Makeup Wars: $20 Makeup Challenge

$20 Makeup Challenge
It’s time for another Makeup Wars Challenge! This week we’ve decided to take up the $20 Makeup Challenge that’s been floating around in YouTube. The general idea is that you create a look for under $20, tools included. This is what you’d do if you were stuck somewhere, maybe your luggage got lost, etc.

We decided we’d do all of our makeup for under $20, but allow each blogger to decide how strict they’d be regarding use of coupons, store specials, and makeup tools. Since tax varies so much by your location, tax isn’t included in the over all amount. I’m always in awe of people that can walk out of a Walgreens or CVS with hundreds of dollars of makeup for about… $4.57. But, I’m not one of them. I’m awful with coupons and truthfully, I just don’t have the time to figure out where I’d get the best deal.

I decided that a much more realistic plan for me would be running into a local store (I picked Walmart, mostly because it is soooo close to my house, hence the blurring of the address), spending $20 and running out. Actually, I’d be much more likely to spend a bit more (around $30) to get products I hadn’t tried before and had been wanting to check out. The $20 limit was really hard for me, but I did get some great items I’ve been wanting to try out!

$20 Makeup Challenge

ELF Eyelash Curler: I wouldn’t recommend this lash curler to anyone. It tends to grab hold of individual lashes and rip them out and I didn’t even get a good curl.

Hard Candy “Just Face It” foundation: It claims to also be your primer, concealer and powder all rolled into 1 step! I’ve been looking at this one for a long time. I initially hated this product, and told my friends from Makeup Wars to avoid it.

I’ve been trying it out for the last week or so and finally have the trick for good application: Smear it all around with your fingers, let it sit for about 30-60 seconds, and then blend with a makeup sponge. Apply a second layer over areas that need more coverage (my under eye areas here), let that sit a minute or two and then blend again, a stippling effect will leave the most coverage behind. It looks great, though still wasn’t to the level of coverage that I like in some areas. I prefer to use a separate powder as I don’t think it was matte enough for me in the summer.

Wet N Wild Pearlescent Pink Powder Blush: This pink was pretty, but the brush was awful. For the pictures I had to cheat and use my normal blush brush (which was a Clinique freebie about 12 years ago. That’s ok, right? It was free!)

NYC Instant Lash Mascara: $1 was all I had left to spend to get a mascara, so by default I ended up with this NYC option as it was the only $1 mascara available. The mascara took a few days to get used to, but my tricks for application are to first comb out your lashes since this wand seems to take any tangles and make them about 10x worse. Blot the end of the wand really well to get rid of clumps. Start at the bottom of the lashes and really wiggle it up. Once I figured this out it did a good job of adding both length and volume, though it doesn’t hold curl all day and there is some flaking by mid-day.

Wet N Wild Megashield Lip Color in It’s a Girl: I went for this bright pink lippie thinking that if the blush didn’t work out, this lippie could do double duty. It’s somewhat hydrating and the color is very intense. I found it too bright for my taste, so I’m using it as a lip stain and I have a little Carmex balm over it in the pictures.

The lipstick is SPF 15.

Wet N Wild Eye Liner in Black Black: Oh, this liner makes me miss my holy grail Elizabeth Arden liner. I find this to be a bit too soft and while it smudges into the lash line pretty well, it disappears within a few hours.

ELF $1 Eye Shadow Brush: This is one of my all time favorite brushes, love that it is so cheap!

Wet N Wild Eye Shadow Trio in Silent Treatment: This one is very popular, in large part because of that taupe color (did you notice it in our taupe wars posts? It appeared in a post or two) I’ve heard rumors that it is a dupe for Satin Taupe or a few other shades. This was a great “excuse” to pick it up. I found that the crease shadow was much too dark for that area and used it over my liner instead to add a little sparkle and depth. I have extra lid taupe in my crease instead.

$20 Makeup Challenge
I think the look turned out pretty well! My face looks pretty good, though I wish I had a bit more coverage under my eyes (I’d been woken up a few times the night before I took these pics because of being on call and thunderstorms, hence the bigger than usual circles). I was happy with the blush as it showed up in these pictures, though in person the pink was a touch too bright for my taste. The eyes were the best part, that WnW palette really is great!



  1. July 9, 2012 / 2:15 pm

    Isn't that Silent Treatment WnW trio da bomb! Agreed that the "crease" shade is way too dark. But, otherwise, a fab little trio for sure. 🙂 Shopping at Walmart was a great idea (smacking head for not going to walmart!). You did a fab job with this challenge! This challenge was so fun that I swear we should do this annually! I am determined to create alternate $20 faces!

  2. July 9, 2012 / 2:30 pm

    You look beautiful! WnW Silent treatment is an awesome palette and versatile! I wish I could have gotten my shopping done in one place but I'm picky about foundation so I had to save up for a major name. I think you hit it out of the park with that blush!

  3. July 9, 2012 / 2:59 pm

    I love the WnW trio too. It's my favorite of all my WnW items.
    I didn't buy the ELF curler because I'd bought it years ago and it HURT!!!!! I was in pain so I tossed it. I can't recommend that.

    Now I'm sorry though that I bought the ELF Blending Brush and not the eyeshadow brush. The next time I see it though I'll pick it up.

  4. July 9, 2012 / 3:35 pm

    You look beautiful, as usual. I love the way you showed everything so well. The WnW blush & shadows – WOW! I'm impressed.

  5. July 9, 2012 / 4:10 pm

    You look great! I seriously need to try the WNW shadow. I almost bought it for this challenge and then got an NYC quad that I was not as happy with. I love the blush that you got too!

  6. Anonymous
    July 9, 2012 / 4:48 pm

    Your eyes look so pretty! I have never tried WNW shadows, but I really want to now.

    I am loving the makeup wars! What a great idea.

  7. July 9, 2012 / 5:01 pm

    This was a touch challenge for me…I'm not a coupon clipper or deal-seeker, so I just kind of winged it. I would definitely pick up that eyeshadow palette, though!

  8. July 9, 2012 / 6:34 pm

    Your lashes look fab! Also, that blush is so pretty.

  9. July 10, 2012 / 1:34 am

    This is my favourite look for the $20 makeup challenge so far! Great job 🙂

  10. July 10, 2012 / 4:55 pm

    I just wanted to say you are awesome! You give your readers such detailed and useful info! I am a medical esthetician and skincare expert and find your blog informative and well written.

    Thank you again for helping us make wise purchases!! 🙂

  11. July 11, 2012 / 5:54 am

    I love your look! You did an awesome job and I think your eyes are beautiful!

  12. September 22, 2013 / 12:54 am

    Nice look! I recently got that same W&W eyeshadow and I will agree with you – the "crease" color is sort of too dark. Love the taupe color though. Nice finds all around. 🙂

  13. October 22, 2013 / 4:38 pm

    You did a great job for the challenge, but I'm an older reader and I will tell you that over the years I've learned that while a few times you can find some good cheap cosmetics ( a wet 'n wild blush maybe or lipstick) most of the time, it pays to buy the good stuff, especially foundation. Your foundation should be so good that you can smear it on in a hurry and it will still look great! Good for you for taking the challenge!

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