I’m a sucker for luxury makeup: A fresh Tom Ford compact makes my heart skip a beat, and I’ve collected more Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks than my local department store. It’s gotten to the point where my friends tease me by saying I won’t let anything under $10 touch my face. So, ever eager for a challenge, I decided to satisfy them once and for all by doing a full face of makeup for under a Hamilton.
To start, I decided to skip foundation, as my complexion is spot-free at the moment. Instead, I opted for Wet 'n' Wild CoverAll Coverstick in Light, a purse-friendly creamy concealer stick. I was pleasantly surprised that the product melted into my skin and hid the redness around my cheeks and chin.
I had to add bronzer next, as I wear it everyday to give my fair skin a glow. I was worried about finding a shade that didn’t read too orange, and Elf Cosmetics saved me with their Sunkissed Glow Bronzer in Sun Kissed, a slightly shiny bronzing powder with excellent color payoff. I swept it across my cheeks and temples. For blush, I actually loved the way Wet 'n' Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Breeze brought a warm pink flush to my cheeks. I dabbed it on with my fingers, and even topped my lips with the shade for an overall dewy effect.
Then I tackled my eyes. Since finely-milled luxury shadows are my ultimate indulgence, I spent much time dusting and swiping my way through dozens of drugstore powders to find my fave. The good news: I found many! But my ultimate pick was Elf Cosmetics' Smoky Eyeshadow Palette, a quad made up of silvery shades and a matte black that felt silky to the touch. I used my fingers to apply the pewter shade all over my lid before dabbing the black around my lash line to create a lived-in smoky eye.
The finishing touch, mascara, felt like a splurge at $3 - but NYC Cosmetics City Curls Mascara was worth it. The fluffy bristles were similar to that of my favorite department store brand, and left my lashes curled and slightly thicker–looking.
After I’d finished I took a peek in the mirror: There was no orange-y cast to my skin, no creased eye shadow; everything looked beautifully blended and seamless. I wouldn’t be surprised if these products made their way into my makeup bag for good.