Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Top Ten Luxury Products Under $25 | Collab with The Panwar Palace

Today's exciting post is in collaboration with fellow beauty blogger, Megan from The Panwar Palace.  

Check out her favorite luxury items here!

I met Megan on Instagram (follow her @megan_panwar). She is one of the sweetest friends I've met in the beauty community. I love variety of content on her blog and reading her thoughts on makeup and skincare. And as a bonus, she is freaking gorgeous!

BK Photography

Top Ten Luxury Items Under $25
Just to clarify,  I am using the term 'luxury' somewhat loosely, essentially meaning not found at the drugstore. Initially I wanted to include an array of products like eyes, brows, face, etc., but I decided to narrow down what I actually use on a regular basis. That way you guys know what really is in my top ten!

Products numbered by placement, not in order of preference. :)

1. Mario Badescu Caviar Night Cream | $20 at Ulta

I have tried several items from the Mario Badescu line and have found nothing that I don't like. The Caviar Night Cream is no stranger to my blog and has become my holy grail nighttime moisturizer. It's thick and intensely hydrating, which is perfect for my super dry skin. I have and will continue to repurchase this moisturizer sent from above. (No really, it's that amazing.)

2. MAC Eyeshadows | $16 at MAC Cosmetics
Brown Script & Amber Lights

I've never been a MAC snob when in regard to their shadows, but these two shades have been staples in my makeup bag for a long time. Some MAC shadows can be hit or miss, but these two are both high quality and easy to work with. Anyone can wear these shades, but they look especially good on blue eyes.

3. Benefit They're Real Mascara | $23 at Ulta

If you have followed my blog or YouTube for any length of time, you know I'm a big believer in drugstore mascara. I got sucked into the samples in the checkout line at Ulta (gets me every time!) and decided to try this mascara. I was skeptical at all the hype around it. Welp, it's definitely worth the hype! It's volumizing, super lengthening, and gives me the clean and separated look that I love. The best part is that it does not smudge, even on my uber oily eyelids! It's not waterproof, so it washes off like a dream. It's basically everything I look for in a mascara. If you are a skeptic like me, you can try the sample size at Ulta for $10. When I run out, I will most definitely be purchasing the full size!

4. Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten | $18 at Ulta


Kitten is a cult favorite and for good reason. It's one of the most gorgeous shadows I've ever used. It's creamy. It's buttery. It's shimmery. It's pretty much perfect. I've used this on clients ranging from fair to women of color, and it's beautiful on everyone. The only downside to being so finely milled, if you drop it, it's going to shatter. Just treat it like the dainty treasure it is, and you'll have no problem.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Smog 0.05 oz

BONUS FAVORITE - I don't own any Urban Decay single shadows, so I didn't include them in this Top Ten, but UD shadows are my favorite, ever! (Except the ones with chunky flex of glitter that end up all over your face by the end of the day. Yuck.) You'll get more bang for your buck investing in a palette, but if you're on a budget, the single shadows are $18 at Ulta. My favorite and most used shade is Smog. Love!

5. BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks | $24 at Sephora

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstik Duo

That price tag is a big commitment for my frugal self, so I decided to try this miniature duo for $12 before jumping on the BITE Beauty bandwagon. BITE lipsticks are made with all natural, food grade ingredients. Yep, they're healthy enough to eat! It took one swipe on my lips, and I was hooked. The lipstick is creamy but lightweight on the lips and fairly longwearing. I'll have no problem shelling out $24 for a full size next time I go to Sephora. I'm in love!

6. MAC Paintpot in Painterly | $21 at MAC Cosmetics
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot - CAMEL COAT
Painterly is my ride or die eye shadow base. I've used it for as long as I can remember and don't see myself ever using anything else. I've tried just about every primer on the market, and nothing holds up against my oily lids like Painterly. It creates a flawless base for shadows without creasing. It's easy to blend. It makes my shadows pop and more blendable. Painterly FTW!

7. MAC Lipsticks | $16 at MAC Cosmetics
Mac Lipstick

While there are so many great lipsticks at the drugstore, there's just something about wearing a 'high-end' lipstick. I'm not a die-hard MAC lipstick fan, but I do love the ones I own. My favorite formula is Cremesheen because I think they're the most comfortable on the lips. The two shades I currently wear most often are Creme Cup & Faux. Creme Cup is the perfect light pinky-nude and Faux is a rusty, brown-nude - perfect for the Kylie Jenner lip trend.

8. The Balm Blushes | $21-22 at the Balm 


These blushes are the! See what I did there? ;) I love the shade DownBoy for the perfect babydoll pink flush. I really love their InStain long-wearing blushes. The shade Houndstooth is a beautiful mauvey-plum color and probably the shade I reach for most often.

9. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer | $20 at MAC Cosmetics

This concealer is another cult classic that is raved about in the beauty community. At first, I wasn't a huge fan because this concealer isn't quite as hydrating as my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind or Fit Me concealers. However, the great thing about this concealer is that it's full coverage. I can not only use it to conceal my under-eye area but also any blemishes or hyper-pigmentation on the rest of my face, which is rare for a liquid concealer.  It can even be used to prime the eyelids before applying shadow. I love that it's a multi-purpose product that can be used for so many different things. It is very long wearing and though it can set in my fine lines slightly if not set with powder, it doesn't crease as easily as my other concealers. Since it is a heavier product, it's something I reach for more for special occasions rather than day-to-day.

10. Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21) & Dipbrow Pomade ($18) | at Ulta

Products from Anastasia of Beverly Hills are a brow game changer. I used to fill my brows in with eye shadow (and still do occasionally) and later progressed to drugstore brow pencils. While there are some great drugstore options, nothing compares to ABH. I love the Brow Wiz (I use shade Soft Brown) because the tip is so fine that it can mimic the appearance of actual brow hairs to give a more natural appearance. The spooly on the opposite end makes the product super easy to comb through and blend. The Dipbrow Pomade (I use shade Soft Brown) is a little more difficult to get the hang of, but it's a waterproof product that will last all day. I love this product to define the tail of my eyebrow, or to give a more defined brow for days when I want a little more drama. If you want a strong brow game, ABH is the way to go.

Don't forget to check out Megan's Top Ten

What are some of your favorite 'luxury' items? Let me know! I'm always looking for new products to try!

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  1. I couldn't agree more with some of these picks! I can't go a day without my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer and They're Real mascara! I'll have to try out some others since we have such similar taste! Great job!


    1. Thank you, Dre! Have you done this post? If not, you should! I'd love to see your picks. We totally have similar taste! xo