Drugstore/Budget Blushes, Highlighters, and Nail Lacquers | 2013 Editor's Favorites

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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The best brush for blush for me was the Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Face Brush, hands down! *cough plugging it in in the comments* I also really like the Multitask Brush for buffing in blush that isn’t so crazy, OR using it for the crazy blush look if I’m not wearing very much eye makeup at all! So –

Duo-Fiber: great for wash of colour on the cheeks
Multitask: Great for buffing in and blending.

I love the Real Techniques expert face brush, it’s one of my favorite. I’m kind of surprised that so many Physician’s Formula products made the list, kind of makes me want to go buy one of their blushes now lol

Brands like Fyrinnae make me far prefer the term “budget-friendly” or affordable over drugstore, since there are affordable brands outside of them, too (when I think most of think “drugstore” as in cheaper).

While they’re *technically* 2014, I have to go with Maybelline Master Ho-Lighter series! I picked up 3/6, and all 3 are right up there with NARS & Kevyn Aucoin. Based on the display, I’m certain these will be permanent, but if not, Maybelline will be making a huge mistake!

Until this year, it was a toss between Posh & Soni Kashuk for brushes, but Real Techniques now takes the top spot! I don’t find HE brushes a necessity, and I have yet to try a MAC brush, but between these 3 brands, I don’t feel a need to go expensive.

As for nail polish, Sinful Colors has had me covered! I get better wear from SC than any HE brand, although I have to admit, it’s been *years* since I went HE, and I wouldn’t be surprised if formulas have improved. However, with the broad shade/finish range of SC, I can’t imagine going out of my way to pay more for something I can a find a close enough “dupe” for.

You know, for these top tens, I just go by what I’ve reviewed in the actual year – whether it came out previously or not. It’s way too complicated to start tracking down exact dates for this many products 😉 I actually spied some new spring displayers at my Walgreens, and of course, everything said “NEW” and nothing said “LIMITED EDITION,” but like with HE, I have learned not to trust those markers, lol!

I think re: brushes, shape matters most. Softness (to a degree – you know, as long as it isn’t rough and scratchy and owww!) is good, but the shape is always what wins me over.

For some reason, the RT brushes just “fit” my face better, although the Posh & SK are softer. I also like a varitey of “textures”, depending on specific product; however, for me, the RT brushes are consistent, as well!

Oooh, oooh, OOOH!

La Femme Blush (don’t know if these count as drug store but they’re cheap!) in Mauve Sparkle, Golden Rose (ahh! so pretty!), and Coral Spice.

Jordana Blush shades (new this year) in Tender Tearose and Warm Cider.

LA Girl Colour Pop nail polishes in Birthday Cake (milky pink with coloured glitter, totally looks like a frosted cupcake with sprinkles!) and Frisky (cobalt and purple micro glitter in a clear base).

Jordana Glitter Texture nail polish in Light Amethyst.

And while it was released way back in 2009, I only bought it this year – LA Girl Rockstar nail polish in Groupie, SO EFFING GORGEOUS (and incidentally, I prefer this over Chanel Taboo, so not bad for $2.50!)

You’ve said before that cream blush isn’t your favorite formula in general but I’d like to hear your input on top 10 cream blushes and/or a comparison of different formulas. There’s a lot of really great products out now with chanel, stila convertibles, illamasqua, bobbi brown rouge pots, mufe, mac, josie maran cheek gelees etc and I’d really like to hear your input on the different formulas. There aren’t a lot of reviews and general comparisons online and it would be great to have something comprehensive.

I have to get the real techniques contour brush soon ;-). I havent tried any from the list. Guess its time to try the physicians formula blushes or more drugstore for that matter!

I think my best ‘drugstore’ nail polish buy this year has to be Revlon’s ‘Girly’ – sort of a milky pink/purple with pink and purple glitter. I bought it just because I wanted to try the milky/glitter polish look, and didn’t want to spend too much if it turned out to be a disaster…but it’s actually very pretty, and wore quite well on me (nail polishes disappear fast off my nails!).

I really need to look into Fyrinnae – there’s so much from them that catches my eye!

I tried the Wet-N-Wild bronzer a few months ago and it was just too orange. I couldn’t buff it out enough to make it look nice. I always ended up having to put my light powder back over it to tone it down. I ended up having to throw it away because i couldn’t use it and got Hoola from Benefit instead.

I have two Real Techniques brushes that I use and love, and those are the two. I use the Contour Brush for my Dior Shimmer Stars, and the Expert Face Brush for my MUFE HD foundation.

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