Fancy vs Frugal Fridays

Fancy vs Frugal: Brow Showdown! Round Two!

Fibre-Gel brow products are all the rage right now. Actually, fibre everything seems to be the rage. Fibre brows, fibre lashes, fibre hairsprays to fix your uneven hairline or to camouflage sparse areas on your scalp. The world is truly mastering the ability to fake it. Unlike fibre lashes, these brow products can look very natural and be super flattering. (I don’t care how many people try to get me to endorse or sell these fibre mascaras – I’ll tell you straight up, your lashes look like fuzzy spider legs!) Last Friday, I talked about Maybelline Brow Drama and Benefit Gimme Brow. Maybelline really missed the mark with that product. No fibres, it’s simply a tinted gel with an obnoxious ball on the end that makes it near impossible to use. Benefit remained queen of the brow.

I have since tried two more of these kind of brow products, and have had much more luck!

Hard Candy Brows Now! was the first product to really spark my interest. This is a gel-fibre formula, and definitely has more fibres in it than the Gimme Brow.

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With a very similar brush to the Gimme Brow, but a slightly more wet formula, the Hard Candy combs through the brows super easily, and lasts all day. The wand is small enough to work even on the tail of the brow, and this provides both color and volume to your eyebrows. I have it in the medium/deep shade, and I do find it a little dark. I might take it back and try the lighter shade instead… On the flip side, a brow highlight, that contains a little too much shimmer for me, but I love to use it on the inner corners of my eyes and on my Cupid’s bow. The only complaint I have with this product, is because there are so many fibres in the formula, the wand can get messy, and you can end up with wonky looking brows. A clean spooly is definitely needed to comb through at the end of application. I got this at Wal Mart for $5.98 CAD, and I could purchase four of these for the same price as one Benefit’s Gimme Brow. Benefit Gimme Brow comes in a 3.0ml tube, and the Hard Candy is 4.1ml.

Just when I thought I was finished with this brow search, L’oreal launched their newest brow product that promises more volumized brows. L’oreal Brow Stylist Plumper comes in three shades. Transparent, Light/Medium, and Medium/Deep. I have the Medium/Deep shade, and again it is just a hair too dark for me. I can make it work though, and I don’t hold it against the product.

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Benefit Gimme Brow on the left, and L’oreal Brow Stylist Plumper on the right.

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This formula is awesome. I wanted to make a before/after picture but since the product is a little too dark for me, I asked Almira to try it so you guys can see what it can do. Her left brow has nothing, and her right brow has only the L’oreal on it!

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Isn’t she gorgeous? Anyway, as you can see, this product makes a big impact. And I can tell you, out of every one of these brow products, this one is my favorite. The formula is more wet than Benefit Gimme Brow, and the fibres are much smaller, resulting in a more natural look. I also find this really holds your brows in place, so if you have unruly brows, I would definitely try this. The wand is small enough to work with ease through the brows, and the product lasts all day on me. Also, the sheer size of this is way bigger. 8.0ml in the L’oreal, versus the 3.0ml of the Gimme Brow.

So, I haven’t chosen the cheapest, or the most expensive. L’oreal retails for $14.49 CAD, which is in the middle of the other products. Since this is a more wet formula, I feel like it will last longer than the Gimme Brow and the Hard Candy, as they tend to dry out quicker. I also feel like since the formula is wet and the fibres are smaller, this provides a more precise application.

Phew – that was a long post. I am dying to know, which one of these brow products do you love the most? Now I am stuck with so many brow products, but I just had to try them all and see what one worked the best for me. Thumbs up for L’oreal for me!

-Sara

Fancy vs Frugal Friday: Benefit Gimme Brow vs Maybelline Brow Drama!

This is a different kind of Fancy vs Frugal that I wasn’t going to do, but I’ve gotten so many requests from people, and so many people asking me about these two products and if they’re comparable, that I decided to just do it, more as a cautionary tale.

Benefit Gimme Brow and Maybelline Brow Drama are two very different products. I wouldn’t even put the two in the same category. Let me give you the pros and cons of both, and hopefully give you all some clarity between these two.

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Gimme brow is a tinted brow fibre gel, meaning if you look close, you can actually see tiny fibres that will stick to brow hair, and even the skin as well. This makes it a great product for people who have extremely sparse brows. It comes with a micro mini mascara like wand, that makes it super easy to brush through your brows, or simply place the wand and deposit product where you wish your brows would be. It will make the brow area look more full, provide some color, and help to hold the brows in place.

Maybelline Brow Drama is a tinted brow gel. No fibres, no volumizing properties, and no micro wand. For some reason, Maybelline opted for a thicker wand, with a massive ball on the end of it. Which makes it near impossible to get a precise application, especially near the tail of the brow.

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The Maybelline product can be useful if you have already filled your brows, and you simply want a gel to place on top for some hold. And if you have a thicker brow, the big ball on the end might not be such a problem. But for most people, application will prove to be frustrating.

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So, Fancy definitely wins for this week, but like I said, these products really shouldn’t even be compared. I just started using a new product that is very similar to Gimme Brow however, so I will use it for awhile longer, and update you guys! I also wish that Benefit would launch an auburn shade for the Gimme Brow, as I have a lot of redhead beauties complaining about it!

Have you guys tried either of these? Tell me your thoughts!

-Sara

Fancy vs Frugal Friday: Texture Sprays!

It has been quite a while since my last Fancy vs Frugal Friday,聽 but I didn’t want to do them unless there was a clear difference between the products. I have been testing these products for a few weeks and I have a clear favorite. The products that I’ve been testing out are Garnier’s Texture Tease, and Living Proof Instant Texture Mist. The Garnier is available in drugstores for $8.99 CAD. However, it goes on sale all the time. I got this can on sale with a coupon and it was only $1.99! The Living Proof product retails for $32.00 for the 5 ounce, and $18.00 for the 1.7 ounce bottle.

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These products have some similarities, but I really prefer one over the other. First off, the Living Proof is a pump spray, providing a wet spray, and the Garnier is a dry aerosol spray. Thankfully for me, the drugstore product is much more superior. I love using this when I put my hair in a bun or do any sort of braid. It’s also really good when I have curls in my hair and I just want something to provide some “grip” and volume to my hair.

The Living Proof for me, is just too heavy a product. It leaves my hair wet and stringy, and although the look I get from it is nice, it’s not worth the way it makes my hair feel. I also don’t get any volume from this product, and forget trying to put it near my roots, because it makes my hair look greasy. It also doesn’t pass my “crunch test” meaning when I pinch my hair afterwards I hear that dreaded crunch sound. A dry aerosol spray works much better in my hair, and the pump spray nozzle on this did nothing for me.

Something that I like for both products is the smell, however a complaint I have about both of these products, is that they both tangle my hair to the extreme. Especially near the nape of my neck, the tangles are crazy. If anyone has any product recommendations for a texture spray that doesn’t tangle your hair that would be great.

I know Sabah disagrees with me on this one, but she hasn’t yet tried the Garnier. The Living Proof works well for her newly short hair, so I will be passing this on to her! For me, frugal takes the cake this week. The search continues for a texture spray that doesn’t tangle my hair, however for the price I am super happy with this!

What are your favorite hair products?

-Sara

Fancy vs Frugal Friday: Primer Balms!

If you follow me on Instagram, you more than likely know from my Face of the Day posts, that I am currently using two primer balms on my skin. Both have nearly identical ingredients, look similar, and claim to do the same thing. And as always, very different prices!
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Stila and Covergirl. I have been using these on my skin for weeks now, and finally feel like I have a strong enough opinion to write this post. There are some definite pros and cons to both products -so lets get into it!

Stila comes in a 0.29oz package, for $39.00 CAD. It has sleek packaging, and includes a mirror, and a sponge for application. This stuff has a great texture, and finishes to that silicone, silky feeling that women are usually looking for when using a product like this.

Covergirl sells for around $12.00 CAD and comes in a 0.42oz package. It does not come with a mirror, and it does offer a sponge, but nowhere to put it! It really doesn’t seem to set on the skin. I find myself blending and blending, and it just never seemed to get to that powdery soft finish like the Stila did.

I tested people on this product daily, and every single time except once, people who didn’t know what product was on what side, thought that the cover girl side looked better. I personally couldn’t see a difference, and found them both to wear so similarly throughout the day.

Both products seem to work very well to touch up on shine throughout the day. Both will blot you down and refresh your skin without looking cakey or feeling greasy.

This Fancy vs Frugal is really a toss up. If a mirror and a housed sponge are must haves for you, the Stila provides that. But for much less, the Cover Girl seems to do the same job. I’d say if you’re interested in this type of product, give the Cover Girl a try first.

I can see a difference in the size of my pores with both of these products, however I almost feel like my makeup breaks down faster with them. As a primer, I would say take a pass!

In all honesty, as a pore filler, Benefit’s Porefessional works much better for me, but the compact form was awesome for in my purse.

Have you guys tried either of these??

Have a great day!

-Sara

We interrupt your regular scheduled programming …

Those who read my blog are probably thinking … Where is Fancy vs Frugal? It’s Friday right? You’re right, but the truth is, I have nothing to show you this week. I am still playing with a few dupes, and I am waiting for a Benefit product to arrive, but I didn’t feel comfortable calling out Fancy or Frugal yet, because I need more time with the product. I will continue to do Fancy vs Frugal Fridays, but I don’t want to bring you guys less than amazing dupes and products. So, to make it up to you guys, I thought we would indulge in something totally luxurious, and kind of unnecessary in my opinion. Once again, it came down to packaging, and I had to have it. It’s also on the Allure list of 50 beauty products you have to buy before you die … (Spoiler Alert … expect some posts on that soon!)

The Guerlain Meteorites. There isn’t quite anything that I have seen that have the vanity pride that these do. They are so beautiful, and a total conversation starter. I have them in the shade 2 Clair, and I have to say, I use them mostly on my body. They give a very nice sheen, but I can honestly say, if they came in a plastic clear jar, I wouldn’t have bought them. The product itself is not life changing by any means. It does provide a nice highlight, but I travelled with them recently, and they are not the best for that. I ended up fishing one of the little pearls out of the hotel room sink … Safe to say these will be staying home on the perfume vanity from now on! But just LOOK at these!

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Fancy vs Frugal: Liquid Highlighters!

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I wanted to talk to you about a pretty obvious dupe I found. And when I say obvious, I mean this one is similar right down to the ingredients. The L’Oreal Magic Lumi, and the Lanc么me 脡clat Miracle. This is another one of those products made by two companies that are under the same umbrella, and are super similar. The L’oral retails around $18.99 CAD, but it’s on sale at the drugstore all the time. The Lanc么me one will run you about $38.00 CAD.
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The main purpose of these products are highlighting, giving you that lit from within look. They can be applied strategically over foundation, or can be mixed directly with your foundation to give a more subtle glow. For me, I like to spot apply it after, as I like a more obnoxious looking highlight. 馃檪

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You get 20ml of product in both of these, and having used both, I can tell you thee is no reason to spend the extra cash on the Lanc么me. They are so similar, and especially with a product that is going to be mixed or topped up with something else, the extra dollars really aren’t worth it. Yay Frugal! I love finding products at the drug store to dupe higher end products. Especially when they are as dead on as this one!

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend! I have started blogging on Saturdays, so I hope you are all enjoying the extra dose of makeup addiction!

-S

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Fancy vs Frugal Friday: Facial Cotton!

This FvsFF has a love/hate product in it for me. I was introduced to this stuff about 6 years ago when it still retailed for $6.00 CAD. It has since been growing in popularity, and now retails for $11.00 CAD, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the raised the price again. I cannot live without this stuff. I had been using cotton that fell apart on my lashes, and ended up irritating my eyes more than actually helping to take my makeup off. When I got my hands on my first pack of Shiseido cotton, my world changed. It is so soft, it never falls apart or rips on my skin, and it gets the job done every time. It also can take off all of my nail polish on all 10 toes, using just one pad. I remember the day at work when the memo came down that Quo was going to release their “Luxury” cotton pads. They were square, they were 100% cotton, and they retail for $7.50, but unlike Shiseido, these go on sale here and there for as low as $3.99 CAD. The very first say they were shipped, I bought a pack and immediately used a Quo pad on one side, and a Shiseido pad on the other side of my face. I was kind of smug, and disappointed at the same time when I realized very quickly that Quo was just not going to live up to the Shiseido. It tore a little bit, and it just didn’t hold up to my mascara. After that, I did a test, I placed a clean dry Kleenex down on my table, and put three pumps of Bioderma on both cottons. After about 30 seconds, I lifted the pads up, only to see that the Kleenex was completely dry where the Shiseido cotton was. And underneath of the Quo, was a massive puddle. The product went right through it, and I know with my pump style Bioderma, the product would end up all over my hands instead of in my cotton.

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I tell people everyday that if you buy Shiseido cotton once, you need to be mentally prepared to spend $11.00 or more on cotton for the rest of your life. Consider yourself warned. The girls at work and I have agreed that we would probably buy it until it hit $15.00 CAD. That’s where we have drawn the line.

Fancy wins this week! In my opinion, nothing beats Shiseido cotton. Absolutely nothing.

-Sara

Fancy vs Frugal Friday: Dry Shampoo vs Baby Powder!

I love me a deal. This is no secret, everyone knows it … and when I find a deal, or a way to cut costs (especially when it comes to beauty) I scream it from the rooftop. I have always known that baby powder could be a replacement in a pinch for dry shampoo, but I recently watched an interview with Eva Mendes and she swore by baby powder. She was quite frank, and said she has tried pretty much every dry shampoo on the market (she can definitely afford it!) and she still uses her old faithful Johnson’s baby powder. Then, a few days later, one of my favorite YouTube guru’s, Emilynoel83, said she didn’t know what to do with her 5 bottles of dry shampoo, because she was so in love with the effect that baby powder gave her. I went to the drugstore, picked up a travel sized bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder, and left feeling like I had conquered the world. I shook some into my palm, and worked it into my second (actually, maybe third) day hair, and waited to be wowed. First of all, the white cast was way more intense than a dry shampoo. I remember Eva saying don’t freak out, just keep working it in and it will turn out great. I worked and worked and worked with it. Finally, my white cast was gone, and it did absorb a bit of the oil that was starting to show at the roots of my hair. But, what I was lacking, was the texture and the volume that I get from a dry shampoo. I tried it a few different ways, putting it on my palms first and working it in, and shaking it directly on the roots and working it in that way. I was just left with flat hair and the smell of Baby Powder was just too strong. For me, I will be sticking with my dry shampoo. Pictured here is the Batiste tropical, but my favorite lately has been the Got 2 B rockin’ it. That stuff goes on sale for $3.99 CAD at Shoppers all the time and it is really a great one.
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Fancy takes it this time. In all honesty, dry shampoo can be affordable if you get it on sale, so it’s not like you’re shelling out $35.00 a can. But – the extra cost is totally worth it for me.

-Sara

Fancy vs Frugal Fridays: Flat top Brushes!

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Today we are talking flat top brushes. These babies are my favorite to use to blend out liquid foundations, or tinted moisturizers, and I have been putting two of them to the test recently. First up is a long time favorite of mine from Lanc么me. This brush retails for $60.00 CAD, and has been a life saver for me when I travel. It doubles as everything for me. It can do foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, highlight … pretty much everything face related. So when Danah and I were shopping awhile ago, we found some brushes at a store called Icing. I picked up the large powder brush, and fell in LOVE with it. And I remembered seeing a flat top style brush there, so once I knew how great the powder brush was, I had to go back to get the flat top. It retails for $9.95 CAD. After putting both of them to the test, there is a clear favorite in my head. Unfortunately, the fancy wins this week. Here is my issue with the Icing brush. It just is not dense enough. I thought this might be the case when I felt the brush in store, but I thought I would give it a try anyway. To be fair, it does do the job, but it takes a little more effort, and I find it eats a lot more product than my Lanc么me brush. It also has a significantly longer handle, which I am not a fan of. I like shorted brush handles, as they are easier to travel with. I have started using the Icing brush for setting powder, as it works quite well for that. But I will not be using my liquid foundations with it again, as it just soaks up all of the product, and leaves my face looking streaky. I know there is a huge price difference, but the fact that Lanc么me can do my entire face while travelling makes it more than worth it for me. I will be getting one of these for Danah soon too, as I let her borrow mine for awhile and she fell in love. Even named the brush Lexie. When you give something a name, that means true love. Fun Fact: My car is named Ruby, and my Kitchen Aid mixer is named Gertrude.

Talk to you guys soon!

-Sara

Fancy vs Frugal Friday: Gentle Face Cleansers

So, depending on where you live, you may be dealing with the winter that just won’t die like we are here in Nova Scotia. It is reeking havoc on my mental state, my wardrobe, and of course, my skin. When the weather is like this or I am feeling ultra sensitive to something, I like to go back to basics for my cleansers. Something that doesn’t overly foam or dry my skin out, but something that is strong enough to break down makeup and rinse off clean. It made me want to do a post on two very popular cleansers, that are often reviewed together, and claim to do the same thing. First, the run down on price. Purity cleanser by Philosophy comes in four sizes. 3oz for $13.00 CAD, 8oz for $26.00, 16oz for $42.00 and 24oz for $52.00. Cetaphil comes in a 8oz and 16oz size at the drugstore, and will retail somewhere between $15-$20 depending on if you can find it on sale. I believe they have a larger size at Costco as well … I have used both of these cleansers, and I will say, both of them rinse clean with no residue, I can rub both of them over my eyes with my contact lenses in with no irritation, but for me there is a huge difference in how these products actually break down makeup. I always end up having to use a makeup wipe, or some Bioderma when I use Cetaphil. Especially around my eyes. I feel like Purity actually takes my makeup off and dissolves through it, but I feel like the Cetaphil just moves my makeup around and doesn’t give me the clean skin that I get with the purity. I can also say for sure, that I end up using 2-3 times more product when I use the Cetaphil, which for me, doesn’t make it worth the savings. I would rather spend a little more money and get a product that does the job with the first try! I also love the Purity cleanser with my Clarisonic. They are perfect partners! Fancy wins this week!
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