Today Bibi turns beauty blogger to show off her recent budget finds!
How exciting is that, eh? I have to admit to being a bit of a beauty snob for most of my life. Yep, just about every other weekend you'd be likely to find Bibi perusing the fragrance and beauty selection at Nordstrom or Sephora back in the US of A. But there's no place for beauty snobbery in Nepal. Department store and boutique brands are not available here. So what's a beauty addict like Bibi to do? Well about six months ago I spotted a new little store in our shopping district carrying these unfamiliar inexpensive cosmetic brands:
A brief foray on the internet informed me that Catrice and Essence were popular and affordable German brands with some excellent products!
Both companies are owned by Cosnova and all their products are cruelty-free. Both brands have been available in 55 countries for over 12 years. Catrice has aligned itself with the fashion industry sponsoring and doing makeup for runway shows at Berlin's fashion week. Catrice's colors and products skew more classic but with innovative formulas. Think of Essence as the younger, trendier, little sister to Catrice. Essence's website looks like it's designed to appeal to 7 year olds but it's products certainly aren't kid stuff. Both companies are said to have inexpensive cosmetics that rival pricey prestige brands in performance. Yippeee! So I purchased the Catrice Blush Artist Shading palette in Corall I Need, Catrice Nude Illusion Transparent Matt powder, Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in Be My Highlight, and a Rimmel lipliner I'd read about online to check'em out!
As you can see it comes with three shades that don't look very coral to me. Has the definition of coral changed in the fashion world recently? Is coral no longer pinkish orange? It's in your standard clear plastic cheapie drugstore case we've all seen a jillion times.
Above are swatches of the three shades contained in Catrice's Blush Artist Shading palette in O20 Corall I Need taken in natural mid morning light. On the right is a muted deep cool pink flecked with fine gold sparkles, the center shade is a warm matte muted coral(?), and to the right is a highlighter shade that's a very shimmery rose gold. All three powders were reasonably pigmented, remarkably finely milled, and easy to blend. Thankfully none of the shades had chunky visible glitter. I've had quite a lot of fun mixing the shades for various effects. The fine shimmer and textures of the blushes remind me of the highly rated Nars blushes. Mixing the rose gold highlighter with the center matte coral resulted in a shimmery peachy pink shade quite comparable to the cult favorite Nars Orgasm blush. They all kicked up a bit of powder in the pan but I didn't experience any fallout or shimmer anyplace on my face once applied. All three shades applied sheerly but were buildable to greater intensity. I did not experience any chalkiness, streaking, or patchiness upon application of any of the shades. Unfortunately all three shades did accentuate my skin's texture a bit. All three shades wore for a good 6 hours before starting to fade. I paid about $7USD for this palette which contains 10g of product. This palette is also available in 010 Bronze Eclat (warm bronze and rose gold shades) and 030 Rock'N'Rose (looked like 2 coral pinks with a lilac pink highlighter).
Next up we have Catrice's Nude Illusion Transparent Matt powder.
I've been looking for a transparent powder to set my foundation with and minimize skin texture so I thought I'd try this cheapie. It promises a a soft-focus effect with a velvety, matt finish that is universally suitable for every skin type and tone. And it does all that! I did find it to be a tad drying though. I'll probably be using this powder mostly during the hot and humid Monsoon months. For all you selfie-prone beauties - this stuff does not flashback nor look whitish on camera! (See my liberally daubed nose in the photo below for proof positive.) I do prefer a pressed powder over a loose powder though. Loose powders somehow manage to eventually spread everywhere and are not travel-friendly. I saw that Essence had a couple of pressed translucent powders in compacts so perhaps I'll try them. Does everything I want a setting powder to do for $6USD. Made in Italy.
This baked powder highlighter is so luxuriously finely milled, subtly luminous, and easy to blend it rivals my Cle de Peau Luminizer in Golden Apricot that cost $55USD! This stuff is absolutely amazing and I've already purchased 2 more for backups!
Here's a swatch of Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in the shade Be My Highlight on my freckly arm. Yes, I know it barely shows up in the photo. But the finish is a true glow with imperceptibly fine particles of shimmery mica. The product kicks up a bit of dust in the compact but looks silky smooth when applied. The shade is a warm golden apricot that works perfectly for my fair skin tone. It yields a non-glittery subtle metallic sheen but amazingly does not emphasize my pores or my skin’s natural texture. (Some of these highlighters can be garish and make you look lit up like a disco ball. Some make even barely noticeable pores appear cavernous.) A few minutes after application it seems to meld with my skin resulting in an even smoother finish. I use a very light dusting of this product as a setting powder and bronzer. It works fabulously giving me a natural 'lit from within' glow for 8 hours without drying my skin nor looking ridiculously 'robot face' shiny. Impressive! At only $5USD for 7g it is truly a steal and is part of Essence's permanent collection. Essence has a selection of eyeshadows in this Pure Nude collection I'm going to have to check out too. Made in Poland.
Last but not least is the Exaggerate lip liner in East End Snob from good ol' British Rimmel.
I'd always heard Rimmel had great products for the price but had never tried them. I was looking for a lip liner that was less drying than my super long-lasting luxury brand lip liners that parch my lips. Over and over Rimmel's Exaggerate lip liners kept showing up on the beauty blogs I perused as being the least drying yet long wearing that beat the spendy brands in performance. Is an East End snob a sort of high class yob?
The shade East End Snob is said to be a great dupe for Charlotte Tilbury's famed Lip Cheat pencil in Pillowtalk. The color is a muted mauve pink that is quite neutral and would suit a variety of skin tones. It is a twist-up pencil that works like a mini lipstick bullet. The texture is a bit waxy when applied but does not sit in your lip lines. It is neither moisturizing nor drying to the lips. If your lips are chapped, peeling, or otherwise misbehaving this pencil will not do them any favors. It has enough color on it's own so that it could be as a matte lipstick or a liner. It does leave a bit of a stain on the lips after it evenly fades after 4 hours which I like. It is not as long-lasting nor as brown in tint Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheat pencil in Pillowtalk. I like Rimmel's East End Snob liner better than Pillowtalk because it is pinker in hue. It's the perfect shade of 'your lips but better' pink for my coloring. Best of all it was only $5USD compared to the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat pencils that are $22USD!
Here's Bibi's FOTD featuring the above mentioned products.
Please pardon my miserably bloodshot and swollen eyes as agricultural burn season is in full swing here. I'm wearing It Cosmetic's BB cream in the shade Fair because it has 50spf (you NEED 50spf daily living at 4,000ft in elevation) and It Cosmetic's Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging concealer in Light. The blush palette was a really fun way to try out new shades of blush. I used a light hand applying the deep pink to my cheeks. I'm one of those weirdoes that uses blush for eyeshadow so I used the coral pink in the palette on the crease of my lids. I did a bit of strobing on my brow bones and upper cheek bone with the rose gold shimmery highlight from the blush palette too. My shiny schnozz is matt and soft focused thanks to the Catrice transparent powder. I used the Rimmel liner as a lippy and topped it with a clear balm for a bit of definition and color. Due to poor air quality this was NOT a mascara day so I did a simple smudgy smoky eye with my long time Holy Grail Elizabeth Arden eye pencil in Gunmetal. I then set my makeup with light overall C3 dusting of the brilliant Essence Pure Nude highlighter in Be My Highlight for that sublime glow. TA-DAAAA! Oh my eyes look horrid and sinuses are aflame. Blargh.
I am so jazzed to try Catrice and Essence's Spring and Summer 2017 collections!
If you live in the US you can find some of the Catrice and Essence line at Ulta, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Target. I have heard from my Irish girlfriend that they have both brands in Penney's in the ROI. Ms Vix say Essence is available in at Wilko's and Asda in the UK. Catrice and Essence are available throughout the Middle East and the rest of Europe too. Rimmel is available all over the US and of course the UK. The Sheikh (my husband) is rolling his eyes and asking if we should request wholesale pricing. Sounds great to me!
What are your fave drugstore makeup lines?
Any Holy Grail status budget beauty products you recommend?