Thursday, June 26, 2014

6 Beginner Bare Basics Beauty Budget Buys & Brands

I've noticed that a lot of popular blogs include fashion, style, and product review. I'm not really into that kind of stuff, but I thought I'd give it a try and share the basic products from my favorite beauty brands that a bare minimum high school makeup wearer like me should have. I do consider myself very much a brand loyalist (#obsessed!); consistent quality, value, and customer service have proved the merits of these brands to me again and again, so I recommend them to my friends quite often. This is my first time doing a product review, so bear with me. If you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments! Here are the items that I am reviewing:

 – Eye Makeup
»Studio Cream Eyeliner in Black #81160
One of the most essential items any high school girl should have is a good dependable black eyeliner. When you're out and about casually with your friends, you don't want to cake on too much makeup, but you want your features to be defined as well so you don't look like a potato in pictures. The e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner, at just $3, is a deal any cash-strapped student would appreciate. It comes with a small angled brush that is a little hard to use, but still makes a killer winged tip. What I appreciate the most is that it goes on and it stays on, even without a primer. I've tried regular eyeliner pencils that just refuse to make a line on my lids, creme pencils that smear everywhere within five minutes, and liquid eyeliner, which often beads up and runs. This one instantly makes a black mark where I want it to and stays there. When I accidentally rub my eyes, which is often because I don't usually wear eyeliner, it only smudges minimally, and is easy to clean up. I would definitely recommend it to beginner makeup users because it's inexpensive, good quality, and fuss free.

»Essential Brightening Eye Color in Drama #2007
This little four color piece was actually a bonus gift I received for recommending three friends to e.l.f. after making an order. It's now one of my favorite products! Its small size is perfect for carrying in a little purse when I go out to help fix smudges or to touch up on a smoky eye. It's very good for it's price, only $1 on the website, but if you're looking to get clean results, I wouldn't recommend using the applicator it comes with, which absorbs the eyeshadow and doesn't transfer well onto skin. Nevertheless, I'd buy it again once I've used this one up, and try some of the other color variations as well!

Neutrogena – Skin Care
»Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub
As you can see, this bottle is nearly empty, because I've been using it so much and I love it to death. I bought this "value size" bottle from Costco in a two pack that cost around $8. It has lasted over a year, because a tiny amount creates so much foam. My face always feels so clean after using it as it's really effective in clearing out all the oil from my pores. As a result, when I use it often (sometimes I don't because I'm in a rush, oops!) my face is basically acne free. It's also the first and only face wash that I've used that feels like it rinses off completely and doesn't leave a film, leaving my face 100% clean. Not only does it smell amazing, it's also a great exfoliator because of the microbeads, though a lot of negative review for it on the website come from the fact that microbeads are non-biodegradable and pollute the water system. Hopefully Neutrogena will solve that problem, but in the meantime, I will continue to use this product.

»Oil-Free Moisture - Combination Skin
If you live in in certain places like me where the weather is dry and cold in the morning and hot and sweaty in the afternoon, this lotion is well worth the $10. It's light and hydrating, perfect for staying moisturized without a heavy oily feel. One pump is more than enough to cover the face, so I generally use it quite sparingly, but it still does the job. The best part is that it doesn't cause me to break out, and my skin doesn't react to it. Other lotions I've used before have caused my skin to burn and turn red, but this one is cool and soothing. Keep in mind that each person's skin type is different, and this one is for combination skin, so if you're considering buying this product, I would recommend looking at the other products in the Oil-Free Moisture line first to see which one is best suited for you. Having the correct lotion is extremely important to keeping your skin healthy and break-out free.

Essie – Nail Color

Essie is a bit of a higher end brand under my standards (at $8 it's still affordable occasionally for the broke high school student), but with nail polish, I think it's especially important to consider the quality of the product. With makeup, you wash it off at the end of every day, but nail polish you expect to stay on for a long period of time. I love Essie because it doesn't chip very easily and the colors are extremely opaque and even on the nails. Even when I don't use a base coat, I can expect a smooth finish and vibrant colors. Watermelon is an especially bright, fun color, which I consider a quintessential loud, girly pink that is perfect for summer. Some of my favorite looks are on rounded or squoval nails without any other decals or with just a few white dots going down the side.

»Ignite the Night
This glittery polish is a must have for absolutely everyone! There's nothing like a perfect silver glitter to express fun and fancy at the same time. While it looks dark in the bottle, it's actually more of a white-grey polish (you can see what it looks like on my nails in this post.) The glitter is super fine and doesn't clump up at all, and like all Essie polishes, it's extremely durable. When I wear it on all of my nails, it also has an effect of making them look longer and narrower, which I highly appreciate due to the fact that I'm constantly trying to grow them out. It's also an excellent choice as an accent nail when paired with a quieter color such as navy blue. If you're feeling more daring, try it with black for a starry ombre – Pinterest has countless examples of those, but they do look oh so beautiful.

Bonus – Jordana Kohl Kajal Lip Liner in Deep Purple
If I'm running late because I overslept, and I only have two minutes to put some makeup on before dashing out the door, the one thing that I would definitely do is put on some lip color. For me, having color in my lips is the best way to instantly awaken my face so I look like a normal, functioning human being rather than a sleep deprived zombie. I love this lipliner because the color applies so smoothly and evenly, and it is so versatile; depending on how much you use, the color can range from a light berry pink to a dark plummy red. The quickest way to use this product (though I realize not the most conventional) is to swipe on some Vaseline or chapstick (can be tinted, I prefer Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Strawberry) and just quickly color in the center of my lips. Smack your lips to spread the color around, and fill in where necessary. I'm a huge fan of a well defined Cupid's bow, so I'll often use the lip liner to define that feature as well. Voila, an instantly lush set of lips (for only 99 cents!) ◊

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