pretty + cheap

dip your digits in kool-aid


Just painted my nails with OPI’s Mod-ern Girl.  Instant mood booster.  Anyone else completely and utterly addicted to nail polish?

Filed under: Beauty, Hands and Nails, , , ,

no more smelly self-tanners!


Jergens was the first brand of skin care to develop a line of self-tanning products that didn’t turn my skin orange.  Now, still 10 steps ahead of the game, they’ve launched a new foaming self-tanning lotion.  I’ve come to accept the fact that self-tanners usually stink, but to my surprise and delight, not only did the new Jergens foam dry faster, but it’s the least smelly self-tanning lotion that I’ve ever tried!  This weekend, I applied it to my arms and legs and then a few hours later asked a friend to smell me and see if she could tell me what I was wearing (a little creepy I know)– but she had NO idea I’d put on self-tanner.  Looks like life keeps getting better for us sun-phobes.

Filed under: Beauty, Skin care

free gift with benefit purchase


Hands down, best deal of the week.  Spend 50 dollars at (must purchase at least one Benefit product) and receive this sweet 5 piece gift with purchase.  If you’d rather shop in-store, I noticed that Macy’s has been doing a similar promotion. If you’re unfamiliar with Benefit’s line of products, I highly recommend Dr. Feelgood, a complexion balm that smooths skin and works really well for T-zone oil control.

Filed under: Beauty, Makeup, , ,

color care: sulfate-free shampoos

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A couple of years ago, a hair colorist gave me her #1 secret for healthy, shiny hair: use sulfate-free shampoo. Why? Besides Sodium Laureth Sulfate (the stuff that makes your shampoo foamy) is a harsh detergent that can strip hair of essential moisture and irritate the scalp. So why do any of us use these harsh chemicals in the first place? As I found out, finding a good, natural product can be a lot more challenging than you might think. One of the first sulfate-free shampoos that I tried was made by Burt’s Bees. I love their lip balm, but their shampoo and conditioner? Not so much. There was no lather, my hair felt flat and greasy after I used it– I couldn’t find a natural shampoo that smelled as delicious as my Bumble & Bumble, so I gave up and went back to my normal hair products.

Fast forward to now: several cosmetics companies have launched sulfate-free hair care products, which means they’re way easier to find and much more “consumer friendly” than they were just a few years back. Recently, I bought a bottle of Samy’s e•sen•cia shampoo. It’s organic and free of Sulfates, Parabens, and Phthalate, but it feels like normal shampoo! It foams and suds and lathers and leaves my scalp feeling squeaky clean, but has the benefits of being a natural, harsh-chemical-free product. And then there’s L’Oreal’s new line called EverPure, which smells rediculously good. Infused with rosemary and mint, it reminds me of the conditioner that my hair stylist uses when I get my hair done at the salon.

Of course, I’m also pretty stoked that products from both Samy and L’Oreal are about $7 a bottle. Since both product lines are relatively new, keep an eye out for special promotions and discounts. My e•sen•cía shampoo was free after mail-in rebate, and Rite Aid is currently advertising two bottles of L’Oreal EverPure for $8.

        Filed under: Beauty, Hair, , , , ,

        taste of the rainbow


        Invest 22 dollars in this Sephora Brand Color Play Palette and you’ll never have to buy another eye shadow again. With 36 eyeshadows, 12 lip glosses, 3 blushes and a bronzer, you end up paying less than 50 cents a color. I’m not totally sold on the royal blue shadow, but it might come in handy when you’re getting all dolled up for an 80s dance party?

        Filed under: Beauty, Makeup, , ,

        sheer genius


        Two things I hate: panty hose and cellulite. One thing I love: Hanes Solutions Anti-Cellulite nylons. Who knows if they really beat the bumpy stuff, but at less than 10 dollars a pair (from mass retailers like Target, Walmart, etc.) its cheaper than splurging on expensive cellulite creams, and as a bonus they add a little bit of color to my haven’t-seen-the-sun-in-months legs.

        Filed under: Accessories, Beauty, Clothing, ,

        freeeeeee makeup

        Usually I hate giving stores my email address, but for Sephora I’ll make an exception. Sephora has a rewards program called Beauty Insider. Perks include free deluxe sized samples for every 100 dollars you spend in store or online, a free body wash during your birthday month, and lots of insider-only promotions. I’ve been a beauty insider for a few years now, but just recently it seems like the deals have been getting hotter and hotter. For example, my last purchase was a Bare Minerals foundation and Stila eyeliner, and just because I’m a beauty insider I got 15 dollars off my purchase and a generous sample of super luxe Diorshow mascara. Since it doesn’t cost anything to join the club, it’s a great deal for me because there are certain make up and skin care products I am always going to splurge on (mineral foundation is one of them), and it never hurts to get a discount.

        Now until December 24, Beauty Insiders get a free Sephora brand product (up to a 15 dollar value) with any 50 dollar in store purchase. If it was up to me, I’d buy beauty goodies for all my girlfriends and then keep the bonus gift for me! And if you miss this promo, no worries, I’m sure they’ll have another one right after Christmas.

        Filed under: Beauty, Makeup, ,


        Ramblings about having fun and looking fabulous on a budget.

        Katie loves: Libraries, writing creative nonfiction, vegetarian cooking, interior design, getting crafty, and of course... bargain hunting!