FACE BASE FOR LESS | The Best Drugstore Foundations

As a person who loves makeup and tries different products pretty often, I know expensive does not always mean better. There are plenty of products that are fantastic and inexpensive (there are also plenty which are expensive but useless!) One thing I love about beauty products now is that you can find amazing items from … Continue reading “FACE BASE FOR LESS | The Best Drugstore Foundations”

As a person who loves makeup and tries different products pretty often, I know expensive does not always mean better. There are plenty of products that are fantastic and inexpensive (there are also plenty which are expensive but useless!)

One thing I love about beauty products now is that you can find amazing items from so many drugstore brands and they keep getting better. While I never discriminate towards any type of makeup that works, you all know I’m constantly on a mission to find killer items for less. (Who doesn’t love finding cheap things that make you look glam?!)

Before we jump right in, it’s worth mentioning that sometimes it’s hard to find the right shade for a drugstore foundation, or maybe it doesn’t work out for your skin type… return that stuff ladies and gents!! Seriously. Even though it’s cheap, don’t waste your money if it doesn’t work, check your store’s return policy! Also, drugstore brands go on sale allllll the time. You can usually save even more off of these lower prices.

Now that you’ve got that, let’s get down to business.

foundations

FABULOUS FACE (click product name to shop)
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless or Dewy + Smooth Foundations ($5.99)
Best for normal to oily skin (matte formula) or dry to normal skin (dewy formula).
These are my absolute favorite drugstore foundations (depending on the look I’m going for as I have ‘normal’ skin and can wear either). I gravitate to the Matte + Poreless formula more often, but they are both amazing and have excellent, buildable coverage and long lasting wear.

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation ($5.99)
Best for normal to oily skin.
This formula seriously wow’d me much more than expected. It really does deliver a “your skin, but better” finish. The major selling point behind the Photo Focus line was that is delivers camera-ready makeup for every lighting scenario, and it does! I’ve tested this in flash photography and it’s amazing. The only downside, is the smell of this is very similar to house paint lol… but it dissipates quickly. This one delivers medium coverage, possible buildable to medium-full, but it’s not a FULL full coverage foundation. Pair it with the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder ($4.99) for a really nice finish.

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation ($8.99)
Best for dry to normal skin.
Since this foundation has a high water content and ingredients for a luminous glow, it’s not very well suited to oily skin. But if you have dry or normal skin… jump on this! It’s an excellent dupe for the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation and delivers light to medium coverage. The wear time is better if you have drier skin, FYI.

L’Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation ($14.99)
Best for dry to normal skin.
This is basically the same formula as in the Lumi bottle, but in a super convenient cushion compact. The packaging is perfect for travel, and the cushion sponge really does a nice job at giving a seamless finish. If you use the cushion as your application method, it tends to give more of a sheer to light-medium coverage… basically less product is applied.

e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation ($6.00)
Works for all skin types, best for normal skin.
This is a lightweight and oil-free formula so it’s great for oily skin, but also is a semi-matte finish so dry skin can wear this too. I was pleasantly surprised by this one… having previously thought all e.l.f. foundations were crap, this one is great! It gives light to medium coverage, and wears well throughout the day. Don’t try to build this up though, it won’t cooperate for that. A small bonus that it has SPF 15, but you really should put a higher SPF on during the day.

Let me know if you guys would like me to film a video tutorial any of these. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

Xoxo, Meeghan 

ULTA 21 DAYS OF BEAUTY | It’s Back! What To Buy & What To Avoid

The holy grail of Ulta beauty sales is coming back! Their “21 Days of Beauty” is here for the Fall 2017 edition and this is always the sale to find high end makeup at ridiculously discounted prices. If you’ve never heard of this sale before… either break out or hide your wallet, because the deals are … Continue reading “ULTA 21 DAYS OF BEAUTY | It’s Back! What To Buy & What To Avoid”

The holy grail of Ulta beauty sales is coming back! Their “21 Days of Beauty” is here for the Fall 2017 edition and this is always the sale to find high end makeup at ridiculously discounted prices.

If you’ve never heard of this sale before… either break out or hide your wallet, because the deals are FIRE! The sale starts Sunday September 3rd, with different items heavily discounted each day and ends on Saturday September 23rd.

The daily “Beauty Steals” are available for that specific day only, both in-store and online (some items are online only or Platinum Members only). FYI, Ulta’s Platinum Members receive free shipping on all online orders containing a Beauty Steal item, no minimum purchase required.

I’ll give you guys my suggestions for what to get and what to forget! I’ve also linked the items for your convenience (because, I too am an impatient online shopper), but note: until the day they’re on sale, the prices will be shown as the regular retail amount.

(Also keep in mind… YOU CAN RETURN THINGS TO ULTA. You don’t love the item you purchased? Take it back!!! People don’t take advantage of this and are often stuck with a beauty item that doesn’t work for them.)

ulta 21 days

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 3
IT Cosmetics Brow Power Super Skinny – $12 (reg $24)
Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum – $44 (reg $88)
Estée Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only

My recommendation: The It Cosmetics brow pencil is on par with my favorites, but has slightly different colors and undertones, worth a look at! I have this and the Estée Lauder lipsticks on my list, that packaging is to die for.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 4
bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder – $11.50 (reg $23)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – $8.50 (reg $17)
Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick Extra – $12.50 (reg $25) – Online Only
Philospohy Renewed Hope in a Jar or Hope in a Jar – $19.50 (reg $39) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you love bareMinerals this is a killer deal for their finishing powder. I am a huge fan of Philosophy and their Renewed Hope in a Jar is lovely (I personally like this formula more than the original Hope in a Jar, but both are on sale).

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 5
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel – $7 (reg $14)
PÜR All Primers – $16.50 (reg $33)
Butter London Sheer Wisdom Lip Oil – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only

My recommendation: I’m obsessed with a few other Mario Badescu items, and the Enzyme Cleansing Gel is one I’ve tried a sample of before and loved. 

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels 4ct – $7.50 (reg $15)
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick & Gloss – $10 (reg $24)
First Aid Beauty Ready. Set. Hydrate! Kit – $22 (reg $44) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Skyn Iceland Eye Gels are super nice (keep them in the fridge for an extra cooling pamper session) and the Tarte Lip Sculptor is a lip product I adore!!!! I love the convenience of these for my purse or on the go. The formula is super moisturizing and long lasting for that. I love them and have gifted quite a few.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 7
Exuviance Age Reverse Introductory Collection – $40 (reg $80)
Too Faced Sketch Marker Liquid Eyeliner – $10 (reg $20)
Cargo Mascaras – $10-11 (reg $20-22) – Online Only

My recommendation: All of these can be skipped honestly… the Too Faced Sketch Markers, while awesome at first, dry out sooooo quickly!! Bummer.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 8
Perricone MD Select Cold Plasma (excludes travel and kits) – $55-81 (reg $110-162)
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette – $17 (reg $34)
OFRA Select Highlighters – $14.50-16 (reg $29-32) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Urban Decay palette is perfect for travel and comes in a few shade options, I own the shade ‘Naked’ and again have gifted a few. Something I’m pretty excited about however… I’m using this sale as a time to finally try the OFRA highlighters! I just can’t see why they are $29-32 each normally. But at half off? Heck yes, I’ll try these then OFRA. 

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9
Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash – $14 (reg $28)
Benefit Roller Lash Lifting Mascara – $12 (reg $24)
Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder – $17.50 (reg $35) – Online Only

My recommendation: This Philosophy facial cleanser is lovely to toss in a few days a week and not too harsh (I wouldn’t use it every day personally). Also, I have tried a baaaaaby sample of the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder and it was awesome!! I personally am stoked to score it for such a deal, I predict this one sells out FAST!

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 10
StriVectin Power Starters Tightening Trio – $44.50 (reg $89)
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Precision Longwear Liquid Eyeliner – $10 (reg $20)
NARS NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette – $27.50 (reg $55) – Online Only, Platinum Perk Only

My recommendation: The Tarte liquid eyeliner is really nice, but not normally worth $20… for $10 though? Yep! As for the NARS cheek palette, it looks like it may not work on my fair skin but I soooo want to try it out. This palette contains a full sized Laguna Bronzing Powder, which is $40 on it’s own. 

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 11 (MY BIRTHDAY!!)
proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief or Makeup Cleansing Wipes – $10 (reg $20)
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer – $10 (reg $20)
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense – $8.75 (reg $17.50) – Online Only

My recommendation: FYI, the proactive Blemish Relief contains benzoyl peroxide which can be extremely drying and damaging to sensitive skin. I’d avoid it if you have never tried this ingredient! The Too Faced Shadow Insurance is a great eye primer, but honestly any good concealer can do the same. My birthday’s sales are kind of a miss!

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 12
stila MATTE’ificent Lipstick – $11 (reg $22)
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel – $19 (reg $38)
DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device (blue only) – $94.50 (reg $189) – Online only

My recommendation: The Peter Thomas Cleansing Gel reminds me of a few drugstore alternatives, but I have to admit it does work better. It’s just soooo pricey normally! One thing I am SUUUUPER intrigued by is the DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device. I’ve obviously discussed how much I love dermaplaning on the blog before, but to try it at home… I may not be ready y’all, but that’s one heck of a deal!

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 13
Dermablend Loose Setting Powder (Colorless only) – $13.50 (reg $27)
Smashbox X-Rated Mascara & Photo Finish Lash Primer – $10 (reg $23)
Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum 1oz – $29.50 (reg $59) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you like Dermablend then this Loose Setting Powder is a good one to get. However, note that you can only get the colorless one at the sale price, even though it comes in 3 shades. Lately I’ve been loving Origins, but have not tried the Plantscription Serum… have any of you guys??

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid – $14.50 (reg $29)
Juice Beauty Kits – $19.50-25 (reg $39-50)
Lorac TANtalizer Buildable Bronzing Powder – $16 (reg $32) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Urban Decay Naked Skin line is AMAZING (I love the concealers!) and if you’ve wanted to try your hand at color correcting, these make it super easy. They also allow you to get the exact corrector shades you need vs. other mega palettes which have more correctors than you need and will ever use… waste of money and space! Lorac is such a lovely brand that seems to get far less attention than it deserves (they have had some weird misses lately though). Their bronzers are really nice, natural looking on the skin, and certainly worth a look at.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duos – $11.50 (reg $23)
Clarisonic Single Cleansing Brush Heads (Excludes Sonic Foundation Brush) – BUY ONE GET ONE FREE (reg $27-32)
Eyeko Mascaras – $9.50- $15 (reg $19-30) – Online Only

My recommendation: By far, my favorite brow powders ever are the Anastasia Beverly Hills powder duos. They are perfect for travel, and with the two complementary shades in one little duo, allow you to use powders to create a more natural brow. (FYI, you use the lighter shade toward the center of your face and the darker shade goes on the arch to brow tail… mimicking where your hairs are thicker naturally!) Also, if you use a Clarisonic, this is a great time to stock up on brush heads. I don’t, but know plenty of people who SWEAR by them!

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16
IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation – $17.50 (reg $35)
IT Brushes For Ulta Airbrush Complexion Brush #115 – $12 (reg $24)
Benefit Brow Service – Free brow wax with any $50 Benefit purchase ($21 value)
Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick – $9 (reg $18) – Online Only

My recommendation: The IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation sits beautifully on the skin. It’s supposed to have anti-aging ingredients, but I always question that… since it goes on top of everything else you’ve prepped the skin with already (moisturizers, primers, etc.). Either way, lovely powder! I’d say skip on the Benefit Brow Service… there is zero point in this, since it’s something they regularly offer for free with purchase throughout the year and no Benefit items are on sale this day. Now, you all know I’m not a liquid lipstick kind of gal, but if you are, Dose of Colors are some of the best in the biz. They also rarely go on sale, so I predict these shades sell out quickly. 

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17
Philosophy Time in a Bottle Serum – $38 (reg $76)
Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector – $15 (reg $30)
Urban Decay Razor Sharp Longwear Liquid Eyeliner – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only, Platinum Perk Only

My recommendation: Looove me some Philosophy, that’s all I have to say at this point! As for the Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector? HATE IT. All shouty caps. This just sits on the skin like a wet, shiny layer and does nothing to actually correct or brighten. Stick to a color corrector or a full coverage concealer (try the Tarte Shape Tape).

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18
Lancôme Auda[City] Palettes – $34.50 (reg $69)
Shiseido Triple Task Mask – $19 (reg $38)
Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara – $11.50 (reg $23)
NIA Not Into Aging Start Up Kit – $10 (reg $20) – Online Only

My recommendation: Shiseido is one of my favorite luxury skincare brands, which also rarely has amazing sales. I’ll be picking up the Triple Task Mask set for myself!! I’m not a huge fan of any Stila, so I’d say pass on this and get the L’Oreal Lash Paradise which I mentioned in my latest favorites blog!

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19
Lorac Front of Line PRO Liquid Eyeliners or Eye Pencils – $10 (reg $20-$23)
Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum – $51 (reg $102)
Japonesque Makeup Setting Spray – $14.50 (reg $29) – Online Only

My recommendation: I’m curious about the Japonesque setting spray, it’s one of very few aerosol setting sprays on the market (everyone lost their mindsssss over the Morphe one, which never seemed to go back in stock) and I love the idea of a constant fine mist when finding great setting spray nozzles is hard these days. Hmmm… worth a try!

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 20
Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover – $9.50 (reg $19)
MAC Russian Red & Velvet Teddy Lipsticks– $8.75 (reg $17.50)
Woosh Beauty Spin-On Lipgloss – $8 (reg $16) – Online Only

My recommendation: This Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover is not the Cleansing Balm version that is majorly hyped, but I like this one more. I prefer liquids for eye makeup removal, get those gooey balms away from me! Also, if you’ve never tried a MAC Lipstick, now is the time people! These are two of MAC’s most popular colors. I personally own and LOVE Velvet Teddy. It’s a lovely warm nude which actually works on my pale self. (Side note: if you didn’t know, MAC offers the Back-to-M·A·C Program where you can recycle your used MAC containers and get freebies! Take a look at my FAQ video on that here.)

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 21
Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation – $16.50 (reg $33)
Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser – $7.50 (reg $15)
Meaningful Beauty Ultra Deluxe System – $39.50 (reg $79) – Online Only

My recommendation: A lot of people swear by the Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten, but I just find it’s kind of ‘meh’ for me. However, Clarins is an amazing brand that rarely gets much hype, but it should. I’ll be picking up the cleanser!

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 22
Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara – $10 (reg $23)
Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant – $9 (reg $18)
Dermadoctor KP Duty (Excludes Travel Size and Body Peel) – $19-35 (reg $38-70) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you’ve tried the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara and liked it… who are you??! I just can’t get that to work for me. It smudges and transfers everywhere and I look ridiculous within an hour. The Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant however, I looove this as a dry powder to foaming cleanser, especially for travel (no liquids to break in my toiletries case!). However, fair warning: it’s not good at makeup removal or to be used in scratchy form on the eyes.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23
Benefit ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color With Brush – $12 (reg $24)
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum – $22.50 (reg $45)
Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss – $12 (reg $24)

My recommendation: Mayyyybe the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum. I do love MB, but some vitamin C serums react badly with my skin… that’s just me though so we’ll see! Otherwise this day is a miss. The Benefit ka-BROW is extremely lackluster in it’s product and packaging and the Butter London Eye Gloss are just not my favorite for performance and wear.

Ok guys, I hope this list helps you plan your method of attack :) I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about purchasing!

Xoxo, Meeghan

Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

DRUGSTORE MUST HAVES | THE TOP 10 {CHEAP BUT BRILLIANT} ITEMS YOU NEED

It’s no secret I love a killer beauty deal, even more so when it’s cheap AND amazing. Beauty doesn’t have to break the bank, and while I do have splurge items I can’t live without, there are brilliant beauty items in the world for any budget. Speaking of… all of the items I’ll discuss below are … Continue reading “DRUGSTORE MUST HAVES | THE TOP 10 {CHEAP BUT BRILLIANT} ITEMS YOU NEED”

It’s no secret I love a killer beauty deal, even more so when it’s cheap AND amazing. Beauty doesn’t have to break the bank, and while I do have splurge items I can’t live without, there are brilliant beauty items in the world for any budget. Speaking of… all of the items I’ll discuss below are under $10 and from the drugstore. Yes, you read that correctly… UNDER $10. I’m not kidding. Stop hyperventilating.

Without further ado, when it comes to must have drugstore products, these 10 products are always in my daily rotation.

BeFunky Collage

FABULOUS DRUGSTORE PRODUCTS: (click product name to shop)
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation: A fabulous drugstore foundation that will leave you looking natural and smooth all day. (If the matte look isn’t your thing, they have a dewy formula also.) This is versatile enough to wear with minimal other makeup, or as a great base for a more dramatic look. The coverage is medium, slightly buildable, and will last all day on your face.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: This concealer gives a very natural finish, and is best suited to even out the complexion vs hardcore blemish coverage (it’s not very buildable or suited to that). It doesn’t crease on me and doesn’t disappear from my face as the day goes on. (FYI: my personal preference is to set any concealer with either the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder or the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder).

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder: This is a gorgeous powder for setting down your foundation and/or concealer without adding too much coverage. Again, perfect for my more natural days, when I just want to fight shine and cover minor imperfections. I use a light dusting of this daily!

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer: Ok, to be fair this is over $10 but buy it on sale! I bought mine for about $8. This bronzer is seriously like summer in a compact, it warms up your face with a very slight sheen, and is perfect to bronze or sculpt with. It also smells like a summer tropical vacation! A very buttery smooth formula which is easy to blend, and (for good reason) took the beauty community by storm.

Wet N Wild Color Icon Blush: I love blush. REALLY, REALLY LOVE IT. I own far too may to be honest, but the Wet n Wild blushes are so affordable (seriously, $2.99), come in multiple shades and have huge pans of product, how do you say no to that?! These blushes go on, and stay on, like a more expensive high end product, but will save you so much money. The two shades which are my fair skin favorites are: ‘Apri-Cot in the Middle’ and ‘Rosé Champagne’.

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder: These highlighters broke the internet, literally… they crashed the Wet n Wild website and sold out everywhere! Lucky for us, they’re back and with more shades than before. These highlighters are extremely smooth, creamy and give off a crazy amazing glow for only $5. If you’re looking for a blinding highlight, these are by far one of the most amazing you can find, regardless of price.

NYX Butter Gloss: If you wear glosses and haven’t discovered these yet… GO NOW! These are about $5 and the shade range is so vast, everyone is guaranteed to find a few they love. I find these to be super comfortable on the lips, not sticky or gloopy. They also provide a nice wash of pigment. My favorites are ‘Crème Brulee’ and ‘Apple Strudel’, worn over a pinky nude lipliner or lipstick.

Rimmel London Exaggerate Lip Liner: I prefer twist up lip liners, as I never seem to have traditional pencil liners sharpened when I want them (I’m all about convenience here) and the Rimmel ones are some of my favorites. They’re pigmented, creamy and don’t skip on the lips when I’m going for a precise application. My favorite shade is ‘Addiction’, which is more of a “my lips but deeper” shade. Top that with a NYX Butter Gloss and I’m good to go!

elf Eyeshadow Palette: These palettes seem to be overlooked by many, but they shouldn’t be! If you’re looking for an every day, wearable palette then look no further than the ‘Need it Nude’ or multiple ‘Mad for Matte’ palettes! I haven’t tried it yet, but the ‘Nude Rose Gold’ palette reminds me of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette and the ‘Mad for Matte Summer Breeze’ is a great dupe for the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette… but all for a much lower price. These are middle ground when it comes to pigmentation, but you can build up the colors.

L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara: This has quickly become my every day mascara. Seriously, I haven’t used anything else since ripping open the package in delight! If you’re obsessed with high end favorites like the Too Faced Better Than Sex, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir, and more… try this L’Oreal mascara. You won’t be disappointed. It doesn’t transfer or flake on me and my lashes look bombdotcom.

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter: (I threw this in as a #11 bonus, because while ColourPop is super affordable, it’s currently an online-only brand.) I’ve been vocal before at not loving the Super Shock Blushes, but the Highlighters… WHERE WERE YOU MY PRECIOUS!? I love ‘Glazed’ for a more subtle glow, or if I’m feeling daring I turn to ‘Flexitarian’ and crank up the wattage. For me, these are best applied with a damp beauty sponge, to make the highlight effortlessly melt into my skin. All Super Shock formula products were designed to be applied with your fingers, but I find sponges an easier way to diffuse and blend the highlighters.

BeFunky Collage2.jpg

What are some of your must have drugstore products? Do tell, I’m always on the hunt for a good deal! Also, let me know if you want more drugstore favorites, or even a list of best drugstore tools/application items. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post!

Xoxo, Meeghan