My First Impressions of Almay

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this post were gifted in exchange for my review. All opinions expressed are my own!

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The world of drugstore beauty has really risen up in the last few years. More and more I'm finding the quality of affordable cosmetics is often on par (or better than) those in the high end category. I'm always excited to see how longtime brands have stepped up their game, which is why I'm excited to share what I received from Almay!

I can't honestly recall the last time I had Almay products in my beauty stash. Though I do remember loving their eyeshadows back in high school. There was a smokey shadow trio that was designed to enhance green eyes which I loved dearly, though looking back my execution wasn't that great. Thankfully my technique has since improved, and my brush collection isn't limited to the sponge applicator that the trio came with.

I was looking forward to seeing how Almay's formulas have changed over the years. The packaging looks a lot more vibrant & playful, which gives me the impression that they're trying to tap into a younger market (that said, I can't say with much confidence who their previous market was, considering I don't hear many fellow beauty gurus talking about this brand).

Something I didn't know is that everything in their lineup is formulated for sensitive eyes and skin. That means everything is hypoallergenic and opthalmologist tested (contact lens wearers rejoice!).

They say first impressions are the most lasting for a reason, so I wanted to share my initial reactions to each of the products I received. Consider this a live-feed for my personal unboxing session (seriously, I voice recorded myself as I opened and swatched everything). Let's dive in and see which Almay products are 'all-that'!

Almay Make Them Jelly Hi-Lite - $12.46 CAD at Walmart

This was the product I'm most excited to try and - oh. Oh no.
It's just straight. up. glitter.

When I wear highlighter, I look for a dewy, wet-look, lit-from-within finish. This just reminds me of a tub of body glitter I used to have back in the early 00's, that I would slather all over my décolletage to feel like a Spice Girl.

Almay Make Them Jelly Hi-Lites in Unicorn Light (top) & 24K Dreams (bottom).

While the texture is really fun to poke at, I consider this a miss. If you're into glittery highlighters, or want something fun to wear for festival season, this might be the one for you.

Almay Goddess Glosses - $8.96 CAD at Walmart

I love a prismatic moment, and I wear glosses more than any other lip product these days (something I never thought I'd say after 2006). I love all the different colour reflects just looking at them in the tubes.

Almay Goddess Glosses in Cosmic (top) & Magic (bottom)

Let there be pigment! I love when lipsticks swatch exactly as expected. 'Cosmic' would look gorgeous as a lip topper. It would give so much dimension on an otherwise basic nude lipstick. 'Magic' isn't something I would normally reach for, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how flattering a shade it is!

My only gripe? I'm not crazy about the applicator. It's pretty stiff, but honestly I can look past that. These are so rich, buttery and buildable. I just added these to the top drawer of my beauty stash, which is pretty prestigious in case you didn't know.

Almay One-Coat Mega Volume Mascara - $9.96 CAD at Walmart

This is the strangest mascara wand I've come across. It looks like a little tornado. Won't this be hard to fit into the inner corner? I'm both confused and intrigued.

The application isn't as bad as I thought. I don't think I've applied mascara this carefully before. The wider bristles at the end of the wand actually do a decent job of hooking onto those inner corner lashes quite nicely.

After one swipe I can say this; it's not so great at volumizing, but I do like the length & definition it gives my lashes. I'm giving this a 7/10. I don't think I'll get over this brush, though.

Almay Velvet Foil Cream Shadows - $8.97 CAD at Walmart

Cream shadows can be very hit and miss in my experience, so these have me feeling a little bit nervous. I'm hoping for intense jewel-tone pigment, and a crease-proof finish. Here goes nothin'!

Almay Velvet Foil Cream Shadows in Ruby Glam (top) & End Game (bottom)
There's that pigment again! I love this finish, it's like a muted shimmer without being too glitzy. Actually, the name 'Velvet Foil' is spot on. Even the colours have me swooning! I might even mix these shades together at some point in the future.

I should also point out that I squeezed out the teensiest amount for these swatches. These little tubes will go a long way if you're gentle with them!

Almay Shadow Squad Eyeshadows - $8.97 CAD at Walmart

I am really confused by these little guys. I didn't realize it at first, but there are 4 different finishes in each compact; matte, satin, metallic & glitter. I feel like I have to look at it from every angle possible to see a slight differentiation between them!

Almay Shadow Squad in 'Here Goes Nothing'

Almay Shadow Squad in 'Unicorn'
As you can see, it's very hard to tell the different finishes apart. I can't even see the glitter reflects in the 'glitter' shade! The other issue I see with these is that because each square is so tiny, it's hard to get a brush dipped into one singular shade without it mixing with another. I guess you could swirl them all together but I'm not sure how well that would work, either.

I can't say I'm a fan. They're just too chalky & lacking in pigment, I can't see them working for me unfortunately.

Almay Smoky Eye Trios - $6.97 CAD at Walmart

Remember how I mentioned loving an Almay shadow palette back in the day? This is it! Well, kind of. The concept is the same, in that it is designed to have 3 steps for an easy to-do smoky eye. Here's hoping the formulation is as good as I remember!

Almay Smoky Eye Trio in 'Coppery Blaze'
Almay Smoky Eye Trio in 'Smoldering Embers'
Based on swatches alone, one looks to be more pigmented than the other. That said, they are very buttery soft and have gorgeous shimmer to them. I'm especially drawn to the tones of 'Smoldering Embers' (it would pair SO well with the Velvet Foil Cream Shadow shades I have!).

While I love how they make one of the most intimidating eye looks more approachable, I struggle with the fact that every shade is shimmery. Personally, I like my base & transition shades to be matte as I find it gives more depth to the look (There's no right or wrong way to play with makeup though, so take this criticism with a grain of salt).

Final Thoughts

I'm wearing:
Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Normal/Dry Skin in '110 Ivory'
Shadows from the Almay Smoky Eye Trio in 'Coppery Blaze'
 Almay Velvet Foil Cream Shadow in 'End Game' 
Almay One Coat Mega Volume Mascara
Milk Makeup KUSH Fiber Brow Gel in 'Dutch'
Almay Make Them Jelly Hi-Lite in '24K Dreams'
Glossier Cloud Paint in 'Puff'
Almay Goddess Gloss in 'Magic'
I did want to add some more notes about the cream shadows, after actually using them on the eyes:

I thought I was being smart by buffing these out with a brush, but ultimately they work best with a quick swipe of the finger instead. Try to work quickly though, because once these dry down they don't budge one bit. Which obviously has its advantages (hello longwearing shadow), but if you screw up there's not a lot of room for correction.

That said, these didn't crease one bit! I'd definitely be curious to try out the other colours available. I'm also thinking of picking up some more Goddess Gloss shades, because my gloss obsession grows deeper with each passing day.

Have you tried any products from Almay? What are your favourites? Anything in this lineup you're dying to try? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I have used Almay's foundations and powders before and liked them, but hadn't tried their other beauty products yet. I enjoyed getting the Almay foundations colour-matched at department stores as my skin tone changed from season to season.
    All of these Almay cosmetics look fabulous! You just inspired me to visit Almay's website. Your makeup came out looking very pretty.


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