Top Beauty Products: By someone who DEFINITELY is not a beauty influencer

There are people who don’t wear make up and don’t know the first thing about it. There are people who wear a minimum amount of makeup. There are people who love makeup think its pretty but are not an artistic with it. Finally,  there are these goddesses who know how to transform themselves. I am in the loving makeup but not an artist category. However, I do like to wear makeup when I go out and am able to do some do some basic looks. Also with working in an office I do put some makeup on at least five times a week.

That being said if you are just looking for practical, yet quality makeup, that can double up for going to work or going to the club then read on. I want to give you the TOP beauty products that I use for my everyday look.

NYX Angel Veil Primer

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At $16.00 this primer is in the medium price range. I use this daily for work and not only does it keep my foundation on, but when mixed with the Morphe setting spray, I don’t have to ever reapply my highlighter and blush throughout the day. However, I wouldn’t say its a great 24 hour primer. I have used it for long nights maybe 8 hours at the most and while my makeup stayed on it isn’t as good compared to higher end primers. NYX is an AMAZING line for quality makeup at a lower price.

Revelon Full Cover Foundation

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This is by far one of my favorite foundations that I have used. It has a nice matte finish and when you get the right color for your skin it looks insanely natural. I know its cliche to say that it really provides full coverage of the skin but it does exactly that, provides full coverage. A lot of foundations claim to be full coverage but this is the best one that I have found. I got this at a Jewel-Osco for 13.00 but it varies from store to store.

Rimmel Stay Matte

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Here is where my total inexperience comes in. I like putting on this pressed powder after my concealer for a more blended look. I am 50 percent it might be setting powder supposed to be used for the last step in the application process but I put it on after my foundation! It’s essentially a sheer powder so you don’t have to worry about adding a whole different color on top of your makeup.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighter Palette

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This product is definitely one of the more expensive products at $40.00. However, she has a mixture of palettes with great colors that are great stand alone or can be mixed together. It last for a long time especially when you use primer and setting spray. The colors are deep and I like how it creates a consistent glow/sparkle. I know a lot of high lighters are kind of patchy and have glitter scattered all over versus a solid condensed glow (if that makes any sense as my complete lack of knowledge shows). It’s by far one of my favorite products it lasts a long time and is worth the money.

OR

Oasis & Paradise Highlight Palette

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I found an app called Hush, which gives you cheap makeup options that you may not find normally. It is here where I found this Oasis & Paradise Highlighter palette by Bad Habit for only $12.00. It lasts for an amazingly long time, especially for the price. I would say its comparable to the Anastasia Beverly Hills palate. I prefer to use this one for every day use since it is cheaper, lasts for a longer time, and it helps me to preserve my Anastasia Beverly Hills palette. Normally, I will just use a splash of any deep pink blush  right under my highlighter unless I am using a deep gold color or a pink color. Then the highlighter can stand on its own.

Morphe Eyeshadow Primer

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Eye-shadow primer is super important for when you want your shadpw to last through the night. Like any other Morphe products not only is this super affordable but its great in quality as well. It sells for about $10.00.I haven’t tested out for periods longer than 8 hours but I will say that it has lasted well in that time span. I also will add there’s been 2-3 times where I fell asleep with my makeup on and the eyeshadow WAS NOT still on when I woke up.

Morphe Eyeshadow Palette

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I LOVE Morphe Eyeshadow Palettes they are only 23 dollars and come with 35 colors in them. Like the Beverly Hills Palettes they are super rich, consistent, and deep in color. You can mix and match colors or you can use just a single color. Morphe has a ton of different palettes for different colors but this is one of my favorites. Their eyeshadow is as good, if not better, than eyeshadow palettes you bay upwards of 40 dollars for.

Real Technique Brushes

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Real technique brushes are AMAZING. They aren’t the cheapest but the best part of these is they can almost ALWAYS be found for a good price at Tj Maxx or Marshalls. The brushes are super soft and they do a fantastic job of applying makeup. Seriously if you are looking for some less expensive but HIGH quality makeup brushes then real techniques is going to be what you want to use. Price varies depending on the brush and where you get it.

Nyx Epic Ink Liner

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I am not talented when it comes to putting eyeliner on in different ways. I like a thin line on the eyelid with a bit of a wing. I can’t make dramatic wings and my biggest thing when putting on eyeliner is not making the line too thick. I love their eyeliners, especially NYX Epic Ink, because they have a super thin tip. This makes it easy to make smaller lines and wings for those who aren’t artistic when it comes to applying eyeliner. This usually runs for about $9.00.

Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced

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This mascara is not cheap, a tube of it is about $24.00 but it lasts for about 2-3 months. However, if you are craving INTENSE volume AND length then this is the mascara for you. It is absolutely amazing I get questioned daily about whether or not my eyelashes are fake because this product seriously enhances your eyelashes so much. It also stays on all day so you don’t have to worry about reapplying all the time.

Tarte Lip Paint

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I have searched long and hard for a long lasting lipstick. There is nothing I hate more than having to reapply lipstick frequently. I was so happy when I can across Tarte Lip Paint because they have absolutely gorgeous colors. Not only do these lip paitnts come in a variety of colors but they last a very long time and create a gorgeous matte look. If you want a long lasting Matte look then this is the lipstick you want. One container is about $20.00 dollars and it lasts for months.

Morphe Continous Setting Mist

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I have experimented so much with setting sprays because I cry everytime I have to pay $30.00 for Urban Decay setting spray that only lasts for a little over a month. Yeah, its a good product but I just don’t like it enough to spend that much on that, that frequently. When looking for a new setting spray at Ulta the lady recommended this to me and I have not gone back. This isn’t a spray its a mist. The mist ensures that it gets over your entire face and not just the section that you are spraying. It keeps your makeup PERFECT all day. It is better and beyond Urban Decay setting spray and it is only 16.00 at Ulta.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT

I won’t even pretend to be talented or know the first thing about makeup but I do like to get dolled up and feel good about myself. These are the products I use to do anything from a simple natural look to a night out on the town look. I tend to buy products that aren’t insanley expensive and last longer. So if you are a little lost like me than I highly recommend the products I have suggested.

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Making Online Shopping as Cheap as Possible

If you are like me then you much rather prefer shopping and finding great deals online over spending a lot of time in store. Online shopping can save you A LOT money if you do it right. Thats why I want to share with you tips for online shipping I use to save the most amount of money.

Lets start with a few ways that you can cheat the system and save money

Clear your browser history:

Most sites give you an option to put in your email address for around a 20 percent discount if it is your first time visiting the site. Clearing your history allows this offer to pop up as many times as you want it to, however be weary because SOME websites will let you use the same email and some websites require a new one each time! However, if it is a website that requires a different email each time you can usually work around this by unsubscribing from the email list. You can also just unsubscribe from the email list either way after you get the discount, which helps keep your inbox uncluttered.

Sign up for VIP Memberships and then CANCEL: 

A huge way I save money when I buy workout clothes or shoes is by becoming a VIP member for places like Fabletics, Shoedazzle, and Justfab. VIP members usually always get a discount on these sites, however I never keep my membership. This is a major major way to cheat the system and save hundreds of dollars depending on what you buy. When you set up a VIP account (you can use the same email more than once) they ALWAYS have a deal for first time VIP purchases such as 2 for 24 leggings or getting your first pair of shoes for only ten dollars.  I have gotten three pairs of shoes for 30 dollars before and I have gotten 8 pieces of workout clothing for a little over 100 dollars just by using this method. I generally wait till the order comes but when it comes I go ahead and cancel the membership. Be sure you REMEMBER TO CANCEL because if you do not then on the 6th of the month you will get charged 49 dollars. If you don’t want to make a new account each time and you want to remain a VIP member and get the savings you can skip getting charged that month by choosing “Skip this month” in the boutique.

If that fails or if you want an even bigger discount lets look at these possibilities. 

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Check for websites with discount codes or apps that give you deals: 

There are plenty of websites and apps that will search the web for discount codes. They usually find discount codes that previous users have used and had success with. In addition a lot of sites will let you know the last time that it worked for someone who used it. Here is a list of websites and apps that will help you find the best deal and I also included second-hand retail sites for those who don’t mind buying second-hand.

Websites

  • Retailmenot.com
  • Groupon.com
  • Freeshipping.org
  • Ebates.com
  • Coupon Cabin

Apps

  • Honey: This app doesn’t come out till Feb 2019 but I have the download on my laptop and it is super cool because the plug in will show up at the coupons section of check out and it will automatically run the discount codes right there on the site and let you know if you are getting the best deals.
  • Slick deals
  • Ibotta

Some apps that you can buy second hand clothing are

  • Poshmark
  • thredUP

There are many more apps that you can buy and sell second-hand clothing at but these were the two I found that were the highest rated. I don’t use these apps as I just prefer to buy new but for anyone who doesn’t mind wearing second-hand clothes this can be a great way to buy cute clothes at a fraction of the price.

Check the clearance or sale section EVEN ONLINE:

More times than not I have gotten a bunch of cute clothes in bulk for under 100 dollars just by using this trick. For example, lets take one of my favorite places to shop (beside Tj Maxx of course) Charlotte Russe. I like them because they have cute reasonably priced clothing, their jeans fit me really well, and overall the quality if pretty good! It is more common than it is uncommon for sites to have an online sale going on. If you go to the sale section you often find sweaters for 10-15, shoes for 20 and up, jeans buy one get one fifty percent off. However, my favorite thing is going through the clearance section. I am not the type of person who has to have the fashion that is in THAT season, I wear what is cute and what makes me feel good. What I do is sort the price lowest to highest and go through and find what I like. It is a little time consuming but it is worth it for the cash that you save.

Do they have an affiliate program:.

A lot of places like meal prep companies, supplement companies, clothing companies, etc have affiliate programs, athletes, or sponsors. Check out the company on Instagram and see if they have affiliate programs. If they do you can usually find someone with a discount code in the tagged photos section. This helps both you and them because you get a discount and they get someone using their code.

Check Amazon for a cheaper but similar alternative

Doing this over the years has saved me a lot of money on clothes, products, books, and just random things. The key to shopping on amazon is reading the reviews. You want to read the reviews on not only the seller but the products as well. I am more trusting of reviews with photos of the product attached to them. I will also read the highest rated reviews and the lowest rated reviews. You have to look for patterns in the reviews, for example if there are a lot of negative reviews saying the same thing about the product but by different people I generally steer clear of that product. Again, this is time consuming but will save you money in the long run.

I HATE paying full price for things I can find for cheaper so I hope these tips will help you save money on your online shopping endeavors.

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Tips for apartment living when on a budget

Three weeks into living with my boyfriend I quit my job. Now, I was able to do so because I have saved very responsibly but let me tell you it is still scary not having that paycheck when living expenses pile up. I was fortunate to get another job instantly. However, even before getting this new job (and a real nice bump in pay) I wasn’t making as much as I wanted. My boyfriend and I are both determined to save money as much as possible and therefore I wanted to share the tips that we came up with for apartment living on a budget.

Budget Apps:

Right off the bat lets talk about things that can help you if you are not good at financial planning. There are plenty of apps out there that you can link your bank account to, you can input your monthly income and expenses, that track your spending, etc that can help you. If you are not good at making a budget yourself then rely on an app to help you. Perhaps the top two apps my boyfriend and I use are:

  1. Mint: You can link your bank account to this app and it will categorize and monitor your spending
  2. Daily Savings: This you plug-in your reoccurring expenses, your salary, and it will basically tell you what your daily spendings can be and let you log it

This really helps you keep up with what you are spending each day and hopefully cut back on unnecessary expenses.

The big bad “monthly rent” 

Clearly the BIGGEST expense when living in an apartment is RENT especially if you are not splitting the costs with someone else. However, rent does not have to be so scary if you do it right. The biggest thing I do and make my boyfriend do is put a portion of the rent away with each paycheck. Rent can certainly wipe you clean if you don’t save any of your previous paycheck and use a whole paycheck to pay it. Putting some of it aside allows it to not be such a financial burden. This can also go for utilities as well!

Need random things for around the house?

To some extent you should utilize stores like “Family Dollar”, “Dollar General”, or “Five and below”. You can get some very basic essentials from these stores such as: pens, decorations, candy, books, DVDs, cards, toys, even makeup! The reason I said use it to an extent is that in life you do need to realize that cheaper is not always better and a lot of times you get what you pay for! However, things like decorations are nice to get from the dollar store and where me and Elliot got a few of our Christmas decorations! Also, these stores do manage to sell some brand name stuff for a lower price and you can get well known names from them for a low price and save a major amount of money.

For times you want to be a little classier then the dollar tree: 

Lets face it none of us really want to get EVERYTHING from the dollar tree but we still want to shop somewhere reasonable. Stores like Tj Maxx, Marshalls, and Bed Bath & Beyond are amazing for the essentials in your apartment. My boyfriend and I got all of our glassware, kitchen knifes, silver wear, towels, utensils, etc. from these stores and we didn’t pay more than a few hundred dollars for a LOT of items when it was all said and done. They have such cute stuff at affordable prices (which I am pretty sure is their motto) it makes filling your apartment with the things you need affordable!

Utilize stores like Sams Club and Costco: 

If you have a membership or know someone who has a membership at these stores you can really save money here. My suggestion is to by the things you use regularly (I.e. paper towels, napkins, tissue, toilet paper, dish washer detergent, laundry detergent, etc) in bulk at these stores. When you buy these things in bulk you save yourself the re-occurring expenses of having to buy them weekly or more than weekly. It is super helpful and most bulk products last for months. You can also buy food in bulk here as well. If you have something that you eat quite often it may be much better to by it in bulk versus buying it multiple times a week.

Speaking of large quantities of food:

Here is my BIGGEST tip for when buying food in mass! This part has a few aspects to it. First things first, it is INSANELY cheap to buy frozen vegetables and they last longer. I strongly suggest that if you eat large amounts of vegetables to buy them frozen you can cook or microwave them when you are ready to eat them. THE BIGGEST THING that has helped us save money in our household is buying meats in mass and FREEZING them. Elliot and I buy the large packs of meats and what we don’t cook we put in the freezer. This saves us a ton of money from buying small amounts of food more often, which again it

You truly don’t need cable: 

While internet is pretty necessary in your apartment you can totally make do without cable, which adds a good 50-70 dollars to your monthly bill bringing it to over a hundred a month. If you get the most expensive subscriptions to Netflix ($13.99) and Hulu (without live TV, which is $11.99) you will only be spending $25.98 a month. In addition to that you can also get Hulu with live TV for $39.99 a month, which is $53.98. Even if you just chose the Hulu option you are still paying way under then you would be for cable.

So there you have it: 

Those are my tips to save money while apartment living! There are plenty of useful tools out there to help you save money! A great resource with tons more articles is :

https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/

I will be sure to post more on saving to come! If you want more of my content be sure to follow me on Instagram @alisonschulthesz