Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Top 10 Cheap Beauty Products


I have this disease.  It goes like this:
Do I like it?  Can I afford it?  Can I access to it?  Yes?  Then I love it!
Do I like it?  Can I afford it?  Can I access to it?  No?  Then I hate it!

Pretty sure normal people call this "sour grapes".  It's really uplifting and endearing, isn't it?

But I'm working on it, I swear  Starting with beauty products, which I haven't been able to justify buying much of lately, but which I still pretty much totally love, even though they're filled with chemicals and probably super un-granola.

So let's get down to business!

Dweej's top 10 Budget ('cause y'all know I'm a frugal Franny) Beauty Products

Maybelline Full N' Soft mascara
Maybelline Full 'N Soft Mascara, Very Black - .28 oz
I've tried a LOT of mascara over the years.  My mom worked for the cosmetics department of Neiman Marcus for a long time and we got samples and full sized versions of everything.  Most things clumped.  Some of them smelled weird.  Some made my eyes itch.  Many cost more than a pair of shoes.  No thanks!

Enter Maybelline Full N' Soft mascara.  It's the best.  My fave.  No clumps, no smell, no itchy eyes.  It's cheap and it comes in dark brown and black (and maybe other things.  I don't really know).  Get it.

Cover Girl Clean Makeup oil control foundation
CoverGirl Clean Oil Control Liquid Makeup, Classic Tan 560 - 1 fl oz

Just use your brain to copy and paste everything I said above, except replace "mascara" with "foundation" and replace "eyes" with "skin".  There is truly no foundation I've ever liked better than this one, and I have sensitive, prone to pimples skin that makes a girl wanna cry.

This foundation is lightweight enough that you don't feel like you're wearing a mask and doesn't enhance wrinkles by caking into your crow's feet (I hate with heavy make-up does that!) and it comes in a variety of colors- I wear Buff Beige, in case you're wondering.  

Cover Girl CG Smoothers concealer
CoverGirl Smoothers Concealer Concealer, Deep-N - .14 oz
CoverGirl does it again with this creamy, full-coverage concealer which I use (when I bother to) for my insane raccoon eyes.  Y'all know how much I hate raccoons, right?  Because mine are so dark, I use a shade lighter than my skin so that when the colors mix, I get a sort of uniform look.  Genius, I know.

Avon Ultra Color Rich lipstick
Oh man, I sure did have trouble finding a cheap lipstick I liked.  Most of them are terrible.  Heck, even expensive lipsticks are hit or miss.  Either they dry your lips out or smear at the edges or smell funny or are all waxy or the color selection is lame.  Do I sound picky?  If so, this is probably the only thing I'm picky about in the whole wide world, honest.

But now I've found Avon's Ultra Color Rick lipstick and I'll never use anything else.  Because it goes on easy, comes in a zillion colors and is regularly on sale for only $3.99.  THREE DOLLARS AND NINETY NINE CENTS.  What is this, Wet 'n' Wild?  Seriously.  So awesome

Almay Intense i-Color eyeliner
Almay Intense i-Color Liner, Purple Amethyst - 1 ea
I like this eyeliner because it comes in a purplish brown, which I love, it's fairly soft so you don't have to press hard to get color or smudge it, and it's a twisty instead of a sharpeny, which is always handy and makes you feel fancy.  Also, no itchy eyes.  Winning!

Carmex
I don't have anything interesting or special to say about Carmex.  I just love it.  I use it instead of chapstick.  A must-have for winter and a should-have for summer because of the SPF.  Lipstick always looks better on moisturized lips, ya know?

Oil of Olay All Day UV Moisturizer SPF 15- Sensitive Skin
Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer with Vitamins E & B3, SPF 15 - 4 fl oz
It's probably terribly old lady of me to use this, but it's been not breaking me out since I was 19, so I'm not gonna switch now.  I put this on after every single time I wash my face.  It's the only facial lotion that's ever worked for me, and over the years I've strayed thinking that the lotiony grass would be greener on the other side.  It never is.  I always come back to my little friend because I. Hate. Pimples.

Avon True Color blush
Here's another affordable Avon find.  But you probably won't wanna buy this color.  Well, unless you're 15. Do I have any 15 year olds reading this?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  Try Classic Aura for something a little less..."bold".  

And for the love of all that is holy and good, NEVER use that tiny brush that comes with cheap blush.  Oh sweetbabyjeezus, those brushes are such a terrible tragedy.  Use a proper fluffy blush brush and apply in a tappy circular motion.  Otherwise you'll look like a Glamor Shots victim from 1989.  And I don't wish that pain on anyone.  No one, I tell you!

Physicians Formula eye shadow
Honestly, I rarely wear any color of eyeshadow except white or cream.  I mean, why coat my raccoon eyes with concealer only to put dark color back on, ya know?  But if I do, Physicians Formula works for me.  Try shimmer for evenings and special occasions and matte for every day.  And again, do NOT use those sponge applicators.  They were created by Satan.  Use an actual eye shadow brush.  I insist.

Bar of soap
product image
Brace yourselves, ladies.

I wash my face with a bar of soap.

Not Dove or anything mildly girly like that (too greasy) but, like, Lever 2000.  And a wash cloth.  I'm kind of a rebel like that, but seriously.  I can't bring myself to keep messing with my system.  The system works!  Don't make me try anything new!  So Lever 2000 it is.

What are your favorite cheap beauty products?  Have any tricky tricks to share with your frugal sistahs?


p.s. There are no affiliate links in this post and no one sent me anything for free to review.  These are just the things I actually buy and use.  The addat the top is just for Beauty.com and doesn't have any bearing on the content of the post.  Happy shopping!

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41 comments :

  1. I use the same foundation so I will have to try that concealer. About the lipstick... I usually end up going for the drier variety because I hate leaving lip prints on things...coffee mugs, baby cheeks, my husband. Ideally I'd love to find one that was both moist and non-marking. Would you say that about your suggestion? Also, I have a secret obsession for Burt's Bees Peppermint lip balm. I used to be a Carmex girl, but Burt stole me away. It's so pepperminty!

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    1. We're foundation twins!

      Moist + non-marking is a tough combination. I think for $3.99, you should try the Avon anyway :) And when I run out of carmex, I'll give Burt's Bees a whirl. I'll be sure to report back to you when I do!

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    2. Oh, I agree and was going to say the same thing about Burt's Bees. You will convert for sure AND it's granola-y!! Although, I am toying with the idea of making my own next time because I go through so much!

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  2. I've been trying to go more organic with my make-up -- but also have same budget disease as you. So, my make up train case -- oh yes, you read that right - this is serious business!! ha ha is full of both expensive and the cheaper varieties. I really love Physicians Formula products -- they are kind of the middle between cheap and expensive.

    Love Lever 2000! but I use it for body. my go to face cleanser is St Ives Apricot Scrub. It's like $5.00 and amazing!

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    1. I can tell this comment thread is going to be all sorts of fun! And since it's cheap stuff, we can afford to experiment :)

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  3. Cover Girl Lipslicks. In Hispter, Daring, or the Bronze color.
    Love. Them.
    Looooooove them.
    Every time I have some extra brass in pocket when I pass the display, I always get a new one, then I squirrel it away somewhere. So there's one in the glovebox of one car, in the cup holder of another, in every purse I ever use, in the pocket of my winter coat, in my vanity, in the medicine cabinet, in the catchall bowl in the kitchen, etc. etc.

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    1. I just got a three pack of asst colors from Costco. Love them.

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  4. Fun post, Dwija! I am utterly clueless when it comes to makeup, but I've just developed that lovely pregnancy symptom where you start getting random dark blotches on your face (because apparently I didn't feel fugly enough in my support hose) Anyway, has anyone else had this problem?(I think it's called chloasma) And how do you find the right shade of concealer or foundation? You just experiment?

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    1. I would say to use your regular shade of foundation, and then use a shade lighter of concealer than normal on the chloasma spots. It's probably similar to my lovely raccoon eyes, and that's the best strategy I've come up with.

      p.s. Not that you even need make-up, you gorgeous woman!

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    2. Thanks, Dwija. My problem is that I've never bought foundation or concealer so I don't have a shade...I literally took one look at the makeup aisle in Target yesterday and was totally overwhelmed and just ran away...but I'm grateful for the brand recommendation...that narrows it down a bit.
      By the way, I loved your latest Catholic Exchange post, especially because of the description of your eldest. Mine is just entering into that stage and well...I'll pray for you if you'll pray for me!

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    3. You got it, friend! It's hard work being an oldest girl, I'm convinced...

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  5. I get my eyeshadows from a brand called ELF.They usually have daytime and nighttime combos in a pallet of four and get this....its A DOLLAR. They sell them at Target and its usually next to the Almay eyeliner that we both use ;) They even have super fun colors in singles. Oh and I am not a fan of "marking my husband" either haha so I prefer a lip stain. Currently what I use is from Benefit and it also doubles as a blush (which I would never ever ever use it as a blush).

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    1. Eyeliner twins!

      And I think they sell ELF at our Harding's/Family Faire grocery stores. I've never bought any of their stuff, but I'll have to check it out next time I need new eyeshadow. I mean, how can you say no to ONE DOLLAR???

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  6. I barely bother with make-up, and Mabelline makes my eyes water, but I have recently found Arbonne products, which will for SURE not make your Frugal Fanny list, but I am LOVING the skin care stuff!

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  7. Ivory soap on the face (and all the rest of me), free Arbonne moisturizer until I run out. Then I'll probably do a once- or twice-weekly sugar/olive oil scrub (one of the two uses for white sugar -- the other is feeding fire ants). It works great for gardening/woodworking hands and flip-flop heels! I'm going to make some with fresh basil and some lemon zest, just to mix things up.

    I think I'll have to try your mascara, though. Thanks for the tip!

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  8. I wash my face with Noxema ("do it every day" - remember that ad?), and put Oil of Olay on when I remember. I use Body Shop powder foundation on and Body Shop blush. Occasionally I put on eye makeup, but not mascara as I tend to rub my eyes and then I get worse raccoon eyes than I already have, which are EPIC. I use my Mom's old Tangee lipsticks (I got her stash when she passed away). I am lucky if I get my face washed every day, never mind made up. Most of the time I am just clean and barenaked, face-wise.

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    1. Agreed on the barenaked face, Paula. I wear make-up reliably on Sundays only, which I apply in the van on the way to Mass. But maybe I can wear it a little bit more often. It does make me take my day a little more seriously sometimes :)

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  9. I am a brand new stay at home mom, and now that our income is nearly halved, I have to say a teary bye-bye to my treasured Bare Minerals products. So, thanks for the timely post! Will be looking for some good Cover Girl coupons (coupons!!! who ever thought I would start looking at coupons?!)

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    1. It does take a little bit to get used to, I know...but soon you'll be yearnin' for that bargain high, I promise :)

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    2. I'm a Bare Minerals girl but only do the blush and veil. I would do eyeshadow and liner as well if I could find it cheap. BUT what I do buy I get on Ebay (new)...so much cheaper than the stores so you might want to check it out Casey!

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    3. Yes! Ebay! Ebay for everything! You can also shop Ebay via ebates for extra super duper savings :)

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    4. Thanks for the tips, ladies! Love such helpful internet strangers :)

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  10. I don't wash my face! Well, not in the traditional way with water, washcloth, and some sort of cleanser. I like using a coconut oil deep cleanse, which is essentially smearing on coconut oil, covering with a hot, wet washcloth so you more or less can't breath. But I have very dry skin, which is why I like this method so much. :) Not sure how this works for oily folks. Also, I tend not to wear lipstick these days since I no longer like how it feels on my lips. I use Burts Bees...the stuff that's not the lip balm, I guess it's a lip gloss of sorts? Nice color that looks natural. The rest of the routine is a tinted moisturizer, cover girl creme blush (I'm 43 and the powder just doesn't work for me any more), and eye liner. If I'm feeling fancy, I might swish on some Avon mascara. :) I'm enjoying reading your blog ever since I found you on Twitter!

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    1. I use olive oil and the hot, wet washcloth but I'm going to try the coconut oil...both of these are also good moisturizers.
      Should work for oily folks, too, because oil dissolves oil.

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  11. I am 35 (and a half) and I JUST started wearing makeup. For two reasons. 1. I saw a fairly closeup picture of myself the day after giving birth to my most recent. And I looked like a person who should be wearing makeup 2. I now have two daughters and I felt like for their sake they should grow up seeing a mom who gives a carp about how she looks and cosmetics.

    So basically I wear mascara and eye shadow and that is it. I have no idea what I am doing or how to do it. Does one NEED foundation/concealer/eyeliner/lipstick?? LOL

    As for my faves....I was a music major in college (flute)and I went to school on the Canadian border in NY. Beyond cold and dry. And all the gals in the flute studio used DCT on their lips. It is in one of those little round thingies and is peach in color. Really works at keeping the lips from getting chapped even when you live in tundra and need supple lips for flute playing. Also on my curly, but fine hair Aussie Moist Conditioner is cheap and wonderful. I also don't wash my face...everything is either too dry or causes pimples. And I use Suave or White Rain shampoo when it is on sale for .66cents at Shop Rite!!

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    1. Well, I think everyone has their own favorite types of products. If I could only pick 3 things, I'd put concealer on my raccoon eyes, mascara on my lashes and carmex on my lips. But not everyone has raccoon eyes or dry lips, ya know? So whatever makes you feel presentable, just do those things. It should be fun!

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  12. I am a super lover of all things Oil of Olay. Old lady or not that stuff is awesome. I use Vaseline for a lot of things too. Moisterizing lips, cuticles and if my skin is super dry, like in the winter, I will dollop the crap out of it on my face. Yep. Good, cheap stuff that works. I'm a huge fan.

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  13. I have everything but the blush! Every single one. Weird.

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    1. Are you fer serious, Kristina???? That is SUPER weird!

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  14. All of it. Swear. The eyeliner is even purply-brown. I don't wash my face in the shower with lever 2000, though, just plain hot water. I do use it on my body, unless I'm going out with hubby, then I break out the bath and body works I've had for 3 years :)

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  15. I don't wear mascara. My eyes water a lot - either tears or allergies. But every day I do wear L'Oreal true match foundation and I always wear lipstick. I am not fussy. Burts Bees works for me!

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  16. I used Vaseline to remove eye makeup for years, which is what my mom has always used, too...it doesn't burn if it gets in your eyes! Now I use witch hazel, which I also use as a toner, and sometimes just to wipe off my face when I'm too lazy to wash it. I LOVE witch hazel. But I don't wear very much makeup, if any at all, these days, so the witch hazel for makeup removal probably wouldn't work for everyone. Vaseline definitely works better for that! Maybelline is definitely the best, least clumpy mascara...I love the Full N Soft too...but recently I've been using Cover Girl Natureluxe, which is supposedly made out of beeswax or something and is pretty non-clumpy, but I think the brown is better than the black. And...that's all I've got for now! ;)

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  17. I've got two more for you... and they're cheap AND granola. Bonus!

    Coconut oil makes a great moisturizer (get refined unless you want to smell like coconuts all the time). I've been using it for about a year and I'll never go back. Best part? I've been using THE SAME JAR for a year, and it costs about $7-8 a jar. A little goes a long way.

    Also, I use a deodorant crystal - which is way less woo-woo than it sounds. It's basically a salt bar that you wet and rub on your stinky parts and the salts form a film that prevents the growth of the bacteria that makes you stinky. It works great, and I got it at my grocery store for $3, and if you don't drop it on the tile floor and shatter it into a dozen pieces (yeah, I did that to my last one), it lasts more than a year.

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    1. This is me, except I use olive oil (with a little castor oil for pimples) on my face at night, only when I wear makeup, which it takes off like a dream.

      The crystal = awesome! I've had mine for 5+ years and works during pregnancy, summer, everything! Cheap, cheap!

      My new cheap thing for my face: honey. Yes, Internets, I wash my face in the morning, in the shower, with honey. Two gloops (total, maybe 1/2 tsp) before I hop in the shower, damp hands to rub it around and massage my face, rinse right before I get out.....soft, non-flaky skin. It's gotten rid of these funny, gloggy pores around my lips and nose. It took a month or two for my face to adjust but....never going back!

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  18. I am now super excited about the aavon lipstick! For soap I suggest Dr bronner's unscented bar soap. It is super awesome and rich and luxurious!

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  19. Oil of Olay...Regenerist stuff...because I'm old now. LOVE IT!!

    I also wash my face with Lever 2000.

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  20. OK... what can anyone recommend as a quick substitute for foundation when you have to run to the store but you don't want to put on full makeup? I'm thinking like a powder/foundation? Is there such a thing that I can brush on quickly? Ideas?

    Also, the oil of olay moisturizer... does it feel greasy? I have clung to my Clinique lotion all these years because it's never felt greasy or heavy to me. My husband even uses it because it's not fruity either. I tried one of the lipslicks that someone recommended and I really liked it but I can't find the eye liner anywhere and I was really excited about purpley brown. I need a change from my charcoal.

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  21. If I don't have time to do full make-up, I just do concealer around the eyes and on any really obvious spots and blend super quick. Powders tend to make me feel cakey, so I don't use a face powder, but if they work for you, that would be an great substitute.

    I don't find that the Olay moisturizer feels greasy- but I've only ever used the Sensitive Skin formula with spf 15. I can't speak for any of the other varieties! The Clinique lotion (that yellowish one? Is that the one?) is SUPER light and I found didn't quite do the trick for me, but if that's what you like, I would say don't switch. I've never used a lotion lighter than that one!

    Bummer that you can't find that eyeliner. I really do like it. It may seem silly , but in a pinch you could order it online maybe? http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=138250&catid=183537&cmbProdBrandFilter=42693&aid=338666&aparam=138250

    Good luck! This is fun :)

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  22. I used to feel bad about using soap on my face because Cosmo said it was bad for it. (Should have learned to not listen to Cosmo years ago but alas.) Anyways, I switched to baking soda, which probably makes Cosmo have faint, and LOVE it! Super cheap and works so well! No girly face products here!

    Also, I fancy myself a connoisseur of chapsticks/lip balms (after a nasty incident with finger nail polish and remover on my lips I had to be) and Carmex is one of the best. (Along with Blistex medicated, Chapstick medicated, and Burt's Bees Peppermint.)

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  23. I haven't worn makeup since a wedding 18mos ago. I tried getting my eyelashes dyed and it was great until the salon closed and I can't find anyone else to do it. Seriously, with eyelashes dyed black, I look made up like I tried or something.
    I can't believe all the moms here and no one mentioned Lansinoh ointment (lanolin for breastfeeding). When my youngest was a nursey-baby I discovered that its awesome on chapped lips. Its also great for dry elbows. And its better than any cuticle cream. I called it nipple cream and the boys picked up on it. So, I've tried to break them from asking, "mom, I need some nipple cream".
    I tried other lanolin but nothing is as good as Lansinoh. I have a tube in the kitchen, my purse, car, backpack, etc.
    Carmex feels good and tingly on chapped lips but I heard that the menthol (or whatnot) is addicting to the lips and will encourage the lips to rely on it. I've not looked into this but maybe someone will let us know...

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