I am a make up snob. Hell, I'm a beauty snob. I don't shop at the drugstore or Wal-Mart or places like that for makeup because...I'm a snob. I can't help it. Plus, for things like foundation? I have no eye at all. I NEED someone telling me what works and what doesn't. I've always poo-pooed the whole "You're just paying for packaging" assertion because you wanna know why? I LOVE those sleek black boxes my Illamasqua comes in! I LOVE that Chanel comes in it's own little pouch. Even my Estee Lauder...yeah, I know it's verboten now, but I loved it's sleek little gold containers. And I love their brushes, but...I have my heart set on a Mrs. Bunny set, but I will have to get a better job and save up for that. In the meantime, what I have is good. I love all the crazy pallets that Urban Decay makes. It makes me happy to have them on my dresser. I like the weight of them, the way they sound when they click closed or get stacked on others...I feel like I've done a little something for myself with those. And honestly, I have always found the product to be superior.
However. Every now and then a girl needs a pick me up and she needs to know how she can do it with some frugality and while maintaining her ethics. So I've been researching drug store brands to find out what I can do on the cheap that is still cruelty free.
The main brands are, not surprisingly, not good. I'm sure the quality is fine, etc. I mean, L'Oreal is well known for trying stuff out at the drug store before putting it on the Lancome counter. That really IS the same stuff. However, FAR from cruelty free. They're like, unapologetic about the animal testing thing. But if you go to the really bargain brand areas, you can do surprisingly well! As I've been looking and learning I'm finding several brands cropping up that are good for these standards. Wet n Wild is one of them. I had had a friend in high school, her family was kind of poor, but she was a devoted reader of Vogue. She was interested in makeup and fashion and always was doing her make up. I was more of a tom boy back then and wasn't that interested, but I do remember her shopping for Wet n Wild. I was always slightly bothered by the name. What did that mean, anyway? Don't answer that. I was a kid! And my own mother was always bringing home Estee Lauder. It's only now, past a certain age, that I've discovered Wet n Wild for myself and I have to say, so far I'm pretty impressed. I've been picking up tons of stuff for what I would pay, and still do at times, for one eye shadow.
I started out with the blue eye pallet. The big one. Eight colors for $5. What??? Who knew?? There was an aqua in there I would have committed highway robbery to acquire, but that wasn't necessary. I forked over my fiver and after a nearly broken nail and a pair of scissors later, I was playing in eight fun and sparkly colors of silky goodness.
I tried really hard to get a picture of some looks I had done with it and...wooo. Epic. Fail. Try taking pics of your own eyes. This is no small thing. All you bloggers out there who do it? I tip my well manicured talons to you.
This went on so well, so saturated, so silky and I did so much with it that I went out at the first opportunity and planked down a tenner and got the other two: Petal Pusher and Comfort Zone.
So, as you can see from these, lots of lovely shimmer and lots of colors. Not a dupe in the bunch and the blues are even more distinct. Honestly, Comfort Zone has become a work staple. The colors are nice, you have to be a little careful because they are really pigmented. I kinda went a little nuts with that pretty green Eyelid color there and wound up wearing mascara only to work because it went on CRAZY! LOL I just took it off and sprinted out the door. I've been late more than once because I was playing in the colors rather than actually being focused. That Definer color below it, I apologize, there are no names on the colors, but that shiny taupey color embossed as "Definer"...that is actually the most fascinating duo-chrome thing.
While I appreciate what they are trying to do with the whole brow bone, eyelid, etc idea on the colors...if you are at all adventurous I suggest you ignore that. The whole pallet works together, and this is true of all of them, so you are certainly not locked into using them as they are marked. Do what you want! And at $5, if you screw it up and ruin it, who cares? Get a new one! In fact, I actually got these two for less than that. If you shop you can do even better.
I understand the blushes are really popular but I haven't tried any yet, nor any of the lip stuff. I'm curious about the mascaras because I will need a good one. I've been using EL for so long that I don't even know where to go. Urban Decay? Not if these turn out to be good!
I also scored some polish, of course. I'm loving the Fergie line, which I understand has some cheaper dupes on the Spoiled line. I am not a big CVS fan so I don't know. I am intending to look, though.
Here are some shots of those:
Coming up I have some comparison swatches for you, my first! I don't really do that because I don't typically have that great of an eye for color, but I had to. Incidentally, that pretty green thing in the lower right corner has it's own post coming up. It was too awesome to bury in with a bunch of others. That is an honestly fun and wearable color called Glowstick. If you see it, I recommend picking it up. For $3.49 can you really go wrong? Possibly less if it has a Spoiled dupe?
So I understand that Black Radiance is also made by the same company. I saw some of that at a dollar store here. Our dollar stores are really kind of janky. I live in a not really prosperous area. Let's say...there is a real pre-revolution Russia split of the classes. Either you have money or you don't. If you do, you ain't shopping in this little hamlet, you're running up to the city. So our dollar stores get a lot of traffic and have an odd assortment of stuff, which is, I guess, the point. And not everything is a dollar! RIP OFF! LOL I plan to look into it further next time I'm on that side of town because these are honestly a dream to play with and to wear. Silky, light, buildable coverage that lasts ALL day. and I mean...ALL. DAY. Can I say it again? I can't get enough of it. All. Day. They don't budge. I've had many compliments on them. They look nice, the colors are pretty versatile and fool proof, there are even little diagrams on the back of the package to help you out, and they don't crease or flake or move at all. Incredible. The expensive brands aren't even pulling that off.
To be fair, I do concealer on my eyes as a base, so that might be helping but it can't be helping that much. Also, I'm using my expensive brushes. These come with the classic sponge/crappy brush applicator. I shouldn't say that, I didn't even look at it, really. I don't look at them in the expensive stuff, why would I start now? I am guessing they're pretty crappy.
While I don't have any of the pencils, I want to try them. I already have so many so I always find something else I want to try and don't get them. I should go for it. They're $.99. Really? I'm balking at that?
I know I've been wordy and I apologize, but I had a lot to say. These are a tremendously lovely surprise.
If anyone wants swatches let me know. I didn't because I didn't honestly have the time to do it. But I will if someone is requesting it.
Happy Eagle Eyes, lads! Talons will be coming up!