Don’t Break The Bank For Beauty

How often do you find yourself looking at new products or realizing you need to restock what you’re running out of? Throughout the week I’m viewing products I could see myself adding to my weekly routine, but the prevalence of beauty products in our everyday lives doesn’t change the cost of what enhances our look. I’m here to provide a bit of relief this week with some relatively low-priced, but high-quality makeup products.


Morphe brush sets are always a steal. They come with a variety of face and eye brushes (bundled or separate). The bristles are never too soft or stiff and maintain their shape nicely. They don’t often lose hairs especially when washing them. Sets run a range of prices depending on how many you purchase. Individual brushes can sell between $3-$10. Morphe also has a very nice beauty sponge which expands slightly when dampened and it’s not too stiff. The price of the sponge is $7. You can also use codes for Morphe products which can take 10 percent off of your total (many makeup gurus have codes you can find by searching for a Morphe discount code ie. code JAMES or JACATTACK).

Image result for morphe brushes


The list of face products include: e.l.f. Poreless Primer ($6), Maybelline Fit Me Foundation ($7.99) and their concealer ($6.49), Coty Airspun loose translucent setting powder (around $6-$8), Wet and Wild Color Icon Bronzer ($4.99), Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powder blush ($7), Wet and Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder ($4.99), and for setting spray, Mario Badescu Facial Spray ($7). You’ll find the Coty powder to be smoothing, brightening and will hold your makeup in place (just don’t over apply). The Sephora blush is easily blendable and pigmented as are the Wet and Wild bronzer and highlighter! My favorite out of this list is the facial spray, it can be used to set makeup or just as a facial spray as a part of your skincare routine. It’s not filled with super harsh chemicals and really calms the skin!


For an eye primer you can use concealer and set it with a light dusting of setting powder to set your lids before applying shadow. Eyeshadow palettes can be hard to find at a decent price, but still be pigmented and blend-able without having tons of fallout. As for highest quality for a good price, I highly recommend Morphe’s eyeshadow palettes because they are not only creamy and blend-able, but they are pigmented and have little fallout. Most Morphe palettes contain 24-39 shades, and prices range from around $24-$38. E.l.f. has a nice black felt tip liner which runs around four dollars. Maybelline has a range of decent mascara products one being the Colossal Volum’ Express mascara ($7.77), which is also great in its waterproof formula. Finally, Vegas Nay false lashes are a great way to enhance your eye look for under 10 dollars. My go-to for false lashes though are the PÜR Pro (faux mink) lashes which are 3D and wearable up to 30 times!


NYX products are always a steal! The NYX Micro Brow Pencil is a great way to shape and give the look of fuller brows with the precise tip and spoolie brush. This product is around $10 and the brand also carries other brow products like gel, pomade, and powder which work just as well (depending on preference).


Last, but certainly not least, to wrap up our look we can’t forget to add a good lippie! Sephora Collection lipsticks are not too drying and don’t slide around much. They have an awesome selection of creams, liquids, mattes, demi-mattes, and glosses. These lip products range from $5-$14 depending on the product type.

Overall, you won’t have to break the bank if you buy smart. Not all expensive products outweigh the pros of their cheaper counterparts (although some are a nice splurge). Hopefully this helps beginners selecting products that work for best. And yes, while it is possible, some may not measure up to your standards, it’s all about what suits you best! Come back next week to discuss the importance of a correct skincare routine!

A Copper Penny

This week will take a slight turn. Last Tuesday, my dog was put down and I have been thinking about writing something to remember the last 10 years of having her in my life. We will pick back up on affordable makeup next week. This is dedicated to the love I felt in a little copper-colored Cocker Spaniel.

 To preface her life there is just a blank chapter. She came from a rescue group, she had been bred young, and she had no legitimate name. She was skittish, antisocial, and meek. We had two foster dogs come to our home in 2008; one was a playful, happy dog and the other dog, not moving other than her fearful trembling. The choice was up to me as to which one would stay permanently. I chose her and named her Zoey.

 Zoey wouldn’t move off of our beanbag for several days, so I hand-fed her until my mom said I had to stop because she needed to do it on her own.  Eventually, she moved off of the beanbag and into our hearts. At some point she stopped shaking so much and began to trust the two of us. Somehow, Zoey developed new names along the way: Zosephina, Peena, ZoZo. She wore dresses, didn’t wear leashes, and loved to sneak to the dumpster to find a late-night snack. She learned how to give high-fives, roll over, play dead when you pointed your handgun at her, army crawl… and wink. Yes, she winked. Anything for a treat.

Around 2012 we had a huge scare. Zoey was playing in the yard and stopped walking. She just sat in the yard, her whole back half paralyzed. This dog licked away so many tears, provided so many smiles and good cuddles. We couldn’t lose her this soon. Luckily, she pulled through after a very expensive surgery and many weeks of recovery. Her personality grew increasingly as did the nicknames: Peanut, Penny, Pasta, and more. Her excited hallway runs and prancing feet never ceased to crack us up, she totally knew she was making us laugh.

Cocker’s are the most stubborn breed I’ve ever encountered. The funniest and most stubborn moments were when she would chase a ball and pick it up. Only to look up, then drop it and come back with no ball… even though she knew she was supposed to bring it back. She ran the place through numerous foster dogs, but when a new little blonde Cocker puppy came to stay, well, it was a change of pace. She became increasingly playful in her older age despite some physical setbacks. She loved to cuddle next to her furry sister and lick her mom when she wanted to be pet. Yes, Zoey endured pain and encountered neglect in her lifetime, but she also fell into the hands of a gentle family who loved her so much (and spoiled her) because of the sweet, fun-loving demeanor she had.


To sound cliché: losing a pet is like losing a family member. She was my sister until I had a sister. She was there to listen and wipe away tears when no one else was there. She made us laugh and now cry. But, I can’t help but feel joy through mourning because I know I was blessed with her existence. She taught me perseverance and strength and the importance of change. She was a trooper, which reminded me to not sweat the small stuff.

Responsibility and care come when you are required to care for another living being; animals shape the world we live in for the better. I loved her so much. The best part is, I know she loved me too. I’ll miss those big brown eyes begging for a piece of my dinner, but I know she is in a better place where she will feel no pain and know no illness.

Thank you for taking time with me this week to reflect on the loss of a loved one. I hope this reminds you to appreciate the people and small blessings in your life. Take some time to show someone some love this week, whether they are a person or an animal. Of course, stay tuned for next week’s tips on good products that won’t break the bank.

Avoid The Scary Truth Hiding Inside Your Tools and Products

As busy humans, we are often so focused on the large scale that we sometimes forget the importance of small things we encounter in our lives. What if I told you those small scale things are affecting your body in ways you didn’t even realize? Simple things like the way you apply your makeup or how you take care of your razor, can increase risks in your health and hygiene.

Dirty makeup brushes carry loads of bacteria and dirt on them. If you haven’t cleaned your brushes in awhile, chances are, you’re swiping pore-clogging grime all over your beautiful skin. Not properly washing and drying your brushes and sponges can lead to a multitude of issues: increased amounts of acne, higher risk of developing a staph infection, poorly applied makeup, and an increased risk of developing wrinkles or fine lines. Taking the steps to properly cleanse your brushes can help save you money on skin care and reduce your risk of skin damage. Cleaning your brushes can be a pretty painless (and satisfying) process. You can find a safe brush cleanser at a beauty store like Ulta or Sephora, but you may also find one at a store like Target or online. It is recommended that you use a cleanser that will be delicate on the brushes and will not affect your skin. You could also use a baby shampoo if you cannot find a brush cleanser. To clean, simply wet the brush hairs or makeup sponge, apply a small amount of cleanser and gently massage and lather the hairs. Next you’ll want to rinse the tools clean in cool water until all of the residue is gone. Finally to dry your brushes, lightly squeeze the bristles to remove the excess water and find a flat surface where you can lay the brushes. Do not put the brushes in a cup upwards as that can loosen the glue holding them together. If you’re doing makeup a lot, you could also invest in a rack to hang the brushes upside down and remove them from your countertop. Allow the brushes several hours, or overnight, to fully dry before applying your makeup again. You should be cleaning your tools weekly or biweekly depending how often you apply makeup.

Another very important piece of advice regarding beauty and hygiene is surrounding your razors. Razor care is so important, not only because you’re using a sharp object on delicate skin, but also because the way you care for that razor can determine whether or not you suffer from razor burn, ingrown hairs or irritation. It is highly recommended that once you are finished shaving you rinse the blade and gently blot the razor on a dry towel. Blotting the razor will prevent you from dulling the blade, as well as remove the excess water, which can cause your blade to rust or grow bacteria. Shaving with a dull, rusty blade is not only painful, but extremely dangerous to your health. Store your razor in a cool, dry place, not in the shower. Finally don’t share your razor with others and be sure to switch out the blades every couple of weeks. These steps will enhance the lifetime of your razor and keep your skin smooth.

Finally, you’ll want to grab a piece of makeup you own, like a bottle of foundation or an eyeshadow palette. Somewhere on that packaging you should find a tiny little jar icon. Inside that icon you will find a number with an “m”. This is the recommended life of the product before it “expires”. It is important to keep in mind that, while it is a suggestion to upgrade your product after owning it for six months or a year, you don’t have to. Powder products are much more likely to last longer than the expiration date, but products such as mascara, lipstick, foundation, and concealer should be thrown away and replaced. These products are much more likely to contain bacteria, and the quality of the product will begin to break down or deteriorate.

Example: If the product says “6m” its lifespan is six months. “12m” or “24m” is one and two years.

Maintaining the life of your tools and makeup are super important and pretty simple! I hope these few tips serve as a reminder that taking care of your products is a part of taking care of yourself. Next week will be all about affordable, good quality makeup. Stay tuned!

All Things Fall

That’s right ladies and gents! With our favorite new season in swing, it’s time to bring out those sweaters, scarves and warm boots. That also means it’s time to switch out those summer colors for warm-toned browns, reds, oranges, yellows and deep pinks. This week it’s all about new releases and reviving the fall palettes that helped make our looks fit the fall season.

If you’re like me, you’ll love a good holy grail product. Here is my list for fall eyeshadow must-haves dating before 2018: Urban Decay Naked Heat (2017), ColourPop Yes, Please! (2017), Morphe 25B Bronzed Mocha (2017), Morphe 35F Fall Into Frost (2016), and Jaclyn Hill x Morphe (2017).

Urban Decay Naked Heat (top), ColourPop Yes, Please! (bottom).

          New releases this season include: Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions, Topaz Obsessions and Smokey Obsessions, Urban Decay Naked Cherry, Morphe 35V, Too Faced Gingerbread Spice, Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Vault and ColourPop Good Sport.

Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions

   My favorite thing about the 2018 fall season is that we are bringing a pop of color into our makeup looks by adding some shimmery pinks, and including a few deep greens and blues as well. As for product reviews and price points, I highly recommend the ColourPop palettes for a Beauty Queen and King on a budget. They are a whopping 16 dollars! Morphe palettes are also a steal of a deal with the Jaclyn Hill collections ringing in just under 50 dollars, and the single palettes just over 20 dollars. Morphe does a spectacular job with making sure their products are pigmented, creamy, and affordable! Morphe is also going to include that pop of color to enhance your fall look. Huda Beauty, Too Faced and Urban Decay are all going to be a bit more expensive, but if you’re looking for formula, you can definitely find it in the Huda products. Urban Decay is known for their pigment, but my hope for the new Cherry palette is that it blends a little bit nicer than the Naked Heat. With all of these palettes you can find just the right matte and shimmer shades you need to complete your eye look!

Overall, you cannot lose with any of these products. Go ahead and treat yourself with these gorgeous pressed pigments and be sure to share the awesome looks you’ve created! Come back next week for some insanely important tips about your old makeup, dirty brushes and how it can affect your skin. Have a fabulous first week of fall!

Drab to Fab

          Like most college students, the easiest thing to throw on in the morning is a

loose-fitting tee and a nice pair of leggings. But as much as I want to be

comfortable, I also want to look presentable. How might one dress down for

class, but look cute enough to hang out with the ladies at a late lunch? Simple.

You can take that baggy top from drab to fab with just a few short steps and an

extra 30 minutes in your routine.

  1. Add a dainty choker or some cute stud earrings to your look. A simple,

thin, metallic (rose gold, silver or gold) chained choker or matching

earrings will immediately take attention away from your (possibly)

shapeless tee.

  1. Do a light glam with makeup. A shimmery cut crease with some bronzy

or pink tones can bring attention upward to the face. A light glam

consisting of foundation, bronzer or blush, neatly filled brows, a pop of

highlighter, mascara and lip color can not only enhance your natural

beauty, but be a simple way to spark ideas that your leggings and shirt

are a well thought out process to be comfy and stylish.

  1. Braid or straighten your hair before bed. In the morning, brush

your hair and add some dry shampoo to lift your roots. No need for a

messy bun when your hairstyle takes less than 10 minutes, but looks

like you spent half an hour styling in the mirror.

  1. If you do choose to wear a messy bun, or don’t have time to straighten

your hair, a matching headband or bandeau can add a colorful and stylish

touch to your quick and painless hairstyle.

          The extra half hour may seem pointless in the early morning, but with these simple

steps you get time to fully wake up, and you can expect to attract a few compliments

about your super comfy and super cute look!


Jaclyn x Morphe palette used to create a multitude of simple soft glam looks.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where we will be covering prep for the Fall season. Thanks for reading!