How I Save on Beauty Products

Reigning in my Beauty Spending

I’m acknowledging that I’m fortunate to be in a place where I can spend money on what many would deem a completely frivolous hobby.

Actually Use the Damn Samples

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a drawer or bin full of sample products that went neglected for ages! So many retailers do free samples with purchase, not to mention Gift With Purchase (GWP) promotions. I’d toss them in a centralized location with the intention of using them when the occasion arose (traveling, feeling adventurous, etc) – but even the products I already knew I liked went unused. Stupid! I had accumulated 10 sample tubes of mascara at one point, then found myself replenishing my (favorite) drugstore one. Why?! I had at least six months (realistically more) of product there, even assuming I disliked half of them!

Granted, not all samples are going to be appropriate for you. Foil packs of foundation, for instance – I have what feels like a thousand and none are right for me. But the ones you will use? Use them!

  • Pre-pack a travel beauty bag. One less thing to check off the travel to-do list.
  • If you have a desk or locker at work, stash some samples there. Future you (or a teammate!) will thank you.

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False Lashes (for/by Dummies)

False Lashes

A friend came to visit over Memorial Day Weekend. During this visit, we decided out of basically nowhere to buy a pack of false lashes to try our hand at slapping them on. We weren’t going anywhere. It was the type of ridiculous, silly thing we’d have done as teenagers just because we could. It was fun!

Neither of us had worn false lashes before, but I do watch a hell of a lot of beauty gurus on YouTube. She was unfamiliar with the protocol, so I applied them first so I could be sure of how to do it, then I walked her through it.

What We Used

She picked up an dual pack of Ardell 120s for us to use. Probably a bit much for first timers but they are far from the most ludicrous option Ulta had.

I already had a tube of clear Duo lash glue that I bought a while ago with a pair of false lashes that I have yet to use. We used a pair of tweezers to help place and secure them – any non-pointed-tip ones will do.

The Procedure

First, I checked the width of the lash band against my own lashline. Too long! I trimmed it to fit, but made my first mistake:

I trimmed the inner (shorter!) lashes, rather than the outer (longer) ones. This meant the lashes closest to my nose were way longer than I needed. I should have trimmed from the outer edge.

Then, I re-checked length with my lashline. Without realizing it until later, I made my second mistake:

Seriously, curl your damn lashes before you proceed with this process. It is SO much easier to blend your real eyelashes with the false lashes this way, and the band is more-easily hidden, too!

Next, I grabbed my tube of lash glue and dispensed the thinnest line ever on the band.

Tip: Don’t squeeze the tube as you guide the tube along the lashes. Instead apply a light, consistent pressure on the tube so a tiny drop of glue appears at the tip. Then, glide the false lashes along that.

Wait 15-20 seconds for the glue to become tacky, then apply. How I applied to my first eye was my third mistake:

Rather than placing either the inner or outer corner, I went to the center first, then tried to realign the ends.

This is folly! Fortunately, I was able to get it realigned but fiddling with either side made the glue less adhesive, so the edges lifted pretty soon.

I learned from mistakes two and three, though; I curled the lashes on my other eye before applying, then pressed the lash band to the outer part of my eye. Then, I grabbed the inner corner and got it in place. The second set of false lashes was FAR closer to my natural lashline; because my lashes were curled, they blended in way easier.

On one eye, I tried to cover the band and blend further with Stila Stay All Day felt tip liquid liner. This liner is fantastic, but I am not deft with felt pen liners…so it looked foolish.

If you aren’t a wizard with felt tip liquid liner application isn’t going to be any easier with false lashes on!

I gave up with that and grabbed my trusty Maybelline gel liner (still adore it after all these years – and still buy it for $8 or so!) and slapped a wing on both. Done! For a first attempt, it was passable and I wouldn’t have been embarrassed wearing it out.

My friend then tried with my tips in mind and succeeded.

The Bottom Line

Applying false lashes is surprisingly way easier than it looks and sounds. Removal feels weird, but is not at all painful. I wish I had learned to apply them before my wedding because they definitely would have looked awesome! I definitely recommend for special occasions, particularly those involving photography.

Admittedly, I’m surprised people wear false lashes every day though. It isn’t hard, but it is a lot of steps – and the finished look, at least with the Ardell 120s is a bit strong for daytime. More-modest lashes, like Ardell 110s, are better-suited to a daytime look, but I still couldn’t imagine doing it every day. False lashes are definitely a, “sometimes,” cosmetic item for me, but some prefer them in place of mascara.

May 2017 Favorites

May 2017 FavoritesMay 2017 Favorites
Fieldcrest
and Threshold Bath Sheets (Target), $10 /
OPI Bubble Bath, $9 / Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head, $27

Short post this month – my month was full with work, so I didn’t do much fun beauty stuff. In reality, I find it sketchy to see bloggers or vloggers touting 10-15 new, “favorite,” products per month. Seems disingenuous. Even if content creation is your full time gig, it isn’t realistic.

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Febreze One & Terracycle

Febreze One

First things first: I did receive free product from Influenster to solicit testing and a review from me. HOWEVER, I had already purchased TWO bottles of this product before I knew there was or joined the campaign.

If it is par for the course for beauty bloggers to talk about candles, why not other home fragrance products?

I’ve been a Febreze junkie for over a decade. Meadows and Rain, which I’m pretty sure has been long-since discontinued, was my first favorite. Over the years, I enjoyed a lavender one (forget its name) for a while, then (oddly) the Allergen Reducer (I don’t have indoor allergies), then Thai Dragonfruit (discontinued), then the Tide one. I still use both the Allergen Reducer and the Tide-scented ones for different things – my brother-in-law is allergic to cats and we have two, so if he’s coming over we aggressively vacuum, and I hit the seating with the Allergen Reducer. It’s a nice, light scent. I have no idea, honestly, if it helps with allergens though. It’s the thought that counts?

Bought at First Sight

Well before I received the BzzCampaign invitation for Febreze One, I spotted the new bottles in Target for $5.99 with an on-product coupon. Because I’m a sucker Febreze junkie early adopter, I gleefully dropped one into my cart before realizing what’s cool about the product. The trigger and dispensing mechanism is intended to be reused – so you just purchase refill bottles that screw into the bottom.

Two Solutions in One Spray

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Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA

Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHAAlpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA, $15

Alpha Hydrox 10% AHA Lotion used to be a staple of mine, but I discontinued use because it felt greasy and gross to me. Time passed and I experimented with skincare, and I found that my skin likes a mix of physical and chemical exfoliation. During our break, Alpha Hydrox rebanded to Alpha Skin; new logos and packaging, new (higher) price tags. Little did I know, they sold the gel I now use, Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA, before. If I only knew!

Applying

Retailing at $15 for 1.7 fl oz, the Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA is a thin, clear gel that housed in a short squeeze-tube. When I use the product, I apply a pencil-eraser-sized dollop to clean skin in circular motions with my fingertips. It isn’t remotely greasy – I give it two minutes to absorb, then apply 2-3 drops of argan oil. I apply before bed and have glowing, smooth skin in the morning.

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