It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a young person in college, must be in want of a makeup routine.
However, with a pandemic that cut into the amount of time students could work last summer, and the thus inevitable impact on finances for this term, finding affordable makeup options is an unforeseen priority. Gone are the days of $90 trips to Sephora every few months, and gone are the days of pre-ordering the latest James Charles palette. But what does that leave us? With Sephora out of commission, and online shopping charging more and more for shipping/handling by the day, what options await a college beauty guru on a budget? Lawton’s.
Making a personal financial sacrifice, I gave myself a $30 budget and decided to do the best I could to get the essentials: makeup remover, mascara, foundation, powder, bronzer, and blush. I chose these products because those are what most people interested in makeup would use for everyday looks – the makeup remover being something important that many people forget when they are beginning to build, or restock, their makeup cabinet. I also wanted to retain some sense of social conscience, and even though I couldn’t look for the clean seal that usually accompanies ethical products at Sephora, I tried to avoid companies that I know are problematic – L’Oréal (whose majority shareholder is Nestlé) being the one most difficult to avoid. However, I did manage to get everything I had set out for, and after applying the Lawton’s student discount, my total was about $28. Here is what I found:
Annabelle Perfect Fit Matte Liquid Foundation in shade 110: True Beige
This foundation was one of the most inexpensive options, and even though there were less than 15 shades available, the shades that were in stock represented a fairly diverse range of skin tones. The lightest shade available was the 110: True Beige, and though I enjoyed the formula, which was vegan and a decent coverage, it was too dark for my complexion. To properly demonstrate the makeup, we out-sourced a model with a better colour match (our Copy Editor, Jack Sparks), and the shade looked much more natural on him, as his skin also has warmer undertones than my own.
L.A. Colors HD Waterproof Mascara in Black
This mascara isn’t really waterproof, but it doesn’t give off bad fallout. It doesn’t cake onto my lashes or clump the way that some waterproof mascaras do, which is an added bonus. The wand is a good shape, and gives the lashes a full, defined look. I like this mascara more than my normal one (I usually use the Sephora brand mascara), and I’ve switched to using this one full time. I would buy this product again, though I think it will last a long time.
L.A. Colors 3D Blush Contour Palette
This palette says it includes a highlighter, but in reality it’s more of a warm-toned press powder. I personally didn’t like the formula of this powder, but if you had warm gold undertones to your skin, it would probably work very well as a pressed powder for baking your under-eyes. The bronzer is much more usable but is definitely only suited for medium-tan skin tones and not very pale or very dark complexions. The palette only comes in one shade grouping, so there are no options here. I would argue, though, that the bluish would make it a worthy purchase on its own, just for the price. It’s a cool-tone reddish colour, is a decent sized pan, and is fairly pigmented. This colour of blush is coming into vogue this season and makes a great pop of colour for late fall and winter.
ALMAY Eye Makeup Remover Liquid
This makeup remover is oil free and hypoallergenic, which is good for me, as I have exceedingly sensitive skin. It claims to be the #1 makeup remover in America, a fact of which I am sceptical, but I do think that it is a good product for the price. I was actually in the market for more makeup remover, and had been suffering through a bottle of Nivea Micellar Gel, which stung like you wouldn’t believe. The ALMAY remover was gentle, didn’t sting, but was good at removing stubborn eyeliner and under-eye makeup (which is always hardest for me). Overall, I would actually re-purchase this product in the future.