SPLURGE: Stila kajal eye liner in "Onyx" ($18)
One of the (many!) things I love most about this eyeliner is the ease of application. This baby glides on perfectly, leaving behind soft black definition to my light brown peepers. Not to mention how amazingly easy it is to smudge and 'smoke' out a bit without looking messy or sloppy. There are several other shades to choose from as well, I'm looking forward to trying "Topaz" next!
STEAL: Milani Easyliner in "Black" ($4.99)
I used this eyeliner during my junior and senior year of high school and recommended it to my friends who asked for recommendations on a good eyeliner. I also recommended this eyeliner to a fellow student in the girl's bathroom who was watching me apply my eyeliner. This eyeliner saw me through many times in high school and even for awhile after I graduated. It's not waterproof so there is a chance it may migrate to your lower lash line if you have excessive watery eyes or if you cry (like on my last day of high school), but it's a pretty good eyeliner nonetheless. It is a retractable eyeliner so you don't have to carry a sharpener with you. It's a very good basic eyeliner, if you find that regular pencil eyeliners sometimes tug at the skin. Definitely worth checking out for the quality, not to mention the very reasonable price tag!
SPLURGE: NARS blush in "Orgasm" ($25)
If you don't own this blush already, I am sure you have heard the rave reviews. This blush is one of NARS most famous shades of blush, they even created a "Multiple" makeup product (to use for eyes, lips and cheeks) in its honor. It's a gorgeous peachy golden pink that flatters virtually every skintone, you can use it as a blush (for very fair to fair skintones) or as a highlighter (for deeper skin tones). It's an amazing color that can perk up even the most sallow faces. Makeup artists and celebrities and beauty bloggers and makeup addicts alike have been singing the praises of "Orgasm" for many years. The well deserved hype and demand for this blush launched a mission to search high and low for more affordable dupes in these hard economic times, which leads me to my next featured "STEAL"...
STEAL: Milani blush in "Luminous" ($5.99)
One swipe of this on the apples of my cheeks leaves the prettiest peachy pink glow. Looks awesome in the daytime and pulls my look together instantly, whether I'm wearing a full face of makeup or even if it's a 'mascara, concealer, and lip balm' kind of day for me. This looks just as awesome for the later hours of the evening as well. You can easily take this blush from day to night - not to mention the $5.99 price tag! This is perfect for beauty on a budget. It has been suggested by many that this blush bears a striking resemblance to the cult favorite NARS "Orgasm" blush. I would have to agree... I can always expect quality from Milani. I have tried a few of their lipsticks and eye shadows, and I am VERY impressed.
SPLURGE: Lipstick Queen shine gloss in "Red Sinner" ($24)
Apply this gloss as lightly or as opaque as you wish. It looks amazing as a light tint of red, or for a full cherry lacquered look. Way worth the $24 price tag. This pot will last me for years, and I have every intention of purchasing when I run out. There are other shades available from this gloss line: everything from clear to black! The formula is a bit thick but it doesn't bother me because thick gloss = excellent staying power. I love the longevity of this, it wears amazingly well for HOURS and stays exactly where I put it so no worries of migrating lip gloss on my chin. The color pay-off is out of this world: the prettiest, perkiest light cherry red gloss. EVER.
I have searched high and low for a more affordable dupe of this to feature in this blog post, but I am pretty sure that Poppy King broke the mold with this one!
-However, if you know of one, contact me so I can do some 'investigation' and feature your suggestion as the long awaited 'STEAL' of Lipstick Queen shine gloss.
SPLURGE: Benefit "Lemon Aid" ($20)
It's a well known fact that to banish dark undereye circles, use a yellow based concealer. Add a regular concealer on top for extra insurance against those pesky dark spots. Benefit's "Lemon Aid" has you covered. Dark undereye circles have haunted me for years, and I have piled layer after layer of concealer to cover them but sometimes, in certain lighting, the '2 shades lighter than my skintone' concealer just doesn't cut it. This product is also AMAZING for neutralizing any eyelid discoloration. I have hypothyroidism, and that makes my eyelids an unsightly color. I can't really describe the color in a word, because there are traces of purple/blue-ish, red, and even a bit of a yellow/orange. I slick a layer of this on my upper eyelids and below my lower lid for circles and it combats the problem just fine.
[Psst...right now, Benefit Cosmetics is offering FREE shipping on any order over $50! Just type in the code: PRETTY50 at check out and you're all set!]
STEAL: Physician's Formula gentle cover concealer stick in "Yellow" ($6)
I love this stick, it's so easy to toss in my bag and go. Since I have dark circles that refuse to go away even after a full night's rest, this life saver cancels out the blue under my eyes and neutralizes the skin around the darkness as well. I top this with a regular concealer (just like I would with any corrective concealer) and I'm set for several hours. This also neutralizes the discoloration on my eyelids, just like "Lemon Aid". Physician's Formula also offers other corrective concealers as well including "Green" (to mask redness, birthmarks, blemishes) and "Light" (as a regular concealer, but also to apply over the corrective concealer of your choice).
So there are some of my favorite splurges and steals. Leave a comment and tell me what YOUR favorite splurges and steals are!