We all know that I am a bit of a sucker for high end products with spectacular packaging, but I need to be mindful of my budget and life long mortgage. Let's be practical here, I can't afford to spend $240 on 4 fresh mascaras per year, but I can afford to spend just under $24 on 4 new fresh budget mascaras annually. I personally feel that if the product is of quality, you won't be able to tell the difference between budget and high end makeup once it's on your face.
Today I want to introduce to you two excellent, quality yet affordable brands. Ulta3 and Essence. I can tell you now that Ulta3 blew my socks off, I am extremely impressed by the quality of the products I've tried thus far.
|Top to Bottom: Ivory, Nude, Beige)|
ULTA3 HD BLUR FOUNDATION $11.95
I currently have 3 of Ulta3's HD Blur foundations and able to alternate between the 3 based on seasons and how dark or light my skin becomes. There are 4 shades available in total (Beige, Ivory, Nude, Tan Beige).
This foundation contains light diffusing technology and blurs the appearance of imperfections. I find this foundation to be light weight, provides a sheer to light coverage that is buildable.
I've been using this on my good skin days where I need a bit of blur to cover up minor imperfections and of course to hide my pores! This foundation does a great job in hiding imperfections, however for the bigger and more visible imperfections, you may need some concealer.
I did not find this foundation oily or drying, it did not accentuate my dry areas either! The wear time was excellent, it stayed put all day.
This contour kit is designed for all skin-tones.
The contour shade is matte and did not appear muddy on my face, it provided a nice and natural contour. Occasionally, I can use this contour as a bronzer to warm up my face. The blush is a subtle dusty rose shade with small shimmers while the highlighter contains more small sized shimmer for a beautiful glow. The powders are really well balanced, and surprisingly smooth/finely milled.
I was very impressed with this compact, a high quality product for such an affordable price!
ULTA3 MATTE LIPSTICKS $4.50
These lipsticks are infused with Vitamin E and nourishing oils, available in 3 shades: Siren, Posh and Babydoll.
Siren (to the far right) is my absolute favourite shade, I keep it in my bag and it just makes me look 10000x more sophisticated even if I have a massive backpack on (which is how you'll find me after work most of the time!). The lipsticks are smooth, indeed moisturising and non drying. I was amazed, my initial reaction to a $4.50 lipstick was that it's gotta be drying, it must be lacking in some way or other. I was just amazed to find this ridiculously affordable lipstick to be as good or even better than some of my more expensive lipsticks.
|Top to Bottom: Babydoll, Siren and Posh (Unfiltered/Unedited)|
ESSENCE THE FLASE LASHES EXTREME VOLUME AND CURL + DRAMATIC VOLUME UNLIMITED $5.75
Mascaras are difficult with my straight lashes, I am able to curl them, but mascaras would weigh my lashes down. Unfortunately, this was the case with these Essence mascaras, following application, I noticed volume however the mascara was unable to maintain my curl.
Having said all that, both mascaras are great for everyday wear, it gives me natural looking lashes. When applied to my lower lashes I found that this mascara does not transfer easily, I did not find any smears or transfers.
I am now more mindful of throwing out mascaras at least every 6 months, it's do-able with the affordability of Essence mascaras!