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Top 10 of 2013: Best Drugstore/Budget Blushes, Highlighters, and Nail Lacquers

After reflecting on reviews I’ve done over the past year that are more budget-friendly, I definitely need to spend a little more time on cheek color in the upcoming year. Good thing I’ve already gotten a great start on that with some of the upcoming products for spring! 🙂 (So stay tuned!) Here is a mix of cheek colors, face tools, and a few polishes to round-out our last top ten for budget-friendly products.

What are your favorite budget-friendly cheek/face and/or nail products from this past year?

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Top 10 of 2013: Best Drugstore/Budget Eyeshadows and Eyeliners

I have a whole slew of fun top tens to share with you over the next few days!  You may even see some of these pop up again in a few other top tens.  I wanted to put a spotlight on some of the best affordable and budget-friendly products that I enjoyed and reviewed over the past year.  I hope you’ll take a moment to share your own favorites that you discovered this year.

What were your favorite budget-friendly eyeshadows and eyeliners this year?

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick

L'Oreal Ballerina Shoes (135) Colour Riche Lipstick
L’Oreal Ballerina Shoes (135) Colour Riche Lipstick

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick ($8.95 for 0.13 oz.) is supposed to combine “luxuriously rich color” and “intensely rich hydration” for a creamy, moisturizing, and pigmented lipstick formula. The pigmentation seems to vary from shade to shade–some true-to-description, others are sheerer. Generally, they aren’t drying, but some shades are just a little moisturizing, others are moderately so, and then a few seem to be neither drying nor hydrating. The three I have here for you show how the formula can vary. They have a fairly strong perfume-y scent.

Ballerina Shoes (135) Colour Riche Lipstick ($8.95 for 0.13 oz.) is a light-medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and a frosted finish. This is not just shimmer–this is a genuine frosted finish, which isn’t for everyone. It had semi-opaque color coverage. It wore well for two and a half hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. NYX Chic (P, $4.00) is pinker, less frosted. NARS Mitzi (P, $26.00) is sheerer, less pink. Guerlain Rose Desir (LE, $49.50) is less frosted. Guerlain Romance (LE, $35.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

I Pink You’re Cute (175) Colour Riche Lipstick ($8.95 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and a soft shine. It had semi-opaque color coverage and no shimmer. It wore well for three and a half hours and was lightly hydrating while worn. Givenchy Rose Taffetas (201) (P, $36.00) is lighter. Buxom Mistress (LE, $21.00) is not quite as warm, brighter. MAC Venus (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Sunny Seoul (LE, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Pink Flamingo (180) Colour Riche Lipstick ($8.95 for 0.13 oz.) is a vibrant, fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a luminous shine. It had mostly opaque color coverage applied, and the consistency was lightly creamy and applied evenly. It wore well for four hours and was lightly hydrating during that time. NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle (LE, $26.00) is lighter. MAC Playtime (LE, $16.00) is a touch lighter. NYX Pink Lyric (P, $4.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Outrageously Fun (LE, $15.00) is more magenta. Chanel Kensington (LE, $34.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour Ballerina Shoes (135)
8
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
6.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
79%
Total
L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour I Pink You're Cute (175)
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
86%
Total
L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour Pink Flamingo (180)
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

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L’Oreal Gold Dust Colour Riche Nail Lacquer

L'Oreal The Statement Piece Nail Lacquer
L’Oreal The Statement Piece Nail Lacquer

L’Oreal Gold Dust Colour Riche Nail Lacquers ($6.99 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is a limited edition formula for the holidays. There are nine shades available, and I have four to share with you in this post (I don’t have the rest, and I’ve yet to spot these locally). The Gold Dust formula is a textured polish, so it dries to a matte finish with a “luminous and sandy finish.” I haven’t spotted them online (most of the limited edition mass products don’t!), but they are supposed to be available at your local drugstores. The texture of these is slightly thick, and the brush is on the wider side; if you have narrower nail beds, I think these might be somewhat frustrating to use. For me, it was only troublesome when I applied the polish to my pinky nail. Two were fine with just two coats, and then two could have used three thin coats as there were some areas that were sparse. I tested The Statement Piece for wear, and it lasted seven days with some tip wear but no chipping (I rarely get chipping, though, just as a note!).

The Statement Piece is a pale, champagne gold with a sandy, glittery texture and silver sequin glitters. This one sparkled nicely, applied well, and was totally opaque in two coats. None of the following mentions have the textured finish, but the colors are similar. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Cruising (P, $10.00) is yellower. Revlon Gold Coin (P, $4.99) is cooler-toned. Chanel Diwali (LE, $27.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Reign of Studs is a cool-toned, light-medium purple with silver sparkle and silver sequins. It was nicely opaque after two thin-to-medium coats and dried down quickly. This one was really lovely on–very sparkly and dimensional. Zoya Carter (P, $8.00) has a textured finish, but it’s a red-toned purple. China Glaze Skyscraper (LE, $8.00) is bluer and not textured. See comparison swatches.

Rough Around the Edges is a matte black with a sandy, sugary texture with silver sparkle. It was mostly opaque with two coats, though I’d do three thinner coats to get fuller opacity with this particular shade. I didn’t have anything that really looked quite like this when it was dry. Shades like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Batty (P, $10.00) and Illamasqua Creator (P, $17.00) are black with silver sparkle, but they’re glossy.

Hidden Gems had a blackened, sandy base with teal shimmer and silver sequin glitter. This shade took unusually long to dry, and it didn’t dry evenly–I sat around fifteen between between coats, then another thirty after the second coat, and the camera picks up where it’s still slightly wet (anything that seems shinier/wetter). I think this one really needs at least three thin coats. I don’t have a lot of textured polishes, so I don’t have a dupe for this, though the composition reminded me of L’Oreal VIP Status (DC), which is metallic/shimmery (traditional polish). See comparison swatches, just for fun.

L'Oreal Gold Dust Colour Riche Nail Colour The Statement Piece
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total
L'Oreal Gold Dust Colour Riche Nail Colour The Reign of Studs
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total
L'Oreal Gold Dust Colour Riche Nail Colour Rough Around the Edges
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
83%
Total
L'Oreal Gold Dust Colour Riche Nail Colour Hidden Gems
Hidden Gems
Hidden Gems
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
83%
Total

L’Oreal She’s So Matte & The True Gold Nail Lacquers

L'Oreal She's So Matte Nail Lacquer
L’Oreal She’s So Matte Nail Lacquer

L’Oreal She’s So Matte Nail Lacquer ($5.99 for 0.39 fl. oz.) is a matte black. It was opaque in two coats, and it applied so-so. Each coat dried very quickly, almost as it was being applied, so it was somewhat challenging to apply. The consistency was a bit on the thicker side. I had noticeable chipping after a day, unfortunately. If you like the matte look, I highly recommend trying a top coat (L’Oreal The Matte Velvet is one) over a black cream, as it is much more durable. Most black creams would work in place of this if a matte top coat is applied over it!

L’Oreal The True Gold Lacquer ($5.99 for 0.39 fl. oz.) is small, gold glitter particles suspended in a clear base. One coat had really great density–it felt like just enough glitter to stand out; not so much that the base coat was eliminated, but it wasn’t sparse and didn’t need any tugging or pulling to get it into place. It applied evenly and easily — really easy to use. I layered one coat over She’s So Matte, and then two coats on its own on the thumbnail. Cult Nails Walk of Shame (P, $12.00) has larger gold glitter as well as holographic shimmer/glitter. China Glaze I Herd That (LE, $8.00) is finer and also contains coppery/orange glitter. See comparison swatches.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Lacquer She's So Matte
5
Product
10
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
1
Longevity
3.5
Application
60%
Total
L'Oreal The Magic Top Coats The True Gold
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

L’Oreal Never Lacque-ing & The Matte Velvet Nail Lacquer

L'Oreal Never Lacque-ing Nail Lacquer
L’Oreal Never Lacque-ing Nail Lacquer

L’Oreal Never Lacque-ing Nail Lacquer ($5.99 for 0.39 fl. oz.) is a gray-tinged, light beige with a cream finish. This was a rather streaky polish, and the best application results were with three coats–two thinner coats and then one really thick coat at the end, though drying time was quite long with that method. I applied two coats on my pinky and middle fingers, and three coats on my index and ring fingers in the swatches. I normally get a week of wear out of L’Oreal’s lacquers. Rescue Beauty Lounge Thank You (LE, $20.00) is sheerer. MAC Endless Night (LE, $16.00) is darker. Essie Sand Tropez (LE, $8.00) is darker. Cult Nails Let’s Get Dirty (P, $12.00) is darker, rubber finish. See comparison swatches.

L’Oreal The Matte Velvet Nail Lacquer ($5.99 for 0.39 fl. oz.) is a mattifying top coat. It mattifies any color you apply it over, and it does so quickly, easily, and without trouble. If you dig the matte nail trend, I highly recommend picking up a mattifying top coat, as it makes any color you already have into a matte finish, and the wear is substantially longer! Though L’Oreal’s matte nail color formula chips away within a day on me, the mattifying top coat over a L’Oreal polish lasts almost a week with minor tip wear but no chipping. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and I found one thin-to-medium coat perfect for getting a streak-free matte finish.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Lacquer Never Lacque-ing
6
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
3
Application
78%
Total
L'Oreal The Magic Top Coats The Matte Velvet
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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