But as I'm really on a budget, real treasures are hard to find. And there's no real drugstore in Geneva, one has to scrape stuff off from supermarkets and pharmacies. No Sephoras in Switzerland to allow for a little splurge, you either go with "drugstore" stuff or go to the department store counters and drain your savings. -.-,
But I've been treasure hunting these 11 months, and I can let you in on the secrets... if you are interested. ;)
I'll have to do it in several parts as there are some gems, so keep tuned. ;)
So let's start with the basics. Moisturizers. These are not necessarily considered makeup, but believe me, with the right moisturizer you can easily achieve a flawless look. Just as a bad one might make your skin flakey, dull or brake sensitive areas out. I found mine at Coop. Unbelievable. I'd been using way more expensive L'Oreal and Garnier products for years, but they were either not enough for my dry skin or contained some fragrance or the like that irritated my skin and made me throw a number of jars away. Though I'm on a budget, I know quality when I see it. And opening this little nondescript white plastic container took my breath away. They have a couple of options in the same line, it's the organic natural Coop made line, natura-something (sorry, I took the label off mine, it looked so tacky), and you'll find creams for several skin types. They're around CHF 12-15, but don't let that fool you. The one for very dry skin is a thick white cream that smells slightly like Verbena or lemons. And a bit like plants. I'm serious. It's magic.
Then there's foundation. That has always been tricky. Most of them make my skin dull and flakey and lighter ones just don't do anything in particular. So I'd rather go without. But my skin sometimes plays tricks on me and nowadays I have the impression that wearing foundation is considered being more polished. Letting people see your pimples or any redness in your cheeks is a no-no, as if it meant that you didn't put any effort into your look. Which, in my personal opinion, is crazy. But I work in an environment where women have to dress up (their face), so even if I'm quite an outsider, I can't really wear trashed jeans -- or show up with no makeup on. So long story short, I needed a foundation. I won't go into the trials I'd gone through before finding this one. It's the 24 Hour SuperStay by Maybelline. And I love it. I apply with a wet sponge and sheer it out a lot, but use it in its more concentrated form as a concealer as well. There are bad reviews about it, of course, so I can imagine that it doesn't suit everyone. But after using up several bottles of Revlon's Colorstay for Dry skin, I can easily say that the Maybelline SuperStay is so much better for dry skin. The right color can be hard to pick, though.
Eyeshadows, liners, etc. I'd been dreaming of buying an eyeshadow base for years. Then my wedding started approaching and when I decided I wanted to do my own makeup, I was sure this was the perfect excuse to splurge on one. But fortunately I came upon the M.A.D. Minerals Indelible Crease-Proof Waterproof Smudge-Proof Creme Eye Shadow (in Bare Necessity), and it saved me quite some money. I've never tried the MAC Paintpots, but based on the videos I think this product is really similar. I can easily say that it prevents creasing for at least 12 hours, depending on the product you put on top. For me it normally lasts that long or longer. As for eyeshadows, I do stay clear of obviously low quality eye shadows. Back in Hungary I stocked up on Art Deco shadows (You can get them at Douglas in pretty much any European country, even Switzerland), and I really like the quality of those. I've bought a couple of Yves Rocher trios here and some Bourjois eye shadows but I prefer the former as I've realized I don't like anything frosty any more and my Bourjois pallet is just that. I don't know how Yves Rocher can produce such good quality products for the price they sell them at but it's pretty amazing... They wouldn't last without the Creme Eye Shadow under but I have oily eyelids so basically nothing would short of acrylic paint, and I have doubts even about that. =)
So I'll soon come back with lips and cheeks and nails and the like, keep tuned for that.
Love you loads.