Pants here. I’m a big fan of makeup videos on YouTube – duh. A lot of girls do the $20 makeup challenge, and I love/hate these videos.
Basically, the story behind the $20 challenge is that you’ve lost all of your makeup (I know, that’s terrifying, but we’ll get through it together), and you ONLY have TWENTY DOLLARS to replace everything.
I take this a little too seriously and ask a lot of questions. Did I just temporarily lose my makeup? Like, did I leave it at home and I’m only going to be out of town overnight? Then I’ll be fine without it. Did the airport lose my makeup bag and I’ll have to go the whole trip without it? Then that’s unacceptable, for multiple reasons and that airline is going to get a stern talking to.
In these videos, girls typically leave out products to make the cut – sometimes skipping foundation and only using concealer for spots. Pffft, no.
Before I even start this challenge, I’ve already failed because I know it won’t be under $20 and I’m not even going to try to keep it under. What I’m doing is picking out the most inexpensive products that I like AND that I typically use every day.
(Let’s just pretend that the Wet n Wild palette in the photo isn’t green – I’d pick a more neutral one for this situation.)
- Revlon Nearly Naked foundation (Vanilla) – $7.49 – This is the only drugstore foundation that I’ve ever actually liked. It has a light to medium coverage and is a pretty light formula. It looks nice when applied with fingers or a brush. AND it doesn’t make me look shiny or orange – always a plus. I was using this every day, but I’ve recently switched to a BB cream because I prefer really light coverage during the summer.
- Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (Transparent) – $3.97 – I bought this on the recommendation of Tanya Burr, who is one of my favorite beauty gurus on YouTube. She was an actual makeup artist and knows her stuff. I bought this to replace my $20+ MAC Mineral Skin Finish Natural and I can’t tell a difference between the two once they’ve been applied.
- Maybelline Dream Lumi concealer (Radient) – $6.44 – I don’t have dark under eye circles, but sometimes my eyes are dark on the outside corners, so I like to lighten them up with a salmon concealer. The concealer I previously used creased in the lines under my eyes, and that’s not cute. I admit, this one will crease not long after I’ve applied it, but then I dab it with my finger once I’ve finished all of my makeup, and it doesn’t happen again for the rest of the day.
- N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Face Powder Sunny bronzer – $2.99 – If you’ve watched YouTube beauty videos, I’m sure you’ve heard many girls talk about this. I resisted for a long time. Then Red gave in, loved it and I decided I had to try it. I’ve been using it every day since. It’s pigmented, so I don’t have to use much. It’s great for contouring my ghostly pale skin, and doesn’t make me look orange.
- Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush (Hot Tamale) – $6.94 – This was one of those things that I kept seeing around and it looked so interesting that I had to try it. I had heard that they weren’t very pigmented, so I picked the brightest color available, and I love how it looks. Plus, it’s easy to apply with fingers.
- *Maybelline Define-A-Brow eyebrow pencil (Medium Brown) – $5.97 – Honestly, I’m not a fan of these. They’re a little waxy and you only get 1/3 of the product you do in the MAC Eye Brows, which I love. Plus, when I bought them, I could never find them under $7. At $16, the MAC Eye Brows is the better deal.
- *e.l.f. Eyelid Primer – $1 – Meh. I need primer so that my shadows don’t crease if I get sweaty. I MEAN GLOWY. Girls don’t sweat, remember?! I tried this a couple years ago, and wasn’t impressed. Other people love it. It’s only $1, though, so why not try it out?
- *Wet n Wild Coloricon Eye Shadow Trio (Silent Treatment) – $2.09 – Another of my favorite girls on YouTube, Leighannsays, loves her some Wet n Wild. I decided to try out a couple trios, and I was honestly impressed. Both palettes I bought were green, and I’m not a green eyeshadow everyday type of girl, so they don’t get much use. I might have to try a more neutral one sometime.
- Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner (Sapphire) – $7.94 – I’ve tried high-end cream liners and Maybelline’s work just as well. The only downside is the color selection isn’t that great. But if you need a black, brown, navy or purple cream liner, these are the way to go. PLUS, each one comes with a brush that actually gets a precise line.
- Maybelline Volume Express Mega Plush waterproof mascara (Very Black) – $5.94 – This is my current favorite drugstore mascara. This is actually a gel-mousse mascara, which means it leaves eyelashes feeling soft, instead of crunchy. Even the waterproof feels soft, and it holds curl. I’ve heard people say this is for a more natural look, but if you just keep adding more, you can pump up the jams, er, volume. And it’s not clumpy!
TOTAL = $50.77
*products I don’t currently own/use, but have in the past, so they aren’t in the photo
Oh, but wait! You’ve lost all of your brushes, too, because the world is a cruel, cruel place. I think I could get away with just these two tools:
Real Techniques blush brush – $8.99 – Recently bought this and fell in love. It’s so soft, and perfect for blush. However, it could easily be used for setting powder all over the face and contouring with bronzer.
- e.l.f. eyelash curler – $1 – I did use this for a while, but then went on to another curler. It’s been a long time since I’ve used it, but I think it worked fine. My lashes are really hard to curl and go straight down, so I’m always trying new curlers and keeping my fingers crossed for a miracle.
Okay, that’s triple the allowed amount. Whoops? But really, drugstore makeup isn’t as cheap as you think it is and adds up quickly. I could have gone the e.l.f. route because many of their products are only $1 to $3, but why buy something that I’m not going to continue to use? Why not buy products that I like? If I don’t use the products when I (hopefully) get my makeup back, then it was a waste of $20.
Ow, ow, okay, stop twisting my arm. If I ABSOLUTELY had to keep it under $20, here’s what I would buy:
- Revlon Nearly Naked foundation – $7.49
- Maybelline Define-A-Brow eyebrow pencil – $5.97
- Maybelline Volume Express Mega Plush waterproof mascara – $5.94
TOTAL = $19.40
Foundation is important. My skin is pretty clear most of the time, but I get flushed pretty easily, so I’d just like to have it evened out. After that, eyebrows and eyelashes are equally important. As everyone and your mother has always said, eyebrows frame your face. Luckily, I do have eyebrows and they’re dark, but they need filled in. My eyelashes are the same way – dark, but need a assistance. Plus, I look 12 without my mascara, as opposed to looking 16 like usual.
If you only had $20 to replace your makeup, what would you buy?