Holiday beauty gift sets $20 and under – my picks!

Hi friends!

Christmas is quickly creeping up, and whether you celebrate it or not, you may feel the need (or pressure, let’s be honest) to buy something last-minute for the beauty lover you know this season. Or you may want to gift a little something to yourself. So I put together a concise guide featuring a few holiday sets that I think would make great stocking stuffers for friends, colleagues or whoever. Oh, and here’s the best part, they’re all under $20! Keep in mind that drugstores always have sales and cool offers going on; for example, right now in Walgreens it’s buy 1 gift set, get a second one 50% off through this Saturday, 12/15. So you can definitely get more for less if you know how to shop savvy at the drugstore.

I’ve separated this out into three categories: body, makeup & skincare sets, with one sneaky subcategory. My guide clearly favors makeup the most since that’s where my passion lies, but I still wanted to create something a little more well-rounded. So let’s get started!

BODYCARE GIFT SETS

Soap & Glory Showered in Glory Set 2018
Image source: Soap & Glory Instagram

SOAP & GLORY SHOWERED IN GLORY SET 

  • $10.00 @ Target (there’s a buy 1, get 1 50% off offer on beauty items right now!)
  • $11.00 @ Walgreens (out of stock online, but available in-store)

This gift set contains:

Clean On Me™ Creamy Moisture Shower Gel, Sugar Crush™ Fresh & Foamy Body Wash, Rich & Foamous™ Shower & Bath Body Wash, Foam Call™ Shower and Bath Body Wash.

Soap & Glory’s body products are super lush, thick-textured and moisturizing. They are usually heavily scented though so just keep that in mind. This may a perfect gift for a friend who’s into the brand or into body products in general, or for a teen who loves kitschy packaging.

Dove Nourishing Beauty Set 2018
Image source: Target.com

DOVE NOURISHING BEAUTY GIFT SET

This gift set contains:

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, Dove Macadamia & Rice Milk Exfoliating Body Polish and an added body pouf.

I love Dove body washes, especially their exfoliating body washes. Their products tend to be gentle and generally don’t irritate the skin. And what better time to gift them as the brand recently became certified cruelty-free!

SKINCARE GIFT SETS

No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Duo 2018
Image source: Pinterest 

NO. 7 PROTECT & PERFECT INTENSE ADVANCED DUO

This gift set contains:

Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream (travel size). Read full description hereProtect and Perfect Intense Advanced Serum (travel size). Read full description here

I’ve been using No. 7 skincare for years in my routine, specifically the Intense Advanced Serum which is a lovely product that sinks right into the skin and leaves it very smooth-textured. This would be a great gift for anyone concerned about sun & environmental exposure and/or fine lines & wrinkles.

Freeman The Gift of Glow 5-piece set
Image source: Five Below

FREEMAN THE GIFT OF GLOW 5-PIECE MIX + MASK KIT

  • $5.00 @ CVS in-store so if you’re interested go get it now!

This gift set contains four face masks (3 sheet masks, 1 clay mask) & one mask applicator tool. The masks included are:

Rejuvenating Cucumber + Pink Salt Clay Mask, Polishing Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Anti-Stress Dead Sea Minerals Clay Mask, & Hydrating Cactus + Cloudberry Water Gel Mask.

Masking is all the rage now, so if you know someone who’s into their skincare, they’ll probably love this something like this. Freeman is also carried at Ulta & Five Below, by the way. This set sold out at Five Below online but they may still have some stock in-stores.

MAKEUP GIFT SETS

Sleek Makeup Totally Lit Kit 2018
Image source: Walgreens.com
Sleek Makeup Cleopatra’s Kiss Highlight Palette
A closer look at the highlighting palette in Cleopatra’s Kiss from Sleek’s Instagram account. It looks like there are 2 powders & 2 creams in this palette.

SLEEK MAKEUP TOTALLY LIT GIFT SET

This gift set contains:

The Highlighting Palette in Cleopatra’s Kiss, & Major Matte Metallic Lip Cream in Metallized Rose. 

Sleek Makeup is really, really good quality drugstore makeup that has come over from the UK. Their highlighting palettes have gotten fantastic reviews, and I’ve heard the liquid lips are quite good as well. I think this is an awesome gift for any beauty lover. Also, keep in mind that makeup doesn’t necessarily have to be used for its exact purpose; meaning this palette can be used on the face but also on the eyes as well. And the liquid lip, for example, can be used on both the lips and the cheeks. 

Maybelline Countdown Mini Mascara Kit
Image source: Maybelline Instagram

MAYBELLINE COUNTDOWN MINI MASCARA KIT

This gift set contains:

Total Temptation Mascara, Lash Sensational Mascara, The Colossal Volume Express Mascara, & Great Lash Mascara

Mascara is the great equalizer in makeup, I believe. Even if you’re not into makeup and beauty in general, chances are you still own a mascara or wouldn’t mind being gifted one. So this would be awesome for anyone really, the beauty-obsessed, the beauty-beginner, or even the minimalist.  Maybelline mentioned on their Instagram last month that Walgreens was selling these for 50% off in-store, so you may be lucky enough to snag that deal. I believe I also saw this kit in Ulta recently although it doesn’t seem to be available online.

WET N’ WILD & WALGREENS EXCLUSIVE SETS

Please note: there are a lot of Wet n’ Wild sets that are exclusive to Walgreens this season. This is just a small selection.

Wet n’ Wild Liquid Catsuit Lipstick Collection & Mega Slick Lip Gloss Set

WET N’ WILD LIQUID CATSUIT LIPSTICK COLLECTION

  • $10.00 @ Walgreens in-store

This gift set contains:

Three mini Mega Last Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipsticks, and one mini Mega Last Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick. I don’t know what the particular colors are, I’m sorry! This is an awesome formula, and probably one of my favorites from the drugstore. Gift this to someone who loves their comfy, long-wearing liquid lips and they’ll be a happy camper! (I believe Ulta has a similar set with four mini Liquid Catsuits, but instead of just one metallic formula they have an even split of two mattes and two metallics. Check it out here. It’s on sale for 50% off too!)

WET N’ WILD MEGASLICKS LIP GLOSS SET 

  • $5.00 @ Walgreens in-store

This gift set contains:

Four MegaSlicks Lip Glosses. Again, I don’t know the specific colors but I believe one of them is totally clear. I think this set would be perfect for a makeup beginner or a young teen just starting to experiment with color cosmetics.

Wet n’ Wild Matte n’ Shine Set 2018

WET N’ WILD MATTE N’ SHINE SET

  • $15.00 @ Walgreens in-store

This gift set contains:

Two 10-pan eyeshadow palettes (one matte, one shimmer), one Photo Focus Mini Eyeshadow Primer, plus one Tapered Blending Pro Brush

Wet n’ Wild, in my opinion, makes some of the best eyeshadows at the drugstore for barely any cost. I’ve extensively used both their matte & shimmer shadow formulas and with only a few exceptions, I’ve always had a good experience. To me this kit would be awesome, again, for anyone just starting out with makeup, since you’re getting the full package here (shadows, brush & primer). 

Which gift set are you lusting after this season? Luxury or drugstore? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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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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Snatch or skip? Drugstore eye palettes

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.

Time for another edition of ‘Snatch or Skip’! I spoke about some of the best and the not-so-great mascaras from L’Oreal a few posts ago, which you can read here. This time I’m delving into drugstore eyeshadow palettes.

Drugstore shadows have come such a long way in terms of quality. When my mom was discovering makeup in the 70’s the quality of lower-cost brands, like say Wet n’ Wild, were absolute crap. Affordable makeup was almost laughable for a long time. Even when I was in high school I feel it was nowhere near as good as it is now. Can we say drugstore makeup is at its peak now? I don’t know, but it does seem like most of the palettes coming out of CVS, Walgreens, Target, Rite Aid and other low-cost retailers around the world are pretty darn awesome. And the bar just keeps getting higher and higher. So here are my most favorite palettes in terms of quality and price, and a few that I think are either overpriced or just poor quality.

(One note I’d like to make here first in an effort not to sound like a broken record. All palettes mentioned here with exception of the e.l.f. Mad for Mattes are very powdery. Make sure to tap the excess pigment off your brush very well before applying to your eye.)

WHAT TO SNATCH!

*Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in Bare Necessities

$10.79 @ CVS.com;

$11.00 @ milanicosmetics.com

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milaniswatches

This one is so lovely. The pigmentation, blendability, longevity, everything is nearly perfect. These Milani palettes come in 8 different colorways but I only have Bare Necessities. This one definitely leans warmer but they do have more neutral, cooler and even more colorful versions in the line; I’ve heard they’re all awesome.

In this palette you have 2 mattes, 1 shimmer, 2 metallics and 1 light-shimmer (for lack of a better description). All of the shadows are top-notch in my opinion with the exception of the light-shimmer, which is the cream shade pictured on the right-hand side of the first photo & the bottom swatch of the second photo. This shade seems to be a totally different texture to the other shimmers & metallics, and can be a bit chunky and flakey. Other than that, this palette is a must-have!

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Palettes in Nude Mood & Summer Breeze

$10.00 @ elfcosmetics.com, target.com & ultabeauty.com

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Nude Mood

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Swatches of Nude Mood

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Summer Breeze

elfmadformatte2swatches
Swatches of Summer Breeze

It used to be difficult to find good quality matte shadows at a drugstore price level. Everything was shimmer, shimmer, shimmer. So when e.l.f. came out with the Mad for Matte line I knew those days were behind us. They immediately got rave reviews online and in social media, but for some reason I held off on trying them until earlier this year. I can’t imagine not having them in my collection now. Across the board from texture, application, and color payoff, these palettes get high marks. The application of these shadows is really the most impressive element. We all know how stubborn some matte shadows can be. But these don’t skip or become patchy or have too much fallout. And you get 10 quality shades for only $10.00. Bravo e.l.f.!

I first picked up Nude Mood, which is wonderful for everyday natural looks using either warmer or cooler tones. Although I wish they could have offered a few more contrasting shades towards the deeper end of the palette (some of those browns are very, very similar), I do think it’s a palette that anyone can use quite easily. I then got Summer Breeze because I was attracted to all those beautiful plums & rose tones. This is probably my favorite out of the two since I find each color to be quite unique.

*Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

$4.99 @ ultabeauty.com & wetnwildbeaty.com

Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

I just did a whole in-depth review on this palette which I’ll link to here, so I won’t stay on this too long. (If you’d like to see swatches from the palette please go to my earlier post.) But as the most affordable palette from this whole list, the quality really blows me away on both the mattes and the shimmers. Soft, smooth textures that apply easily with little hassle. Bright, bold colors that last on the eyes for hours and hours. When Wet n’ Wild delivers such solid product on such little coin, it makes it difficult to reconcile spending more money on more pricey drugstore palettes. My mom recently bought Rose in the Air, which gives everyone in the beauty community Anastasia Modern Renaissance vibes. She loves it, which means I’ll have to try it soon too 😉.

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutrals #2 Matte Palette 

$14.39 as a bundle with the #3 Shimmer Palette on overstock.com

soniakashukmattepalette

soniakashukswatches

RIP Sonia Kashuk makeup, I really loved you. It looks like only her brushes, makeup bags and other accessories are now available at Target. However I did a little snooping online and it appears Overstock has some inventory on this palette. I included the link above so if you’re interested, hop on it! Or if you’re looking for a “shop my stash” moment, crack this one out. I used to own several Sonia Kashuk eye palettes actually: the quads, the Eye On Neutrals #3 Shimmer Palette, and of course the Eye On Neutrals #2 Matte Palette. I loved each and every one of them dearly. The quality is totally there. The shades are smooth as all hell, apply perfectly and stay on the eye all day. And this goes for both the shimmers and mattes.

I really don’t remember how much I originally paid for this palette, but I do remember that Sonia Kashuk was on the higher-end of drugstore in terms of price. I still pull the #2 Matte Palette out quite frequently since I love it so much. Actually I used this palette on the day of my graduation from business school in May. If you cannot get your hands on this guy, go with the e.l.f. Mad for Matte in Nude Mood; the colors are quite similar.

WHAT TO SKIP!

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

loreallapalettenude

lorealpaletteswatches

So this one is difficult. I actually love the colors and the tones. The mattes are quite lovely too, pigmented and easy to apply. But the shimmers are extremely lackluster and fade rather quickly. Keep in mind the shimmers to mattes ratio is 7:3. And the palette is $20.00 (!). Really L’Oreal? It’s completely overpriced for the quality you’re getting. The swatches don’t look half bad but you never know the full story until you apply to the eye. While I can get very pretty looks using this palette, I just can’t fully get behind it. No thanks.

Maybelline The Nudes Eye Shadow Palette & The Blushed Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

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Image source: Walmart

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Image source: Walmart

To be honest, I have yet to find any Maybelline eye palettes that I can get behind. (However, I haven’t tried any of their newer releases yet like those City Mini Palettes. Are those good? Feel free to send any recommendations my way cause I’m always looking to be enabled!) I don’t have these Nudes Palettes anymore in my collection since they were so inconsistent and generally poor quality. Out of 12 shades I found maybe 5 or 6 of them would actually be usable.

What are your favorite and least favorite drugstore eye palettes? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Review: Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette

You may recall that I hauled the new and improved Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette a few weeks ago in this post. I spoke a bit about the backstory on the palette and my first impressions of a couple of the shadows in that post. I have since put the rest of the colors to the test so I’m here to present you with a more informed review of this product. I know that this isn’t a new launch by any means, but hopefully this will be helpful to those of you looking to buy an affordable drugstore palette, or to those that have never tried Wet n’ Wild shadows before. So let’s get into it!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

10 eyeshadow shades for $4.99 (0.35 oz)

Cruelty-free & Vegan

Powerfully pigmented, buttery-soft, glides on like a dream. That’s what we dreamed up with our reformulated Color Icon eyeshadows. Our reformulated Color Icon hues come in a mix of coveted colors, from shimmery daytime hues to sultry shades for cocktail hours—including new matte transitional shades for impeccable blending.

Source: Wet n’ Wild official website

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

SHADES & SWATCHES

A closer look at the full palette: 8 shimmer shades, plus 2 matte shades labeled TRANSITION. None of the shades have particular names, so the row starting with the light cream shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 1’ for the sake of this post, and the row starting with the green shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 2.’ Check the photo captions for shade descriptions.

*I photographed one of the looks I did using this palette, which is up on my IG now (@weareglamerus). If you’d like to see it please head over there and show it some love. (My IG roll is also on my blog on the right sidebar.)

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Shimmer row 1 top to bottom: light cream shimmer, light sandy-taupe shimmer, light to mid-tone peachy gold shimmer, black with golden shimmer.

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Shimmer row 2 top to bottom: light to mid-tone grassy-green shimmer, mid-tone golden bronze, mid-tone to dark warm brown with green-blue shimmer (duo-chrome), black with green shimmer.

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Matte Transition shades from top to bottom: mid-tone orange, mid-tone to dark warm reddish brown (wine).

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Shade range: As you can probably tell, this palette definitely leans warm although the pops of green cool it down a bit. I think each shade brings something interesting and unique to the palette. There aren’t too many shades that look similar to one another once applied to the eye, although that being said I could do without one of the two black-based shimmer shades. In its place perhaps Wet n’ Wild could have included a dark matte brown or just an entirely matte black for a slightly more well-rounded shade range.

My favorite shades are probably both matte transition colors, plus the grassy-green shimmer, the duo-chrome green-blue and the mid-tone golden bronze. They have the most impact.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Packaging: This might be a bit unfair, but as we all know extremely affordable brands such as Wet n’ Wild are usually not known for their quality packaging. In plain terms, the packaging here is cheap. The plastic can easily be dented or shattered if dropped. But I wouldn’t feel this review were complete without some discussion on the matter. However, I very much appreciate Wet n’ Wild’s attention to detail when it comes to safety packaging. The palette is taped shut on three sides and my goodness, that tape is hard to peel off (you can probably see the residue it left behind on the cover photo to this blog). But I think in the drugstore this is particularly important since there are virtually no testers available to us. So you never know if the product you pick up has been opened, touched or swatched by someone else unless you see broken safety packaging.

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️ (kudos to that ironclad safety packaging)

Application: Overall I’m very impressed with the application on all these shades. For the most part they applied quite smoothly across the eye without much tugging or fussiness. I had a little trouble though with the warm reddish-brown (wine) matte transition shade when I went to put it all over my eyelid, as I wrote about back in my haul post. It got a little patchy when applied with a fluffy brush, but I rectified that by patting the color over top with my finger. Nothing horrible but just something to take note of. I did not notice any patchiness with the orange matte transition shade nor any of the shimmers.

Another thing to note is the softness of these shadows. While they feel extremely smooth to the touch, they also fall apart very easily when you swirl your brush in to pick up color. You must, must tap your brush out a few times before applying to your eyes. Most likely you’ll get some degree of fall-out on your cheeks after using these shadows. Therefore I recommend doing your eyes first before doing your base if you’re going to use this palette.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: The pigmentation is awesome on all these shadows. If I’m being super picky, the lightest cream shimmer shade can be a bit flakey but that really doesn’t bother me much; I’ve only used it as an inner-corner highlight anyway. For such an affordable price though, I was especially impressed with the brightness and punchiness of the matte transition shades. If you look at the swatch photo above, you’ll see what I mean. It can be really difficult to get well-pigmented matte shadows at a drugstore price, so Wet n’ Wild really killed it here. Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: I think the longevity of these shadows is quite good generally with one exception. I’ve worn every color now in a variety of looks and I noticed two instances of fading. In both instances I had layered one shimmer color over another. I layered the grassy-green shimmer over the peachy gold shimmer on the ball of my eye for a quasi-halo effect; by later that day the green color had all but disappeared. In a separate look, I layered the warm bronze over the grassy-green color on the outer corner of my eye but it also eventually disappeared. Contrarily, I noticed hardly any fading at all on any shadow, matte or shimmer, when simply applied over a primer. Perhaps if you wet your brush when layering the shadows it will make difference, but I never do that extra step.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Price: I’ll keep this short and snappy. This palette is only $4.99 for 10 shadows; $4.99 for 10 quality shadows. How can you beat that? Wet n’ Wild is probably one of if not the most affordable drugstore brand out there (at least here in the U.S.). The pigmentation and quality of the beautiful duo-chrome green-blue shade in this palette, for instance, rivals one of my favorite, more high-end duo-chrome shadows that’s $21.00 for a single (Peacock from Ardency Inn). I think this palette is an absolute steal.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

FINAL THOUGHTS

I would absolutely recommend this product to anyone, either if you are looking for a great drugstore palette or just looking for a great palette in general. Despite some minor issues with application and fading, I would still go as far as to say that this palette rivals some of my higher-end purchases. And historically I’ve had more pronounced issues with some high-end makeup than I’ve ever had with Wet n’ Wild. Just goes to show that you can absolutely get quality makeup at affordable prices.

Have you tried the Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

Mini drugstore haul featuring Wet n’ Wild & NYX

I was in a Harmon’s Discount over the weekend stocking up on travel mini’s for my vacation and of course I had to peruse the makeup aisle while I was there. After all it would be unheard of if I didn’t. Harmon’s is always a great place to shop for affordable makeup; they have the best displays and they often get new makeup in ahead of CVS or Walgreens. They’ve recently expanded their roster of brands to include J.Cat Beauty (which seemed to come and go very quickly from Ulta), and Essence Cosmetics. And their nail polish offerings are second to none as well.

But onto what I actually bought this trip. I restrained myself and purchased just two items (pats herself on the back): the new and improved Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette from Wet n’ Wild, and the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Abu Dhabi.

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WET N’ WILD COMFORT ZONE PALETTE – Shop here

Historically I’ve loved the quality of Wet n’ Wild shadows. They recently reformulated all of their Color Icon Palettes and upgraded the packaging to the sleek design you see above. I had the older version of Comfort Zone years ago and enjoyed it back then so I’d been curious for a while to give the new version a try. When you look at the pantheon of drugstore makeup brands, you still really can’t beat the price of Wet n’ Wild products. Ten shadows for just $4.99? And they’re usually great quality. L’Oreal’s new Paradise Enchanted Scented Eyeshadow Palette offers 12 shades but for a much pricier $14.99. Just some perspective.

Now I really don’t remember shade for shade what is different or the same from the older Comfort Zone Palette to the new version since I don’t have the older one anymore. But a slew of YouTubers have done detailed comparison videos so if you’re interested in that kind of information head on over there. I can say that the pans are a lot smaller in this newer version, but I’m unsure of how that affects the amount of product.

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Swatches of the new Comfort Zone Palette from Wet n’ Wild.

You get 2 matte shadows labeled ‘TRANSITION’ on opposite ends of the palette with 8 shimmers in the middle. None of the colors have particular names. Personally I love the mix of warm and cool tones here; the greens with the bronzes, burgundys and the warmer transition shades. Putting a warm color in your crease next to a cool shade on the lid is just so beautiful to me. The shadows all swatched quite nicely with the exception of some of the really light shades that needed serious building up. All of the colors were extremely soft to the touch as well.

I did use 2 shades from this palette on my eyes yesterday. I applied the wine-colored matte transition shade (6th shade down in the swatches) all over my eyelid and into my crease, and the light champagne shimmery color (3rd shade down in the swatches) smudged underneath my lower lash line and into the inner corner of my eye. The matte shade needed some building up on the eye to reach full opacity and I experienced a bit of patchiness as I was applying it. So I had to go in with my finger to pat the color over the patchy areas, which worked perfectly. I’m curious to try this shade over another primer or over another matte shadow to see if it applies better; it could be an easy fix.

Another thing I noticed was the intense kick-back I got when I swirled my brush into the shadows. They are seriously powdery, so you definitely have to tap your brush a few times before applying to the eye. But they have great pigment and the shadows lasted throughout the day with hardly any fading and just the smallest bit of creasing. I need to try more colors though before I form my final opinion.

NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM IN ABU DHABI – Shop here

I love this formula. It’s a liquid lipstick for those that don’t like liquid lipstick, in that they’re easy to apply, comfortable to wear and they don’t feel heavy or sticky on the lips. They have an almost mousse-like or whipped texture that you have to build up a bit to get the full effect. I wouldn’t call this the most opaque liquid lipstick out there, so you definitely trade a bit of opacity for comfort.

I bought the shade Stockholm last year and absolutely loved it, so when I was passing the NYX stand at Harmon’s I found my eyes scanning for more colors in this formula. I really only wear either nudes or medium pinks these days, so I settled on Abu Dhabi which is a beautiful browny-beige nude.

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Swatch of Abu Dhabi from NYX.

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Side by side swatch of Stockholm (left) and Abu Dhabi (right). Stockholm is much pinker/peachier while Abu Dhabi is much browner.

The longevity on these is definitely not the greatest; you will have to touch up throughout the day, but I personally don’t mind that. You will get that rim around the inner part of your lips as you eat and drink, so I’d imagine wearing a darker shade would be challenging with this formula. But if you wear a shade that is not a million miles away from your natural lip color, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

The packaging is quite small and lightweight so these are absolutely perfect to throw in your handbag. Stockholm has been living in my bag for months, and now Abu Dhabi will join it.

Have you tried any of these products yet? If so, what are your thoughts? Have you hauled anything interesting from the drugstore recently? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica