And we’re reached the final installment of my series on how much I spend on different kinds of makeup and why. This is the section about being a cheap skate! It will probably be everyone’s favorite!
THINGS I BUY ON THE CHEAP BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER:
Loose powder. Excuse me for a moment while I pour one out for my dearly departed Jane Cosmetics, who made my favorite loose powder that I used from the dawn of my makeup use in junior high all the way through when the last one I bought before the line disappeared started to smell funky. [WAIT WHAT!!!: while searching for an image of this powder I found that Jane has apparently re-launched! Anyone seen their new line in stores? Move over, Higgs boson, this is the most important news story of 2012!]
Anyway, I want four things out of a loose powder: 1) For it to be actually translucent, so it doesn’t make me look ashy. 2) For it to set my eye-makeup without distorting the look (another point in the “actually translucent” column) 3) For the delivery system to be slightly less than the messiest possible thing in the world (basically, a top layer with the appropriate number and size of shaker holes and a lid that screws on tight). 4) For it to not smell like old lady.
Jane did all of these things and also cost something like $4. So when my last Jane loose powder hit its expiration date, I did the drug store circuit. I ruled out all the brands that had shades attached to their translucent. I ruled out all the brands whose fragrance I could smell through the packaging (COVER GIRL, THIS MEANS YOU!). Which pretty much left L’Oreal Translucide finishing face powder, which wasn’t super cheap by drug store standards ($12), but it has last me a couple of years now without going off, and it gets the job done, so I’m satisfied with it. I have zero desire to upgrade to fancier powder that costs twice that.
Also, if you are more interested in pressed powder, sorry, but I have zero input for you, because I call that “Flaky Skin in a Compact.”
Bronzer. Wait, this might be misleading. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually purchased bronzer. I pretty much get away with hand-me-downs and Sephora samples for this product, because I rarely use it (because I don’t really know how to use it). Oh, wait, one time I bought the Physicians Formula Happy Boost Bronzer because it was TOO DAMN CUTE and within days of buying it I dropped the package and the whole thing shattered and made a huge tan stain on the carpet that made Collin very grumpy.
Cute, before it shatters. [source]
I have kind of been looking around for a good matte bronzer to do a little contouring with, and have been thwarted by living in a country where the majority of women are more concerned with lightening their skin. I AM OPEN TO YOUR SUGGESTIONS. It is entirely possible this item will need to be recategorized after I am a little more learned in the ways of brushing on a tan.
THING I AM PRETTY SURE I AM CORRECT IN BUYING ON THE CHEAP:
Blush. The caveat here is that I really like Benefit’s Coralista blush, which I got as a Sephora sample once and used until there was absolutely none left. If I had run out when I was living in the states, I would have no doubt bought a full-sized one the very next day.
But I was living in South Africa, so I went cheap, and found that NYX Powder Blush in Pinched is a nearly perfect substitute for Coralista. At something like 1/5 of the price. Huzzah! Sure, the crappy plastic packaging broke within a couple days of buying it (the product stayed intact, so it wasn’t another bronzer disaster), but I was able to fix it with some electrical tape.
Now that’s really just a matter of finding the right shade in a cheaper brand. But I didn’t categorize blush with eyeshadow or lipstick because I think there are benefits to cheap blush that go beyond shade: basically, you want LESS color payoff with blush, not more. Expensive makeup has more pigment and less filler. BUT BLUSH NEEDS FILLER. Why put expensive pigment-rich blush on your brush only to have to tap off most of the product and then spend ten minutes blending so you don’t look like you were just slapped? Just buy cheap blush and the work is done for you.
THINGS THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE BUYING ON THE CHEAP:
Eyebrow makeup. I didn’t put my beloved eyebrow wax in this hierarchy yet because frankly, I forgot about it. I have been using a regular old eyebrow pencil recently because I couldn’t find a light enough waxy one here in ZA. You can also use eyeshadow that is a little lighter than your eyebrows, which you probably already have. In any case: cheap options get the job done. What you really need here is a decent brow brush (and pencil sharpener, if applicable). Moreover: why spend a ton of money on eyebrow makeup when filled-in eyebrows are probably going to be SO FIVE MINUTES AGO any second now? Mark my words: well-defined, filled-in brows will be to future works set in 2012 what dark blush on the sides of your face is 1980s period pieces.
Also, I use clear Maybelline mascara as brow gel, which is incredibly cheap, but even that is a waste of money because I could just be using regular hair gel.
Lip Gloss. Lip gloss comes in two varieties:
1. The shiny, tasty, smooth-feeling kind that lasts about as long as the walk to your front door and takes whatever lipcolor you put underneath it with it.
2. The thick, gloopy kind that usually tastes like glue and lasts maybe as long as two hours, but you can’t eat, drink, talk, or kiss anyone during that time or your entire face, NAY, YOUR ENTIRE LIFE will become a thick gloopy glue-tasting disaster.
There are a million varieties of both types, at various price points. And they all fucking suck. Lip gloss is the worst. I’m going to keep buying it, and so are you, because I suspect Bonne Bell is in cahoots with Gerber to condition us from the moment we start on solid food to want sweet sticky shit on our lips at all times.
Are you fucking kidding me. [source]
But it’s always going to be either a fleeting, lipstick-destroying bliss or a kind of unpleasant and not-all-that-lasting-besides beauty chore. So you might as well spend as little as possible on the whole fucking charade.
Ok well, that’s that, folks! This has been fun. I should write about makeup more often. If you have a specific makeup/beauty topic or question you’d like me to cover, please do let me know!
September 4, 2012 at 11:23 am
I LOVE the Jane translucent powder! I stopped using powder altogether when I couldn’t find that one any longer, and now I’m having trouble remembering why I needed it in the first place.
But, who cares. I’ll buy it again anyway because it’s so damn cheap – plus there’s something so luxuriating about puffing powder on one’s face with a big fluffy brush.
September 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm
I use powder to “set” my eye makeup and to make my forehead stop being shiny when it decides to do that =(which is more and more rare these days, either because my skin is getting older or because I’m living the year of perma-winter).
September 4, 2012 at 11:42 am
I have chapstick for you!! I have chapstick for yoooouuu!
It’s chapstick, so it’s not gloopy or sticky, BUT it also tastes good AND looks like lip gloss. Swear it. I half want to go out and buy you one right now.
September 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm
Can you wear it over lipstick? My lips are the same color as my skin so I don’t like only wearing clear balm.
September 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm
Also I just saw that the package in that link says “Now: More Silk! More Shine!” which made me giggle.
September 12, 2012 at 12:16 am
I have a few glosses that are lightly tinted, and I wear them over my lipstick, to add the shine and also to moisturize. I think it works out pretty great! (Though, to be honest, I’ve never figured out how to keep my lipstick color on my lips for any extended period… Another post?)
July 13, 2015 at 1:09 pm
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August 29, 2018 at 9:09 am
You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.