Be Beautiful Not Broke: My Favorites From the Drugstore #1

Yes, it is possible to look fabulous while still saving money for that pair of Choos. Here are my top picks for cheap but awesome makeup.





ELF Blush in Blushing Rose $3

Found on ELF website

Found on ELF website

This color is freaking amazing. It is a gorgeous plummy rose color, and I think it could look amazing on so many skin tones. The packaging feels really nice, and guess what? It’s $3. Three. Bucks. Yeah. Target’s that-a-way, ladies.
Catrice Eyeshadows  3-4€

Found on Catrice website

Great pigmentation, great shade selection, great texture- if you can’t get your hands on some Wet n Wild these would do great as well. Also some great dupes for MAC shadows!
Real Techniques Brushes $5-9 ea/Some brushes come in sets that are like $20, though

Found on Real Techniques site

These brushes were designed by YouTube’s Samantha Chapman, and boy did she know exactly what she was doing. They are soft. They feel like they might outlive me AND my cowboy boots (that’s a big deal y’all). They apply product like nobody’s business. My absolute favorite is the buffing brush, with the contour brush a close second.
Hildegard Braukmann Honey-Lecithin Mask 2€

Found on Hildegard Braukmann website

Found on Hildegard Braukmann website

This made my face feel like baby ass. Seriously. Plus it seriously lasts for like 4 applications. Read my full blog post here.

Review: ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (Sheer)

15 oz/4.5g


Found on ELF US website

Found on ELF US website

The ELF mineral eyeshadow primer claims to have “ultimate staying power” to “create longer-lasting, crease-proof eyeshadow” and “beautiful and vibrant color that lasts”. According to ELF it is “100% mineral based with no parabens, no preservatives and no chemical dyes”. Yay. Also contains Vitamins A, C, and E to “help prevent aging and moisturize the skin”. Comes in two colors, sheer (being reviewed) and blush.


Isododecane, Cylopentasiloxane, Octyl Palmitate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Triacontanyl PVP, Propylene Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163).

This primer had a strange texture, almost like a little silicone-y, even though there isn’t silicone actually in it. It dries down to an almost powdery finish. It creates a very smooth surface on the lids though, and intensifies the color of eyeshadows a little weenie bit. It isn’t actually completely sheer, I felt it still had the tiniest bit of color- not enough to really be noticeable, but enough to work towards evening out the color of the lid. A nice little touch, I thought, and unexpected at that.

As for longevity… eh. It was better than the cult classic UDPP (you can read my review here, if you are interested to see what I thought), in my opinion, but still a bit lacking in the long-wear department. By the end of the school day (about 8 hours) my eyeshadow would most likely be creased. I do have very oily eyelids, so I really wasn’t expecting miracles.


To sum up:

I liked it better than the UDPP, but it still didn’t work for me. For those who like the UDPP, I think this would be a fabulous option and a great way to save what, $15? For those whose lids secrete oil at the rate that mine do, we’ll just have to keep looking, unfortunately.

Rating: D+

Review: ELF Mineral Infused Mascara


ELF US: $3

ELF UK: ₤3.75

Found on

This mascara is advertised  as creating “fuller, healthier looking lashes” and add definition while still volumnising. The mascara is supposed to be long-wearing and clump-resistant. The brush is made of silicone, and has even sized bristles placed relatively close together and a tip that tapers off.


Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, PVP, Triethanolamine, Triacontanyl PVP, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.

I love this mascara! It gives my lashes the most amazing doll-like effect, it separates them and lengthens them nicely. It does NOT stick my eyelashes together so it looks like I have about 5 total, which I do enjoy. The formula is nice and black, and doesn’t clump, flake , run, smudge, or anything on me, but isn’t too hard to get off when I want it off. The packaging is really nice and sleek, as with many ELF Studio or Mineral products it doesn’t look or feel cheap. This is one of my favorite mascaras and yes, it is 3 dollars. 3. You really cannot get much better than that. I would highly recommend this product and would definitely repurchase it!

Rating: A+

ELF Haul!!

I ordered all this stuff ages ago but only got it now… sadly not because of ELF’s shipping, but because I sent it to the wrong address -.-

Anyway, I am super excited about everything I got, and can’t wait to really test it out!


Studio HD Blush in Headliner- $3

This blush seems to be a really pretty dolly pink color, I have only swatched it on my hand as of yet. I believe MUFE has a similar product, so I am really interested to see how this one works out.


Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzer Cream in St. Lucia- $3

I was never super excited by the powder version of this duo. But when they came out with a cream version, I was sold. The blush is a very pretty peachy color with almost a hint of terra-cotta in it. The bronzer is a bit orange, but when applied correctly is pretty wearable… if you are not super pale like winter-me. However, it does look really good on more tanned skin, I tried it out on my sister who lives in Houston, and it looks really nice.


Studio Blush in Blushing Rose- $3

I have used this blush several times since opening it, and really love it so far! It is beautiful rose color with a subtle gold shimmer running through it. It gives a gorgeous flush to the skin, and looks really nice on my Caspar-like skin. I think this would also look really nice on darker skin as well, but you might have to use a denser brush (I use a stippling brush)


Mineral Eyeshadow Primer in Sheer- $3

I have really oily eyelids so I don’t really have high hopes for this primer (read about my experience with the famous Urban Decay primer here). However, I figured since it was $3 I could try it out before trying the more expensive primers. If it does work, then I have saved myself a fair amount of money. If it doesn’t, it was $3.


Custom Eyes Eyeshadow Refill in Navy- $1

This looked like a really interesting color, so I figured I would pick it up. I think this would look really good as a smokey eyeliner with a defined upper lash line. I had ordered the color Aubergine too, but they were out of that, apparently. I can’t comment on the quality of the shadow yet as I haven’t done anything more than a quick swatch on my hand.


Essentials Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Bark- $1

This is another product that I have worn some since receiving the order, and so far I really like it! It is a pink/brown nude, a very natural color. On my lips it is a very my-lips-but-better color. It seems to be reasonably pigmented. It is a strange texture, more like a gloss than a lipstick, but a very very thick sticky gloss at that. It smells strongly of mint and vanilla and has that tingling sensation you get with plumping glosses, even though this isn’t advertised as being plumping. These features are fine for me, but may put some people off.


**DISCLAIMER: all individual product pictures found on**

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

Picture from

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

Picture found on

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

Picture found on

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

Image found on

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

Image found on

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

Image found at

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

Image found on

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

Image found on

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

Image found on

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: ELF Studio Lip Stain (Fashionista) $3 £3.75/€4.50

Can also be found at Target









L: Built up R: Sheered out










ELF describes this product as a long-lasting, “full-coverage” lip color. It is formulated with vitamins A and E that apparently keep your lips soft all day. It is double ended, with the stain on one end and the gloss on the other. The idea is that if you want a matte look, you apply the stain alone, but if you want a glossy look, you wait for the stain to dry and then apply the gloss.


Isododecance, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Triacontanyl PVP, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol. 
Gloss: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides (CI 77491 , CI 77492 , CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red No.7 Lake (CI 15850), Red No.27 Lake (CI 45410), Red No.6 Lake (CI 15850), Blue No.1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow No.5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow No.6 Lake (CI 15985).

Let me start with what this stain has going for it. It has a gorgeous color, for starters. It is an amazing bright pink-lemonade pink (I’m sorry, that is the only way I can describe the color), and the pigmentation is good, so you can make the color on your lips look like the color on the tube, but you can also wear this color really sheer and it looks great. By the way, the color on the ELF website is misleading, the color in person looks much more similar to the picture of First Date on the site. The packaging is quite good as well. They’ve managed to make everything pretty compact, which is not always a feature in the packaging of other ELF products. Exhibit A: the Studio Cream Blushes. The packaging is also very professional looking, which I like. Another bonus is that you can see what the actual product looks like, which is very good for choosing colors.

Now lets get into the not-so-great stuff. The first thing you notice about the stain is how it applies. The color does not distribute evenly, so you end up with patches of really thick color and then places with hardly anything. This is annoying as hell. Then, the texture. It has the weirdest consistency EVER. When you put it on at first it feels really slick, and then it dries to what I can only describe as a powder finish. It almost feels as if you put a cream-to-powder blush on your lips. Having put an ELF Studio Cream on my lips before (don’t ask me why, I have no clue), I can testify that the experience is very similar. And it really isn’t a feeling you really want on your lips… The product also tends to settle in any flaky skin you have on your lips, as well as drying them out. Not cute. When you put it on, I also experienced a slight tingling feeling. Not like a plumping gloss feeling, either. Like an I-think-I-am-having-an-allergic-reaction feeling. I didn’t seem to have any sort of reaction to it, but the feeling was unpleasant nonetheless. I don’t have much to say about the gloss, I hardly ever used it because I am not a gloss person. However, when I did try it, I formed the impression that it was terrible. I do not have a lot of experience with lip gloss because I personally do not enjoy them , but this one seemed to be more on the thin side and felt almost gritty after the initial glossiness wore off. So like 2 seconds after application.

And to sum this review up, I shall talk about the staying power. Despite having a weird texture and less than stellar application, did the product actually perform in terms of longetivity? The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is no. Not only did it wear off quite quickly, but it wore off in unevenly, contributing to that lovely patchy effect.

To sum up, despite its absolutely gorgeous color and good packaging, this product failed in pretty much every respect. In short, it sucked. Which really is a bummer because I really want a good stain!

Rating: C-