Top 5 Favorite Drugstore Mascaras

If there’s one makeup product I can’t live without, it’s mascara. And concealer. And a brow gel. But never mind, back to the mascara.

Regardless of whether I’m going more natural or more glam with my makeup look, I am always wearing mascara. I have smaller eyes and I find that a good mascara really helps make me look more awake and accentuates my eyes.

Considering I’m also a girl on a budget, I pretty much only buy drugstore mascaras. High end ones don’t seem worth it to me! I go through mascaras pretty fast and even if I didn’t, I still replace it every 3-4 months. Spending $30 on a product I’ll only toss in a few months seems like a waste to me. Maybe one day when I have the budget 😉 But for now, here are my top five favorite affordable mascaras:

Photo by Bryan Schneider on

L’Oreal Lash Paradise

  • Like I mentioned in my 2018 yearly favorites, this is my absolute favorite mascara! It makes your lashes look so full and fluttery. It can easily be built up without looking clumpy, it’s super black, doesn’t flake or smudge, and gives amazing volume and length. What’s not to love?

Maybelline Lash Sensational

  • This is such a great mascara! I love this one for separating your lashes in particular. It also gives a lot of volume and length, but in a way that provides more separation than the Lash Paradise for instance. I find that the curved wand also makes this really easy to apply. This is always my go-to in the drugstore. Maybelline does great mascaras no matter what, but this is the best in my opinion.

Essence Lash Princess

  • This mascara also gives much a pretty look to your lashes. Once again, a lot of volume and length (can you tell what I like?), but there is one downside to this: it smudges. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but this smudges a lot on me, which is such a shame considering that actual products is really nice (and the cheapest mascara mentioned here!). There are a few different Lash Princess mascaras, but the one I like in the green tube.

Covergirl Super Sizer

  • This is a mascara that completely surprised me. Looking at the wand of this, I thought “there is no way.” But I had heard some good reviews and it was on sale, so I grabbed it. And I am so glad I did! Though it doesn’t look like it would do much of anything, this wand actually made my lashes super long and separated. It didn’t do as much in the way of volume as I usually like, but I loved the overall effect of this.

Maybelline Total Temptation

  • Another favorite of mine! I found this to be similar to the Lash Paradise, but drier. While I thought the dry formula was great for building volume without looking clumpy, this got dryyyy pretty soon after I opened it. I think it only lasted me for two months before it was gone, which is pretty unusual for a mascara. Other than being gone quickly, this was great. It’s worth trying out if you’re interested!

What’s your favorite drugstore mascara? I’m always on the hunt for new ones!


Anyone else love finishing things? Whether it’s finishing leftovers, using up toothpaste, or finishing a makeup product, I looooove the feeling of using something up entirely. Kind of weird? Maybe, but that’s just how it is.

This is why it makes total sense that I love the idea of project panning!

But…what is a project pan? In case you’re not familiar with a project pan, it’s essentially where you try to hit pan or entirely use up your beauty products. Think of it like a challenge for the determined beauty lover.

While I’m constantly tempted to buy new products, sometimes I need to reign it in and focus on what I already have. Project panning is a great way to really focus on what you already own, truly get to know how products perform, and get your money’s worth. After all, might as well use the makeup before it goes bad!

This month I’m taking on my first ever project pan. I’m hoping to use up or hit pan on these 12 products by the end of the year. I’ll be doing quarterly check ins to update you on my progress!

Want to see what I’m panning? Check it out below:

  • Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer – Okay, so I’m slightly cheating on this one. As you can see, I’ve already hit pan (which took forever, by the way!). Now my goal is to finish this bronzer up. This one is intimidating to me, just because it took me so long to even hit pan. I think it’s because the Butter Bronzer is a very densely-packed, creamy powder that it can take a while to make even a small dent. But I’ve had this in my collection for a long time and it’s time for me to use it up!
physican's formula butter bronzer
  • Rimmel 25 Hour Lasting Finish Foundation – It’s hard to tell in the bottle, but I think I’m about half way done this foundation. Even though I’m pale year-round, this shade is my palest of pale, so it’s my goal to use this up before summer’s here. I also don’t love this foundation (it can make my skin look a little powdery and dry), plus I don’t even think they make it anymore.
rimmel lasting finish 25 hour foundation
  • Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation – Unlike the Rimmel foundation, this is one I love! But I’ve had it for a while and I want to use it up before it goes bad. Once again, hard to tell in the bottle, but I think I’m at least half way through, if not more.
wet n' wild photo focus foundation
  • Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette – This was my first high-end palette and I think it’s still my favorite. While I don’t think I’ll ever fully finish this up (has anyone fully finished up every shade in a palette?!), I would like to hit pan on at least one color.
too faced chocolate bar
  • Maybelline Fit Me Set + Smooth Powder – Another slight cheat. Like the Butter Bronzer, you can see I’ve already hit pan on this one. However, unlike the Butter Bronzer, this powder is much easier to go through. By the end of the year, I’d like to finish this up!
maybelline fit me set + smooth powder
  • Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9– This is a mini that I’ve had for a while now and I just want to use it up! I’ve been trying but somehow it’s still here. I’m hoping that by putting it in this project pan, I’ll actually get through the whole thing. While I like this shade, it’s not my favorite. It can look a little dark on me for everyday wear, in my opinion.
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick mini in Lovesick– Another mini! I’m not a huge liquid lipstick lover. I think they’re really convenient for certain occasions (like weddings, where I don’t want to have to constantly worry if my lipstick has worn off), but generally I do not wear them on an everyday basis. If it’s a particularly comfortable formula, maybe; but I still like a shine to my lips. This mini has been in my collection a while and it’s a beautiful color. Time to use it up in 2019!
  • CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipgloss in Give Me Guava– While the other two lip products might take a little more effort for me to get through, I don’t think this gloss will be hard at all! It’s a nice light formula and a beautiful nude color. Though the formula is comfortable and not sticky, it doesn’t last on the lips for a long time. More re-application = faster to pan 😉
  • Becca Backlight Priming Filter – I am so close to finishing this one! It’s one of my favorite primers and I probably only have about a quarter left in the bottle. I’d like to get through this one fully before it goes bad on me. It shouldn’t take too long to do!
becca backlight primer
  • Elf Baked Highlighter in Pinktastic– Getting through a highlighter is incredibly ambitious, I know. You only need such a small amount, especially if you’re like me and prefer a more subtle look. This highlighter actually fell and broke a while ago and that’s why the top is gone. The bottom layer is all that’s left but that’s still a lot of highlighter! While I don’t think I will entirely use this up in a year, I’m hoping I can get pretty close.
elf baked highlighter
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude – I’m putting this in my project pan because I literally never remember to use it. I don’t line my waterline often because I feel like it makes my eyes look smaller. A nude eyeliner is actually supposed to make your eyes look bigger and more awake. I think that maybe because I’m not used to reaching for an eyeliner for my waterline, that this one has gotten completely neglected. Also, it’s not my favorite formula. It can get a little clumpy almost, which is weird for an eyeliner. Regardless, I’d like to use it up and get it out of my collection.
rimmel scandaleyes eyeliner nude
  • Rimmel Soft Kohl Eyeliner in Sable Brown – Another Rimmel eyeliner! These just aren’t my favorite formula, but they’re here and I’d like to get my money’s worth. I like the brown one better than the nude one actually, but I generally go for black on my upper lash line. This could be a good option for lightly lining my bottom lash line when I just need a little something. We’ll see how far I get!
rimmel soft kohl eyeliner brown

And that’s it! Those are the 12 products I will focus on incorporating into my makeup rotation in order to pan or use up this year. This is my first time doing an official project pan, so I’m excited to see how fast I can actually get through these products, or if I’ll even remember to use them!


Welcome to my monthly makeup bag!

While other bloggers have monthly makeup drawers, my apartment is way too small for that. Most mornings, I end up doing my makeup in the mirror of my bathroom sink. Because my husband wakes up later than I do, I have to do my makeup away from where my actual collection is stored on my dresser (unless I want to do my makeup in the dark!). Therefore: the makeup bag. It’s easy enough to keep in my bathroom and grab what I need. Every month, I’ll be changing up the products I use to keep things fresh and interesting. Usually, I throw in products I’m currently loving, products I want to try, or products I haven’t used in a while.

Interested? Take a look at January’s bag:

foundations concealers for the month

Primer – Becca Backlight Priming Face Filter

Foundation – Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation (I don’t believe this is actually being made anymore. The lastest version of this foundation is linked instead!)

Concealer – Milani Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting Concealer

Color Corrector – Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector

powders for month

Powders – For setting underneath my eyes, I’ll be using the Maybelline Fit Me Set + Smooth Pressed Powder, and for setting my entire face (if I feel I need it) I’ll be using the NYX Set It & Don’t Fret It Matte Finishing Powder.

bronzer blush highlight for month

Bronzer – Bare Minerals Invisible Bronze Bronzer in Fair to Light

Blush – Kevin Aucoin Pure Powder Glow Blush in Helena (hmm, this exact shade seems to be not sold anywhere…)

Highlight – Fiona Stiles Light Illusion Prism Palette

eyeshadow for month

Eyeshadow – I’ll be mainly using the Too Faced Natural Mattes Eyeshadow Palette (mine is in the older packaging) and the Cailyn Cosmetics O! 6 Eyeshadow Palette (I can’t find a link to this anywhere!)

eye products for month

Brows – Anatasia Brow Definer and the Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer

Mascara – L’Oreal Lash Paraside Mascara

Eyeliner – NYX Slide On Glide On Eye Pencil and the Revolution Beauty Renaissance Flick Eyeliner

lip products for month

Lip Products – Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Rose Blush, Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Glace, Wet N’ Wild MegaLast Catsuit Liquid Lipstick in Rebel Rose, Bare Minerals Buttercream Lipgloss in Fly, Wet N’ Wild Megalast Lip Color in Bare it All, and Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple

Do you keep a monthly makeup bag? What are some products you’re testing out or using this month?