The BEST Drugstore Make-Up

Make up doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Check out the best of the best drugstore make-up, including foundation, highlighters, bronzer, mascara, setting spray and more. / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Who says good make-up has to be expensive? It doesn’t. You can slay without giving up eating or taking out a small loan. And if you’ve ever thought about getting into make-up but don’t know where to start NOW is the time to get into it. And I’ve got a round up of the best drugstore make-up just for you.

For the purpose of this list, these are all things that can be physically purchased at a store that carries what are considered “drugstore” brands: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Ulta, grocery stores, etc. If you’re looking for things with drugstore prices but can’t necessarily be purchased at a drugstore, stay tuned for my next post featuring affordable make-up.

Presented in order of putting them on ya face:

Primer: Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Smooth – $9.99

Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation – $12.99

Dry skin kids, don’t fret at the word “matte.” I have dry skin and love this foundation. It stays all day, and doesn’t look cakey or weird on my dry skin. I recommend moisturizing, priming, then using this foundation with a very damp beauty blender. The moisturizing and the damp beauty blender make all the difference, I promise.

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – $4.99

Fit Me has been compared to the NARS Creamy Concealer. It’s got a great consistency and is a medium coverage. Plus, at the price, it’s great to get a few different colors for days when you want a super highlighted look vs. just a daily look.

Powder: Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder – $4.99

Bronzer/Contour: Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer – $14.99

Don’t freak out a the price tag, this bronzer is WORTH IT. It’s lasts forever, and the color is the perfect neutral undertone with a warm finish so you can use it for bronzing and for some light contouring. Plus it literally applies like butter. Skip the expensive latte for a few days to justify dropping the $15 dollars on this sucka, and you will not regret it. I have high-end bronzers, and still pick this one everyday. It’s the best of the best drugstore make-up.

Highlighter: Essence Pure Nude Highlighter – $4.49

It’s cult favorite for a reason: the most natural but gorgeous glow. To up the intensity, mist your brush with a setting spray before applying it to make it a little more “wet.” Much like the Butter Bronzer, I have many high end highlighters but use this one daily.

Blush: Makeup Revolution The Matte Blush – $5.00

Super pigmented and a ton of colors. Just make sure to use a light hand when applying.

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational – $8.99

Eyeshadows:

The Maybelline Color Tattoos are cream shadows and they are almost literally tattoos. I used to work triple shifts between working at a gym and waitressing, and could put these on m eyes at 9am, and get home at 3am after a 6pm-2am waitress shift and my eyeshadow would still be flawless without a primer. These are bomb.com.

Eyeliners:

This eyeliner is comparable to Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in “Trooper.” Though this one is a felt tip and the KVD is a brush pen they apply very similarly. KVD may be a smidgen darker, but for the price difference of $16 bucks I’m fine with that.

Stays all day, including the waterline. This liner applies very easily, and also lasts forever.

Setting Spray: Maybelline FaceStudio Master Fix Wear Boosting Setting Spray – $12.99

Comparable to the Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray, IMHO. They even have very similar ingredients lists. I use this as a setting spray, and to help dampen my brush when I want to intensify eyeshadow or highlight colors.

 

Just ’cause the Youtube gurus are using Marc Jacobs and YSL doesn’t mean drugstore make-up isn’t good. Drugstore make-up will still snatch your face, I promise.

Did I miss any other great products? Leave them in the comments!

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Sephora VIB Sale Haul: Bite Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills & More

Sephora VIB Sale Haul, ft. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bite Beauty, Sephora Collection, and Peter Thomas Roth / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

A few weeks ago was the Sephora VIB sale. Twice per year Sephora puts on their 20% off sale for VIB and VIB Rouge members. Bascially, if you spend enough money they reward you by offering you an opportunity to spend more money. How thoughtful, thanks Sephora!

I posted my VIB Sale Wishlist a few weeks back, and may or may not have gotten more than I lusted after. Some of what I originally wanted was sold out (thank god) but I still managed to scoop up a few things that I had my eye on for awhile. It’s hard to look past a 20% off discount when Sephora so rarely does sales like this. And as the Sephora VIB sale only happens twice per year, how can you turn it down?

So let’s take a look at my loot, shall we?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in “Allison” – Holiday Kiss Collection

If I could sing to this lipstick, I would. I wore this lipstick 3 times last week and got so many compliments each time I wore it. The formula is the classic ABH matte liquid lip: not too drying, great pigmentation and comfortable to wear. ABH isn’t my favorite formula, but it’s a good one and I looooove this color. It’s a great pinky/purple/brown that is dark but great for daytime as well. And it’s limited edition this holiday season so RUN and get it.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

I had to cash in on this cult favorite. I just recently started doing my brows and needed to try the holy grail brow pencil. Thankfully the color (Soft Brown) is a great neutral/ash brown color that goes well with my brows and my fading red hair color. Though I have nothing to compare it to, the brow pencil is doing exactly what I hoped it would– meaning, it does a good job of helping me add color and shape my brows. I also picked up two other less expensive brow pencils during Black Friday to do a comparison. Look for that blog post in 2017!

Bite Beauty The Perfect Bite Set

Four neutral color lipsticks all in one cute little package. The colors are all great, but they are sort of hard to apply. I am not sure if it is because they are sample sizes or if it is just how the lipstick is cut, but it was hard to apply with my shaky little hands. I definitely need a lip liner because for some reason I cannot get a straight line around my lips with these. I have yet to try a lip brush because it’s not like I am going to carry around a lip brush with me to touch up my lipstick on the go. But the formula is great and so are the colors.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Oldie but a goodie. If you want an ink-black liquid liner that is super easy to use and stays through the entire day, this liner in “Trooper” is your new best friend. It is worth mentioning that these liners have brush tips as opposed to felt tips, so they are different to apply than regular liquid liners. If you’re not careful when applying then the tip of the liner will give you tiny little split marks where the brush tip fans out. It does take a bit to get used to, but when you get the handle of it this liner is bomb AF.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation

I’m high on a foundation kick right now, and this foundation was on sale for $11 as opposed to it’s usually $24. It had 4/5 stars so I decided to try it out. Though I love the texture, this foundation shows allllllllllllllll of my pores. It sits on top of my skin instead of sinking into it like I’d like, which is a bummer. I have yet to try it with a silicon-based primer, but I have mixed feelings on how this foundation lays. For someone with less textured skin this may be a lot nicer looking, but I don’t think I’m a fan.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Daily Brush Cleaner

This. Sh*t. Is. GOOD. I have a habit of liking the same 2 brushes and using them continuously, and this handy little spray cleans it right off between uses. Two sprays on the brush head and a quick wipe on a towel and the pigment just falls off the brush. My natural hair brushes that seem like they are impossible to get clean look spotless after using this spray. 10/10 recommend to anyone.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Eye Mask

I bought two and have used one so far. Honestly this is my first eye mask so I don’t have any others to compare it to so maybe I’m just not an eye mask person. I noticed no real difference and I don’t think anything I did see couldn’t have also been achieved by using one of my existing moisturizing masks on just my under eye area. Though I will use the one I already purchased, I don’t think I’ll buy it again when I could just use products I already have. Gotta save dat money, ya know?

Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic 5-Piece Set

A full review of this set will be going up next week, but the $75 dollar price tag seemed like a good chance to try these 5 super popular masks. I don’t regret purchasing, but am a little disappointed. The only two masks I really like are are the 24K Gold and the Irish Moor Mud masks. If you want all my thoughts on each of the five masks in the set, check out next week’s post for my full review of the set.

And that’s it! Now to wait until Spring for the first 2017 Sephora VIB sale. Until then, tell me what you got. Did you shop it? Did you fill a cart with products and then think better about it and then exit out of the browser really fast? Good, that’s probably what I should have done too. Hindsight, ya know?

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Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel: the BEST Exfoliating Mask Ever

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I am a face mask junkie. My skin has a myriad of problems, including acne, dry patches, hyper-pigmentation, and the tendency to look just dull and icky. Show me an exfoliating mask that is safe for my acne and I am SOLD. And that is exactly what the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is. Y’all. It’s good.

Once again, the U.S. (meaning probably just me) is late to the game. If you’re unfamiliar with Korean skincare, all you need to know is they are miiiiiiiiles ahead of the rest of the world. K-Beauty, as it is affectionately called, is finally starting to get popular in the United States, and for good reason.

Supposedly this mask is a cult favorite in Korea, which I can totally see why. It is the most gentle, yet effective exfoliant that I have ever used. The exfoliating power comes mainly from cellulose, which is listed as the second ingredient. The cellulose helps lift flaky, dead skin from your face and does this completely pain free. It’s a gel, so there is no grains that you have to scrub against your face like other typical exfoliants. In fact, this would be amazing for even the most sensitive-skinned little snowflakes.

In addition to the exfoliating power, it also has Vitamin C and E, both of which are powerhouse ingredients for skin brightening, and a few other skincare goodies to help promote moisturizing your skin.

To use, simply wet your skin, apply about a quarter-size dollop of gel to wet fingertips and massage gently. I would recommend making sure to work it on your jawline, nose, the contours where your nose meets your cheeks, and your temples. Those are areas where you don’t necessarily think to spend time on when you wash your face, so I can almost guarantee there will be a build up there.

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I mean, LOOK AT IT. Those white balls are my skin. It’s so gross and I can’t get enough.

And, for my favorite part. Bam.

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

That’s just one use. My skin is so much brighter and has a real glow in the “After” picture. I am a bit red, but my face gets red easily if I touch it, so I doubt that is from the product. The dullness of the first picture has disappeared.

So it’s safe to say the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel has worked it’s way into my regular routine. If you want to know where I’m at on Sundays around 7pm, chances are I am leaning over my skin giggling like a mad woman while this gel eats away my face*.

Have you ever used the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel? Do you like it? Are there any other products I should try? Let me know in the comments!

*Just kidding. It doesn’t eat anything. Have you not paid attention to this post at all? This sh*t is gentle as hell.

Dr. G Brightening and Exfoliating Gel is the MUST-HAVE exfoliator for every skin type / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

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Unanswered Questions from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (*SPOILER ALERT!*)

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the LIfe and the NUMEROUS unanswered questions that the Netflix revival left us with. / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Dear Amy Sherman-Palladino, I have a few questions for you regarding the revival of Gilmore Girls.

#1: How dare you. And #2: Why are you trying to hurt me?

I stayed up until 4am last night after family left to finish the series. I cried my way through Fall, as it felt like many things I had hoped for were finally happening. When the camera did that weird close-up on Rory’s manuscript title, I cried harder than I should have– though I would also blame the chocolate martini nightcaps we had before the family time wrapped up for the sheer volume of tears.

And then… oh boy. The ending. I was waiting for those famous last four words, only to be met with THAT?!

In all fairness, I get it. I get everything coming full circle for the main cast. Rory has fulfilled her destiny to finally become Lorelai. Jess has taken on the role of Luke, as the stoic, supportive cheerleader who is probably secretly still in love with Rory, and Logan will be the abesent father like Christopher. But man, those were just NOT the final four words I was expecting.

Aside from the crazy ending, the season left us with many unanswered questions. Instead of feeling like it wrapped up loose ends, the Gilmore Girls revival instead left with many more questions that will probably rock my soul for years to come. Here are a few of them:

Who wrote that nasty letter to Emily?

In therapy, Emily claimed Lorelai left a nasty letter on her bed, but Lorelai swore it wasn’t her; she even walked out of the appointment to make her point. Who actually wrote it? I’m wondering if it was Lorelai the First/Trix, Richard’s mother, and Emily confused them. Or maybe it was a malicious attempt by someone to hurt Emily and blame Lorelai? Not quite sure, but I am a little peeved they brought that up and didn’t give us closure.

Did Stars Hallow: The Musical ever open?

You can’t just throw a doozie at us like a Christian Borle and Sutton Foster musical and then not tell us how it ends! Do my emotions mean nothing?

What about Hep Alien?

It was 9 years later and they still rocked hard as hell in Lane and Zack’s living room. Do they have an album? Did Zack like that tour as guitarist for Vapor Rub? I thought they sounded great when they rehearsed at Lane and Zack’s house, so does that mean they are still an active band?

Was Emily actually dating Jack?

She seemed happy to have him leave her in Nantucket and go back to the city. I’m sure that was symbolic for starting to heal and move on after Richard’s death while she learns to be “alone”, but still. Were they together together? Or just finding comfort in another as people who have experienced awful loss?

Did Lorelai get to tell Michel she is expanding so he could stay at the Dragonfly Inn?

Lorelai already lost Sookie, so losing Michel was just salt in the wound for the orginal Inn Dream Team. Did she ever get to tell Michel that she was going to expand the Dragonfly? Would Michel leave his position at the W and stay to help expand? How can we never know?!

What language was Berta speaking?

Though I was banking on Emily going through many maids (as you could tell by my Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival Bingo Cards), I was really happy to see her find comfort and learn to be taken care of, and to take care of someone else beside Richard. It was great to see her start to relax and fall into herself as a person without having to keep up pretenses and live a life that had been outlined for her. Seeing her put on white Ked’s at the very end made me cry. But seriously– what the hell language was Berta speaking!?

(Also, bonus points for a great job for Rose Abdoo doing double-duty and starring as both Gypsy and Berta. She was great!)

What the HELL was the scene with Colin, Finn, Robert and Logan during that crazy night that they ended up in a tango club?

Literally so many questions. Where were they? What was with that super weird musical number? A friend told me it is incredibly simliar to a scene in Across the Universe, but having never seen that particular film, I was so lost this whole time. And wow, has Finn not aged a DAY?! Was that teary goodbye scene at the home in New Hampshire real, or were they all joking around like normal? Had she seen them recently, even though it seemed like her relationship with Logan was a big secret? I need some context here, guys.

What the hell is Rory’s problem?

Her entitlement finally reared it’s ugly head. She cites their story as a riches to rags story while pitching the book idea, but let’s be real: Rory never really knew “rags.” She spent her entire educational career being told she was special, and seems to be riding on that now that she’s into her 30s. I’m not saying it’s not okay to not have life figured out– because it totally is. But walking into an interview with nothing prepared like she did with SandySays seems very un-Rory. Get your head outta your ass, relax about the “lucky outfit” and try harder to prepare for an actual interview. Damn.

How old is Paul Anka?

The dog, I mean. He must be at least 10, if not much older, but he still looks relatively young. My dog is 3 and has so much white on her face that you’d think she’s on her death bed. Did Luke secretly swap out Paul Anka for a younger model to keep Lorelai from going crazy? Or is he actually a secret weird dog-hybrid like Loreali claimed in season 6 of the regular series?

Why were all the coffee cups empty?

It’s a show that thrives off coffee, yet all the cups were empty?! Were you trying to save money on the caffeine budget? If the budgt was really that tight, borrow some from craft services if it was really that much of a problem. But please have more respect for your audience in future shows and actually have some liquid in the cups next time.

WHO IS THE DAMN FATHER?

I have so many feelings about that ending. Not only did Rory go full circle and get herself knocked up a la Lorelai Gilmore, but she also managed to give us many options for who the father of her child could be. All signs point to Logan, in my opinion. Her very tense conversation with Christopher about how he felt about not being around to raise Rory makes me believe it’s Logan. But we also have Wookie Guy, and Paul the boyfriend to choose from. Regardless, I’m voting Logan.

 

Obviously I have many feelings about Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I’m not sure if I’ll rewatch it due to the deep betrayal I am currently battling with, but I am looking forward to hearing your responses to the show’s reactions, Mrs. Sherman-Palladino. You got some ‘splainin’ to do. I need some closure for my Gilmore Girls.

Have you finished watching? What were your thoughts? If you have any insights to help me feel less like I waited 10 years to be let down, please share. #TeamLoganForever

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Lorac Mega PRO 3 Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

The Lorac Mega PRO 3 palette (Holiday 2016) features a beautiful mix of cool and warm nude colors... / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Mama got a new baby. And her name is the Lorac Mega PRO 3. And I have swatches. You are welcome.

This palette is part of the Holiday 2016 collection and is a limited edition Ulta Exclusive. It’s the mega version of the regular sized Lorac Pro palette from that year– so this one is based off the Lorac PRO 3. It goes on sale 10/2, but I snagged one early.

A little history: In early 2015 I saw swatches of the original Lorac Mega PRO palette. But holiday time had passed and they weren’t selling them anymore. Bummer but whatever. I moved on. Fast forward to the holidays of 2015 when the Mega PRO 2 came out, but I didn’t have any money. I lusted hard and even got Kimberly from Life of Kimberly (perviously of Blogs for Days) to do a guest post using the palette for an eye look. But yet again, I missed out on getting it.

So last weekend when I got a cute little email to my inbox saying the Lorac Mega PRO 3 was going on special 1-day pre-sale for Ulta Platinum members, I cashed in my Ulta points that I had been saving and snatched it up faster than you could say “PayPal One-Touch.”

The Lorac Mega PRO 3 palette (Holiday 2016) features a beautiful mix of cool and warm nude colors... / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Um, are you hearing the angels sing the “Hallelujah” chorus right now, or is it just me? Because they are singing and they all have gorgeous eyeshadow.

My new child This palette comes with 32 total shades: 16 matte on the first two rows and 16 shimmers on the bottom two rows.  It follows the trend of being mostly rose-gold toned, but has a few blues and purples mixed in, which is awesome. It is similar to the cool nude shades of the regular Lorac Pro 3 but has even more warm nude shades, which helps make the palette very wearable. I can easily see doing neutral looks and more dramatic looks with this one, which is great.

As far as formula, this gal is so creamy and beautiful with a super soft texture. The shades can be kind of powdery though and when grabbing product with a brush, it did kick up a lot of product onto the packaging– which I will discuss later.  Some colors are more pigmented than others but they are all incredibly buildable. Even the purple shades “Dusty Mauve” and “Eggplant” that didn’t swatch so well were very easy to work with and looked beautiful when I used them this morning.  I would recommend using a base or primer with these though so they have something to stick to.

Matte Swatches from the 32 colors in the Lorac Mega PRO 3 palette.Shimmer Swatches from the 32 colors in the Lorac Mega PRO 3 palette.
Unfortunately the beautiful shimmer does not show on my pictures, but trust me, they pack a punch. Some come off straight metallic– like Rose Quartz, Pink Bronze, and Cider– while others offer more of a sheen, like Snow, Bellini, and Pomegranate. I have not tried them wet yet, but I am assuming they would be gorgeous and almost foiled if you used them with some MAC Fix+ or primer water. I’m already thinking ahead to a wedding that I am in in September of 2017 that has a navy theme and how gorrrgeous Rose Quartz would look as an eye look. *heart eyes emoji*

In addition to the beautiful colors, they also passed the wear test by lasting all day on my eyes. Using the Urban Decay Primer Potion as a base, the colors looked just as vibrant when I got home today as they did when I left. Two thumbs up for that.

My tiny complaint is of course… the packaging. The mirror is giant and bomb AF, but I’m not a fan of the white cardboard packaging. Not only does it feel fragile, but it is already dirty. As so much powder gets kicked up when you use it, it why in the world would you make it white?! And because it’s a cardboard package, it’s harder to clean than had it been made of plastic.  I’m also slightly surprised at how small the pans are with only 0.45oz of product.  My research showed that that’s less than the product in the Mega PRO 1 & 2 from years past, but the $59.00 price tag has remained the same. Now I don’t have the 1 & 2 so I can’t speak to quality differences, but it seems fishy that its pricer but less product.

Depsite the downfall of the packaging, I give this little beauty an 8/10. Gorgeous colors and super creamy formula, but the dirty packaging and tiny pan size is a little bit of a turn-off.  This palette goes on sale on 10/2/2016 at Ulta for $59.00, and I would recommend it, despite it’s few downfalls.

Lorac Lovers or Lorac Virgins– what do you think? Will you be purchasing? Let me know your thoughts!

 

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