What is worth your coins? A shopping guide to affordable brow mascaras

I love brow mascaras. They’re really the only thing I use on my brows now. I used to exclusively use the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil but I honestly can say I haven’t touched it in years at this point. I would say my brows are of average thickness without too many gaps, and quite long. So I find all I need or want is to brush a tinted mascara through them a few times to get added thickness, color and lift. If you have to completely reshape your brows on the daily or you don’t have many hairs at all, you’ll most likely need a pencil in addition to a brow mascara to achieve your desired effect.

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Does the drugstore square up? By Terry vs. Kiko

Who doesn’t love a lower-cost alternative to a high-end product? If you can find the same (or similar enough) color, texture & quality for less money, why splash the cash? I have to admit I found this particular dupe almost by accident. I’ve owned both of these cream shadow sticks for quite a while without really noticing their similarities, until one day it dawned on me. (If you’d like to read more about my favorite cream shadows, click here.) I swatched them side by side and sure enough the color and texture looked identical to my eye. But was the quality the same? Investigation was needed!

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Can we hit pause on highlighter, please?

After a few years, highlighter is still having a huge moment in the makeup world. It’s everywhere I look when I shop for makeup, in every conceivable form: powders, creams, gels or liquids in big pans, small pans, palettes, bottles, & mini’s. And in almost every color from gold to pink to peach to purple and blue. I would say every second or third tutorial I watch on YouTube or Instagram, or ad image I see online, features highlighter prominently. Either it’s slathered onto the skin so it can be seen in heaven or layered on top of creams or liquids to give an almost supernatural effect. (To read more about my thoughts on Instagram makeup, click here). “Blinding” skin is in and matte skin is BAD, people. Or at least that’s the message I’m getting.

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My high/low lip combo of the moment

I absolutely love a nude-colored lip. It’s my usual go-to now when I want to look a little more done up. (Most days I wear nothing at all on my lips, which I guess is a true nude lip!) Even a few years ago I was a little more adventurous with lip colors; I was partial to bright pinks and berries primarily. But these days, it’s nudes, nudes, nudes, particularly either brownish or pinky nudes, like MAC’s Twig or Flower Beauty’s Honey Nude. I think the shift happened when I started dying my hair red in 2012. True pinks just seemed to clash with the warmth of my hair color.

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My top 5 fave cream eye shadows — #dreamytextures

(Stay tuned for something special at the end of this post!)

So I spoke briefly about my love for all things cream in this post recently and I promised that I would deliver a follow up on my favorite cream products. I realize now that including all my current favorites in one post would be too long-winded and ambitious. I will be dividing them up in separate posts starting first with my top 5 fave cream eye shadows here. I decided to start my list with the more expensive items and work my way down from there. Other than that, the following products are no particular order; I love them all equally. This is more about my affinity for particular formulas and #dreamytextures, rather than for specific colors. Yes, all the following happen to be varying shades of brown, but that’s what I wear most on the day to day.

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