Thursday, 24 April 2014

Make Up Steals and Deals

I remember when I just started working in Manila, I can only afford to buy the local make-up brands like Ever Bilena and Fashion 21. Once a year , after getting our yearly bonus, then I'd be able to buy brands like Revlon, L'oreal and Max Factor :) Thanks to my friend Joan, who encouraged me to move to Singapore, there I started to build my make-up collection of mostly MAC cosmetics and some other high end brands. When I moved to Canada I was ecstatic as this is where MAC was founded, thinking I can get better deals here. But NO, MAC never goes on sale! Until I found out one day that every quarter Estee Lauder, which is MAC's mother company, holds a warehouse sale BUT it's by invitation only. Needless to say, I found my way into their guest list so I'd receive their invites which some people sells at $20 per ticket! It was a make-up heaven! Rows after rows of make-up which spreads into 3 buildings at a very good price! Still pricier than the drugstore make up but definitely a good deal as compared to their regular price.

Anyways, fast forward to today, I'm a mom now with more responsibilites and more bills to pay. I can't make myself spend money on cosmetics as I used to. An $18 lipstick can buy a big box of baby wipes, or a $45 foundation is almost a day's worth of daycare fee. Although my hubby is very generous when it comes to my wants, it's the guilt feeling that stops me from spending money on myself instead of my son. I'm sure a lot of mommies out there can relate :) So now, I'm always on the lookout for good quality make up at a very good price. In short, I'm looking for Ever Bilena of Canada :) I did a lot of research, watched videos and reviews and now I'm here to share it with you!

Eyeshadow - MAC vs Essence

I found the Essence brand of make up at Shoppers Drugmart. What interests me was the price, it starts from $1.49 and nothing in their line is more than $5! And it is made from Germany, which is the more surprising part.
Essence Cappucino, please! @ $2.49 2.5g, MAC Shroom @ $18 1.5g, need I say more? :)

Here's the swatch on my hands and brow bone, can you tell the difference?

Essence on the left and MAC on the right

Now my goal is to find as many MAC dupes as I can find from their line :)

Lipstick - MAC vs Revlon

I'm into purple/lavander shade of lipstick lately so here's what I found:
MAC - Heroine @ $18 , Revlon - Berry @ $6 - on sale, Covergirl - Embrace @ $8
Here's the swatch:



Revlon on the left and MAC on the right, can't tell the difference as well

From one of the blogs I've read, they said there's a lot of MAC dupes from Revlon line, so I'll try to find more :)

Here are some more stuff I found to be of good quality at a very good price:


Hard Candy found at Walmart. Primer $ 7, concealer $6 . The primer is so silky , comparable to Smashbox @ $ 44 . Concealer claims to hide tattoos!


Another product from Essence, this liner really stays! I think I got it for $2.49 as well.

By the way, here's my latest haul from the MAC warehouse sale last month, they now carry Coach and Michael Kors products! I still splurge once in a while but these are mostly for Christmas gifts :)




Highlighter - I'm obsessed with highlighters right now, loving the J. Lo glow look!
Elf Baked Highlighter in Blush Gems ($1.50 @50% off deal ) , Essence Metal Glam in Gold Digger ($3.99), The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer ($24)
Elf Baked Highlighter in Blush Gems ($1.50 @50% off deal ) , Essence Metal Glam in Gold Digger ($3.99), The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer ($24)

Swatch: Elf, Essence, The Balm
Swatch: Elf, Essence, The Balm

I love the Essence the most, but they are a limited edition and I can't find it at any Shopper's Drugmart now, hence I bought the Mary-Lou Manizer. The Elf baked highlighter is ok but it is not too refined, like the other 2 but still does the job, and at that price you will never go wrong. :)

Bronzer -Matte - I use this to contour my face.
Essence in 02 Sunny ($3.99), NYC Smooth Skin in Sunny ($4), Marc Jacobs O'Mega Bronze ($59)
Essence in 02 Sunny ($3.99), NYC Smooth Skin in Sunny ($4), Marc Jacobs O'Mega Bronze ($59)

Essence, NYC, Marc Jacobs
Essence, NYC, Marc Jacobs

I like NYC better than the Essence coz it looks more natural on me and the Essence bronzer has this strong coconut smell! I included Marc Jacobs here coz its so big (1oz) I think it will last me forever so it's worth the money. It also has more staying power than the other 2.

Bronzer- Shimmer - I use this as a blush/contour.
Physician's Formula pH Matchmaker ($5.99 on clearance), Maybelline Fit Me on Golden Tan ($8), NARS Laguna (mini duo @ $27)
Physician's Formula pH Matchmaker ($5.99 on clearance), Maybelline Fit Me on Golden Tan ($8), NARS Laguna (mini duo @ $27)

PF, Maybelline, NARS
PF, Maybelline, NARS

It's kinda obvious I love the Maybelline the most :) I'm kinda disappointed with the NARS Laguna, it doesn't seem to be pigmented and just gives shimmer. PF is ok but sometimes I look muddy when I overdo it, LOL

Blush - To highlight my cheekbones :)
NYX Pinched ($10 in Canada boo hoo ), Milani Luminoso ($8), NARS Orgasm ( $27 mini duo)
NYX Pinched ($10 in Canada boo hoo ), Milani Luminoso ($8), NARS Orgasm ( $27 mini duo)

NYX, Milani, NARS
NYX, Milani, NARS

Most bloggers/vloggers claims that Nyx Pinched and Milani Luminoso are the dupes of NARS Orgasm. I think the combination of Nyx and Milani is the the perfect dupe of NARS :) . I love them all, it gives natural blush effect on my skin.

Ultimate Steal

Sephora always comes up with their Holiday Make Up Palettes and I got mine in 2011. At $59 I think this is a real deal. This palette contains:
- 96 eye shadow shades - 84 shiny lip glosses - 6 cream eyeliners - 2 eyeliner pencils - 3 blushes - 1 bronzer - 1 mascara - 4 applicators
I've swatched some of my MAC shadows and they are a perfect dupe.
MAC color on left, Sephora on right
MAC color on left, Sephora on right

I think I'll get the 2014 version when it comes out :) This is my go to palette when I'm not sure what look I want to go for. It has all the colors you can imagine or the colors that you might not buy on its own and it's good to experiment with. :) It is very pigmented and lasts long too!
A few tips too, when I go to Sephora I always check out the bins by the cashier, coz they usually sell the mini versions of make up there and if I just want to try something before I buy the regular size I will buy the "try it" version first . :) At Target , I read somwhere that they usually change their make up deals on Fridays, so I try to stop by to check out what they have on sale. I was able to buy some at clearance or temporary price cut (usually 50% off )! You can also check out www.saleevent.ca, they are the organizer of Revlon Warehouse sale here . I was able to get my favorite drugstore makeup there at half the price and it is free shipping on orders $49 and up, they are very quick too! Another site worth checking out is www.nailpolishcanada.com, aside from nail polishes they also carry cosmetics! They offer free shipping with no minimum order and their customer service is awesome! I also signed up at elf coz they always have their 50% off sale, it just sucks that their free shipping is only in the States and it is only discounted shipping in Canada :(, but it is still good!
That's it for now, until next time! :)

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