The $20 Makeup Challenge
I've seen this all over Youtube and have wanted to do this for a while, but I wanted to do it for a blog rather than a vlog. I ended up spending $19.51 (before tax) on my products, but there were definitely some misses in my group of products. I wanted to do this challenge to see if I could actually get a complete look for under $20. In my daily routine, I use a healthy mix of high end and drugstore brands, but I don't often think about how much those things cost. If I tried to recreate my daily "makeup bag" for someone, it would cost well over $150. I did my shopping at Target for this challenge and after having done this, there were some products I liked and some I would recommend to no one. (Before and After photos at the end... so keep reading!)
I picked up the Maybelline Fit Me foundation in shade 110 for $4.78 (it was on sale from $5, big money!). I wear different foundations in my day to day routine, sometimes it's Laura Mercier and sometimes it's Revlon, it just depends. I picked up a Maybelline foundation because I trusted this a little bit more than $1 foundation for e.l.f.
E.l.f.'s Translucent Matifying Powder for $3. I'm pale, it's translucent, all seemed well in the world.
E.lf.'s Brightening Eye Color in 2001 - Butternut for $1. The shades looked fairly neutral and I had heard good things about these shadows.
E.l.f.'s Eyeshadow Brush for $1 (there's a $3 C-brush that e.l.f. makes and it is AWESOME).
E.l.f.'s Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in black for $1, which I have actually bought before and enjoyed.
E.l.f.'s Regular & Waterproof Mascara Duo in black for $1...
Covergirl Cheekers blush in 110 - Classic Pink for $3.74.
Rimmel Stay Glossy in 140 - Always Lovely for $3.99 (I own another color of this, so I deemed it a good purchase).
And now, on to the challenge...
Here I am completely makeup-less. I have moisturizer on, but I don't include that in the challenge money because, well, it's not makeup and you can't make me. Step one is to apply the foundation!
I sometimes use a brush and sometimes use my fingers to apply liquid foundation, so it didn't bother me at all that I didn't have the budget for a brush. I started rubbing this into my cheeks and noticed at first that this is very liquidy. The coverage was average, which was to be expected since this isn't billed as a full coverage or a sheer foundation. It's actually not described as anything, so all I can assume is that it's meant to give you a natural look.
Foundation complete! It did even out my skin tone, but it felt wet for a few minutes after I applied it. Definitely not a foundation to use if you're in a hurry. It's not a bad foundation overall, but it's not really for me. My skin still feels slightly dewy and I applied this makeup over an hour ago, it's not a feeling I enjoy.
I have combination skin and when I was a teen (and up to about 2 years ago) I had very oily skin. I apply powder to my t-zone every day when I do my makeup, not necessarily out of need, but because it makes me feel more comfortable.
The e.l.f. powder isn't exactly translucent, but I'm not exactly very tan, so it works out for me. This powder is billed as matifying and I am here to let you know that upon application, it is very matifying. If you use this, I would be careful not to use too much or you're going to start looking like a porcelain doll with chalky skin. Not a bad product for $3 though, I would definitely buy this if I were ever in a beauty pinch.
This might sound odd, but I didn't exactly trust the e.l.f. shadow to apply well and when I first tried, it didn't. I rubbed off what was on my eyes and then grabbed my lip gloss to use as a primer. The key to doing this, is to make sure that you don't use too much gloss! You have to apply a very, very thin layer of gloss. If you apply too much, your eyelids will be sticking together and the shadow will crease within minutes.
I applied the peachy shade (second from the right in the picture above) with my fingertips so that I didn't get any of the gloss on my brush. There is a lot of glitter in this shadow and I noticed that the most. The peach shade was not very pigmented, but it worked well enough to form a base.
I then used my brush to apply the bronze shade from about 1/3 of the way in on my lid to the outer corner and into the crease. This shade had a lot more pigment, was nicer to use, and didn't have any annoying glitter.
I finished the look by applying the darkest shade on the outer v of my eye and in the crease and blended (all done with the brush). I also applied the light gold shade on my brow bone and the inner corners. The golden shade also had the annoying glitter, but what can you do?
Next up was the liquid liner, which I had actually owned previously and knew to be a good product. However, I don't know if I got an old product or what, but it seemed really dried out. I dipped it into a little bit of water and it seemed to work better after that, not great, but better. I typically do a cat eye, so I went ahead and did that for this look. It was a bit difficult to do with this liner, but I know that I've done it with this same product and with ease. I'm thinking I just got a bad one this time :(
And then there was mascara! I'll admit, I had a really hard time not buying a nicer mascara, but it's hard to find a mascara for under $5. I am a mascara snob, but only in the sense that I'm picky about the brush and the formula. I don't care how much it costs as long as it's awesome. For example, Maybelline Full 'n Soft is one of my favorite mascaras and you can find that on the rack at Walmart. This mascara though... I have no words, so I'll just show you the photos.
Yeah. Yeah? Yeah. Horrible. That's all I'm going to say.
I picked up the Covergirl blush for this challenge because Covergirl is a brand that I trust. Generally speaking, their cosmetics are decent quality and apply fairly easily. This blush is no exception to that; the color was nice, it was fairly pigmented, very easy to apply, but it smelled. Do you guys know how Covergirl Clean foundation smells? This smells just like that and it is one of those smells that I hate. My face still smells like it as I sit here. If you don't mind that smell though, go for it!
I applied this with my finger so that I had more control and didn't have to use the tiny brush.
I went back in with the pale gold shade from the eyeshadow kit and used that as a highlighter.
I also took a bit of the blush and worked it into the crease of my eye. This is a little trick you can do so that your look is a little more cohesive.
And last, but not least, the Rimmel gloss. I own this in another color, so I knew that the formula didn't suck. It's a nice gloss, a bit slick, but never sticky. I wish that this had been slightly more pigmented, but it isn't. It's a very sheer gloss, with just a touch of color.
To give my lips a little more color, I swirled my finger through the blush and patted it on top of the gloss.
And there you have it, the completed look.
Honestly, as lovely as this challenge seems, it didn't really do much for me. Could I make a look for $20? Yes. Did I enjoy looking for products and staying under $20? Yes. Did I like any of the products after using them? Not really. That's the issue with this challenge. I did it and stayed under $20, but it didn't show me anything except that I really like my more expensive makeup. We all know that makeup is overpriced, anyone can use google and find out the markup on cosmetics, but I don't mind paying the extra money if I'm not going to smell like Talc for the rest of the day. If I have a product that I love and it happens to only be $3, that's awesome! I actually do have one that comes to mind, it's the e.l.f. studio blushes (they're ah-mazing, check them out), but it's because their quality exceeds their value. I guess that's where I failed here, because I didn't find any products whose quality exceeded their value. In the near future, I'll do a tutorial about how to make a complete look with the best of drugstore products.
(all photos copyright Allison Richardson Photography and not available for use without permission)