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  • Murad$20 off $100+ purchase with code SAVE20, ends 6/25.
  • UltaPlatinum members! 20% off coupon sent via email now out, ends 7/01.

Back-to-School Must-Have Makeup


Back-to-School Must-Have Makeup

Heading back to class? Here are my recommendations for products to keep tucked in a makeup bag with you during the day or stashed together to make that early morning routine a little more streamlined! I also tried to keep my recommendations with a student’s budget in mind! ūüôā

  1. Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trios ($2.99) are extremely affordable but still pack a good punch of color and offer plenty of options from bold to neutral. They wear best over an eyeshadow primer, but if you’re spending eight hours at school, you’ll probably want to opt for an eyeshadow primer anyway! ¬†The price point is so palatable, it’s feasible to keep your favorite (or a go-to trio) at home and in your bag.
  2. MAC Blot Powder ($23.00) will help minimize shine and oiliness throughout the day. It’ll mattify your face, giving the illusion of a fresher face, even if it took just fifteen seconds. If you’re on a tighter budget, you could also try Neutrogena Healthy Skin Oil Control Powder ($10.23), which should work well, but I like the inclusion of a mirror and more robust packaging of MAC’s when it comes to a makeup bag staple. If you have very dry skin, this is a product you could skip.
  3. Makeup Remover Wipes are nice to have on hand in case of any makeup mishaps or post-gym sessions. There are a ton of brands that make them. My advice is to find a brand that offers both bulk as well as travel-sized options–buy in bulk and then re-fill the travel size to keep with you. You can also store a couple of them in a zippered plastic bag. Keep a lookout for trial sizes of eye makeup removers and take along cotton swabs (kept in a plastic bag, so they don’t get dirty). It’s a little less convenient, but on the upside, it can be a more precise way to fix mistakes.
  4. Jack Black Lip Balm ($7.50) is something I can’t recommend enough. It’s not cheap compared to a lot of lip balm options, but it’s so much more effective than the many other balms and sticks I’ve tried over the years. I have at least five in my bathroom cabinet right now and always have one at my desk, pocket, night stand, and purse!
  5. Milani Liquif’Eye Eyeliner ($6.49) is one of my favorites for budget-friendly eyeliners. I like to keep a black or brown one for longer days, in case the lower lash line needs a touch-up. It’s also a good way to add more definition if you went makeup-free that day and have an impromptu afterschool event. You might also consider a tube of your favorite mascara!
  6. Your Favorite Lipstick/Lipgloss so you can reapply as necessary. I like to keep a go-to gloss in my bag (for me, it’s Cle de Peau #2, which is not a recommendation for this post–it’s just my¬†favorite), but I’ll often start off with a different lipstick (or even lipstick + lipgloss combination).

What are your recommendations for back-to-school must-haves?

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Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here Eyeshadow Trio


Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.12 oz.) is a limited edition palette from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Dream Weavers Collection, which you can find at various drugstores–but the collection is not carried at all locations/stores, so you might want to call ahead. This trio contains a greenish gold, navy blue, and grassy green.

The Browbone shade is an olive green interwoven with antique gold with a frost finish. The green dominates this color, whereas we typically see antique golds that cast green but still read gold. I thought this would compare with Le Metier de Beaute Chameleon, but it doesn’t; it’s so much greener, they’re not even close. Bare Minerals Spectacular is closer but it has a browner base, so it appears darker and the finish is more metallic. Urban Decay Urb is greener (and terrible quality). theBalm Makeout Mary was the closest I could think of, but it doesn’t have as much gold (it ends up looking greener). The texture of this browbone shade is soft and smooth, and it has good color payoff.

The Crease shade is a purpled navy blue with a soft frost finish. The texture is drier and not as dense as the browbone shade, but the color payoff is still nice, though it isn’t as pigmented as the browbone shade. Urban Decay Goddess is similar in color but sheer, while Make Up For Ever #81 is darker. I expect MAC Contrast compares well with this shade though probably darker.

The Eyelid shade is a cool-toned grassy green with a soft frost finish. The texture is soft here, and the color payoff is good–there is no dryness like there was with the crease shade, but it’s not quite as dense as the browbone shade. This color is almost an exact dupe for Urban Decay Graffiti.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here Eyeshadow Trio

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Sinful Colors HD Nails (926) Nail Lacquer

Sinful Colors HD Nails (926) Nail Lacquer
Sinful Colors HD Nails (926) Nail Lacquer

Sinful Colors HD Nails (926) Nail Lacquer

Sinful Colors HD Nails (926) Nail Lacquer ($2.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a grassy green with a subtle cool undertone and silver shimmer. It’s still on the sheer side after three coats–you can definitely see the nail line. The finish has a slight metallic feel to it, so there are noticeable brush strokes (but they’re “as expected” for a more metallic finish). Zoya’s Apple seemed to be the closest shade I had to compare to, but Apple is a yellower green with lots of gold sparkle.

The consistency wasn’t really thin, but it seemed watery, which I imagine accounted for the low color payoff per coat. For swatches, I don’t like to go beyond three coats, as most polishes should be opaque (or reach the opacity level they’re supposed to have) by two coats, so three is being generous and more to show you what can be achieved. The biggest drawback with this particular shade was the post-manicure staining, which was a yellowy-green (I’d refer to it as the color of fungus, really), and this was over a base coat. I know that green pigments have a tendency to stain, but this was rather unappetizing and it took both buffing and a few soaks in lemon juice to minimize the staining aftermath. The good news there was it did last a week when worn!

Sinful Colors’ bottles have a slick cap (no rubberized cap), so use some care opening (especially when they’re new and very tightly screwed on), or else you might fling your polish across the room–which I totally did the first time I opened one. Luckily, it hadn’t opened, and it was over carpet, so it landed with a soft thud as opposed to a loud shattering!

Sinful Colors HD Nails (926) Nail Lacquer

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This Week’s Sales for August 29th, 2011


Feel free to share any upcoming deals you’ve spotted!

  • HAUTELOOK: ¬†Redpoint Cosmetics (8/29), FHI Heat (8/30), Sensa Skincare (8/31), Suki Skincare (9/1), Mirabella Beauty (9/1), Amir Argan Oil (9/2)
  • IDEELI: —
  • EBATES: ¬†Elizabeth Arden (10%), Pur Minerals (10%), Beauty.com (8%), Drugstore.com (8%), Sephora (8%)
  • Rue La La: Tweezerman (8/29)

NORDSTROM¬†IS NOW OFFERING¬†FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS EVERYDAY. ¬†I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for this day!

Free Shipping, Coupon Codes, GWPs

  • APOTHICA: Free shipping on orders of $49+
  • BATH & BODY WORKS: ¬†20% off with code PARIS20, expires 9/6.
  • BEAUTY.COM: New Customers – get $5 off $35 or $10 off $70 on your first Beauty.com order, expires 1/1/12.
  • BENEFIT: Free shipping on $50+ purchases with code PRETTY50, expires 10/26. Free international shipping with $115+ purchases with code WORLD115, expires 10/26. ¬†¬†Free full-size ooh la lift with code LIFTMEUP on $50+ orders, expires 9/2.
  • BLOOMINGDALE’S: Free shipping on orders of $150+ with code FS150.
  • BLISS: ¬†20% off sets of 2 with code BACK2SETS, expires 10/31.¬†30% off on all Bliss cellulite products with code CELLULITE, expires 8/31.
  • BOBBI BROWN: Free shipping on $65+ orders. ¬†Complimentary Crystal Lipgloss Deluxe Sample + free shipping with $65+ orders with code GLOSS11, one time use, expires 9/29. ¬†Complimentary full-size Tea Rose Lip Color + free shipping with $65+ orders with code TEA11, one time use, expires 9/1. ¬†Complimentary full-size Buff Glitter Lipgloss + free shipping with $65+ orders with code BUFF11, one time use, expires 9/29.
  • CLINIQUE: ¬†¬†Free sun tote with $40+ purchase with code SUNTOTE, expires 8/31 or while supplies last.
  • GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY: ¬†¬†Free shipping + 2 free samples with $75+ orders. ¬†Free shipping with makeup purchase with code GAFALL, expires 8/31. ¬†Free shipping when you submit a review with code GAREVIEWS3, expires 10/31.
  • KIEHLS:
  • LANCOME:¬†4 piece sample + free shipping with $45+ order with code LANAUG, expires 8/31. ¬†Choose 4 out of 8 free samples (up to a $114 value) with $35+ purchases with code CHOICEAUG, expires 8/29.
  • NORDSTROM: ¬†FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS EVERYDAY.¬†
  • ORIGINS: ¬†Free shipping on $50+ orders.¬†Free Origins sample (3-week supply ) with any skincare purchase + free shipping with $50+ orders, expires 8/31.
  • PHILOSOPHY:¬†10% off with code SGWR5824, expires 8/31.¬†15% off with code S224762, expires 9/30.
  • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE:¬†¬†Spend $150 and get a free subscription to Harper’s Bazaar with code BAZAAR. ¬†Free shipping on orders of $150+ with code SHIPAUG.¬†Free rush shipping with $150+ orders with code RUSHSFA, expires 8/31.
  • SEPHORA: ¬†Free Ojon hair serum with $25+ order with code RESTORE. Free Caudalie Vinoperfect moisturizer with any $25+ purchase with code VINOSPF. ¬†Free Justin Bieber laptop case with purchsae of 1.7 oz. Someday fragrance with code SOMEDAY.¬†Free 7-day supply of Lancome Genefique anti-aging serum with any purchase with code YOUTH. ¬†Free BB cream sample with $25+ purchase (choose 1 of 3) with code BBCREAM. ¬†Free Clinique acne treatment with any $25+ purchase with code ACNE.¬†Free mini-self tanner with $25+ order (choose from Bare Escentuals, Dr. Brandt, Clarins, or St. Tropez) with code SUNKISS. ¬†Free Bobbi Brown foundation samples with any purchase with code BBTRIO. ¬† 2 free Bliss Poetic Waxing Strips for Body with any order with code WAX. ¬†Free YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils deluxe sample with $25+ order with code FAUXCILS.
  • SKINSTORE.COM: 20% off select staff favorites with code G2G20, expiration unknown.
  • THE BODY SHOP (USA): Buy 2, get 1 free on all skincare, expires 10/2.
  • YSL: ¬†Free shipping on any order, no code necessary.

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