Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Budget Beauty Wins

To my surprise, I just realized I've never done a "beauty on the cheap" post. This must be remedied! I love beauty products, but I'm very selective on what I spend a lot of money on. It stinks to take a chance on something new to find out it's nothing special, or worse, that you hate it. I can justify the occasional splurge if the rest of my arsenal is inexpensive. Plus I'm an instant gratification kind of gal, and I think it's awesome to just be able to pick up something I like at a drugstore or grocery. I hate those cheap beauty posts that are like "this awesome lipstick is only $10!" A $10 lipstick is not cheap. These are some products I adore, several of them recent discoveries, that I promise are actually inexpensive: $5 or less.

Dollar General Brand Face Wash: about $2-3
When I initially bought this, it was for my kids. I was trying to teach them about skincare, and didn't want them practicing with my $28 cleansing oil (ok, I didn't pay $28 for it, but it still was not cheap). However, recently I started to get low on my fantastic oil, so I took the plunge and tried the DG Beauty brand face wash to stretch out my bottle of the good stuff for a little longer. 

When I first squirted it onto my hands, I was not impressed. Ew. It felt gross. It smelled like soap. For a foaming face wash, it was not getting very foamy. But then I shut up and put it on my face...and wow. I'd been looking for something that made my face feel really, really clean for a while, and this was what did it. A swipe of astringent verified that my face was completely makeup free in no time flat, and it felt soft and clean. This wash converted me from a cleanser snob. My one complaint: it did make my skin feel dry. A little of my regular moisturizer and I was fine, but if you have very dry skin, YMMV. I can't find this on the Dollar General website now, and I have to admit, I'm kinda panicked. I'm going to need more soon!

This buy came from necessity. I've tried several concealers to deal with my undereye circles, and all have disappointed. When I ran out of my good-enough liquid concealer, I was broke, so I picked up the cheapest one that looked like it might work in Medium. This is not the chalky stick concealer I tried in the 90s. It was creamy, easy to apply, and did a better job of minimizing my dark circles than the past three concealers I'd tried combined. I'm hooked. It also played into my weakness for easy beauty: as much as I like products, I'm not a morning person, so makeup I can put on in a hurry without looking like I did it half asleep in the dark (even if I did) is my friend. This stick? We're friends. Downside: no option for dark skinned beauties. Even though the medium shade was fine on me, it's always a bit of a downer when a company doesn't even attempt shades for darker skinned women. I'm not as familiar with the variation in light skin tones, but I'm guessing that very pale lovelies would be out of luck, too. 

The priciest everyday makeup is generally foundation, and it's also the item most likely to make you look ridiculous if you buy the wrong shade. So much pressure! Luckily, I found Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse. I love this stuff. I'm currently on my third bottle. The bottle looks tiny, but it lasts a while because you don't need a lot for good coverage. It spreads evenly, never drips, and gives noticeably smooth coverage with a little buildability for blotchy days. I love it. My main complaint, once again, is a low range of shades. It does have a good balance of cool and warm tones, and the very light faired a little better this time, but I wear Sand, the darkest shade, and I am far from the darkest skinned person I know. On the up-side, if you're somewhere between porcelain and sand, I'd highly recommend it. 

Ok, I cheated a little on this one. I usually get the two pack of Equate sterile multipurpose solution, which is $5.98. The single 12 oz bottle and the two pack linked in the headline for this section are both under $5 though. I spend a touch more because I actually wear contacts, so it does double duty for me. What I recommend that you use it for is removing eye makeup. I discovered quite by accident that a cotton ball with a little bit of regular old saline solution removes eye makeup beautifully and leaves your eyes feeling refreshed. I also like to dip a cotton swab in it to correct eyeliner mishaps. Since I do wear contacts, I'm hesitant to use the pink, cosmetic-y fare typically marketed for eye makeup removal, and this is something I'm already safely using on my eyes. It's designed to keep your eyes clean, so why wouldn't we use it for that? And if you're not fussy about the brand, it's crazy cheap. For your actual contacts, that's between you and your doctor, but for taking off day old mascara, cheapo contact solution works just fine for me.

I love a good beauty bargain so much! I'll be on the lookout for more beauty finds at pocket change prices to share with you. What are your favorite inexpensive beauty steals?