Frugality

EPILATORS: The Newest Beauty Device I’m Torturing Myself With!

Maybe you’ve heard of an epilator maybe not.. maybe your grandma has one of these crazy devices and you’ve been curious as to what it is. I bought one after my waxer recommended it for my thighs (barely any hair and not worth the cost of waxing) and in my style of curiously causing immense pain to myself in the name of beauty I decided to use it over my entire body. Check it out!

epilator

I actually love it. The hair stays away as long as waxing and it’s a fraction of a percent of the price of waxing. Maybe pick up a RX for some Vicodin while you’re at it!

You can order if you dare:

My Epilator

The shinier model with all the attachments (recommended by my friend) 

XX MDMA

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The Best DIY Body Scrub, Ever

Every once in a while I come up with an idea that makes me wish I had my own product line. Then after googling realize I’m not the amazing genius I hoped to be as it’s been done a trillion times already. Oh well. At least my recipe for the best body scrub (seriously) ever will save you some serious $$.

For you coffee drinkers, start saving your grounds. I keep a ziploc next to my coffee machine and every morning add my used grounds to it. (By the way, those of you with keurigs- I just bought this genius little refillable k-cup and started buying my own coffee and I’m saving so much money!)

Yet another reason to love Organic Coconut Oil… scoop about 2-3 tablespoons and add to 10 TBSP of coffee grounds. Those measurements are totally guesses. Add only enough coconut oil to hold the coffee grounds together and form a thick paste. Think cookie dough, not cake batter. Add to a sealable container and voila you have the best body scrub you’ve ever used. I can’t say it’s the BEST face scrub because I’m partial to ExfolikatePhilosophy Microdelivery Peel and Arcona Cranberry Gommage, but it’s right up there with them.

This is awesome because the grounds (you want to be using very fine grounds, especially on the face) gently slough away dead skin cells, the caffeine helps rid cellulite and wakes your skin up and the coconut oil leaves a shield of hydration.

When using this the water will be very brown so be sure to use a regular body wash afterwards.

I also like to use on the face as a mask for 5 minutes.

Happy Scrubbing! 🙂

For a cute idea, paint some mason jars and keep your scrub in that. Cuter than a bag of what appears to be black tar laying in your shower (awkward to explain to guests, trust me).

XX MDMA

 

Always Bring Your Calculator to the Makeup Counter

I’m not shy to say I love luxury makeup and skincare. I know there’s a lot of blogs and commenters out there to shoot down products because of crazy price points. This post isn’t to defend certain products, as certain products are right for people, and wrong for others. This post is, however, an important lesson to always remember when shopping for products.

The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. There’s a million products out there, so how do you choose what to invest in? I have a 3-step system I always like to explain to my clients.

1. Find what ingredients work for you

Is it dark spots you want to get rid of? Wrinkles? Firming? Pores? Do some research on what ingredients REALLY work for you. Many times you can find specific ingredients to look for. Say you find that you need Mandelic Acid for dark spots.. Google “Best Serums with Mandelic Acid”. I’m sure you’re going to find a huge list. That’s just one example.

2. Do the Research (via Nordstrom Beauty Stylists & online reviews)

Once you find that ingredient you want to try, you need to find out which products people are loving and leaving. Nordstrom Beauty Stylists are wonderful because we literally try everything and get feedback very quickly from clients we’ve sampled and know what is a waste of time or not and aren’t afraid to tell you because we don’t work for any brand, yet are trained in all of them. Online reviews don’t hurt either, although it’s easy to spot when a competitor or all around hater is trying to sabotage the product (there are literally blogs dedicated to “debunking” Creme de la Mer.. when it’s an incredible product). Ingredients aren’t always just ingredients though. Let’s use La Mer for example. One thing I’ve read a lot online is that “it’s just seaweed and mineral oil!”. Not at all true. When doing research you can learn that a NASA Astro-Physisict named Max Huber (and his entire team) got burned very badly with rocket fuel in a lab experiment and he spent the rest of his life finding a cure for scars for us. He did over 6,000 experiments with different fermentation processes and different delivery carriers and after 12 years found a certain fermentation was delivered deepest with a specific mineral oil. That doesn’t mean you can go buy seaweed from the store and blend it with mineral oil and make your own La Mer. That would be the same thing as expecting blended grapes and water to turn into an amazing Pinot Noir. Long story short, do your research.

3. Do the MATH

Seriously- this. I worked with someone the other day who refused to buy a product for $60 and went for the $42 product even though she didn’t like it as much. I explained to her that the $60 was actually twice the size. She didn’t understand, so let me break it down for you with certain products I believe to be comparable. Treat the beauty counter like Costco! I find this to be so common sense but I find myself explaining this on a daily basis.

Find your common denominator, the ML or OZ.

Let’s start with an easy example I’m sure you’ve done before.

I totally love Jo Malone perfume. All the magical scents come in a 1oz and 3.4oz (sometimes even larger). So you’ve decided that new Peony and Blush Suede is the perfect scent for you this Spring. For $65 you can have 1oz of it. For $115 you can have 3.4oz. The larger one is $34 an oz. For $50 more, you can have 3 and a half times the amount, or 1.4 oz free.

Jo-Malone-London-Cologne-Peony-And-Blush-Suede

Now for a better example…

For the last 2 years my favorite daily peels have been the Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Pads. I have not one bad thing to say about them, they are amazing, they work. They come in various sizes, which using example 1, you can determine which is the best value for you.

Alas, if you go back to Step 2, you would know to look at the label to see what makes those pads work so well. Find out what the competitors are. Trish McEvoy (a personal Saint to me) has just released her Correct & Brighten Weekly Peel Pads. Same acids as the Dr. Gross, as well as many other peel pads. So which one should you go with (assuming you have tried both and both do not irritate your skin)?

Since Trish’s are much stronger, you need to use them just once a week. One box comes with 12. Dr. Gross’ comes with 30. The price for Trish is $125 ($10.42 per pad), the price for Dr. Gross is $86 ($2.87 per pad).

Just looking at price per pad, it would seem Dr. Gross is a much better deal, here’s the thing. You need to use those pads every day for them to be effective as they are intended. Are you really going to do that? If so, great. Trish’s you use once a week.

Still following me?

Dr. Gross’ pads are $86 for 30 days, making them $86 a month. Trish’s are $125 for 12 pads, making them last 3 months, taking it to $41.67 a month, and easier to use.

It’s a much smarter buy to go with Trish for this instance!

More breakdowns: Not saying these products are dupes for each other just using examples I’ve thought of recently.

Trish BB Cream ($85/1.7oz) vs YSL Touché Eclat Foundation ($60/1oz) = Trish’s is actually less expensive, and it’s packed with anti aging peptides

YSL Touche Eclat Foundation Review

NARS Radiant Creamy Compact Foundation ($38/0.42oz) vs. Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($60/1oz) = With the NARS compact being over $90 an ounce, It’s a much smarter idea to go with Armani.

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

There’s a lot of food for thought in this post, but hopefully it will help you out next time you feel overwhelmed!

HD Foundation Test: Make Up For Ever vs Revlon Photoready HD

(Taken from Google)

(Taken from Google)

(Quite) A while ago I got curious while at Walgreens and decided to see what new advancements Drugstore brands have come out with. That day I found a lot of things I still love, my favorite being Maybelline Color Whisper Balms (compare to Giorgio Armani Sheers lipstick or YSL Volupte Sheer Candy). I was the most curious about Revlon HD foundation because luxury foundation, eye shadow and liquid liner is something I just can’t stray away from. I bought a bottle and brought it home, turned my studio lights and my DSLR on and got to the test.

The application of both foundations feel similar and I used the same application technique on both sides of my face.

At first I was extremely impressed with this foundation for being Drugstore. I liked it more than many brands I work with on the regular. It was nearly undetectable from the MUFE. But I needed to know how it photographed. I pride myself as an artist that not only can make things look outstanding on film, but natural looking in person as well, which isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Behold, the results, keeping in mind that these looked almost identical to the naked eye. Lighting is the same on both sides.

These photos are uploaded directly from my camera, zero altering has been done.

Image

With flash…

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And in lower lighting… I was also having an allergy attack so sorry for the runnyish nose, hey at least I keep it real.

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Both foundations had equal coverage to the eye, so if you’re looking for a nice looking foundation, I approve. However, it in no way compares to the Make Up For Ever HD which it is clearly a “knock-off” of. If you can’t tell which is which, the right side of my face (left side of the photo) is Revlon, and the left side of my face (right side of the photo) is MUFE.

If you’re a makeup artist trying to build a less expensive kit in the HD foundation department, I do not approve. Womp Womp!!

For Makeup Junkies on a Budget…

Good morning! I love unexpected pleasantries like waking up and having a email about a HUGE FREAKING SALE at BH Cosmetics!!! If you haven’t heard of BH Cosmetics they are used by tons of pro’s who travel a lot and need a (very) wide range of colors to work with. I dont know how they do it but their eyeshadows are  really great and pretty well pigmented and they are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. They do huge palettes of not only eyeshadows but concealers, blushes, lipsticks/glosses and are usually under $20. I have 5 palettes from them that I use fairly often. Well they are having a massive sale and you must check it out if you’re in the market for some new shades. The quality isn’t as great as MAC, NARS, YSL, etc., but for 88 or 120 eyeshadows in one palette for the under the price of one NARS Shadow it’s worth the purchase!