Two New Beauty Products That are Super-Affordable and Super-Fun

Good things come in multiples. Maybe two, or three, or more……

Today’s Advice Sisters beauty article is about two new beauty products that are super-affordable, super-fun, and will be must-haves right now.  They’re both from companies known for budget-friendly products that perform: Maybelline, and Essence.  Other than this, they don’t have much in common.  However, after trying them, I consider them must-haves … and I think you will, too.

Essence Cosmetics just arrived in the United States last year, but they’ve long been one of the budget beauty buff’s favorite brands  in Europe for their fun, on-trend colors and tons of beauty booty available for literally, less than a few dollars. I used to stock up at the Monoprix before the exchange rate got too bad.  But when it launched in the United States Essence cosmetics made their way to Ulta.   The compacts may be simple, plastic, plebian, but the formulas and colors are anything but.  One product that is a must-have for Summer or anytime you’re in a hot and/or humid environment, is a Mattifying Pressed Powder. There are creams, gels and powders in virtually every price point, but Essence is one that is just $2.99 (and no, that’s not a typo).  The pressed powder compact is clear plastic, and while it doesn’t have a mirror or an applicator housed inside, it’s also lightweight and travel-friendly.  The product is available in three shades: Translucent, Perfect Beige (light) and Natural Beige (medium). The product is fairly sheer especially in Translucent, but use a big, fluffy brush and don’t try to press it into your skin or you’ll get a “powdery” residue. The point is that this inexpensive powder controls shine either over, or under your makeup.   Anyone can benefit, but those with acne prone skin, or oily skin, will really welcome this beauty bargain. Even guys with oily skin can use a light dusting to keep shine down on face and head. For the price, it’s a must-have.

Fashion week fans and followers know that Maybelline has positioned itself in our minds as a leader when it comes to fashion, trends, and especially fabulous makeup. From a very popular lounge and kiosk in the Lincoln Center tents during runway shows, to the innovative makeup worn by the models on the runways, to your local mass market retailer, Maybelline means “fashion.”  Until recently, the face, not hands and feet, were a focus, but now nails are now considered an essential part of the overall look.  To give everyone a chance to be trendy,  Maybelline has expanded it’s rainbow of nail polish colors — 40 hot new nail shades, in a variety of formulas both trendy and classic.  The best thing is that this fabulous Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer is just $2.99!

It was challenging to get the entire linup in this photo, but as you can see, there is something (well, lots of things) for everyone’s taste. The collection focuses on fashion-forward colors (after all, you can get a sheer pink or a berry anywhere so that’s not news), so the standouts are unusual colors and formulas. There are so many pretty ones, but in the brights I have to call out : #300 Fuchsia Fever and #200 Pink Shock because they are are nearly neon, #220 Orange Fix is a bright orange following this Summer’s citrus trend, and #370 Shocking Seas is a gorgeous turquoise.  Metallics are a must-have every season now, and Maybelline has cooked up some nice ones (e.g. #70 Bold Gold, #290 Purple Icon and #50 Silver Shimmer), and even some overcoat colors and “crackle” formula (e.g. #60 Carbon Frost). For those who can’t quite feel comfortable wearing fashion-forward colors, there are some new takes on classics, too. Try the lovely, opaque “Chiffon Chic $#160″ (medium clear pink) and #250 Keep Up The Flame (classic tomato red).

My only issue with this extensive, exciting collection is that the formulas do vary widely and with it, the coverage. Some of the polishes take at least 3 coats to cover, and some are not as glossy as others. I’m guessing that even though 40 new colors might be enough to keep fashionistas humming happily for a while, Maybelline will launch more shades in the future. The polish is good, and dries fast, but if you want to get more wear out of most of the formulas, you need to touch them up, or keep applying a top coat. Actually, during the Summer months, applying an anti-yellowing top coat is a good idea, anyway as it will keep the color from fading or changing, no matter what brand of polish you use.

New App!  If you visit the Maybelline ColorShow page, you can explore the Maybelline Color Wheel and discover how to take looks straight from the catwalk to the sidewalk. There is also a new Blippar: Maybelline ColorShow App for iPhone or Adroid that you can download for free that lets you virtually try on all 40 shades, and see they’ll look against your own, real, skin!  Get yours at mass market retailers like Walmart and Target.

About Advicesisters

Alison Blackman Dunham aka. “Advice Sister Alison” and “The Advice Sisters” is a writer, photographer, online advisor, and lifestyles consultant. She has built her reputation offering readers a unique perspective on life, in print, in person and through the camera lens. Her focus is on advice, beauty, fashion, lifestyles, relationships and things that help make life easier, more successful and more fun. Please follow Alison on Twitter @advicesisters and check out her other web (advice-related) sites: &


  1. Essence is a great for the price. They do have a pretty range of colors. Saves us a lot of money. I agree that guys should wear powders in the day to help absorb oil and sweat.


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