Weekly Cheap Secret:

I seriously do not know how or why I haven’t reviewed this product sooner. I guess it is one that I use so frequently that I forget about it? I really didn’t mean to take it for granted. This is a product that I really like and it retails for under $6.

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush has a mousse texture. It blends nicely and feels weightless on the skin. It works great on my normal skin type. I love that it feels like it isn’t there at all. This texture feels much more expensive than what the product retails for. I’ve used $30 blushes that were going for this effect and couldn’t achieve it. I’m not naming names. There aren’t many colors available. There are six to be exact. However, there are a few I really like. ( I loved Whipped Strawberries but I can’t find it on the website. That was the perfect flushed pink for pale skins.) I like Pink Frosting, a pale pink shimmer that I usually use as a highlighter, and Peach Satin, a sheer pale peach. Both colors are sheer so I choose to layer them and layer them for more color. I apply this blush with my fingertips. I only use a tiny amount. I rub it on to the cheeks. There is no tugging since this product has such a smooth texture. I layer and layer until I get what I want. I’ve used deeper colors (Cloud Wine) and “one coat” was enough to get what I wanted. It doesn’t streak with extended wear. Like I said before, my skin is normal, rarely super dry or oily. When I dip my fingers into the pot, I occasionally get little clumpy Maybelline Dream Mousse bunnies. This doesn’t bother me. I’ll either wipe it on the rim of the jar or I was going to use that much cream blush anyways, so it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it doesn’t clump or streak on my skin. It doesn’t do that. (It is gross when it gets under the nails. Sometimes I use the end of a makeup brush to dip it out onto my hand, then my finger tips so that I’m not digging in the pot.)

My complaints are that the colors are limited. Just like all drugstore makeup, they start with a few perfect colors that compete with department store brands but then get rid of them for unknown reasons. There aren’t enough colors for medium to deep skin tones.  If you are pale with normal skin this can be a perfect blush for you. It looks natural, somehow the shimmer ones look natural too. (Well, that is coming from me and I don’t mind shimmer on my complexion to give me a “plastic” look). It’s a great price at under $6. The packaging is hefty and glass. It seems like it is “more” than what it is.

It is available at most drugstores and drugstore.com.

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Weekly Cheap Secret:

OK, so I purchased this because Ellen DeGeneres is the face for this product line. Well, that was one reason. The other: I have been looking for a concealer to love. Currently, I have been using MAC Studio Finish Concealer with SPF 35. I have not been impressed with the MAC concealer to cover dark circles. It’s too thick and I have to mix it with Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch to make the MAC concealer smoother and more manageable. (I miss Prescriptives.) Anyways, I thought I would give this Covergirl concealer a try. Ellen made me buy it.

Here’s what I’m looking for: a creamy, easy to smooth concealer to use under my eyes to cover up both redness and darkness. I’m in my mid-20’s, no real lines yet, and I am light with yellow/jaundice undertones.

The consistency of this product is so smooth. I purchased the Corrector to use as a  concealer since my complexion is exactly this color. The others available were all wrong. I think this is supposed to be a 2-in-1 product but I don’t get it. It isn’t a substitute for eye cream. It really is a “swirled” product with Olay added?  In the pot the texture is very nice, it looks dewy and the color is perfect. On my skin, the formula looks less dewy, too dry for my tastes. Since the color is perfect for me, it does cover up discolorations well. I feel this stuff shows more “lines” on me. It isn’t that it settles in the lines. It is that it doesn’t. It settles around them, leaving me with little blue-ish fine lines. That is annoying.  At first I thought I was using too much. I don’t think I am. I think it is doing that line thing after hours of wear. It’s a shame because I do find it a nice consistency and color. I just wish it was dewier and wore longer.

I’m still using this stuff so it isn’t terrible. I’m using it because my eye area looks better with it than without it. It just isn’t fitting my needs. I think I may be too picky when it comes to concealer. I think I can find something wrong with any formula by any brand. I do like this much better than using the MAC concealer alone. The MAC stuff makes my under eye area look terrible (and adds years)  if used alone. I also don’t love the MAC when mixed with the Clarins. So for now, I am using this Covergirl product until I find something I like better. I may use the entire jar. I may not. I just don’t think I will repurchase. Also, I need to state that I am using the Corrector. Does it even feel the same as the Concealers in the line? And maybe I’m getting the lines because I’m not using a concealer over it?

Retails for about $10.99. That isn’t super cheap for a drugstore product. But, it is cheaper than department stores. The MAC I used was about $16.50 + I was using the Clarins product. The Covergirl tub is quite generous, much larger than the MAC pot. Plus, if you shop around you’ll find coupons or BOGO. So, yeah, it doesn’t do what it claims to do, but it isn’t awful. I’ve used worse. It is available at drugstore.com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I still haven’t found my Holy Grail of mascaras but I have found a few that I like. Or that I would repurchase. Rimmel Extra Super Lash Waterproof Mascara is one of those mascaras. It is a great “natural” looking lash enhancer. This won’t add volume or make your lashes look Twiggy long. This is a good basic mascara. It darkens the lashes and the color does not budge. It slightly adds some volume and length. The best thing is that it isn’t clumpy at all. The brush bristles are very close together reducing the risk of clumps. I think I mainly in love with the brush. It is so good at separating. The formula is “wet”. This means you can keep building without any clumps (but don’t sneeze until it is dry!). This is waterproof and can’t be removed with soap and water. You’ll need a heavy-duty eye makeup remover to get it off. This is both good and bad. It just depends on your expectations. I love that it is waterproof. It makes a great consistency and I live in western Washington. It’s misty and I don’t need my eye makeup to run or give me raccoon eyes. This stuff wears through a blizzard and it wears during hot, humid weather. It doesn’t flake or smudge. The downside is getting it off. But, with a “real” eye makeup (oil-based) remover it is easy to get off.

I’ve read reviews that some people think this is a “dramatic” mascara. I’m not getting that from this. It darkens and I do wish that it was available in a brown/black shade. I find that with just 2 coats to to the top lashes and one coat to the bottom, that this looks pretty “natural” for mascara. Maybe they are using like 6 coats of something? Or maybe they had blonde lashes to begin with?

This stuff retails for under $4. It may not be a perfect product, but the price is fantastic. I’ve used $24 mascaras that were far worse than this. I have used mascaras that I like better as well, but they weren’t this cheap. For the price this is a great product. It’s a great way to stretch my beauty “allowance”.

Great pic from Vampy Varnish

Great pic from vampyvarnish.com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

Dark nail polish is a must have for a closet goth like myself. I love the shade of Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Deliciously Dark. There are many colors out there like this one, but this one retails for under $3.50. This is a great drugstore nail product. It looks much more shimmery grape popsicle purple on Rimmel’s website, so I took this pic from a great blog that recommended this product: www.vampyvarnish.com. This blogger’s pics are really good and really represent the nail polish colors. (I highly recommend visiting the site before you purchase any nail color). Plus… by the time I take a pic of mine, they are chipped and so abused. It’s just too embarrassing. My cuticles would never forgive me.

Anyways, Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish dried in a short time. This is a must for somebody like me. I don’t have time to wait for my nails to dry and nothing gets to me more than smudged nail color. I would say that I was able to go back to being my old self in 3 minutes. The color took 2 coats to look as dark as Vampy Varnish’s. It came out as a satin blackberry jam shade. Like I said, there are many shades out their like this one, but this is pretty darn cheap. The brush was OK and the formula was thin but not watery. That is why it takes 2-3 coats to get a nice deep shade. It wore nicely on my finger tips for about 2 days. This is a record for me. My nail color chips in like 2 hours because I am too lazy to apply top coats, etc. And I don’t have a dishwasher, wash my hands frequently, and wear latex gloves throughout the day. I know that it sounds like this product doesn’t “last” very long but it has lasted longer than the Chanel, Estee Lauder, and Dior that I have used in the past.

So, this is a color and a product that I like. I haven’t tried other colors in the line. I know that this is one is nice for the money. The shade is lovely and a nice alternative to black. It is such a vampy, film-noir shade. This product is available at drugstores all over the place.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I have a way for falling for gimmicks but with age I am getting better. I purchased L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Explosion mascara just out of sheer old curiosity. It sure looks a lot like Givenchy Phenomenon Mascara which retails for $28. This L’Oreal one goes for about $9. L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Explosion’s claim to fame is that it gets every lash. This sure sounds like a miracle that is too good to be true but I read others’ reviews and just had to try it. The brush is spherical as you can tell from the pic. It is on top of a super long and skinny wand. I don’t dislike the mascara but I don’t love it. That being said I haven’t found any mascara that I love yet.

Who is this mascara for? It is for the person that already has nice full lashes but they want to emphasize each and every one of them. This brush does get every single lash, even the tiny ones on the top and bottom. I love the brush despite the too long and flimsy wand, I can look over that. I am not a fan of the formula. The formula doesn’t flake or irritate. This is good. But,  it doesn’t do much of anything for my short and thick lashes. I need length and curl. All this formula does is darken and thicken my lashes. They don’t get any longer even with a few coats of this stuff and it is a heavy formula so it doesn’t hold a curl. Applying a few coats of this stuff takes forever because of the precise wand. It does get all of my bottom lashes and this is a great feature. I’m just finding that this mascara is a lot of work. To get “wow” lashes I need to curl lashes and apply a basic lengthening mascara of a different formula, apply a coat or two of Lash Explosion to top and bottom lashes. I can apply false lashes in less time than doing this routine. And I’m not wild about the “heavy mascara” look. I don’t think that this formula is clumpy. I think anything will look that clumpy with that many coats of product. I don’t hate this product, it could be wonderful for some people. Those people with long and maybe thin lashes or for those that have light but perfect lashes and just need color. For me, this isn’t my holy grail and I most likely won’t be repurchasing. I love that it gets all my lashes coated but I need length. So what I am saying is that I love the brush but I don’t like the formula.

I purchased Black which is OK but it has too many cool tones and in my opinion appears navy or midnight blue. Why don’t companies offer black/brown in all of their formulas? Blue eyes benefit from mascara with a warm undertone.

This product is available at all drugstores and drugstore.com.

Weekly Cheap Find:

I am a fan of lip and cheek stains. In the summer these are my beauty “secrets”. I apply the same stain to both cheeks and lips and sometimes I’ll even wear mascara. It’s perfect for those icky summer days. I was skeptical of these Covergirl lip stains at first. I don’t know why. I think in my mind I thought they were too expensive for a drugstore product, about $8. This is funny. If NARS offered an $8 lip stain, I would think it was a deal. Anyways, I must confess that I am completely in love with this product despite the really poor reviews elsewhere. I love its range, application, and lasting power. And the price is right, even for a drugstore item.

First off, I have been a vandal since day one. Keep Sharpies out of sight. So, I love this marker like application. It really defines the lip line plus it is so fun. It’s like I am drawing on my lips. Avon mark made one of these lip stains years ago. It was awesome and like so many of their products discontinued in like 2 months.  Second, it comes in a wide range of colors. At first I did not get this. Well, these babies aren’t so sheer. They are sheer but they do pack more pigment than what I am used to from a lip stain. This is good, I guess. I have many friends with dark complexions that don’t do many lip stains because they don’t show. This line has a color for everyone. I just wish they would offer testers at the store (that’s the problem with all drugstore cosmetics). Third, it wears for hours and hours! I’m talking like 6 hours with no touch-ups. But, you must let it set first, just like any lip stain. The fragrance/flavor isn’t bad. It’s faintly “fruity”. And the price isn’t bad. I still haven’t been lucky enough to get them on BOGO.

I have three but my goal is to have them all because I am a lip stain freak. The first two I did not try. I was looking for a red and plum lipstain, something that looked berry kissed. I bought 425 Plum Pout. To my surprise this had lots of pigment. It looks very sheer when blotted. However, I am used to a bold lip. I like it’s reddish plum stain. It seriously looks like the inside of a plum. The other is 440 Wild Berry Wink. This is a pretty bold pure cherry red. It is sexy. I don’t mean to sound gross but it is a bloodstain red. So, it’s a “fresh” goth and vampire look. Both colors are pretty bold in comparison to my skin tone. I like them but they are a bit bright. I love the application and formula but wanted something a bit “my lips but better”. I purchased 420 Sassy Mauve. This is it. It’s a perfect mauve lipstain. It’s a perfect blend of pink and brown. It’s super natural flush of the lips. Well, at least for me.

OK, so to the complaints. Many people say that the results are not consistent with this product. I agree. It does fade with time. It’s the applicator. To be honest, there is not much product in the pen. If you want a lip stain for a bargain, you should probably purchase something larger and more liquidy. It will be from the department store but you should consider the cost per use. This Covergirl product is “portable” unlike Benetint so you are getting less product to fit into the portable pen. People do not like the finish. This is a stain. It will not provide shine or moisture. This being said lips must be healthy and not chapped. I really think Covergirl should put that as a “warning”. This product will clump on flakey lips and look awful like that makeup on that chick in Sweeny Todd. Any lip stain will do this on battered lips. Even that Avon mark one had a warning on it. I don’t remember the verbiage exactly but it was like “product will bleed if applied to chapped lips. Do not apply to peeling lips.” I have not tried this product with gloss because I find the purpose of lip stain is to look “natural” and I love its matte finish. I’m sure gloss could be added but from my makeup artist experience with lip stain, just try a balm. If you want shine, wear lip gloss and not lip stain. You can’t have it all.Words like long-wearing, moisturizing, and glossy do not go together. It is an unspoken rule.

I say this is a product to love or to hate. It all depends on expectations. If you are a lip stain fan, you may like this but these carry more pigment than what you may be used to so go a shade lighter than what you desire. If you like hyper-glossy lips then stay away from this. If you want a “base” to wear under your retro gal red lipsticks, then this stuff is perfect. It “holds” matte lipsticks. Anyways, I like it and I’m going to have to pick a few more up before this product gets discontinued. I predict it won’t be around too much longer because of the awful reviews and it’s an expensive product for Covergirl.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

This is a pretty good duo. I have worn the heck out of the beige shimmer that is infused with lots of gold. It makes a great base shade and mixes well with any color ever. It is very versatile. It can look very “natural” when worn with chocolatey browns such as MAC  Bronze or MAC Sable. It also wears nicely with blues, especially those with warmer undertones like MAC Tilt or the blue found in Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad Seashore Frosts worn in the crease. It does well with everything from orange to plum to navy. It provides nice coverage and is very pearly. I bought the duo for the orange shade. It is an orangey bronze with gold shimmer. It doesn’t pack as much of a punch and needs to be layered a few times for maximum impact. It isn’t a bad color it doesn’t have as much “drama” as I would like. Actually, when paired with the other color in the duo, it looks pretty netural and “work” friendly. It is a warm shade with a hint of glimmer. It looks nice with other metallic metal shades such as Milani Sun Goddess or MAC Amber Lights. It doesn’t pack a punch like MAC Orange or Rule but does pair nicely with those. Warm shades like this really make blue and green eyes pop. I usually do a wash of orange over the lid, apply black liquid liner, lots of mascara or false lashes and pair with my RIP Nars Taj Mahal blush. It looks great in the summer with a hint of bronzer and a sheer gold gloss like Milani Buzzy Worthy Lip Gloss in Busy Bee. I have found with this duo when it is applied wet it really doesn’t appear much more intense and that it has a tendency to crease. However, for the drugstore price tag I find that the lightest shade is worth the money. This compact really makes blue and green eyes pop.