My fave drugstore matte eyeshadows, $10 and under

Hi friends!

First off, I hope everyone in the U.S. had an amazing Thanksgiving yesterday!

In all honesty, I wanted to post a video today but unfortunately my skin decided to go crazy this week (something that doesn’t normally happen to me), and I just couldn’t face going in front of the camera. Sorry about that, but I do have some drugstore recommendations for you! I love a cheap (but great) beauty find, so today I thought I’d briefly tell you about some of my favorite drugstore matte eyeshadows that will only run you $10 at the most. I’ve been absolutely loving an all-matte eye look lately. It’s classic & very flattering for all ages. It’s also perfect during the daytime for work or school.

Great matte shadows can be a little elusive to find and tempermental to work with. Sometimes even high-end brands can’t do them well. Some require a sticky base like a primer to grab onto the eye properly, while others catch and skip unless blended over a smooth surface. They generally need more blending and finesse than shimmer or metallic shadows, so finding good mattes at the drugstore level is like finding a diamond in the rough!

So, my list of recommendations is no way meant to be an exhaustive list. There are tons of drugstore & other affordable brands out there that produce great quality shadows. This is just a small list for you guys. So let’s start!

ELF COSMETICS MAD FOR MATTE PALETTES 

You really can’t go wrong with these all-matte palettes from ELF. I’ve talked about them on the blog before in this post, and over on my Instagram stories back in the summer. These are absolutely stunning! They blend seamlessly with no skipping, have beautiful pigmentation and great longevity. I have two, in Nude Mood & Summer Breeze, but I believe ELF does a few more in other color varieties. At $10.00 for ten awesomequality shadows, I think these are a steal and I truly recommend them if you’re looking for mattes at a low price point. I’d say these are my top picks.

Pictured, top left panel – Nude Mood – Shop from ELF or Ulta

Picture, bottom left panel – Summer Breeze – Shop from ELF or Ulta

PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA MATTE COLLECTION QUAD EYE SHADOW 

This is an unexpected one. While Physician’s Formula is not primarily known for eyeshadow, they do have some hidden gems. Canyon Classics, pictured above, has been around forever and for good reason: it’s absolutely beautiful on the eyes! It’s in small, dinky, unattractive packaging that you wouldn’t look at twice, but I tell you it’s very deceiving. It’s an all-matte quad of very cool-toned shadows that are absolutely perfect for subtle daytime looks. The matte grey, in particular, blends better than some greys I have from MAC! If you haven’t tried this guy already, or haven’t dug it out of your collection in forever, I suggest you do. The swatches above look terrible, but don’t get too hung up on that. On the eyes, the pigment & blendability are definitely there. This will run you about $8.00 or so depending on where you shop.

Shop from Rite Aid here or Walgreens

WET N’ WILD COLOR ICON PALETTES

If you’re in the market for more affordable mattes than either ELF or Physician’s Formula can provide, go straight to Wet nWild then. Their Color Icon Palettes & Quads contain amazing quality mattes for a tiny price tag. Impressive color, easy blending and only minimal fading (over a primer). I’m not sure if Wet n’ Wild has made an all-matte palette or quad yet, but the quads usually contain at least one matte transition shade and the palettes can contain anywhere up to eight mattes (but that does vary). The Color Icon Quads are a mere $2.99, while the Palettes are $4.99 for ten shadows. Seriously, you can’t wrong! If you’re interested in an in-depth review of a Wet nWild palette, see my post on the Comfort Zone Palette.

Pictured, left two panels – Rose in the Air – Shop from Wet n’ Wild here or Ulta

Pictured, right two panels – Comfort Zone – Shop from Wet n’ Wild here or Ulta

*HONORABLE MENTION: Maybelline City Mini Palette in Matte About Town. Unforunately mine has since gone missing from my collection, but I’d like to continue playing with this one before I can definitely recommend it. That being said, I was really impressed with this palette the last time I used it. Maybelline is notorious (in my mind) for horrible shadows, so I think this must be a new formulation for them. It was about time! The mattes applied very well and stayed on all day without much fading.

Maybelline City Mini Palette in Matte About Town

 

Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this list? Do you have any drugstore recommendations for me? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my recommendations for cheap but awesome matte eyeshadows from the drugstore!

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Snatch or skip? L’Oreal mascaras

This post contains affiliate links (denoted with an asterisk), which means I earn a small commission if/when you click through to purchase. Regardless, these are my honest opinions. I do not recommend products I do not love or use myself.

Just this week I realized I hadn’t written a dedicated mascara post since I started my blog back in May, so let me remedy that right at this moment. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to spend much money to get a good mascara; you can absolutely get it done on a drugstore budget. There are so many great options available now when you walk into CVS, Walgreens, Walmart or any other lower-cost retailer.

However for every good or great mascara, you’ll find another not-so-great one right next to it. It’s all about sussing out what your mascara preferences are and letting them guide your purchases. For example, my mascara preferences include decent volume, length & a lot of darkness (i.e. how black the product is). I want a “false-lash effect” without false lashes, if that exists. What one person is looking for in a product, another person might avoid, so please keep in mind that lists like this are all subjective. If you love something I don’t, well that’s great cause variety is the spice of life!

This post will focus quite specifically on L’Oreal mascaras, as the title indicates. To keep this short and snappy (hopefully), I’ve narrowed this to only four products: two that I would recommend to snatch, and two that I would say to skip. So let’s get into it. (This might be the start of a little series here on the blog. I’m brainstorming other products and lists atm.)

WHAT TO SNATCH!

*L’Oréal Voluminous X Fiber Mascara with Black Primer

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Image Source: Walgreens

I spoke about my love for this back in my first blog post in May, but I picked this up pretty soon after it first launched. It was garnering good reviews on social media so when I saw the display in Ulta, I grabbed it. At first it seemed too high maintenance to me because of the whole 2-step process. The first end is a lash primer; the second end is a fiber-rich mascara. I never use lash primers normally. They just seem too fussy. But I have to say this formula really wowed me, so much so I was willing to go through both steps. The first end puts a light coating on the lashes and really separates and lengthens. The second end gives a ton of volume as it deposits the fibers over top. I didn’t find it too clumpy either. My tube got old so I had to toss it, but I would happily repurchase this.

*L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara

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Image source: L’Oreal Paris

This one is so, so, so good in my opinion. I’ve gone through about two tubes and I would definitely repurchase again. It gives me extremely black, separated lashes with tons of length. It makes me look like I have more lashes than I do. I think it all comes back to the wand. It’s a strange one but genius. It’s long and tapers towards the front, which you may think would be awkward to work with but actually it catches all those hard to reach corner lashes. It also has plastic bristles that only cover one side of the wand, which normally I hate but it somehow works here. I wouldn’t say it gives the best volume I’ve ever seen but the length and the fluffiness of the lashes after using this is just awesome.

WHAT TO SKIP!

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

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Image source: eBay

Wow, I know, controversial. It seems like everyone and their mothers and grandmothers go ga-ga for this formula, but I just can’t fully get behind it. I bought this early in its hype when every beauty influencer was saying this was the best drugstore mascara on the market. The brush is very reminiscent of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara, which I very much enjoyed, so I was eager to try it. At first I remember liking it and even recommending it to my friends, but somewhere around the 1-month mark I just realized it was a mediocre mascara. It’s definitely not horrible by any means, but just nothing memorable to me. It was very black which I loved, but after a while I found the formula to be too thick to the point where my lashes would clump together too much for my liking. It didn’t give me much in the way of length either. It was just meh.

L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara

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Image Source: Look Fantastic

I have not tried the regular L’Oreal Telescopic in the light gold tube, but I was none too impressed by the Carbon Black version. I was hoping it might be similar to the IT Cosmetics Tightline 3-in-1 Black Primer/Eyeliner/Mascara that I loved from years back, but unfortunately it wasn’t. It’s primarily a lengthening mascara with a long wand and plastic bristles. It definitely lengthened but it didn’t separate my lashes like I would have hoped. In some places the formula made my lashes stick together so much that it looked like I had bald patches. Needless to say, I wouldn’t repurchase.

What are your favorite and/or non-favorite mascaras from L’Oreal? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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.

Continue reading “What is worth your coins? A shopping guide to affordable brow mascaras”