Be Beautiful, Not Broke

When you are addicted to beauty products, it is all too easy to spend far more than you can afford to. Here are three tips for shopping smart.


1) Look critically at your purchasing patterns

What I find to be really helpful is to look carefully at what you buy regularly and what you spend a lot of money on. For this really concentrate on things like hair care (especially shampoo and conditioner!), skin care, and maybe mascara. These are all things that you might purchase on a more regular basis. After you have compiled a list, think about how much you pay for the product. Then it is time to do some research. Can you get the same results with a cheaper product? The answer may be no, but it also could be yes. If so, ask yourself what it is exactly that makes you continue purchasing the product that you are currently using. Is it for the product itself, or is it for the experience that you get while using it? Then see if the better experience justifies the cost for you. That gorgeous packaging may be worth the extra $20 for you because it is just such a pleasure to use. That is completely fine, I am a sucker for packaging as well. I love my Dior and YSL as much as the next girl. But no matter what, make sure you have consciously evaluated your choice and have found the price justified. Otherwise you may be wasting your money on some expensive product in boring-ass packaging that works well, but not any different to something that you could get for a fraction of the price at your drugstore.

2)Do your homework

Ever bought something on a whim, tried it, and hated it? If that thing was $3 it really isn’t that much of a tragedy. But what if it was $20? $100? $500? To make sure that you avoid this mistake, I am a firm believer in stalking whatever product you are planning on buying before handing over your hard-earned money for it. I do this regardless of whether it is $3 or $30. Make sure you know exactly what you are buying, and what kind of chances it has for working with your particular skin type/hair type/coloring etc. I would recommend reading in-depth reviews on beauty blogs as well as going on sites like MakeupAlley. Reading reviews on blogs are good because you really find out the specifics about the product, such as if there are any particularly good or bad things about the packaging. If you find a blogger with similar characteristics (e.g. skin type) as you, all the better. Sites like the aforementioned MakeupAlley are good for just seeing a huge variety of experiences in one easy location. This will really help you see how the product performed on all different types of people, and it is much easier to find people who have similar characteristics.

Another thing to think about is dupes. I talked about this a bit before, but if you want something, do a quick search to see if there is something as good or better for cheaper. For color cosmetics this is key, I know there are at least a few MAC eyeshadows that have dupes in Wet n Wild, and the quality of these cheap little eyeshadows are often as good (if not better!) than their MAC counterparts.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for samples!!

You can read all the reviews you want, but nothing beats trying out a product for yourself. This applies more to foundation than anything else, so don’t be shy to take a sample home to test. This is the best way to get a great foundation match, as you can test it out more thoroughly in different lightings and situations at your own leisure. Also, the salespeople are often very good at what they do. But sometimes they haven’t the foggiest notion about what they are selling. They may match you up to the wrong product and/or color, and when you are spending $20+ on an item this becomes a bit of a problem. You can use their guidance (obviously, that is what they are there for), but do not trust them explicitly. You are fully within your rights to ask for a sample of a foundation in a department store, as those foundations are typically not cheap.

Now, for drugstore makeup. When people hear “drugstore makeup” often they think it will be cheap. What they have not considered is that some of that drugstore foundation? $10 a pop. Factor in that with the fluorescent  lighting you cannot easily color-match yourself, you may end up buying 2 or 3 foundations. That’s $30 gone and you still may not have a foundation that you like. Unfortunately, drugstores don’t always allow you to sample their products. But just in case, I would recommend taking along some empty sample containers and filling them up with a couple of good sized pumps. I don’t actually know how happy this makes the shopkeepers, so you may want to do this a bit more sneakily. In any case, they put the tube out there, didn’t they?


All in all, really think about what you are buying and see if there are any ways you can make your beauty addiction a little more budget friendly. I hope this helped!

Houston Haul!

So I was visiting my mom and sister in Houston, so of course I had to pick up a thing or two… 😉


Dior Addict 2  (Eau Fraiche) Perfume

I had the baby version of this already so I decided to pick up a larger bottle. It is a gorgeous scent, very subtle and feminine. According to Sephora, the notes are bergamot, grapefruit, orange, freesia, lily of the valley, lotus flower, pineapple, watermelon, grenadine, sandalwood, and white musk.

Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Finland

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After trying many many samples of lightweight(ish) foundations, BB creams, and tinted moisturizers, I decided to get this one. It is a perfect color match for me, and applies really smoothly without emphasizing my dry, flaky patches which is always a good thing. Yeah, so far it’s pretty awesome 🙂


Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Lipstick in 08

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Unlike the Revlon lip products, I was not impressed by this lipstick. Which is really disappointing because the color is beautiful and it is really pigmented. This lipstick has a really strange finish on the lips, it’s very heavy and a bit dry. The only way I can describe it as being like the kind of lipstick old ladies might wear. It also has a pretty strong smell that I am not keen on, it’s very sickly. I will continue to experiment with it to see if it improves, but I may just end up making a tinted lip balm out of it.

Rimmel London Special Eyes Precision Eyeliner Pencil in 125 Navy Blue

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This is a pretty standard blue eyeliner pencil, although it is a bit on the hard side. The color is pretty, but not anything amazing- a cream navy blue, exactly as stated in the name.

ELF Mineral Infused Mascara in Black

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I have been using this mascara every day since I got it, and so far I love it! I makes my lashes very separate and super long, like doll lashes. It is all lengthening as no thickening though, so while I personally love that I know it is not to everybody’s taste. But really for $3 you can’t really go wrong…

ELF Makeup Mist & Set

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I’ve used this a couple times, and I’m not sure about how much this extends the wear time of my makeup, but it really does make my foundation look even more natural in terms of finish so it is certainly worth the $3 right there… if you don’t mind the shit-ton of parabans. It really sucks that they are in there, because it also has really nice ingredients like green tea and aloe and stuff. Since the green tea has antioxidants, it helps fight free radicals that would eventually age your skin. I have no clue about the effectiveness when applied topically, but it does sound like a nice thing to spray onto your face.

ELF Custom Compact

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I have another one of these that is not yet full, but it was $1 and it’s always nice to have extras. Oh, you people buying those MAC magnetic palettes or Z-Palettes or whatever? You are wasting your money. These are surprisingly sturdy, and hold 4 round eyeshadows (a little bit bigger than MAC shadows) with the divider in and 9ish with the divider out. Yes folks, that is $1 for a sturdy case compared to $9 for one from MAC. Really, it’s a no brainer.

EcoTools Bamboo 6 Piece Eye Brush Set

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So originally I wanted the ELF tapered blending brush because I misplaced my old one. They didn’t carry it at the Target that I went to, so I picked up this set because I needed the brush desperately and I had never tried the brand. Plus it was nice and cheap, and I can always use more brushes anyway :).  The set contains:

  • Large Eye Brush
  • Angled Crease Brush
  • Petite Eye Shading Brush
  • Highlighting Brush
  • Smudge Brush
  • Hemp & Cotton Case with mirror and room for your makeup brush set

I really haven’t used it much yet, but the brushes are reasonably soft and they seem well made. The only thing is the large eye brush and the angled crease brush are MASSIVE. I do have pretty small eyelids, but these still seem huge even for normal sized eyelids. I don’t know… And just FYI, there are NOT 6 brushes in the set, there are 5. I guess they are counting the case as a ‘piece’? I’m not sure. Anyway, this confused me, so no, it’s not just you. you are not going crazy.

Conair Styling Essential Brush with Reinforced Boar Bristles

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I got this at CVS because I heard that these brushes are really good for your hair. So far I do like it, although it does take longer to get all my tangles out, it does make my hair smoother.

Other Stuff

Bath and Body Works Candles

This is one of the places I was most excited to go. And for those who have not smelt the leaves candle, believe the hype. You have not lived until you have smelt it! I got a small Leaves candle, a mini Spice candle, and a mini Spiced Apple Toddy candle. I also got some more that I am not showing here as they are to be gifted to some lucky lucky people 🙂

Double H® Sonora™ Ladies Vintage Calvary Slouch Western Boots in Tan Brown

Just when you though Revlon had come out with the longest product name ever, Double H comes along. Honestly, there is no way to express how awesome these boots are. They are not completely traditional, they are more like if a pair of cowboy boots and a pair of riding boots had a baby and that baby grew up in Texas. In short, they are perfect. Side note, if you want cowboy boots, go to Cavenders if you can. I have no clue if they are only in Houston or in Texas or more places as well, but they have a massive selection and all different styles.

Longhorns Shirt

I decided I needed to show my support, so I picked this one up at Sport’s Authority. It is super soft and comfy, as I like that it isn’t in-your-face orange as Longhorn’s apparel normally is. I couldn’t find a link online, but there are so many other nice ones to choose from so if you can’t pick it up in store you are certain to find one you like online. Mine is just plain grey with the orange “Texas” across the chest

American Eagle Outfitters Authentic Dark Indigo Super-Stretch Jeggings

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These are super comfy and fit me really well, which is a miracle for me because for me that is always a challenge. Well not this time, I guess!


Review: Lush Figs and Leaves Soap

Lush US: $7.60/3.5 oz (100 g)

Lush UK: ₤3.40/100 g

Lush DE: €5.35/100 g,en_US,pd.html?start=2&q=figs%20and%20leaves

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This soap is scented with figs and orange blossom with an “undertone of eastern exoticism”. Formulated with figs and aloe vera, this soap is very gentle and soothing to the skin, making it suitable for irritated or sensitive skin. Apparently it is so gentle that you can use it on your face! The fig seeds act as a gentle exfoliant.


Water, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Fig Decoction, Glycerine, Aloe Vera Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Perfume, Ylang Ylang Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Linalool

I have been using this in the shower every day for the past few weeks, and I really love it! The smell is amazing, it is actually one of the few Lush soap scents that I like, and whoever thought of putting the seeds in as an exfoliant was a frickin’ genius. Maybe most people wouldn’t consider that cool, but I think that was really innovative and just generally awesome. You know when you have an itch, especially on your back, and someone scratches it for you and it feels amazing? Using the soap straight on your skin so the exfoliating seeds work feels like that. I know that is a pretty weird description, but that’s what it feels like. It’s amazing.

I have not used it on my face, but judging by the fact that it didn’t aggravate a quite nasty razor burn I had on my legs, I’d say it should work. The one and only gripe I have with it is the fig leaf on the top, which kinda comes off on you as you use it, but it really isn’t that big of a deal because you can easily wash it off.


With the amazing smell, innovative exfoliating seeds, and the gentleness of this soap, I would highly recommend it!

Rating: A