Here is a list of my all time favorite scents. The nice thing about this list, is that everything on this list is affordable and easily available to just about everyone.
1. Island Cottage (Details Bath & Body) - Details Bath & Body is a brand that is exclusive to Walgreens and Walgreens.com. Island Cottage is the most gorgeous Gardenia scent that I have ever come across. Island Cottage is available in an array of items including body mist and body wash. The line normally sells for $5.99 for one full sized item or 2 for $10.
2. Fantastic Dream (Preferred Fragrances) – This is probably the hardest to find fragance on this list. This is a knock off version of Midnight Fantasy by Britney Spears, and smells identical to the more expensive fragrance. I wear this fragrance everytime I’m in a bad mood, because it automatically makes me happy. I can sniff my wrist all day without getting tired of the scent. Even though this is a knock off version, the staying power of this is outstanding, and I can still smell it at night when I apply it in the morning. This knock off version runs about $4-$5 per bottle at select Dots, Cato’s and Beall’s Outlets. I’ve even seen the real Midnight Fantasy as low as $20 at different places as well.
3. Black Amethyst (Bath & Body Works) – I fell in love with this musky, cirtusy scent when it debuted last year. I find it to be very enjoyable and relaxing. A lot of people don’t like this scent, but I am definitely in the love catergory. I also have the scent in the room fragrance oil and spray. Love it!! This scent is found at Bath & Body Works and the line goes between $9 to $20.
4. Japanese Cherry Blossom (Bath & Body Works) This is another scent from Bath & Body Works that I have loves consistantly for years. This is a spicy floral scent that I just cannot get enough of. I stock up on this scent during every Semi Annual Sale, because I’ll eventually go through everything I have. This scent is found at Bath & Body Works and the line goes between $9 to $20.
5. Soap & Glory (Target) – This scent doesn’t have a name. but anyone who is familar with this brand knows exactly what I’m talking about. This sent isn’t available in a mist or a parfum, but it is available in the body lotion, tub body butter, hand cream, shower cream and the body scrub. I’m not sure how to describe this sent, some have described it as floral, feminine and masquline all at once. I just call it amazing and that everyone needs to smell this stuff. Available from Target in the US and Boots in the UK. Price ranges from $10 to $20 in the stores.
Lid: Ben Nye Grande Lumiere Pressed Shadow in Iced Gold (White Gold)
Crease / Outer V: NYX Loose Pigment in Mocha Pearl (Taupe)
Contour (Over NYX): L’Oreal Wear Infinite in Golden Olive: (Golden Green)
Eyeliner: HiP Cream Liner in Brown
I truly wish I could take a picture of this – it is absolutely amazing, and I’m completely in love with this look. I think this will become my go to everyday green and gold look. It’s soft enough to wear during the day, especially using brown eyeliner instead of black. This makes my brown eyes shine, and even gives them a hint of green.
I used a peachy blush – Wet N Wild Mega Glo powder in Spotlight Peach and a lipglass from the new MAC Rose Romance Collection in Steal My Heart, which is being returned.
I am returning Steal My Heart, because it looks like a meduim bright pink in the bottle, and then when it is on the lips or swatched, it adds very little color to the lips. I also recently purchased some of Wet N Wild’s new Speed Glosses and the color Untamed is a more pigmented version of Steal My Heart. They look different in the bottles, but when they are on the skin and lips, Wet N Wild wins in the pigmentation arena. It’s also less sticky and thinner than the lipglass as well.
So skip Steal My Heart and grab Untamed instead. Infact Walgreens has Wet N Wild on sale right now, BOGO Free.
This is somewhat of a continuation of my previous post on products that I’ve loved that I haven’t found a comparable lower priced item to. This post is all about the products that have a cult following, that actually HAVE lower end comparables, that I have personally used and loved. I haven’t used all of the higher end products, but I have tested them on several occasions that I feel I have a good idea of how well they work for me, anyway.
Eyeshadows – This is a biggie. I am torn on this one, because I’m in love with MAC’s Mineralized Eyeshadows, but I feel that there are many eyeshadows out there that are just as good, or even better than MAC and other Higher End shadows for a lower price:
- Ben Nye Eyeshadows – These range from about $6-10, and are available from costume shops, and speciality online stores. These are almost twice as big as MAC and Urban Decay shadows, and are pigmented like no one’s business. I use my Ben Nye shadows more than my more expensive ones.
- Wet N Wild Ultimate Expressions Palettes. These palettes have 8 huge colors, and are extremely pigmented. I own 6 of these palettes, both permanent and limited edition. The eyeshadows are soft and extremely blendable. These palettes have mostly neutral colors that are wonderful!
- NYX Shadows – NYX has many different types of shadows, and the vast majority of them are wonderful, they are pigmented, and dirt cheap. The price of these range from $1-6, depending on what you pick up. I’ve tried them all, and I have loved almost all of them.
- L’Oreal HiP Eyeshadows Duos – These are simply some of the best drugstore eyeshadows that you will easily find in the drugstore. Each duo has two cordinating colors that are simply amazing, and some can be considered as dupes to higher end colors. These often go on sale BOGO Free, so it’s well worth your time to pick some up. You can easily get four huge, pigmented colors for the same price as one MAC shadow during a BOGO Free sale.
- L’Oreal Wear Infinite Singles – I recently tried my first eyeshadow from L’Oreal – apart from the HiP line, and I was flabbergasted when I used it. It is extremely soft and pigmented, and it blended like dream on my skin. I am looking forward to trying more in the future. I haven’t tried the quads though. So those maybe different.
- Milani – Milani makes some amazing eyeshadows. The ones that are very comparable to MAC and other brands were their little regular singles. These were amazing smooth and more pigmented than you can imagine. Unfortunatley Milani decided to get rid of these, but they are still available in some places. I’ve seen them in select Walgreens. These cost around $3-4 and were totally worth the money. Another good choice from Milani are the quads, they for about $6-7 and have four huge colors with tons of pigment and are really soft. These are available everywhere.
- TKB Trading Pigments – These are pure pigments of color, that you buy from TKB Trading for $1.50 per sample. Samples are a full table spoon of pigment – this is about the same amount of product that you get in a full sized MAC jar filled. These are definitely worth your time to check out for cheap, but not cheap quality pigments.
So far, these are the shadows I’ve used that are comparable to higher end products. These may not be as smooth as higher end shadows, or they may be slightly more sheer, but the money that you save is worth it. I feel that the price difference and more than decent quality makes these shadows the better choice than the higher end ones.
I’m all about using products that are just as good or even BETTER than the more expensive higher end products. I just love the feeling of knowing I can make a product that is only $6 look like it’s $30+. However, sometimes there is just no comparision when it comes to certain products, and I’ll happy shell out the $20 or so for the product in question.
Fortunately for me, this is a rare occurance, and I don’t feel quilty at all when I splurge on the more expensive products. Especially when I can get them as some sort of discount.
Urban Decay’s Primer Potion – This product has been talked about forever and a day now in the beauty world, and there is a good reason why. I have already reviewed this item a long time ago, when I first started this blog, and my love for it has not diminished yet. I have yet to find an eye primer that works as well for me as this one. There are some drugstore items that people have used as eye primers, and some of them have worked, others not so much. I personally have used L’Oreal HiP Paints, HiP Color Rich Cream Crayon, and Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy Fast Fix Eyeshadow Base, and all of these products, except for one, have wrecked havoc on my eyeshadows. I haven’t tried L’Oreal Decrease, but I don’t have very high hopes for it. I haven’t tried any of the higher end eye primers, because I’m happy with UDPP and the point of this post is focused on products that have the drugstore price point.
MAC Paint Pots – Here is another item that has no lower priced comparable. There are cream eyeshadows available in drustore form, but none in a pot with the color range and long wearing ability as the Paint Pots. There are of course creaseless pot cream eyeshadows available from more expensive brands. However all of those are more expensive than the Paint Pots, which clock in at $16.50. These work amazingly well on my hard to please eye lids. This is one of the few products that do not crease on me. The only somewhat comparable item to the paint pots are the Indelible Creme Eye Shadows, that are available from MadMinerals.Org for $8.99. I have yet to try these because I am waiting for a good sale from Mad Minerals to happen. These cream shadows are not available from physical stores unforunately.
As of right now, these are the only two products that I haven’t found a worthy adversary in a lower price point. This is just my opinion and I’m sure everyone feels differently about these products. Many people love the Too Faced Shadow Insurance , a recent contender to the UDPP. I haven’t tried this product, because I’m happy with what I have now. However, this doesn’t stop me from finding something cheaper that works .
I am on the mailing list of E.L.F. the infamous $1 makeup brand that a has gained quite a reputation with beauty junkies over the past few years. Well in the past several months E.LF. has been sending out emails where they are apologizing to the higher end brands because the ELF products are just as good if not better than the higher priced items.
These ads can be quite conversial especially when ELF takes it upon themselves to compare one of their products, such as their $3 dollar mineral eyeshadow to a much more expensive brand that goes between $15-20. The most recent ad that came out, today actually was ELF going against the brand Benefit. What got to me was that most of the ELF products looked nothing like the Benefit versions.
See for yourself. These are the Benefit that are being used in this promo:
And here is what ELF thinks is comparable to these products:
So what do you guys think? Is ELF right on the money, or is it just wishful thinking? I’ve personally never used Benefit before, but I have used a couple of ELF products in the past and I was not blown away honestly. Personally I’ve never used Benefit, but I would greatly assume their products would be better than ELF’s.
Is this fair to Benefit?
One of the lovely writers at Specktra Beauty News wrote a FANTASTIC article pitting Pureology’s Nanoworks Restorative Hair Treatment ($40) against The Body Shop’s Brazil Nut Moisture Mask ($14).
If you want to check out the article and it’s very surprising findings, head on over to Specktra Beauty News NOW!
Here is another Total Beauty article that I have come across that compares high end to lower end to see which one truly reigns supreme. This article takes on some the most talked about nail polishes from MAC, Shu, Chanel, Dior and more, and compares them to their drugstore rivals.
Which ones shine brighter than the rest? Check out the article to see!
Total Beauty has once again supplied us with a great article on hair care, and is it really better to purchase Salon brands or are the cheaper versions just as good or even better. I was quite surprised at the findings that were reported in this article, and I think that you will be too!
This post will also kick off another series called “Luxe vs Less” in which I personally compare two products, one lower end and one higher end against one another. I will also include articles written about this subject as well.