My name's Nicole - a Toronto-based makeup addict. Welcome to my corner of the web where I share my love & experiences with all kinds of beauty, makeup & skincare products. Head on over to my About Page to learn more about me.



$20 Makeup Challenge | Collab

Today, I'm sharing a really fun collab. My friend, Rosie (from Rosie Mae Aroha), and I decided to challenge ourselves a bit for this one. I'm sure a lot of you have heard of this challenge before, but if you haven't - basically, we have a limit of $20 to spend on makeup and create a look using just those products. To be honest, I found this really challenging because drugstore makeup has gotten pretty pricey compared to before so it was hard trying to keep everything under $20. But here's what I opted for:

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation ($9.99)
Essence Eyebrow Designer in 02 Brown ($2.49)
Essense All About Nudes Eyeshadow Palette ($5.99)
Essense Eyeshadow in 18 All I Need ($2.99)
Essense All Eyes On Me Multi-Effect Mascara ($3.49)
Total: 24.95
Okay, so I went a little over. But at least it wasn't by much, right?

I ended up doing a really subtle look which I think would be perfect if you're a student and you're on a budget. The look is really simple and it does not whatsoever break the bank. Since it didn't fit in my budget, I didn't pick up a primer. But to my surprise, the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation applied really smoothly and evenly. It gave me amazing coverage and looked great on the skin. I also couldn't afford to throw in a concealer, so I ended up just dusting the lightest shade in the Essense palette under the eyes, on the bridge of my nose, a bit on my forehead, and chin. That did, however, lead to a bit of creasing on my under eyes. 

Another product I was pleasantly surprised with was the Essense Eyebrow Designer. I wouldn't know how this matches up to other drugstore brow pencils, but I won't be trying any other ones because look at my brows!! They look just like they do when I use my Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products! Very impressive. Also, to clean up my brows, I used a bit of the foundation and set it with the same shade I used to set my under eyes. 

To bronze/contour my face, I actually used the top middle shades in the Essense All About Nudes Eyeshadow Palette. Together they made a contour shade that suited my skin tone, so I was impressed with that as well. Then, that's when things started to go downhill.. To pop some highlight on my cheekbones, I used the eyeshadow that is visible in the first photo of this post. Unfortunately, that ended up being a little too dark so I had to mix it with the shade on the bottom left corner of the palette. But that didn't stop the original eyeshadow from leaving a darker mark on my face (visible on the left side of my face in my selfies). 

Next up was my eyeshadow. Right off the bat, I'm just going to say I did not like it at all! For some reason, my brushes weren't picking up any product so I had to repeatedly swirl my brush in the eyeshadow multiple times to get a better intensity on my lids. But basically, if you still want to know what I did, I just did a wash of the two brown shades on my crease and attempted to put the bottom right shade (shimmery pink) on my lid. I then used the darkest brown shade to line my eyes (kind of a fail).

L-R: Palette shades x4 - Single Eyeshadow - Brow Pencil
I finished off the look with the Essense All Eyes On Me Multi-Effect Mascara. To be honest, I don't think it gave me a multi-effect, let alone a single-effect. This mascara didn't really do anything for my lashes. They're barely visible in my selfies! When I was done my lashes, I realized I had no lipstick (which I was really sad about). So I just ended up using a random lip balm which didn't look too bad. It almost seems like I'm wearing a slight gloss, haha! 

Overall, I don't think the look was that bad but the challenge itself was hard! Drugstore makeup has gotten really expensive over the years. It was really difficult for me to stay within budget. Besides the foundation, I had to bring myself out of the actual makeup section and to a shelf that carried the cheapest makeup products that nobody really buys. 

If you enjoyed this post, don't forget to check out my friend Rosie's take on it

Have you tried this challenge before? What's the cheapest makeup product you swear by?

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