budget beauty

Beauty on a Budget

Here are 40 beauty tricks that you can try at home. Look your best without breaking the bank!

1. Turn ordinary mascara into the lash lengthening variety by dusting eyelashes with a little translucent powder first.

2. Keep perfume strips from magazines in your handbag to get an instant re-freshness.

3. Your dried nail polishes don’t have to be thrown away– all it needs is just a single drop of nail polish remover. Add it, shake it well and your nail color is good as new.

4. Stand a dried-up mascara in a glass of warm water to bring it back to life.

5. There’s no need to buy expensive, fragranced moisturizers. Many inexpensive store brand lotions are just as effective as the pricey ones. Save your skin and your money.

6. Need to tone down your brassy hair color? Add a pinch of grape Kool-aid powder to four tablespoons of your regular shampoo.

7. Turn your lipstick into a gloss by applying a little lip balm over it.

8. Many of the expensive prestige stores offer sample products at their counters. It’s always worth asking, especially if you are already buying something from them.

9. Pure glycerine is an extremely cheap and effective moisturizer. When you don’t have much to spend, it’s the perfect alternative.

10. Store your makeup and fragrances in a cool, dark place to extend their lifespan.

11. Add a few drops of your favorite perfume to a saucer of olive oil and you may use it as a scented bath oil.

12. Try mixing the lipsticks you already have on back of your hand to create new colors, rather then buying new ones.

13. Put your lip and eye pencils in the refrigerator before sharpening them– this will help them sharpen easily and perfectly.

14. A drop of olive oil rubbed into your nails every night will help them grow long and strong. Much better than shop bought manicure oils.

15. Sharpen dull eyebrow tweezers by rubbing sandpaper along their tips.

16. If you’re running out of your cream blush, there’s no need to rush to the store for a new one. Try using a light pink shade of lipstick in it’s place.

17. A cheap yet effective way to boost shine in your black hair is to rinse it with diluted vinegar. Blonde hair benefits from lemon juice being applied in the same way. Both work by sealing the outer cuticles of the hair which helps reflect the light more effectively.

18. Use an old, clean toothbrush to slick unruly eyebrows into shape.

19. Add a drop of water to the remainder of your foundation to use every single drop of it.

20. Dust blusher over your eyelids for an instant, subtle eyeshadow. It’s quick to apply and will give a soft and balanced look to your makeup.

21. Instead of buying an expensive whitening toothpaste, try brushing with soda bicarbonate.

22. Swap commercial face scrubs for a handful of oatmeal massaged directly onto your skin. Smooth, soft skin– naturally.

23. Spritz your hair lightly with water and blow dry again to revive products already in the hair and revitalize your style.

24. To give the illusion of a perfectly straight nose, draw a line down the bridge of your nose with a cream shimmer. The shimmer reflects light, giving the illusion of symmetry.

25. Warm up your eyelash curler with a quick blast of hot air from your blow-dryer (no more than three seconds) before using it on your lashes. The heat opens up the hair cuticle, boosting the curl.

26. A drop of cola will reinvigorate your mascara’s consistency. The syrup in the soda adds just enough moisture without making your makeup watery.

27. Want to soothe irritated skin? After tweezing ingrown hairs, crush two aspirins into a powder and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply this over the tender area and let dry for relief. The anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin make bumps and bruises fade faster. This also works on razor burn.

28. Blotting papers are the standard go-to when you want to fight oily skin, but if you’ve forgotten yours, there’s a surprising substitute. It sounds a little crazy, but paper toilet seat covers make great blotting papers. The thin tissue absorbs oil like a sponge.

29. Dry shampoos work wonders but they can be really expensive. For a fast and inexpensive at-home alternative, mix together equal parts baking soda and baby powder, sprinkle over hair and brush. The baking soda helps remove buildup while the baby powder soaks up excess oil.

30. Don’t use too much toothpaste– it’s the brushing action that cleans your teeth, not a bulk of toothpaste. A pea sized blob is enough.

31. If you want to quickly thicken your hair, add two sugar packets to a 20 ounce bottle of water to create a natural volumizing spray.

32. You know that drying spray they have at your nail salon? No need to buy it. Once nails are partially dry, spray them with Pam olive oil spray. Also, running them under cold water will help speed up the drying/setting process.

33. If your nail polish bottle is stuck shut, try wrapping a rubber band around it for a better grip!

34. Olive oil can be added to bath water for a skin softener.

35. Don’t buy an expensive toner. Use witch hazel instead. You can also rinse with a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar after cleansing. It balances out the ph of your skin.

36. For great lotion, mix one-part lotion with one-part vaseline. It works better than plain lotion and depending on the cost of your lotion, you can stretch its value.

37. Use hydrogen peroxide as an inexpensive nail bleach.

38. For an intensive treatment for very dry hair, apply a tablespoon of cooking oil to your hair, comb through, wrap in a towel and leave it on for 20 minutes. Then wash and condition as usual.

39. Can’t afford your facial this month? Give yourself an at-home steam by filling a large bowl with steaming hot water, putting a towel over your head and holding your face over the water for one to three minutes.

40. Eye shadow can double as eyeliner by applying it with a damp cotton bud.

Budget Beauty: DIY Body Scrub

Why spend big bucks on body scrubs when you can make them yourself for cheaper? Its important for us to exfoliate our skin at least twice a week to get rid dead skin, aid ingrown hairs, and it also helps to ensure us with silky skin. Take a ½ cup of raw sugar and mix it with ¼ cup of sweet almond oil, I recommend applying your scrub in the shower. You should be able to find raw sugar at your local grocery store or an organic market such as Wholes Food, as for the sweet almond oil you will find it at any target.


On Dayre: Here’s what you might have missed!

Dayre has become the place where I go back to “beauty basics”. If you’re a complete beginner and just want to-the-point, short write-ups on various products and quick tips on makeup and skincare, check it out below!

  1. Some Beauty “Cheapies” that are as good as High-End products!
  2. Makeup Removal Routine and Tips
  3. 8 High End “Glow”-finish foundations and What Skintypes they’re good for
  4. Basic Contouring
  5. My Under-eye Concealing Routine

P.S. I’ve decided to split the content this way because I’ve covered a lot of the basic stuff some time before on the main blog/Tumblr, and I don’t want to cover old ground for those who have seen it all before.

Dayre allows me to slowly do a single post bit by bit over the day, with captions under each picture, whereas on Tumblr, I have to prepare all the pictures and post them all at once, and put the captions in a whole long chunk below. Better when I’m doing actual pictorials using high-res images.

It’s almost here! Tomorrow and Wednesday, get 40% off all cosmetics at Priceline - this includes nail products, but does not include accessories.

I’ll definitely be hitting up a few Priceline stores in Sydney city tomorrow, I’m hoping if I go early they won’t be too hectic or empty! The sale is online as well as in stores, so don’t worry if you can’t get to one :)

Sunny (Review)

When I mentioned in my Wishlist post a couple of weeks ago that I was looking for a bronzer, a lot of my “real life” friends were totally shocked. Why? Because I’m a pale-ass person. More shocking perhaps is the fact that it doesn’t bother me. In fact I LOVE my “real-life vampire” pale-ness. So why the bronzer? Well, I was actually looking for something to contour with. But what is contouring?

It’s why Kim Kardashian’s face looks like this. (well that and great bone structure.. damn)

Basically it’s a technique where you use a powder that’s slightly darker than your skin tone directly under your cheek bone, creating a shadow which makes your cheeks look more prominent and defined.

MOVING ON… There are specific powders designed to use for contouring (i.e. contouring powders) but for something more subtle/natural lots of people use bronzer. BUT the bronzer needs to be totally shimmer/frost/glitter free… otherwise the illusion isn’t going to work.

I read about NYCs Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in “Sunny” on http://nattyngeorge.blogspot.com.

It is supposed to be a a sheer but build-able bronzer that is completely matte without looking muddy on your face. What’s more amazing is that it’s only about 3.50$. I’ve had this for about 2 weeks and I love it. You can add amazing definition without looking like you even tried and the colour is surprisingly great on my super-pale complexion. I expect this works on a variety of skin tones because Natty is much more tan than I am and she loves it (more than Benefit’s Hoola, which is almost 10x the price)

For how to contour with a bronzer, check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNU42rBuets (skip to 7:50min)

I would definitely recommend this for anyone who wants to dabble in contouring or who wants a super natural looking bronzer. I’ve read that it can be hard to find but I found mine in the first Jean Coutu (a drugstore) I checked.

p.s. For a ton of info on bronzers in general, check out http://nattyngeorge.blogspot.com/2011/05/ultimate-bronzer-post-bronzer-101-quick.html 

[Requested] Favorite Out-of-the-Box Beauty/Makeup Tips and Tricks
Now for those of you don’t like read much text, please hit the Back button right now because I will be listing 10 of my favorite beauty tricks and there’s no way for this post not to be wordy! If you’d like to find out some of the less conventional things I do to save money, stretch my products, or get around particular beauty issues, read on!

Keep reading

We did some investigating into a couple of homemade hair masks that are ready to combat the cold with ingredients you can probably find in your fridge.

Check out my post on HauteTalk.com! Super simple and cheap hair masks made from honey, milk, avocado, egg, and olive oil. Click the link to find out more!

Coupon Code Alert– use mom2015 for 25% off on orders of $50 or more on Deborah Lippmann’s site through 4/30. 

I picked up the Girls (i mean ew, but) collection - 4 full sized polishes for $45 - making it $33.75 with the discount - so $8.44 per polish, and they’re all colors I like and will use. 

The Get Nailed manicure essentials kit would be great to use it on as well - the kit price is $49 and you get - 2 full sized polishes ($36), a full sized base coat ($20), a full sized top coat ($20), and a full sized polish remover ($19) - so even without the 25% off, you’re saving 50% here. With the discount, you’re getting $95 worth of product for the price of 2 full sized polishes ($36.75). After the discount, the polishes end up being $6.96 each, the top/base coat $7.74 each, and the polish remover is $7.35. A really nice way to try a lot of their products without a /ton/ of commitment. 


Patterns on patterns = adorable ladyface who can’t stop smiling.

I found these three items at Target last night in the regular section of clothing. Mossimo shawl and dress were buy one get one 50% off. Rad right?! Plus the Mossimo canvas shoes on sale for $17 bucks I seriously spent under 45 bucks on three essentially summer pieces and perfectly go together!

Happy Saturday babies!

5 Recommended Drugstore Mascaras (plus an amazing lash primer)


What are your top 5 mascaras for under $12? thanks. :)

It was harder than expected to nail down 5 mascaras under US$12 specifically, as prices vary so much internationally, so I will just stick to recommending drugstore mascaras that I’ve personally tried and loved over the years.

If these happen to cost more then US$12 where you are located (like me), I’m sorry about that!

1. L'oreal Voluminous: You’ve heard it before. This is the drugstore version of Dior Show mascara with a smaller, easier-to-handle brush. I stockpile this (both the regular and Carbon Black versions) because they’re not sold in many parts of Asia, and I can’t imagine not having this mascara. Some people find it clumpy but I’ve never had any issues. These are my absolute favorite for giving fluffy, feathery, full lashes that don’t look like burnt-twigs. 

2. Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara (non-waterproof in pink tube)

This works quite like Rimmel Sexy Curves, but is a bit better for people with sparser lashes. Separates and builds quite quickly for a more dramatic look, but I find it does not give the wispy “born-with-it” lashes L'oreal Voluminous gives me.

3. Bourjois Volumizer Mascara

Many people either love or hate this. I’ve found people who hate it haven’t quite gotten the knack of working with it. You can use the Step 1 brush as a primer and then layer on Step 2 for killer volume, but the way I personally like to use it is actually to apply Step 2 FIRST, and then separate and sweep off clumps with the Step 1 brush. This is like L'oreal Voluminous on steroids.

4. Revlon Grow Luscious (Original)

This dried out very fast for me, which is my only beef with the formula. I did enjoy it very much, as it also gives you feathery, natural-looking lashes. The bonus is that it conditions them as well, but I wouldn’t say it actually makes your lashes GROW longer. The brush is quite similar to Dior Show but if you have problems with keeping mascara off your lids, then this mascara is not for you as it’s huge and dense. But for many people outside of the US and UK, Revlon Grow Luscious is available and Voluminous is not.

Honorable Mention

5. Shiseido Lash Expander Frame Plus

This fiber mascara lengthens by applying tiny fibers onto the tips of your natural lashes and creates natural-looking temporary extensions. As someone who HATES the look of clumpy or obviously unnatural lashes, this was a staple before I got into Bourjois and L'oreal mascaras. I did not list it as part of the main list because outside of Japan (and occasionally on eBay), the mascara costs an arm and a leg. In Japan, it only costs about US$10 while local buyers in Singapore have to shell out a ridiculous US$20-21 (SGD$25.90), which is the price of high-end mascaras in the West.

But this mascara is for a specific purpose; building believable length. If you have sparse lashes and need volume, this will not do it for you.

PLUS!! Lash Primer of choice:

Ardell Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator

It might sound unlikely but this coats your lashes and works as the best primer if you don’t like those chalky-white lash primers that give you lash tips that go helter-skelter. It protects and conditions your lashes, works as a primer, AND costs US$2. (It’s more expensive than that in other parts of the world, but still incredibly cheap.) 

An important thing is to make sure that you get a tube that is cloudy white; not yellowish or orange as those would have “turned”. Sometimes drugstores don’t get rid of old stock, so it’s important to be careful when it comes to products that go on your eyes and skin.

[Pic source: http://www.makeupandbeautycare.com]

Priceline Catalogue!

Starts Monday 16th December, ends Tuesday 24th December

  • 50% off entire TRESemme range
  • 40% off Models Prefer Cosmetic Bag Gift Sets
  • 40% off TIGI range
  • 30% off all Rimmel eye and lip products
  • 30% off entire Invisible Zinc range
  • 30% off Clear shampoo or conditioner range
  • 30% off entire L'Oreal skincare range
  • 25% off entire Australis cosmetics range
  • 25% off John Frieda Colour Collections range
  • 20% off entire Innoxa cosmetics range
  • 20% off entire L'Oreal cosmetics range
  • 20% off all Almay face products
  • 20% off all Nude By Nature face products
  • 20% off entire Sally Hansen range
  • 20% off entire Real Techniques range
  • 20% off entire Eylure range
  • 20% off Revlon beauty tools
  • 20% off entire Rock Beauty range
  • 20% off entire Elegant Touch range
  • 20% off entire Lady Jayne range
  • 20% off Ego Skincare QV range
  • 20% off entire Biore range
  • 20% off entire Bio-Oil range
  • 20% off entire ModelCo range
  • 20% off entire Cancer Council range
  • 20% off Ego Sunsense range
  • 20% off entire Reef range
  • 20% off entire Avene range
  • 20% off entire Uriage range
  • 20% off entire Bioderma range
  • 20% off entire Nuxe range
  • 20% off Olay Total Effects range
  • 20% off Dr LeWinn's skincare range
  • 20% off entire Skin Doctors range
  • $10 off selected Models Prefer gifts
  • $10 off Revlon foundation
  • $3 off Maybelline face and eye products
  • Free iPhone cover when you spend $15 on Covergirl products
  • 2 for $20 on Essie nail polishes
  • 2 for $20 on entire Toni & Guy range
  • 3 for 2 on entire Batiste range
  • Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Pantene 750ml shampoo and conditioners

My recommendations:

  • The Models Prefer gift sets would be ideal last minute gifts for any teenage relatives/friends/acquaintances
  • Rimmel Apocalips lip lacquers
  • Bioderma Crealine H20 Cleanser & Makeup Remover
  • Essie polishes - you’re basically getting one for free!