Reigning In my Beauty Spending

Reigning in my Beauty Spending

I’ve talked before about my No Buy and my slips. It’s been a while since I last talked about beauty budgets and spending as a general topic, and it occurred to me last week that I haven’t been doing a good job tracking my spending in the last year. Shame on me.

Now that I’m pursuing orthodontic treatment, I really need to get and keep my shit together. Although I have done a poor job (read: zero effort made) at tracking this spending, there are some areas I can immediately identify as opportunities to save. Writing this post, frankly, was eye-opening and upsetting.

Salon Nail Services

I don’t get my nails done often (perhaps 3-4x/year) because I’m frequently disappointed. I get pedicures more often than manicures, but even then I’m often left with disappointment. I have the tools to execute a DIY pedicure quite nicely, and in fact did so last week. When I sat down and paid it some thought, the nicest thing about a salon pedicure (for me) is the massage. A five-minute foot-and-leg massage isn’t worth $25-50 plus tip to me.

Annual Savings: We’ll call it $120.


So far, I’ve gotten highlights twice. Each time, I got a haircut at the salon because it was convenient…to the tune of $40 for the cut on top of my color. My super-simple cut isn’t worth $40. I have had this cut successfully executed at inexpensive chain salons to the tune of $15.

Getting a haircut once every quarter for $15 ends up being cheaper than twice a year at $40. Better yet, they sometimes have coupons – so realistically two of the four cuts I get per year end up being $10.

Annual Savings: $30 – assuming I actually get it cut quarterly, more if I go longer.

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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
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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Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head

Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head


Up until this past winter, I exclusively used the Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head. As I approached restocking time, the cost-effective four-packs of Sensitive brushes for $81 were sold out everywhere. I never had any intention of trying the other brush heads, but I’m not about to pay $27 each…when I can get 2 for $44 (or, even better, 4 for $81!). I time my purchases of supplies like this so that I can take advantage of a 15% VIB or 20% Platinum Perk discount because I hate paying full retail.


For a while, my Clarisonic had been nearly-benched in favor of my FOREO Luna Mini. I had come to decide that the Clarisonic, paired with the Sensitive brush head, was too much for daily use for me. Instead, I was using the FOREO Luna Mini daily and the Clarisonic primarily for decollete use and occasional face use.

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Kidney Be Damned – I’m Getting Invisalign

Aiming to correct my teeth - Invisalign

I got my ducks in a row and have an appointment to kick off the (expensive) process to correct my teeth. I did decide to pursue Invisalign treatment; my case can be treated with conventional braces faster and cheaper, but the hassle isn’t worth it to me. Smile Direct Club never got back to me, but did spam the shit out of me with marketing pleas. I have since unsubscribed.


I’m excited and thrilled to be finally pursuing this, but it isn’t without nerves. After all, it is a big investment. It will be physically uncomfortable. It is also at least eighteen months of my life that I will be shackled to a fairly inflexible routine. I can handle routine.

The Invisalign Routine

For Invisalign and other clear aligner systems to be effective, they need to be worn for as much of our 24-hour day as possible. Literature varies slightly but conventional advice, including that from my orthodontist, indicates that 20-22 hours per day of wear is necessary.

The only time(s) the clear aligners should be out is when you are eating and drinking or when you are brushing and flossing. When you brush or floss, you need to brush and rinse your aligners as well to keep them clean.

After my treatment, I will have a retainer to make sure things don’t revert to their old ways.

Not all Bad

The routine sounds challenging, but it isn’t all bad. Aside from straight teeth, I expect to get a lot out of it:

Less random snacking or, “grazing.”

Because eating ANYTHING requires that I remove my trays then brush and floss before I put them back in, snacking cannot be a mindless activity. Time-wise, snacking will be expensive!

Eating Better (in general)

Since I won’t really be able to snack unless I’m prepared to spend five minutes after the fact, I need to eat better! I need to eat nutritious things that will stick with me and keep me from feeling empty, longer.


Drinking anything other than water subjects you to the same cleaning protocol as eating. I already drink a lot of water, which is good – but I’ll basically need to limit myself to having non-water beverages with meals.

The Plan

Next, I schedule an appointment with my orthodontist to take a 3D scan of my mouth. That scan is then sent to Invisalign. My provider works with Invisalign to develop a treatment plan that is returned as a digital time-lapse. I’ll then go back and approve it with my doctor. Once approved, they get to making trays and I get them a few weeks later.

My goal is to keep this blog updated with my treatment progress. Neither my orthodontist nor Invisalign know that I am a blogger or that I intend to document this process. There’s no incentive for me to document this beyond my own amusement.