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Makeup Wars: The $20 Makeup Challenge

The Makeup Wars group is at it again, this time with the $20 makeup challenge. The premise behind the challenge is that you have lost your makeup and have only $20 to replace it. What do you do? It started as a YouTube tag meme and we decided to blog it. I also did a video given that it started with the video bloggers.


I went shopping at Target for the challenge and came out with $19.74 in products. I had a few nice surprises in these, and a good number of duds. Here are the products used and my thoughts on them.

(1) Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, in 120 Ivory, $4.99: This is an SPF 15 foundation with “smart-tone technology” whatever that might be. When I first applied it, it seemed a bit cakey and oily and coverage was just so-so. I liked it much better when I put powder over it later. I spent extra on foundation and skimped in other areas hoping for a better product and I don’t know that I got it. I also could not find any verification that it was oil free and, based on its feel, I don’t know that it is. I wouldn’t buy it again.

Rimmel Perfect Match Foundation Review

(2) e.lf. Clarifying Pressed Powder: , $1.00: This product surprised me. It was a perfectly good pressed powder that I will happily use up. For a dollar, it is a good buy and it is just as good as more expensive drugstore level pressed powders.

(3) NYC Eye Shadow Quad, in Chelsea Chic, $3.59: This had very pretty colors, and I have seen some positive reviews of this quad, but for me it was a big dud in regard to application and wear!

NYc Chelsea Chic Eyeshadow Review

The NYC Chesea Chic quad looked very pretty on the shelf and I was excited to try it, but the shades were so lacking in pigment, that I had to pack it on for it to show up. For example, it does show OK in the video when I watch it, in fact surprisingly better than I thought it would, but up close when I was filming, and outside in natural light, it didn’t look as good. It was rather splotchy in spots, and the shadow wore off rather quickly afterward. An hour later and it was basically gone.  The shades also look OK in the swatches, but they are packed on for that as well. I would not buy this again simply because of the lack of pigment and low wear time. Below are swatches from the quad. They are indeed very pretty shades. Too bad that they don’t wear too well.

NYC Chelsea Chic Eyeshadow Swatches

(4) e.l.f Eye Shadow Brush, $1.00: This was a perfectly useable brush for ultra cheap. I prefer higher end brushes, but as far as cheap ones go, I recommend it!

(5) NYC Eyelash Curler and free eyeliner, $2.74: This was a good find for the curler, which was a decent enough eyelash curler, complete with an extra pad for super cheap. If you need a budget curler, get this one.  The free eyeliner, however, was a dud. It was a kohl liner with a super hard and sharp point. I refused to use it!

(6) Rimmel Extra Super Lash Mascara, $2.99: This was a perfectly good mascara. Not great, but not bad either. Definitely give the brush a good wipe before using or it might clump. It gave a lot of length, but the look was a bit on the spiky side, which isn’t my taste, although it looked just fine.

(7) e.l.f. Color Stick, in Pink Lemonade, $1.00: This was the best item in the lot and I love it! This double duty cheek and lip stick had good pigment and a pretty color that would work for many different skin tones. It blended well, and I loved the shade. For $1.00 it is amazing! I have some expensive color sticks and I would use this one just as much as my pricier NARS and Estee Lauder items.

e.l.f. color stick review

(8) NYC Liquid Lip Shine, in Rivington Rose, $2.29: This is another good find. It is a standard gloss with rather good pigment and shine. Not at all sticky, and it wore well. The only downside was that it had a light mint fragrance to it that I could do without, but it wasn’t overbearing or anything. I would still buy it again.

Below are swatches of the NYC gloss and the e.l.f. color stick. I’m very happy with both of these!

Rimnel and elf lip swatches

Extra items: I also picked up a few Wet N Wild items at the grocery store with the thought of trading out my eyelash curler for one or two of the them. I ended up not doing so. One was a concealer that was too light for me, another was a twist up eyeliner that looked like it might not be hard, but it actually was. Finally, there was the Wet N Wild Passion Plum and Prune Passion Perfect pair lip wand, which has a lip liner on one end and a lip crayon on the other. It has great pigment and I do like this item. However, getting the plastic wrap packaging off of it was next to impossible, as was the packaging on the eyeliner, and that left me rather annoyed.

Here is one of those goofy self portraits, taken in direct sunlight about half an hour after the video was made. As you can see, the eye shadow doesn’t really show up at all and I had it caked on! The shadow shows up much better in the video, but that doesn’t show just how splotchy it was in places.  The foundation and powder combo turned out to have better coverage than I initially thought but it also made my wrinkles stand out. I do like the lip products though, and the color stick is a keeper!

20 dollar challenge makeup look

Here is the video version as I put the products on. I plan to try to start doing more video, so hopefully this will kick start me on that!


Want to see more of the $20 Challenge. Click the last and next buttons at the top of the post or visit other blogs in the group through the links below:

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