Who Cares About Your Shopping Bag? It’s What’s Inside That Counts!
by Alison Blackman, Editor in Chief, advicesisters.com
I am always tempted to keep pretty or status-y shopping bags. But I know it doesn’t matter what the bag looks like, once the items I’ve purchased are home, the bag they arrived in is irrelevant. It’s the products that matter. Whether you shop for makeup in Bloomingdales or in a budget beauty boutique, once the cosmetics are on your face, no one knows where they came from.
Fashion magazines are now showing beauty looks from the Fall runways. You may want to try the, but unless money isn’t an issue, purchasing that trendy color that looked like so much fun on that mag model and in the store, might disappoint you when you get home. If you like to change up your makeup looks often, buying pricey, trendy product can be an expensive gamble. But there is a way to try the trends that won’t burst your beauty budget.
That’s why I love both Essence Cosmetics and E.l.f. Eyes Lips Face Cosmetics. Both of these brands feature incredible palettes and colors and cutting edge products, but amazingly, the prices are shockingly inexpensive, even though both e.l.f. and Essence constantly update their colors and products. I’m not a makeup snob — I like the way these products look, feel and perform. Many makeup artists also embrace budget beauty brands and use them on their high profile celebrity clients, because they work.
I can’t get enough of E.l.f. In my last e.l.f. feature a long time ago, I literally gushed about the amazing products and super-affordable prices of e.l.f. (Eyes, Lips, Face) Makeup. But tools and beauty helpers aren’t the only thing the e.l.f. does so very well. They have all sorts of palettes and face in a case kits and holiday gift-ables. If you didn’t know the price you’d think they were very expensive. It’s a shock when you see the prices are less than the average department store lipstick. Holiday items are covet-able (advicesisters.com hope to report on some of them in our gift guides coming up starting in November 2015).
The photos above show just a few of the fab new eye shadow palette from e.l.f These eye shadow palettes, amazingly, are are just $10.00, the adult version of that big box of crayons we loved as children (and nice for travel). Each Palette has ten shadows that are silky, blendable, and can be used wet or dry as a liner or shadow. Pick a light color as a base or highlighter, a medium shadow for the lid and crease, and a deep one for liner and dimension. Each rectangular pan of shadow is generously sized. Pick one or several to match your moods and to capture the latest fashion trends. The Need It Nude palette is a mixture of shimmery and matte shadows in earth-toned shades ranging from porcelain to deep chocolate brown and including one glittery deep brown. There are just limitless possibilities as there are with the other shadow palettes. My personal favorite is the Studio party ready palette with glittery, shimmery and matte shadoes including some plums, teals, and a rather bold pink. The eye shadows are fairly long lasting, but will last even longer with an e.l.f. Essential Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer (not shown). “Golden” can be worn by itself as a shimmery golden shadow (there’s also Champagne, Pearl and Sheer). Allow the product to dry before you add your eye makeup (it takes a few seconds). The Golden adds an almost metallic golden glow to your colors, and Pearl and Champagne will also slightly alter the color of your shadow. Sheer will just lock in the color you’ve selected. These are so inexpensive, and fun to play with (put one in your travel bag to make your shadow colors even more versatile).
We also like the new e.l.f. Studio Gotta Glow Lip Tint ($6.00). This silky, moisturizing lip product with shea butter reacts with the chemistry of your lips to deliver a personalized shade of pink. Usually these “magic” lipsticks turn my lips garish colors, but this one really surprised me with a glossy pink tint that has become my favorite “go to” when my lips feels dry and a traditional lipstick won’t smooth on well. This lip tint also stick around for a long time, so I don’t have to re-apply so often.
e.l.f has excellent face palettes: a Contour Palette, Bronzer Palette, Foundation Palette (Fair/Light; Light/Medium & Medium/Dark), and a Blush Palette ($6.00 each). The blush palette is my personal favorite with shades of pink, rose, apricot and peach all in matte to produce build-able color (there is a brighter, deeper version of this palette as well). The bronzer palette has both matte and shimmer shades to mix together or wear alone (. The contour palette features four matte shades Tip: Contouring takes some practice (use a light touch), apply darker shades, where you want a slimming effect; such as along the sides and beneath the tip of the nose, in the hollow of the cheeks, along the jawline, and along the hairline on the sides of your forehead. Use the matte brightening shade to add light and create defined angles on the top of the nose, chin, and center of the forehead. Use the highlighting shade on the top of the cheekbones, below the brow bone, on the cupid’s bow, and on the temples .
The e.l.f. Studio Ultimate Kabuki Brush ($10.00) is impressively large, perfect for diffusing powder on large areas of your face or body. The Taklon bristles are vegan-friendly. I’d use the brush mostly for blending as it is too large to fit into the square pans of e.l.f. powder, or with other products that have larger pans of color. It’s great for loose face and body powders, too.
Get your e.l.f. on at the e.l.f. Cosmetics web site
Essence Cosmetics wows us with trendy and user-friendly products at the kind of price for which you couldn’t get a latte at your favorite coffee house. When Essence Cosmetics landed across the pond from Europe in 2011, women who adore trendy without the high price tag, rejoiced. The company is the beloved brand of budget beauty buff’s in Europe because they offer tons of beauty booty in the season’s hottest trends, but for just a few dollars each (believe it — just $.99 to $4.99 with the average at $3.00). In fact, the company releases a whopping six new unique and limited editions each year, along with the regular range of products. In the old days, I had to stock up in Europe at a Monoprix , but now Essence Cosmetics can more easily be found elsewhere at Ulta and Fred Meyer stores nationwide as well as Shoppers Drug Mart (in Canada). The compacts may be simple plastic, but the formulas are good quality and the products are as sophisticated as anything you’ll get in a department store. Even better, Essence Cosmetics won’t test on animals. If you’re traveling this season, the lightweight, travel-friendly compacts are easy to tote, too.
Indulge in a beautiful Essence LongLasting Lipstick ($2.99) with a coordinating lip liner ($1.49) .
(in the group photo above): Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder $4.99 is a year-round way to get a glow. The mattifying powder comes in a light and a deep (“Sunloved” and “Suntan”). We received a dark bronzer to wear test, and it was quite dark. with a traditional, rusted bronze tint. If your skin is light to medium, the light will work better for you. The 6-pack of eye shadows in a palette is called: “All About Chocolates” ($4.99) but as you can see from the photo I took above, the shimmery shadows translate brown, green pink and taupe into sheer, browned version with a lot of shimmer The taupe-y color is matte and can be used as a base or high. Add a finishing Touch with the Essence Cosmetics Plump No Clump! Volume Mascara ($4.99) shown in my photo in the green tube for “Deepest Black” (also in “Black”). The chunky mascara tube has a modern, elastomer brush with tons of bristles long and short to capture every little lash. It works quite well to color and volumize. For those who like lots of coats of mascara, you will find that this mascara will work for you without clumping –and the price is amazingly reasonable! Tip: Toss your old mascara within six months or if it starts to clump or smell. You won’t feel the pain so much when the mascara is under $5.00.
Essence Cosmetics also has a wide variety of nail polish colors. The photo above shows some of the colors I was sent for review. The Essence Gel Nail Polish ($1.99-first four left to right)and Gel Nail Polish Base & Top Coat ($3.99) work together to keep your nail polish vibrant and chip-free as long or longer than many I’ve tried at much higher prices. Apply the gel nail polish base coat and let it dry completely. then apply the gel nail polish is your chosen color and let it dry. Then coat with the gel nail polish top coat. Easy! These won’t fail you — they are long lasting even though they’re inexpensive — A must-try.
Essence Cosmetics is the top brand in over 70 countries and you can easily also get it at ULTA and Visit the Essence Cosmetics Web site