budget beauty


L’Oreal’s Miss Manga Black Angel Mascara has been on my radar since it launched because manga lashes are my kinda lashes. Lots of volume, length, and the perfect amount of clumpiness. My hope that this would be THE mascara for me were raised even higher once I heard it was part of the Voluminous line. Voluminous Carbon Black is hands down one of my favorite mascaras of all time and I’ve been using it (on and off – such is the nature of beauty blogging) consistently for years.

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I got this great tip for clear skin the other day. I’ve been frustrated with trying to keep my skin clear for the longest time and even with different face washes, masks, and acne spot treatments I always break out.

Yesterday I tried making a honey mask and within a couple of HOURS my acne was going away.

It’s so easy and cheap. You just mix two parts organic honey with one part hot water so that it blends evenly and then let it cool. Spread it over parts of your skin that get oily or have clogged pores/ acne and let it dry for 20 minutes or longer then rinse.

Seriously it worked so well and was so soothing on my skin. You’d think it’d be too sticky to wash off but it’s not.

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.

Beauty on a Budget

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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.


NYX Macaron Rouge a Levres in Violet, Rose, Orange Blossom, Pistachio, Coconut and Lavender

I’d heard a lot of buzz about these lipsticks, so I bought them from the NYX website for $6 each while in the US. There are 12 shades in the range, and I bought six of them.

The formula is moisturising and wears comfortably, and the lipsticks have a slight vanilla scent and taste. The most pigmented shades are Violet, Rose, and Pistachio, and I had a bit of trouble reaching full opacity with Lavender, Coconut, and Orange Blossom. The more pigmented shades wore well for longer, without requiring touch ups, whereas the less pigmented shades required touch ups more frequently and wore off as the day wore on.

The range of shades is exciting, and quite a novelty, and for $6 each they’re great to just have on hand, for costumes or particularly colourful looks.

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.


So i found the best exfoliant in the world.



I shit you not, the rough side of kitchen sponges is the best thing, my skin feels smooth as a baby’s butt. Dead skin was just rolling offa me. That is a gross image and i hope you enjoy it.

Over the course of my long nineteen year life I’ve tried a fuckload of exfoliants, from ungents to special loofas to lotions, and usually nothing reeaaally works. Nothing worked until this past vacation with my boyfriend during which we decided “Hey, let’s try using the rough side of a clean kitchen sponge”. 

And you know what it works. My skin is clearing up, it works anywhere, my face feels good and hot diggity damn is it way cheaper than basically anything else i can think of besides sandpaper. Please do not use sandpaper.

So yes. Grab a clean two-sided sponge from your kitchen, make sure it isn’t too painful or made of metal, and scrub away in your shower. Just be aware it does dry your skin out something hellish so use lotion or something afterwards.

Exfoliate away, my lovelies! Enjoy this cheap alternative!

[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

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 

Pampering On A Budget


LUSH DELIGHT BATH OIL: £2.00 @ Lush Oxford Street




I am a huge advocate for indulging in a little self-pampering after a long week, a long day or just because you want to. It can however get very expensive very fast, so I thought I’d put together a little post on the products I use when I’ve maybe bought a few more lipsticks than I should have. Who said luxury comes at a cost?

The no.1 pampering product for me is always going to be something to plonk in your bath. Even a plain water bath can work wonders for stress but me being me I have to have a bit of something in there. If you’re in the vicinity of Lush Oxford Street they sell gorgeous little solid bath oils like the one above for only £2, around half the price of one of Lush’s usual offerings. They’re just little portions of butters and essential oils that melt in the bath and soak in to your skin, leaving it soft and moisturised.

Next on my list is always a face mask. While the £1 sachets are pretty good for the money in general, if you’re looking for real value then multi-application tubes are the way to go. The above Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Peel Off and 3 Minute Cucumber Clay masks are both from Boots, with the latter costing just £1.50! After trying both of them I can say the clay mask is a good basic one for sensitive skin, especially if time is short as you only have to leave it on for three minutes! I must say though I am just as (if not even more so) impressed with the peel off mask, as when I used this I could see the faint marks of a breakout on the horizon and it cleared them up almost completely. The small spot I had practically disappeared and unlike other blemish masks I’ve tried this one didn’t feel at all harsh, even on my rosacea. 

Another thing that never fails to make me feel a bit better is a spritz of good perfume. If you haven’t got a bottle to hand then little samples like the one above will do just fine. Other great-smelling alternatives are the Soap & Glory body sprays (not pictured) due to their delicious scents that last all day and budget-friendly price tag of £4 each. (If you are looking for a perfume my faves are Viktor & Rolf BonBon, Valentino Donna and Gucci by Gucci).

Last but not least my preferred way to end a good pamper sesh is by painting my nails while watching a great film. Professional manicures are lovely but expensive and if I’m honest I prefer doing my nails myself as it means I can change them whenever I get bored, plus I get to build up a collection of super pretty polishes. Many premium brands such as Ciate (above), OPI, Orly and Essie do miniature versions of their best-selling shades for a smaller cost. If you’re worried about them being too small ask yourself if you’ve ever actually finished a bottle of polish - if you’re anything like me the answer will definitely be no! Most brands also do limited edition seasonal gift sets that are much better value than buying the colours individually.

Happy pampering!



Orly Mini Nail Treatment Trio

Lush Twilight Bath Bomb

The Best Face Mask For Your Skin Type

Surprise Me!

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]

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 :)

7 Budget DIY Beauty Treatments From Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is a great source of beauty goodness. (Photo: Henry Leutwyler)

Think you have to spend a lot of money to get gorgeous? Think again. Some of the most powerful beauty treatments can be found in your kitchen. Even better? They cost a fraction of the price of even drugstore beauty finds. Another bonus is in the age of everything being labeled as “natural” these treatments really are.

Deep conditioning treatment: Olive oil is one of the most potent conditioning treatments for your hair. Just wash your hair with shampoo, squeeze out excess water, and coat your hair with the oil. Tie up your hair and let it soak in for 30 minutes, then rinse out. If you have oily hair, coat ends only.

Hair reviver: Even the best shampoos and conditioners build up, leaving hair lifeless and flat. Revive your hair by rinsing it with two cups of apple cider vinegar after shampooing. Let it work it’s magic for a minute and rinse out with water.

Makeup remover: Pair olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil with a cotton swab to remove even the most stubborn makeup. Bonus: The oils add a hydrating boost to your skin.

Facial mask: Yogurt has natural alpha hydroxy acids to lightly exfoliate skin. To make a DIY antioxidant mask, dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban recommends combining a cup of yogurt with a spoonful of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory honey and antioxidant-rich frozen strawberries and blueberries. Blend the ingredients and apply to your face for 15 minutes. “The antioxidants will penetrate and repair the skin,” Dr. Shamban says.

Body Moisturizer: Apply extra-virgin coconut oil to your skin right after you get out of the shower. It’s, well, oily — so apply sparingly. Let it soak in for a few minutes, and remove any excess with a tissue before getting dressed. The vitamin-rich oil is a powerful moisturizer and has antibacterial properties too.

Lip Scrub: Yahoo Beauty Editor Alexandra Perron is a fan of mixing 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil, and ½ tablespoon of brown sugar to create the perfect lip scrub. First mix together the honey and coconut oil. Then add the sugar to create a paste. Apply to lips and scrub gently in a circular motion until sugar is dissolved. Wipe off any excess with a tissue, and follow with your favorite lip balm.

Body Scrub: Yahoo Beauty’s Editor in Chief Bobbi Brown mixes brown sugar and olive oil to create a DIY body scrub. “You do it before you go in the shower. You just take it, you scrub, then you just rinse it off when you’re in the shower,” Brown recently told Good Morning America. “You don’t have to put moisturizer on afterwards, because your skin is nice and hydrated.”


A DIY Scrub for Kissable Lips

The Beauty and Health Benefits of Coconut Oil