Friday, March 28, 2014

Declutter your Makeup Bag/Drawer!

Let set the record straight.  First, just because I write a beauty blog doesn't actually mean I have tons and tons of makeup.  While I do try things and test stuff that I feel in my opinion is worthy,  that doesn't mean I always keep it all.   My nanny's daughter loves the fact that I often send her mom home with a goodie bag just for her filled with makeup I barely or have never used!

I am all about finding that right product that works for you and only switching it up when something new and better comes along.  However, I have also been known to get bored of something and go hunting for something new just to see if what is currently out there can match the product(s) I am using at the moment.

Nonetheless for many people and I do include myself in this post, we can at times start hoarding things and thus we have a makeup avalance of crap we no longer need, use or just have way to much of.  So lets take a look at things that you might have in your makeup bag or drawer and see how much of each we really need.


Lets be real.  How many shades of pinks, nudes and reds can one really need?  I get it if you want to have every color of each under the sun.  However I find it crazy when you see someone with 20 lipsticks/glosses of reds just in different shades.  At some point we all have to know when we hit the crazy lipstick boat.  

If used everyday, lipstick and glosses can last anywhere between 2-3 months before you deplete the tube.  So be realistic.  If you have over 20 different lipsticks or glosses, how long do you actually think it will take you to go through that?!  Awhile.  Also lipstick and gloss does expire at some point.  It is recommended that after 1-2 years you toss it and buy it new.    

A tip of advise. Go through your drawers and makeup bags and see which ones you are really wearing, which need to be tossed and which ones you can give away.  Pick your favorite shades and the ones you wear the most and get rid of the rest. You shouldn't really have more then 3-5 lipsticks/glosses at a time.  With that amount, you should be able to get through the year and then some. 


Mascara is mascara is mascara.  I refuse to spend good money on mascara when its all the same. (Click here to read my blog on this).   You shouldn't really have more then two open tubes of mascara at once.  Mascara dries out very fast and should only be kept for 2-4 months before you need to toss it.  If not you run the risk of eye infections and bacteria build up in the tube.  Don't collect mascara for any reason.  Check the tubes often and pay attention to the smell.  If it smells weird and no longer like that mascara smell, then toss it....quickly.  Unless you are looking for a potentially eye infection...then go for it!  However if you care about the health of your eyes, then no point in hoarding or keeping this product.  Hand's down L'oreal is known for its amazing mascaras that rival even the high end brands.  So if you feel bad tossing pricey mascara, then don't buy price mascara when its all the same crap and get good drugstore brands that will leave you with eyes to kill.

Also, don't lend out your mascara. If you are no longer using it but it is in good condition then toss it out anyway.  Don't give it away.  It is not sanitary to let other people use your mascara let along give it away after using it due to the potentially spread of bacteria and germs.  I know for some of you out there tossing anything is hard and you would rather give it away (or keep it).  However think about it like this...would you lean out your contacts or tampons and then ask for them back once they been used or worn?  Gross I know....but that is effectively what you are doing when others use your mascara.  So toss it...period. 


Unless you tan during the summer, then you only need ONE of each.  Foundation, concealers and highlighters, especially if they are cream products since they go bad quickly.  They normally last nine months to a year.  There is no point in having four different bottles of foundation if you can only wear one at a time.  However with that being said, if you tan during the summer, then you do need a different shade to work with your skin tone.  However again you only need two sets.  One for the summer and another one for the rest of the year.   Throw out any foundation, concealer or highlighter that is separating or looks like it old enough to be your grandmothers'.  After a year, its time to invest in new products.  If not you run the risk of clogging your pores and having your foundation oxidize on you which will make you look orange.


I personally own a complete cream set and powder set of makeup.  I like using the cream for the winter and the powders for the summer.  Nonetheless, I don't own a massive amount of each either.  If you wear blush and/or bronzer; whether you have it in cream or powder form, its best you have no more then two of each.  In reality how many blushers and bronzers do you really need? You can only wear one color at a time unless you like combining your blushes (why)??  I blend my bronzer and blush in together to get a sun kiss blush effect, however I only have one of each in the cream and powder form.  

So, if you are like me who likes to wear both together, now you can get compacts that have the blush and bronzer combined together or neatly separated in nice compartments. 

 Face Powder

 When it comes to face powder, unless you are applying this with a measuring cup and dousing you face with it, then you only need ONE.  One loose or pressed face powder should last you awhile.  I have been using mine for almost a year and I am still not even half way thorough the bottle.  This is one of those products that having multiples of does not make sense.  You can only apply one face powder at a time unless you like that powder cake look effect.  Also, face powder normally comes in either translucent or with a bit of color to it.  However since it is not compact foundation but face powder, the color doesn't really make a difference on your face.  So buy one.  But buy one good one that is finely milled so that when applied you don't see the powder even at a close distance.  I love Chanel's face powder.  It is so finely milled that you literally see nothing on your face when applied.  It just makes your makeup look beautiful. 


Ok so when it comes to eyeshadow...I am torn.  I am torn because I love eyeshadow palettes.  I love neutral, smokey eye and certain hues of pinks and purples.  However with all that being said, I don't have a vast collection either.  At the end of the day there are only so many neutral colors you can have before you realize that you basically have them all.  Don't be a hoarder.  While it may be tempting to get the latest limited edition eyeshadow palette from Urban Decay (I mean after all they do make awesome palettes) however are you really going to wear some if any of their Electric Palette colors!?

Buy what you need and use it up.  Many of these palettes aren't going anywhere so don't waste money collection eyeshadows you are never going to wear or use.  They take up a lot of drawer space and if they fall, they break easily.  I try to buy palette colors that I know I will use often and are versatile.

Spend your money wisely and don't clutter your drawers up.

Face and Eye Primer

When it comes to primers, again you only need one for your face and one for your eyes.  Having a drawer full of them is useless.  You don't see a primer when applied.  Its only goal is to make your makeup last longer.  You really need to invest in just one good primer for your  face and eyes and that it is.  To have any more then that is just a waste of money.  You know it and I know it.  Admit it.


I own four colored eyeliners. One black, brown, white and flesh tone. I have two liquid eyeliners. One in black and brown. I have four soft and kohl eye pencils in black, brown, flesh tone and white. I have two gel liners in black and brown. Now you may be asking why so many. Well since eyeliner comes in gel, liquid, soft pencil and kohl pencil I decided to have one of each in order to get whatever certain eye look I was going for that day. However as you see from above I only still have two of each. Besides the pencils that I have in four different colors, the rest are black and brown.

Decide what type of eyeliner you want to have and pick your colors from there.  But again, be real.  You don't need six black gel eyeliners.  A gel eyeliner is a gel eyeliner.  Its going to give you the same look no matter how you apply it.  Yes some companies have crappy formula's which is apparent in their product once you apply it.  However, you can always do your research ahead of time before you get stuck buying crap.  Keep in mind eyeliners go bad as well.  So don't stock up on gel or liquid eyeliners when you know they will dry up in about 4-6 months.  Its a waste of money and frankly a waste of drawer space.

Makeup Brushes

I currently own makeup brushes from Blank Canvas Cosmetics.  I bought a set of fifteen brushes for $130 back in January.  I love makeup brushes and how in the last few years have been made so affordable, with great quality and very accessible to the general public who do not work in makeup.  

Yet with all that being said, be real.  You don't need five blush brushes or six crease brushes.  You only have two hands and can use one brush at a time.  Invest in a set that gives you good quality, great price and brushes that will fit your needs.  No need in buying sets that have multiples of many of the same brushes.  Find a set that is designed to specific uses.  Blank Canvas Cosmetics and Sigma Beauty offer great brush at good rates and clearly tell you what each brush is for.  So do your homework and find out what brushes you need to get the look you are trying to achieve with your makeup.  Once you figure this out, then you know what brushes you need and which you can wash, sanitize and give away because truly all those will do is take up container space if you are not using them.

However if all else fails then just keep this in mind......

Keep Smiling!


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Favorite Product of The Week! Dose of Colors!

Dose of Colors is a new lipstick and lipgloss company that rolled out in 2013.  Since their debut, everyone has been non-stop talking about how awesome their lip products are.  So I decided to try them out!  Unfortunately, due to a back up on their production line, I have not been able to get my hands on them.  Nonetheless, everyone who jumped on that bang wagon and tried them out have been able to provide me with awesome reviews of this brand!

Dose of Colors - Poise - $16.00 CDN

Everyone who knows me, knows I go goo goo for natural colored lip products.  I don't like my lips to be accented since I do that with my eye makeup.  And everyone who knows makeup knows you shouldn't really accent your eyes and lips at the same time as the look might be to overpowering.  So Dose of Colors has this lovely lipstick in the shade "Poise" which is just a prefect blend of what seems to be an undertones of a brown color with peachy pigments in them. 

I am just in love with this shade.  It is vibrant and does not look like a washed out neutral lip color.  The peachy undertone really gives it a power that makes the lipstick stand out without being obnoxious.  The texture is very creamy, glides on well and has good staying power.  This lipstick is also matted so need to worry about shine effect.   

Dose of Colors - Undressed - $15.00 CDN

I won't lie.  I LOVE lipgloss and I love it more then lipstick.  So when I saw this neutral lipgloss color I went crazy.  It  is such a lovely shade that I can't even describe it.   It's a light cream brown with a pale undertone which goes well with pale complexions.  Being that I am very pale (don't let my profile pic fool you, that was taken in a dark ballroom) a lot of neutrals just don't work for me if they have no undertone or slight color to them.   

This color is just a perfect shade of loveliness.  If you are looking for a lipgloss that has good staying power and lacks that waxy, sticky feeling then this is it.  There lipglosses also come in other shades so check them out and see if they are right for you!

keep Smiling!


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Orange Lip Color. Is It For You?!

Fashion has always been dictated by the gods!  Well not really....but it seems like it half the time.  On the Spring 14' runway Orange lips seem to have taken the beauty walkway by storm.  I am personally not one to wear any other color but nude lips.  I play it safe...boring safe...but safe.  However, I can't deny that this orange color actually looks pretty.

When I first heard of orange lip color, the first thing that came to mind was crayon color.  Sooo not attractive.  However when I googled it, I realized that my crayon box of orange was not at all what the fashion industry was playing with and thank the gods for that!

The great thing about orange lip color is that you can get it in just about every color under the orange sun.  It works with just about every skin tone and comes in so many different shades that one is bound to find something that would work right for them.

If you are not a lipstick type person like I am, you can always find these great orange colors in a lip gloss.  Sephora has a whole section for orange lip products and you can find a lovely sales associate to help you pick your shade.

However never forget the rule!  It's either your eyes or lips, but don't play up both.  If you are going to wear an orange lip, then make sure your have neutral or tone down eye makeup.  The focal point of this look is your lips.  

So, will you be sporting orange lip color this Spring?

Keep Smiling!


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Make Your Foundation Look Flawless!

When it comes to foundation whether it be liquid, pressed or mineral, we all want one thing.  To make sure it goes on smooth and looks flawless.  When foundation cakes, flakes or looks uneven, it really gives you an unkempt look.   Having a polished look boils down to two things 1. the foundation you use and 2. the tools you use to apply it with.  If you screw up either of these two then you run the risk of having cakey and uneven looking foundation on your skin.  So we are going to break it down on what you need to do in order to get that flawless natural look.


Foundation now-a-days comes in many different forms.  Liquid, pressed, loose powder, stick, cream to powder, tinted moisturize and mineral foundation.  Grant it you have some variations here and there like Maybelline's  mousse foundation, but it can still be classified in one of the above mentioned categories. 

What you want to do is get a foundation that works according to your skin type.  For example, powdered anything does not go well with dry skin.  However if you are adamant about using only powder foundation then make sure you use a good (and I mean good) moisturizing cream before applying your powdered foundation.  If not, your skin will look and be drier.  Powder tends to suck up the natural moisture in your face because, I mean come on, that is what powder in general does.  It absorbs oil and water.  So if your face is already dry, this will make it drier and emphasize the lines and dryness on your face.  

If you are using liquid foundation you need to pay attention to what type of foundation it is.  Liquid foundation come in oil free, matte, long wearing and moisturizing formula.  If for example you have oily skin, then oil free foundation is the way to go.  Wearing a foundation with moisturizing formula on oily skin will only make your oily areas look extra shiny, make you blemish prone and just not a good look all around. 

Part of getting a flawless complexion with your foundation is finding the right formula that works for you.  It is in your best interest to read up on what type of foundations work for your skin type, research the product and then go try it out.  Sephora is a great place to get samples.  The sales associates are more then happy to give you samples of their products (foundations) for you to take home and try out.      


In the last few years, makeup tools for applying foundation have gone from the same old boring white wedge sponges to basically rocket science tools!  In my time I have used just about every common tool for applying foundation.  Depending which tool you use for your foundation, will depend greatly on the results you get.

Wedge Sponge

Wedge sponges were one of the first tools used to apply foundation with.  They work mostly for liquid foundation but I have seen women use it for powder as well.  The problem with these sponges is that they pick to much product and breed bacterial very easily.  The good thing about these sponges is that they are dirt cheap and disposable.  

Foundation Wand

Foundation wand's were makeup artist's little miracle when they first came out.  They don't pick up to much product and allow the user to apply foundation to their face as if they were painting a canvas.  They work only for liquid foundations.  The bad thing about them is that they can leave streaks behind on your face which cause you to have to use another tool to get rid of them.

Kabuki Brush

Kabuki brushes were the rave when they first hit the scene.  They work amazingly for applying powder foundation.  You can use them for liquid foundation however not advisable.  The only issue with some of these small kabuki brushes is that the bristles are a bit hard on the skin. 

Stipple Brush

A stippling brush is used to stipple your foundation on your face. It work for both liquid and powder foundation. You use it by gently tap the brush in a up and down, sideways and circular motion around your face. This helps to give you a flawless look while minimizing the appearance of pores. The only downside to this brush is that you need to clean it after every use and if you stipple to much you can give yourself a completely airbrush appearance that some love but others consider to be too fake.

Stippling Kabuki Brush

 Out of all the foundation tools available, this one is my favorite. A stippling Kabuki brush is made of kabuki head material in a stippling brush form. This brush not only stipples your foundation but it also buffs it in so that you get an amazing flawless finish with no lines, streaks or uneven application. It work for both liquid and powder foundation. The downside is that you need to wash this everyday. But really, I don't see how that is a downside to start with!

Blender Sponge

Blender sponges are great for applying liquid or powder foundation.  You have to first emerge these babies under water for 30 seconds, squeeze the excessive water out and then apply your foundation with it.  It gives you an amazing flawless appearance and doesn't allow a lot of the product to be soaked up by the sponge.  The famous of these is the pink egg shaped Beauty Blender.  The only problem with these sponges is that they are still sponges so they do collect bacteria.  You MUST wash them after every use and after a few months  (or uses) they start to tear and need replacement. 

Extra Tips to Consider

A trick to get around dry skin (especially during the winter months) is to fortify your moisturizer. I currently use a cream moisturizer that during the winter months I add two drops of argan oil in my hand and then mix it in with the face cream. This has helped me big time to keep the dryness at bay when applying my foundation.

If your foundation ever looks cakey or powdery, buff it out with a velour pad.  These are the puff pad that come with many compact powders.  You can also buy some at any makeup store, drug store or at Sephora.  They work great to buff out any powdery mess your face may be exhibiting.  

If you are like me and you wear face powder to set to your foundation, then make sure you buy a powder that is finely milled and I mean pulverized to a pulp so that when you apply it you don't see any powder at all but just a prefect flawless complexion.

If you have tiny peach fuzz hair on the sides of your face or cheeks; get it waxed or threaded.  When you apply foundation over these hairs (depending how thick they are regardless of the color) it will make the foundation look uneven and messy.  When you apply it over a clean hairless face, it gives you a picture prefect complexion.

Use primer before applying foundation so that your foundation glides on smoothly, last all day and helps to set and not move.  Primer is amazing to hold foundation down especially if it is a silicon based primer.  

M.A.C. makes a facial spray called M.A.C. Fix+ which is great to apply after all your makeup is set to get rid of any powdery look.  I use it every time I put my makeup on and it helps to eliminate any powder issue potentially left behind by any of my makeup products. 

So there you have it!  Ways to correct your foundation issues and get that flawless look you always wanted!

Keep Smiling!


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Review of The Week! Le Volume de Chanel Mascara!

Last weekend I went to the mall for a little bit of beauty retail shopping.  I was given a sample from the Chanel counter for their Le Volume de Chanel Mascara.  I was excited to try it as everyone who knows me knows I only wear either L'Oreal or Perspectives mascara.  

Upon returning home, that night I decide to test it out.  I first applied it on my left eye with my Dior lash primer and then on my right eye without the lash primer.  I am not sure what went wrong here.

First it did not work well with the lash primer at all.  However that wasn't the only problem as I did try it on my right eye without any primer.  The wand that was given in the sample was horrible.  I had a hard time getting all my lashes done because the wand was short and too fat. It cause the mascara to come out gooey and thick.  I had to clean the wand off first before I could even use it. 

Once I applied it, it made my lashes clump together badly on both eyes.  They also looked very spidery.  I am not sure at this point if it was the wand in the sample or the mascara itself.  In all fairness, I did try the mascara out two days in a row and I kept getting the same result which was not good. 

The mascara color itself was one of the darkest black I have ever seen and I loved it!  It did coat my lashes nicely, and really make them look beautiful.  This mascara did make eyelashes stand out like crazy!  However I had long clumpy looking lashes that were a beautiful midnight black which is not a combination I like.  I tried combing them with an eyelash comb and that didn't do anything to alleviate the situation.  Whatever this sample product is, it was not Chanel standard.  I own Chanel products and never had I seen something go this bad. 

I googled it to see other people's results and everyone talked about just how insanely awesome this mascara is...however there were many complaints about the clumpiness.  I guess Chanel needs to take a look at their sample wand and make corrections there or to the formula.  I have tried other mascara samples and the clumps was NEVER this bad.  If it wasn't for the online reviews, I would never consider trying this ever again.   I think they need to make their sample size a bit bigger in order to accommodate a better wand and.or work on the mascara formula.

I am not sure I can recommend this product unless I try a full size tube with a real wand.

Keep Smiling!


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Something Blue!

Lately it seems that blue eyeshadow, liner and mascara is making a bit of a come back.  Thankfully its not your 80's run of the mill look.  It is more sophisticated, tone down and just right.  Yet with all that being said, there are do's and don't's when it comes to this look.  This look is not right for everyone but can compliment many women if done right.

Blue Eyeshadow 

 1. When wearing blue anything on your eyes be realistic and don't over do it. Make sure if you are using a vibrant blue shadow that you don't over do it as well with blue eyeliner and mascara. Also if you have blue eyes, carefully about this look. If you match your eye makeup to your eye color, the whole thing might look washed out. Blue eyed people tend to stand out with their eyes. The last thing you want is for people to think "wow what is going on there my blue eyed monster" because you know it will happen. So be wise when pulling off this look.

2. The rule of makeup is (or at least I hope it still is) if you are doing your eyes then don't over do your lips and cheeks. Pick one spot on your face and play that up but don't do all. If you do, you run risk of looking like Krusty the Clown. If you are ok with that look then fine. But don't get upset if people go running in the other direction when they see you thinking you are the Long Island Clown. Go for lighter shades of pinks and neutrals depending your undertones and hair color for your lips and cheeks. It will really allow the blue eye makeup to stand out and not conflict with the rest of your face or make it look too busy.

3. Blue is a primary color so you need eye primer to keep it in place and not have it turn possibly a dark purple on you.  Also, pay attention to the blue hues you are applying and whether or not it has shimmer in it.  While a vibrant shimmer blue might look good on a younger person, however a mature adult might not be able to get away with the same effect.  So play with different color blues before you invest in one and wear it out in public.  Again, remember, Krusty the Clown.  

Blue Eyeliner

1. When wearing blue eyeliner be realistic in the look you are going for.  The last thing you want is for someone to mistake you for a 14 year old girl and I don't mean that as a compliment.  While blue eyeliner might look beautiful, it can also make you look like a clown if you don't apply it right.

2. Blue eyeliner looks great when applied to the water line and/or over your eyelid at top near your lash line.  However if you plan to wear it all over your eye, try to make the line small and tight so that it doesn't come across like you drew crayon on your face.  Above is a good example of a properly drawn eyeliner.   The liner is not too thick and the eyeshadow is very neutral to almost unnoticeable.  

3. Blue eyeliner is made in many different shades and by many different cosmetic lines.  Pick a shade that works with your eyes and skin tone color and go from there.  Remember eyeliner especially gel and liquid go bad after a 3-4 months.  So don't stock up on this (or any eyeliner for that matter) like the Armageddon is coming to town.  This is 2014 and now-a-days you can find any color of anything in makeup from just about any brand.  Also remember, blue eyeliner looks great when paired with silver and neutral colored eyeshadow.  However it does not look so hot when you pair that up with blue eyeshadow and blue mascara.  Again, don't over do it. 

Blue Mascara

1. In case you missed it, blue mascara comes out...well blue.  Keep that in mind when you buy it.  I have heard people say "oh I thought it was going to give me a slight blue tint".  No my friends, it comes out blue and in many cases very blue.  Make sure when you buy a blue mascara, that you buy one that has a good wand and good formula.  If you thought clumpy lashes looked bad with black mascara, well blue mascara takes the trophy on this look.  So apply it right and don't over coat your lashes unless you want those clumps to be very noticeable.

2. When wearing blue mascara, its advisable that you ditch your eyeliner regardless of the color for this look.  Blue mascara will give your eyes a very pretty look that is bold but not overpowering.  However if you wear eyeliner with it as well, it will over do your look and compete with your mascara instead of allowing your eyes to pop. 

3. Blue mascara comes in many different colors and again made by many different brands.  Test them out (on your hand please, not your eyes...ill, gross) and see what shades you think will go right with you. 

Blue Mascara also needs to be applied to a neutral eyeshadow, lips and cheeks.  Blue mascara will make your eyes pop and be the focus point of your look.  No need to over do it as the mascara speaks for itself.  


Remember, blue eyeshadow, liner and mascara doesn't always work on blue eyed people.   Part of wearing blue makeup is paying attention to your eye color.  However there are exceptions to every (makeup) rule.  In this picture Taylor is wearing blue eyeliner with black mascara and a neutral tone eyeshadow.  Her cheeks and lip color is neutral so attention is only drawn to her eyes.  

Your eye color and skin tone will dictate a lot of what type of colors go good with your face. So experiment, but if after all that it still doesn't work for you then walk away. There are many other colors to play with and blue isn't the only one.

However if you fail to listen to good wisdom and still decide to do it blue all the way regardless of what anyone tells you, then its always good to have Krusty's phone number on speed dial for makeup advise.  

Eh, just not a good look Catherine...just not a good look.....

 Keep Smiling!


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Monday, March 24, 2014

When to Splurge and When to Save?!

When it comes to cosmetics, the amount of money one is willing to spend on them literally comes down to that old saying "to each his own".  However with that being said, at some point we all have to know when we are reaching our limit of ridiculousness. While I might be willing to spend good money on foundation if I can't find a comparable drug store brand, I am also not willing to spend hundreds of dollars knowing other exist much cheaper.  Remember, while bad skin will make even the best of makeup look crappy on your face, just because you buy expensive brand names doesn't mean it will pull magic either.  Also, keep in mind just because you buy higher or lower end makeup doesn't mean anyone will really know.  One one really can tell when you are wearing Chanel expect for you or unless you tell someone. So lets look at some makeup items that you can consider saving or splurging on!!

1. Mascara (Save)

Ah, mascara! The things created by the gods!! Mascara is such a beautiful makeup item, that it literally transformers your whole face in an instant! This baby will change the way your eyes look without having to pay a pretty penny to a plastic surgeon! However with all that being said, lets get real! Mascara is mascara! No matter what promises cosmetic companies make on how it will grow your lashes, or make them fuller, or have then turn upside down so now you blink backwards...whether.....its all nonsense. Mascara is more or less made up of the same formula and basically do just about the same thing.  Yes there are things like just straight up crappy mascara that flakes, runs or clumps lashes.  However with all that being said, if the formula is ok, the next thing to consider is the wand....

When buying mascara make sure you do your reviews ahead of time about what people are saying when it comes to the application. A crappy wand will make lashes clump, stick together and make you look like Tammy Faye Bakker!  Unless you are are still living in the 80s, no one wants that look (or well at least I hope not)!!  Try to buy a mascara that helps to coat and separate all lashes.  While we all may want thicker, fuller lashes, however nothing says cheap like lashes that look like you haven't taken off your mascara in days and now your lashes are literally glued together! 

Lastly keep in mind mascara needs to be replaced every 3-4 months to avoid bacteria build up and eye infections.  If all else fails, think about it like you really want to spend $40-$60 dollar on something that need's to be toss out and has a shorter life span then house flies?!

Recommendations: Mascara
Low End - L'oreal & Rimmel
High End - Prescriptives & Armani

2. Foundation (Both)

When it comes to foundation; its a tricky thing.  High end foundations offer an amazing blendable coverage that at times surpasses many drugstore brands.  However many of these same low end drugstore foundations are really stepping up their game. A drugstore foundation that keeps impression everyone is L'oreal's True Match Foundation.  Due to its great qualities, it has been noted that it is highly comparable to expensive name brand foundations.

However with all that being said, part of the main problem with drugstore brands is the inability to properly test them out when it comes to color matching.   You want to be able to feel the texture and see how well it blends into your face and skin tone.  This goes the same for either liquid or powder foundation.  Also, keep in mind, if the color or texture after buying it doesn't work for you, many high end stores/brands will exchange or refund your money.  Many drugstores won't.  So its best you go to an actual makeup counter and ask a sales lady to help match your color.  Now if you actually know your color and happen to be one of those lucky people that are dead on key, then you might just work well with picking up a drugstore brand that you know the color will match you perfectly.  

Lastly, Sephora is great for allowing people to test and match their skin color to the foundation they want.  Also, in Canada we have a store call Shoppers Drugmart where there are actual cosmetic employees who can help match you with either high end or low end foundation.  So look around and shop for what you feel fits your face tone and budget!

A small tip: be mindful of the alcohol content when buying foundation.  A lot of low and high end foundations have this as an ingredient in their formulas.  You want to steer clear of this as alcohol breaks down the collagen in your face.

Recommendations: Foundation
Low End - Avon, L'oreal & Maybelline
High End - Makeup Forever, Chanel & Armani

3. Eyeshadow (Splurge)

 I will admit I was torn with this.  I personally own high end and low end eyeshadow.  However, I have noticed with my low end eyeshadows; while the palettes have beautiful colors and at times blend well, they still don't hold up as much as my higher end ones. Also my lower end ones tend to crease or attempt too.  Thank you eye primer for changing my life.   When it comes to eyeshadow for me it needs to blend well, apply easily without to much fall out and look sharp from near or far.  I have only ever gotten this with my higher end shadows.  So I would say splurge but keep in mind a $20-$30 dollar palette works just as well as a $60 dollar one.  At the end of the day it is still just eyeshadow.  Be mindful on how much you are spending if  the brand name one you have is a bit less then the other brand name one's which is basically giving you the same results.  

Recommendations:  Eyeshadow
Low End - L'oreal & E.L.F.  
High End - Urban Decay & Dior 

4. Eyeliner (Save)

Eyeliner is like mascara...its eyeliner.  Whether you use a gel, soft pencil, liquid or a kohl pencil, they are more or less made out of the same waxy stuff.  Its best you save in this area and invest on some good drugstore product ones. Liquid eyeliners like gel eyeliners dry up and have to be tossed out within 4-5 months.  Kohl and regular soft pencil eyeliners can last longer.  However again all the same material the higher end brands are selling are found in the lower end brands. 

Recommendations:  Eyeliner
Low End - L'oreal & Maybelline  
High End - Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) & M.A.C.

5. Lipstick & Lipgloss (Save)

Lipstick and lipgloss is tricky.  While both these items can be found in both high and low end makeup brands, nonetheless what you want to look out for is the texture, creaminess and pigmentation.  Also, drugstore lipsticks now a days has an amazing texture to them that are also at times impossible to tell apart for higher name brands.  The only thing I would say to be carefully with is lipgloss.  I have seen that much cheaper lipglosses leave with you that film over your lips that gets caught in your hair and leaves that race car streak across your face.  Make sure to research your lipgloss before you buy it regardless of what name brand it comes from.   While this is most prominent in lower brands, nonetheless L'oreal and E.L.F. really kick it out the park with their amazing lip products. 

Recommendations:  Lipstick/Lipgloss
Low End - Covergirl, L'oreal & E.L.F.  
High End - M.A.C., Armani, Chanel & Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

6. Blush (Save)

Blush in the last few years has been made so well that you can basically find a good product in either the high end or low end of cosmetic brands.  The majority of blushes regardless of the name brand have good pigmentation, long stay wear and blend well on your cheeks.  Very few blushes are matted so the majority you buy will have some shine to it.  Because you know, we all love to shine like rockstars.  (not really)!

Try to look for blushes that have color that will work well with your natural skin tone.  Nothing says fake like blushes that give you a very unnatural "blush" to your cheeks.  Also, tip of advise...blend it in well.  Nobody looks good with clown makeup across their face.  Blush needs to be sheered out as you apply it.  Even if you build it up, make sure you blend it in properly so that you see no harsh lines.  You should not be able to tell where blush starts or end.  In order to achieve this, you need to have proper makeup brushes.  Don't use the brushes that come with the blush compact.  Those provide no real coverage and leave you with that ever so lovely race car streak across your face.  So buy a good blush brush to blend your makeup in with!     

Recommendations: Blush
Low End - NYX Cosmetics & Avon/Avon Mark 
High End - Nars, Hourglass & Bobbi Brown

7. Nail Polish (Save)

I will admit, I normally don't paint my nails.  Yet when I do, I only paint them either a very neutral color or the famous french manicure.  You can now find nail polish in every color under the sun and beyond.  Back in the days, lower end quality nail polish had horrible consistency and colors to them.  Now with the majority low and high end brands; its hard to tell them apart.  With so many dupes out there, you really don't need to spend a pretty penny in order to get the color(s) you want.  However with all that being said, if you plan to buy a nail polish that you have never tried, either google it and/or try it out first.  With google being the power engine of information for everything, you can now review every product online before buying.  So save on nail polish but review it first you so know what you are getting in regards to color and texture.  

Remember all nail polish will eventually chip and fade unless its Shellac which last for two weeks with no signs of deterioration.  So before you blow $40 bucks on a bottle, keep that mind.      

Recommendations: Nail Polish
Low End - Sally Hansen & OPI 
High End - Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) & Chanel

8. Concealer (Splurge)

Concealers are awesome for people who need to hide dark spots or circles, redness, scars, acne and so.  While foundation is available to help with these problems, however at times it take a little extra help to cover things up.  When it comes to concealers, the goal is to find one that is close enough to your skin tone.  While some believe you should go a few shades lighter or one shade darker, this doesn't always work well with everyone.  I personally use a peach/salmon colored concealer from Sephora which does the trick amazingly.  

Whatever brand you plan to use, know this.  Not all concealers are made like.  You really need to test them out just like foundation.  You need to find one that is creamy, blends well and is your shade.  Unless you are planning to highlight (which is another area we cover in this post) try to find a shade that well work for you and the problem areas you are trying to cover up on your face.  Remember concealer is not foundation, so don't use to much or it will look cakey, fake and highlight the lines on your face.  

Finally, always set your concealer with a finely milled powder (another topic in this post) so that it doesn't move, settle into your fine lines or cake up.  

Recommendations: Concealer
Low End - L'Oreal & Maybelline 
High End - Sephora, Cle de Peau Beaute & Chanel
9. Makeup Brushes (Splurge)

Let me preface by saying this.  While I believe in spending money on makeup brushes, I don't believe in spending GOOD money on makeup brushes.  Allow me to explain.  A set of good makeup brushes will literally revolutionize your makeup application.  It wasn't until after I bought my set of Blank Canvas Cosmetics (BCC) makeup brushes did I see the massive change in my makeup.  Even my foundation looks flawless now!!  However with all that being said, while it has been noted that M.A.C. and Sephora make excellent makeup brushes, you will never catch me dead paying $40 and up for just ONE brush.  If you are going to spend GOOD money on brushes then spend it wisely.  Nothing against M.A.C. or Sephora, but come on.  Let's get real its a brush and not the hair of God almighty himself on the brush head.

Two great companies for excellent makeup brushes that are affordable and you can buy them in a kit or separately are BCC and Sigma Beauty.  I would recommend you check their sites out and google them before you blow money for the same excellent quality but just at a better rate.

Recommendation: Makeup Brushes
Low End: E.L.F. & Sonia Kashuk
High End: Sigma Beauty, Blank Canvas Cosmetics, Sephora and M.A.C.   

10. Bronzer (Both)

Bronzer is one of the greatest makeup products ever made on earth!!  It can give you that natural sun kissed look...when applied right.  However when you over do it, you can look like someone's shake and bake dinner.  When looking for bronzer, make sure you try it on FIRST before you buy it.  Just because it looks pretty in the compact doesn't mean it will look good on you.  The key is to apply bronzer on the right parts of your face so you stand out with a healthy glow.  You need to make sure that your bronzer gives you a NATURAL sun kissed look around the hallows of your cheeks, temples and forehead and not a muddy or burnt effect.  Bronzer should not look blotchy or streaky, have no shine to it, blend in well with blush and seem like natural skin color.  I have found that both high and low end bronzers work as long as you follow the rules above when buying the products and applying them.    

Recommendations:  Bronzer
Low End - NYX Cosmetics & E.L.F.  
High End - Trish McEvoy, Too Faced & M.A.C.

11. Facial Highlighter (Splurge)

Ever since Kim Kardashian put contouring and highlighting for makeup back on the map, companies have been jumping on the bang wagon and for good reason. A facial highlighter can be a liquid or a powder that is used on certain parts of your face where light naturally hits to highlight that area. These areas are normally around the cheek bones, around the tops of the eyebrows, down the bridge of the nose, the forehead, chin and on the tops of your jawbone along the sides of your face. Normally highlighting powders would be applied last after all your makeup is done and liquid highlighters would be applied after foundation and before you set your make with your face powder.

When it comes to facial highlighters, its important to keep certain things in mind.  First, make sure you blend your highlighter well into your skin so that it doesn't look obvious.  While it is known that light will highlight certain parts of your face naturally, you don't want to seem like a disco ball either.  Also, remember highlighters come in different colors.  Pick one that goes with your skins undertone.  If not you run the risk of looking to pink or yellow in those parts of your face.  Lastly, some highlighters no matter how well you blend them in will sparkle to much.  Don't make your highlighter look obnoxious.  Make sure it looks subtle.   Nothing says cheap and trying to hard like obnoxious highlighter.  Its suppose to look "natural"....remember that!! But come on, how natural is it really at the end of the day :-)

Recommendations: Facial Highlighter
Low End - Physicians Formula & E.L.F.   
High End - Hourglass, Cle de Peau Beaute, Dior & Benefit 

12. Pen Highlighter (Splurge)

While pen highlighters can also be classified as facial highlighters, however if you contour and highlight, using a powder or sparkling liquid highlighter for this process might not work so well as you are applying your makeup.

Pen highlighters are use to highlight around certain parts of the face as mentioned above, plus underneath the eyes.  You really don't want to put powder underneath there unless you are setting your concealer.  A pen highlighter is normally creamy and easy to blend into your skin.  However do note, just like with normal facial highlighters, with pens you want to make sure that you blend that sucker in well.  If not you run the risk of looking like you drew lines across your face.  Trust me....I should know.  I pulled that off the first time I used my YSL pen highlighter. I would recommend you get a pen with a highlighting effect, a small amount of shimmer and 2-3 shades lighter then your skin tone.  Remember you are not going for a disco ball effect but for a "wow your face looks fresh, awaken and alive" effect!  

Recommendations: Highlighter 
Low End - Maybelline
High End - Chanel, M.A.C. & Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

13. Facial Illuminators (Both)

Illuminators are used to wake up the whole face.  You would normally apply this after you put on your primer and before your foundation.  You can also apply this all by itself with no makeup for a "natural" day or night look with a slight glow to your skin.  Some even help to blur imperfections and fill in fine lines.  Illuminators normally have a iridescent pearl like effect in order to make your face seem flawless and slightly shine and sparkle with subtly.  

You can also mix your foundation with an illuminator in order to give you a glowing dewy look effect on your skin.  It helps if you are not looking for a matte finish that day.  The only caution with illuminators is that you need to be careful if you are too heavy handed.  If you apply to much you might look to lite up and unnatural.       

Recommendations: Illuminators 
Low End - Sonia Kashuk
High End -Victoria Secret & Nars

14. Powder (Depends)

Now you might be asking why this category on loose powders came up as it "depends".  Well here is my reasoning.  First, I love powder, especially loose powder.  Powder helps to set your makeup.  You can either get powder in loose or pressed form.  You can also buy setting powder to help set your foundation and finishing powder to be applied all over your face once your whole makeup look is complete.  However with all that being said, no matter what powder you buy always remember to look for one thing.  Make sure it is finely milled.  I mean pulverized to the point that it looks and feels like magic.  The less pulverized it is, the more of that "I threw cooking flour on my face" look you will get.  Nothing says "eh" when you look like you just stepped out of a bakery shop and took all the white flour with you on your face.  I have seen very good low end and very bad high end powders that were not properly finely milled.  

Before you buy any powder make sure to try it out.  Once you apply it on your face, you will see if it settles into your fine lines or if it gives you that cake like effect on your face.  Don't just buy any powder just cause.  Always make sure to go for the proper ones that will give you a flawless look and finish and no powder will be noticeable even up close.      

Recommendations: Powders 
Low End - L'Oreal & Maybelline
High End -Chantecaille, Chanel & Armani
15. Setting Spray (Depends)

When it comes to setting sprays I really walk a fine line with this one.  While I love the fact that setting sprays hold your makeup in place all day long without bugging even in the hottest July summer.  This is only achievable due to the amount of alcohol these sprays contain.  Someone once dubbed them as "facial hairspray" because in fact some of these sprays have ingredients that almost mimic real hairspray.  However with that being said, the only one without alcohol is M.A.C. Fix+ spray.  It gets rid of any powder look on your face after you set your makeup and helps to "hold" your makeup in place.  I will admit, while it does get rid of the powder look, it really doesn't help to much with holding anything in place.  Nonetheless it smells great and leaves my skin feeling nice.  The only other one I read that doesn't have such a high contain of alcohol like the rest of them is Urban Decay and E.L.F.  While they still do have alcohol in them, however its not as bad as the rest.  

So while I don't use my Urban Decay on a deal basis, however for the hot summer or long nights, it works.  However, when it comes to my M.A.C. spray, that goes on my face everyday.      

Recommendations: Setting Spray 
Low End - E.L.F.
High End - M.A.C. & Urban Decay

16. Foundation Primer (Both)

Foundation primer is literally a God sent.  Foundation primer will keep your makeup in place all day long.  It works wonders like I have never seen.  Don't get me wrong, at some point your makeup will come off, nonetheless it last throughout a whole 8-10 hour day without disappearing or needing a touch up.  If you wear expensive foundation then this is worth using to making it last.  I for one hate to touch up my makeup.  So when I started using foundation primer it literally changed the way my makeup went on.  I highly recommend foundation primer if you want a long lasting look.   

Recommendations: Primers 
Low End - NYX Cosmetics & Maybelline
High End - Smashbox, M.A.C. & Hourglass

17. Eyeshadow Primer (Both)

I love eyeshadow primer.  Since using eyeshadow primer I have NEVER had to touch up my eyeshadow.  It helps to make it go on smoothly, does not crease and allows the colors and pigments to look bold and vibrant.  Eyeshadow primer comes in many different shades for those who may not want to put eyeshadow on that day, but need a little tint for their eyes.  However once you apply eyeshadow over it, forget about even seeing it.  I have seen both low and high end brands work just as well.  I would recommend eyeshadow primer for anyone who doesn't want to be bothered all day with touching up their eyeshadow.  

Recommendations: Eyeshadow Primer 
Low End - NYX Cosmetics & Palladio Beauty
High End - Urban Decay & Too Faced

18. Sunscreen (Depends)

First, sunscreen should be your number one beauty item above all things.  Not using sunscreen will cause premature signs of aging, dark spots and thick skin.  I never leave the house without facial sunscreen on.  NEVER!  Second, when looking for a facial sunscreen make sure it has SPF 30 or higher and that it has broad spectrum protection which covers from both the UVA & UVB rays.  Not having broad spectrum protection leaves your skin vulnerable to sun damage and skin cancer.   It doesn't matter the brand name when it comes to sunscreen.  What does matter if it has the above mentioned items.

Also, don't rely on your makeup to protect you from the sun even if it says it contains SPF protection.  A few studies done revealed that if you rely on your make for SPF protection you would have to apply it every two hours and six times over in order to actually get the SPF protection you need.  So basically get a separate sunscreen and when applying it, don't mix it in with any other products. Apply it alone and let it dry to get the best protection.   

Recommendations: Sunscreen 
Low End - Yes To
High End - SkinCeuticals, Clinique & Clarins

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