April 10, 2013

MABB: $20 Face Challenge!

Every other Wednesday, the Metro Atlanta Beauty Bloggers will answer a beauty-related question just for fun! This week's question is...

Can you create a FOTD for $20 or less? Show us what products you would use!

For this, we are not figuring sales tax, brushes, tools, or implements. Just the regular cost of the actual make-up products.

Ah, the infamous $20 face challenge! For this scenario to make sense I'm imagining the following: I'm on a short trip and some product has exploded all over my other beauty products and they're now useless BUT my brushes and tools are fine because they were in a separate part of my bag (thank goodness, right?!). Can I spend only $20 at a local drugstore so that I can pull myself together for the rest of the trip?!

I mostly purchased Wet n Wild products for this challenge! While most typical drugstore brands have really increased their prices (Maybelline, L'oreal, Revlon), Wet n Wild is one of those stand-by brands that seem to stay at $5 or less for all around pretty awesome makeup. Please note that this post is kind of long because it's an in-depth challenge post, but I promise it's awesome. Take a look!

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heavy swatches; click thru to read the labels more clearly!
  1. Wet n Wild Coverall Cream Foundation in Fair-Light ($3.5 with a peelie coupon on the bottle) - I am so happy with this foundation! It is really nice and buildable, but feels nice and light on my skin. It applies well straight out of the tube, too, which is nice in the mornings when I don't feel like applying stuff that's challenging. Only problem is that this needs to be set really well with powder and then also won't really make it allllll the way through the day without some blotting papers at lunch. I also used this as under eye concealer because my favorite concealer is too much for the $20 budget and I find that attempting to cover my dark circles poorly looks worse than just kinda letting them hang out (creasing, grey-ish bags do not look better than ones left alone). I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was with this idea of just not worrying about them because I feel like I spend a lot of time and product trying to cover up something that ends up looking unfortunately obvious later. I deffo need some under eye concealer halp :(
  2. e.l.f. Clarifying Pressed Powder in Ivory ($1) - I was so impressed with the first few times I used this powder because it never ever ever made me look cakey, which was an issue I had been having with dry winter skin; but after a few uses it seems like not enough powder is getting picked up by my brush (like the top has a film or something?) so that's been less awesome :-/ 

  3. e.l.f. Eyelid Primer in Sheer ($1) - this eyelid primer is sort of tricksy for me because it seems to fair pretty well with the shimmery eyeshadow trio I picked for this challenge, and less well with other eyeshadows; it failed pretty much all around with an all matte eye look. I think I'm using too much product and not letting it dry down enough before applying shadow but it's hard to tell if it's user error on my end or just that it does get patchy because of the product? I do see some pretty noticeable fading when I wear darker colors, but the light shimmery pink in my trio is usually ok.
  4. Wet n Wild Juicy Lip Balm in Raspberry ($3) - Are you supposed to use lip balm as cream blush? Not totally sure, but I don't see how it can really be that different from other 'all over' stick products. Anyhoo, I am pleasantly surprised at how long this lasts as blush and I really really like the creamy finish on my cheeks. It's also OK on my lips, but not terribly moisturizing. Big pro is that it has some SPF!

  5. Wet n Wild Color Icon Trio in Sweet as Candy ($3.5) - I have not had a bad experience with the Color Icon eyeshadow palettes yet *knock on wood* Sweet as Candy is the perfect trio for subtle, everyday, work appropriate looks. There's a basic light white shimmer for highlighting, a medium brown-taupe and a shimmery pink. The best part about this trio is that you can't mess anything up with it and it will never look too dark or dramatic for normal day stuff! Woo! I do wish the pink shade was a shade darker and a little less shimmery (tbh a peach matte would make this amazeballs, but it's still a fantastic trio for $3!) [Psssst for all you MAC Satin Taupe lovers out there, The Sunday Girl has a swatch comparison showing the brown shade from this trio as being a dupe!] For the swatches below I did a single swipe with my finger of each shade on the left, then buffed the same shade over the elf eyeshadow primer on the right (separated by some basic clear tape).
    indirect natural light // flash (lid, crease, highlight) - the highlight shade is not exciting
    so it is totally OK that it's not in focus - just a shimmery white highlight powder eyeshadow!

  6. Wet n Wild MegaVolume Mascara in Very Black ($3.5) - I had heard this was like a $2 mascara and when I bought it I was dreaming it would be included in a sale that would make it $1, but alas. For a $1-2 masacara I feel like this would be an AWESOME deal, but for a $3.5 mascara, I feel like there are a lot of products that are only a little bit more expensive that I would like a little bit better - like my old HG mascara, Maybelline Falsies. Generally I find this mascara to be just OK - it defines my lashes, but I don't think it adds a lot of length that I didn't already have and certainly does not add a lot of volume. Lately I've had great luck layering this as my first coat, then a more plastic toothed-brush for a second coat of mascara.
    curled lashes, no mascara | curled lashes with mascara ((thanks, iPhone!))

  7. Wet n Wild Color Icon Brow & Eye Liner in Taupe ($.69 on sale) - for my brows! I like this shade because I find it to be more neutral/green-ish instead of overly red-based like a lot of light brown/blonde eyebrow pencils can be. I feel like this gives me a more natural look, but the product is really creamy so I do worry a little bit about smearing it off through out the day. Love how much product you get in one pencil, too!

    Juicy Balm in Raspberry, Jordana Sea Green liner, WnW Black liner, WnW Taupe liner, elf primer

  8. Wet n Wild Color Icon Brow & Eye Liner in Black ($.69 on sale) - I feel like a black eyeliner is a necessity in any makeup bag and this one is nice because it has so much product for so little money!! The hilarious conundrum with these pencils, tho, is that they are really long because you're getting more product than an average pencil, and it's really easy to run the pencil into the mirror when doing your makeup but if they were shorter, and avoided running into the mirror, there would be less product and these wouldn't be such a good deal anymore!
  9. Jordana Easy Liner for Eyes in Sea Green ($2) - I love love love this eyeliner; it is one of my HG products for sure. And only $2 ?! Yes, please! I like to wear this color smudged in my outer V or on my waterline with a basic neutral color wash all over the lid as my basic get-ready-asap go-to look. This pencil definitely makes me feel like ‘me’ so it would be great to have in my stash at all times!

Foundation (also used as concealer): 3.5
Setting powder: 1.00
Lips + Cheeks: 3.00
Eyeshadow Primer: 1.00
Eyeshadow trio: 3.5
Eyeliners: 3.38 (for 3 liners)
Mascara: 3.5
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TOTAL: $18.88

I am so pleasantly surprised with my $20 face; I didn't feel like I was missing anything or uncomfortable at all. In fact, I love most of the products so much that they've worked their way into my everyday makeup routine! Being able to use my own tools is what makes this challenge possible; if I wasn't allowed an eyelash curler I was comfortable with or a beauty blender, etc. I fear I would be a hot mess! I don't use expensive tools, mind you, I just think it would be way too challenging to cut enough corners on products to be able to afford tools, too.

my $20 face photos (taken with flash)

If my budget was more like $25-30 then I would have picked up a second blush and lip product to really switch it up. I am nerdy and doodled some different eye looks one night and I can do at least 18 different eye makeup combos with just 3 shadows and 3 eyeliners, so an extra shade for cheeks and lips would really let me mix it up a lot!!

my $3 eyeshadow trio EOTD (with Taupe pencil on brows and MegaVolume mascara)

Tip time: If you're looking for ways to do this challenge more efficiently OR to add some new products to your stash on a budget, you can get a mosaic type powder (bronzers or blushers work well) that would act as both an all-over-face and eye palette for $5 or so. Another inexpensive thing to add more variety to your stash is indie cosmetic samples (a personal fave brand of mine is Darling Girl Cosmetics) and/or samples of pure pigments from online retailers like TKB. Indie samples or mini sized products are usually very affordable, but do keep in mind that it can take 1-2+ weeks for your order to ship from smaller, independently owned companies.

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Be sure to check out the other Metro Atlanta Beauty Bloggers' answers!

Ashley Elizabeth from Ashley Elizabeth's Beauty Blog
Dionne from Glittery Fingers & Sparkling Toes
Emma from Manicurity
Harri from TrailerHood Chic
Mandy from MandysSecrets
Pam from Pammy Blogs Beauty
Quinn from Mama Fashionista

If you would like to see previous questions and answers, you can do so by viewing the Question Archive here.

If you're a beauty blogger in the Metro Atlanta area and would like to join us, please visit our website! We would love to connect with you!


  1. Awesome, you have a very pretty eyes ♥

  2. Wow! What a fabulous job!! And so much info!! And I agree, you have beautiful blue eyes.


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