2/11/2013

Let's talk Contest + Primers + Pricy vs. Not Pricy

How are y'all doing today?  I'm doing fucking horrible.  I got some kind of upper respiratory thing going on, and then I started getting all crampy on top of it, then I woke up this morning with a giant stye.  The stye was really the cherry on the sundae, though, because there is nothing better than having looking at stuff suck when all you want to do is lay around all day.  OH!  And I had planned to do a mascara post today, too, which I can't very much do with a honking stye and an eye-load of greasy eyedrops.  So, today, I am just gonna pull up a few emails I got and write about a few different things.

The first order of business...  THE CONTEST.  I'm sure y'all remember that the deadline is the 14th, which is a few days away.   I've received a lot of entries!!  The question I want to pose to you is this...  My original plan was to post everybody's picture, and I have no problem posting everyone's picture, but I thought I would ask y'all if that is what you want.  Do you think it would be boring/overkill to look at 150-200 different pictures of people and you'll glaze over and not look at the whole post?  Or do you want to see all of the entries?  I don't have a preference either way, I just don't want to spend a long time setting up the contest post and have nobody look at it because it is too long.  LET'S VOTE!




To refresh y'all, in case you missed previous posts about the contest or if you're new here or whatever... To enter the contest, send me a pic of your face with whatever kind of makeup look you like.  Fancy, casual, weird, I don't care.  Whatever you like.  Then, list the products you used, and include your address.  Send your entry to nataliedee@nataliedee.com with CONTEST in the subject heading (so I don't lose your entry since I'm a dumbass.)  I will assign everyone a number, then use a random number generator to pick 3 winners.  This isn't a beauty pageant, I am just picking winners randomly, so participation is the only criteria to win.  Participation and being able to follow instructions, actually, cause I'm not going to track people down if they win and didn't include any of the info I need to send them prizes.

FIRST PRIZE:  Urban Decay Naked Palette, Clinique Black Honey lip stuff, and 2 vouchers for your choice of SUPER BLACK Lacquers once I reopen the store in the next month or so.

SECOND and THIRD PRIZES:  Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, Clinique Black Honey lip stuff, and 1 voucher for your choice of SUPER BLACK Lacquer for use after the store reopens.

NOTE:  If someone wins and doesn't live in the U.S, I am going to have to make a substitution for the polish portion of the prize since I can't mail that stuff to other countries.

Are y'all ready to move on?  Let's move it on, then.

PRIMERS

A lot of y'all have been asking about makeup primers...  

I'm gonna be straight with you...  I only really use eyeshadow primer, and I've only used the Urban Decay Primer Potion because when I first got it, it was basically the only trick in town, and it lasts such a long time that it took me years to get through my tube of it.  JUDGE ME.  I admit it.  If I have a makeup item that I paid a lot for, and the consistency/smell doesn't change, I will use it until it's empty and fuck those people who are telling me I gotta chuck stuff after a few months.  Mascara, fine, I will replace that, but the rest of it, I am not chucking it if it doesn't give me a reason to.  I'm done digressing, but the point is that I started using that Primer Potion in 2006 or something, and I'm only on my second tube.  I am also a little bit cheap, so I don't buy other eyeshadow primers when I still have one at home, and I am not trying to switch brands when the one I use is totally fine in every way.

I am pretty skeptical about makeup inventions, but the eyeshadow primer is pretty legit.  It really helps a lot with greasy eyelids/migrating eye makeup (although, I still get mascara leakage in the outside corner of my eye, but I can't be mad about that since you don't rub the primer in your eyelashes.  It's not the primer's fault.)  I even like putting a little on when I am not really wearing much makeup, because it kinda softens the look of capillaries you might have there, and makes your eyelid not look greasy.  It's good stuff.

Now, on the topic of face primer...  I don't really care for it.  My skin is pretty fucked from having horrible acne when I was pregnant, and so I have to wear foundation and concealer, and the addition of another layer of shit on my face just makes me look bad.  Either it makes my makeup look worse, or it will fart out a lot sooner than it would otherwise.  I'm not sure what the right term for it would be, but it breaks and starts looking weird and curdled or something.  I just use moisturizer before I do my face, then do one super duper thin coat of long-wear foundation all over so my skin color looks even, then a regular amount of foundation on my problem areas, then hit the parts that don't get covered by that with long-wear concealer.  Some primers imply that they will cover big pores or something, but if they do that, I find that it makes your makeup look goopy.  I use my favorite girlfriend Razor Sharp* to finish, and that sorts the big pores out for the most part.

*Razor Sharp is the best shit in the universe, but you HAVE to liberate it from the container it comes in.  Put it in a little travel jar and put it on with a brush (maybe even this brush that whoops a donkey's ass!)  That sponge thing is not good, and it's hard to control the powder coming out.  Just take it out of the thing it comes in and use it like a regular powder.

PRICY VS. NOT PRICY

Is expensive stuff worth it?  Love, About 9 Million People

YES and also NO!  I've found that, when it comes to cosmetic stuff, a lot of stuff doesn't need to cost much at all to do what you want, and some stuff is a lot nicer to use if you splurge.

GET IT CHEAP:

Skincare products:  You might thing that splurging on this stuff is worth it, but it really isn't.  There is a limited number of things that you can expect the outer layer of your skin to do, and most pricy skincare products are selling you a load of fairy tale bullshit.  All you can do is moisturize, exfoliate, and use sunscreen.  That's ALL.  Once you internalize that idea, you can sort through about 75% of the overpriced bullshit products you run across.  A good, gentle facial cleanser and a nice moisturizer is really easy to pick up at the pharmacy, and you can get your whole facial regimen for under $20-$30, and it will probably work better than some shit you pick up for $90 a bottle that has a bunch of stuff that is going to irritate your face.  I like Cerave products SO MUCH.  Really.  Get the foaming cleanser, a tub of the skin cream to use at night, and a tube of the Cerave AM for your SPF.  If you have oily skin, get the Cerave PM to use at night, it is really awesome.  I use this stuff + glycolic acid to exfoliate, and that is IT.  I haven't had more than a couple zits in the last few years, and that is basically a miracle.  I even dumped my dermatologist, since he had me on hella-useless prescriptions that never helped anything.  One day I was just like "You know, if I am gonna have horrible acne I can't do anything about, I am at least going to stop using shit that is going to dry me out so bad so my makeup doesn't look all flaky and gross."  Then I switched to all this bland stuff and my acne disappeared like flipping a switch.  I don't even get zits when I'm having my lady issues anymore.  I'd feel like a princess if I wasn't all scarred the hell up.

Lipstick:  Drugstore lipstick is 100% totally fine in every way, and you won't get as mad when you lose it.  Sure, fancier lipsticks might feel a little nicer going on, but for all intents and purposes, the drugstore lipstick is all you really need.

Bodycare stuff:  Bodywash, lotions, all that stuff.  The junk they sell for a ton at department stores or Sephora is unnecessary.  Not to mention, they seem to have a ton of ingredients to make them smell more hoity-toity, and they always give me hives.  That Philosophy stuff turns me into an itchy hive-monster on contact.  Don't even get me started on that Bliss stuff that implies it is gonna make your legs or abdomen slimmer, that is the biggest crock of shit I've ever heard.  I'm not even going to get into the details of that, because I know you are all smart enough to not flush your money down the toilet with that stuff.  If you have dry skin, I like this Aveeno body wash (that Dove and Olay stuff with all the moisturizers seem to clog my pores up and they feel waxy or something.  Yuck.)  If you have problems with bacne or whatever, pick up some Dr. Bronners.  As far as lotion, I use that tub of Cerave cream, or this Aveeno Cream Oil which smells really nice and has a nice texture and sinks in really fast and doesn't make you feel slimy.  I hate feeling slimy.  Everyone buy that Cream Oil so they don't discontinue it.  I never see anyone giving it daps even though it is the best body lotion ever, in my opinion.

GO AHEAD AND SPLURGE:

Foundation:  There are drugstore foundations that will do the job, so don't feel like you have to splurge if you don't have the money to, since fancy foundation can be $$$$$.  That being said, high-end foundation is definitely a nice treat.  I'm fond of Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet, and the Kat Von D Lock It.  Both look good and last a long time (the Kat Von D is a little better and lasts a little longer, in my opinion.)

Eyeshadow:  I have never had much luck with drugstore eyeshadow.  The pricier eyeshadows have a much better color payoff, the texture is a hell of a lot nicer, and they blend really well, which is important when you want your eye makeup to look nice.  I default to getting Urban Decay eyeshadows because they are super nice to apply and look awesome, both the neutral colors and the crazier ones.  Make Up For Ever makes awesome eyeshadows, too, and the Aqua Cream is the cat's ass.  So good!...  Sephora always has a billion eyeshadow sets, too, so splurging on nice eyeshadow isn't as big a hit to your wallet if you're able to find several in a kit.  There was a Smashbox set I saw recently that had a lot of stuff for a pretty decent price if you consider how pricy Smashbox is.  Smashbox makeup is pretty awesome, though, as long as you don't get that fucking primer ;)

Perfume:  Drugstore perfume has never really appealed to me.  Higher end perfume smells better and tends to last longer on you.  Also, a bottle of perfume lasts a long time, so it's not like you have to spend $75 every month or two.  I rotate between a few different perfumes and it's always an event when I hit the bottom of a bottle.  I'm not gonna tell you what perfume to get, that's all personal preference.  I am gullible for Thierry Mugler perfumes, Prada, and anything that smells like chocolate or caramel, because I'm a simp.

YOUR CALL:

Nail Polish:  There are a ton of cheap polishes that are awesome, there are a lot of pricy ones that are awesome.  Do your thing.  My favorite store brand is probably Orly since I have the best luck getting long-lasting manicures when I use their polishes.  My favorite fancy brand is Illamasqua, their colors are awesome and I really dig their formula.  The thing with polish, though, is that the fancier stuff isn't really that expensive...  Illamasqua is like $14, but finding it on sale for $11 or less isn't unheard of.  Another brand I like is PopBeauty, and their polishes are like $10.  Now, if you go fucking nuts and you buy the super expensive stuff, you might be disappointed.  I've bought a bottle or two of Chanel polish, and I really disliked it.  Mega-gloopy, and the Blue Satin one stained a whole lot, which bugged me because I can make navy blue polish by myself that doesn't stain at all, so they really should have that shit on lock.  The Dior polish is nice, but it is really too much when you consider that all polishes are basically made of the same thing.

Eyeliner/Lipliner:  This shit is all the same, I personally go cheap with the wax + wood + where's my sharpener-style liners.  If you are crazy about liner and smoky eye makeup and doing your water line and shit, a higher end pencil might be worth your money.  I like fancy liquid and gel liners sometimes, but drugstores have totally decent liquid and gel liners, too.  It's up to you if you want to splurge on this stuff...  Typically, I don't just because I'm not a crazy eyeliner lady.  If it was the focus of my look, I probably would get the nice stuff more often.

Blush:  Again, your call.  Drugstore stuff is fine, but if you prefer something like Benetint or some kinda special blush, it might be worth the splurge.  I have a Physicians Formula blush, and a Benefit blush, and I use both of them equally and don't really have a preference.

Add anything you think is worth it or not worth it in the comments!  I'll hit y'all up later this week with a CONTEST POST!!  OHMYGODWHOWILLWINIBETSOMECHICK!!!!

89 comments:

  1. Bet you could feed the pig until it exploded with this post. But who wants to do math. Keep it real.

    -A

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    1. Oh, I had the same experience with my primer, but I use the 2 faced primer. Lasts forever and does the trick, don't feel the need to change it up.

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    2. i try to only feed the pig when i had a good alternative that is cheap, cause you don't really need any of this stuff, and it is meaningless to feed absolutely everything to it!

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  2. I usually splurge on Kat Von D liquid lipsticks, because they last FOREVER and also don't seem to come off on stuff. They also take way shorter to put on than the whole apply, blot, blend, blot, powder rigamarole. When I'm feeling lazy, they are the best.

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  3. Quick question. Do you ever have issues applying foundation over the Cerave AM moisturizer? I find that when I try to apply my Smashbox BB Cream over the moisturizer, it tends to look kind of curdled on my face. Almost like the BB cream is mixing with the moisturizer (even when I have let it dry first) and becoming gritty on top of my skin instead of sinking in. It's probably the dang BB cream's fault, but I did not have this issue with my old moisturizers with SPF. Any thoughts?

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    1. i just returned the smashbox BB cream partially because i was having this same exact problem (also because it was too light and i ended up looking like a geisha). it never occurred to me it was the moisturizer, but maybe so (i was using the cerave tub stuff)!

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    2. the smashbox primers aren't that great, maybe they just have a problem with stuff you smear on your face in general. i've never had issues putting makeup over my SPF, but i do stick to the cerave, so maybe it's just that cerave doesn't cause problems.

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  4. I love Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Liner, it's like $7 or $8 and it's awesome. I'm a complete spaz trying to apply liquid eyeliner, and I can somehow get a nice line with this, that isn't all jacked up. I've tried other pen-type liquid liners, but this one offers a level of control I haven't seen before.

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    1. I can't agree with you more! I have loved all the eye studio master products. I have the liquid, gel pot, and pencil and they are fantastic. The liquid and the gel pot are my faves!

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    2. Now I gotta try the gel and pencil too!

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    3. I use the Master Precise pen too and it is hands down the best makeup purchase of my life.

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  5. I feel kind of stupid commenting with "I agree!" but you are really right on with the skin care stuff.

    I did an "internship" for an online magazine last year and ended up with this really pricey Mary Kay face cream kit. The day and night creams alone are about $50 each, and you know what? They don't feel as nice and aren't as moisturizing as my bland-as-hell Neutrogena creams I get at Walgreens for like $11 each. They weren't horrible, but I definitely wasn't impressed.

    I wear liquid liner all the time so I think it's worth it getting a nice one. I usually go for the 24/7 liner from Urban Decay because it stays on my lid for the most part and doesn't make my eyes itch. I used to be able to wear any old off brand from Dollar Tree, but once I hit about 20 the super cheap eye make up started to make my eyes run.

    Mascara isn't something I usually splurge on, but I got the Film Noir stuff from Hourglass for Christmas and I loooove it. There is a little bit of a trick to applying it, but when I do it right I can get the big '60s lashes I want without having to fiddle with fake lashes (disclaimer: it doesn't look like you have fake lases on, but it gives me ones that are full and thick enough that I don't feel the need to bother with fake ones unless I'm going to a '60s night or TOWIE theme party). I'm not sure if I'll be dropping the $25 myself for the next tube though...

    What are people's thoughts on pricey shampoo? Worth it or not worth it? My friend gave me some purelogy samples and it was nice, but didn't live up to the hype for me.

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    1. i usually am not crazy about expensive shampoos, they just don't wow me! but then i started using terax shampoo and conditioner, and i really like it. BUT now when i use drugstore stuff, it makes me get zits on my head?! i don't know, all i know is that i feel trapped now haha.

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    2. I personally use the Redken stuff for color treated hair. But I buy it at Ulta when they have their giant liter sales, so you get a liter of the stuff for about $14 each. Which comes out cheaper than most drugstore brands. And it's awesome. My hair isn't even colored anymore and I still use it because it's nice and gentle and moisturizing.

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    3. It makes way more sense to use inexpensive/bland/gentle shampoo and more premium conditioner. Shampoo just lays some detergent on your head and you rinse it off, whereas you might actually allow conditioner to sink in and do its job before you rinse your money down the drain.

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    4. i used to use cheap-o shamp/cond when i washed my hair every day, but now that i only wash 1-2 times p/w i feel ok about the $27 i spent on Lush's "Big" shampoo, because it's gonna last months.

      as far as $$$ shampoo vs $$$ conditioner - well, the shampoo is going onto your skin, while the conditioner is going onto your dead hair, so i guess it probably comes down to whatever your more problematic area is. for me, i get a sensitive flaky scalp and super oily roots, so i'm ok with spending a lot of shampoo and using cheap conditioner.

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    5. I've actually fallen in love with the Suave Keratin shampoo. It's like $4 a bottle and makes my hair as soft as any conditioner. Then I use Moroccan Oil for the glossy glossy.

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    6. i use the suave keratin dry shampoo, and it's great! i think it was like 99c on amazon + shipping! god i wish these great cheap dry shamps didn't smell so awful, though - i usually spray it in before bed so most of the smell is gone by morning (and it's worked into the hair so there's no residue) but still.

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    7. My hair is pretty much always suffering from some kind of color damage, so the thing that's worked best for me so far is like Maven said, using a gentle/bland/inexpensive shampoo and then using something a little fancier to condition it.

      I used to use the henna powder you mix into a paste yourself (after doing a patch test of course) which gave me a great shine but I got really sick of smelling like a tea bag for three days afterwards. I'm going to give the pure Argan Oil a try (thanks for the Amazon link in your Pig Post last May!) and see if that makes my shiny hair dreams come true.

      Thanks for the feedback everybody! I haven't been wowed yet by any expensive shampoos either, but I figured I'd ask around to make sure I'm not missing anything, ha ha ha.

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    8. I only ever use this one L'Oreal sulfate free shampoo now because everything else feels like it's stripping every last bit of oil out of my hair and makes it horrible (even fancy ones my roommate gets at CosmoProf... I always have to try them once XD), even if I condition afterward I can tell. I don't like having a crazy flyaway frizzy lion mane so I'm also stuck using this kind, haha.

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    9. I totally agree with lemonadelola about the Lush Big! I'm totally obsessed with it! I just bought the Big conditioner today and I'm really excited to use it. Just about any of the Lush shampoos and conditioners are great though because they don't cause buildup in your hair so it's nice and clean! They last forever too! I've been using the same container of Big for months and finally just bought a new one so I don't run out.

      They have solid shampoos that my boyfriend really loves because of the ease of use and how long they last. Usually he gets about three or four months of use out of them and he shampoos everyday.

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    10. My mum's a hairdresser, so I've been fairly spoiled on shampoos and conditioners for most of my life. But some of that salon stuff is garbage. ISO made my hair feel dirtier, and for whatever reason the Redken All-Soft does not make my hair soft at all (the stuff for colour-treated or curly hair is awesome though!)Mid-range drugstore shampoo is fine for most hair though (I have super dry curly hair) but stay away from Herbal Essences! That shit spins hair into straw.

      Hands down though, for any hair type the Paul Mitchell Detangler is the best conditioner for any hair type in my experience. Normally the thick stuff works the best, but this stuff is thinner and defies logic with how good it makes my hair feel.

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    11. If I use any shampoo with SLS in it I get what look like pimples but are probably more like hives all on my back. It totally stopped when I switched to SLS-free shampoo. At first I got all greasy, while my hair got used to not being stripped of all its oils, but now it behaves like normal hair.

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  6. I used to use Klorane dry shampoo but was not happy about the price and having to order it off the internet, so I got a thing of Pssst and a thing of Suave, but I have black hair and both brands leave gross dusty residue behind that won't even brush out. So I am probably going back to the splurge brand, even though it bums me out, because I would rather not pay $15 plus shipping for something I use five times a week. If anyone could rec me a cheap dry shampoo that works better, that would rock.

    Nothing from BareMinerals is worth the money, unless you're looking to coat your entire bathroom in a thick layer of powder. Their blushes and eyeshadows have the stupidest packaging on the planet. As for foundation, I switched to Cover Girl sensitive skin pressed powder and have zero objections.

    My favorite cheap thing from the drugstore is L'Oreal True Match liquid foundation. It feels kind of thin when it goes on but it stays put and covers stuff, and the best part is, they actually make a shade light enough for my skin. I'm one of those pale bitches who's been wearing the wrong color of makeup every day of my life, but I use the second-lightest cool shade (C2) L'Oreal makes and it is maybe even a little too light. They make dark shades too, it seems like a pretty good range.

    My favorite splurge thing from Sephora is Benefit Cha Cha Tint. Holy fuck I love that stuff. I never used to use blush, because all powder blushes seem to make me break out, but I use Cha Cha Tint every single day, and I'm going back for a bottle of classic Benetint as soon as I have some cash. Looks good on my cheeks, looks good on my lips, the shit is boss. It's like $34 but you only use a tiny smear of it and you never have to reapply, so it's not that bad a deal.

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    1. Dry Shampoo = cornstarch, or cornstarch and coco powder if you're worried about the white not completely blending in.

      Boom. Cheap and effective.

      I thought store bought might be better and got some spray stuff, but every time that can was empty in 1-1 1/2 uses. Bullshit.

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    2. personally never tried cornstarch as a dry shampoo but sounds interesting nonetheless...
      i sound like an obsessive maniac, but i use dry shampoo probably 5 days out of the week.
      i've used all drugstore brands of dry shampoo (suave is probably the best imo) except the PSSST! because the name bothers me. i dunno, i'm weird that way.
      i've found batiste is by far the best, if you have brown or dark hair the dark & deep brown works very well and sort of has a chocolatey smell to it. the spray's kinda black, so if you have white walls in your bathroom i wouldn't spray too close to them.
      and it doesn't last forever, (of course if you use it as much as i do) there is a shitload of propellant in the can so it's more of blast than a spray.
      thankfully i've never paid full price for the shit, i've found it at t.j. maxx. recently i bought all the cans they had on clearance at my food lion for $3.00/ea. :)

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    3. I might give the cornstarch a shot because it would stop my husband whining about dry shampoo smells all the time.

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    4. Does anyone have issues with their hairline breaking out from dry shampoo? It's taken me a year to wean myself down to only washing my hair twice a week which means daily sprays of dry shampoo and I have begun to break out. I try to avoid hair that comes into contact with my face but that's generally the first area to get oily.

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    5. Homemade dry shampoo is the shit. I use cornstarch, cocoa powder, and a little bit of oat flour, and I just whisk it all over my roots with a powder brush, and I get more volume at my roots and less greasiness than I do with any store brand.

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  7. I bought one of those huge $10 120 color EFL eyeshadow palates from Target this Christmas. I had one last year, too. But after using it a while and comparing it to my sister's and friend's Urban Decay and other nicer brands of eyeshadows, I just can't be satisfied with it. It's not nearly as pigmented or nice to put on. But I also know that I won't be able to be satisfied with just like 6-12 colors of a good brand. Not sure what to do. It's not like I use every color.
    (I mean, probably I'd get one of the Naked palates and a couple bright colors, and a white. Then I could also mix my own pastels. Because nudes with brights along with white and pastels is all I wear. But that palate of a million colors seduces me.)

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    1. I have a neutral and bright version of the $5 ELF palettes and eventually felt the same way and splurged on the original Naked palette.
      It's gotten me back into wearing eyeshadow regularly, but I'm probably returning it? I really just don't see enough pigmentation to justify the price. Any difference is negligible to me.
      I recently picked up the ELF singles and a magnetic palette and am really digging that. The texture and pigmentation is greater than or equal to Naked, with the only draw back being more fall out.
      If I do stick with pricier shadow, I'm going with the Naked II next time.

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    2. I love the ELF palettes, honestly. It's a good way to try out a bunch of colors on the cheap.

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  8. I just wanted to add on that I find expensive mascaras are not worth it. Every one I've tried has sucked, especially when I can grab the new and badass clump crusher for like $8 at Walgreens. Maybe I haven't tried the right things or something, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it, amirite?

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    1. Word. I go with the drug store stuff always after spending almost $30 on Dior Show bullshit and then my good ol' pink and green tube did a better job. The tube was pretty I guess but it just wasn't worth it.

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  9. I have seriously tried every kind of mascara from $4 - $40. All of them looked great at first but crumbled off in hours. But I was told by one of my friends to try Bad Gal Lash, one sample later and I was hooked! It stays on all day, makes my stubby lashes look huge and even comes in waterproof. I know you can get it at Sephora, $9 for a sample (which lasts forever) or $19 for a big tube (which lasts forever +).
    I think you're spot on about eye shadow. The drugstore stuff is just so cheap! For costume wear it's fine but for everyday wear you really need the good stuff. Especially if you want it to be on all day. I always find myself going back to MAC and Urban Decay.
    That primer potion is the best! You should try their All Night Long makeup setting spray. It works really well.

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  10. Does anyone here use NYX stuff? It is my favorite budget cosmetics brand. There are tons of interesting products and lots of crazy colors, if you're into that. Everything is heavily pigmented, too. I love the felt tip eyeliners and all the lip products I've tried have been great, especially the matte lip cream, which is unlike anything else I've come across. They carry it at Ulta--I'm not sure where else.

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    1. Their soft matte lip liquids are the shit! I have a few and I recommend them to everyone.

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    2. Everything I have ever tried from them I have loved.

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    3. I had a horrible indecent with their eyeshadow pencils. They have a lot of oil or something in them because by the end of the evening my eye was a gloppy mass of lavender and black goo, even over primer potion. Everything else has been okay but I'd rather the shimmer eyeshadows had a finer mill.

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  11. Before I vote on how many mugs I wanna chug. Will you have a list of their makeup with their face or just tons of random pretty faces to stare at?

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    1. i got SO many entries... i was originally planning on putting lists of everything everyone has on, but i think i am going to probably put pics and then make a list of the 20 most popular things people are wearing. if i put everyone's pics AND the list of all the makeup everyone has on, it will be about 25,000 words hahaha. with this contest, i learned that everyone wears a WHOLE LOT of makeup.

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    2. I know this would probably be more work for you, but what if you hyper linked each picture to their description of what's on their face?

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    3. Collectively everyone wears a lot of makeup, or individually?

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    4. collectively we're a larger inventory then barnum and bailey

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  12. I second (or 87th) the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer. It's totally worth it. Drugstore skincare, yes. I use midpriced shampoo and conditioner. Mascara is always the fancy stuff. The drugstore stuff flakes and dries out too fast for me. The brand doesn't matter.
    Dry shampoo? Only the pricy stuff works for me. Oscar Blandi is probably my favorite (the volumizing one in the brown can). I find it at TJ Maxx/Marshalls for half price or less. I picked up a can of Batiste for cheap. It doesn't seem to have the white residue, but isn't nearly as expensive as the Oscar.

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    1. I used to use the Oscar Blandi pronto dry shampoo, and loved the lemony scent. But it always made my scalp itch like crazy by the end of the day. Now I'm loving Rene Furterer -- good for dark hair and doesn't itch at all, ever. For regular shampoo, just Suave is all I need.

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  14. What kind of glycolic acid exfoliation do you use? I'm finally coming to terms that no amount of make up is going to make me feel good if my face feels gross underneath. Most of the stuff I research online recommends going to a dermatologist or a spa...but I don't have that kind of time or cash. I'm all about self-sufficiency and having a regimen I can do at home in my jammies.

    As far as make up goes, I have oily skin and large pores which are hard to keep clean (even when I don't wear make up), so I really can't handle anything too heavy. On a daily basis, I use Almay concealer and Physicians Formula mineral powder (the kind with all the colors that corrects and evens things out). I can't stand thick lipsticks, so most of the time I'll just color them with a stain or a liner and put some chapstick shit on top of that. My #1 trick though is curling my eyelashes...especially on days when I just need to run to the store but don't want to put make up on for a bunch of strangers, curling my eyelashes makes me look like I didn't just get out of bed.

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    1. i use MD forte cream cleanser in the morning (you put it on when your face is dry, then wipe it off with a wash cloth when you're rinsing it off.) then i use the md forte cream at night. it's good stuff. aside from that, i just use the cerave stuff. the bottles of MD forte cream cleanser are kinda steep (like $25 or something) but they seriously last for 3-6 months.

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  15. I had the plague/crampy crap this weekend, too. Ugh. Hope you're feeling better.

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    1. thanks, i'm starting to feel better... the sty pushed me over the line to being full-on grumpy, but i was able to get that under control and then power through the rest.

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  16. Second the CG Clump Crusher mascara love. I have fairly sparse eyelashes so clumps are super noticeable. And most also make my eyelashes clump together making me look like Spongebob. Ugh. This stuff is pretty great.

    I'm also a fan of L'Oreal Lineur Intense eyeliner. It's the best liquid liner I've ever used. The applicator is like a felt-tipped brush? That makes probably makes no sense, but I can't describe it better. It makes it much easier for me to apply.

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  17. Now, I have tiny eyes without much lid space so I can't go too crazy with eyeshadow. That being said, I have a cheap NYX palette (Caviar and Bubbles I think) that is freaking GREAT and would keep me from spending the big bucks on any higher end brand.

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    1. I have hooded eyelids so I feel ya on being limited with eyeshadows. I started playing with fun colors in liquid eyeliner. The sephora brand has lots of cool colors, some are metallic and have glitter and shiz in them.

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  18. I used to swear by expensive mascara - first it was Blinc with the little "tubes" that coat your lashes, then the Tarte 4 Day Stay tint... then I found Hard Candy Lash Ink and it is my new go-to mascara. It doesn't do much more than tint my lashes but it says on like a motherfucker, which is good for someone who cries at every damn movie they go to see (even comedies). For $7 a tube it does what I want it to do - color my light brown lashes BLACK. Now, if I could just find a good eyebrow pencil/powder/gel that would match my L'Oreal Feria R37 Deep Burgundy hair I would be a happy camper. MAC used to make one, but I found it at Cosmetics Company on closeout and have never seen that color again.

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    1. I'm not a redhead anymore, but man was I sad when I heard that M.A.C.'s red brow pencil + gel was getting the boot. It's such solid product, and I swore by it as a redhead. I don't know what I'd do if I ever went red again, because I never found anything quite like it no matter where I looked; the closest I ever found was a shimmery copper eyeshadow by Bed Head that was obviously a no go because of all the shimmer.

      Anastasia Beverly Hills has a color called "Caramel" that I've seen redheads wear with some success. So you could maybe give that a look if yr ever in need and close to a Sephora! It's a lot more dull than the M.A.C. stuff was though for sure. Siiigh.

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  19. *STAYS on like a mofo...

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  20. I know Butter London has already been fed to the pig, but man I love that stuff. It just goes to show how much body chemistry matters. I, too, HATE Seche Vite with a fiery passion, but have loved Butter London - colors, base coat, top coat, and all. It's the best combo I've found.

    It's true that InstaDri is way better than Seche Vite...but I like BL's top coat better because it doesn't bubble on me the way ID does.

    Thanks for the heads up about Aveeno's body oil lotion. I've never seen that one...their original body lotion is my all time favorite. Not slimy, not sticky, not greasy. All necessary qualities in a lotion.

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  21. I live for MAC's eyebrow pencils http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/149/263/Eye-Brows/index.tmpl

    I'm a strawberry ginger, and my brows are naturally WHITE. I've tried just about every brand of pencil, and it's tough to find a product that is the right color AND doesn't look I smeared peanut butter on my face. The self-sharpening pencil in "FLING" goes on perfectly and doesn't require a lot of blending/brushing out.

    Since this is mostly packaging and less pencil, I was a little bit butt-hurt at the price at first. But considering I shave most of the sharpen-yourself pencils into the trashcan, it all comes out in the wash.

    I scribble my brows on EVERY day and this pencil still lasts a solid 2-3 months.

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    1. I agree -- it's all about having the right color. I'm fair with dark hair, and brown pencils are everywhere, but for me they always have too much auburn and not enough ash. MUFE is the brow pencil that changed my life.

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  22. I have always preferred Urban Decay and MAC eyeshadows for their color intensity but the prices have made me sad. I recently discovered Shiro Cosmetics (shirocosmetics.com) and am totally in L.O.V.E. You can order samples of almost any color ($1!!), and she does a color of the month that's always wicked. Also, her color sets and names are cute and geeky (the new Hobbit set is gorgeous). The colors go on just as smoothly and vibrantly as any expensive shadow I've used and don't cost a million monies (plus are animal friendly and you can support a small business!) I haven't tried anything except her eyeshadow so far but her lip gloss has good reviews too and also will not make your wallet cry.

    I also love the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but a more reasonably priced alternative I like is Medusa's Makeup (medusasmakeup.com) Stick It which is a little finger pot that I've had for over a year and works just great. Medusa's eyeshadows are really good, too and come in pressed shadow as well as powder so if you're into that, there you go.

    Thanks for the opportunity to give some of my faves a shout-out, and for all the tips from all the lovely ladies!

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    1. I just placed my first order with shirocosmetics.com. Thanks so much for postong that! I LOVE that you can order sample colors.

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  23. For me, the exception to inexpensive lipstick is when it comes to a truly glamorous red. Something different happens with red at the high end. Is there an ingredient or pigment or something for real that's just too expensive to include in drugstore formulas? I don't know, but it's always seemed that way to me. I got two Tom Ford lipsticks from the Jasmin Rouge collection for Christmas, and they changed my life.

    Can I ask your advice on Illamasqua nail polish? I got my first three from Sephora in the mail yesterday, had a few drinks, and then ordered three more from the UK. I'm obsessed. I'm a traditional base coat/2-3 coats of color/top coat girl, but I keep reading about Illamasqua's amazing staying power, high shine, and no staining afterward, so I'm wondering if the base coat and top coat are called for. I see they sell base and top coats, so I imagine so, but what's your take on it?

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight and tips with us. I love your blog!

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  24. See, I'm in mascara hell right now. Now, most of the makeup I wear is stage makeup, so it's fake lashes plus a shit ton of crazy black volumizing stuff until I look like a sleazy hooker and can barely open my eyes because my eyelids are too heavy. I already have long eyelashes, but they have blond tips, rendering them effectively invisible, so any time I try to to wear normal-people mascara, my eyelashes are too long and wipe all over my eyelids and I feel way too similar to stage makeup lashes. All I really want is something that adds a touch of volume and definition and turns my lashes a solid, natural-ish color without adding a foot of length.

    Imagine my surprise when I found this stuff: http://www.amazon.com/Revitalash-Mascara-Espresso-7-39-mL-0-25-Fluid/dp/B0033RP7HI/ref=sr_1_1?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1360686106&sr=1-1&keywords=Revitalash+Volumizing+Mascara+espresso
    I got it as a gift (my grandmother had gotten a free tube) and found that I looked like a real person! No giant clumps! No hooker lashes! Rich, dark brown that did not look caked on! It was an (early fall) Christmas miracle! Now, it's almost gone, and my life is over. I had no idea that it cost like $25 a tube, and I'm cheap as hell. And it wasn't until I looked it up that I realized that it's supposed to make your eyelashes grow and be all magical and shit. That did not happen. My eyelashes are exactly the same as when I got the mascara. But I love it anyway, but do not want to spend $25 dollars this lovely mascara because it advertises magic. Does anyone have any suggestions of anything similar (that is also dirt cheap)?

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    1. I say get them tinted. When I use Latisse my lashes are a mile long with blond tips, and all I really need is some color on the blond end to look like a baby doll. A spa or salon should do it for $20-25. If not tinting, try L'Oreal Voluminous Naturale.

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    2. I also have very long lashes that are blonde at the ends. I use Almay thickening in black-brown - $6! (and also comb them to prevent clumps/get the mascara all the way to the ends). I like the effect - I get lots of compliments on my lashes but don't feel like I look like a hooker/stage makeup. mascara: http://amzn.to/XyEiyk comb: http://amzn.to/Xw2xB8

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    3. I have this problem as well. I find for drugstore brands I stick to L'Oreal. I find that I do have to throw it out in about 3-4 months as recommended because it will start to get clumpy, but it is only about $7...give or take if you can find it on sale.

      For higher end I LOVE Bare Minerals Buxom Lash(exclusive to Sephora)which at $19 is slightly cheaper than that. But also, for a very natural look, I love Korres Rice Bran mascara (also $19). This wore like a tint on me. Very natural, no thickening or lengthening, no raccoon eyes at the end of the day, no flaking by the time I get home from work. It just makes my lashes darker.

      I've never had tinting, but I've considered it.

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    4. Great! I'll look into all of these. The Rice Bran mascara sounds interesting... Any idea how long tinting lasts?

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    5. Tinting seems to last till your lashes grow out. I forgot to mention once I got it at a MedSpa open house for $10

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  25. If anybody would like some pricy stuff for not so pricy $, Urban Decay is having a sale online right now!

    https://www.urbandecay.com/


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  26. I splurge on eyeliner, but then I tend to do a dramatic bat-wing-y line thing. I like the gel kind in the little pot, and Smashbox makes a really good one. But in general I'm way more likely to splurge on the brushes to apply the stuff than on the stuff itself. I also got some Bare Minerals foundation as a holiday gift, and I will be buying that again when this stuff is gone, no matter what it costs. That is some good shit.

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  27. I use the oil cleansing method so I mix my own face wash for about $10. That lasts me a while, and I honestly have no need for moisturizer. On days I don't wear makeup, I slap on some Cerave AM.

    My skin tone is so strange and I hadn't been able to find anything that matched until literally yesterday. I got a whole bunch of different Physician's Formula junk (Conceal Rx in 2 colors, tinted moisturizer, and airbrush pressed powder) for like $16 at CVS... I would have spent $50 on all of that typically. CVS coupons are boss. Coverage is perfect (I also have stupid pregnancy/hormonal acne scars) and it looks so natural.

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    1. This oil cleansing method is intriguing. Do you use the castor oil / sunflower seed oil blend?

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    2. I use castor oil and grapeseed oil: 9 parts grapeseed oil to 1 part castor oil. My skin is super sensitive and the castor oil is drying, but if you have normal skin you can go 4:1. If your skin is oily, 3:1 or even 2:1.

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  28. have you tried the new WNW color icon eyeshadows three pan and six pan trios? They're the bomb dot com.

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  29. On primers: Yup, UD Primer Potion for eyes is the only way to go. For the face though, I like bareMinerals foundation primer. I have a bunch of acne scars and large pores, but this stuff smooths out all my nooks and crannies so I can get away with just wearing a mineral powder (which is what it's made for). And I don't even use the bare minerals foundation, just their primer. I'm glad I discovered it via free sample.

    On pricy vs. not pricy: One thing you didn't mention that's a huge plus for higher end eyeshadow and blush is that you get a TON MORE for your money. My Urban Decay single eyeshadows last forever, whereas the CoverGirl equivalent shows the bottom of the compact after three uses.

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    1. I find the only exceptions to the eyeshadow splurge rule are Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadows and L'Oreal Infallible singles. They're both hella pigmented so you'll never use them up. Plus if you live in the Midwest the L'Oreal guys are always on sale at Kroger for $6.36. Other than that I only use Urban Decay shadows anymore. I used to go for "bargains" all the time but I got sick of itchy eyes and chalky colors and fallout everywhere.

      I went to Inglot the last time I was in New York, and wow! A million colors! Super-smooth textures! Reasonable prices! But they were out of stock of everything except fluorescent yellow. Fuck.

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  30. Okay I've had terrible hormonal acne since I was about 11, I would start to get my skin looking okay and then BAM! Period! Pizza face! And it would happen month after month. I had a TON of luck going to my dermatologist and she put me on a really low dose of this pill called Aldactone (the generic is Spironolactone, which is what I take, it's $4 with most peoples' health insurance) and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD DID IT HELP!!! I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but it sure as hell worked for me. No side effects either. Been taking it for about a year. I only use concealer to cover the faint scars from my pre-spironolactone acne. I figure I'd spread the gospel because I've heard Accutane is scary as shit and the stuff I take is so mild. Ask your doctor!

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    1. My Derm put me on Spironolactone for hormonal acne, but after taking the first bottle (so, about 2 months worth), I didn't notice any substantial change worth refilling the script. My face WAS a tad less oily, but I was still having new breakouts. I'm pretty impatient and not wild about taking pills, so there's that.
      FYI, folks, Spironolactone is typically used to abnormal blood pressure and fluid retention from low potassium levels - the acne-improvment is a side affect.
      http://www.drugs.com/spironolactone.html

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    2. Sounds too easy - but I found that plain old aloe twice daily applied after I wash my face really helped my hormonal acne. My breakouts are very minor now and I have not had a single cystic pimple since starting this regimen. The green stuff used for sunburns and such works, but is sticky and drying due to the alcohol. Look for 100% pure alcohol (HINT: it's clear)

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  31. I absolutely 100% swear by Maybelline Matte Mousse (http://www.amazon.com/Maybelline-Dream-Mousse-Foundation-Porcelain/dp/B0015G8IDO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360945767&sr=8-2&keywords=matte+mousse) as a complete foundation. I never like to use liquid foundations as it always makes me feel like I'm wearing stage paint and it makes me aware that I'm wearing it all day. But the matte mousse is perfect. It wears very light and blends well with most skin-tones. It doesn't make me break out or feel like my pores are getting clogged. Plus there's no need to cover your entire face with the stuff, just the parts of your face that aren't coloured the way you want it and it blends in wonderfully. I scrape the last bits out of the jar for this one and it lasts for absolutely ever. I've been using it since 2005 and won't ever go back!
    All my friends are crazy about it.

    I love this blog. It's frustrating, as I live in the UK and not the US, that I am unable to find all of the same stuff you discuss and amazon.co.uk is way less extensive than the US version, so I need to spend time harking out a UK version of the things you're talking about. But it's definitely the most useful make up blog I've ever come across that doesn't make me feel like just because I'm showing an interest in cosmetics automatically means I'm a vapid idiot. Thanks Natalie!

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  32. Dude I am right there with you on the Dove and Olay-style soaps/body washes - they leave crap on my skin and it just makes me CRAZY. I cannot deal with it. For years I was using this special organic soap that smelled like chai tea, but then I turned 30 and my skin decided to freak the hell out when I used it, and almost any moisturizer and lotion. I ended up using Dial for a weekend when I was staying at my Aunt's and BAM, no more crazy red burny skin and dry patches! Plain old Dial bar soap. I switched to that Neutrogena sensitive skin spf moisturizer and all was good for a while, but sometimes, I guess when I am weird and hormonal? I don't know, but my skin still gets all red and burny when I use it. It goes away after a while. I just have no idea what to try that isn't going to cost a lot, I have a thousand different products in my bathroom already and most of them I have a weird reaction to.
    Also, I typically get most of my makeup when my Grandma buys clinique skin stuff and she gives me the free gifts she gets. I have so much great stuff from there. This last time, I saw you guys talking about black honey, and I went and checked in the newest bag and OMG I got black honey! I was so excited, and Iove it!

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  33. This blog is amazing. I get to hear about a lot of cool stuff and no one is a bitch about it!

    That said, I thought I'd pop in with my recommendations because nothing says procrastination like my writing about beauty products!

    HAIR

    † My hair is part ethnic (I'm half Cajun) and mondo thick. About six months ago I switched to the "no poo" method. It sounds like constipation or greasy hair but it is neither — using a paste of baking soda for my roots and apple cider vinegar for my hair has made it MUCH MUCH HEALTHIER. My color (red!) lasts way longer. I don't get split ends. Moisturize with coconut oil and I'm done.

    SKIN

    † Coconut oil and Bio-Oil. Both are amazing and rid my skin of scars. But get the namebrand Bio and not its knockoff — it isn't as good. I actually wrote an email to Miz Dee-if-you're-nasty about this very thing.

    † ELF Mineral Blemish Powder is a couple bucks and the best thing I have ever used to treat or cover zits. It works so well that I use it at night to banish the bastards. You can also dot it under your eyes for a cover-up and highlighter in one.

    † I use Burt's Bees lip balm for cheek color. I loathe the shimmers in most blushes and this gives me a creamy, natural glow.

    LIPS

    † Big fan of Wet&Wild lipsticks. After reading a review on Pinterest (Behold, I have a vagina!) I picked one up and they are highly pigmented and long lasting. Being only $3 I can buy a lot of them without feeling like a douche. I was skeptical because W&W is what most of us bought as kids but really, it's awesome. Ditto their nail colors. I found a W&W nail color that is identical to OPI's infamous "I'm Not Really a Waitress." Most of those are $1 and you cannot beat that with an ugly stick.

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  34. I used to be totally with you on the skincare thing, and used Cerave for years.

    Then I got a jar of Philosophy's Hope in a Jar as a gift and HOLY SHIT.

    My skin looks so good that I don't have to wear foundation, ever. I have had only one pimple in the last 12 months, and my face feels fantastic, looks like it has a soft glow, and hasn't peeled off at all this winter. So I have to respectfully disagree. I know there is a lot of overpriced crap out there, but some of the pricier skincare stuff is totally and completely worth your splurge (or at least try a sample). Since my skin is now so awesome that I don't need to wear any foundation, I feel like it's saving me money anyway.

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  35. I used to use Urban Decay's lid primer but found that ELF's is just as good. I love UD's eye shadows and of course they just discontinued my favorite (Lounge), so I bought an extra pan. US used to make an awesome line of nail polish but now they only do occasional sets and they suck.

    I haven't used it in a while, but Makeup Forever used to make fabulous liquid eyeliners in a lot of colors.

    I bought a bunch of those ELF four-color pans - you have to use a bunch to get the color intense, but they're so cheap, and with half a dozen pans, you get endless combinations.

    My new favorite product is the moisturizing beauty bar ( = face soap) from Peter Thomas Roth. It comes in very little bars but one lasts me about three months, washing twice a day. It's hard to find, but I bought a set of six on Ebay for $13.

    I have very dry skin, and someone recently advised me to use "serum" under my moisturizer. I looked at some in Sephora today, and had some serious sticker shock. Is there a brand someone can recommend that won't bankrupt me? (Also, which ones work the best?)

    As far as nail polish, I tend to prefer the premium brands like Essie and OPI. I once got a bottle of Borgese quick-dry that was incredible. As far as drugstore brands, Brucci is really not bad, and I like some of the Sally Hansens. The new Cover Girl is surprisingly good, and although I've always found Revlon to chip easily, I have one of their quick-drys that works really well.

    L'Oreal used to make excellent nail polish, but not any more. Feedit to the pigs.

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  36. I have really oily skin and some large pores on my nose. Sounds weird but a few drops of Milk of Magnesia works as an awesome primer for me. Hides my pores and keeps me mostly shine-free all day - even on my extra oily lids. Plus it's so cheap. Milk of Magnesia - not just for constipation!

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  37. Folks, the thing that makes foundation primer work is silicone - exactly the same stuff that's in products designed to reduce chafing and blisering. Crazy as it sounds, Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel (not actually used to treat yeast infections) is cheap (like $6 for a tube twice the size of even drug store primers) and does the job just as well if not better. It's completely clear so it's not really like having another layer of cosmetics on your face. You only need a tiny bit and it makes my makeup stay nice all day, instead of wearing off by noon like usual.

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  38. I'm late to the party.

    A few splurges I love:
    1. Cannonball mascara by Urban Decay. I have weird lashes that flatten out from being curled if I don't use waterproof, so it's the only waterproof that I have used that I love.

    2. Clinique chubby sticks. They wear like a more colorful, non-waxy balm and stay on like a stain almost. Also, you get to snicker because they're called chubby sticks.

    3. Mary Kay eye firming cream. It's awesome. When you put it on, you can almost see your skin tighten up under your eyes. Great if you are tired.

    4. Dermablend concealer. I have purple under eye circles. It covers them without looking nasty.

    5. Trish McEvoy fragrances. They're made from natural oils, so they don't go synthetic and smell weird on dry down. I love No. 9 (blackberry vanilla musk). Makes me happy.

    Those are the only things I'm committed to splurge on. Everything else is negotiable.

    I 100% agree about the CeraVe. The tub of body lotion is amazing if you have any skin related issues like eczema. Awesome for rosacea, too.

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