$20 Makeup Challenge

I know this is a bit of an old challenge that has been around for a few years now, but I just thought about trying it myself and sharing my experience with you. If you haven’t heard of the $20 makeup challenge before, it’s basically a test where you go makeup shopping with only $20 to spend and you have to buy enough products to create an entire look. There are many different “rules” to this challenge and since figuring that out was kind of confusing, I just went with what made the most sense to me. I didn’t include brushes in this and used brushes I already had at home (all drugstore anyway), I didn’t have any coupons other than what was in the sale ad when I walked in the store, no Elf products, and it had to be $20 before tax. I have always been the biggest advocate for believing you can find high-quality products at the drugstore, but this challenge was much harder than I was expecting!
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I shop at the drugstore alllll the time, how did I never realize how difficult it could possibly be to buy enough products for an entire look with just $20 to spend?? I had to skip on so many different items and try to find things that could double as two products in one. I did this entire shopping trip at Walgreens and while they did have some BOGO sales going on, sometimes that wasn’t even helping. And the only relevant coupon they had in the sale ad as you walk in the store was $3 off an Almay product. I probably looked like a crazy person walking back and forth in the store, but I did end up getting what I needed - sort of…
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The first item I needed was something for my face. I was thinking powder foundation, but since I didn’t have a coupon for that it wasn’t going to work. I ended up getting the Almay Clear Complexion concealer in the shade Light/Medium. This was $8.49, but the $3 off coupon made it $5.49. I’ve had this concealer before and it was my favorite before I discovered my holy grail Maybelline Fit Me concealer. This does have salicylic acid in it, but I couldn’t feel that when it was on my skin and I even used it around my eyes to cover dark circles and discoloration. The only thing I noticed was that you have to work a little faster with this concealer because it did dry pretty quickly. But it provided pretty good coverage, which I was really happy about.
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I chose to skip bronzer and just go for blush. I’m thinking I would’ve rathered to have bronzer, but what am I gonna do about it now? I chose to go with Wet n Wild’s blush in Mellow Wine for $2.99. Wet n Wild has incredibly pigmented products and I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with the pigmentation or texture of this. I was right! They just recently reformulated a lot of their products and the texture of this feels just as buttery as their eyeshadows! Plus it’s highly pigmented, you get a ton of product, and it’s completely matte. If talc wasn’t the second ingredient, I’d have every color of these.
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When it came to eyes, I was looking for something that was really going to be able to do multiple things. I wanted an eyeshadow palette that I would be able to highlight with, do my eyebrows, use as an eyeliner, and create a great eyeshadow look with. Maybelline was buy one get one half off, so I went with one of their most popular quads in Designer Chocolates. It was originally $6.99, but since it was the item I got for half off it ended up being $3.49. I haven’t been much of a fan of Maybelline eyeshadows in the past, but I actually do like this one. The texture is really smooth and most of the shadows are nicely pigmented.

I used the liner shade to fill in my brows (it was a little too light) and the base shade to highlight underneath my brow. For the eyes, I used the least pigmented lid shade to set the concealer which acted as a primer. I used a combination of the liner and crease shades in my crease and outer corner, using a little more of the purple than the brown. I used the bright base shade for the inner half of my lid, as well as the inner corner. I was able to pile on the liner shade enough for it to show up along the lash line, but it took a lot of work and I wasn’t as impressed.
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For my second Maybelline item, I went with their Falsies Volum’ Express mascara in Brownish Black. I had been curious about this mascara ever since I heard Amanda from Amanda-Bella rave about it on multiple occasions. So I figured what better time to try it than right now? This mascara added $7.29 to my total, so I only had enough for one more super cheap thing. I’ve never used a mascara shade that wasn’t the blackest of blackest blacks before, so I was actually really excited to see how this would look. And to see if it would give me Amanda’s amazing lashes!

Unfortunately, it didn’t give me the same effect it does for her. But she also has much better lashes to start out with than I do. I need something super dramatic that I can build up without it getting clumpy, which this started to do on me just a little after three coats. I did really love the Brownish Black shade though and definitely think it would be great for those natural, light makeup days.
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What makeup look would be complete without a lip product? I know Wet n Wild has some of the best in the drugstore and luckily for me, their already affordable ($1.09) lipsticks were on sale for 81 cents. They were sold out of a lot of shades, so I chose Ready to Swoon which looked like a beautiful muted pink shade. I didn’t realize how much shine it has to it until I got home and swatched it.

This is definitely my least favorite item just because it looked like I had silvery pink shimmer all over my lips. I tried to pat some of the blush on top of it to dim the silver shine a little bit, but that barely worked. If it didn’t have that silver sheen to it, I think it’d be gorgeous. The only other thing I want to mention about it is it’s chemically smell and that I would’ve liked to have a chapstick underneath because it did feel a little drying.
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So, after all of that, was I able to make it in the $20 range before tax??

I went 7 cents over, I’m sorry!! Looks like the drugstore needs to get it together and stop raising their prices!
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I was pretty happy with the final product. I just wish I could’ve gotten a powder too because before I had even gotten up from finishing my makeup, I was already noticing how oily my skin looked without having a powder to set everything and absorb the oil. A bronzer would’ve been nice too and could’ve also been an item to double as eyebrow powder or eyeshadow.
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This challenge was much more difficult than I was expecting it to be when I went into it. I knew I was going to have to leave products out, but I didn’t realize how much prices have continuously been going up in the drugstore. Something definitely needs to be changed about that! One major thing I noticed through this challenge was that it took me much less time to get ready because I only had five products to use. Even though I did get frustrated trying to work the eyeshadow into my eyebrows and as eyeliner, which I felt like took quite a bit longer than usual.

I’m challenging everyone reading this to do this challenge whether it’s just for fun, to prove a point, or to have an excuse to add makeup to your collection, I think you’ll find it interesting. If you’ve done this challenge before, leave me a link so I can see how you did! And if you do accept this challenge, tag me on social media to see your final result! Have a great weekend! :)
~Christina~

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Comments

  1. I love this, I might totally blog about this and see how I manage to work with ONLY $20 :)

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    1. I definitely recommend giving it a try! It was kinda stressful in the store trying to do all the math and figure it all out to meet the budget, but it was also really fun! Come back and leave me a link or tag me on social media if you do try the challenge, I'd love to see your results!!

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  2. You should try the Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect. It's so amazing! It gives length and volume without getting clumpy and it's super black.

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    Replies
    1. I remember hearing good things about one of the Essence mascaras a while ago, but never followed up with looking into it. That might be the one, though! I'll have to pick it up next time I'm at Ulta. Thank you!! :)

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