The $20 Makeup Challenge: Collab with The Element of Beauty

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The $20 Makeup Challenge is something I have wanted to attempt forever, so when Alyssa from The Element of Beauty mentioned doing a collaboration I was all over it! The idea is to create an entire makeup look for under $20, including tools. I had three goals:
                      1) to purchase products I would willingly use again (and therefore had a known       reputation for being good products despite the very low price) 
                      2) to replicate a look I have been loving lately: brown smokey eyes with a red lip (see Lily above)
                      3) to create a look that would be holiday season/party going appropriate focusing on refined skin, bold brows, and bold lips 

First of all, if you haven't tried the Target Pumpkin Cheesecake Soy Candle you must stop what you are doing and go buy it now!!!

Good Morning! 
A place of solace. Complete with my bold brow inspiration: Elle Canada with Lily on the cover.

First step was the face. I picked Rimmel Match Perfection foundation because FleurdeForce ( recommends it and she seriously knows her makeup. It cost me $4.99. I picked it up for its medium coverage and a matte finish, since I did not purchase a powder. I used my hands to apply this foundation and it blended very easily. The concealer is by NYC and honestly was the most disappointing concealer ever. It actually made my spots seem more noticeable and clung to dry patches on my skin. This disappointment cost me $1.72. Facial Whip by Elf was something I have always wanted to try. It is basically a super shimmery highlighter that is pink based (although the pink doesn't show up on the skin). This ran me $1, which brings my total so far to: $7.71.

For eyes, I picked up the Rimmel Scandal Eyes shadow stink in Bronze ($2.87, 40% off at CVS) which is hands down amazing. You must buy this if you like warm browns and a smokey eye. NYC had this two pack of eye definer/brow pencils in dark brown ($1.72) so I grabbed that. Lastly, I literally got the cheapest mascara I could find, which was the NYC Sky Rise mascara *more on this later ($1.72, for some reason NYC makes things cost $1.72, such a random number...) My total so far is: $14.02. 

I ended up really loving the NYC brow pencils. They were very sharp and gave a very precise (which translates to natural with brows) line. They are very creamy though, so you must sharpen them up before every use. The color was ashy and not too warm, which is closer to a natural color for most people. Always watch brow products for hidden warmth, this will make the drawn-on/fake look happen real quick.

After smudging the Rimmel pencil all over the entire lid, I used my pinky finger to smudge it underneath my eyes. I pretty much do this every day with any lower lid liner. It makes everything smokier and more natural. I think a thick line of color underneath the eye is unflattering on pretty much everyone (unless that is the look you are going for...if so, then all the more power to you). This color is a beautiful bronze and really brings out my blue eyes.

Now to the total star of the show. I have wanted to try the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks for a long time, so I got the color 01. I have heard about how amazing these are with staying power and color payoff. This ran my $4.99, which I justified by using it for my blush as well.

Putting lipstick on your cheeks is scary at first, but the warmth of your fingers will blend it in and since it is a cream texture it ends up looking more natural than a powder. Just keep rubbing the color outwards and it will blend, I promise. 

The Elf Facial Whip is what you would call an obvious highlighter. It is very shimmery and full-on. I love it though. Just get a tiny bit on your fingertips and pat it in on your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, cupid's bow, and a tiny bit on your chin. Kim Kardashian would be so proud. You could also tap this in the tear duct of your eye to brighten the eye area.

So for the final step, I applied the lipstick in two ways. For daytime, I always recommend using your finger to pat the color into your lips. This gives more of a stain and less color payoff, which is more appropriate for every day wear *below. As you can see, it is hard to make this lipstick subtle, which I love about it. You can also throw a lip balm on over it, so your lips will stay hydrated and comfortable all day.

The second way to apply the lipstick is full-on, which is the most bold. A little tip for pigmented lipsticks, use concealer on your pinky finger to go around the edges after applying. I learned this from a makeup artist and this is a great way to make lips look precise when you don't have a lip liner.

In total, I spent $19.01 before tax on 7 products for this look. I would recommend all of them highly, except the concealer and mascara. The mascara was pretty and natural when applied, but after a few minutes made my eyes burn so bad I had to take it off. This has never happened to me before with a mascara. I would not recommend trying it.

Hope you have enjoyed this makeup challenge. Be sure to check out Alyssa's version over at The Element of Beauty.

I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving! We have so much to be Thankful for!


  1. Loved today's post! Never thought to use lipstick as a cheek tint! Fun collab :)

  2. Can you recommend any drugstore brand mascaras that are cost effective but also good quality? Or is it smarter to invest in a more expensive brand name mascara?

    1. There are amazing mascaras at the drugstore. My favorites are: Loreal Voluminous in black and dark brown (more natural) and Maybelline the Falsies (a new favorite).

    2. I'll have to try those! Thanks!

  3. My original plan was to get the gray Rimmel pencil! I had already been to three stores, and unfortunately the last one did not have them :( You look amazing in red lips! Love the whole look!

    1. haha they never restock the Rimmel section, I don't know why! My CVS has a pretty bad selection. The Scandal Eyes pencil in the shimmery beige color is amazing too. I've been using that one like crazy as a base and inner corner highlight.

  4. Loved this! Please do another collab/challenge soon!


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