Monday, April 2, 2012

Steep vs. Cheap: the products that passed the City Girl Chic Test!

I am irremediably obsessed with makeup. I'm a sucker for magazine ads... and sooner or later I end up trying all the new products that get featured every month with those wonderful marketing promises.
In an effort to help you save money, here's my list of new seep vs. cheap versions for your cheeks, skin, lips, eyes, lashes and even legs.
When in doubt... stop, don't buy right away: let Julia try it first!


Powder blush typically won't last for too long on my cheeks. That's why I became a big fan of Benetint. A few brushes will go a long way. The color looks pretty natural and the product tends to last for quite long. I usually layer in some bronzer for extra cheek definition.

Benetint - $29
I tried it on my lips but I got a pretty bad allergic reaction - beware!

For a more affordable and - I'd argue- better product, look for Sonia Kashuik's Super Sheer Liquid Tint in Rose (02) exclusively at Target.

Super Sheer Liquid Tint $9.79 at Target

I adore Laura Mercier's line of creamy lip sticks. Great colors, texture and gentle on my sensitive skin.

Laura Mercier's Lip Color Creme $24 at Sephora
But... I saw this very pretty ad on a magazine... and couldn't resist to try the new Maybelline Super Stay 10 hs Stain Gloss.
I was pleasantly surprised about the easy applicator and how gentle it was on my lips. I get an allergic reaction with pretty much every lipstick brand... so it was a huge relieve to try this out.
I think the 10 hour promise is a little over-rated, but in any case it gets my seal of approval. I was going out with friends so I chose a pretty bright red for the occasion.

Only $6.94!


Also from Target, I got a few nice make up brushes at a pretty reasonable price, also from Sonia's line. The quality seems pretty good and I'd compare them to Sephora's line of brushes.

There are a couple of different sets - all around $24 and a few for $14

A comparable set at Sephora, for $48

And just in case you don't own brushes... you need to buy a small set. A good brush is the secret to a good makeup application - especially eye makeup. Those little sponges that come with eye shadows are pretty useless.


I'm in LOVE with the new "They're Real!" mascara from Benefit.
It not only makes your lashes longer and fuller... but also curls them.

They're Real! retails for $22

A very affordable version is the Mineral Infused Mascara by E.L.F. For only $3, I love this mascara for every day wear, since it is much easier to clean than Benefit's and the wand is really nice.

elf's Mineral Infused Mascara - only $3!!

Eye Shadow Primer

After the invention of these miracle eye primers, it is definitely a crime not to prime.
My two ultimate favorites are Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance, $18
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion $22

Sadly, I tried the $1 version by ELF, but it didn't work as nicely. I guess it's better than nothing!

elf's $1 eye shadow primer didn't live up to its promise

Eye Shadows

Almost as good as the steep eye shadows by Makeup Forever, Mac and others, L'oreal just launched a line of eye shadows that promise not to crease throughout the day.
The colors are great, all pretty shimmery and super easy to apply.
But quite honestly... without my eye primer they don't really last ALL day without creasing. In any case, layer them on top of your eye primer of choice and enjoy the great colors!

I bought both colors 222 and 888 for only $6.99 each at Target

There are a couple of brands of foundation I really like: Bobbi Brown offers the best colors, Laura Mercier the best texture (I love her Tinted Moisturizer!) and Makeup Forever offers really good long-lasting formulas.
For the more budget conscious fashionistas, I really like L'oreal True Match Super Blend Liquid Makeup, for only $8.49 at drugstores.
The line comes in a big number of colors that will for sure match your skin tone. For each color, they offer a warm and neutral under tones. I'll save you time by saying the only good tones are the warm ones, as the neutrals can be too ashy (and this applies to all other brands of foundations out there).

Check out the new tones at your closes drugstore


And here's an extra goodie that I just tried: the new Airbrush Legs makeup from Sally Hansen.
If you're like me and your legs' skintone is not that even and perfect... but you've heard that pantyhose are out of style... then give this little spray a try. It is supposedly water and transfer resistant, but I haven't had a chance to put that promise to test. The color I got - Medium Glow- is a little bit orange-y... but I'm sure it'll come in handy on my upcoming trip to Hawaii, on that very first scary day in which you're faced with the sad reality of not having exactly a bikini body. I have 4 more weeks to go and I'm working on it - crossing fingers!

Airbrush Legs by Sally Hansen, retails for  ~$12 at drugstores




  1. Any recommended concealers? I have pretty bad dark circles and can't find one that really covers. Will definitely try that leg makeup!

    1. Hi Raquel! I have a couple of favorites: Bobbi Brown, Makeup Forever, Laura Mercier and Stila. I heard the Urban Decay pencil is really good, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Love your blog! I never heard of ELF before but I just went on their website and they have a ton of makeup for $1! Thank you for introducing me to them.

    1. Hi Jenny! thank you :) enjoy your shopping!

  3. I just wanted to say that the Benefit mascara you featured is my favorite. It is worth the money.

    1. Agree - so far I haven't tried a better mascara!


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