blond girl with makeup and red lipstick

My Budget Beauty Date Night Look

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Working through a week full of end-of-the-month deadlines has been pretty tough, but I sat down the other day to make my editorial calendar for the rest of the summer and I’m really excited at some of the topics coming down the list!

blond girl with makeup and red lipstick

Today, I wanted to share a post that combines two of my loves: makeup and budgeting! When Mike and I went on vacation in Ogunquit for our anniversary, I knew I wanted to create a special glam look for our anniversary dinner on Friday. Thank god I took photos before dinner otherwise this post might never have seen the light of day (those of you who read my post know what I’m talking about). I wrote down  step-by-step how to get my look, below:

eco naturals, e.l.f. brushes and beauty sponge

Step 1: Get Supplies

Most people have a core set of brushes already, but let’s assume you’re starting from scratch- I had to replace a ton of worn out brushes ahead of my vacation, and since I was running on a really tight budget, I headed straight for the E.l.f. section at Walmart. I love these brushes because they’re extremely cheap, and in my opinion they work just as well for what you need them to do as a more expensive brush. I have had brushes from Tarte, Mac, Sephora, and the Kat Von D line (where ONE brush cost a whopping $40), and I have not noticed a marked difference beyond durability. And, for ~5 a brush, who really cares?

first aid beauty ultra repair cream intense hydration

Step 2 : Moisturize

I’ll be the first to admit it- I am a diehard Smashbox Primer fan, specifically the Photo Finish Primer. With dry skin like mine, I always look for a product that can even out my rough, dull skin, and make it easier for foundation to go on seamlessly. One thing I’ve noticed lately is that since I’ve stopped using expensive foundations,(bye, KVD) my skin has actually improved greatly. I’ve actually moved away from a lot of primers, and started using light moisturizers as my base. I find that not slapping on tons of different layers minimizes the amount of product that could sink into dry patches.

Another quick tip- don’t wash your face right before an event. I learned this the hard way- some cleansers can be rough on skin or expose impurities and flaws that take time to settle down, so I try to wash my face the night before or even a few days prior. That way, my skin is clean but also smooth. If you’d prefer a squeaky clean canvas, fine, but try to stick to something super gentle with no fragrance.

neutrogena hydro boost hydrating tint

Step 3: Foundation

If you read my post on hyaluronic acid, then you’ve already heard me talk briefly about this foundation, which acts as more of a tinted moisturizer than anything else. I’ve started really getting into this look after years of wearing horrible cakey liquid foundations, thinking that’s what I was supposed to be wearing.

Obviously, this wears very dewy/natural, and sits well even after hours without retouching. My favorite thing about it (besides price point) is that it evens out my skin texture while also letting my summer freckles show through- and has been the only foundation I’ve ever used to not give me a case of the forehead flakies 🙂 

Kylie jenner cosmetics bronze palette and maybelline the colossal volum express mascara

Step 4: Apply Eye Makeup

OK, I am going to admit- I am not currently using a budget palette. One of my absolute favorite eye shadow sets is the Kylie Cosmetics Bronze Palette, which retails at a whopping $42, nearly $50 after shipping and handling. It’s honestly one of the worst/best purchase decisions I have made: Sure, it’s a great everyday palette and I use it on nearly every look I do, so I’ve gotten my money’s worth, but it’s so tiny, with only 9 shades, and I think the dupe above is a pretty identical set for less than half the price.

What I do when applying eyeshadow is place the softest, whitest shade over my entire eyelid, a light shimmery shade along the inner corner, a light neutral brown on the middle and deeper brown on the outer corner of the eye, with a tan shade blended into the crease. The key is to create a soft, natural look that doesn’t take the attention away from the lipstick- you should NEVER try to match those two colors, since they’re meant to highlight and deflect differently!

I usually apply the eyeshadow before the face makeup in order to sweep away stray flecks of pigment while my face is a blank canvas, and to keep my mascara drying while I apply the rest of the makeup.

too faced cocoa contour kit, colourpop bronzer, shiro cosmetics, rimmel london lipstick, jd glow cosmetics, bh cosmetics pride prejudice & zombies palette

Step 5: Face Makeup 

  • Colourpop Bronzer “Private Party” ($8)
  • BH Cosmetics Pride, Prejudice & Zombies Palette (~$10- no longer available)
  • Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick “Pink Roots” ($3 on clearance)
  • JD Glow Cosmetics “Beyunce” ($16.50)
  • Shiro Cosmetics “White Chocolate Frog” ($9)

Again, I’m copping to using a non-budget face palette here- blame my old label chasing ways! I use the Too-Faced Cocoa Contour palette because, hello, it smells good, but I find the Colourpop line has a diverse swathe of colors for an unbeatable price. I like to use my E.l.f. contour brush to lay down the contour shades & blend out with the beauty sponge (damp if possible), although you can always apply the bronzer shades in a sweeping motion across the temples, hollows of the cheek, and under the jawline. 

In terms of blush, I’m a miser. I have been using the free birthday sample I received from Tarte in the shade “Paaarty”. I used it so often I broke the clamshell, and when I found out the full size was $30, I freaked! I was supposed to bring my BH Cosmetics Pride & Prejudice & Zombie Palette for my face- I love it because it has blush, highlighter, and eye shadow shades- but totally forgot to pack it since it didn’t fit in my makeup bag. 

I was panicking- until I remembered that my lipstick could also double as a blush! I swiped a line of lipstick over each cheekbone, and blended it out with my Eco Naturals brush, and was pleasantly surprised by the subtle rosy hue, and how beautiful it looked.

For this look, I applied my holy grail highlighter, the JD Glow shade “Beyunce” (assuming Queen Bey was not a fan of her exact name being used to sell makeup) on the inner corner of my eyes and cheeks, tip of nose and bow of lips (but I packed my runner up from Shiro, an independent makeup company based out of Portland- White Chocolate Frog is a loose powder named for the Harry Potter franchise, a brilliant unicorn white that ended up being little too obvious for this trip).

Embedded deep into this post, I just want to add as an aside that a former friend and roommate once made fun of me for “wearing too much highlighter”. Listen up ladies- shine like the beautiful glazed donut you are. Don’t let haters tell you what YOUR face should look like.

Oh and also, swipe on the glitter shade in the cocoa palette for added drama, just to let the haters know what’s up 😉

blond girl and brown haired boy with makeup

For finishing touches, I ran a spoolie through my brows and just left it as is! Now, the grand total above seems like a lot if you literally add it together, but this is taking into account an amount of makeup that you could probably use for every look- if you’re not too fussy, this could be all you ever need! But really, since most people already have brushes, and taking into account that I added in extra stuff I used that you could definitely skip (like the two highlighters versus the eye and cheek palette), and that I personally had some of this stuff already, a truer estimate is probably around $25 (what I spent)- $45. Remember, you can always look for even cheaper dupes than the ones on this list. Lines like E.l.f. and Maybelline offer comparable palettes and shades to anything out there.

What are some of the best beauty deals you’ve found?

Keep it real,

-Maggie <3

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