I’m not usually a makeup blogger — I mean, LOOK at that flat-lay. Sad!
Anyway, I’m not a ‘makeup blogger,’ but I do own, wear, and covet makeup A LOT. Like, a-lot, a-lot. Anyway, since it’s December and we’re winding down the year, I thought I’d share a list of the products I discovered this year, the ones I adored, and the ones I would STRONGLY recommend to EVERYONE.
Oh, and the best part? You can buy all of these at the drug store. YES, the drug store! The same place you buy condoms and laundry detergent! Who says you have to visit a makeup counter and spend $$$ for quality beauty products? Nope-ity nope nope. So without further ado-doo, here are the cheapie makeup treasures I’ve been adoring this year:
I’m not a lip product person, like, ever, at all. I’ve been scarred by teenage memories of sticky lip glosses that feel gross on your lips and get all over your hair when the wind blows. Tell me I’m not the only one who goes outside, trying to look cute, only to end up peeling her hair out of her lip gloss when a gust comes along? HATES IT. I do love lip stains, but they can be so heavy and drying. I saw a glowing review of Wet & Wild Balm Stain on Instagram (yep I am that way) and bought a shade to try it…then subsequently bought all the other colors in the line.
I can’t possibly sing the praises of this formula enough! It’s not heavy, the color soaks into your lips fast, and you can blot it so it’s matte/not sticky if you prefer. The color is long-lasting and hydrating! Some shades are more translucent (Truffle in Paradise is a light bronze, Lady is a Vamp is a sheer aubergine, and See If I Carrot is a very wearable orange subtle gloss), but for the most part, these dry to a HUGE color payoff. My lips are in BETTER CONDITION after using these! Best of all, they’re less than $3 apiece and they’re huge, so they’ll last you a long time.
So the sad news this year was that my former favorite mascara has been discontinued. My journey aboard the strugglebus to my new fave mascara was paved with eye irritation and flakiness, but after I was sent the Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Volum’Express mascara #free to test from Influenster, I took one look at the bristles on that brush and just knew we were going to be very happy together. And yes, I did receive this product free for testing purposes (say it again for the cheap seats in the back!), but I would not blow smoke up your ass. Pause. Well, that just got kinky really fast. Actually, I love this mascara, it’s perfect for me! That brush grabs all the lashes and you don’t have to spend forever swiping in all different directions, wiggling it into your lash line, trying to get the product in there. Two passes over your lashes, and you’ve got big payoff! Now, here’s the caveat: if you’re the kind of person who likes her lashes to look orderly and pristine, you might not like this product. This gives you messy, dark, spidery, full & voluminous badass rock & roll lashes. I like my eyes to have a dark thicket of messy lashes on them, so this works PERFECTLY for me.
So I also must disclose that I received this product free to try from Influenster (ain’t I fancy?), and at first I was like “Well, I already love my Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid eyeliner,” so there was a high bar for this liner to meet. AND IT MET IT. Ya’ll, if you’re one of those people who always whines “I can’t do winged eyeliner because it’s soooo hard,” THIS IS THE PRODUCT FOR YOU. The tip is shaped like a wing, all you have to do is put it at the corner of your eye and drag it across your lid. SO simple. Easier that casting a Harry Potter spell: “Swish, and flick!” Anyone can do it! Furthermore, I feel like it stayed on my face really well: I wore this for the first time without primer and while running errands in a snow flurry (#TheGlamLife), and it stayed on through rubbing my eyelids (I forgot I was wearing makeup!) and the way my eyes tear up a little when it’s really cold & windy. I’m going out on a limb to say this has replaced Line Stiletto as my favorite liquid liner! Thanks, Influenster!
I’ve had a crush on the Physician’s Formula blush with the hearts in it for a LONG TIME, but I was like “oh hell no I am not paying $12 for blush.” So when I saw this very similar product in the more-affordable Essence line, I snatched it up and I LOVE IT. I’m new to wearing blush, but I wanted something to just add a little color to my face over my cheekbones. I swirl a big ol’ brush over this product and sweep it on my cheeks, down my nose, and on my chin, and I swear I look younger, healthier, AND happier? Like I’ve been dancing and having a good time? Anyway, I love this stuff, I’m so glad I gave it a try, it really adds a LOT to my overall look.
Does anyone else remember when NYX was an official sponsor of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Um, I do, and so every time I buy it I think of that old deodorant slogan, “Strong enough for a man — but made for a woman!” Honestly I feel like EVERYBODY can wear this. I speak from experience! I was looking for easy eye makeup to take with me to Burning Man, and that led me to roll-on. I bought the “Green” shade, which is a light and bright emerald/Kelly green hue, and passed it around the camp for everyone to add sparkle. Oh holy hell, it’s BRIGHT. It’s Ariel’s mermaid tail bright! I love that I can just swipe it across my eye and TAH DAH! I’m wearing A Look. I then went back and bought two more subtle shades: Olive and Pink. I also read online that some people have better luck/more precise application by popping the roller ball off the top and dipping a brush into it, using it like loose powder. Yeah, I’ve tried that, but I think a big part of the appeal is the ease of the rollerball. Love this stuff, and I’ll probably add more shades to my collection in the new year!
This one was a little expensive, but I think it’s worth it! After all the dermatology I endured to get my skin condition improved, I thought I might look into something for all over my face, to even out the reddish areas. But I didn’t want anything too intense or chalky, which can be a challenge as I’m very pale but with a lot of red areas. I love the light, skin-perfecting coverage here. I think if the price tag of Bare Minerals scares you, and you want to dip your toes into the waters of loose face powder, this is the way to go! Because I have issues with dryness, I was worried, but it doesn’t seem to affect my face at all — aside from evening out skin tone and making my T-zone more matte.
Here’s a secret I’m all too happy to share: Wet & Wild makes THE BEST drugstore nail polish. Better than all the other brand-brands. They just have quality formula, opaque colors, and great brush size. Whenever I buy other nail polishes, I’m disappointed: they’re hard to apply, it takes too many coats to get the color payoff, or I get ugly bubbles in my polish. Wet & Wild has a fanned brush shape (similar to OPI), thick polish that goes on smooth, and it usually only takes 1-2 coats for bold, opaque color. I was curious to see how much the “Gel” line would improve upon the already high quality I’ve come to expect, and the answer is…. well, not much, but when you’re already so close to perfect, how much MORE perfect can you get? The stellar thing about this range is that it’s got really trendy colors. Almost any one of these would make a great stocking stuffer, as they seem to have made high-quality polishes out of all the year’s hottest colors: icy blue, pale pink (the 2016 Pantone colors!), and the one I bought, “Left Marooned,” that flawless brick red color everyone’s been wearing this fall. One coat is good, two coats is better, THREE gives you that perfect rock-solid gel look in a deep red wine hue. I’ll leave you with a photo of my toes, showing off just how damn trendy this color is:
So tell me what your drugstore makeup discoveries were this year! What do I need to buy in 2017?