳 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:
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:
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.
Bonus: here are all of the eye shadows swatched from the 3 palettes
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. 🙂
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.
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. 😛
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! ❤