Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Top Five Budget Beauty Secrets

I am a middle-of-the-road kinda skin-care and make-up gal.  I love the luxurious products and make the occasional “splurge” purchase but for the most part, I always come back to the more budget friendly products.

I believe “genes” have everything to do with our "best and worst" features.  If you are born with good skin, hair, eyes, etc., play it up.  Otherwise, cover up those problem areas the best you can.  My problem areas are bad nails and thick, frizz-ball hair that is totally of the devil.  They both require a massive amount of work and I was "over it" about 30 years ago!

I have never become so attached to a luxury item that I could not live without it.  My skin care and make-up routine is fairly basic - nothing extravagant and nothing extremely fussy. 

1.  Cleansing & Moisturizing

The most important thing I do for my skin is to get good sleep and go to sleep with a clean face. I have used the “Neutrogena Transparent Facial Bar” for years. The cost will set you back a mere $2.00.

My current splurge is “Lancôme Cream Mousse Confort” for cleansing.  Oh my.  Talk about luxurious, baby.  This stuff is happening.  Although I love it, it comes with a hefty price tag at $25.00 for 4.2 oz.  This will be a one-time splurge.  

I believe the key to great looking skin besides staying out of the sun, is to use a facial cleansing brush.  A washcloth fails to get my face really “clean.”  If you have residue on your toner pad, then your face isn’t clean.  My facial brush is from Merrell Norman and the costs is about $6.00. 

The night cream I always seem to come back to is very inexpensive.  I have used “Gene’s Vitamin E Cream" from Sam’s club for at least 15 years.   It cost a mere $8 for a 16 oz jar.  Smooth it on your face, hands and feet before you tuck yourself in for the night. 

As far as day creams, I have used several but can’t really tell any major difference. 

I use the Olay brand of eye creams.  My favorite has been the “Definity Illuminating Eye Treatment” because of my dark circles but, unfortunately, it is no longer available.  I have been using various eye creams and none stand out to me as “the best.”

My favorite skin care line of all times is the “Airbonne” anti-aging line.  I LOVE all the products but out of all my luxurious mentions, this one comes with the highest price tag.  If I could afford it, I would use every product in this line, every day.

2.  Face

The foundation that I currently use is Kohl’s “American Beauty Perfectly Even Natural Finish Foundation.”  It is both, luxurious and budget friendly, which is a rare find.  A well kept secret in my book. A1 oz bottle is $18.50.  But wait….if you use  your Kohl’s cash and a coupon you can  bring the final price waaaaaay down to a mere $7.00.  This is exactly what I do.

The foundation produces a soft “natural finish” and the fact that it is oil free is an added bonus, especially for the warmer months.   

My splurge is “Virtual Skin Supernatural Finish” from Prescriptives.  I love Prescriptives but this foundation costs $37.00.   The Kohl’s brand is as good or maybe even better.

I have tried the other products in the “American Beauty” line – eye shadow, powder and lipstick, but I wouldn’t recommend any of them.  They are just ho-hum. 

3.  Eye Lashes

I learned a new technique some time ago about how to make your lashes look like falsies without actually wearing falsies.  All you need to do is use two different kinds of mascara. That’s it, pretty baby!  

I use Maybelline “One by One Volum'Express” and L’Oreal “Voluminous Mascara” together.  Somehow using different formulas allow the coats to bind together and build up the lash without clumping.

I normally apply two coats of the Maybelline on each upper lash.  Then I apply two coats of L’Oreal.  If you want bigger lashes, simply apply as many coats as you like.  I repeat the same steps for my lower lashes.

I have no clue as to "why" it works - it just does.  Another well kept secret as far as I am concerned. 

Each mascara costs approx. $6.00, which would be a total of $12.00 if you use them together.  But remember, you are getting twice as much product so it should last twice as long – depending on how big you make your lashes with each application.

I always have "clumping" with each mascara product I used.  I keep a dental instrument at my vanity for the “un-clumping” process, which can be very tedious.  I rarely have clumps since I just discovered this new technique.

My spurge is “They’re Real” by Benefit.  This mascara is incredible and performs just as well with less coats.  However, at $23.00 a pop it is a little much for me to spend on mascara.

4.  Eyeliner

I have used many different brands of eyeliner over the years - be it a pencil, liquid, paste or powder.  I keep "whatever" I am using around a while and then make a switch to something new.

Currently, I am using two different pencil eyeliners. 
The new rage is Urban Decay’s “24/7 Glide-On” eye pencil.  It is “waterproof” but for me – not so much.  The price is $19.00.  I had to purchase the sharpener separately for $10.00. 
My other eyeliner is “L’Oreal Smoldering Eyeliner.”  It is a big fat pencil that came with a sharpener in the package.  I love it.  This one is not waterproof but has almost the identical staying power as the Urban Decay.  The list price is about 9.00, or less, depending on the current promotions.

The truth is, I can’t tell any difference between the two eyeliners.  I can tell a big difference between the price so I will most likely stick with L’Oreal.   

5.  Eye Shadow

I have always loved “Precriptives” eye shadow.  Once they began closing the local outlets, it wasn't as accessible as it once was.  It is still available online but I really like to “try” before I buy - especially eye shadow.

In the past, I have been a big fan of Mary Kay, MAC, Clinique, Model and Smash Box - all good eye shadows.

My current splurge is the “Urban Decay Naked Palette.”  This one stole my heart.  I will most definitely continue using this product.  At my age, a matte finish is a must.  I still love the sparkles but feel like they mostly bring attention to my aging eyes, rather than enhance them.  Geeeezzzzz.  I hate when this happens.

The “Naked Palette” also boasts a hefty price tag.  I paid $25.00 for the half palette. The full palette will set you back at least $50.00.

Eye shadow should glide on your eyes and be silky smooth - no caking or clumping.  Unfortunately, I have never found a budget alternative for eye shadow.  

The last time I checked, Urban Decal did not offer "colors" in the matte finish.  I currently use the other brands mentioned above for the blues, purples and turquoise colors that I use.

So there you have it!  My top five budget beauty secrets.
I should have named this post "My Top Four Budget Beauty Secrets PLUS My Top One Luxurious Secret" but it just doesn't flow very well does it?
I would love to know your favorite budget beauty secret along with your luxurious beauty secret. Leave me a comment below.

In the meantime, I hope you are having a "beautiful" kinda day!


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