Bargain Beauty Buys

It is so easy to overspend on beauty and wellness products.  Once I find something that works, I can be hesitant (nay, petrified) to try something new- especially if that something doesn’t come from a highly esteemed company.  Little by little, through some brave trial moments and lots of references through friends, I have been able to replace a large amount of my overpriced designer products for drugstore equivalents, which has been such a relief on my wallet and hasn’t had any negative effects on my hair or skin yet!

Pantene

My number one money saver is definitely my shampoo and conditioner.  I have a lot of very long hair, so I go through hair products at an alarming rate.  I always get my Pantene shampoo and conditioner at Target.  I adore the way it makes my hair look, feel, and smell!  They have a great selection of hair types and treatments, I personally use the Smooth + Sleek line!

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If you haven’t heard of YES TO yet, then you are missing out big time.  YES TO is a remarkable beauty product line for an abundance of reasons.  1) They don’t use any harsh chemicals in their products.  2) All of their products are cruelty free.  3) They consistently give back, donating a portion of every sale towards meals for kids around the globe.  4) They are all affordable! Yipee!  5) They also have a line of products for every different skin type.  Or, if you’re like me, a line of products for every need.  Because why not?

My personal picks: Coconut Protecting Hand and Cuticle Cream (my hands get so dry and cracked during the winter, this is a lifesaver!) Cucumbers Calming Night Cream (the best feeling is waking up and feeling my face after putting this on- so calm and soft!) And the Tomatoes Roller Ball Spot Stick (I don’t have as many full-face breakouts anymore (hooray for turning 23!), but when a pesky zit appears I always zap it with this right away!) Of course, different products work for different people and their various needs, so definitely check out the full line online here or the next time you’re in a Target store!

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I know everyone is familiar with Essie, but you may not be as familiar with their Apricot Cuticle Oil.  It’s 100% a must have.  It keeps your cuticles soft, strong, and under control without ever having to set foot in a nail salon!  Seriously.  If you’ve ever worried about your cuticles before, pick this up.

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I have a bottle of this Neutrogena hand cream in my purse at all times.  All times!  It is a miracle wrapped in a $4 bottle and I’m not even exaggerating.  I never thought I would love a Neutrogena product this much, but I really do.  (Only available in Target stores, but you can buy it online here).

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Makeup brushes can be really ridiculously expensive at conventional makeup stores.  Lucky for us, there is Sonia Kashuk’s brilliant line of affordable brushes at Target!  My amazing sister got me this super jazzy collection for Christmas (sold out online, but I’ve seen them in stores recently!)  Her brushes are so fun and effective that I never feel like I’m using a “bargain brush”.  She also makes great makeup bags, if you’re in the market!

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At any given time, I have about five tubes of Burt’s Bees lip balm in use.  One in my purse, one in my car, one at my desk, one next to my bed, and one in my pocket (which has made for some messy laundry loads, for sure!)  Lip balm application is definitely an addiction for me, but I can never stop and Burt’s Bees is by far my favorite every day product.

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This last one is a little bit of a cheat, since it’s only 50% a “drugstore” buy, but the two items I use go hand in hand so I feel it would be wrong not to include both of them.  On my nightstand, I have two bottles of lotion.  One of them is Aveeno’s Energizing Body Lotion, and the other is Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Body Lotion.  I’m very sensitive to scents, so I usually veer away from scented lotions during the day, as they can mix horribly with natural scents that surround me, but I adore these two products.  I use the Aveeno lotion in the morning to feel energized by the grapefruit and pomegranate scents, and the Bath and Body Works one at night, when the lavender and vanilla lure me into the sweetest and calmest of sleeps.  Admittedly, this is one of my sillier habits; but I stand by its effectiveness and definitely won’t be stopping anytime soon!

With the exception of the Bath and Body Works lotion, I have bought all of these at Target, but most of them are available at a majority of drugstores and grocery stores!  All images are linked back to where I got them from.

Do you have any reliable drugstore beauty products? Let me know! I’m always looking for new ones that come highly recommended!

xo, C

2015

I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way, but this morning I looked at my phone and was shocked to find that it was already January 6th!  The holiday season definitely got the worst of me, in terms of both slipping into unhealthy habits and also getting sick, so I definitely needed the last six days to get back on my feet before fully diving into the new year.

These days, I get the feeling that everyone is a cynic.  It’s more common to hate things like New Year’s Resolutions and Valentine’s Day than to embrace them, for fear of being a cliche yourself.  In my opinion, the post holiday season is the best time to get yourself back on track and working towards the things you value and aspire to, when they can all slip away so easily during the holidays.  The way I see it, January and February (and even March) are such slow months that there is really no better time to start getting yourself back into good habits.  If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: writing down our goals helps us commit to them. Instead of picking a vague resolution such as “be healthier” or “exercise more”, I find picking one particular goal with an action plan I can stick to will help me achieve an end destination is much more feasible and successful.  I picked four attainable goals (two health related and two fashion related) that I believe will lead me to a happier and healthier lifestyle.  So here are my goals and plans for 2015.

Continue reading “2015”

Summer Terminus

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One of the endless things I love about summer is the food options it brings.  As this week brought chilly mornings and evenings with only a few warm hours a day, I decided today was the perfect opportunity to say ‘farewell’ to summer with some peach treats, and cooking with the windows open for perhaps the last time.  My resilient inner New Englander will drink smoothies year round, but these delicious peach muffins won’t settle for anything but freshly picked peaches delivered straight from the farm.  Together, the two helped me savor one last warm weather day before the boots and scarves come out again indefinitely.

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Peach Raspberry Smoothie

1 cup frozen peaches

1/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 banana

1 cup apple juice

1 cup raspberry yogurt

1 serving vanilla protein powder

Blend in your favorite blender/food processor of choice (I chose my reliable Vitamix) and enjoy!

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Peach Muffins

1 cup of sliced peaches

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1 lemon

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

3 tablespoons egg whites

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons olive oil

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit

1.  In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, yogurt, egg whites, maple syrup, and almond extract.  After the mixture is smooth, whisk in the butter and olive oil.

2.  In a larger bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornmeal, and salt.

3.  Using a wooden spoon, add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture until combined.  Slowly fold in the peaches until they are spread evenly throughout the batter.

4.  Pour batter into muffin tins (preferably in muffin liners) and bake approximately 25 minutes.  Let the muffins cool for five minutes in tin before transferring to a wire rack.   I hope you enjoy this last savor of summer as much as I did!