What the Hype?

There are so many high end products that are raved about and have glowing reviews, but do you really need to spend the money? One of my goals for this blog is to show you that you don’t have to spend a lot to look and feel like a million bucks. I’ve chosen 5 high end products that have really amazing dupes that are a fraction of the price but work just as well.

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  1. Original beautyblender, $20
    • I love the OG beautyblender and it really is a good product, but there are TONS of others sponges available now that are just a few dollars and do the same thing. I used to be a beautyblender snob and only use the original BB, but now there’s no way I’m paying $20 for a sponge.
    • DUPE :: Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge, $5
      • Super soft
      • Gets really big when it’s wet
      • Easy to clean
      • Holds up well
  2. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $23
    • This is one of the best-selling mascaras in American and for good reason. I have pitiful lashes, but with this mascara, I get amazing volume, length, and separation. It does not flake on me, but I know that is a common complaint. There are so many drugstore mascaras that are great so I never pay full price for high end mascaras. The only time I purchase them is during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty sale or some bomb sale.
    • DUPE :: CoverGirl Exhibitionist Mascara, ~$10
      • The wands and results are very similar
      • This one doesn’t flake and my lashes look long, full, and separated
      • Full review here
  3. Anastasia Brow Wiz & Brow Definer, $23
    • Anastasia BH is the go to for all things brows and I’ve purchased their products and loved them. Most people go through brow pencil fairly quickly and at $23 each, that adds up quickly. Fortunately, the drugstore has some more affordable options that are similar in formula and performance. The ABH and the dupes have spools on the ends which is very important to me.
      • DUPE (Brow Wiz) :: LA Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil, $5.99 –The price is already affordable, but these go on sale a lot at Ulta so you can often get them cheaper or take advantage of a Buy One, Get One Half Off deal. The small tip allows you to be really precise and easily mimic brow hairs.
      • DUPE (Brow Definer) :: Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Retractable ~$5 — Since the tip of this one is bigger, I can fill my brows in no time.
  4. Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, $20-45
    • If I’m paying $45 for lotion, it better come with a damn good massage. I got this as a 100 point perk at Sephora so I could try it and see what all the fuss was about. It does smell good, but other than that, I don’t get it. It’s a nice, hydrating lotion, but for the love, there are MUCH cheaper options.
    • DUPE :: Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter, $4-15
      • You can find this at Walgreens and Target.
      • It smells DIVINE and the scent has a good staying power
      • It’s hydrating and absorbs quickly
  5. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask, $9-36
    • It got this in a subscription box and I forced myself to use it up, but I really didn’t like this at all. Several of the people I watch on YouTube RAVE about this stuff, but I do not understand. I didn’t think it made my hair feel all that soft or hydrated.
    • DUPE :: LOreal Total Reapir 5 Damage Erasing Balm, ~$6
      • This makes my hair so silky, soft, and hydrated without weighing it down. It’s a tried and true favorite of mine that I’ve used for 5+ years. I can’t even count how many I’ve purchased over the years. Every time I try something new, I end up coming back to this.
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September Favorites

Y’all are getting the lazy version of September Favorites because I was sick all weekend and this is the best I can do. TYSM.

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  • Morphe Filter Effect Finishing Powder in #Filter1
    • I got this to use to set my under eye concealer for a more brightening effect and I love it. I want to get another shade to use to set all over.
    • It’s very finely milled and made my under eye area looked blurred and flawless.
  • Lush Cookie Dough Lip Scrub
    • Lush makes my favorite lip scrubs and this flavor/scent/whatever is to die for.
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in Brightener 
    • I use this shade as a color corrector and then go in with concealer.
    • The shade is perfect for my fair skin, it’s cheap, and it works well.
  • Jeffree Star Velour Lip Liner in Redrum 
    • I couldn’t resist this packaging and I can always use a red lip liner.
    • It’s very cream and the packaging makes me feel regal.
  • Revlon PhotoReady Pore Reducing Primer
    • Thataylaa RAVES about this and I finally picked it up and man oh man is it good.
    • It blurs better than any other pore filling primer I’ve ever tried. It’s a little pricey for the drugstore, but it’s worth it. A little goes a long way so it will last a while.
  • Elcie Cosmetics The Velvet Sponge
    • I’ve seen Alaha use this multiple times and I love the shape. The tip is perfect for concealer and the bottom blends out foundation fast. It’s very soft and bouncy too.
  • Milani The Violet One Lash Primer
    • My LOreal Lash Primer is hard to beat and I’ve only ever found one other one that I liked so I was skeptical about this. However, I FREAKING love it and it is my new favorite lash primer.
  • Colour Pop BFF Mascara in Brownie Points
    • I was so excited when they released a brown mascara. I prefer brown or black/brown because I’m pale AF.
    • I did a full review here.
  • Me Too Arena Wedges
    • An end of summer find, but these are the shoes I’ve been searching for for work. They’re dressier than a normal sandal, but super comfortable. I love the Me Too brand.
    • I bought nude and black. They velcro and I kinda feel like a kid, but I am too old and blind for buckles and tiny holes.
  • Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant-Antiperspirant 
    • My BFF raves about this, but I just could not bring myself to spend $29 on deodorant. I was in Nordstrom and saw it and I guess I was feeling boujee because it came home with me and now I love it. As if I needed one more expensive habit.
    • It smells SO GOOD and the scent lasts ALL DAY. TMI, but I’m a sweater and was worried about how this would work for me, but it worked really well.
    • Now I’m committed to a $29 deodorant like I’m a damn Kardashian or something.
  • Apple Airpods
    • I’ve been wanting these SO bad and I actually won a pair. Even better!
    • They are worth the hype and the price. I love them.
  • Phillip Lim 3.1 for Target Large Tote
    • I missed this collab the first time around and was not going to miss it when it came back.
    • I love this color, style, and size. It’s perfect for fall.
  • LOreal Magic Root Cover Up
    • I reallllllyy need to get my roots done because the white hairs are out of control, but until I can make time to do that, this is my friend.
    • It is magic in a can FOR REAL.
  • Crayola Gel Pens
    • Crayola can do no wrong in my book and I love PENS. I’m all about new pens, markers, school supplies, etc. When I saw they had pens, I immediately ordered.
    • I love all the colors, they write really well, and they’re cheap.

PicMonkey Collage

I wanted something new to go over my desk because the big calendar I had there just wasn’t working. It was hard to write on and get to and it just needed to go. I found these open, gold and white shelves at TJ Maxx for $20 and knew they would be perfect. I love how it turned out and that I can display some of my pretty makeup and collectibles. I got a smaller calendar to go on the opposite wall to keep up with my posts and what not. I love this little corner and it brings me joy.

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I went to a Morphe store for the first time and I’m pretty sure this is what heaven looks like. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I could live there and if I lived closer, I would so work there. It’s a dream!

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The last favorite of the month is a lifetime favorite. I got the chance to see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speak thanks to my alma mater, Meredith College. I can’t put into words how awesome this experience was. The Notorious RBG is quite the force to be reckoned with and an inspiring woman. The moderator spoke of the impact her mother had on her life and asked her what some advice or wisdom her mother gave her that stuck with her and her response has stuck with me. Her mother’s advice was to, “Be independent and be a lady.” Those are two thing that my own mother has instilled in my and two characteristics I am proud to have. Several years ago, after meeting me, my friend’s boyfriend said I was a lady and it’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I am a lady who cusses like a sailor, a little bit ironic, but I make it work on the daily.

Mascara Monday: Maybelline Lash Sensational Curvitude

Claims
–Curved brush and stem fit closer to the lash line
–Arch brush grabs each lash from the root
–Curvy full fan effect

Price
–$9.99 at Ulta
–$9.99 at Walgreens
–$7.99 at Target
–$6.94 at Wal Mart

Shade Range
–2
–Waterproof option

Pros
–Affordable
–Easily accessible
–Ophthalmologist tested
–Allergy tested
–Dermatologist tested
–Wand grabs and lifts each lash
–No flaking or smudging
–Length
–Lives up to all of its claims
–Separation
–Lashes stay lifted and curled

Cons
–Not cruelty free
–Not much volume (doesn’t claim this though)

Final Thoughts
I got this because the wand shape is similar to my beloved Benefit Roller Lash that I have yet to find a dupe for. The wand grabbed, coated, and lifted each lash. As I mentioned above, this doesn’t give much volume, but it doesn’t claim to. This is the closest dupe I’ve found for Benefit Roller Lash and I much prefer this price point. I think this plus a volumizing mascara like Too Faced Better Than Sex would a be a dream combination. If you like long, separated, curled lashes, you will love this.

I primed with the Loreal Mascara Primer like I always do.

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Build Up Busters

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I wash my hair once a week, on Sundays, for Jesus. If I have to wash it twice a week, there best be a good reason. My hair is VERY thick so that helps me get away with only washing it once a week, but I do need a little extra help with dry shampoo. I also like to use dry shampoo for volume. My personal favorite is the Batiste Beautiful Brunette because it works and doesn’t leave a white cast.

However, by the end of the week of using lots of dry shampoo, there is product build up on my scalp. I don’t like how that feels and I like to start the week with a clean, build up free scalp.

I rely on these two products for a good, clean scalp. They both really clean, but don’t strip or leave my hair feeling dry. In fact, it’s just the opposite!


LOREAL EVER FRESH MICRO-EXFOLIATING SCRUB

Claims–Removes impurities, flakes, and build up from dirt and excess oils :: promotes a healthy scalp

Price–$5 at Wal Mart :: $5 on Amazon :: $9.99 at lorealparisusa.com

Pros–Affordable :: sulfate free :: makes hair SO soft :: love the exfoliation/scrub it gives my scalp

Cons–Not cruelty free :: not easy to access/locate/purchase

Final Thoughts–This product leaves my hair SO freaking soft. My hair and scalp feel clean and refreshed, but not stripped and dry. I highly recommend using this if you use a lot of products in your hair.



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NEUTROGENA ANTI-RESIDUE SHAMPOO

Claims–Remove 90% of residue caused by shampoos, conditioners, and styling products :: non-irritating :: cleans your hair and instantly rinses away residue

Price for 6 oz— $5.29 at Target :: $5.28 on Amazon :: $5.28 at Wal Mart :: $6.49 at Walgreens
Price for 12 oz–$8.79 at Target :: $8.78 on Amazon :: $8.78 at Wal Mart :: $11.59 at Walgreens

Pros–Affordable :: easily accessible :: doesn’t strip the hair or dry it out :: only use once a week so it lasts a while :: WORKS

Cons–Not cruelty free

Final Thoughts–I have repurchased this SO many times. I let it run out once and I really missed it and my hair did too. If you are a dry shampoo user like me or use a lot of product, you need this.


How I use these products

  1. Wet my hair and apply the LOreal Scrub–I really work this in till I can feel the exfoliating beads on my scalp. I usually leave it in a few minutes while I wash my face or exfoliate my body.
  2. I rinse the scrub out and apply the Neutrogena Shampoo.

I don’t use conditioner all over my hair, especially not near my roots. However, after using the Neutrogena, sometimes I use a hair mask on my ends. If I don’t use a hair mask, I will spray a leave in conditioner.

 

L’Oreal Infallible Full Wear Waterproof Concealer

Claims
–Waterproof
–Transfer-resistant
–Matte finish
–Fade-resistant
–Full coverage
–Little goes a long way
–Cover under eye circles, acne, discoloration, minimize redness

Price
–$12.99 at Ulta
–$10.99 at Target
–$12.99 at Walgreens
–$10.97 at Wal Mart

Shade Range
–25
–My shade: Porcelain

Pros
–Easily accessible
–Shade range
–Large doe foot applicator
–Shade match for me
–Full coverage
–Minimal creasing
–Easy to blend
–Worked with my every day corrector and under eye setting powder

Cons
–Not cruelty free

Final Thoughts
Praise be that there is a shade match for me! It lives up to all of its claims so there’s another bonus. It is pricey for the drugstore, but drugstore prices are on the rise. It’s full coverage, worked with my go to under eye products, and didn’t settle into my fine lines too badly. The wand, formula, and coverage are very Shape Tape-esque so if you’re a Shape Tape fan, give this a go! I love this and will continue to use it.

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Foundation Friday: LOreal Infallible 24 HR Fresh Wear

Claims
–Up to 24 hour staying power
–Lightweight, breathable texture
–Transfer-resistant
–Medium to full, buildable coverage
–Long lasting
–Waterproof
–Sweat-resistant
–Natural finish
–Suitable for all skin types

Price
–$14.99 at Ulta
–$11.99 at Target
–$11.97 at Wal Mart
–$14.99 at Walgreens

Shade Range
–30
–My shade: Pearl

Pros
–Easily accessible
–Shade range
–Packaging-pump!
–Looks good on my dry skin
–Easy to blend
–SPF 25
–Non-comedogenic
–Buildable coverage
–Natural finish
–Not cakey
–Lightweight
–Long wearing

Cons
–Fragrance
–Lightest shade leans yellow/warm

Final Thoughts
The formula is very thin and liquid-y. I got the lightest shade, Pearl, and it was a little too yellow so I mixed in some blue and white foundation mixers to make it work better for my skin tone. I could still my redness peeking through with just one layer. With two layers, I got high, medium coverage/low, full coverage. I blended it out with my Morphe M439 brush and then went in with my sponge to smooth everything out. I don’t love the fragrance, but it doesn’t linger. It really sits nicely on the skin and I love the finish. It worked well with my usual complexion products too. I’ve seen a few YouTubers just got nuts over this foundation and while I like it, it’s not life changing. I think if there was a better shade match for me, I would really love it.

Primer: Too Faced Hangover Rx, elf Blur Stick
Powder: Milani Prep+Set+Glow
Tools: Morphe M439, Wet n Wild Sponge

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Before & After
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No makeup :: Foundation only :: Full face
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AM & PM

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Mascara Monday: L’Oreal Unlimited Length & Lift

Claims
–Instant lash-lift effect, lengthening mascara
–No clumps, flaking, or smudging
–Two-position wand for customized look
–Flexible, tapered brush

Price
–$12.99 at Walgreens

Shade Range
–2
–Waterproof option available

Pros
–Easily accessible
–Innovative design and packaging
–No flaking or smudging
–Separated
–Lengthened
–Volumized
–Grabbed each lash and lifted it up; could really get to the root and wiggle up
–Bending the wand allows you to get close to the inner corners and coat every lash
–Waterproof option available

Cons
–Expensive for drugstore
–Bulky packaging, not easy to store
–Not cruelty free

Final Thoughts
I LOVE the way this makes my lashes look. I hate that it’s so pricey though! There are definitely other options at the drugstore that are just as good and cost less. However, I don’t think you would be disappointed if you wanted to splurge on this. The bent tip really allows you to get close in the inner corner and get every.single.lash. I don’t know that I’ve tried another mascara that does that.

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I was sent this product free for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


My friend Owen delivered her sweet, identical twin girls at 24 weeks. She and I have several mutual friends, but got to know each other through blogging. She is so sweet and has the cutest little family. Her sweet girls, Molly & Lucy, are in the NICU and have a long road ahead before they can join their parents and older sister, Vivian, at home.

A PayPal was started to help with expenses and if you have it in your heart to donate, you can use this link. If you aren’t able to donate, prayers are always welcomed and completely free. I know God has a special plan for these girls!