Product Review: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Blue It

Listen up, beautynistas…if you’re in a nail color rut, I have a color for you! I’ve had this nail polish for a while but it had gotten lost in the rotation for a while. I recently rediscovered it and was delighted. Blue is one of my favorite colors, so I’m a sucker for a great shade of blue, and this one is gorgeous.

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Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color retails for about $2.89 at Target, WalMart, or your local drugstore. There is no argument that this is an amazing price for a great shade of polish that will wear well and last for a while.

Blue It is a beautiful, opaque true blue. This shade is not distorted by any greens, purples, or other undertones. It is blue for the lover of blue! It’s also a rich, bold shade–nothing pastel or shimmery here. ;-)

Blue It is also an easy paint job–it is completely opaque in one coat, but what you see here is two coats; I used a second just to get it nice and even. With two coats, it does stay a little tacky for some time–so if you get antsy, this one might be a bit of a challenge for you. I ran mine under cold water to speed up the drying process a little bit, and with having done that, it ended up taking about twenty to twenty five minutes to completely dry. Long story short, paint your nails, put on an episode of Big Bang Theory, and just don’t move til it’s over. ;-)

Finally, I’m very happy with the “long wearing” claim of this polish. I’ve had a few that really didn’t live up to their “long wear” name at all, but this isn’t one of them. Once dry, it really is “hard as nails” and chip resistant. It’s been a few days, and I still haven’t seen a chip or a sign of wear. This polish is holding on really well. I am hoping it will keep lasting throughout the rest of the week, but I will keep you posted!

Overall, for just $2.89, this is a really pretty shade of true blue, a pretty easy paint job, and actually lasts. Blue thumbs up! Oh, wait…was that cheesy? ;-) Just kidding, of course it was. Check below for more pictures and a link to buying info!

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Buy at target.com for $2.89!

Beauty Gifts on a Budget

It’s official: we’ve all had our turkey and our cranberry sauce, trees are going up in living rooms, wreathes on doors, and you can’t turn on the TV without seeing commercials advertising the hottest gifts of the season. Yes, the holidays are upon us, and that means holiday shopping. Whatever your winter holiday may be, chances are you need to pick up at least a few gifts for some people on your list. If you love beauty, chances are you have friends who love beauty, too, and you’d love to get them some beauty-related gifts. But not all gifts are created equal, and even if you are on a budget (which, let’s face it, many of us are during the holidays), you can still nab some great presents for all the other beauty junkies on your list.

It may seem easy to just stroll down the Christmas Shoppe or Gift aisle at your local department store and pick up an incredibly inexpensive little train case stocked with a myriad of rainbow colored eye shadows and palettes of gloss. You know the ones I’m talking about: they only cost a few bucks and seem like a great bargain, right? But they’re not always the best quality products, and they are impersonal and generic as far as gift-giving goes. They don’t really show that you’re in tune to your friends’ personalities or interests, and of course, we know that you are. ;-) Don’t settle for some pre-fabbed solution to gift giving. Scroll down for some better ideas. :)

For Your On the Go Gal Pal

If you have a friend who is constantly on the go, busy with lots of different projects, super involved, or a frequent traveler, palettes are a great way to go.  e.l.f. cosmetics offers a great option with their Studio On the Go Palettes. Each one comes with a stunning ten eyeshadows, two lip glosses, and one blush, all in a different color scheme ranging from beachy neutrals to dramatic blacks and grays. Getting them is literally as easy as 1, 2, 3. First you choose your case…either a one palette case or a three palette case. Then you choose your palettes. A single compact with one color palette is just an amazing $6, and you get the assurance of a good quality e.l.f. product. If you want to go for more than just one, the three piece compact with three color palettes gives your on the go friend tons of options and only costs you $14. A wise investment and a present your friend will be very excited about when she tears off that snowman-print paper.

[photo credit & buying info]

For Your Friend with a Sweet Tooth

We all have at least one friend with a weakness for cookies, cupcakes, and candy. And who can blame them? If you know someone who has a perpetual sugar craving, satisfy their sweet tooth without the calories and with the flavors of the beloved Girl Scout cookies with the Lip Smackers Girl Scout Cookie Collection. Not only is this a throwback due to the classic, ever present, and always yummy Lip Smackers, but it puts a new twist on an old fave by combining two things almost everyone loves: lip gloss and cookies. Can you think of anything better?

[photo credit and buying info]
For Your Favorite Manicure-nista

The holidays give you a chance to put together something really personalized to your friend’s tastes, and if you have a friend who loves doing her nails, that’s the perfect opportunity to flex your creativity and pick up a little collection of awesome goodies for her. Start by purchasing a small, cute make up bag in a color or pattern your friend would like. They don’t cost much and you can find a lot of different options at your local drugstores, Target, or Walmart. Next, have fun filling the bag with things like nail clippers, nail files, cuticle cream, hand lotion, orange sticks, and a few shades of polish you think your friend would like. Be creative–look for pretty or unique nail files, scented lotions, and colors suited to your friend’s personality. This is a unique gift and your friend will know you definitely put thought into it! Check out the images and links below for some ideas:

Bags:

Animal Print Bag: $5.99

Tutti Frutti Bag: $5.99

Tools:

Earth Therapeutics Four Sided Filing Block: $3.00

CoverGirl Three Way Buffer with Case: $3.99

Jeweled Nail File Set: $4.00

Creams:

Sally Hansen Apricot Cuticle Cream (amazing!): $4.82

Vaseline Intensive Rescue Hand Cream (another amazing product): $4.49

Nail Color:

Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel (shown here in Bonsai): $4.99

Sinful Colors Nail Color: $1.99

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (shown here in Pedal to the Medal): $5.99

All in all, once you are done having fun perusing all the affordable options and putting them together in whatever pretty makeup bag you’ve chosen, you’ll be just as excited for your friend to unwrap this gift as they will be!

For the Glamor Girl

Don’t get me wrong, not all pre-assembled make up kits are bad. Definitely not. If the make up is good quality make up from a reliable brand name, some pre-assembled kits can be the perfect sampling of every product you need to make a certain make up look. And if you have a friend who’s a definitely glamor girl and loves getting done up for a night out, Hard Candy has a kit which would make a perfect gift for her. The Hard Candy Bad Girl Next Door Make Up Kit comes equipped with eye primer, two smoky shades of shadow, black liner, Ginormous Lash volumizer, and lash tinsel…everything your favorite glam girl needs to Ke$ha it up for her next night out. And the best part? You can nab one for just $8.00 at your local Wal-Mart.

Hard Candy Bad Girl Next Door Make Up Kit: $8.00

Hopefully you’ve gotten a few ideas for some more personalized but still budget friendly beauty gifts for this holiday season. There are tons of options, though, so keep your eyes peeled for a part two. ;-)

Amaranth Beauty is on Twitter!

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Hey, everyone! I am so grateful for each and every one of my new followers and I truly appreciate each of you! I wanted to let you know that Amaranth Beauty is now on Twitter…and as of right now has 0 followers! I am counting on you all to change that :-)

Head on over to https://twitter.com/AmaranthBeauty and follow Amaranth Beauty for updates, notifications of the latest posts, images, and more! Just another way to reach out to people and get to interact with you all…I am really looking forward to this new dynamic and hope you all are on board to support it, too.

Tweet y’all soon, beautynistas!

The Importance of Being Earn–Er, I mean, Organized

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (likely many more times): beauty is fun. But you know what’s not fun? Having a heaping bin or drawer of products that you have to literally dig and sift through to find a particular item; slowing down your getting ready process because you can’t find your needed products; inconveniencing your significant other or roommates by having beauty products scattered all across the bathroom sink; not being able to achieve the look you want because you know what, you just have no idea where you put that red lip liner. None of these things are fun. Which is why, as a beautynista or even just as a woman who likes to get up and be able to find her products to get done up for the day, it is so important to keep our beauty products organized.

This may be the less fun side of beauty to talk about, but once it’s done it makes your life and your routine so much easier and you feel so accomplished. You can focus on getting your make up done, easily see what you do and don’t have, what does and does not need replenished and when, and what gaps you may have in your colorful collection. Knowing what you do and don’t have also helps you save money by keeping you from buying things which you really don’t need because you may already have something similar at home.

Whether you’re fairly organized and would like to get things in ship shape, or you’re starting with that dreaded overflowing bin of products and–admit it–you don’t even know what’s at the bottom of it, I have some tips and steps that have helped me and I think will definitely help you.

1. Come up with a system.

First things first: we’ve got to figure out how you’re going to do this. Are you going to use some sort of organizer, bags, baskets, jars, shelves, drawers? Figure it out now because you’ll need to either find the space for it or buy the appropriate tools (train cases, makeup bags, organizer valets, drawer dividers, etc.) to keep you organized. Next, think about how your mind works when you are getting ready or looking for something and what would be the best way to organize your makeup based on this. By color? By type of product? By frequency of use? Whatever you think is going to work for you, choose a system and keep it in mind throughout your process. I choose to organize mine by type of product: face products in one section, eye products in another, lip products in the third, and finally, a section for beauty tools. I find this the most practical way to do it because that’s how my mind functions: working on one feature at a time. Just choose the system that works best for you!

2. Buy What You Need

Next up is the crucial step we talked about in step one: buying or finding what you need to make this happen. Whether you use the shoe boxes sitting in your closet as drawer separators or you head out to the store to pick up a classic train case or valet, now is the time to gather these items so that your newly sorted makeup has somewhere to go right away. There are a lot of options on the market as far as keeping your makeup organized. Personally, I think train cases and fold out valets are really great options. Although valets are generally marketed for keeping toiletries organized while you travel, they’re actually an amazing option for keeping your makeup organized at home. I use one for the makeup I use more commonly and often, whereas I keep the rest in a train case. There’s tons of good options on the market, so below I have a few ideas for budget friendly cosmetic organizers to get you started in the right direction!

Hard Cases

Clockwise from Top:

Soho Tech Savvy Case – $29.99

Clear Organizer Tray – $10.99

Pink Caboodles Classic Case – $13.99

e.l.f. Large Make Up Separator – $15.00

Professional Train Case- $44.99 ..a bit more of an investment, but from someone who owns this product, it’s definitely worth it. Think about the use you will get out of it!

Soft Cases:

Sonia Kashuk Valet Cosmetic Case – $29.99

Contents Garden Variety Cosmetic Valet – $19.99

Contents Blue and Green Weekender Case – $24.99

Caboodles Letter Printed Cloth Organizer – $24.19

3. Sort it Out, Throw it Out

Okay it’s time to go through what you have. Let’s just get it over with, like ripping off a Band-Aid. Dump out the contents of that unsorted bin, empty the contents of the bathroom drawers, tip over your make up bag. It’s time to sort.

A few things to keep in mind: Take stock of what you have while you are doing this. Now is the time to take a look, while it’s all out in the open. You will realize just where that red lip liner did go and maybe that you have four gray eye shadows which are pretty much the same shade and you need to stop purchasing those. Not that that’s ever happened to me.

Next: Sort things now based on the system you devised earlier. The products don’t have to go right in the organizer right now, but definitely start separating them on the counter, the floor, the table, whatever surface you are using here, either by color, product type, etc.

Finally: Now is the time to clean house. Throw out anything that is expired, gunky, miscolored, or which you have not or will not use. Some guidelines: Mascara only lasts about 4 months, so use it or lose it. Lipstick, lip liner, and powder products usually have about two years in them; eye shadows and eyeliners, three years. Lip glosses definitely depend on the formula. Keep an eye on it and use good judgment! Nail polish technically has about one good year in it, but some can be stretched longer. If it seems funky, trash it! And be realistic about what you need. The rainbow tropical colors eyeshadow palette seemed like a great idea at the time and some people have all kinds of use for that, but if you’ve literally never used it, chances are you won’t. And that pink chunky loose glitter from Claire’s? Sure it’s still “good”, but you bought that in high school…get serious.

4. Drumroll, please…time to organize!

Go ahead, get your things organized. Choose a compartment for each and organize accordingly. Try to keep things in one layer so you can see everything you have. Arrange in your pockets, drawers, or compartments in a way that everything is easily accessible and viewable. Now is the time to put to good use whatever organizers you purchased earlier! Here is how my recently organized pile of cosmetics turned out:

As you can see, the valet system works out really well because each type of product has its own pocket, and I can hang it on the back of my door and easily access all my products. I definitely recommend taking a look at these when you are out shopping for your organizational tools.

And finally…

5. Revel in your newly organized cosmetics…but keep it maintained.

Go ahead. Take the time to feel accomplished. You just sorted through your droves of cosmetics and assembled them into an organizationally sleek, easy to use set up. You deserve to feel great about this. But one of the most important things to keep in mind is to now maintain, or all your hard work will be for nothing. Wherever you get something from, put it back there. Don’t get lazy and start tossing things wherever or scattering them across the sink again! It will only work if you keep it working. If you stay organized, you can focus on the important things…using the makeup in those pockets and compartments, buying new things, and having fun!

Happy organizing, beautynistas!

Product Review: Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Lip Gloss

The other day I picked up the new issue of Fitness magazine and on the back cover was a gorgeous full sized ad for Maybelline’s new Color Sensational High Shine Lip Gloss. The stylized, colorful ad promises to “lavish lips with a molten hot glaze”, describing the new gloss as “super-saturated color meets ultra-clean shine”. Well, damn if this ad didn’t sucker me right in because the next day I was in Wal-Mart and I thought, I need to swing by the make up aisle and check these babies out!

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Maybelline’s Color Sensational High Shine gloss is billed as having more vibrant color, cleaner shine, and a creamier feel. It is the company’s first totally wax-free gloss and is made instead with honey nectar, likely one of the main contributing factors to the gloss’s smooth, velvety texture.

I grabbed up a tube in the shade Almond Crush for $5.50. Almond Crush is an extremely shiny peachy pink shade with a touch of sparkle. Pretty much my perfect gloss formula.

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First things first: it does go on beautifully. Equipped with the standard sponge tip applicator of most glosses it swipes on like buttercream from a tube. It has no stickiness whatsoever, which is a major point for winning me over. Nothing spoils an otherwise great lip gloss like that horrible sticky feeling–as if you’d just applied Elmer’s to your lips. This gloss has none of that–the texture really is honey like and very likable.

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As for the Almond Crush shade, it is a great every day shade of pink. It is a somewhat neutral color which can be worn with many different makeup looks, and the light shimmery aspect of it somewhat brightens up your face. Not too extreme in any direction, it’s a great blend for an essential gloss: a perfect melding of nude meets rosy pink stirred with Tinkerbell’s wand for a touch of sparkle. It definitely lives up to its high shine billing; it’s a very mirror like shine and as you can see in some of the pictures it really reflects the light.

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The wear on this is not bad, either. Although not a long wearing gloss by design, I had it on for about three and a half hours at work before it needed reapplied. Not too shabby for a little more than five bucks, in my opinion.

Buy it for $5.50 here!

One thing they don’t tell you about in the ad is the smell. It doesn’t smell bad, mind you, but there is a bit of fragrance to it–it just has a bit of that “makeuppy” smell. Although I really like having glosses I can’t smell at all, you can smell this one when you are applying it, but as you have it on the fragrance wears off. It’s definitely nothing ti refuse buying it over, just something to be aware of.

Overall, this is a velvety smooth, non sticky, shimmery, shiny gloss. Is it a molten hot glaze for your lips? No. But let’s be honest, that just sounds downright uncomfortable. Is it an awesome every day or frequent wear essential? Definitely. And at $5.50, it’s an incredibly wallet friendly high quality lip product which I would certainly recommend.

P.S.: It’s great for kissing puppies

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But what isn’t? ;-)

Happy glossing, beautynistas!

Product Review: Sally Girl Baked Eyeshadow in Gold

Sally Girl Mini Baked Eyeshadow in Gold

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[photo credit & buying info]

I mentioned in my budget beauty shopping tips post that Sally Beauty can be an absolutely amazing resource for really inexpensive finds, and touched on one of my new favorites, the Sally Girl minis.

The Sally Girl line is an adorable budget beauty find you can pick up under your local red canopy. The line features mini lipsticks, eyeshadows, glosses, nail polishes, blushes and bronzers. As I mentioned in the budget beauty shopping post, most are under $1.00. Each item usually retails for 99 cents, but if there is a sale you could pick up an eyeshadow or gloss for even less than that. How can you ask for a better deal?

Even though the Sally Girl items are small, they are all of a really good quality. I have yet to come across one which I didn’t like or wasn’t a really great quality even though it was small and cheap.

Now, I’m a sucker for any baked cosmetic. Baked eyeshadows and blushes are always incredibly tempting, and when I come up against the temptation of baked shadows coupled with the amazing bargain of 99 cent cosmetics, I’m all in. That’s how I ended up testing out the Sally Girl Mini Baked Eyeshadow. I picked up the gold color because the pigmentation in the baked form was really luminescent and pretty.

In case you aren’t familiar with them, baked eyeshadow is precisely what it sounds like: eyeshadow that is processed and created by being baked when it is made. The color is baked in, usually by the sun, creating a smooth, solid circle of pigment. Baked eyeshadow is generally very dynamic because it can be applied either dry for sheer coverage or wet for bold color, and it’s incredibly easy to work with, so I recommend it even for the least experienced beautynista.

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On to the product: this baked eyeshadow is a great texture; it goes on very smoothly and unlike some powders, it doesn’t get all over as you are applying it. Definite plus.

The color is beautiful. It’s an iridescent, starry gold that boasts just the right amount of shimmer. The color, true to baked eyeshadow style, is very pigmented and really catches the light. I have dark brown eyes, and it compliments them very well. Although it would look good on lots of people, I highly recommend it for brown, hazel, or green eyes in this shade.

I also love that this baked shadow is very dynamic.Even though there is not a huge difference between the dry and wet shades, it is still noticeable and best of all, it’s very buildable–one of my favorite aspects. In the picture below, the top swatch is dry shadow, the middle swatch is several layers of dry shadow, and the bottom layer is the same shadow applied wet.

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As you can see the shadow applied dry is very light but still very shimmery. This is great for a subtle metallic shade.

However, the second shade demonstrates how this baked shadow is really buildable and there is a great middle ground in between applying dry and applying wet. You can control how pigmented and shimmery the shadow is just by putting on more layers. Usually when I wear it for every day I will apply a few layers so that the color and shimmer are visible, but it doesn’t pack as much of a punch as the wet application.

The wet application is the most pigmented and you can really see the shimmer. Hopefully you can tell by the picture that it’s a very pretty metallic.

For an amazing 99 cents, there’s a lot you can do with this shimmery gold. Applied dry with one layer it would look great with some chocolate brown liner and subtle mascara on eyes and a dusting of bronzer on your face for a shimmery, sunny every day look. Applied wet or layered it contrasts beautifully with winged black gel eyeliner and several layers of black mascara; add a dusting of rose gold shimmer to really kick it up a notch for nighttime or a fun outing.

Sally Girl Mini baked eye shadows are an outstanding example of how inexpensive does not always equal poor quality. This shadow is a great quality, can do a lot and function for several looks, and comes in an abundance of colors ranging from neutrals to brights, and all for less than a dollar.

Next time you’re near Sally’s, stop in and check out this exclusive brand and pick up a couple of these little puppies. :) At this price, you may even be able to afford to sample a few different shades. I promise you will not be sorry.

Product Review: OPI’s Skyfall Collection’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”

Alright, so quite a lot of these have been done already. Reviews of this collection are all over the Internet and most of them are just raving about them and I must tell you now, this one will be no different.

First things first, I am a huge James Bond fan, so the second I got wind of OPI releasing one of their beautiful specialty collections based entirely around the James Bond movies, I was absolutely elated. I could not wait to get my hands on one, two, or heck, all of them. But since buying the entire collection is a tad illogical and the exact opposite of budget conscious, it was definitely time to make some choices…

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  [photo credit]

I bought two of the polishes, Tomorrow Never Dies and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but today I’m going to be talking about On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. For the record, although OPI polishes usually retail for $8.50 a piece, myself and my best friend bought ours at our local JCPenney salon where they having a special buy 2 get each for $6 sale, bringing our grand total with tax to only $12.72 for two polishes each. Not too shabby for a budget conscious beautynista, if you ask me.

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OPI describes On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as a “misty-green pewter” which “commands attention”. Not at all a bad summary of what this color turns out to be.

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It’s a very dark greenish-gray which is absolutely packed with glitter. It has gold, silver, blue, green, and in some lights you can even see a touch of pink glitter. If there is one thing I love more than neons, it’s glitter. If you love glitter too, this is the shade for you.

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Photos don’t do this polish justice. They really don’t. You must see it in person and in many different lights to really appreciate all the different shades and aspects of glitter packed into this incredibly unique green-gray shade. Hopefully you can see from these couple of pictures the dynamic quality of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The texture is incredible as well which I have come to expect from most OPI polishes. I generally have no qualms at all with the quality of this brand. It does begin a little sheer so you do have to layer it on if you want an opaque version of the color. You could do it with three coats, but I used a fourth coat in these pictures to even things out a little. The sheer quality it begins with actually also opens doors to layer this over other colors later on and create unique combinations, making this a reasonable investment for a creative beautynista…or a James Bond addict. ;-)

I’ll review Tomorrow Never Dies at a later date, but in the meantime, if you like dark colors and/or glitter and if you like unique, dynamic shades, I definitely recommend On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with absolutely no hesitation. You will not be disappointed!

And in the meantime, GO SEE SKYFALL!!! It is so incredible and if Daniel Craig wasn’t enough eye candy for you, the new Q is adorable.

Happy painting and Skyfalling, beautynistas!

Wisdom from Ke$ha

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a title or headline you would typically expect to see. Catchy party music and perfect getting ready jams aside, Ke$ha is not exactly the world’s greatest philosopher or anything. BUT, she is beautiful and I had to give the girl major credit when I ran across this little quote:

“I just like playing with makeup and clothes–so I really don’t feel like there are rules; and if there are rules, then I think it’s up to you to break them.” -Ke$ha

Well said, I think. Maybe we are not all going to go out in blue lipstick and with glitter lightning bolts painted over our eyes tomorrow, but I hope this sentiment reminds everyone that beauty is supposed to be FUN. Not stressful and about draining your wallet. It’s an amazing art and really fun form of self expression, and let’s not lose sight of that. ;-)

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[photo credit]

Beauty Buys in the Baby Aisle

Yes, the baby aisle. Even if you’re not a parent, the baby aisle can be an incredibly useful place–it’s not all diapers and formula down there! Some amazing purchases can be made in the baby aisle that will save you money you would ordinarily be unloading in the beauty department. Today I’m going to highlight three of absolute must-haves tucked in between the A&D and the Huggies. Read on, beauty-nistas.

1. Baby Wipes

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       [photo credit]

Baby wipes are the ideal make up remover in pretty much every way. I’ve been buying store brand baby wipes to remove my makeup for years and I swear by them. They’re quick and effective. Even my waterproof eyeliner swipes right off. They’re incredibly gentle, so not only will they not make you break out, they also won’t dry out your skin with harsh chemicals. And of course, they’re strong–just one wipes off all your make up with no problem and leaves your face clean and refreshed. Finally, they’re inexpensive. Even brand name baby wipes cost less than makeup remover wipes which do the same thing. Bonus: they’re also great for cleaning up little messes which may happen while doing your make up–hubby has a bit of an issue with it when I leave little bronzer explosions in the sink. ;-). Let’s just wipe those away, shall we?

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Huggies Simply Clean Fragrance Free Baby Wipes $1.99 vs. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes $8.99 [photo credit]

Savings: $7.00

2. Baby Shampoo

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[photo credit]

Do yourself a favor and don’t spend between ten and thirty dollars on fancy makeup brush shampoo and soaps. Instead, spend a few bucks on a bottle of baby shampoo. The classic gentle formula is perfect for washing brushes–it gets them squeaky clean without using any harsh chemicals or anything which your skin might react to once brushes come in contact with it. Wash brushes with a mixture of one part baby shampoo and one part warm water. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, reshape bristles, and lay on a towel to dry. Voila.

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Johnson’s Baby Shampoo-$3.61 vs. Mineral Fusion Brush Cleaner-$12.00 [photo credit]

Savings: $8.39

3. Baby Powder

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[photo credit]

Baby powder is the new dry shampoo–or rather, the old dry shampoo…? I learned this trick from my mom as a teenager. If you don’t have time to shower and your roots aren’t looking so hot or you’re rocking second day hair, brush baby powder into you roots with a fluffy make up brush and through your strands with your hairbrush to liven locks right up. Or, you can take my approach and scrub it through roots with fingers, then flip your head over and scrunch some all through your hair. Either way, the light powder formula soaks up extra grease and oils, making hair look good as new. No complaints here!

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Walgreens Brand Baby Powder – $1.50 vs. Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo-$14.50 [photo credit]

Savings: $13.00

These are all major go-tos for me and I hope you all have gotten some useful and money saving tips today…don’t forget to always think outside the box and keep an open mind..even if it means beauty shopping alongside towering shelves of diapers. :-)

Budget Beauty Shopping Tips

1. More expensive does not always equal better.

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Budget beauty-nistas know know it’s not about the number on the price tag. Just because something costs more doesn’t mean it is automatically better. This is another one of those common misconceptions society has impressed upon us…that lots of money=better. You can get perfectly good products while still saving money! There is nothing wrong with inexpensive beauty products, drugstore brand names or even generics, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

2. Be choosy

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I’m tempted to heap every single thing on the shelf into my shopping basket sometimes, too, but it’s just not realistic. Even though you can get great products for cheap, keep in mind that not all products are created equal. Go ahead and read the ingredients, hop on Google on your phone and check out some product reviews, or compare similar products and find what will work best for you. It’s your money, so spend it wisely!

3. Shop like you’re on a tight budget, even if you’re not.

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Sometimes when we do have extra spending money and can afford to buy lots of new products, we fall into the trap of spending indiscriminately. I’ve done it–I know all about it. But it’s not always the best way to go for either your budget or your beauty product collection. I find that when I have a very small amount of money to work with, I’m much more budget-conscious and choosy about which products I buy (as seen in rule number two). I read ingredients, compare carefully, and don’t necessarily grab the first thing I see. I take a look and make sure it really is a good value. How much of this product am I getting for my money? How much use will I be able to get out of this? Is there another brand that does the same things or offers the same benefits for less money? It may sound silly, but I find that if I pretend I’m tight on money and don’t have the luxury to spend, I will be much more careful and make sure I am getting good quality products for a good price. Consider only heading to the store to shop for makeup with a certain amount of cash, and not allowing yourself to go get more from the ATM or swipe your card. That way you limit yourself to just what money you have and more carefully consider your purchases. It sounds silly, but it works!

4. Know what you already have.

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This is very important. Know what you already do have and don’t have in your beauty stash before you head out shopping. Part of this is keeping your collection well organized and visible, which is a topic in and of itself which I will address! But there’s nothing like spending money on an eyeshadow palette and getting it home only to realize that you already have eyeshadow singles in shades remarkably similar to three of the shades in the palette. It’s incredibly disappointing and a waste of money which you could have spent on something you didn’t already have or which would have diversified your beauty stash much more. The way to avoid this is to know what you have so you can make smart shopping decisions, get the most bang for your buck, and also keep your go to essentials replenished as needed.

5. Sometimes you just have to try it.

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It seems a little counter intuitive to tip four, but sometimes it is worth it to take a chance on something. If you have a few extra bucks, give it a shot! You never know what you’ll find that may be your new favorite product or maybe even works better than something else you have tried before. One of my absolute favorite products is a little jar of rose silver all over shimmer powder by Payless Shoe Source’s cosmetics line, Unforgettable Moments. I picked it up on sale for one dollar while out one day, figuring, hey for one dollar it’s worth it. If I love it, I got an awesome product for cheap. If I don’t love it, at least I only spent a dollar on it! It turned out great! It’s the perfect shade, not too shimmery, and just a touch of color and shine to brighten up my face for going out or just glamming up a look a little bit. Wen prices are like that, these are the chances we have to sometimes take to find new little gems that could end up saving you money in the long run–a new budget beauty find.

6. Think outside the box.

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Don’t limit yourself just to the beauty aisles at Target, Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid, etc. Branch out a little and don’t be afraid to think outside the box for budget beauty options. Consider home delivery options like Avon for good buys–their sale catalogs can have incredible deals and their regular catalogs are also a good source for high quality beautiful essentials as well. I’ve found quite a few lovely eyeshadows and colored glosses. They’re also a good option for fragrances.

Also consider great online sources like e.l.f. cosmetics at www.eyeslipsface.com for extremely inexpensive deals, frequent, sales, and wonderful gift sets (and there’s nothing wrong with gifting yourself a little something). e.l.f. is a fantastic resource for tools and brushes as well as stocking up on colorful cosmetics and trying new things (a great place to experiment because their prices are so affordable). Another good online resource is the classic drugstore.com who have reliable prices and surprisingly good sales and special offers.

Finally, another underestimated budget beauty resource I just have to include: Sally’s Beauty Supply. Do not fear the red canopied stores! Too many consumers think Sally’s is exclusively for beauty professionals or that their high quality products will come hand in hand with high prices–neither of which are true! Sally’s is there for you, for me, for all of us–they are open to the public! Additionally, they have an incredible selection, good quality, and reasonable prices. Plus, for a real bargain, shop their Sally Girl line for small but amazing goodies like highly pigmented baked eyeshadows, super smooth lipsticks, and trial size nail polishes all in the range of one dollar–sometimes less!

This concludes the budget beauty shopping tips I have for all my fellow product lovers. I hope you like them! Feel free to share your thoughts or any of your own beauty shopping tips and tricks in the comments!

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