Affordable ways to try the ‘unicorn’ makeup trend

Are you feeling the “unicorn” trend this summer?

From highlighting to nail polish to toast, unicorns are inescapable right now, and I have literally never been happier about a beauty fad. Like I say in the video below, it’s like if nine-year-old me got to dictate trends for adult me, and I’m all about it. Bring on the rainbow shimmer!

That said… if you’re trying to be smart about your finances, you might not be willing to drop a ton of cash on high-end beauty products that are so very of-the-moment. Sad as it makes me (and it’s honestly SO SAD), unicorns will burn out at some point and we’ll be on to something else. With any luck, it’ll be pegasuses… pegasi?… but that might be too much to hope for.

So. If you want to try out some rainbow-iridescent-holographic-fantasy looks without going broke, here are some of my picks for affordable ways to get that unicorn glow. (Links in italics are affiliate links, so I may receive an incentive if you buy through them, but all of these are products I’ve actually purchased myself. Read my disclosure policy.)

Pinky Petals Unicorn Gloss Matte

Full confession: Lately I’ve been online shopping by just typing “unicorn” into a site’s search bar, which is how I found my way to this matte iridescent gloss (vegan and made in the U.S.) that will set you back about eleven bucks on Amazon. In the container, Pinky Petals’ matte Unicorn Gloss looks like wet clay, which I honestly love — that, to me, says they were more worried about what the product would look like on your lips than in the container (you know you can tell when a company is more worried about curb appeal than performance). The iridescent result is hard to photograph, but you can see it live in this short Instagram video, where I’m wearing it over the Gwen Stefani x Urban Decay lip liner in Firebird:

Wet N Wild Unicorn Glow collection

I snapped up this $30 box set (featured in my video, below) the instant I was served an Instagram ad promoting it, and I’m glad — the box set is sold out, as are the Prismatic Lipsticks. You can still buy some of the individual pieces, though, and at $5.99, the Color Icon Rainbow Highlighter is totally worth it. The I recommend skipping the unicorn brush (so not worth five bucks) and the pigments. If you’re dying for the lipsticks, I’m seeing them on Amazon for about $20, but at that point, you should just buy Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Unicorn Tears, which is only $2 more.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Strobe Balm Palette

On the surface, $15 isn’t exactly a bargain-basement price for a trend piece, but then you look at how many iridescent cream highlighters you get in this palette — eight of them! — it’s a screaming deal. The colors coordinate really nicely with the Kat Von D Alchemist palette, too. This palette makes a cameo in my recent “get ready with me” video.

Pacifica Rainbow Crystals Liquid Mineral Strobe Multi-Use Highlighter

I ordered one of these on a whim when Ulta was offering bonus points for Pacifica. This $13 highlighter is not kidding around. It is super opaque and holographic, but blendable to something very subtle and daytime-appropriate. Check out swatches in the video at the end of this post.

Tattoo Junkee Lip Kits

I bought a couple of Tattoo Junkee Lip Kits at my local Fred Meyer last year, but I didn’t really realize their potential until I saw an Instagram ad (I’m so easy…) and ordered a few… well, a bunch… more last month. Each $6.99 kit includes a liquid lip color and a powder effect in Velvet, Chroma or Sparkle. The kits are fun on their own (and they wear beautifully), but lately I’ve been having fun mixing, matching and combining the lip colors and effects. Check out my Instagram for a lip mixing four different colors and effects (or see it live in the video below).

Don’t forget Etsy!

There are a ton of indies producing unique cosmetics and nail polishes. Try a search for “unicorn” and then narrow the results to the Bath & Beauty category.

Want to see some of these picks in action? Check out my video review:

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