In any good makeup arsenal, you’ll find the high blended with the low. I may have more NARS eyeshadows than I can count, but I’m never against a cheap purchase – sometimes really exceptional products can be found for under $5, and failing that, it’s an easy way to experiment with color and texture.
I picked up a few products from NYX Cosmetics recently, an American brand with a vast range of reasonably priced products.
I’ve been dying to try the Soft Matte Lip Creams and though I couldn’t find the color I wanted, I did pick one up in Sao Paolo, a bright (but still wearable) warm pink. The texture of this product is really lovely – very much like a rose petal. It applies like a gloss but dries down to a feather light, silky matte lip color that stays and stays. The texture is not 100 percent matte, as it does give a slight lustre to the pout, but isn’t shiny like a gloss either – rather, it looks very much like a cross between a stain and a lipstick. The odour, however, is sickeningly sweet, like artificial buttercream, which makes initial application torturous. That scent fades however, leaving only bright, lasting color with a gorgeous finish. Available in 11 shades, mostly neutrals, this product retails for a steal at $6USD.
I also grabbed a tube of the Xtreme Lip Cream , a recently launched product that is said to be a hybrid between a gloss, a lipstick, and a stain. This product goes on very thick – almost like honey – and doesn’t have amazing longevity considering the texture. It is, however, a fun way to experiment with color and does provide quite the bold look – though it is slightly difficult to apply precisely with its somewhat large, doe foot applicator. I picked this up in Absolute Red, a bright scarlet that leans slightly cool, pulling only the tiniest bit fuchsia. The odour problem here is the same as with the Soft Matte Lip Cream, but not as strong – it smells almost like a mix of vanilla and plastic, but fades quickly enough. These can also be found for $6, but aren’t as unique as the Soft Matte Lip Creams.
Lastly, I picked up two small shakers of the NYX‘s Loose Pearl Eyeshadow, a loose pigment with a fine, sparkly texture best suited to eyeshadow or highlighting purposes. These products are a reasonable dupe for MAC pigments, and can be mixed with water to use as liner, brushed on the eyelids, blended into glosses or patted on top of cheekbones. At $3 USD each, these are an absolute steal, and a good product to own due to versatility and quality. As shown in the photos, these come in tiny jars and can be a wee bit messy to apply (there is no sifter, only an open top to the jar), but dipping a small, wetted brush directly inside of the jar can avoid messy mishaps. I poured a bit of each pigment out to show the beautiful, sparkling textures of these – they really shine, and don’t apply with any gritiness. I can’t recommend these enough as a true ‘steal’ purchase !