Beauty Favorites Budget Beauty

Affordable Budget Beauty Favorites No. 1

September 17, 2018

Affordable Budget Beauty Favorites Under $20, L'Oreal, OPI, Garnier

By popular request I’m going to start covering some of my favorite budget beauty tries and buys! For my beauty blogging life I’ve primarily focused on mid to high-end luxury brands but every week I get questions about more affordable options or dupes. I’ve been experimenting more with different brands based on feedback and started testing things I think look interesting. I have some budget beauty items to share with you today of items I feel are worth trying. Prices vary depending on retailer and promos you can find, but at the full retail price, everything is under $20.

1. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara is hands down my favorite drugstore mascara. It lengthens, volumizes, defines, holds the curl and does not smudge on me. I’ve gone through quite a few tubes of this! Several of you have commented it’s prone to clumping after a few uses. To solve this I take the wand once every other week and run it through a folded piece of paper in the crease to clean it. It does waste a lot of product but I do this with most of my mascaras but it’s the only way I can remove buildup. I have actually tried both the non-waterproof and waterproof versions. I think both are really good. Given the fact that I live in Florida where the humidity is intense, I prefer the waterproof version as a better smudge-proof option.

L'Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

2. After the success I had with the mascara, I bought the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Primer as soon as it launched with high hopes. It was a hit! It works well to prime and condition the lashes. It’s pink tinted so you can see how much you’ve actually applied. The trick with this is to not let it dry down all the way before you add mascara. I apply a coat of mascara almost immediately after I apply the primer and it works like a charm. If I let it dry completely it almost becomes crunchy and mascara doesn’t adhere well.

Loreal Lash Paradise Primer Review

2. OPI Nail Polishes are my go-to for favorite affordable nail polish brand. I know many others love Essie or Zoya, but for me OPI is the best for lasting power and color. My favorite neutrals are from OPI including Tiramisu for Two, Samoan Sand, Let Me Bayou a Drink and more. I’m going to be putting together an updated neutral nail polish post, but you can see my Favorite Neutrals in this roundup here. I also really like the Natural Nail Base Coat to help protect the nails, prime them for polish and prevent yellowing.

Best OPI Neutrals Tiramisu for Two, Samoan Sand, Let Me Bayou a Drink

3. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water and Makeup Remover Sensitive and Waterproof are great micellar cleansing waters. I really love the ones from Lancome and Koh Gen Do, but I needed to find a budget friendly option as I go through a lot of remover with my swatching. I tried both the Sensitive Option and Waterproof Version and think they are both great. The waterproof version is stronger and better for removing darker lipsticks or eyeliner. For my long-wear waterproof mascara it’s not strong enough in which case I recommend you try the Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads. It’s the only thing remover that has enough power to actually removes my waterproof mascara these days. I bought this based on reader recommendations and they were 100% right at how effective it is.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Waters

4. L’Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks are a close dupe for the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick. When I read others claiming this I was skeptical. I did not think it was possible! I bought a few shades and really like them. I was then sent the entire lineup for review. After testing them I do not think they are 100% identical but they make for an impressive cheaper alternative. The L’Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks have the same balmy feel, comfortable wear and nice shine. I actually like them a little bit more because there’s less slip to them so they adhere better to the lips. They do have a completely different scent, the L’Oreal ones have that super sweet candy like scent. There are a couple colors that apply patchy because of how pale they are in comparison to my natural lip color, but most of them are solid wins. The only two iffy colors are Shining Peach and Dewey Petal for me – they run really pale.

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipsticks Review

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches Lips

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches Deeper Brights

L'Oreal Color Riche Shine Lipstick Swatches Deeper Bright Shades

5. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion is something I would call a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. This comes in four color options, Fair Glow, Light Glow, Medium Glow and Deep Glow. This is similar in concept to the Charlotte Tilbury product because the Lumi Glotion can also be worn alone, under makeup, to highlight or bronze. It has a subtle luminous glow that you can see on the skin but it’s not overly shimmery or frosted. I do think the color range differs for the deeper shades. If you’re fair to medium the colors are close. I like either Light or Medium to highlight and Deep works as a slightly deeper bronze shimmer.

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Review + Swatches

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Swatches

That wraps up my first Budget Beauty Buys and Tries roundup! I’ll be incorporating 1-2 roundups per month. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these and what your thoughts were. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also if you have any dupe requests please leave a note in the comments and I’ll try to do some research for the next round.

I buy these brands primarily at Target, Ulta Beauty or CVS. If you have a go-to destination for budget beauty shopping I’d love to hear in the comments!

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion and Color Riche Shines provided as press samples. L’Oreal Lash Paradise initially provided as a sample, but I’ve since repurchased it on my own many times.

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  • BlushandPearls September 17, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Ok, now I really want to grab some of those L’oreal Colour Riche Lipsticks! I think Glass Garnet is my pick.

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

    • BeautyLookBook September 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

      They’re really impressive!

  • nani1515 September 17, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed your detailed posts and I’m so happy to see some budget brand variety!

  • Petunia September 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Great idea! I really appreciate budget beauty buys when I am traveling and need to pick up something on the go. It’s so easy to run into a pharmacy. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • Mariya September 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Lovely picks!

    Mariya |

  • Julie September 17, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Bought the Almay make up remover pads after seeing on your blog. They work like a dream and are travel friendly. Lash Paradise Waterproof mascara is my go-to for humid Houston weather. Great post!

    • BeautyLookBook September 18, 2018 at 10:35 am

      Yay! I don’t know if mascara formulas are getting better or makeup removers have changed, nothing works to remove WP mascara except those pads!

  • cpbebe September 17, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    hooray! I love this round up. Like a lot of luxury beauty fans, there is a mix of high-low in my bag at all times. I’m a longtime fan of Loreal lipsticks, and lately I have been discovering the Ultra matte lipsticks and the Color Riche Shines. Ultra mattes are very matte and pigmented, so I have been pairing them with complementing Color Riche Shines when I want a more satiny finish. Fans should note that Color Riche Shine lipsticks do not have the signature Loreal lipstick fragrance, which I am sure is good news for the fragrance sensitive consumer!

    • BeautyLookBook September 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Yay! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  • Arianna September 17, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I’m obsessed with the Lash Paradise mascara! It’s so amazing 💕

    Arianna |

  • Brynn⛸ September 17, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    You can never go wrong with the Lash Paradise Mascara !!


  • Genevieve September 18, 2018 at 12:57 am

    I really like lots of DS options because, not only are the products easily accessible and at a reasonable price, if you research the product (or read blogs like this) then you can easily find a bargain that is just as good as a HE option. My favourites include:

    1. Physicians Formula Argon Oil – just pure argon oil – no fragrances or additives. Cruelty free brand as well. It is a dupe for the much more expensive Josie Maran option. I have been using this product for two years now and my skin has definitely benefited from it.

    2. L’Oreal True Match Foundation in IC – cool with pink undertones. Lasts all day, easy to apply and a fabulous finish. Just as good as Estee Lauder’s Double Wear to me.

    3. Burts Bees Sensitive Cleansing Cream – Fragrance free formula, cruelty free and a dupe for Clarins Cleansing Milk.

    4. Milani’s Colour Statement lipsticks in Candied Toffee and Bronze Beauty – absolutely stunning autumnal lipsticks of the highest quality.

    • BeautyLookBook September 18, 2018 at 10:34 am

      Thanks for sharing your favs 🙂

  • Anne Capitant September 18, 2018 at 2:31 am

    I love the waterproof Lash Paradise mascara! One thing I like about drugstore mascaras is the fact that any full size mascara tube is going to dry out before I’m finished, so better to spend less anyways. I mostly have deluxe sample sizes of brands from places like Nordstrom or Sephora, but if I have to buy mascara that’s one makeup area I can usually save on.

  • Christabel September 18, 2018 at 6:25 am

    I love the Lash Paradise so much, more than my Japanese mascaras, which is shocking for me. I must admit that the packaging of the Loreal lipsticks really put me off so despite all the amazing reviews I just cannot bring myself to buy them

    • BeautyLookBook September 20, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Hahaha, I totally get that about the packaging!

  • Anja September 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Love the packaging of the L’oreal Lumi Glotions, so elegant!
    I’m also sooo keen to try out the Lash Paradise mascara, I’ve only heard great things about it!

  • Maria September 18, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I love luxury makeup, but I also am all about affordable products as well. This was so interesting.

    • BeautyLookBook September 20, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Maria, so happy to hear you liked the post!

  • Jenn E September 18, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I love the original L’Oreal Voluminous but I didn’t know they made a lash paradise version as well. I’m super excited to try that and the primer now!

    • BeautyLookBook September 20, 2018 at 9:46 am

      I think I need to try the original again, I feel like I tried it and it didn’t hold the curl, but everyone swears by it!

  • nic September 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Yay! I love this. Also love high/low. Lash Paradise is a favorite and I’ve been dying to see if you’d review the balms. This made my day. Thank you!

    • BeautyLookBook September 20, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Glad you liked the post!

  • Blondie, Esq. September 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I love Lash Paradise too (and excited to try the primer). Do/can you use the L’Oreal lip shines with a lip pencil? I don’t love how the Dior ones move either and I find the closer I get to 40 the more I need a liner. Thank you for this helpful post! 😍😘

    • BeautyLookBook September 20, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Yes you can use with a pencil!

      • Blondie, Esq. September 21, 2018 at 12:07 pm

        Thank you!

  • Natalie Redman October 1, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Ooo that L’Oreal Glowtion looks great!

  • Natasha LeFever November 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    I love that these are more affordable options. They all look so good. I can’t wait for my next makeup shopping trip!

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