Beauty on a Budget

Make up is expensive. Let’s not beat around the bush. Make-up isn’t all cheap, and it’s one of those things that I’m not sure should be, but you can keep up a make-up routine on a budget. There are a few ways that I do beauty on a budget, without completely sacrificing quality. Here are a few of my beauty products that don’t break my budget.

ELF Blush and Bronzer

E.L.F. Blush: Has a rosy pink blush, a gold bronze, a dark bronzer, and a light powder for highlighting. For $3 at my local grocery store, it is quite the bargain! I use it to contour or sometimes I just swirl my brush in all of it, to get a bit of color for an everyday look.

ELF Eye Shadow

E.L.F. Eye Palette: I got this eye shadow palette at a Ross about a year ago for… I’m not sure the exact price but it was under $5. I’ve had it for awhile, which is why it’s pretty grimy looking, sorry! It has a lot of colors for any occasion. E.L.F. brand is so amazing because it’s basics for cheap. I use a few of the metal and nude tones quite frequently, for my everyday work make up. I’m a nudes and naturals kind of gal myself, preferring browns and golds to anything else.

NYM Hair Cream

Not Your Mother’s Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream: I used to use Redken’s Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion which comes with a price, a $18 a bottle price at Ulta. When my last bottle ran dry it seemed so silly to spend so much money on a hair product when I am budgeting my money everywhere else. I’ve looked for different products but I could never find anything that was the same type of texture and result. I don’t do gels or mousse or “leave-in” conditioner (it makes my hair too oily), so when I found hair “cream” at about $5 and took a chance, I was very happy. This brand always has yummy, fresh smelling products that are linger the perfect amount.

NYM Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo: This dry shampoo smells so good, way better than any other that I’ve tried. It also doesn’t leave very much white residue when I spray from an arms length or closer. It is a great bargain at about $5, and lasts forever (this is the only bottle I’ve owned since I found it last year). I have pretty oily hair because it’s very soft, straight, and silky…. meaning I tend to touch it a lot. My secret to using it is that I use the dry shampoo at night! Before I put it in a braid to sleep, I spray it down like crazy with this stuff, and the next day it just needs a little brushing and ta-da!

NYM Beach Spray

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray: I have been reading a lot of reviews about beach sprays but have been feeling very skeptical because I have the world’s straightest hair. You can knot, braid, twist, or bun it and it just pops right back out. So needless to say, beach spray does not work on me like it works on everyone else. I do like it however, because when I have a nice high pony or my hair is falling extra flat, it gives the ends great texture. It smells great at the same time and makes me feel like I could be at the beach (if only). This brand is just a great bargain because this small size was about $3, the larger one being about $5.

ULTA Eye Crayon

ULTA Eye Crayon in Black Tie: I love ULTA. Trips there are very dangerous for your wallet because they have both high-end products next to drugstore-priced ones. I have found great results with ULTA brand products. Along with this liner/stick I’ve bought their face wipes, bronzer (which would be here but I lost it), tinted balm, nail polish (haven’t tried it yet), and eye-shadow. These ULTA eye crayons aren’t just for liner and come in a variety colors. I’m sure that you could use the others as eyeshadow and would make the smoky eye easy. But I use this black one as eyeliner. It is pretty heavy but goes on very smooth and creamy. Comes in at $8.00 but is almost always in a BOGO sale.

ULTA Eye Shadow

Ulta Eye Shadow in Lustre: ULTA almost always has some kind of “buy one get one” or “buy two get one” deal going on with their make-up products. These sales are the perfect opportunity to stock up on great eye-shadow colors. This one is my favorite because it is the base color I use pretty much everyday. It’s got a bit of shimmer but otherwise it blends perfectly into a darker bronze color to make a dimensional daytime look. In stores at $7.00, but worth it in the sale!

Mineral Powder

Maybelline Mineral Powder Foundation: This product is an example of one of my clearance sale finds.  I love finding things with the little 75% off sticker, like this one had! Almost all my nail polishes are from a clearance bin, because why pay $9 for nail polish or $15 for foundation when you can get them at a big discount if you look for them! I am not a big fan of heavy foundation, so these mineral powder things work perfectly. They feel light and don’t give me cake face and are so very easy to apply. Always look for clearance stickers in the aisle and clearance end-caps in larger stores!

Trial Size

Travel or Trial Size Products: I love trial size products, especially (as you can see) Redken. Buying trial size products is good for two money-saving reasons; trying out a product and buying an occasional use product. Out of these, the Redken Powder Refresh dry shampoo, NYM’s Beach Spray, and Redken Blown Away gel were bought so I could try the product without committing to a large, expensive bottle. I don’t love the Redken dry shampoo because it smells strongly of hair salon smell, and I’d rather have something much more subtle. The other items, like the Redken Quick Tease and Victoria’s Secret Sexy Little Things perfume, are items that I don’t use everyday and knew that I could save a few bucks by getting a smaller size. I tend to find something, and use it everyday, so small items for special occasions are way more cost efficient for me.


Empty Bottle Review- Olay Cleanser

Recently I was watching some of my favorite beauty YouTubers Sprinkle of Glitter and Zoella, and one of them pointed out that there two kinds of people when it comes to beauty products. There are people who love to open new products, and take great joy in the first swipe, pump, or use of a product. Then there are other people who love using a product to the very last drop, and get great satisfaction from seeing a totally empty bottle.

I am most certainly the first type of person. I love getting new bottles of shampoo or face lotion, breaking the seal and seeing the clean top. Or opening a new blush or powder, and seeing the perfect untouched surface. It’s just so amazing. It’s like exploring untouched land, and being the first person to walk on pristine, perfect, unscathed ground. If I see that I am running low on a product, I make sure I pick up a refill and then I get too excited to wait so I open it right away…. and never empty bottles or use up my make up. Ever.

Until now! I squeezed out my face wash to the very last drop and didn’t open my new one until I was certain I could get no more out. So I figured I’d do a little empty bottle review of my face wash since it’s the best facewash ever.

Side by side

Full, pretty, new bottle on the left. Empty, totally used up bottle on the right.

I have been using Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser + Scrub for quite a long time now. I was attracted to it because of the swirls and bright colors (packaging and appearance really affect my purchases, I’m a big sucker for anything pretty, shiny, sparkly, and attractive). And once I used it, I was hooked. It is the most gentle exfoliation I have ever felt, and you can use it every day without damaging you skin. I have oily skin with minimal acne, and large pores. This really helps in all areas. The benefits of exfoliation are great, and I’ve always felt that exfoliating makes my skin feel fresh and renewed, and it feels this way every morning.

I just love how it looks in the bottle and how you pump it out instead of a tube like a lot of face washes. I will continue to purchase this product over and over again. The last time I needed to buy it, I actually went to three stores before I could find it. My skin care routine is not very complicated, compared to some people who use like 10 products a day just to prep their skin for make up. I wash my face and use moisturizer. And then once or twice a week I use a facial mask. Not too much more needed for my skin! But this swirly, almost sparkling face wash is vital to my everyday routine. I mean just look at how beautiful it is, it cannot come as a shock that it makes my skin beautiful! I will continue to empty more of these bottles, and will get the most out of my products so that I can save money on future products.