$20 and Under: My Top 5 Spring Beauty Buys

My Top 5 Beauty Buys for Spring 2014

My Top 5 Beauty Buys for Spring 2014

Little known fact about me: I’m a makeup addict. More specifically, I’m a drugstore makeup addict. Not that the big name brands aren’t fabulous (big fan on Clinique) but when you’re a student, rewarding yourself with some lipstick or nail polish that’s less than $10 is much more justifiable. When I was working on my B.A. in Ohio, I used small makeup purchases as rewards for good grades. Whatever motivates you, I suppose.

So instead of being secretive about my makeup habit, I’ve decided to share what my favorite beauty buys are for spring. I won’t pretend to be some kind of expert on application or trend predicting, but this is what has drawn me in this season.

1. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup 

My skin is super sensitive and rather pale, so finding a foundation that is gentle enough but that also matches my skin tone can be tricky. Most foundations clog up my pores, but Neutrogena is always a safe bet for me. The healthy skin line has antioxidants and 20 spf, plus it blends well. When I take my makeup off at night, my skin feels soft and clean. I use the shade classic ivory, and it retails for $12.49.

2. L’Oreal’s Extraordinaire by Colour Riche 

When I was at this year’s Sundance, they had a L’Oreal vending machine that gave you a free lip gloss every time you tweeted about the product. That was some kind of wonderful. I tweeted a lot. I came home from that trip with about seven shades of this stuff, and they’re all amazing. The gloss is silken and very pigmented, which translates to a stain when the gloss gradually wears off. The swatch below is of the color Blushing Harmony 103 and retails for $9.99.

3. Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner

It’s a mouthful of a title for one little liner, but I adore this product. Personally, I prefer cream based liners over pencils or liquids. They tend to apply smooth and are more subtle. A liquid or pencil is a bold statement on the eye and I prefer for my actual eye shadow to be the statement piece. I have three on these particular eyeliners, but for spring I think the nude shade will be more on trend. Apply it on your waterline to have the same effect as a white liner–wider, whiter looking eyes. The nude color is also great for a natural look. I also swatched the silver and deep blue liners so you could see the nude color better. Each eyeliner retails for $4.49.

Product swatches for Neutrogena, L'Oreal, and Rimmel.

Product swatches for Neutrogena, L’Oreal, and Rimmel.

4. Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer

I’ve always been intimidated by bronzer. My past adventures with the stuff have yielded an Oompa Loompa look that is just not cute on anyone. But I took a chance with this Wet N Wild brand in Reserve Your Cabana, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. This powder bronzer is well suited for fairer skin and leaves nothing but a healthy glow behind.  It comes in two other colors (Ticket to Brazil and Bikini Contest), so all skin tones can get their glow on before summer begins. Sorry I don’t have a swatch for this, but it’s rather subtle. Retails for $3.99.

5. Julep Nail Color

Julep is a fun website/product for those that love nail color. You can become a Julep Maven and get a customized box of nail color or product for $20 a month, but what is great about this system is that you don’t have to fully commit to buying every box. If the colors of the month don’t move you, you can pass on the box and save your money. My favorite find lately has been the creme finish Libby, which is a delightful teal shade. It’s a vibrant shade that will still go perfectly with your Easter dress. Fun tidbit: Julep names all of its nail polishes after women. Retail is $14.00 or $11.20 for a Maven.

So those are my favorite beauty buys for under $20 each. The Julep nail color is the only one you won’t find in a drugstore, but I couldn’t resist adding it. If my favorites are anything to go off of, I think glowing natural tones with pops of vibrant color is going to be “in” for spring.

What do you think will be “in” for spring at your beauty counter?