Beauty on a Budget: Five Fab Finds Under $10…


It’s Monday, again and it couldn’t have been more apparent than when I put black, liquid liner on my eyebrows instead of my eyelids this morning. That was fun. But, what a Monday it’s been already! Miley and Liam have called it quits (Thank, God), we have a new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, Britney Spears released a new single affirmatively titled: Work B*tch, Burberry took the runway by storm at London Fashion Week, and sadly, 12 lives were taken at the DC Navy Yard (my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected). It’s definitely been an emotional roller coaster of a day, but aren’t Monday’s supposed to be “manic”?

Anyway, mid-eyeliner mistake, I was thinking about how many great drugstore products that I incorporate into my everyday routine. Not every item you put on your body needs to break the bank to be effective. In fact, there are a number of products that are under $10 that are every bit as good as those in the $50+ range. Lets get started!

1. Freeman Face Masks

Image Cred: shescribes.com

Don’t have enough time or money for a facial? I feel ya, sister. Meet a few of your new best friends. Freeman masks are so cheap ($2-$5) and so good. I honestly don’t know how I hadn’t come across these sooner in life. It’s borderline depressing. There are at least 7 different formulas to help target different problem areas such as dryness, dullness, acne, and inflammation. Bonus: They smell amazing AND you can purchase individual one-time use pouches to test them out before committing to a large tube – win! Go out and buy these now.

2. Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara

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If you’re anything like me, you could live off of food, water, and a good mascara. If volume is what you’re after, this baby definitely has it. I can’t substantiate any of Maybelline’s claims that it increases lash volume by 9x (…because who measures that), but I can tell you, that my lashes are certainly full and flirty. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice designer mascara as much as the next beauty blogger, but for $7.99, you really can’t go wrong! Purchase the blackest black for the most dramatic, glam look, and you’ll be well on your way to handing out dishes of lash envy.

3. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

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Let’s face it, lip color can really make or break a look. It can be the difference between looking frumpy and looking fab, so why not experiment with different hues to see what looks best with your complexion. Obviously, this isn’t always feasible when we’re talking $35+ “splurge-sticks,” so here’s where these little gems come in handy. I personally think Revlon did a great job on these. They go on smooth, the color pay-off is great, they have decent packaging, and they are only $8.99. Bonus: They are moisturizing and have a bit of a sheen so if you’ve forgotten lipstick’s favorite friends, lip balm and lip gloss, you’re in luck!

4. Wet ‘n Wild Eyeliner/Eyebrow Pencil

Image Cred: vampyvarnish.com

I kid you not, these are a saving grace if you suddenly run out of your favorite pencil. For only $1, you really can’t beat ’em. I actually was surprised at the ease of application and the “smudge-ability” of the product. Definitely worth it if you aren’t up for spending a small fortune on the Dior and Lancome’s of the makeup world. Bonus: They actually last – how many $1 things can you say that about!?

5. Essie Nail Polish

Image Cred: style.com

I have an unhealthy small obsession with this $8 polish. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ve heard about the production that is painting my nails. So, for me, all the more reason to find a great brand, with beautiful colors, fun names (they do matter…), and staying power. Also, the vibrancy of the hues is readily apparent in the bottle – in other words, the what you see is what you get. Bonus: The colors are “creamy” and you don’t need more than 2 coats (sometimes even 1!) for your nails to look like you just stepped out of the salon.

What is your favorite go-to bargain beauty product!?

XO

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6 Everyday Items You Never Knew Your Beauty Routine Needed…


I know, I know… it’s technically “Worth-It Wednesday” and I was going to review a new foundation I’ve been using, but I think I need a little more time to test it out.  Soooo, instead, I’ve put together a list of 6 items found around your home that you may have never thought to use when getting ready.  I didn’t invent these genius ideas, but I have used them! Here it goes!

1. Q-Tips 

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Image Cred: catchwordbranding.com

No surprise, here.  This little double-sided cotton swab is just the tool you need to correct any makeup application flub.  Extend that cat-eye liner a little too far? Get a case of the “shakey hands” when applying lipstick and liner? No problem, this little guy is here to save the day.  I like to dampen one end just enough for it to be able to glide across my skin, but not wet enough that it will ruin the rest of my makeup – can’t fix one problem and create another… that’s just silly!  Can’t get enough?  Well, you can also use Q-Tips to correct any mistakes during those at-home manicures.  Simply dip one end into nail polish remover, squeeze out the excess, and run it along any color creeping onto your skin.  Bonus: They are also great eyeliner “smudgers” for that seductive, smokey-eye!

2. Coffee Grinds 

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Image Cred: yellowblissroad.com

Now your morning coffee can pack a double punch.  If you’re anything like me, a nice hot cup of joe is vital in order to even think about having a productive day.  Caffeine, in general, gives your body that boost of energy it needs to get off the couch be a functioning member of society.  Now, you can use those same grinds to give your face and body a rejuvenated look.  Just mix the grinds with moisturizing lotion or olive oil and rub vigorously over face, neck, and body if you’re feeling adventurous (just keep in mind that this can be pretty messy…).  Wash off your scrub and revel in your smooth, supple skin! Sidenote: There is also talk about this being a cellulite fighter…I can’t attest to any claims, but how great would that be!?

3. Eggs

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Image Cred: thekitchn.com

Again, our mornings can seriously have a big impact on the rest of our day, so while you’re digesting from that delicious omelet, take a couple more eggs (2 should do, 3 if you have longer hair), beat them together in a small bowl and then apply this liquid to your hair in the shower.  Leave in for 3-5 minutes and rinse using luke warm water. Don’t take that last part lightly, unless of course you’re looking for seconds and want pieces of cooked egg in your hair.  That’s cool, too. This should leave your hair feeling soft and looking shiny – breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!

4. Toothpaste 

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Image Cred: wikipedia.com

You brush your teeth because you’re a fresh-breathed, good hygiened-person.  Congrats. Anddd, you may have also used it from time to time to spot treat some stubborn pimples. But, have you ever used it on your nails?  Sometimes our nails yellow for a variety of reasons – health, diet, old green nail polish that you’ve been too lazy to remove for 3 months – these are the usual culprits.  Toothpaste can be a saving grace for these folks – it’s cheap and easy to do.  Brush a small amount onto your nails and watch the stains diminish.  You can also add a few drops of lemon juice (which has intense lightening power all on its own) for an extra boost.  This may be self-explainitory, but please don’t use the same toothbrush you’re using in your mouth on your nails. That’s…wrong.

5. Scotch Tape 

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Image Cred: sheknows.com

This one is going to seem a little weird.  But, it works. So, I guess it’s just awesome.  Dry skin on your lips?  Place a piece of scotch tape on those babies and press.  Then gently pull the piece off and look at all that pesky dead skin with pride – flakey lips can be an ugly battle, but you’ve won! Bonus: You can also use it to make some pretty spectacular nail art.

6. Pam Cooking Spray – Original 

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This is just ingenious.  Painting my nails is legitimately a process for me.  I have to find the perfect block of time to do them so it’s not interfering with 1. dish washing, 2. dog walking, feeding, playing… really anything to do with my dog, and 3. bed time (there is seriously nothing worse than waking up with bed sheet imprints and lint on your freshly painted nails).  Solution? Pam Cooking Spray can act as a quick drying agent so that you can get back living a smudge-free life!

Do you have any must-use beauty tips and secrets?

XO

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Lip Service – The Battle of the Balms…


Dry, flakey, cut, and chapped: four adjectives that should never be used to describe our lips. But hey, sometimes life happens and those babies aren’t quite as “soft” and “supple” as you may like. I’ve personally been having my own lip-battle as of late. Remember my really adventurous biking escapade I mentioned in an earlier post? Well, I have since been enduring a really bizarre battle wound from the wind (yes, I was pedaling that fast): awkward, spotty lip chapping. Sounds so pretty, right? That’s a definite wrong. As if that were my only issue, like so many others in my situation, chapped lips are often accompanied by pain.

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Obviously companies have capitalized on this issue and created some pretty great products. Over the last few days, I’ve turned this unfortunate beauty blunder into a learning experience and performed my own mini experiment to see which products actually work, and which just took advantage of my weakness for a nice package.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I’m a marketer’s dream. Here’s what I found…

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Retire Me: ChapStick

The pros of this veteran product? Cheap ($2.88 for a 3 pack at Walmart), easy to find, works in a pinch.

The cons? I don’t know what it is about ChapStick, but I always go back to it thinking that I somehow messed up applying it before and that’s the reason it didn’t work. But, let’s be honest… how does one mess that up? The answer is, they don’t. So my conclusion is that this little stick just doesn’t work as well as they claim. Do I dare say that my lips actually appeared more chapped? Some people do swear by this product, though, anndd it has been around forever… so maybe it’s just my lips. Also, the packaging is boring. There I said it. Aside from a change in font, I think the look has been the same since they started. I guess that’s good brand recognition though, so… congrats?

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I’m Good…Sometimes: Nivea A Kiss of Rejuvenation Anti-Aging Lip Care

The pros? While it’s a bit more expensive than ChapStick, it is still pretty reasonable (around $3.29 at most drugstores). Also, I’m a fan of lip care tubes, so the packaging for me is a plus. This particular line has coenzyme Q10 that supposedly helps with anti-aging. I guess I haven’t really been caring noticing any changing in the youthfulness of my lips, but…sure, it’s possible. I do find that this guy works between 85-90% of the time. I’ll throw some on before bed and again first thing in the morning and usually, this stuff keeps my lips soft and healthy looking.

The cons? Yes, it usually works. Lately though, this was no match for my damaged lips. It has a milky white color, too. So if you put on as much as I have been, you can look slightly sickly without adding a pop of color into the mix. Perhaps, for the average dry lipped people of the world, this is a good option – but anything more severe, try something that’s more potent.

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Buy Me Now: EOS Lip Balms

The pros? Personally, this is the holy grail of lip balms. Relatively inexpensive ($2.79-$3.00 range), at least 6 different colors/flavors, and it actually WORKS. Like, so well. Thanks to this baby, I’m a proud owner of moisturized, pain-free lips! Don’t even get me started on the packaging. A small little pastel ball holding half-mooned balm inside? Um, yes. I need all of them. Right now. This lip product ALWAYS goes on super smooth and it’s never greasy. It leaves my lips hydrated with a slight sheen over my natural lip color. No milky white mess, here. Ah, I love it. One more thing, I love it a lot.

The cons? As much as I LOVE the packaging, unless you are carrying a purse, sticking a little ball in your jeans can be uncomfortable… and awkward.

What balm brands do your lips love? Let me know below!

XO

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‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ Takes On A Whole New Meaning…


Okay, so I wish I came up with these fantastic DIY ways to breathe new life into your broken, cracked, and “not-quite-gone” makeup items, but sadly, I didn’t.  However, what I can do is share the page with all the secrets..err, tips…?

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Check it out and say hellooo pretty, new shade of lipstick and goodbye sad, broken, bronzer!

14 Easy Steps to Revive Your Makeup!

What do you do to extend the life of your makeup essentials!?  Let me know!

XO

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Let’s be F.R.I.E.N.D.S…


Anyone who knows me is well aware of my obsession love for Jennifer Aniston.  Honestly, the woman is a style icon, super gorgeous, funny, talented (we will not speak of any box office bombs), and seems like a genuinely nice person that, quite frankly, I just want to be friends with.

My love for Jen Jen, as well as her genius style status, began with her role on the ultra-popular sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S.  If people weren’t pestering their hairstylists for the infamous, layer-crazed “Rachel” cut, they were busy mimicking her wardrobe.  It was then that Jen transcended beyond her Rachel character and stole the hearts of millions of viewers, who, quite fondly refer to her, still, as “America’s Sweetheart.”

While America is still captivated by her charm and charisma, she is the ultimate sweetheart to her new fiance, Justin Theroux.   After hearing about their recent engagement from none other than my own fiance (he’s put up with my love of Jen/F.R.I.E.N.D.S. for years now…), I seriously was more than happy and excited for her, as if she were part of my own circle of friends, or as she has said on the show… my “gal pal, Rachel Green.”

To celebrate her engagement, here’s a look back at her effortlessly chic style that gave her the title of Hollywood’s Best Dressed in 2010, Sexiest Woman of All Time by Men’s Health Magazine in 2011, and her presence on a myriad of other fashion forward publications such as Elle, Harpers Bazaar, and GQ.

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Annnndddd, a sneak peak into what is sure to be an epic wedding between ridiculously good-looking people:

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If you’re not sick of Jen yet, how about a quick “Verdict” on one of my favorite fashion moments in the last year… Who wore it better?!

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Well, the verdict is in and it is really no surprise who I’m rooting for in this beauty battle…and if it is, you’ve clearly missed the point of this post.  If you need a little help, Jen Jen takes it by a landslide.  To start, the tangerine color is completely fab and definitely in, so I applaud both for being bold enough to bare it.  While Marisa Tomei looks pretty accentuating the dress with gold embellishments and a slick pony, Jen punches up the chic factor by altering the neckline and pairing it with another fav, crystal encrusted Christian Louboutins. Beautious! What do you think!?

Before I end this super long post (which I hope makes up for my lack of blogging this weekend), here’s one last Jen tidbit worth noting.  Ever wonder how she maintains her famous sun-kissed complexion and seemingly ageless skin?  Well, after browsing a recent interview conducted by Now Daily, Jen Jen confessed to using Vaseline petroleum jelly under her eyes at night, and took the readers into her nightly skin care regimen which includes using a gentle cleanser, a toner, and topping it off with Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. As a Cetaphil user myself, I can vouch for its amazing-ness in evening out my skin tone, providing lightweight moisture to my face without feeling greasy, and for not clogging my (acne-prone) pores. Highly recommend the cleanser, as well!  Though a bit pricey, think $13-$15 dollars at a drugstore, it is well worth the investment!  Image

Now back to that sun-kissed glow…Jen has mentioned in numerous articles her love for Johnson and Johnson’s Holiday Skin lotion.  It is my understanding that this lotion, which boasts luminating properties, provides a gradual, natural tan to its users in the same no-muss, no-fuss way that its Baby Lotion counterpart has been doing for years.  Sounds great, huh?  Well, here’s the catch – It is only available online or overseas.  It was the saddest day when I found out this necessary piece of information.  Can’t a girl get a flawless glow like Jen without going to Europe… although that would be a nice vacation.. hmm..  Anyway, check it out… if it’s good enough for Jen, it has to be worth the scavenger hunt.

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Happy Monday!

XO