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5 Looks for Less: Holiday Makeup Under $10

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‘Tis the season to shine! With holiday parties, family gatherings, and New Year’s Eve fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to have a little fun experimenting with makeup. Adding a little festive color and shimmer to your routine is an instant mood booster that will have you ready to celebrate.

Like many moms, you might think that a statement lipstick or glittery eye shadow isn’t worth the investment. After all, your opportunities to bust them out may be few and far between. Luckily, there is no need to break the bank to get your sparkle on.

To serve as inspiration, I have created five holiday makeup looks using only drugstore products under $10. Not only do these gems add plenty of color and glitz, but they’re also crazy convenient — just add them to your cart the next time you make a diaper or toilet paper run.

No worries if you are new to makeup or don’t like to appear “overdone.” These looks are very basic, simple to replicate, and mom-appropriate. I begin with a subtle application designed to accentuate your natural beauty and then provide bolder examples for extra pops of color and sparkle. Scroll down to spark creativity for your holiday look. You’ll spend less but look like a million bucks!

Note: For all of the following looks, I prepped my face with Maybelline Fit Me! Shine-Free Foundation, L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Concealer, and Maybelline Fit Me! Powder.

Look 1: Barely There Boho

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Even if you prefer a more natural look, you can still add a bit of glow! The bare-faced trend is hot right now (yay!) and this holiday version just adds a bit of highlighting and a soft shimmer eye shadow for a youthful, luminous appearance.

Products:

  • e.l.f. Studio Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls, available at Eyes Lips Face, $3
  • N.Y.C. Color Cheek Glow Blush in West Side Wine, available at Amazon, $5.90
  • Flower Color Play Crème Eyeshadow in Mum’s the Word, available at Walmart, $6
  • Wet n Wild Fergie Crème Liner in Cocoa Riche, available at Drugstore, $4.99
  • Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara in Blackest Black, available at Drugstore, $9.39
  • Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Sweet Pink, available at Jordana, $2.99

Steps:

  1. Highlight cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and Cupid’s bow.
  2. Add a soft blush to your cheeks, working it up toward your temples.
  3. Apply a shimmery cream eye shadow to your eyelids and blend up into the crease.
  4. Line your upper lids with a thin line of brown eyeliner.
  5. Curl lashes and apply one coat of a non-clumping lengthening mascara.
  6. Finish with a nude or subtle pink lip color.

Look 2: The Statement Lip

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While a bit more dramatic, this look is very similar to the first. I simply extended my eyeliner up and out to a “cat eye” shape and added a bold lipstick. Rich reds, deep violets, and earthy mahoganies are all hot lip colors this season.

Products:

  • Boots No7 Natural Blush Tint Powder in Soft Damson, available at Boots, $9.99
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette in Tunnel Vision, available at Walgreens, $2.99
  • Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black, available at Drugstore, $9.99
  • Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara in Extreme Black, available at Drugstore, $6.82
  • Wet n Wild Fergie Crème Lipstick in Ferguson Crest Cabernet, available at Drugstore, $3.49

Steps:

  1. Highlight as in Look 1, if desired, and add blush to accentuate your cheekbones.
  2. Add a shimmery shadow, blending the color into the crease. This time I used a silver-toned powder.
  3. Use a gel eyeliner and a liner brush to line your upper lashes, extending it beyond the outer edge and slightly up. This post illustrates cat eye basics with five variations.
  4. Apply two coats of mascara.
  5. Complete the look with a “get-noticed” lip color.

Tip: Use a brush to apply a bold color to lips for precision and control.

Look 3: Pop of Color

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Adding a fun color is a great way to brighten up your look. If green isn’t for you, try a wintery blue or regal violet. Any brilliant hue will do!

Products:

  • Boots No7 Natural Blush Tint Powder in Soft Damson, available at Boots, $9.99
  • Maybelline Eye Studio Color Plush Shadow Quad in Gutsy Green, available at Drugstore, $8.69
  • Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Jet Black, available at Drugstore, $3.35
  • Rimmel ScandalEyes Retroglam Mascara in Black, available at Walgreens, $5.99
  • Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Gloss in Captivating Coral, available at Amazon, $4.45

Steps:

  1. Brush blush onto your cheekbones, blending up toward your temples.
  2. Apply a bright eye shadow to your lids. Use a color palette for a mix of brights or keep it simple with a single bright hue blended up into your crease as shown in Look 1 and 2.
  3. Line your upper lash line with black pencil.
  4. Curl lashes and add two coats of mascara.
  5. Since you want your eyes to be the focus, finish with a swipe of sheer tinted gloss or balm.

Look 4: Neutral Smoky Eyes

look-4Don’t fear shadow. A blended smoky eye is easier than it looks and a neutral palette is universally flattering. Many inexpensive eye shadow trios and quads make it foolproof with an illustration on the back showing you where to put each color. Follow the cheat-sheet and blend, blend, blend.

Products:

  • N.Y.C. Cheek Glow Blush in West Side Wine, available at Amazon, $5.90
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette in The Naked Truth, available at Walgreens, $2.99
  • Rimmel ScandalEyes Retroglam Mascara in Black, available at Walgreens, $5.99
  • Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Lovesick, available at Drugstore, $7.19

Steps:

  1. Add a soft blush to your cheekbones, blending up toward your temples.
  2. Use an eye shadow trio or quad in a neutral brown or taupe color scheme to create a smoky eye, following the instructions on the package or this handy tutorial. For a more dramatic look, simply add more of the darker shades and extend the color under your eyes to define your lower lashes.
  3. Swirl a wet brush into the darkest color to form a “paint” and use it to line your upper lash line.
  4. Curl your lashes and apply two coats of mascara.
  5. Complete the look with a pretty balm stain.

Look 5: Glitter & Glam

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Keeping the overall vibe simple and fresh is the key to making glitter mom-friendly. The sparkle is used as a festive accent that is perfect for ringing in the new year. While this look doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s definitely not garish. In fact, I think it’s pretty stunning paired with long lashes and red lips.

Products:

  • Flower Win Some, Rouge Some Crème Blush in Primrose & Proper, available at Walmart, $7.98
  • e.l.f. Jumbo Eye Shadow Stick in Little Miss Thing, available at Amazon, $5.10
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single in Brass, available at Amazon, $5.99
  • Andrea Strip Lashes in 21 Black, available at Drugstore, $2.63
  • Wet n Wild Fergie Crème Lipstick in Old School Glam, available at Drugstore, $3.49

Steps:

  1. Dab a pink cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend outward.
  2. Swipe a gold tone eye shadow stick across your eyelids and blend up into the crease.
  3. Follow with a layer of glitter shadow. I used a cream-based shadow but you can substitute loose glitter if you prefer.
  4. Apply mascara and false eyelashes for instant pop. I like a demure, feathery set but feel free to go more dramatic if you prefer. For great tips on applying false eyelashes, visit this post.
  5. Dab a black shadow along your upper lash line to fill in any gaps between your real and false lashes and use the shadow to line the outer edge of your lower lash line.
  6. Add classic red lipstick and you are party-ready.

Tip: When wearing bold lip colors to a party, consider a long-lasting formula so you don’t have to worry about reapplying as often.

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