A Broke Girl’s Guide To: Skincare

I have been wanting to write this for a long time and finally have made the time to do it. I love sharing what products I am LIVING for with you guys. A few months ago, I made a A Broke Girl’s Guide To Makeup post that a lot of you babes loved so I decided to go a step further and make a similar post all around my favorite skincare products. I want to make this a series so let me know what other Broke Girl’s Guides you want me to make. Maybe I can do one on food or grocery shopping, let me know what you think. 

Makeup and skincare can get SO expensive but honestly, it doesn’t have to be. It’s true that luxury products tend to work better and last longer because of the ingredients that go into it but most people can’t afford to spend $83 on a serum. You don’t need to spend a lot of coin to have great skin.

Skincare routines can get super extensive which can also boost up the price. All of it isn’t necessary and your routine will look different than someone else’s because your skin can vary. There is a lot of noise out there and if you are someone like me, I watch a lot of Youtube videos educating myself on the products that are out there. While some products may work for the masses, it may not work for you so you may get discouraged but don’t let that stop you. A part of self-love is understanding what works for you and being confident in that. This principle applies to skincare and makeup too.

I am not a dermatologist but I do love skincare because its the basis of good makeup. Your skin is your biggest organ so how you treat it, matters. I find my skincare in all sorts of places. Thankfully my skin doesn’t get irritated when I test out different products but if you are more sensitive, figure out which ingredients work for your skin and which one’s don’t. That’ll narrow down your search on finding a routine that works for you.

Depending on the season or the climate I am in, my skin will fluctuate on what it needs. When it’s colder outside, I moisturize like crazy but when it’s humid I will use serums instead of creams. Again, you don’t need to be as extensive. All you really need is a good face wash, an exfoliant, moisturizer/serum, and a toner. These 4 or 5 products will help balance your skin.

Before you keep reading: These products work for my combo skin. Since it’s colder outside, I am drier but over the summer ya girl was OILY. Oily skin does need moisturizer too because it’ll help regulate your oil production on your face and it’s just good for your skin to be hydrated.

My skin needs will vary depending on how much sleep I get, how much water I am drinking, what I eat, and so many other things. This is what works for me right now so it can change. I am not acne prone unless I’m getting close to my period. I also try not to wear makeup too much because I like to let my skin breathe. If I have a meeting or an event to go to, I will put my blending brushes to work but for the most part, I don’t wear a lot of makeup on my day-to-day.

I am pretty picky when it comes to product. I love to try new stuff but my tried and true products are really near to my heart. Let me know what products you’re loving so I can test them out.

Facewash 

You shouldn’t spend a lot of money on face wash in my opinion because it’s one of those things that you will go through fast. A lot of drugstore brands are stepping up their game so the products are high quality

Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Face Wash– I bought a 3 pack and have been using it ever since. It is gentle and it foams so you really feel like you’re getting a deep clean. It hydrates as you wash it so you don’t feel like it is sucking your skin dry. I will do this after I take off my makeup with a Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Makeup wipe.

Cetaphil Face Wash – Love this one too but I use the Eucerin face wash more. This is a good face wash to have because it makes you feel clean and just gets off all the oil and dirt off your face. I’ve recommended this to some of my guy friends and they like it. Also, it’s $7 and will last you a long time.

Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier – Okay so not technically drug store but they have a travel size that has lasted me quite a bit. This is the softest cleanser I have ever used. It is super gentle and smells like roses. It makes your skin feel so smooth but clean. I know I keep saying that but this product doesn’t foam too much since it’s gel-like. It feels like you’re rubbing water on your skin in the best way. Try the travel sized first before making the commitment. I use 1-2 pumps on my finger and a little goes a longggg way.

If you’re acne prone: Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Pore Cleansing Acne Wash – Again, I am lucky to not have really bad acne but I heard good things from friends who use this. Let me know what other acne face washes you like so I can add it in.

Moisturizers/Serums – *Cue halo sound*

I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee a good moisturizer. I literally lather myself in oils and creams before I go to bed so my skin can stay hydrated. I have a few that I love for different reasons. During the day, I like to have something light and with SPF (it matters, trust me) and in the evening I like to go to bed feeling like I have been dipped in a vat of cream. Some people may not like that but waking up with soft skin is such a simple pleasure of mine. I love it so much.

Skincare Tip: Do not forget to moisturize your neck and your chest. Whatever you spread on your face, carry it down to your neck and collarbone to prevent early aging. 

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – I wish I got the one with the pump but this is a good overall daily and nightly moisturizer. She’s thick you guys so be careful. This is an amazing daily moisturizer. It doesn’t clog your pores and makes your skin so soft. I also use this on my body too sometimes. It will last you a long time so you get a ton of product. I love the cream feel as opposed to a gel because I like to make sure my skin is getting the most moisture.

CeraVe SPF Facial Moisturizer  –  Say it with me “SPF matters”. No seriously, it does you guys. I didn’t care about it until recently when I was like “Oh I should really start caring because aging is a thing and so is sun damage”. Wear your SPF. Just do it. What I like about this is that it doesn’t smell too much like sunscreen and it absorbs really fast into the skin so you don’t feel sticky.

Serums

Serums are another way to keep your skin healthy. They are more gentle and the ingredients will seep into your skin differently than a moisturizer. It allows your skin to get deep hydration while staying light on your face. I use a serum inversely as a moisturizer, I don’t know if that’s what you’re supposed to do so facialists and estheticians, help me out with this one. Serums are also great because they can treat specific skincare needs. So for example, if you’re feeling really dry or dehydrated after a night out (🙋🏽) then you may want to go for a serum with hyaluronic acid versus. Or a serum to treat fine lines and wrinkles.

Skincare Tip: TJMaxx and Marshall’s has REALLY good skincare products (hit or miss depending on where you live) for cheap. When I was perusing the skincare shelves one day, I found so many amazing products that are normally really expensive but they had it for less and its the same. exact. thing. I was shook!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum – Can you tell I love Neutrogena? I recently bought this and I love it. It is more watery but I expect that from a hydrating serum. If you don’t like fragrance or are sensitive to this, do not buy it. I’ll be honest, I don’t like fragrance in my skincare products. I think its unnecessary. The smell is there but it goes away once you rub it in. It leaves your skin feeling quenched and will absorb super quickly.

Valjean Labs Facial Serum – I found these at TJMaxx and am hooked. They’re simple ingredients in them. They have different ones for Glow, Restore, Hydrate, etc. I have those 3 and I have repurchased them. I think originally they’re like $15 but I bought them for $6 or $7. They last you a long time and like I said before, they treat certain things. I’ll use the Glow serum as a base sometimes before I apply my makeup to add some dewiness into my foundation. They absorb fast, do not have any bad smell to them, and I like how it has 2 ingredients. It keeps it simple and you know what you’re adding on your face.

Masks

Mask and chill, anyone? A good face mask and a nice movie is my kind of night. Please do not spend a lot of money on face masks unless you can afford it. I buy so many face masks a year (I should probably invest into a subscription). I have a few that I really like. Some I use as an overnight mask and other’s I’ll just put a sheet mask on and it gives me 20 minutes where no one can bother me.

I talk about these A LOT. I love them, they aren’t “drug store” but they’re $3 from Amazon. I love all of them. The Lavender Hydrating one is by far one of my favorites. Tony Moly makes a GOOOOOD face mask. I believe they are a Korean brand too and they do skincare REALLY well so I trust it.

Another Amazon find, I know a lot of people use this. It’s crazy how much it pulls out of your skin. I feel like my pores were vacuumed.  This is the Aztec Clay Mask .  This will last you a long time, you only need a little bit and it’s literal clay on your face. Wash it off and put some moisturizer on afterward and you are good to go. It can be messy so be careful.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Overnight Gel Cream Face Mask – This is $2 from Walgreens. An awesome hydrating overnight mask. I put it on at the very end of my routine and go to sleep. I think Neutrogena killed it with their Hydro Boost line. I am so happy they came out with it (not sponsored, but hit me up Neutrogena) because I think it’s super accessible. They have a deep clean one too that I haven’t tried but I want to.

Also, another Neutrogena product I am loving right now is their Deep Clean Sheet Mask. I think it gets the job done and it smells good to me. With sheet masks, I don’t really mind the smell of them.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I will be updating my routine as life goes on but again, skin care doesn’t need to be super expensive. I hope you all have a happy week wherever you are and be kind to yourself.

Self-Care Sunday: Coming back from traveling

As amazing as getting away may be, I always come back a little tense and ready to feel like myself again. My skin is usually super dehydrated, my body is in desperate need of some TLC, and I just feel scatterbrained. Traveling puts your body and skin through a lot. On this self-care Sunday, I am going to walk through what I like to do whenever I get back from traveling.

Depending on when I get back from traveling, I go through these motions but recently I was driving so much in a four day time period and when I got back I was exhausted. The day I got back from my trip, I didn’t do much except for showering and resting.

Give your body time to rest. Being around tons of people can be exhausting even for us extroverts out there 🙋🏽‍♀️.

This self care Sunday is going to highlight some “surface level” self- care. Which means it’s the stuff we do physically or on the surface to take care of ourselves.

Self care has been something I’ve started to take really seriously because I was in a place where I wasn’t taking care of myself and the effects of it took a serious toll on my mental, physical, and emotional health.

Before I travel: I hate coming back to a messy room. Before I travel, I take out all of my trash, do laundry, clean my room, and go through my mail (and my inbox). That way when I come back I don’t need to do any chores and everything is clean. Depending on how long I am gone for, I buy my basic groceries so I can come back to a fully stocked, healthy-ish fridge. I also make sure that the energy in my room is clear. Sometimes I sage my room before I go to make sure any energy that comes into my space when I’m gone isn’t going to cause me any stress or anxiety.

A clear and clean space gives your brain extra reassurance because you know when you get back you don’t need to do the basic chores. Remove unnecessary clutter and put away that pile of laundry you’ve been dreading putting away.

Sleep: I value sleep so much. I’m one of those people who needs to get my 7-9 hours of sleep every night to feel like a functional adult. I don’t sleep that well when I’m on vacation or traveling between people’s places cause I want to maximize on all the fun or things happening around me. The lack of sleep drains my body so much and I feel so sluggish. Also, my skin hates me afterward. I make sure to take a long nap or sleep at least 8 hours the day before so I come back reenergized. I once took a nap for 6 hours and woke up at 10:30 pm without knowing where I was. Yeah, I was THAT tired.

We dismiss sleep the older we get but sleep is key for optimal brain function. Our brain uses most of the calories we consume so make sure you SLEEEEEEP.

Skincare: If you know me or have been following me, you know that I am a skincare JUNKIE. Any face mask, scrub, cleanser, moisturizer, or serum I am literally so obsessed with. I have an ipsy subscription that makes my addiction to skincare that much worse. I try to pack “lightly” when it comes to my skincare. I go for my basics: moisturizer, makeup remover, face wash, facial mist, night cream, and serums. This is basic for me if you know how extensive my skincare regime actually is. When I get back, I wipe all of my makeup off even if I don’t have any on.

I cleanse my face with a chemical exfoliant or a sugar scrub. I then do a face mask (sheet masks are preferred), moisturize, serum, and go about the rest of my skincare. This is my favorite part about getting back because I can lay out all of my products and I love when my skin feels healthy and glowy. It forces me to take the extra 30 minutes – an hour when I get back to focus on my skin. I do this before I go to bed so the serums can really penetrate underneath my skin. I wake up feeling restored, refreshed and reenergized.

Also does anyone else mask on planes? 🙋🏽‍♀️ I look insane but planes dry out my skin so much. So if you ever see a crazy mask wearing lady. It’s probably me. Hiiiiii 👋🏽

Wellness: I consider wellness to be mind and body. If I can get a workout in the day after I travel, I’m happy. I recently got back into fitness now that I am fueling my body more with nutrients. So recently, after a few days away I did a nice workout to feel like me again. Working out has always been the one hour just for me. I silence my phone and just focus on my actions. It’s helped me deal with a lot of tension or anxiety. Working out for an hour or 30 minutes forces you to be with yourself. You put your mind into your workout and play some music to fully disconnect. I even put my phone on do not disturb so I don’t get any notifications during my workout.

Another thing I do is I try to drink something to reset my gut. I love kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented probiotic drink that is amazing for your gut. When you’re traveling you may not be eating the best and your immune system can take a hit, especially if you’re staying up late and not drinking enough water. I buy 2 kombuchas and try to finish one of them by the end of the day. The taste can be awful sometimes so I go for the Synergy Organic Kombucha in Mystic Mango. THIS IS MY FAVORITE DRINK EVER. Synergy, sponsor me. PLEASE. It’s goodness in a bottle and tastes super yummy. The acidic kombucha taste isn’t as strong. I even had my mans try it and he liked it so take his word for it, But seriously, I love this stuff whenever I get back from traveling or I’m about to get sick. Something about healthy probiotics in my gut makes me reassured. I also try to make a cucumber + lemon water. I have a basil plant so sometimes I throw a couple of leaves in there to add a little more flavor. The cucumber and lemon act are super hydrating for you. Again, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The last thing I do is spend some quality time with myself. Whether that’s working on some projects, reading, watching Youtube, or just being alone. I take the time to just be myself for a little. I’ll meditate with some candles or my crystals and think about the trip.

Doing these things is what I like to call “surface level self-care” where you take care of yourself on the surface. So your skin, your space, your body, etc. Self-care is a lot deeper than this. This is what I like to do whenever I get back from traveling because it resets my body and my mood. Obviously, there are other ways you can go about doing this.

Let me know what you guys love doing when you get back from traveling.

A Broke Girl’s Guide To Makeup

I’m a college student. So, for me, I try to finesse on a budget. Frankly, I like expensive things so I splurge more on beauty, makeup, and skincare more than anything else. It’s an investment in myself so like I always say: TREAT YO SELF…but on a budget.

Makeup can get pretty expensive. I calculated my former makeup routine and it was well over $400. That includes some skincare but still…ya girl will go broke if she keeps spending this way.

I narrowed down my dupes and favorite products for a full face of makeup. This is for all the people who want to look great, have high-quality products, and still want to save!

These products can all be found at Ulta (not sponsored, I wish) or most drugstores. Where I live, drugstore makeup is pretty shitty because there are items that most stores don’t carry. Your safest bet is going to Ulta because they have great deals and you can find high-end and drugstore products.

Before I get into it I wanted to describe my makeup routine for those people that are newer to my blog. I don’t wear foundation every day. I actually haven’t bought the full size of the NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation because I am super lazy. I wear the shade “Vallauris – Medium 1.5 – medium with pink undertones”. I wear concealer, mascara, blush/highlight, and I do my brows. I set my makeup with a loose powder OR I just leave it as is. I focus more on skincare prep than anything. So I moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize.

If you have a good complexion and are comfortable with your pores, acne scars, etc to peek through all you really need is concealer + mascara + blush/highlight. THIS IS NOT FOR A FULL COVERAGE LOOK. I have a few essentials too that are skincare, eye products, etc.

General Tips: Makeup doesn’t need to be super expensive to look, perform, or work nicely. You can get a lot of beautiful makeup for under $15. Most of what I have listed is under $20. I think the most expensive thing is the Colorpop palette which is $16. Starting with a clean, healthy base is essential in every makeup routine. Also, if you want to learn more about a new product check out makeup gurus on Youtube. I have listed some of my favorites in this post! They test out popular, hyped products that come out and will give you the real tea on them. Tati Westbrook has so many videos on high quality drugstore makeup so be sure to look over there for makeup that I may not have listed.

Brushes: Brushes are a staple. A bad brush can really f*ck up a great product. If you like natural haired brushes, good for you. They don’t work for me and the maintenance on them is kind of annoying. I like synthetic brushes because they tend to be denser and they don’t absorb too much product. Morphe has really affordable brushes and bundles. All of the beauty gurus that I follow use Morphe and I didn’t realize how inexpensive it was. My favorite foundation brush is the Morphe M439. You stipple your foundation in then use your beauty sponge to set it into the skin and it works SO nicely. The brushes are available at Ulta or Morphe.com

I haven’t found a drugstore foundation that I am living for but if you know of any you love please comment below and also, how do you shade match in the drugstore?

For concealer, Makeup Revolutions $7 concealer is amazing!!! It is thick and full coverage. It doesn’t crease on me and I can expect it to last me the whole day. A little goes a long way and some beauty gurus argue that it’s a dupe for shape tape. Honestly, shape tape is not my most favorite concealer. There, I said it: it’s overhyped.

Mascara: The Lash Sensational line of mascaras is so good. I love the angled brush, it grips and separates each lash so well, and it coats it with even amounts of product. These do get clumpy if you use it a lot. Mascara is something I go through so often that I don’t spend too much money on. I always went for the roller lash mascara from Benefit.  You can also pick up Loreal’s Lash Paradise which is a dupe for the better than sex. I want to show you a comparison because you don’t need to spend lots of $$$ for makeup. Drugstore makeup works just as nice if not better

Blush: Flower Beauty has really nice blushes. My favorite is the flower pots powder blush in the shade sweet pea. It blends really nicely into the skin. Tap off the excess because you can pick up a lot of product at first. Then build it to your liking.

Highlight: MY FAVORITE CATEGORIE. I love me a good glow. I want people to be BLINDED by my highlight. I like to build my highlight, add it to my eyes, inner corner, cupids bow, everywhere. I prefer a rose gold highlight because it acts like a blush too. The Wet n Wild highlighter is so amazing. The shade Precious Petals is stunning on olive skin tones. I use it with a wet brush to intensify the glow and it works so beautifully. It’s also only $5!!! Another amazing one is the Master Chrome Highlights. You can use these wet but I use it dry since it is super intense.

Eyebrows: I have been using a dark brown eyeshadow to fill them in for a more natural brow. I don’t have super thin eyebrows so I just need to fill the tops in and make it more defined. I take a small detailing eyeshadow brush, dip it into any dark eyeshadow that matches the color, and then make hair-like strokes to fill them in. It’s super easy and I also hate the feeling of a waxy eyebrow. If you do like an eyebrow pencil, I do love the Brow Precise Micro Pencil. The tip is super tiny so you can make a more natural eyebrow shape with them.

Eyeshadow Palettes: I haven’t tried too many Colorpop products because I haven’t bought any new makeup but they have amazing products that blend so nicely. Their color arrangments make a lot of sense and this palette I have used every single color which IS RARE. My rule with eyeshadow palettes is: if I can’t see myself using 80% of the colors then I won’t buy it. The Double Entendre palette is amazing if you want neutral, warm tone shades. I use this everytime I apply eyeshadow. The colors are pigmented, they blend out beautifully, and they have STUNNING shimmer shades. The only problem is there is a lot of kickback in the palette itself but since the component is cardboard it’s not too bad. I will probably hit pan on this which is super rare for me. Also any of their Supershock shadows perform beautifully on the eye but the glitter is more chunky. THIS PALETTE IS SO BEAUTIFUL IF YOU NEED COLOR OR PINK IN YOUR LIFE. It’s $7!!!! My friend used this on me for spring break. Most of the shades in that palette are beautiful but some don’t show up. For 7 bucks, I cannot complain at all. This is SOOO beautiful for those peachy, pinky days.

Makeup is super fun and tends to be super pricey. Hopefully this helped you guys! Let me know in the comments what you love or want to try.

What’s a drugstore product I have to try?

 

Monday Skin Revival

Monday’s aren’t always the easiest especially if you had a long weekend of eating, drinking, and other shenanigans. After a weekend of going out, my skin hates me. It is STRUGGLING. All of that makeup and lack of sleep leaves my skin needing some TLC but I always don’t have the time. I was inspired to write this post by @amyserrano. She did a video on this on Youtube and I was like “oh my gosh! MONDAYS SUCK FOR ME TOO!”, so here we are.

To kickstart my Monday and to feel my very best, I try to focus on my skin before I move on to any sort of makeup or anything. When my skin feels good, I feel good. Now no mask or moisturizer is going to bring your skin back to life right away but at least all the attention to it will rebuild that barrier.

Since we are in the winter months, my skin is DRY. I tend to be a combination but lately, I’ve been very dry.  But before any serum or moisturizer sits on my skin, I open my blinds/window, put on some Jorja Smith, and make some coffee.

First, I take of any residual makeup I had with a makeup wipe. I know in my skin care favorites post I used to Micellar Water but I got annoyed of having to buy the cotton rounds and I felt like I had to really scrub at my face. Now I just lean towards the Neutrogena face makeup removing wipes and I like that a lot better because I feel an overall clean.

Next, I wash my face with my Eucerin Face wash and silicone face scrubber (see my skin care routine post for all the links!). Pat my skin dry and I go in with my glow serum.

I’m super extra, you do not need to do this.  so if I have an extra 10-20 minutes I pop on my Tony Moly Face Masks (the lavender hydrating one is my absolute favorite) and dance around my room, I wish I was joking. The face masks really allows for the serums to sit in. While everything absorbs I usually pick out my outfit for the day, which if you know me, is a pair of leggings and a tshirt or a clunky sweater.

Once that’s all done, I pat the residual serum into my skin and let it get tacky. Once my skin has soaked all of that serum in, I go in with a moisturizer. If you have oily prone skin, skip this step or use a water or gel based moisturizer.

As I sip on my coffee and belch out some Jorja, I take a few moments to be thankful for everything and everyone around me. I talk to the man above and just get my mind into a constructive, productive state. Positive self-talk and affirmation works for me so give yourself some love!

Then I go in with my Smashbox primer (love this stuff) and go through my day.

What do you do to bring your skin back to life? Comment below some products I should try.