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The Deal Shopper’s Take on The $20 Makeup Challenge

I’ve watched a few Youtube videos on the $20 makeup challenge. As a deal shopper, the challenge interests me, but it always seemed impossible to really only use items for a full makeup look that cost less than $20. Then, it hit me. If I can do the challenge my way, the deal shopper’s way, I could actually have fun with this. Deal shoppers get items for free, get them at deep discounts in kits, subscription boxes, on sale, and more. To follow the spirit of the game, I will not even use the deal shopper’s biggest resource, the gift with purchase. Those gifts require a purchase making them technical cheats for this game.

If I purchased them in a kit or a subscription box, they’re fair game. I will use the amount I paid for the kit or subscription and divide it by the number of items in the box to arrive at the number. Of course one could argue that I could not get items from kits or subscriptions without first spending the entire amount. To that, I say touche. However, I still think it is fair game, so I am moving forward.

$20 Makeup Challenge

The Sephora Favorites Bronze Bares All Kit provided the Urban Decay eye shadow duo in Half Baked/Twice Baked. If I am doing eye shadow sans primer, I am glad to have Urban Decay’s help. There were eight items in the $39 kit making this 1/8th of the cost, $4.88.

Urban Decay Half and Double Baked

I actually de-potted this duo and put it in my Melt Case. Even though it is in the case with other shadows, I did not use any of them for this challenge. As you can see from the case, the bottom two have not been used yet. Although the nick in the duo was my mistake when I de-potted, the fallout is all from today’s application. Most Urban Decay shadows have a lot of fallout.

$20 Makeup Challenge 2

The Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip provided Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Homegirl. A lipstick with no liner requires one that stays put, and does not bleed. The pop of color will also help give the look some boldness. There were 15 items in the $59 kit making this 1/15th of the cost, $3.93. If the lipstick was less patchy and more consistent, it would be amazing, because I love the color.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Homegirl

Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Homegirl 2

One of my September Birchboxes provided the Benefit Gimme Brow. This two in one tool does not need any other product for great, full, natural looking, brows. There were 5 items in the $10 subscription making this 1/5th the cost, $2. I like this formula a lot. It is almost foolproof, because if you apply too heavily, you can rub it out.

A Target Beauty Box provided the Sinful Colors nail polish in Sail la Vie. The color is light enough that it does not stain my nails when I have to skip the base coat. There were 5 items in the $7 box making this 1/5th the cost, $1.40.

Target Beauty Box Summer 2015 2

One of my July Birchboxes provided theBalm Balm Desert. This blush and bronzer in one provides all the color my face needs. There were 5 items in the $10 subscription making this 1/5th the cost, $2. I probably should have used less on certain parts of my face. It’s too shimmery to use on certain contours.

theBalm Balm Desert

My summer Wal-Mart Beauty Box provided the Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara. There were 8 items in the $5 subscription (not including foils) making this 1/8th the cost, $0.63. This mascara does not build volume at all. It does define my blonde lashes.

The Stargazer set from Julep provided the Sepia Brown Shimmer Gel Eye Glider (center). There were 5 gilders in this $12 kit making this 1/5th of the cost, $2.40. It is the swatch in the middle of this picture. This eyeliner, which stayed put all day, pairs so wonderfully with the Urban Decay shadows. They look like they are made for each other.

Julep Stargazer

A different July Birchbox provided the Supergoop! CC Cream. I had to use this as a concealer, highlighter, and CC cream all in one, so it was an interesting challenge. There were 5 items in the $10 subscription making this 1/5th the cost, $2. It did not conceal or highlight as well as I hoped. The CC cream is a little darker than my skin tone, but the formula seemed fine.

That brings my makeup look to $19.24.

I also used the following makeup assistants. These were all items I received completely free and things I could have completed the challenge without. They were easy add-ons, because they did not add anything to my spend total.

Beautytalk provided the Murad Invisiblur I used as a face primer and for SPF protection. This was free, so the cost is $0. It surprised me how nice this was. It has a very silicone feel, and it bonds very well with the makeup I placed on top. Despite using no setting powder, everything was still there when I removed my makeup at night. Granted, it is cool outside, so I will test this product again over the summer to see how it holds up to heat. That will also test the SPF function.

Neiman Marcus provided the Lancome CILS Booster. This mascara primer was free, so the cost is $0. I love how CILS can improve any mascara. Without CILS, this mascara is a glorified color changer.

Yves Saint Laurent provided the Black Opium perfume sample. This was free, so the cost is $0. I like this scent, so I was happy to use it again.

I like the overall look, and it lasted a decent amount of time on. While I could not go out and buy all of this stuff for less than $20 without buying other things, all of it cost me less than $20 following along with the spirit of the game.

$20 Makeup Challenge 5

The shadows did not crease, which is impressive with no primer. There was some fading that I do not usually see with primer though.

$20 Makeup Challenge 3

I usually prefer more shades when working with shadows, but I love the way these two work alone.

$20 Makeup Challenge 4

The nails are two coats of polish with nothing under or over. I did not even give myself a manicure beforehand. Sinful Colors outlasted Chanel polish in a Consumer Reports study last year, so I look forward to seeing how long this polish remains chip-free on its own. For a $2 polish that often discounts to $1, more than a day would be impressive. This color is light enough that I hope it does not stain my nails, a caveat of painting without a base coat. If it does, I will report back.

Sinful Colors Sail la Vie

See all Challenge articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

notcreative View All

I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.

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