smart is the new pretty

Tag: affordable makeup

Colourpop Pressed Powder Shadows (Review)

Colourpop Pressed Powder Shadows (Review)

I have tried a lot of eyeshadow over the years: Morphe, MAC, Makeup Geek, L’Oreal, Urban Decay, Tarte, and much more. I’m an eyeshadow connaisseur, and while I like a lot of formulas, I have to say that the Colourpop Pressed Powder Shadows really knocked it […]

NYX Liquid & Powder Highlight Review & Swatches

NYX Liquid & Powder Highlight Review & Swatches

NYX is one of the trendiest drugstore brands, with some great products. While I can’t advocate for the whole line, there are a few gems (the lip liners are amazing). I tried the NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in the shade Sunbeam, which didn’t really impress […]

Which Maybelline Concealer is Best?

Which Maybelline Concealer is Best?

Many drugstore brands manufacture concealers, but Maybelline seems to dominate the drugstore concealer playing field. The Fit Me and Age Rewind concealers are popular among internet beauty obsessives, and I have to say, I’m on the Maybelline concealer bandwagon. I’ve sampled three of their formulas: Fit Me, Age Rewind, and Better Skin, but which Maybelline concealer is best?

Maybelline Concealer Swatches
left to right: Age Rewind, Better Skin, Fit Me

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: This concealer is popular in the beauty community, which means it will probably show up in your Instagram feed or on Youtube if you consume enough makeup media. However, I have to say it isn’t my number one. It is creamy and medium coverage, but it will crease if you don’t set it. My eyes are sensitive, and sometimes if they are irritated from allergies or rubbing, this concealer will irritate them even more. I also don’t love the shade selection. I have the shade “Light,” but it isn’t as brightening as I like my concealer to be. I like that the Fit Me has shades for fair to deep skin tones, but only 7 options seems inadequate to cover the wide range of skin tones that exist in the world.

Maybelline Better Skin Concealer: This was just meh for me: not bad, but not great. I found it to be drying, especially if you didn’t blend it in quickly. It could occasionally get cake on me, and I didn’t notice any skin-improving effects (despite the product’s claims). It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t repurchase this concealer.

And the winner is . . . 

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer: As far as drugstore concealers go, this is the best I’ve tried to date. It is creamy, and I like the colors (though I admit the shade selection caters to light skin tones). The product dispenser is a no-fuss twist top, and I appreciate how easy it is to use this concealer. I find the Maybelline Age Rewind to be more comfortable than the other Maybelline concealers. The Maybelline Age Rewind concealer gets a lot of press, and with good reason. It is a medium coverage concealer with a great formula and an affordable price.

 

What are your favorite drugstore concealers? Which Maybelline concealer do you prefer? Be sure to comment and follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram!

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Review and Swatches

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Review and Swatches

Makeup Geek is one of the most popular makeup brands on the internet. Not only is Makeup Geek an online-only store, it was founded by an internet beauty guru. It’s no surprise that Makeup Geek is very popular on platforms like Youtube and Instagram as […]

NYX Butter Lip Gloss Review

NYX Butter Lip Gloss Review

Matte lips and metallic lips may be en vogue right now, but I will always love a glossy lip. Lip gloss was the first makeup I owned and the first makeup I loved. While the days of ultra-shiny 2000s lip gloss might be behind me, […]

Best Beauty Buys from the Drugstore

Best Beauty Buys from the Drugstore

 

Whether or not you are on a budget, the drugstore has some great products to offer. I’m a big fan of the beauty section at Target, as well as the beauty section at Ulta. I’ve tried a lot of drugstore products over the years, and these are my absolute favorites. These are products that don’t just stand out as better than the drugstore—they’re products that I like as much as products from more luxurious brands. That’s why I consider them the best beauty buys from the drugstore.

Best Beauty Buys From the Drugstore

  1. Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer: I use this bronzer all the time. It is buttery smooth, and it smells like endless summer. If that isn’t enough to win you over, it is a great shade for fair skin tones like mine. It gives me natural warmth without making me look orange. It comes in two shades, and I have the lighter of the two. This matte bronzer can be used to warm your face, or for a soft contour. It is one of my favorite bronzers, period.
  2. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water: This is an essential part of my routine. It is my favorite makeup remover of all time, and it is great for correcting eyeliner/mascara mistakes. I sometimes use it alone as a facial cleanser, particularly on mornings when my skin is feeling dry. Just pour a little on a cotton pad, wipe it on your face, and ta da! Clean skin.
  3. L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara: This mascara is the blackest black, and it makes your lashes long and beautiful. I don’t use this mascara anymore because it made my sensitive eyes itch, but it was a go-to for years. The L’Oreal Voluminous mascara is a drugstore classic.
  4. NYX Slim Lip Pencils: I wrote about these lip liners in another post, and I stand by my assertion that they are the best lip liners under $5. They’re inexpensive, long-wearing, and creamy. I love the array of colors—I have peekaboo neutral, mauve, and espresso.
  5. Nivea Creme: This might be my favorite body moisturizer of all time. I’ve gone through a lot of different lotions (drugstore and luxury, scented and unscented) as well as body oils, but this is hands down my favorite. It is thick and creamy, with a light and fresh scent. It makes my skin feel super moisturized, even my dry hands.
  6. Maybelline MasterPrecise Eyeliner: This eyeliner pen is great for creating winged liner. I love the ultra-fine tip, and because liquid liners usually dry out, it’s nice to have one that doesn’t cost $25 to replace every three months.
  7. Garnier Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eyeroller: I know I’ve read about this in at least one fashion magazine, and I can say that I love it myself. The product helps to de-puff the sensitive skin under my eyes. The metal tip always stays cold, which makes it even more soothing on my puffy morning eyes (plus the cold helps to decrease puffiness). I like using it in the morning before I apply my makeup to make my eyes appear open and bright.
  8. e.l.f. HD Under Eye Setting Powder: In a battle against the Laura Mercier Translucent powder, this won by a landslide. This fine-milled powder feels light and comfortable on my eyes. I’m not sure how this would work if you wanted to use it for “baking,” but for setting your concealer it is excellent.
  9. Simple Micellar Wipes: I don’t like Simple Micellar Water as much as Garnier Micellar Water, but I love the Simple Micellar wipes. These wipes are gentle and easy to use on-the-go or after a late night.
  10. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil: I like that I can use this pencil as a base for a smokey eye, or as an eyeliner. I especially like using it on my waterline because it is creamy and easy to apply.
  11. Aquaphor: This has been a staple for me for as long as I can remember. Aquaphor is like a souped-up version of Vaseline; it keeps my lips soft better than any lip balm.
De-Puffing Your Eyes 101

De-Puffing Your Eyes 101

The school year has begun, which means business, stress, and (perhaps worst of all) less sleep. While makeup is no substitute for actual sleep, there are remedies for de-puffing your eyes and faking-it-til-you-make-it when you are exhausted. Think of it as a morning cup of […]

e.l.f. HD Undereye Setting Powder versus Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

e.l.f. HD Undereye Setting Powder versus Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

A smooth, crease-free under-eye area is the makeup lover’s dream. I’m not sure that completely crease-free concealer beneath the eye is possible, but hey, we can always strive for perfection. A common technique to perfect & protect concealer for bright eyes all day long is […]

The Best Lip Liner Under $5

The Best Lip Liner Under $5

A $3.49 lip pencil sounds like a miracle and a scam all at once. How could anything that is the same price as a cup of coffee be good? Sometimes $3.49 coffees aren’t even good. . . and yet this lip pencil is good. In fact, it’s great.

The best lip liner under $5 This superb pencil is the NYX Slim Lip Pencil. NYX is a drugstore, cruelty-free braNYX Slim Lip Pencil Swatchesnd owned by L’Oreal. It seems like it is becoming more and more popular every day, in part because of social media and in part because of its quality drugstore products. I think it is worth mentioning that not every NYX product is great: I have both loved and hated NYX products. However, the Slim Lip Pencil is a real winner.

The NYX Slim Lip Pencils are very versatile. I like using them to line my lips when I wear lipstick, but they also look great on their own. They are comparable to the MAC lip pencils, but the NYX Slim Lip Pencils are a bit creamier. At first, I was concerned that the creamier texture would mean that the liner didn’t last, but I was mistaken. These pencils are among my longest lasting lip products. Not my longest lasting lip liners — my longest lasting lip products. They’re easily in the top three of any lipsticNYX Espresso Slim Lip Pencilk, gloss, balm, or pencil I own.

I have three shades (left to right in the photo) Nude Pink, Mauve, and Espresso. I use Nude Pink as a soft liner with a number of my neutral lipsticks, and Mauve is a beautiful almost-nude hue. I think my favorite is Espresso, in part just because it was my first brown lipstick. I wear it alone, and it provides a bold but chocolatey lip.

NYX has a large selection of lip pencil shades. Sometimes the selection in stores is limited (I usually buy mine at ULTA) but there are many available options online.