Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top 4 Faves

Over the years I have managed to find some real product “gems” – cosmetics and apparel that are great quality and come at a fantastic price. I am a firm believer that everybody should have access to good products that don’t come at a premium price. So what have I done? I’ve put together a list of my favorite budget-friendly products that I believe are terrific quality.

1. Joe Fresh Nail Polish
After experiencing success in their apparel line, the masterminds behind the amazing Joe Fresh brand have expanded their empire to provide cosmetics. In the cosmetics line, Joe Fresh offers a wide range of eye shadows, lipsticks, blushes, pressed powders and much, much more. But what really stood out to me in this line were their nail polishes. The line currently offers a classic collection of polishes (with over 40 different shades) and a fall collection (16 different shades). Note: some shades are only available in certain stores. What is available in your nearest store varies.

What I love about these polishes is that they are very colour pigmented. I can typically get away with only one coat (but I like a very intense colour, so I opt for two). I also find that they dry fast and do not stay tacky for hours after you have applied them. From my experience to this point, I have not had any issues with fading or chipping (mind you, I use a top coat).

WHERE TO BUY: Loblaws or online
PRICE: $4 each, or 3 for $10

2. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation (with SoftFlex)
I initially heard of this product on a makeup review site. I love using MAC foundation but still to this day cannot bring myself to spend the money on it. I figured that after trying almost every foundation under the sun, it was worth it to give ColorStay a try. I have been using it ever since! It’s lightweight and offers phenomenal coverage for up to 16 hours. The product currently comes in two different formulas: one for normal/dry skin and one for combination/oily skin. Both formulas are available in 12 different shades and have SPF 15 protection.

The reason I love this product is because of the coverage it offers for the price. I have a lot of redness on my face and I found that this foundation covers better than quite a few of the more expensive brands available. It isn't cakey and is easy to work with on your skin. It may not be the best foundation on the market, but for those of us who want a great foundation on a tight budget, ColorStay is a great product.

WHERE TO BUY: Any store that sells cosmetics (Wal-Mart, Shopper's, Rexall, Loblaw, Zeller's)
PRICE: $10-$18 (depending where you buy it)

3. Old Navy "The Rockstar" Skinny Jeggings
If you are like me, you hate traditional denim. They do look good, but they can be very uncomfortable. "The Rockstar" skinny jeggings are absoltely amazing. They wear like a traditional jean but are extremely stretchy to give comfort. Unlike other skinny jeans, they seem to be the perfect length and are true to the skinny jean fashion - there is no excess fabric around the ankle. The jegging style makes them fit like a glove, but are still stretchy enough to move around in.

The jeggings are made of 2% spandex, 21% polyester and 77% cotton. Currently, they come in seven colours including black, grey, red, bright blue, dark-wash and medium wash. They come in a higher waisted version of the pant and are offered in tall and petite. They run from size 0 to 20.

The only issue I have with these pants is that eventually, if you dry them after every wash and wear, the elastic in the pants begins to pull and become stretched out. I find that I need to buy them a size smaller and hang dry them to make them last longer. But overall, these jeggings are one of the lower prices on the market, as most jeggings can cost as much as $100 dollars (depending what retailer you go to).

WHERE TO BUY: Old Navy (in stores and online), eBay
PRICE: $44.50

4. EcoTools Makeup Brushes
Makeup brushes can definitely be expensive. Usually when I find a good brush I stick to it until I literally wear it out. I first purchased EcoTools when I was on vacation in Florida. My cousin had suggested I buy them instead of the super expensive MAC brushes I was going to buy, as she had read good reviews on them. Almost 3 years later, I am still using the same brushes! Their quality and durability speaks for itself.

The brushes are constructed using bamboo (for the handles,) recycled aluminum (to attach the handle to the bristles) and synthetic taklon (bristles). Furthermore, the packaging that the brushes are sold in are eco-conscious, using re-usable pouches, post-consumer recycled plastic and recyclable packaging. All of their products are 100% cruelty-free. EcoTools donates 1% of annual revenue to environmental causes like EarthShare and Wildlife Alliance.

The collection of brushes includes a variety of face brushes, like bronzer brush, kabuki brush, powder brush, blush brush, foundation brush and concealer brush. They also include eye tools, like an eyeliner brush, lash & brow groomer and eyeshadow brush.

WHERE TO BUY: Most stores that sell cosmetics (Wal-Mart, Zeller's, Shopper's, Rexall, Loblaw)
PRICE: $5 - $15 (depending where you buy them)

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