Best in Budget Beauty 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all good health, good food, and good company. 

This past year the median price of the average piece of makeup I purchased has undoubtedly risen, but I still came across some really great products that were under $15 (actually all but one item in this post is under $10!). Today's post rounds up some of my favorite beauty items that won't break the bank. 

Jessup Brushes

I snagged this set of eye brushes during the 11/11 sale on Aliexpress. (I paid $11 for 15 brushes, including free shipping!). These are excellent for the price, and I really want to stress that qualifier. The angled brushes have clean cut bristles, the synthetic and goat bristles are pretty soft and I would consider every single brush in this set usable. That being said, the white goat stains easier than my other goat bristles and while there was very little shedding and no smell, there are some stray, uneven hairs in some of the bristles. The handles are plastic and lightweight, another drawback is that the labels rub off really easily. I've had these for about a month and many of them have already worn away the names. Because they are so light and inexpensive, I'm going to travel with these. I won't feel bad if I accidentally lose one or two. I also like using these for colors I'm worried will stain bristles, as well as for face charts (the texture of paper will wear away your bristles). You can purchase these directly from  eBay or directly from the manufacturer on Aliexpress. The brushes come in white, black/rose gold as well as black/silver.

Left to right: One Night Stand, Gravity, Queen of Mean, Foxy Lady, Charmed, Ultraviolet

These sparkly pans of duochromeness are made by Looxi Beauty. At $5 a pan (and there's always at least a 10% code floating around), this indie brand is a great place to look to for unusual duochromes in pressed form. There's a catch though, I find that the formula has waaaaaay too much slip, without a glitter glue they will crease within 10 minutes on my eyelids, no hyperbole. The shadows are also on the crumbly side when you pick it up with a brush. Your best bet is to dampen your lids with a sticky base - NYX Glitter Primer is what I used above for my swatches - and pat on, not brush, your shade.

NYX Duo Chromatic Highlighters

Left to right: NYX Twilight Tint, NYX Lavendar Steel, NYX Synthetica

I mentioned these in my highlighter round up here. Big pans, pretty colors, flattering duochromes... what's not to like? Ulta also has NYX sales like every other week. You should never have to pay full retail on these. $7.99 each.

Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipsticks
I first read about these on Auxiliary Beauty, but didn't get around to trying these until early fall. I'm impressed by the pigmentation and the formula, it's forgiving and pretty comfortable. It's not as waxy feeling as the L.A. Girl matte liquid lipsticks. The one downside is that if I'm not wearing a lip primer, the darker shades bled a tiny bit if I didn't buff it in as I was applying. I tend to pat it on in little circular motions instead of painting my lips. It's $4.99 well spent (and don't forget Ulta coupons or factoring in BOGO50% at drugstores)

Colourpop's frequent sales and already low prices make their products hard to pass up. I grabbed an Ultra Matte Lip in Kae this year when I was searching for my perfect brown. This isn't it (too brown for me, but it looked good on my sister who is around NC35) but I enjoyed mixing Kae with other shades to tweak them. While it varies from shade to shade, the Ultra Matte Lip formula is really pigmented, smooth, and liquidy. It can be a tad drying, but my lips already lean really dehydrated. I have to make sure my lips are well exfoliated and my lips have a smidgen of balm. Not sure if this shade is coming back, it was LE but restocked a few times.

 Left to right: Wet'n'Wild Flame of the Game, Wet'n'Wild Video Vixen, Wet'n'Wild Rebel Rose, Colourpop Kae

 "Magic Beauty" MSQ brushes

The left brush is a Koyudo  Fu-Pa02 CB and I think I've found some comparable dupes that are just a fraction of the price. My favorite seller on Aliexpress is Girlstory, a brush merchant that carries a lot of my favorite Chinese brush bruands; Shoushoulang, Energy, Sunflower. These two MSQ brushes are the right are $12 and change (shipped too, mind you) and I have no idea why they are such a steal. The goal bristles are incredibly soft and super densely packed, in every way comparable to the Fu-Pa 02. The only difference is the shape, the two MSQs are curved in shape across the tip of the bristles. They haven't shed at all, no smell at all. The curved shape feels much better across the skin, I reach for these much more than I do my Fu-Pa 02, because they can easily be used for blush, contour, etc.

The are SO soft and really well made. If they didn't have the "magic beauty" (???) on them, I could easily see these with $30+ price tags. I'm very happy with the $6ish each price. 

The above six make up my favorite budget products for 2017. What are some of your favorites this year? One thing I'm on the look out for in 2018 are the new Wet'n'Wild palettes, haven't seen them around yet. 

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

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