February 9, 2014

20 Beauty Finds Under $3!

20 Beauty Finds Under $3

Sometimes I like to wander around in drugstores. It doesn't happen often (especially now that I have a toddler in tow most of the time) but when I have time to myself to really dink around, I love discovering hidden gems within all the aisles. Over the years, I have found MANY duds, however, I have stumbled upon quite a few amazing things that are effective and thrifty! Here are my top 20 items that I seem to always be replenishing.

1 | NYX Cosmetics Loose Pearl Eyeshadow (NYX.com $3) If you haven't worked with loose pigments, the possibilities are endless. NYX has 30 shades in their collection and the color payoff is UH-mazing for $3! These are most commonly used on the eyes, but you can use them on the cheeks, as highlighters or you can even mix them into clear lipgloss to make your own shade! I've even added pigments over the top of freshly applied lipstick to get a "tailor-made" color and texture. Play around with them! My favorite colors are: "Mink", "Space", "Penny", "Fantasy" and "Charcoal".
2 | I will say some of the e.l.f. Studio Brushes are absolutely great for under $3. I will also say that the brushes e.l.f. makes that have white handles are GARBAGE as well as the brightly colored "Gem" collection. Just stick with the all black "Studio" brushes from their line. These are the ones I have specifically worked with and I gotta say, for the price, these guys aren't too shabby! The Complexion brush, the Angled Foundation brush, the Powder brush, the Small Angled brush, and the Mascara & Shadow Shield. Would I recommend replacing your higher quality makeup brushes with these ones? Absolutely not. However, these are incredible brushes for travel, or if you keep an emergency makeup kit (see #7) in your car for touch ups.
3 | I love love love the Wet n Wild matte lipsticks! They're like, $2 at my local drugstore which means I have just about every color. If you buy them in-store, the shade range is pretty impressive (greater selection than online). They are a bit more drying than a higher quality matte lipstick, so I just make sure to exfoliate really well beforehand and to put a good lip balm on before I apply. For the price, it's a great way to experiment with a matte color you may not be too sure about. My all time favorite is called "Cherry Bomb".
4 | e.l.f. Tone Correcting Powder Palette. For $3, this is a great setting powder. I use all the colors swirled together, but if you have areas that need specific correction, (ex. red areas = apply green powder, purple circles under eyes = apply yellow powder, sallow areas = apply blueish powder, dull areas = apply pink powder) you can apply them individually if needed. Pretty light, sheer coverage and it's surprisingly milled pretty finely for the price. You can also pick these up at Target.
5 | This e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzer is a dupe for NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo. Here's the diff: it's not as highly pigmented and doesn't last quite as long. That being said, the bronzer part of the e.l.f. palette is worth the $3 itself. The blush is very pretty but very light and doesn't have the best staying power. This is a great little cheapy duo for learning how to contour or if you just need a pretty, shimmery blush and bronzer.
6 | I've been buying Wet n Wild Glassy Gloss for what seems like forever. These are yummy-tasting, inexpensive and not goopy at all. Very pretty sheer wash of color with a little shimmer.
7 | YOU GUYS. These little Essence nail polishes are SO great! They're only $1.99 and they have that awesome rounded brush that makes it super simple to "wriggle" it down nice and close to your cuticle. I have a few colors of this stuff and it seriously lasts as long as my Deborah Lippmann polishes which cost like, 8x the amount! My fave shade is called "Oh My Glitter" which is the prettiest lilac purple. You can find these at Ulta or if you have Fred Meyer stores in your area, the Essence display in the cosmetics section is to DIE for.
8 | I am a sucker for individual flare eyelashes! They take a bit of practice, but in my humble opinion, I think they are way easier to apply than strip lashes. You can use these guys to fill in "sparse" areas of your lashes OR you can apply a ton of them to get really dramatic looking, full lashes without the obvious "I'm wearing falsies!!" look. Ardell makes really great inexpensive ones and I never feel badly about throwing them away after each use because they are so cheap. I use DUO eyelash adhesive with them....it's the best.
9 | I looooove grabbing travel sizes of hair products. There's something so nice about having salon-quality hair products when you're traveling. Redken's All Soft Heavy Cream Super Treatment has been a long-time favorite of mine, and they make a little mini size that you can stash in your travel bag when you need some deep conditioning.
10 | Okay, I think this one is more nostalgic than anything. But Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Lip Gloss is the bomb! It's SUPER shiny and really conditioning and doesn't feel thick on the lips. I love "Strawberry Ice" and "Mauve-jave Dessert" and will continue buying them until they are discontinued.
11 | Covergirl Eye Enhancers in "Tapestry Taupe" is a must-have. It's a perfect all-over lid color and the pigment is really nice for the price. "Champagne" is also a beautiful highlighter for under the brow area.
12 | This stuff is the TRUTH! e.l.f. Makeup Lock & Seal. Seriously, if you've ever wanted to lock-in your eyeliner or intensify your eyeshadow, this stuff will get the job done. I mostly use it to seal my liquid eyeliner in place, but you can actually mix a drop of it with loose pigment (see #1) to make a budge-proof creaseless shadow. Benefit used to make one called SHE LAC that I was obsessed with, but it's been discontinued (why does that always happen?!) This one isn't quite as magical, but for $3, it's pretty darn close.
13 | I always stash Yes to Cucumbers facial cleansing towelettes in my gym bag, nightstand, travel kit, etc. for quick makeup removal. They smell like (you guessed it) cucumbers, they're really calming to the skin and they do a decent job at removing eye makeup.
14 | Almay Makeup Remover Pads (travel size). These really do such an amazing job. Even at removing waterproof eye makeup. They're hypo-allergenic, dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearers. I like oil free for everyday use, but the moisturizing formula is great for removing waterproof mascara.
15 | I talk about these little orbs constantly on my blog. They're my FAVE. Eos Smooth Lip Balm Sphere. I have them in every single flavor. My husband thinks they look absolutely ridiculous and laughs at me every time I apply it in front of him. But they're super smooth and they have shea butter and jojoba oil in them which I LOVE. I've seen multi-packs of these at Costco, so if you see them, pick one up!
16 | I couldn't believe these little suckers were only $1.99! I seriously grab one every time I go to the drugstore. Same brand as the above lip balm, Eos makes these hand lotions in a cute little ergonomically correct container! I like the cucumber one. It absorbs really fast so if I'm in the car, I can apply it and my hands don't slip all over my steering wheel! Safety first!
17 | I have been a fan of Neutrogena facial cleansing bars ever since junior high. They W O R K. I usually use the original formula because I love the clean scent, but they make a fragrance free bar that's great for sensitive skin and an acne-prone bar that has a bit of salicylic acid in it. A lot of times you can find multi-packs of these that make them around $2 a bar. Score!
18 | A must-have for every makeup bag. You never know when you're going to need to fix an eye makeup flub or clean up a funky lip liner snaffu. I love that these double sided swabs come in a hard case so they don't get all grimey and germ infested.
19 | I was sooo excited when I discovered Swisspers made organic cotton cosmetic rounds! Call me a geek, but they are so much better! They use really high quality "virgin staple fiber", it's grown purely on organic farms, and they are NOTICEABLY softer. I think these ones are more absorbent, too.
20 | Maybelline Expert Wear Twin Brow & Eye Pencils. These have been around FOREVER. They are incredible brow pencils and I always have them on hand. The red pencils are kind of iconic and they come in a two-pack. Such a killer deal.

So if you find yourself wandering the aisles of your drugstore, give these bad boys a try! For under $3, you don't have much to lose!

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