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A Beauty Blog offering makeup reviews, beauty reviews, and makeup news. The place for Beauty Addicts to get their fix!

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    Today until noon EST (which is only 4 hours from now), Stila is offering 30% off their Eyes Are The Window eyeshadow palettes in celebration of reaching 1 Million followers on Instagram! This brings the cost of the palette down from $49 to $34.30...a savings of $14.70.  Use coupon code 1MIL at checkout.

    So if you've been wanting one of these beautiful palettes, now's the time to snag one! 

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    If you've been wanting to try Laura Geller products (or are already a fan of the brand) you'll be really excited over the new Roman Holiday collection which debuts today on QVC. This entire 8 piece set is $59.96 today only and that's only $7.49 per piece! That's like getting these at drugstore prices...just amazing. 
    This kit contains full sizes and includes two brand new products that are just launching today...the new Balance-N-Glow Foundation (a glowy version of her famous Balance-N-Brighten foundation) and her new Universal Brow Gel Pencil. Let's take a look...
    laura geller roman holiday collection
    Laura Geller Roman Holiday Gift Collection

    This kit includes: 

    • 0.32-oz Baked Balance-N-Glow Illuminating Foundation
    • 0.01-oz Baked Eye Shadow Palette in Baroque, a soft caramel shade; Cafe, an espresso brown shade; and Roma, a deep plum shade
    • 0.012-oz I-Care Eyeliner in Black
    • 0.04-oz Pout Perfection Lip Liner in Tulip, a warm pink shade
    • 0.042-oz Brow Gel Pencil in a universal shade
    • 0.14-oz Color Enriched Lipstick in Rouge Audrey, a classic soft rose pink shade
    • 0.18-fl oz Color Drenched Lip Gloss in Pink Piazza, a bright strawberry pink shade
    • 0.33-fl oz Stylelash Lengthening Mascara in Black
    • Decorative box
    I think I'm most excited about the new Balance-N-Glow Iluminating foundation. I use Balance-N-Brighten currently and it's such an easy product to use everyday. It's a powder foundation that's baked and contains color correcting pigments to make your skin look flawless. It's so easy to apply with a kabuki brush...it takes me just a few seconds to do my makeup (great when I'm in a hurry) and the finish is beautiful, even on my dry skin. The new Balance-N-Glow that's in this kit takes it one step further because it gives your skin a glowy finish that's not shimmery or sparkly. Now that the weather is turning colder, my skin is going to get even more dry and dull so I'm really looking forward to trying this version! Not to mention that the regular Balance-N-Brighten is $33, so I'm assuming Balance-N-Glow will be similarly priced when it launches by itself. That makes this deal amazing because it's only $7.49 today! 

    Visit the QVC website to see a video presentation of this kit. 

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    Every weekend in October, City Color Cosmetics is having great flash sales...last weekend they had 50% off all eyeshadow palettes and this weekend, it's on three of their popular lip products.
    You'll get 30% off on all Be Matte Gems, Hi-Intense Creamy Lip Paints and Dazzling Lipsticks. Plus, use my code BudgetBeautyBlog to get an additional 10% off.
    Between the sale and my code, the Hi-Intense Creamy Lip Paints and Dazzling Lipsticks are only $3.15, and the Be Matte Gems are only $1.89 a piece (and they're fabulous for Halloween, they come in crazy shades of black, blue, yellow, orange, green, and white). 
    You also get free shipping with any $25 order. 

    Visit the sale this weekend only at Citycolorcosmetics.com

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    I was just browsing the Ulta website today and found some brand new Maybelline products that I haven't seen out in the stores yet! So far, they've added a lip gloss palette (which I've seen people posting about on Instagram the past few days) and two new palettes that contain eyeshadows, face products and a lip product all in one. Let's take a look! 

    Maybelline Gilded in Gold and Up In Smoke ($14.99 each at Ulta.com) contain everything you need to do your holiday makeup. Gilded in Gold contains warm bronze tones while Up In Smoke has cooler smoky shades.Both palettes contain four eyeshadows, blush and highlighter, but it looks like one difference between them is that the Gilded in Gold palette has an eyeliner and one lip product while the Up In Smoke palette appears to have two lip products in it. 

    The palettes appear to have a generously sized mirror as well as a small blush brush and dual sponge-tipped applicator. The outside of the palettes is something different from what we've seen from Maybelline in the past...it's very simple and elegant! 
    maybelline gilded in gold and up in smoke palette
    Maybelline Gilded in Gold and Up In Smoke Palettes

    The Maybelline Lip Gloss Palette ($11.99 at Ulta.com) contains 8 shades from nudes to pinks to deeper reds as well as a lip brush. I used to own so many lip palettes when I was in my teens but then they seemed to lose popularity for a while. In all honesty, I'm not a huge fan of lip palettes anymore...eyeshadow palettes, yes! Lip palettes, not so much...they just seem inconvenient, I guess. That might sound crazy considering I buy eyeshadow palettes because they are so convenient. But in the case of lip products, I tend to apply them at the last minute either when I'm leaving the house or when I get to a destination so that they look fresh, so I keep the ones I use most often in my bag and swap them out every now and then. I don't see myself keeping an entire lip palette in my bag, despite the fact that it has so many colors in one. There's also something about them that seems...messy. I don't know, maybe I'm weird but I remember lipstick getting all over the inside of my older palettes and it was kind of gross and not the most hygienic thing in the world. So what I'm trying to say is I probably won't be picking this up, but it's completely a preference thing, since I really like Maybelline's lip products! 
    maybelline lip gloss palette
    Maybelline Lip Gloss Palette
    What do you think? Do any of these look interesting to you? Have you seen these in Ulta stores or in any of the drugstores yet?

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    Hey guys, I hope you had a great weekend! Here's another giveaway...as promised, I'm giving away the very last Profusion Blush Boutique set that was at my local Walgreens. I was hoping to give away a few of them but this was literally the last one I could find. 

    If you missed my review of this set, I'll just say that these are some of the most velvety, pigmented blushes I've ever tried (at any price point) and they feel almost like a cream even though they're powder. Not to mention these shades are to die for!

    You can enter below...good luck! I'll email the winner on 10/21/15. :)

    Profusion Blush Boutique Set Giveaway

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  • 10/19/15--13:33: Sunday Spa Day With Tree Hut
  • A few weeks ago, I mentioned how much I love Tree Hut body scrubs in one of my posts and the people over at Tree Hut saw my post and asked if I'd like to try some more of their products! Of course I said yes, and they sent me a very generous package in the mail full of bath and body products. I've been using them over the past two weeks and I wanted to share my thoughts on them with you guys today. So let's take a look! 

    During the week, showers are really rushed for me, so I basically just lather up quickly and go. But Sundays are what I refer to as "spa" days because my husband is home to watch our 2 year old son. This means I can take an extra long shower using all of the products I don't have time to use during the week!

    Since yesterday was Sunday, I ended up using every product that I'm going to talk about in this post all at the same time, starting with the Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Body Wash ($5.99 at Ulta). This is my first time using a Tree Hut body wash and it is pure luxury! It's thick and rich and contains shea butter, glycerin and brazil nut seed oil. It creates tons of plush foamy bubbles (even without a shower pouf or washcloth) and has a deliciously sweet almond and honey scent. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and soft with no tightness afterwards.

    Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Body Wash
    Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Body Wash
    Next, I used the Brazil Nut Oatmeal Scrub for Sensitive Skin ($6.99 at drugstore.com) on my face. During the week, I sometimes use this all over my body for a quick light exfoliation...the fact that it's packaged in a tube with a flip top cap makes using it quick and easy. This scrub is super gentle and creamy and contains Oat Kernel Protein, Coconut Oil, Aloe, Shea Butter, and Walnut Shell Powder to gently remove dead skin cells. Again, the scent is pure heaven...it's mild but sweet and reminds me of oatmeal, milk and honey.
    Tree Hut Oatmeal Scrub for Sensitive Skin
    Tree Hut Oatmeal Scrub for Sensitive Skin

    Tree Hut Oatmeal Scrub for Sensitive Skin review
    Tree Hut Oatmeal Scrub for Sensitive Skin

    On the weekends when I have a little more time, I love to use the Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub ($7.49 at Ulta). This has been my holy grail scrub for years and years and it has an almost 5 star rating on Ulta's website. It's easy to see why...this scrub is thick and rich and doesn't crumble when you spread it on your skin like some scrubs do. Also, the sugar grains take a while to dissolve so you get a very deep scrub that takes off all of your rough, dead skin and yet it doesn't feel too abrasive. Afterwards, it rinses clean without an oily residue on your skin like some scrubs can leave...you're just left with smooth soft glowing skin. It comes in at least 8 different scents (on the Ulta website) that are all delicious...I've tried most of them over the years. This particular scent, Original Shea is warm, sweet and nutty and one of my favorites, but I also love the Brazilian Nut and Hawaiian Kukui ones!
    This scrub is just as effective as any high-end scrub that costs many times what this does and it comes in a generous 18 oz. tub.
    Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub review
    Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub

    Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
    Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub

    Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
    Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
    After my shower, there's nothing better than Tree Hut's Shea Body Butter ($7.49 at Ulta). It's thick, rich and creamy and my dry skin just drinks it right up. It contains Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Glycerin and Safflower Seed Oil to moisturize and keep your skin feeling hydrated all day. The Brazilian Nut scent is probably my favorite...it smells just like toasted brown sugar and it's completely mouth-watering.
    Tree Hut Shea Body Butter

    Tree Hut Shea Body Butter

    Tree Hut Shea Body Butter
    Finally, I finish my routine with a dollop of the Moisturizing Hand Cream in Coconut Lime ($5.99 at Amazon.com). This hand cream is lightweight yet super effective and it sinks right in with no greasy feel. The coconut lime scent is so refreshing...the citrus notes perfectly balance the sweetness of the coconut.
    Tree Hut Moisturizing Hand Cream review
    Tree Hut Moisturizing Hand Cream

    Tree Hut Moisturizing Hand Cream
    Overall, if you haven't tried Tree Hut yet, I highly recommend all of their products! They're all paraben free and spa quality at incredible prices. I usually buy all of my Tree Hut products locally at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Walmart, but if you're not able to find them near you, you can get them online at the links I provided in this post. For more information and to see the full range of products, please visit www.Treehutshea.com.

    **Disclosure- The products mentioned in this post were provided to me for review by a brand or PR agency but all opinions are my own. I was not paid to write this review.**

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    Being the highlighter junkie that I am, I couldn't help adding this cute little Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder($4.99) to my cart during a recent City Color haul. It's under $5 and is totally different than the other shades I currently have in my collection. Let's take a look! 
    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder Review
    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder

    It comes in a flat compact that's really slim...it's probably the skinniest compact I own, but it's wide so there's still a lot of product in here. Like most City Color products, the packaging is simple and clean. This product only comes in one shade, and in the pan, it appears to be white with a very slight hint of gold.
    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder Review & Swatches
    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder

    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder Review
    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder

    Like most City Color products I've tried, this was very pigmented, soft and easy to apply and blend. I intensified the swatch here so that it shows up on camera, but when you're applying it to your skin, it gives such a beautiful ethereal glow. If you're light skinned like I am, you probably know that it's sometimes difficult to find a highlight that's lighter than your skin tone...most of the time they're very similar in color and just sort of blend in, so I love how light this is! It really makes my cheekbones pop.
    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder Review & Swatches

    I decided to swatch it next to a few other highlighters I own so you can see how this one compares. I've seen other people online compare this to Mary-Lou Manizer and have even said it's a dupe, but as you can see here, they're really not even close. Mary-Lou is a golden shade, while this is a pearly white. Champagne Pop and Opal from Becca are even darker shades of gold. I'm hoping that maybe this will be a dupe for Becca's Pearl shade that's going to be released soon in the Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow palette ( I also heard that Becca will be releasing Pearl pressed powder on it's own for Spring). I have a feeling that Pearl will be a little whiter based on the photos I've seen, but it may be close...I'll have to follow up once I can get a swatch of Pearl and see how it compares to this City Color one. 
    City Color Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder Review & Swatches

    Overall, this is a great little highlighter for a great price at under $5! Use my coupon code at Citycolorcosmetics.com and get an additional 10% off (and free shipping over $25). If you're fair skinned, this is a great highlighter for you as it will actually show up on your skin and if you have darker skin, this will be that much more intense on you! 

    You can grab this one now at CityColorCosmetics.com

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    Last week while I was at Rite Aid, I spotted the Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara and since I'm a total mascara junkie, I bought one to review! It was marked at $9.99 but I realized later when I looked at my receipt that it rang up ay $6 and change. I don't remember seeing any sale signs, so I'm not sure what the promotion was, whether it was just on sale or if you had to use your Rite Aid discount card. But anyway, I've had really good luck with Revlon mascaras in the past, so let's see how this one worked out...
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara

    Revlon Ultimate All-In-One Mascara claims to deliver 5 benefits in 1: Volume, Length, Definition, Lift and Rich Intense Color.
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review

    The tube itself is an interesting shape...it's a flat oval and the bottom of the tube is a matte black plastic while the top cap is a glossy red. I find that even though it's larger than a rounded tube, it's easy to hold and intuitive to use.
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review

    The brush was the biggest surprise when I pulled it out for the first time. I kinda went, "huh?". It's tiiiny like a brush that's designed for bottom lashes. Revlon calls it a "power mini brush" and claims that it's oval shaped design makes for easy application, while the hollow core deposits the formula for "mega lash impact".
    I figured I was going to have a really hard time getting length and volume out of this with a tiny brush, and assumed that it was going to take longer because I can't reach as many lashes in one pass. On the contrary, I actually liked using a smaller brush because I was able to get right into my lash line and I felt like I had more control over it. I also didn't get mascara all over my eyelids, which always happens to me when I'm using a larger brush (but I'm clumsy and tend to rush through application).
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review

    To give you an idea of the actual size of this brush, here it is next to Maybelline's Push Up Drama brush, which is an average-sized brush. It's about half the size!
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review
    Okay, so here are my before and afters. I have decent lashes to begin with...I'd say they're pretty average, they're not short but they aren't long either. They have a slight natural curl, instead of being completely straight.
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review
    Before using Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara
    I have to say, I was pretty wowed when I compared one eye to the other!
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review
    After using Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara on one eye.

    I applied several coats (3 or 4) and wiggled the brush at the base of my lashes before combing through. I forgot to mention above that this brush is the plastic kind but the spikes on it aren't too long so it doesn't feel scratchy when I'm using it. The thing I love about plastic brushes is that you can get good separation with them and they make it easy to comb out clumps.
    This formula is very, very wet, but surprisingly it didn't create a ton of clumps even after multiple coats. I would say that this formula checks off all the boxes when it comes to the claims...it definitely gave me length, volume, definition, lift and a rich inky black color.
    Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara Review
    After using Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara on both eyes.
    Thankfully, this formula didn't give me raccoon eyes (which is a total deal-breaker for me when it comes to mascara) but I did notice a few flakes throughout the day. It wasn't enough to be bothered by it. I think this formula is the kind that creates little tubes around your lashes, so that might be why it doesn't smudge.
    After using Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara
    Overall, I'm really happy with Revlon's Ultimate All-in-One Mascara. I was obsessed with Cover Girl's Super Sizer all summer but I recently had to get rid of that tube since it was over 3 months old...and I'm thinking that this one will be the perfect replacement for the fall season. Of course, I still love the Super Sizer, but a girl's gotta change it up once in a while, know what I mean? :) 
    Have you seen this in stores yet? Tried it? 

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  • 10/21/15--20:58: Becca Champagne Pop Dupe!
  • Who would have thought that a recent ELF haul would lead me to a Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop dupe?! I purchased a bunch of ELF baked products last week (you'll be seeing some reviews soon) and I couldn't help but notice that their Baked Eyeshadow in Enchanted looked a lot like Champagne Pop in the pan. So I did what any makeup lover would do and swatched them side by side...and I could hardly believe my eyes! 
    champagne pop dupe

    These are so close, it's just crazy. Enchanted might have the slightest bit more pink or peach in it, but when they're sheered out on the cheeks, you can't tell the difference at all. I realize that Enchanted is an eyeshadow, but who says you can't use it someplace else, right? It's only $3 and Champagne Pop is $38, so it's a total steal if you want the same effect.
    champagne pop dupe
    I'll be posting this to my dupes board on Pinterest. Have you found any great dupes lately? Do share! 

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  • 10/22/15--12:19: New e.l.f Setting Sprays
  • I was perusing the e.l.f. website today and came across two new formulas of their setting spray... Illuminating and Matte Magic. Let's take a look at the claims...

    These are $4 each, which is a dollar more than the original setting spray formula...but I'm guessing that's due to the added ingredients.

    Illuminating Mist & Set- The fine mist creates a natural glow on the skin with ultra-fine, light-reflecting particles for an instant illuminating effect. This incredibly innovative item is right on trend to help you create the perfect strobing effect. Infused with Vitamin A, C, E, and Green Tea to help hydrate, nourish, and brighten the complexion for a healthy looking radiance. The lightweight, comfortable formula is perfect for all skin tones. Helps improve makeup wearability and prevent color from running or fading.

    Magic Matte Mist & Set- This fine clear setting spray helps makeup stay put, and helps control shine for beautiful-looking skin. Infused with Vitamin B, E, Arctium Majus Root to help hydrate, soothe. The lightweight, comfortable formula helps improve makeup wearability, and prevent color from running or fading.

    I definitely want to try the Illuminating formula...my dry skin always needs help to keep it from looking dull. I'm hoping it's not sparkly, but based on the description, it doesn't sound like it...they claim it gives a "natural" glow and that the particles are "extra fine". We'll see, I'm definitely placing an order today.

    Which one do you want to try? 

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    I feel like I'm the only person in the world that hasn't tried e.l.f.'s Studio Baked Blush ($3), so I bought all four shades during a recent e.l.f. haul. I was surprised when they showed up and looked more like highlighters than blushes! They're super shimmery and two of the shades are actually light enough that they could easily pass for highlighters. But hey, I'm a highlighter junkie so this didn't bother me one bit! Let's take a look...
    elf Baked Blush Review & Swatches

    These slightly dome-shaped blushes are swirled with two different shades that look so pretty when they blend together. The compacts they come in are pretty lightweight and cheap-feeling, but I don't expect much for $3...besides, it's what's inside that really counts.

    On a side note, one thing that really bothered me was the sloppy packing job by e.l.f. employees at their warehouse. I ordered 12 different products and they were just thrown into a bubble-lined mailing envelope, so they were all banging around together inside. One of these blushes, Rich Rose (the bronze-looking shade) is loose inside the compact, which makes it difficult to pick up any color. I have to try to hold it still with one hand and swirl my brush around with the other. I also ordered some of their Baked Highlighters and one came completely shattered in a thousand pieces. So that's two products that were ruined during shipping...ugh!
    elf Baked Blush Review & Swatches

    These are just beautiful to look at and they do contain a lot of shimmer, so if shimmery blushes/highlights aren't your thing, you probably won't like these. I have really dry skin, which has a tendency to look dull, so I like shimmery formulas because they add light to my face. Just as long as they're not too glittery, I'm good.

    Pinktastic seems to be the shade that everyone always talks about when it comes to the Baked Blushes. I kind of laughed at the name, because while it does have a few pink veins running through it, it's primarily a golden shade! A lot of people say that this is a dupe for MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle...I haven't tried that one, so I can't confirm that. I swatched this against my other highlighters but didn't find a dupe in my collection.
    elf Baked Blush pinktastic Review & Swatches
    Peachy Cheeky is a light golden peach shade that could also pass for a highlighter on me. It's such a beautiful shade and it adds a warm glow to my cheekbones.
    elf Baked Blush peachy cheeky Review & Swatches
    Peachy Cheeky

    Passion Pink is probably my favorite of all the shades to wear as a blush. It's the perfect flush of pink on my fair skin and I just love it!
    elf Baked Blush passion pink Review & Swatches
    Passion Pink

    Rich Rose actually looks bronze with coral running through it in the pan but swatches sort of a rosy bronze shade. This one doesn't seem to pick up quite as well as the others when I use a brush or my finger...it feels drier somehow. But this is also the one that's broken so I'm not pressing quite as hard due to it sliding around a lot in the compact.
    elf Baked Blush rich rose Review & Swatches
    Rich Rose

    When I first played with these, they felt dry and like they had an shimmery overspray coating on them. But after a few uses, they felt much softer and I was able to pick them up easily with my e.l.f. blush brush. I find that these sheer out too much if I try to use a fluffy brush, so ones with shorter or stiffer bristles seem to apply them the best. These can also be used wet or dry! Here, I swatched them dry and they go on pretty sheer...
    e.l.f. Baked Blush Review & Swatches

    Then I applied them wet and they really pop! I used them with a damp Beauty Blender and also spritzed my brush with a setting spray and it worked well both ways. 
    e.l.f. Baked Blush Review & Swatches

    Overall, these are really beautiful shimmery blushes to add to my collection. I've been buying a lot of matte blushes lately so this was a nice change and now that we're heading into the Winter (aka dry skin season) these will give my skin a much-needed glow. 

    Have you tried the e.l.f. Baked Blushes yet? 

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    City Color Sunlight Trio ($8.99) is a bronze, blush & highlight palette that comes in two different shade combinations...one light and one deep to suit a range of skintones. I found these at my local Five Below and they were only $3 or $4 each, so if you live near a Five Below, I highly recommend buying them there. I purchased both shade options, and when I got to the register, the cashier dropped the lighter one on the floor and the corner of the highlight broke a little bit. Since I had grabbed the last one, I was stuck with it (she did take $1 off the price though). 

    Collection #1 is more suited toward darker skin tones...it has a golden highlight that's absolutely stunning, a shimmery peachy pink blush that reminds me a bit of Nars Orgasm (read: flattering on everyone), and a shimmery bronzer that is way too dark for my fair skin and even if it wasn't, it has too much shimmer. That being said, I think it would make a really pretty eyeshadow!
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 1 review
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 1 

    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 1
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 1 

    Collection #1 is so pigmented, it's insane. They apply beautifully and you only have to dip your brush into the pan ever so gently and it picks up a ton of color. These swatches are one swipe with no primer underneath...they're on bare skin!
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 1 Swatches
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 1 Swatches
    Collection #2is for lighter skin tones, such as myself, and contains a champagne/gold highlight, matte pink blush, and a shimmery bronzer that's lighter than the one in Collection #1, but it's still too much shimmer to use all over my face. 
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 2
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 2

    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 2 review
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 2

    I definitely noticed a difference between these two palettes...this one didn't feel as buttery or swatch as beautifully. The highlight was patchy and the blush felt more powdery. The bronzer was the most pigmented shade in this palette, but it didn't seem to be quite as rich as the darker one.
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 2 swatches
    City Color Sunlight Trio Collection 2 Swatches
    All in all, these kits are beautiful and the price is definitely right! But I do prefer Collection #1 over Collection #2, even though it's not geared toward lighter skin. The blush still works beautifully on me though, and the highlighter is just gorgeous. I wouldn't use the bronzer in either palette as a bronzer but they certainly work as eyeshadows! 

    You can grab these at Five Below stores or at CityColorCosmetics.com

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    All City Color Highlighters are 30% off this weekend, from today until Monday 10/26. You don't need a code for this sale, so you can use my code: BudgetBeautyBlog to get an additional 10% off. Here's what's included in the sale...

    I have actually reviewed several of these products, including the Glowing Complexion Illuminating Cream, Intense Exposure Highlighting Powder, Spotlight Highlight, and the Sunlight Trio, so if you're curious about any of them, these links go to my previous reviews.

    Here's a list of all of the products included in the sale, and it shows the regular price vs. the sale price.

    If you're looking for some great highlighters, look no further than City Color Cosmetics! This brand continues to impress me with high quality, intensely pigmented products at an affordable price, and I can't say enough good things about them. Don't forget to use code BudgetBeautyBlog for an additional 10% off! 

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    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor ($9.49 at Rite Aid) is a brand new release from Revlon that's been showing up in stores the past week or so, and since I've always had good luck with their lip products, I decided to give them a try. I actually got them on sale for $5.69 with my Rite Aid Card, but I feel like the original price is kind of steep for a drugstore lip product, right? I don't know...I just feel like the drugstore brands are starting to creep up into the next price category lately. 

    Anyway, you guys probably know how I feel about matte lipcolor...we just don't get along at all. I have naturally dry lips that tend to show lines easily and when you combine that with a drying matte formula, it looks pretty darn terrible...my lips get all prune-y and shriveled looking like I'm 80 years old. But I'm always on the hunt for a more moisturizing matte formula and based on the claims for these, I figured it was worth a shot. Let's take a closer look...

    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Review & Swatches
    So far, there are six shades, and I ended up grabbing two of them...Devotion and Obsession.
    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Review & Swatches

    The tubes come with a label over the opening, but they're not shrink-wrapped or otherwise safety sealed.
    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Review & Swatches

    I really like the packaging! They come in oval shaped tubes that have a frosted matte finish, and a brushed silver-tone cap. The applicator is a paddle shape that tapers toward the end, rather than a doe foot-style and I much prefer this type. You can cover your lips quickly while still staying precise.
    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor

    When I first swatched these, I was a bit confused because they don't swatch matte...they're not super glossy either but they're in-between, like a regular liquid lipstick. They're matte in the sense that they don't have any shimmer or glitter in them whatsoever, but the first time I wore these, I felt like they never really dried down at all. The next time I wore them, I applied a super thin layer on my bottom lip and then pressed my lips together so it would transfer to my top lip. This resulted in a much more matte finish, so I think the trick here is to not use too much...a little bit gives complete coverage. If you prefer, you can also apply it to both lips and then blot them with a tissue once you're done applying to take off that top layer that doesn't like to dry down (and transfers to everything).
    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Swatches
    Devotion (left) and Obsession (right)

    I'm happy to say that these aren't drying at all and don't settle into lines. They actually feel like they sit on top of your lips the whole time and have a thick, plush/velvety feel similar to what it might feel like if you used a silicone face primer on your lips. That's the only way I can describe it. Some of you will totally hate feeling something on your lips all day, but I actually love it...it doesn't feel sticky or tacky at all and I prefer being able to feel it on my lips to it settling into lines. Also, the thicker formula doesn't migrate outside your lip line and these lasted about 4-6 hours on me depending how much I'm eating and drinking. 

    Devotion is probably my favorite of the two I bought...it's so wearable and is the perfect pinky rose shade.
    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Devotion
    Wearing Revlon HD Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Devotion

    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Devotion
    Wearing Revlon HD Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Devotion
    Obsession is a bright cool-toned pink fuchsia shade that definitely compliments cool-toned skin like mine, but it's a way brighter shade than I'm used to wearing!
    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Obsession
    Wearing Revlon HD Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Obsession

    Revlon Ultra HD Matte Liquid Lipcolor Obsession
    Wearing Revlon HD Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Obsession
    Overall, I'm so happy to have found a liquid lipstick that isn't drying, even if it's only semi-matte. Truthfully, I like a little bit of shine, as it makes your lips look plumper! I feel like this is one of those products that people will either love or hate. If you love the drier, super matte liquid lipsticks, and were hoping for a drugstore version of that, you may be disappointed in these, since they're very different.  On the other hand, if you haven't been able to wear liquid lipsticks because they're so drying, you may really like these! I'm thinking about going back and picking up the nude shade, Seduction.
    I'd love to hear what you guys think of these, whether you've tried them out, or just based on what you've seen so far! 

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    I was surfing around on Instagram, as I tend to do, and came across a sneak peek of the Lorac Riesling Romance on @beautyjunkies Instagram page (you can see more photos of this palette on her blog here.
    Riesling Romance will be $15...such a great deal for those amazing, buttery Lorac eyeshadows! It's launching exclusively at Ulta on Cyber Monday, November 30, 2015. There are seven eyeshadows included, two mattes and five shimmers.
    What do you think, will you be picking this up on Cyber Monday (I can't believe that's next month already, yikes!).

    Photo: Beauty Junkies Unite Blog

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    City Color Highlighting Wand($5.99) is a lightweight cream highlighter that comes in three beautiful shades. I grabbed one of them during the City Color Labor Day sale when I ended up hauling a bunch of things I've been wanting to try.
    Right now, these are part of the highlighter sale, so they're only $4.19 each. You can also use my code BudgetBeautyBlog for an additional 10% off, which makes them $3.78 each!
    City Color Highlighting Wand in Blush Wine
    The City Color Highlighting Wands come in three shades: Moscato (white pearl), Blush Wine (a champagne pink), and Champagne (gold). 

    City Color Highlighting Wands
    These are actually dupes for the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight Trio, which is $25 for a set of three and comes with Pearl, Opal, and Champagne Gold. These smaller tubes only come in a set, so it breaks down to $8.33 each. That means that with the sale going on right now, the City Color version is less than half the price!
    Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Trio
    I purchased the Blush Wine shade to try, because I thought it would best compliment my cool-toned skin. It comes in a small tube that looks like a lip gloss, complete with a doe-foot applicator. I really like this kind of packaging when it comes to a cream highlighter because it's way less messy. I use the applicator to dot it in the exact spot I want to put it (which is more precise than using a powder) and then blend it with either my fingers or a slightly damp Beauty Blender. I like the Beauty Blender application the best, as it gives a flawless, airbrushed finish. 

    City Color Highlighting Wand in Blush Wine

    Here's what it looks like before blending...this color is just so pretty! It's shiny and glowy without being glittery...it's very smooth with no chunky shimmer at all. When it's blended out, it creates the most beautiful highlight- it's subtle yet still noticeable.
    Blush Wine swatched

    Overall, the City Color Highlighting Wand is a great option if you're looking for a cream highlighter. The packaging makes it so easy and convenient to use and this Blush Wine shade is gorgeous! It makes me really want to try the other shades now. 
    The sale ends on 10/26/15 so grab these while they're 30% off! And don't forget to use my coupon code BudgetBeautyBlog for an additional 10% off. 

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    There's nothing better than the feeling of spending a few bucks on something that performs like a $25, $35, or even $45 item! I've known people in my life who would be the first to admit that they were "makeup snobs". They won't even touch drugstore products because they assume they're sub-par products, just because they're inexpensive. But with drugstore makeup, there are hits and misses and you have to be willing to try a lot of different things before you find those cheap thrills. On the other hand, after working at Sephora for 5 years, I can tell you that there are plenty of misses even at those higher price points! Just because a product is expensive doesn't mean it's going to perform well, so it works both ways.

    These five products I'm going to talk about today are my current top 5 makeup products...the ones I've been using (and loving) lately. I actually just realized as I'm writing this that a few of these aren't even from the drugstore, but are from indie cosmetic brands like L.A Girl, City Color and Colourpop. But I've discovered that these brands really get it right when it comes to creating high quality, high performing products at amazing prices. So without further ado, here they are! 

    Colourpop Super Shock Shadow($5)- I discovered Colourpop last year and since then, they've become one of my favorite affordable brands! The Super Shock Shadows have a unique bouncy, velvety texture that I love and stay put all day without creasing or wearing off. They look the same at night as they did when I first put them on, which is saying a lot for a cream eyeshadow. They also come in a huge range of colors and finishes, from subtle to extreme so there's plenty to choose from. I like these better than any high-end cream shadow and they're $5...it's crazy! See my reviews here and here.

    City Color Be Matte Blush  ($4.99)- I discovered these by accident at a Five Below store. I bought one and loved it so much, I went back later that day for 6 more...they're that good. First of all, they give you a huge amount of product...way bigger than any drugstore blushes. Plus, they're so soft and pigmented, you only need to dab your brush into the pan lightly to completely coat the bristles. They blend like a dream and are also pretty long-wearing for a powder blush, not to mention the matte finish is super flattering and won't accentuate pores on your cheeks like shimmery ones do.  (See my review and swatches here).

    Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara ($2.99)- I bought this at Walgreens on a whim many years ago because it was so cheap, and it ended up being one of my all-time favorite formulas. It's not too wet or too dry, the brush bristles are perfectly spaced to coat your lashes evenly with no clumps, and it lengthens, thickens and creates lift perfectly. It's also made in Italy (Jordana is a sister company to Milani) but a large number of their products are made in the USA which is amazing considering they're so reasonably priced. 

    L.A Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer($5)- This is my everyday concealer and I have several backup tubes because I never want to be without it. It gives medium coverage (I like IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye when I want full coverage) and most days, that's all I need. This particular shade, Classic Ivory is a peachy color (and peach/orange cancels out blue) so it hides dark circles easily. It also feels silky and smooth, like an eye cream, and is so hydrating that it doesn't cake or crease under my eyes like a lot of concealers do on my dry skin (See my full review here). 

    Hard Candy Plumping Gel Lipstick ($5)- I have this lipstick in five or six shades now because it's the creamiest lipstick ever and gives amazing coverage. It also lasts a ridiculously long time on your lips, which was a surprise to me because it's such a creamy, hydrating formula...like a balm. It also stains your lips and wears off very evenly, so I don't have to worry about it looking all patchy and weird as the day goes on. They don't sting or burn like other products that have the word "plumping" in the name...I think the only way they actually plump the lips is by adding hydration, at least in my experience. (Read my full review and see swatches here)

    So there you have it! My top 5 makeup products at $5 or less. There are a lot of products under $5 that I really love so it was hard to choose, but these are the ones I reach for most often. Have you discovered a holy grail product under $5? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! :) 

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    I picked up the e.l.f. Mad For Matte ($10) eyeshadow palette a few weeks ago during a late-night e.l.f. haul (just keep me away from the computer when it gets late because I lose all willpower and just go crazyyy). I really didn't need another eyeshadow palette if I'm being totally honest... but I rationalized it by remembering that most of my palettes have shimmery shades, and I actually have just two all-matte palettes, the Tarte Tartelette Palette, and the Makeup Revolution Flawless Matte. Plus, this Mad for Matte palette is so inexpensive and the colors are just perfect for fall. Yup, I'm convinced I needed it (but try to tell that to my husband, lol).
    So does this one live up to my other matte palettes? Let's take a look and see...
    e.l.f. Mad For Matte Eyeshadow Palette Review
    e.l.f. Mad for Matte Palette
    The Mad for Matte palette comes in a long slim black case that's perfect for travel- it's probably the least bulky palette I own, but the pans are still a decent size for getting your brush or finger in there.
    There's also a full sized mirror, and while it's tough to see your entire face in it due to the palette being slim, it gets the job done, especially if you turn it on it's side for more length.
    elf Mad For Matte Eyeshadow Palette Review
    The shades are beautiful for fall and are a nice mix of warm and cool tones. It's the perfect everyday palette with some lighter highlight shades on the left, some great transition shades in the middle, and three darker shades on the right side, including a deep chocolate brown, a blue-toned slate gray, and a dark charcoal that's very close to black.
    e.l.f. Mad For Matte Eyeshadow Palette Review

    Going into this purchase, I knew that matte shades are notoriously dry and hard to pick up as a rule. I have a lot of palettes that are mostly shimmery shades with one or two mattes and usually the whole palette is soft, buttery and pigmented, except for those darn matte shades! The Tartelette palette is the one exception I've found to this so far, but I still had a little bit of hope for this palette.
    At first swatch, those hopes were dashed, as the lighter shades barely even showed up on my skin and the rest were very underwhelming as far as pigmentation goes. There is also a bit of fallout with this palette, not that that's a deal-breaker (for me at least), but I'm just throwing that out there.

    Here are my initial swatches on bare skin:
    e.l.f. Mad For Matte Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches
    Swatched on Bare Skin
    But as I played with this a little bit more, I seem to have broken through some sort of dry top layer, or "crust" as I like to call it and they got a little bit better as far as pigmentation goes. Then I decided to swatch them over an eyeshadow primer, which is something I don't normally do because I don't want my swatches to be misleading. If I show you guys some beautiful swatches and then you buy the palette and get it home and go, "huh? Jen lied to me!", I'd feel terrible, because not everyone uses a primer. I feel that swatching on bare skin gives the best representation of the actual formula so if it swatches great on bare skin, it'll look even better over primer (and no one is disappointed).

    So here's how the Mad for Matte palette did over Too Faced's Shadow Insurance...and it's a world of difference!
    Swatched over Primer
    This set of swatches is what I was hoping this palette would be like overall!
    So between breaking through that top layer a bit and then swatching them over primer, this palette was redeemed in my eyes. I'm absolutely in love with these shades so I'm so glad it wasn't a disappoinment...I was really, really hoping it would work out somehow!

    What do you all think of this one? Have you tried it already, or are you thinking about getting one the next time you do an e.l.f. haul?

    You can purchase this palette at eyeslipsface.com 

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    If you've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Collaboration palette Champagne Glow, it is finally available at Sephora.com! Grab yours before they sell out, because they likely will! 

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    If you've been searching for an Hourglass Ambient Lighting dupe, or just a really beautiful face finishing powder, meet Wet N Wild's Coloricon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana ($4 at Walgreens and Walmart). I never would have looked twice at this in the store because it looks like a regular old face powder (and not even a bronzer as the name suggests). But quite a few of you have been telling me lately that I have to try this and I just need to say...you're the best and I love you guys, because it's awesome! I swear, I have discovered so many great hidden gems because of your tips, so anytime you have a holy grail product to share, please don't hesitate to tell me about it, in a comment, email, Instagram, wherever!
    Anyway, let me just stop babbling now and let's take a closer look at Reserve Your Cabana...
    Wet n Wild Reserve Your Cabana Bronzer Review

    Wet n Wild's Coloricon Bronzers come in a few different shades and they all actually look like bronzers except for this one. I'm not sure who could bronze their skin with this considering I'm white as a ghost and this is still lighter than my skintone. But that being said, I'm glad it isn't a bronzer because I have found a much better purpose for it and I hardly ever use bronzers in the Fall and Winter anyway!

    It comes in a large round compact with a domed lid...not the most luxurious packaging as it does feel a little cheap but as I always say, who cares about the packaging? It's what's inside that counts! The size is huge at nearly half an ounce (.46 oz) so this will probably last me more than a year.

    At first glance, this is a light golden beige color that doesn't appear to have any sheen to it...
    Wet n Wild Reserve Your Cabana

    ...but when you look closely, you can see very fine particles of shimmer. The formula is very finely milled, and almost feels like a cream when you swirl your finger in the pan. There's a little bit of powder that gets kicked up when using a brush but it's nothing that bothers me at all.
    Wet n Wild Reserve Your Cabana Review

    Swatches don't even do this powder justice! It gives your skin this perfect, ethereal glow...like you've been airbrushed, or lit-from-within . It's not shimmery enough for me to be a highlight, but it's subtle enough to be used all over the face as a finishing powder, which is how I use my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. I also love to dip my finger into the pan and dab the powder in the inner corner of my eye and take it down underneath my eyes to set my concealer. It brightens up that area like you wouldn't believe and doesn't settle into fine lines!
    Wet n Wild Reserve Your Cabana Swatches

    To see how it compares to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (which is $45) I took out the one I have which is Dim Light so I could see them side-by-side. Dim Light is a little bit warmer looking in the pan...it's more of a peachy beige while Reserve Your Cabana is more golden beige.
    hourglass ambient lighting powder dupe

    When I swatch them on my skin, they actually look very similar, but in all honesty, both shades work for my pale complexion. When I say that these are dupes, I'm mostly comparing their formula and function. I have never found a finishing powder that gave my skin that lit-from-within glow that I liked better (or equal to) Hourglass until now! Reserve Your Cabana is every bit as soft and finely milled as the Hourglass Ambient Powder, and it finishes off my makeup just as beautifully. The fact that it costs $41 less is crazy to me, and is the icing on the cake.
    hourglass ambient lighting powder dupe

    Overall, if you haven't tried Reserve Your Cabana, you're seriously missing out! If you have fair to light skin, this is the perfect finishing powder, and if you have medium to dark skin, you can definitely use this as a subtle highlight. I've seen a lot of people with different skin tones using it on YouTube and it really can work for everyone in some way or another. 
    Thanks again to Katherine, Rachel and everyone else who recommended this to me! :) 

    You can find Wet n Wild Reserve Your Cabana at Walgreens and Walmart stores. 

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