First Impressions Fail!

The makeup portion of my blog will likely be the toughest (but also most fun!) for me, and there are a few practical pieces of information I’d like to get out the way first:

  • I am not sponsored or paid in any way for the products I use. All of the products I use I purchased myself. I list all product names for informational purposes only, and should that fact ever change and I receive payment/any other benefit from the mentioning of a specific product/brand, I will mark that post in alignment with the FTC guidelines on endorsement.
  • I am not a trained cosmetologist and have not received any formal education on the subject, and any advice/tips/recommendations I cover will come from personal experience.
  • Lastly, I would say I have an intermediate-level of experience using drugstore and mid-level price range products. I am no expert, and my goal here is to play around and expand my knowledge of the best products and techniques. I feel a lot of other blogs/vlogs cater to guru-level makeup artists, and I want to share with those of us that are still on our way there.

So now that that’s over with, onto the fun part!

I recently purchased some drugstore makeup that I’ve never used before in hopes of improving my current everyday look, so here are some first impressions!

Revlon Colorstay Foundation (Combo/Oily Skin, 360  – Golden Caramel):

I’ve used this foundation in a few different shades and while I’ve always been in love with the finish and its lasting power, I’ve always chosen a shade that’s just the tiniest bit too light for me. I’m of mixed race, so finding just the right shade and undertone combination has always been a struggle. I decided to try picking out a darker shade with a golden undertone, rather than going for  a light shade of tan which I had done in the past. I made the mistake of buying it online rather than in person and needless to say, it was way too dark! I also found that it didn’t really seem to have a golden glow, but was more of a medium brown.

I tried mixing it with one of the shades that was too light for me (310 – Warm Golden) and while that helped, definitely still too dark. But as I mentioned, this foundation has an excellent natural finish, and it lasts all through the workday. Given those two factors, I am determined to find my shade and make this foundation work for me! No other drugstore foundation has met both of those criteria for me, so the hunt continues.

NYX Concealer in a Jar (Yellow):

Dark under-eye circles have always been my toughest challenge makeup-wise. No matter what I try I always look like a sleepy raccoon by the end of the day, so I am constantly trying new things to try and make my eyes look brighter and more awake. My latest attempt is trying this yellow concealer to first color correct before adding on my regular drugstore concealer, NYX’s Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand in the shade Glow. I typically apply concealer with a wand and then blend it in with my Real Techniques sponge, but for this Concealer in a Jar I just dabbed my ring finger in the product then right under my eyes.


I was actually really impressed with the consistency and how it easily it blended. Once I added my regular concealer on top, I did notice that it was noticeably brighter than when I just used the wand product alone, so I was happy there. However, I didn’t notice any difference in how long it took for the concealer to crease and for my dark circles to return. For everyday use at work, I think this product would be great and worth the purchase for that little brightness boost, but for the weekends where I plan on being out for the night, not so much.

Milani Baked Blush (Bella Bellini):

If you’re already versed in top drugstore blushes, no doubt you have heard of Milani’s Baked Blush in Luminoso. It’s absolutely one of my favorites because not only is it great for my skin tone, the blush also has such a glow to it that it’s basically a highlighter as well. It makes your cheeks absolutely pop and gleam, it’s amazing. I love it so much I never even bothered with trying other colors in the same line – until now. One of their newest shades, Bella Bellini, was described on Milani’s website as a “rose gold” where Luminoso is a “luminous peach.”

I was surprised, and maybe a little disappointed, to see that it was essentially just a paler version of Luminoso. Perhaps I made an unwise color selection in that I chose another light pink. The baked blush line offers more vibrant pinks, deep berries, as well as some bronze tones. Between the light pinks, Luminoso is still the winner in my book. But both colors do hold up the same at the end up the day, so I would not hesitate to purchase any of the other shades they have to offer should I decide I need to venture into the deeper pinks or any of the golden bronzes when summer rolls back around.

Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder (Afterglow):

Out of the bunch, I would say this product was my least favorite. Admittedly, I have the least amount of practice with highlighters and I haven’t found the best application method for me just yet. I first tried applying this with a Real Techniques brush, but it just turned out splotchy. I decided to finish blending it out by dabbing my finger along the tops of my cheekbones, but that didn’t seem to help much either.

The color itself was actually quite nice, but I felt I could only really see it come out once I added a few layers. I chose the lightest shade out of the line so it’s possible that the pigment isn’t strong on purpose, but I personally like my highlighter to be a little extra. I would recommend this color if you’re going for a casual dewy look but would suggest looking elsewhere if you’re going for something  a little more dramatic.

Overall Look

For the rest of my look, I used the rest of my everyday routine products (listed below). I tried to keep to all drugstore products, but I cheated a bit for my brows, hehe. You can see by the picture on the left just how much darker my face was compared to my neck, but besides that, I felt the products performed as they were expected to and would all be decent staples in an everyday routine. If anything, I would leave out the Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder. While I have yet to find it, I’m sure there are other products in the same price range that are easy enough to apply, and that deliver a stronger pigment.

  • Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer
  • Rimmel Exaggerate Felt Tip Eyeliner
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara
  • NYX “Set It & Don’t Fret It” Matte Finishing Powder (Dark/Medium)
  • NYX Hi Definition Concealer Wand (Glow)
  • Benefit Brow Zings Tame & Shape Kit (05 Deep)

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