Beauty, Beauty on a Budget, Makeup, Skin Care

Beauty on a Budget: The art of finding a good deal

We all know beauty products can cost a fortune and many of us are on a tight budget. Spending the extra cash for the good stuff can be very difficult, especially if you like to try new products. Large chain stores have a wide array of products, however they only carry certain brands and if you are looking for a specific one you might be out of luck. There are many different ways to buy beauty products ranging from a specialized store, online,and to independent consultants.

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Join the club!

Many stores such as Sally Beauty Supply and Ulta offer rewards program benefits. Some programs give you points based on dollar amounts, others have a small membership fees. There are other types but these are the most common. In return for shopping you can get discounts, free samples, gifts and more. Loyalty programs are a great way to get extra savings if you already plan on spending the money. Once you sign up you can watch your email for good deals.

Free Samples

Many stores, consultants, and salons offer free samples when you make a purchase. This gives you an opportunity to try before you buy. There is usually only one or two uses in them but the information you get can be invaluable. They can turn you onto a great product or keep you from buying a bad one.

Subscription sites

Birchbox and other sites have become increasingly popular as a way to try products at a low cost. If you consider yourself a maven on a budget you may consider looking into this as an option. There is usually a subscription fee involved and in return you receive a monthly package with different sized beauty products. Some are samples and some are full sized products, it depends on the site.

Multitasking products

One way to stretch a budget is finding out how to use products you have for new purposes. There are plenty of resources online to go to when looking for a way to revamp your cosmetic bag. You may find tips and tricks you would have never thought off. It is important to do research in the buying stage if this is important to you.

These are just a few ways to save your hard earned cash when it comes to beauty and they are the most readily available. Online shopping is also a good option but I don’t recommend buying anything online unless you have previously tried it. Almost nothing is worse than spending money on a product that has great reviews and it doesn’t work for you.

This is my favorite way to save, what’s your’s? Let us know below or ask any questions you may have.


Beauty, Beauty on a Budget, Makeup

Beauty on a Budget: Unexpected uses of lip gloss

When you are on a budget finding creative ways to use your existing products becomes important. As spring comes around new trends and looks are coming out. Bright, natural and dewy are in, pushing the darker winter colors out. You may see this and think about what it will cost to stay on trend. Chances are you have an arsenal in your purse you are unaware of, your lip gloss collection.

Here are some easy tips on how to fully utilize your lip gloss:

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Use lip gloss on your eyes for a shiny, dewy look. You can use a translucent pastel, pink or sorbet color to stay natural and bright. To prevent the gloss from being sticky you can prep your eye lid with a waxy balm. To keep the lip gloss from creasing use sparingly and dab on with your ring finger.

Clear lip gloss can double as a eye primer. Dab a little on before applying eye shadow to help the colors pop and stay put. You can also use lip gloss as an eyeliner with your favorite eye shadows. Use a very thin eyeliner brush to apply to your lash line. Using the same brush, go over the gloss with the color of your choice. This gives you a unique color with a gel-like finish.


Your lip gloss can also double as a cheek color. You want to start with a gloss that is darker and has a highly pigmented, heavy-duty formula. This will be more like a liquid lip color. Using the back of your hand blend it with a little bit of balm-like moisturizer to create a sheer cheek color. To apply it, dab the color on your cheek, never rub it in. This is true with all cream colors.

You can also use clear gloss as as a highlighter. Just dab a little bit on your cheekbones. This technique is great for pictures as the effect may not last very long.


If you hair is being unruly and sticking up every which way, use a clear gloss on the ends to help make it more manageable. It helps with flyaways as well as making hair a little easier to handle. One word of caution: try to keep the lip gloss away from your roots. This tip works particularly well for color treated hair, which tends to be drier.

These are some great tips on how to maximize your already existing collection or help out when you find yourself in a bind. Lip gloss truly is one of the most essential pieces a girl can have in her makeup bag. It is a great multitasker and can pull a look together the old fashioned way, on your lips.

If you have a favorite lip gloss please share or leave a comment with questions or suggestions.

Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

BB or CC? What are you talking about?

Are you using CC or BB? You might be asking what that even means. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. These acronyms are popping up everywhere but the name leaves something to be desired. If you haven’t been paying close attention these hot new products could have slipped right by you. Here is what you need to know about these beauty trends.

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BB creams

BB is short for beauty balm, blemish balm, beauty benefit, blemish base, etc. Why are they so hot? If you use more than a few products in the morning these could by your beauty savior. Imagine all those products blended into one. You would have the ultimate multitasker.

Depending on which one you choose BB creams can moisturize, replace your serum, act like a toner, smooth like a primer, cover like a concealer, even out skin tone like a sheer foundation, refine fine lines and wrinkles, add luminosity and protect against UV rays. Given all this, they will not replace all products in your cupboard. If you have a targeted skin issue, you may not want to replace that particular product as BB creams aren’t specifically targeted to one area. They do have the potential to help those products you can’t give up work better.

CC creams

CC is short for color or complexion correction cream. Like BB creams, they are multitasking products that moisturize, provide SPF and boast anti-aging properties. CC creams provide a fuller, foundation-like coverage with a light feeling. CC creams are better at covering the blemishes or spotty complexion issues and are build-able for the right amount of coverage. They also provide more targeted treatments to issues like crows feet or uneven skin tone by containing natural ingredients and antioxidants

Which one should you choose?

It really depends on what your needs are when looking at BB and CC creams. They are very similar, however, can provide very different benefits. They also vary by brand. You may find that one brand of CC cream acts more like a BB cream of another brand. If you are looking for a good, general light duty multitasker you may want a BB cream. If you need a heavier duty multitasker you may want to try a CC cream.

You will need to prioritize your needs when looking at descriptions and ingredients. Just because the list is long of what these products can do, none of them provide all those beautiful benefits. That being said, they could possibly help lower costs in the long run by eliminating several products you already buy. I cannot stress the importance of doing research before you choose one to purchase because they can be pricey.

If you have a favorite BB or CC cream please share or leave a comment with questions or suggestions.

Beauty, Skin Care

March Goodie box reveal

I realize it is a little late for March reviews but I wanted to officially introduce beauty product subscription sites. I recently signed up for two sites after seeing a fast moving beauty trend, subscription sampling. It is a great way for companies to get their products out to a lot of people and a great way for us to sample new products before spending big bucks on them to see if they work or not. The ones I decided on are Birchbox and Julep.

Both sites take you through a beauty profile in order to get the information they need to tailor your monthly box to your beauty style. Your box is then put together based on these answers. If you end up not liking the products you can change your profile to fit better with your needs and style.  There is a small cost,  Birchbox is $10 and Julep is $20. Since people are more likely to purchase a product if endorsed by peers, Birchbox and Julep encourage subscribers to post reviews about the products.

Here is a look at what I received from both of the sites in March 2014.

March 2014 Birchbox:

birchbox mar 1

1. Supergoop! – Anti aging serum that creates a weightless UV shield wearable year-round.

2. Air Repair – Natural salve repairs dry, cracked skin anywhere on the body.

3. Skinfix – All-natural balm that quickly repairs and softens severely dry skin – eczema included.

4. theBalm – How ‘Bout Them Apples? cheek and lip cream. A dual purpose cream stain with a hint of shimmer.

5. Mighty Leaf – tea pouches with handpicked blends of organic tea leaves, dried fruit and spices in a biodegradable pouch.

March’s theme was dry skin, as you can see. With winter coming to a close there is no shortage of dry skin to treat. I have  been using the Skinfix and am already seeing a difference in dry patches on my elbows and heels.

March 2014 Julep Maven box:

Jules box march


1. Zora – Shimmery, light pink nail polish

2. Myrtle – Bright red nail polish

3. Mighty Nail and Cuticle serum – contains peptides to transform dry and damaged cuticles overnight

The Julep Maven box contains two full-size, early preview nail colors and one beauty product. The nail polish contains Hexanal as well as oxygen technology to strengthen and condition nails. I have used both colors and love them. They are vibrant, go on smooth and are wearing very nicely. I am in the first stages of the cuticle serum so I have no results at this time.

So far I am very happy with both subscriptions. I have already been introduced to some great products I would not have known about otherwise. If you subscribe to something like this and use the products, I highly encourage you to write reviews. It lets the company know what you think and your unique perspective may help out a fellow beauty lover before purchase. Stay tuned for how the rest of the products perform based on their descriptions.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Hair Cair

Beauty on a Budget: Suave vs. professional salon brands

I have never been much of a product reviewer but I came across a great find while searching for hair products that works while going easy on my pocket book. We are all on a budget when it comes to beauty products. It is so easy to spend big bucks on all sorts of products that promise results. Sometimes, it’s not the most expensive products that end up working the best.

I have been searching for a while now for a good, fairly inexpensive shampoo and conditioner. I have tried all manner of products from Biolage to Organix and a few in between. I found some reviews online and went to buy one of the recommended products. When I got to the store they didn’t have what I was looking for and as you know, there are many to choose from. Then, I remembered seeing one particular article about how Suave Keratin Infusion was good for dry, coarse hair. It had been a while since I even looked at Suave and for $2.88 a bottle I couldn’t refuse.

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After several washes my hair was silkier and shinier than it had been in a long time. I also recently began coloring my hair and needed the extra moisture and protection. It has been over a week and so far so good. The Keratin Infusion is part of Suave’s professional line and has been awarded Allure’s Best of Beauty Award in 2013. I would not have thought about trying it if I hadn’t seen it vouched for online. I also purchased the dry shampoo but have yet to use it.

Many would turn away from a cheaper product because of the price. The thought is “If it’s that cheap, it must not be good.” As beauty on a budget became a concern with the recent economic downturn, many are turning to less expensive alternatives. In return, companies have been answering with better products for less to meet the demand. It shouldn’t be about the label that’s on the brand, it’s about how well it works.

Beauty on a budget is still a big concern of mine and I’m sure yours as well. I will continue to search out these “diamonds in the rough” and relay them back to you. Doing research before purchasing a product is a must to make sure you aren’t going in blindly. If you can get a sample that’s even better.

Tip: Your hair can change depending on the season so if your old trusty isn’t working as well as it used to don’t toss it. Simply adjust to the formula your hair needs at the time. You can also mix and match formulas if you have two needs in mind, like volumizing and moisturizing.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.