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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10 Beauty Essentials Under $10

So it’s been quite some time since my last post, for which I sincerely apologize…and you certainly won’t see it happen again. ;-). But to make up for it let’s take a look at not one, not two, but TEN great products on a top ten list of beauty essentials…all for under ten dollars for us budget beauty-nistas! Read on for ten under ten…in no particular order!

1. Cherry Chapstick – $1.99

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 Let’s face it–Chapstick is an absolute classic. And nowadays, the sweet, fruity cherry variety is immortalized in Katy Perry’s breakout bi-curious hit, “I Kissed a Girl”.

But all jokes aside, its reputation is for good reason. Chapstick is my absolute, number one, if-you-were-stranded-on-a-desert-island-and-could-only-bring-one-beauty-item must have, and cherry is my favorite. It’s rock-bottom cheap, glides on smoothly, and keeps lips hydrated and protected. I live on this stuff and never have chapped lips, even in winter. On top of that, Cherry Chapstick is the quintessential “no-makeup makeup”–just a smudge of barely there color and hydration, and your no makeup day feels a little more polished. Some days, even a beauty junkie just needs a little mascara and Cherry Chapstick.

2. Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Treatment Cream – $9.99

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Not to sound like a ProActiv commercial, but let’s face it–we all get pimples sometimes. It’s not the end of the world, but it screws up your day a little when you wake up with a whopper on your chin. Ugh. Clearasil Rapid Action Treatment Cream is there for these little monsters, and has a simple mission: “Visibly reduces redness and pimple size in as little as 4 hours.” It doesn’t claim to do anything crazy or promise you miracles. It just makes a bad situation better. And really, isn’t that what we want from anything?

Best of all, it really does do what it promises to do. It dries them out and gets you on your way to clearer skin and an improved look very quickly. With repeated use, it boots those little moochers to the curb. Just be careful and make sure you put it only on he pimples–it can be very drying to surrounding skin. This one is pushing right up against the $10 mark, but it’s 100% worth it.

3. Sally Hansen Beauty Tools Open Your Eyes Classic Eyelash Curler – $2.89

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I’m a big believer that curling your eyelashes really opens up your eyes, makes lashes look longer, and just gives that little extra oomph to any eye look. But do you want to go drop a fortune on an eyelash curler? Probably not, and the good news is, you don’t have to. $2.89 is nearly unheard of for a great quality tool like this, but sure enough you can pick up this beauty for under three dollars at a local Target or Walmart, and it even comes with one refill pad to get you on your way to healthy beauty supply upkeep. This curler fits lashes perfectly gives a beautiful curl in seconds.

A little eyelash curling tip: Run your curler under hot water for a few seconds right before curling; wipe of the water and then immediately curl lashes The warmth retained in the metal adds a little extra curling and staying power–the equivalent of wrapping hair around a hot curling iron. Some people suggest blow drying their curlers for this same effect–resourceful, but it gets the metal very hot, very quickly, and do you really want to risk putting it near your eyes? I recommend against it, but the hot water trick is more convenient and also safer!

4. Rimmel London Glam Eyes Mono Eyeshadow in Glam Ice- $4.49

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I’m not going to suggest we go back to the days when I was in 8th grade and the other girls in my class caked their lids with white shadow so thick you could see the height of it actually coming off their lids, but white eyeshadow can be a game changer when used correctly and applied well. I use Rimmel London single eyeshadows in Glam Ice–a little shimmery white on the inside corners of the eye wakes up your face and makes your eyes look sparkly and pretty. I usually brush some on my browbones as a highlighter, as well. This shade is the best becase it’s a true, pure white with just a little bit of shimmer, not chunky glitter. Perfect balance!

5. Revlon Longwear Nail Enamel Base Coat and Top Coat – $7.99 each

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So I’m a bit of a nail polish junkie. I may or may not be running out of room to store all my bottles. What can I say? I love color! I’ve been painting my nails regularly for 10+ years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two. One of those things is the utmost importance of not just a top coat, but also a base coat. It’s definitely important to have a good quality base and top coat, and Revlon offers just that in their long wear line of polishes. I stumbled upon these two gems when I was on the hunt for a good base and top coat pair one day. I’d switched several times and just hadn’t been delighted with any of them–until these! Both go on smoothly and evenly with wide, double brushes that distribute a nice coat in just two strokes. The base coat provides the ideal foundation and leaves you with no staining whatsoever, even with my affinity for neons and dark colors (black is one of my faves and never a stain in sight). The top coat delivers a gorgeous shine and long wear protection which helps my manis last the whole week.

6. CoverGirl Classic Color Blush – $5.49

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This one lives up to its name–it’s definitely a classic. It’s an inexpensive, smooth, easy to apply powder in a selection of flattering colors from a trustworthy name that’s been around for years. This is perfect for an everyday blush! I use Rose Silk almost every day and it looks great on its own or layered with bronzer. If you’re seeking a good go-to, I highly recommend it.

7. Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow – $6.50

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Cream eyeshadows are fabulous. They’re perfect for a rushed morning and can be easily applied with just your fingers, blended, mixed–you name it. They’re practically fool proof and give the perfect combo of lightweight and shiny meets wash of pretty color. Eyeshadow palettes are another of my favorite things because you get a great set of colors in one convenient package. I’ve found this one of the most practical beauty buys one can make. For cream shadow palettes, I turn again to trusty Revlon. I’ve been using Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow palettes for years now and love them just as much as when I first picked one up because I simply liked the colors! Each comes with four colors which go perfectly together and can be blended and used to create pretty, dynamic looks. Everything you need is right there, and unless you really apply with a heavy hand, this cream rarely creases or runs in warm weather. Check out the color choices and I guarantee you’ll find one you love. Might I suggest Wild Orchids, Not Just Nudes, or Precious Metals?

8. Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer – $7.89

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Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer and it’s facial moisturizer partner in crime are each just under ten dollars. These moisturizers garnered a lot of attention when first debuted, and it was well worth it. They’re a great way to get a gradual sunkissed look any time of year. They’re a lot easier to handle than self tanners and don’t look fake and orangey at all. Just be sure to wash your hands after using! A lot of imitations of this product have come about in the past couple years, but I still rely on the original Jergens–I know for sure it works great and looks great. Plus, it isn’t stinky or strong smelling like some lotions and tanners. I’ve always thought it smells like a combination of the beach and buttered popcorn. Odd…but yummy.

9. Clean and Clear Oil Free Dual Action Moisturizer – $6.59

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Face moisturizers, overall, are a tough call. What will give you enough moisture to keep your skin healthy and glowing but not be so heavy that it will make you break out? The answer is this: Clean and Clear Oil Free Dual Action Moisturizer. If you’re stuck between this age old rock and a hard place, give it a shot…you won’t be disappointed.

10. Pantene Pro-V Normal to Thick Hair Solutions Silkening Detangler – $3.99

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Best for last? Maybe. Little kids aren’t the only ones who need a good detangler, but those adorable bottles adorned with pictures of fish won’t cut it for all adult hair. Just to be up front and give you some context for this, my hair is a nightmare. It’s really long and extremely thick with a naturally wavy texture. My best friend refers to it as a horse mane. It’s worth it once I can get it tamed because it does look pretty and gets compliments but none of that would be possible without Pantene Pro-V Detangler.

Like the detanglers of your childhood…but heavy duty. This spray has an almost creamy texture and can conquer even the toughest of knots. It makes hair silky and manageable. Trust me, if it can tame my horse mane, there’s a great chance it will help you out, too! Spray all over hair after washing and comb through. You can also spray directly on knots which helps them loosen up with combing, or use to touch up shininess on dry hair (if used sparingly to avoid a greasy look). One of the most worthwhile purchases I’ve EVER made, and a definite can’t-do-without for my beauty stash.

There you have it–10 amazing budget beauty essentials under 10 dollars. Of course, prices at your local stores may vary slightly, but you will still be getting a great deal! These are just some go tos to get you started thinking about them and maybe find some new faves…there are so many other amazing products to discover! Stay tuned for other fantastic beauty products and ideas, and feel free to comment with your favorite under $10 beauty essentials.