A $10 Makeup Look: Smokey Taupe, Brown and Violet Eyes with Lilac Lips

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

Here’s a full face — eyes and lips — for $8.91

How low can you go? (Sing it!) How lo-oh can you go? Okay, so I had a lot of fun last week trying to put together a makeup look for less than $10, and I think I did an okay job. The whole shebang came to a whopping $9.85, but I think I can do better. ๐Ÿ™‚


I gave it another go, this time shooting for something 1) cheaper and 2) more dramatic. I paired smokey taupe/brown/violet eyes with lilac lips. Again, the products are all from N.Y.C New York Color because, obvs, they’re really inexpensive, cruelty-free, and altogether not half bad.

NYC New York Color products from bottom to top: Ultra Last Lipstick in Lilac Dream ($1.89), Brow/Eye Liner Pencil in Jet Black ($1.14), Metro Quartet Eye Shadow in Chelsea Chic ($3.99). Also used in this look but not pictured: NYC New York Color Lengthening Mascara in Jet Black ($1.89)

Since the eyes AND lips are pretty colorful in this look, I kept the cheeks bare (don’t want to overwhelm passers by, LOL!), but a nice blush probably wouldn’t have hurt.

If you decide to give something like this a try but feel that the lilac lips are way too much, you could swap ’em out for something a little quieter, like perhaps a light peach gloss (maybe the $6 Sally Hansen Diamond 12-Hour Lip Treatment in Flawless?).

Here’s how I did this $8.91 look featuring smokey taupe, brown and violet eyes with lilac lips

First, the eyes. Start by applying N.Y.C. New York Color Brow/Eye Liner Pencil in Jet Black ($1.14) on the lids and the crease as an eyeshadow base. Use a finger or a brush to smooth out the edges before patting the shimmery mauve eyeshadow from the Metro Quartet Eye Shadow in Chelsea Chic ($3.99) on the lid.

Sweep the shimmery brown shadow into the crease, and then apply the violet shadow to the brow bone. Line both the upper and lower waterlines with the Jet Black liner to further define the eyes. Then, smoke out (heh!) the look by lining the lower lash line with the brown shadow, and layer the taupe directly on top for an iridescent effect.

Finish the eyes by adding two coats of N.Y.C. New York Color Lengthening Mascara in Jet Black ($1.89) on your lashes, and then frame the entire eye look by filling in your brows with the very same pencil.

The lips are a lot easier (yea!). Here I applied creamy purple N.Y.C. New York Color Ultra Last Lipstick in Lilac Dream straight from the tube.

Swatches from left: shimmery blue shade, shimmery brown, shimmery violet and shimmery taupe from Chelsea Chic; Brow/Eye Liner Pencil in Jet Black, Ultra Last Lipstick in Lilac Dream

NYC New York Color Ultra Last Lipstick in Lilac Dream


NYC New York Color Metro Quartet Eye Shadow in Chelsea Chic, Brow/Eye Liner Pencil in Jet Black and Lengthening Mascara in Jet Black

Do you think I should try to see if I can do another look for even less? The first one was $9.85. This one was $8.91! ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonder if a cute sub-$7 look with makeup for eyes, lips and cheeks is possible (something tells me it is)…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 24 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Blovetbeauty says:

    I hope u do another look for less. U show that beauty doesn’t have to come in expensive packages ! Luv it

  2. Nina says:

    that is pretty! ๐Ÿ™‚ <333 it!

  3. knownever says:

    A look for <$7 is totally do-able. I'd say Wet n Wild and ELF to the rescue!
    knownever recently posted … Anna Sui Mini Rouge 001

  4. lo says:

    I’m loving that lipstick! This is such a great look… and the fact that it’s $10 is basically the coolest thing ever.

  5. How fun! Maybe you can do a 5 minute face in $5!!!
    Kajal Couture recently posted … New Fave Website and Win Two 25 Giftcards for Skincare!!

  6. Vonvon says:

    It’s awesome how you made this look so classy, and to think the palettes cost less than 10 bucks! My first look at the photos, and I wouldn’t have thought it’s form a drugstore brand.
    Vonvon recently posted … Surprise! A Mini Botani Giveaway From Nature In A Box

  7. NeenaJ says:

    Karen, thank you so much for reviewing all kinds of products.

    Of course it’s fun to splurge on the good stuff, but some days you just need a little pick-me-up and can’t afford to drop$50 at a counter.

    I checked out some of the NYC lip colors based on your recommendation last week. Because of the packaging, picking shades is a bit like Russian Roulette. To my surprise, I gambled on 3 colors and I absolutely LOVE them:

    Sheer Red is a terrific daytime red ($0.96);

    Mousse is my perfect nude and is an Ultra Last ($1.96);

    Brandy Sparkle is a near-dupe for MAC Funbathing and is an Ultra Last ($1.96).

    Total cost for my splurge was $4.88!
    Thanks for all you do for us and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. gio says:

    This is beautiful! I love the lip color! ๐Ÿ™‚
    gio recently posted … How To Use Yellow Concealer

  9. Maria says:

    Wow – that lip color is amazing… another reason to go back to the drugstore ๐Ÿ™‚

    I definitely think you can do less than $8.91, Drugstore Diva believes in you!
    Maria recently posted … Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder Foundation

  10. NYC is so underrated! Their cream blushes are $3.99 and are pretty great!
    Cindy (Prime Beauty) recently posted … Organic Skincare From Made From Earth

  11. Trisha says:

    This is really nice! Especially the lip color.
    Trisha recently posted … Yummy Runts Candy Scented Nail Polish 6-Pack

  12. Kim says:

    I second that 5 minute face idea from Kajal Couture! ๐Ÿ™‚ This is actually a very nice look but is there something wrong with me that I can’t tell the lipstick is supposed to be lilac? It doesn’t look “out there” at all on you! Truth be told, it doesn’t look lilac to me in the tube either. Maybe it’s my monitor (wait, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself). ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Vikki says:

    I think you should see if you can go even lower! Also, is the price you listed including tax?

  14. Dao says:

    I’m loving it! Sometimes, makeup is not about the dollar but more of what you can do with what you have. Thank you for doing this series, Karen!
    Dao recently posted … Get Festive with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Red Carpet

  15. Wanda says:

    After your post about NYC lipsticks, I found a coupon for $2 off two items, so I was like what the heck, I might as well try them. I went and purchased all of them except for the red one. They are so pretty plus, once I went into my coupon stash, I found additional coupons for them. So, I ended up buying like 7 or 8 of them for under $10. Thanks for letting us know about this.

    PS. I found the NYC eyeshadow set that you used today at the Dollar Tree, you guessed it, for $1. I can’t wait to try it!!

    I love some MAC and NARS, but I love a good deal too!

  16. Sanja says:

    Hey this is a great look i love it!! I would love if you could check out some of my looks on my blog

  17. Tracy says:

    I like NYC a lot, especially those cream blushes. Love them a lot.
    You look beautiful!
    Tracy recently posted … Beauty In The Bitter Cold Part 2- Makeup Tips

  18. hahaha I totally believe you can do a $7 look. This one is really nice! I love the taupiness of it xD NYC has really improved their product quality recently
    makeup morsels recently posted … Bombshell Beauty with Bows

  19. Wendy says:

    Love these series!!! Pls do pls do!!

  20. Baby Ruth says:

    Beautiful look. I agree with PP that you could do a similar look with ELF or Wet n Wild for under $7.

  21. Tammy says:

    I recently subscribed to your blog because I found it really interesting, but what a surprise to find out that we actually live in the same town (Kaneohe) !!! It was a really cool surprise!

  22. Really nice! I have the same palette but in a different colour.. x

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