Oh, makeup. I consider myself makeup challenged. Luckily my style is to keep my makeup natural. My biggest challenge is foundation. My skin can be kind of blotchy and the tone is uneven, my pores are a mess and I’m prone to outbreaks. I have a few tools in my arsenal that I trust. I love stick foundation, right now I use Shiseido Stick Foundation with primer underneath when I need to look my best. But I like to have more than one option for foundation and I like some of them to be cheap. In the summer to keep it light I use Boots No. 7 Tinted Moisturizer. For a more matte look I use Revlon ColorStay. I was feeling pretty okay with these so when I got a sample of Ponds BB Cream from Influenster I wasn’t even sure I’d use it. But I did, because good foundation is hard to find. And um, wow. It’s my new favorite.
Even though it just comes in “Light” and “Medium” shades, the Light is great for my pale skin, which is usually too pale for even the lightest color. It blends well, gives better coverage than tinted moisturizer, but doesn’t feel as heavy as foundation. I think I have my dream product. It’s been over a week and I haven’t seen an increase in breakouts, my skin is doing just dandy. And I’m in love.
Also speaking of makeup: I am also lazy. So I like stuff that goes on fast… and ways to take it off fast. Which is where another of my nice freebies comes in. I’ve been using Pond’s Cleansing Cloths at night, but CVS gave me one of their store-brand cleansing cloths, these are Apricot and have one side that removes makeup and one side that exfoliates. They work just as well as the Pond’s and they’re cheaper. Huzzah! Always nice to have a good generic, am I right?
There are lots of things I can’t afford anymore. And a splurge for a pedicure, even a cheap one, isn’t in the cards these days. Especially since summer’s over and I won’t be walking around in sandals much. Despite Graham’s extensive nail polish collection I felt the need to get a new color to help perk me up and to come with me down to Miami. Something fun and eye-catching that wasn’t the kind of eye-popping color I normally go to during the summer.
I am super pumped with my choice: The Lace is On from essie. They call it a “jeweltoned pearlescent fuchsia” and that’s just about right. I like a less matte finish since my toe-polishing skills are subpar and the shiny helps cover my mistakes. The darker color makes it more fall-y without being a definite autumn tone. Plus I love purples and pinks on my toes, so this way I kind of get both.
Also in the land of cheap: I was invited to the opening of a new Savers in Norwood and got some gift cards to use there. I’d never been to one before, I didn’t really know what it was, but I was happy to take a look. Basically, Savers is kind of like a cross between Goodwill and TJ Maxx. But I’ve gone to two locations now and I’m pretty much in love. It’s super organized. It has a giant selection of clothes. If you’re looking for kid stuff, there’s a decent amount of clothes and tons of toys. Everything’s in great condition, as good as a high-level consignment store. It’s clean and neat and I can do my shopping really fast.
For less than $40 I got the kids 5 pairs of pajamas, I got myself a denim skirt from White House Black Market, a Jones New York top and a dress from Express. They have furniture. They have picture frames. They have bed sheets. They have ties. So other people living on a budget, I urge you to check it out if there’s one near you.
I did have to buy one non-budget item recently: a laptop bag. I’d been hauling mine around in a canvas tote bag and getting a job where I needed to take my laptop to work every day on the train meant the canvas tote was no longer sufficient.
To keep it as budget-friendly as possible, I went down to the outlets and wrangled the kiddos while we went from store to store checking out my options. It turned out the first was the best: a Tumi Laptop Carrier. I looked at a lot of options, from Samsonite to Kate Spade, but the TUMI bag was the one that had the best mix of style with useful features and durability. Plus it came with a laptop sleeve and a bag for my cord. So far I have zero complaints about the bag. It’s been on my shoulder every day I’ve gone to work for nearly 2 months.
When the time comes for luggage, I have a feeling TUMI is going to be my new thing.
As for the stuff I DON’T love:
- CoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast Eyeshadow. As I said, I like simple. A shadow that’s shiny but goes on like a primer is a huge find. It looks great, too. Unfortunately it also dries out your eyelids and can give you a kind of tingly/burning sensation. I experimented to make sure it was this and not allergies, but it was definitely the shadow. A week after quitting it, my eyes are still really dry and irritated. So that’s a big no.
- Seriously, if anyone out there knows a great eyeshadow that isn’t a powder, tell me. I tried an e.l.f. one but the color was terrible for my skin tone.
- Mousse for my curls. For my trip to Miami I just brought a carry-on so I brought a travel-sized mousse instead of my V05 cream. Did not like. My cream is cheap and works great and I’m not sure I even want to find a fancy, pricey product.
- I don’t like powder for eyeshadow or foundation, but I love it for blush. I just don’t like cream blush. And I don’t like that I don’t have any more Dandelion blush from Benefit. I’ve been out for a couple years and I keep trying to find a cheap replacement but nothing measures up. It shall be on my Christmas list for sure. Maybe it’s not in the budget, but it’ll make a great present if you’re so inclined…