Top 5 under $5: Beauty Products

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Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

These little guys have been a staple in my cosmetics collection before I even wore makeup.  This was my first beauty product that I used and I still keep a steady supply on hand years later.  I have worked my way though most of the Bonne Bell lip products and these are by far my favorite.  Think of them as a smoother, slightly glossy and much more fun flavored Chapstick.  Lip Smackers are lip moisturizing madness right in your pocket.  They’re only around $1.50 a piece, are sold in singles and in special party packs and limited edition packs making in an affordable way to treat your lips right.  They are sheer with just a touch of gloss so you can pick your flavor based on your mood and not what you’re wearing.

T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel

I have heard talk of witch hazel being used as a more natural way to take care of acne, but until about 2 months ago it was never a part of my routine.  Then one day i was walking by the pharmacy area at Harris Teeter (the local grocery store) and happened to see a large 16oz bottle of the stuff for an amazing price (I think it was $3.99).  While this particular bottle was aimed more toward the first aid side of the pharmacy I knew it was supposed to be great for acne too, so for that price it went into my cart.  It has cooling and antibacterial properties and yet it’s sensitive enough so it won’t dry out skin, which tends to be the danger with astringents geared toward acne treatments.  It’s primary use is to relieve minor cuts, scrapes and bug bites, so the fact it is so versatile makes it the perfect addition to any collection.  I just load up a cotton pad and swipe it across my face after cleansing like you would a regular toner.

Aussie 3 minute Miracle

This conditioner is a miracle indeed.  At around $3.00, Aussie has created my favorite bargain hair treatment.  This inexpensive miracle in a bottle is exactly what the hair doctor ordered.  The unique bottle shape means there’s no need for dealing with caps and no worries about flipping the bottle over to get every last drop out.  This conditioner is rich with aloe and jojoba oil and smells a bit like coconut which makes the experience feel a bit tropical, and(who doesn’t need a little 3 minute vacation now and again? Now, I’m a fan of getting my hair those high end, $30 treatments as a splurge once every other blue moon, but this product is a really reliable and affordable version of those expensive brands.  I use it on days I use a clarifying shampoo (when hair tends to get stripped of its oils) or days my hair needs a little extra help.  This has been a repurchase for me at least 6 or 7 times.  For the price I’d say give it a try.  What have you got to lose (except dry hair and a wallet that normally cries when you go buy hair products)?

NYC Smooth Skin Compact

New York Color’s Smooth Skin pressed powder is an oil fee (the magic words!) setting powder with a price tag that is impossible to beat.  This formula leaves skin feeling silky smooth and has a lovely matte finish.  With the problem skin that i have, you all know that oil-free is something I look for often, and this powder has that label.  The compact comes with a cheap little sponge, which is great for on the go, but I like to apply my powder with a dense brush, so I have removed the sponge.  This product is great as a setting powder and for touch ups throughout the day.  I believe I paid $2.74 for it at Target, and online it is $2.99, so for an oil-free anti-shine bargain head to Target (or anywhere else that NYC cosmetics are sold) and pick it up.

Maybelline Baby Lips

You have seen these babies in my posts before, but they also deserved a mention in this post.  The moisture payout on this balm is wonderful, and this can also be easily carried in your pocket (like the Lip Smackers).  The added bonus to this product is the bit of sheer color payout that comes with each shade.  The colors range from neutrals, bold and bright electric (complete with a bright yellow that I haven’t purchased, so I don’t know if there is a color payout to that), to some cute girly pinks.  They’re $3.99 and great for a quick swipe of glossy, moisturizing color. You can find Baby Lips anywhere Maybelline is sold.

Fun fact about these products: you can pick all of them up for around $15!  What a bargain 🙂  Let me know what your favorite things under $5 are, as I’m always looking for new and inexpensive things.

Happy Monday!  Here’s to a great week.

Top 10 Summer Must Haves

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I figured since I initially intended for this blog to be a branch of of my youtube channel, which is beauty related, I should probably get a post going that isn’t about my life and all of it’s changing glory.

Everyone has their list of summer beauty essentials to get through the hot summer months, and I thought I should share mine.

1: Clinique CC cream

Summer means time to bust out the less intense face makeup.  Translation: lose the full coverage foundation for something a little more giving.  I have been exploring the world of BB creams for a while now, and on a recent trip to Sephora I was recommended Clinique’s CC cream.  For those new to the products, a BB cream is a beauty balm; it has anti aging, SPF, light coverage to blur out imperfections and all sorts of good for the skin things.  Well, CC cream (color correcting) is taking BB to the next level.  I consider this product quite a find for several reasons.  SPF 30 is built right in, making it impossible for me to forget to protect.  It’s a hydrating formula yet oil free, meaning my skin doesn’t get thirsty but won’t get clogged up either.   It’s a great lighter summer alternative to foundation.  I’m not confident enough with my skin to go bare-faced, but this CC cream offers the right amount of coverage without weighing me down.

2. Crocheted TOMS

After seeing TOMS on many feet I finally managed to get a pair of my own (two actually), and my cream colored crocheted pairs very rapidly turned into my favorite pair of summer shoes.  With MD (see my post about MD for more information) sandals and shoes of the like that are comfortable enough to walk in are nearly impossible to find.  These shoes are wondrously comfortable and SO cute.  These shoes cover your entire foot, but because they are crocheted they breathe everywhere.  It’s like wearing no shoes at all.  High comfort and adorable.  What more could you ask for?  They also come in a wide range of colors: neutrals, blue, purple, neon green, and beyond. Click here to see the complete line

3. Lip Balms with Color

I am never seen without a lip balm of some sort in my pocket or in my purse.  Having to apply a separate balm to moisturize and then reapply your color throughout the day is a two step process that you don’t need to spend time on this summer.  Enter the colored lip balms.  I have 3 favorites: Maybelline Baby LipsRevelon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, and Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter.  I was going to try and pick a favorite, but I couldn’t decide which of these I liked the best.  They all offer exceptional moisture and a nice burst of color.  The Maybelline Baby Lips has less color than the other two, so if you’re a minimalist girl, these will give you a subtle bit of color and a lot of lip moisturizing nutrients.  The Revlon stain balm is more about the color.  It does a nice job of staining your lips with a semi-matte finish.  While it goes on like a balm, it leaves the least glossy feel of the three.  The Revlon butters are a great payout of color and moisture.  You can go subtle baby pink all the way to a bright splash of hot pink (one of my summer faves for the days your makeup needs a bit more spice).  These are a one step must for a splash of color and kissable lips this summer.  Pop one in your purse or pocket and go.

4. Naked Eye Palettes

Urban Decay is hands down my favorite brand for eye shadows and liners.  The color payout is awesome, the staying power is great and the colors themselves are to die for.  My favorites for summer (well, lets me honest.  These are my favorites, period.) are the Naked Eye Palettes.  The entire collection offers a fun play with neutral colors: shimmers, a few glitters, mattes.  They’re all in one place and ready for action.  Naked and Naked 2 are the larger collections, and for the minimalist girl there is the Naked Basics Palette, which has all matte shades  except for a subtle highlight.  Again, I can’t pick a favorite because the entire collection is incredible.  Perfect to keep it beachy and natural while still looking a bit glam.  What more could a girl ask for this summer?

5. SPF

Let’s be honest, SPF might be the most important summer accessory.  Personally, I need to get a lot better at this.  Sunscreen is essential to healthy summer skin.  Let’s do everything we can to stay skin cancer free, my friends.  For the body I recommend Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration.  SPF and moisture all in one bottle.  I tend to notice that well hydrated skin tans better in the sun, so while protecting you this stuff offers a bit of soft and silky help too.  For the face you need to take a different approach.  Neutrogena Clear Face offers a nice coverage of SPF and the promise that it won’t clog your pores.  For trouble skin like mine this is a God send.  Now there’s no excuse to not protect your face while laying out catching rays.

6. A favorite water bottle

I know this sounds like an odd summer essential, but a water bottle could be the most important thing you keep with you this summer.  Water is SO important for so many reasons; Your skin stays clearer and more moist, your body functions better, it keeps you feeling fuller, it’s great for your diet, it will keep you a bit more tolerant of the summer heat; the reasons water is essential to your life are many and all are important.  Find yourself a cute water bottle that can double as a fashion accessory and keep yourself hydrated.  I am proudly sporting a cute purple one that ran me a whole $10 at Target.

7. Skinny cow ice cream treats

Ice cream is one of my favorite things about summer.  Skinny Cow is a brand that the Weight Watcher in me absolutely adores.  The ice cream treats this brand offers taste outstanding and have a PointsPlus value that doesn’t do the taste justice.  Amazing ice cream bars in flavors like chocolate, cookies and cream and pink velvet (my favorite, and pictured above) are only 3 points.  There are ice cream sandwiches and new bars (cookie dough and caramel pretzel OMG!) that offer sweet tooth satisfaction at only 4 PointsPlus.  Check out their site for all of your flavor options and then hurry to your grocery store to stock up.  Ice cream is an essential part of summer.  Feel free to enjoy and not feel one calorie of guilt!

8. Waterproof mascara

Whatever your favorite mascara is, I suggest getting the water proof version for summer.  Raccoon eyes are not hot, ladies.  Between pools and spending time outside (inevitably getting a bit sweaty) mascara is bound to get a bit runny.  Keep your pretty eyes together with some water proof mascara.  I use the Cover Girl Clump Crusher in the water resistant formula.  I use this simply because I found this mascara to make my lashes look the best, but I know every glamour girl has her favorite mascara.

9.  Urban Decay De-Slick Spray

I probably should have put this product at number 1.  This is one of my holy grail products and will be a continuous repurchase.  This is a makeup setting spray that also controls shine.  In the summer it is easy for your makeup to melt right off, and we don’t have time for that.  This spray will keep your products right where you put them, they’ll last a lot longer AND it will help keep shine at bay.  I have never had any breaking out from this product (added bonus!) and my makeup stays looking fresh.  To ensure this staying power I start my makeup routine with a splash of the spray before anything else as well as spraying it liberally after all is said and done.

10. Bright Nail Polish

Summer is about bright colors, and the easiest fashion accessory to change up and get noticed comes in a bottle.  There are amazingly bold nail polishes out there, and summer is a chance to try colors you normally wouldn’t.  Give the neons a go.  Try a hot pink or a peach, or go really bold with summer blues.  Pictured above are just a few of my summer faves.

I’m sure my list could have gone on for another 10, but there you have it!