Best Buys Under 5 € in 2015nedelja, december 27, 2015
At the end of each year I make an overview of all the best product that I got to try that year. I do my monthly favourites where all products are included regardless when I got them and you may have spotted a special page called All Time Favourites, which I regularly update with my absolute favourite product, but these posts are only about new discoveries of the year (links to these yearly posts are at the end of my All Time Favourites page). First up is all the goodies that fit tight budgets and despite their low cost, are truly impressive.
I don't consider Essence being particularly good when it comes to powder products, but they totally nailed these. In the year of illuminating blushes, Essence decided to go matte against all expectations and did very well. These are so smooth, it's almost like they are not even powder blushes because there is none of that tell-tale powdery finish on the cheeks so it looks like your cheeks are naturally such colour and staying power is impressive as well. They only made two shades, which is a bummer, since neither of these shades are what I usually wear (I think I'll always be a Catrice I'm Nuts About You kind of girl), but they are the classic peach and pink shades that should suit so many people.
We witnessed a miracle in 2015 - we can now walk into a drugstore and pick up a decent contour powder here in Slovenia. Well, at least one that fits us super pale girls. The shade of the contour powder is a nice taupe brown that manages to fake a shadow well, while the highlighter is a subtle champagne shade. I've heard very conflicting opinions about these palettes. Some absolutely hate it, however, I think they are the ones that picked shade 020, but I'm not sure if that is the case for all. I have a review that includes a look with it where you can see how well it shows up on my face, but I also use this on others when I do their makeup and it works just fine.
I think I just love this mascara more and more. It gives me big lashes with a ton of volume, it doesn't smudge or flake and most importantly it keeps my lashes curled all day. I really love this mascara and just hope that Essence never discontinues it because I plan to repurchase it for eternity.
Do not be turned off by the cheap looking packaging because the product inside is amazing, especially considering how much you're paying for this lipstick. These are all fully opaque creamy matte lipsticks that are not that different from Mac's Matte finish lipsticks. There is a huge variety of shades available, so they are excellent also for experimenting with colours.
$1.49 - 2.60 €
Golden Rose products are my latest addition on this list, they don't even have their individual reviews yet, but I wanted to include them because I can already say that they are really impressive. Just like Jordana's, these are beautiful matte lipsticks with a lovely creamy formula, though these are slightly harder the first few uses. I tested them on their stall and they have a lot of wearable shades, but I only grabbed shade 12 to try which is a medium muted rose that I've been truly enjoying wearing recently.
Another matte lip product by Golden Rose, but in a different form. I find these are slightly creamier than the lipstick form and they are again another great set of lip products by this brand. I only own the darkest shades in this range - 02 and 03 (05 on the pic isn't mine), but I actually noticed that a lot of the shades are the same as in the Velvet Matte range, so you can pick in which version would you prefer to have your lip colour. These are not as precise as you would expect them to be (unless you intend to sharpen them constantly), but if you prefer the pen design, you may like these more than Velvet Mattes, though both are great.
ESSENCE Longlasting Lipliners
Essence added another line of lip liners, this time retractable ones and with a different formula than their originals. Considering their lip products usually don't wow me, I think they did a great job. The formula is creamy, but still firm enough to be precise and thankfully isn't nearly as fragile as Catrice's retractable lip liners. These can easily be worn on their own or used for lining. I have two shades for now: the stunning cool pink-purple 03 Yummy Berry and the perfect 90's shade for me 05 Lovely Frappuccino.
This was the year when I finally got to try Kiko's products and I ended up being pretty impressed with the brand on a whole. Smart Lip Pencil in Magenta is a stunning bright pink-red shade that is similar to Catrice's lipstick in MATTraction, so a type of shade I adore. The formula reminds me of a mix between the original Essence and revamped Bourjois pencils, meaning it combines good qualities of both.
Told you Kiko is an impressive brand. They have a massive selection of nail polish shades and among them I found my favourite mint green shade. Obviously I have a lot of similar mint shades from before, but the reason I love this one is because it has by far the best formula of such a shade. If you ever tried Essie's Mint Green Candy (or Fiji), especially the one with the old formula and thin brush, then I'm so sorry you had to go through that, believe me I feel your pain and I can tell you that this one is miles better. It's so much smoother and needs just two coats for a nice, even finish. Jade Green is a slightly greener, more muted shade of mint green than Mint Candy Apple and I actually find it prettier.
I've been wearing nail polish since I was ten, possibly even younger, yet I only got the classic red one this year. A travesty, I know. Bloody Mary to Go is a medium blue toned red that is a type of shade that everyone should own. Since Catrice finally changed the shape of their brushes, their nail polishes are so much easier to use, so they are finally worth buying.
Might not be the best idea to include this here because I'm not sure whether is a limited edition or not, though I hope they will release it again next summer and some DM's may have some of these left. Finding a good self-tanning product for the face is incredibly hard, but finding one that is also very budget friendly is impossible. At least it was until Sun Dance made this one. This might be my all-time favourite such product and I find no fault in it. It's like a regular toner that you apply with a cotton pad, it's almost immediately dry to the touch, it's not sticky and I love that its effect is gradual because that means you easily get a very even tan (before and after is in my original New In post).
However, I have heard from a few people that this burns on their skin. My skin isn't sensitive at all and I find this toner to be very gentle, but if your skin is sensitive or you ever had some sort of a reaction to skin care, this might not work for you.
If your skin is anything like mine and gets dehydrated as well as a bit drier in the colder months, this is a fantastic mask to treat these problems. It's similar to for example Origin's Drink Up intensive - in my humble opinion they work exactly the same, except that this is a lot cheaper. You apply a thick coat of it after cleansing and leave it overnight. By the morning the skin feels so much better. It also has hyaluronic acid in it, which is always a plus.
about 3.50 €
I've tried a lot of Balea's body butters but this one is by far the best. It has the best texture so far, but it's still very thick and takes a long time to sink it, however, that makes it excellent for really dry skin. The scent of it is amazing, it's exactly like Monte dessert, so a rich chocolate hazelnut scent that just makes you want to eat it. I've seen a few of these in small DM's but I think they are slowly disappearing from the shelves.
The gods of irony must be laughing that one of the cheapest things on this list is actually a fragrance. Ok, it's a cologne that's actually for men, but it still counts. I discovered it whilst exploring E.Leclerc's beauty section which is a real treasure trove of products that aren't sold anywhere else in Slovenia. I always wanted a lavender fragrance and this one smells so good. It's a eau de cologne, so it won't last all day, but the bottle is truly massive, so you can completely drench yourself in it. I added a spray pump, just to make it easier to use, otherwise it's like any other men cologne just with an opening.
E.Leclerc, 1.51 € (250 ml)
Oh eBay. Sometimes you just blow me away. These brushes are beyond amazing for the price! I only have two so far, but I'll sure be buying some more. They look expensive, though the handle is plastic, which is actually much better to me and the bristles are amazingly soft. The blush brush a classic rounded, but flat design and it's among the smaller such brushes, but I love more precise brushes for blush and it's quite soft, so well suited for very pigmented blushes. The contour blush is very dense, wide on one side and flatter on the other. It's a great brush also for foundation due to the density of the bristles and it of course works well for its original purpose, contouring, as it fits into the hollows of the cheeks perfectly.
1.66 - £1.70
So that is my selection for best under 5 € this year. Other products will follow in the next days.
Have a great day!