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Cosmetic chic

January 22, 2010

I was never one of those girls who got in to make up at a young age. I wore some foundation in middle school and high school to mask my acne, but other than the occasional school dance, I kept it pretty minimal. I have been a tom boy most of my life (a consequence of being the lone girl in a family full of boys) so being girly took me awhile to grasp. Even in college I only wore mineral foundation, blush and mascara.

A little over a year ago, I began to really branch out in to the world of make up. I was walking around a Sephora, grabbed a few things, started to play around, and here I am. I know a lot of people push the whole “natural beauty” thing, and I’m all for it. I don’t wear make up to cover myself up, I use it to enhance what I have. I think a few easy steps can really make a big difference and let someone’s beauty shine through.

Now don’t get me wrong — I have my fair share of what is considered high-end makeup. Mostly MAC and some NARS, stuff that runs on the expensive side for something that does have an expiration date. While I do love these brands and love the results they give me, there are plenty of other inexpensive options available right down the street at your neighborhood drug store.

In my opinion, you don’t need a lot to look good, so here are a few of my make up tips and what inexpensive products you can use to achieve these looks.

First, you need a good foundation — literally. Skin naturally has some discoloration on it, and depending on how bad yours is, you should generally try to even out your skin tone. I have some acne scarring, so I go for a medium to full coverage one like Revlon Colorstay. In magazine and in beauty blogs, this has been compared to other high-end foundations, but at a fraction of the price. If you are looking for less coverage, I’d go for a tinted moisturizer (Neutrogena 3 in 1 is a great one) or a mineral makeup (try L’Oreal’s Bare Naturale). Also, don’t forget concealer. Whether it is blemishes or under eye circles, make sure to find a good cover-up to try and mask those imperfections. A good under eye concealer can really help brighten your look (especially after a late night of studying…or too much vodka). Maybelline Dream Matte concealer is a nice drugstore one.

Many people think bronzer is a summer only item, but if used with a lighter hand in the winter, it can really help to brighten up your dull winter skin. A GREAT drugstore option is NYC’s Bronzer in Sunny. It gives a really natural tan look without being too dark or too shimmery. NYC can be purchased at many drugstores and Target.

Blush is a must in my opinion. As long as it isn’t applied in a clown like manner, it brings life to your face. Surprisingly enough, my favorite cheap brand is the cheapest of them all. Wet N Wild is the most inexpensive brand in most drugstores, but it has some really great products. Their blushes have good color payoff and last forever.  Even if you are in a rush in the morning, slapping on some blush can make a big difference.

I feel that giving some definition to your eyes is key, and a quick swipe of mascara is the best way to do that. I’ve tried both drugstore and more expensive brands of mascara, and I feel like drugstores are far superior. My absolute favorite is Maybelline Full & Soft. It really defines my lashes and gives them a soft look, not spider eyes. I prefer to wear eyeliner as well, but some people don’t. I think it really makes my pop. I wear brown eyeliner on a daily basis which I find to be softer than black. Rimmel Kohl Liners are really good as well as Revlon Colorstay ones.

Those are just a few tips for great inexpensive makeup that I have found, and I have just barely scratched the surface. Makeup has sorta become my new hobby, as I find myself cutting back on clothing and shoes and buying more make up. Yikes. But I will leave you with a few final tips:

» Always check out the sites of drugstores online. They publish their weekly ads as PDF and you can see which brands are having sales for the week. Make up is generally always on sale in the form of a buy one get one free or buy one get one 50 percent off. It’s a great way to try out some new things to stock up on staples.

» Unsure about whether a product is for you? Check out Make Up Alley. I’m addicted to this site. They have thousands of product reviews for makeup and beauty products which have helped me steer clear of a few potential disasters. It is a great way to get feedback from real people who aren’t being paid to give their opinions.

As a side note, my favorite brands for drugstore makeup are Revlon and Maybelline. If lipstick is your thing, check out Maybelline’s Color Sensational line. They are great. Revlon’s Super Lustrous glosses are amazing as well.

One Comment leave one →
  1. omgitsjpax permalink*
    February 7, 2010 1:14 pm

    I’ve been using Revlon Colorstay since I started using foundation … err, 5 years ago? It feels expensive when I buy it ($10-12, or whatever) but then I think about how much MAC foundation is and feel much better about it.

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