Have you ever thought of how much money you could save if your favorite foundation didn’t cost 60 dollars? As a beauty blogger who isn’t swimming in dough right now, I thought about it all of the time. This is why I made it my makeup mission to find products that I love at the drugstore. I still can’t give up some of my pricey makeup must haves, but now I limit myself to buying a few expensive items and spend the extra money on a slew of other fabulous things at reasonable prices! Here are some of my favorite drugstore beauty finds.
The colors of these lipsticks are so vibrant and fun! The matte colors look so chic and the 8 dollar price tag makes it easy to experiment with a bolder colors than you are used to. My go-to colors are Persian Melon, Orange Flip and Certainly Red.
I have tried numerous foundations in all different price ranges, but I always end up coming back to this one. It has a light coverage that goes on smoothly and blends into your skin for perfect application. It’s also the only product that I found that really matches my skin color.
Tip: I have found that Rite Aid stocks the most shades so head there if it’s your first time searching!
My favorite mascara is Tarte Lights Camera Lashes, but when I don’t have the extra 20 bucks to spare, I love Falsies by Maybelline. It doesn’t clump and it’s one of the only non-waterproof mascaras I buy that doesn’t smudge under my eyes. I apply multiple layers throughout the day and my lashes always look long and full, never dry and cakey.
I have a couple of these shadows and they make doing everyday makeup effortless, plus the easy application will save you time in the morning. The color goes on great, and the color pairs work so well together you really can’t fail. My go to day color is the duo in Dusk.
Essie is by far my favorite brand of polish. It comes in tons of colors and they always live up to the shade you see in the bottle. I have about 20 myself and even make it a point to bring my own when getting a pedicure!
I am just starting to get into using lip liner. I always thought I would end up with a weird unnatural line around my lips and didn’t know that I could use the liner as a lip color itself. I now use NYC liners to create awesome matte colors on my lips that last for HOURS and never look fake. It also makes it easier to give my husband a kiss without smearing pink all over his lips!
You know that feeling you get when you first leave the salon after a great haircut? The one where you want to run into everyone you know (especially exes) or maybe go out on the town and show it off? I bet you also know the feeling of walking out with a bad haircut as well, huh? Where you want to go buy Target’s entire selection of hats or maybe call in sick for a month? Well, if you want to avoid ever having that bad feeling again you should stick to cuts that flatter your face. By basing your cut on your face shape you can find what works best for you. Here is some celebrity style inspiration to help you figure out which is the best style for your face shape:
For a round face you want to find a style that elongates and slims. A simple mid-length bob with little volume is perfect. Also, a piecey pixie cut brings focus to your eyes and cheekbones. Ginnifer Goodwin wears this look perfectly.
If you want longer hair, long layers below the chin and wispy bangs elongate the face and add flattering angels. Zooey Deschanel shows a great way to style bangs to make your face look longer and more lean.
Quick Tip: Avoid center parts; they tend to emphasize a full forehead.
For a square face it’s best to find styles that downplay the sharp angles of the jawline. Long and straight hair with feathered bangs and light layers soften square angles. Beachy waves add depth and will bring focus to the layers and not to the jaw line. This look worn by Lea Michelle softens her sharp angles.
Quick Tip: Avoid heavy bangs that accentuate the square shape.
For an oval face you want to find a style that draws attention away from the long jawline. Center parts with curved bangs shorten the length of the face and the curve of the bang brings focus to the eyes. Just look at how the deep blue of Liv Tylers eyes are brought out by the cut.
Or maybe try a shaggy bob like Emily Blunt which looks great on longer faces.
Quick Tip: Avoid lots of layers because they will overpower natural angles and make the face look long.
For a heart-shaped face you want to focus attention downward, away from a full forehead. A chin length bob like with blunt bangs does this perfectly. Christina Ricci shows us exactly how it’s done.
Also, deep, low volume side parts like the one seen here on Reese Witherspoon accentuate the cheekbones without making the look feel too top-heavy.
Quick Tip: Avoid any style that brings the focus to a bare forehead such as a center part or harsh, choppy layers.
You can’t ever say enough about busy entrepreneurs. They juggle their professional and personal lives and (if they are any good at it) become successful. Usually it’s thoughts of self-sufficiency and dollar signs that get these go-getters through the hectic days and sleepless nights. But for Made Woman Liz Norris, there are other things that keep her going.
Liz makes her living as an esthetician. She owns her own salon in Burbank, California and spends her days doing facials and beauty treatments for women from all around LA. She specializes in everything from waxes to lash tinting and prides herself on not only running a professional business but also treating her customers as friends. Liz got into the beauty business because she wanted to help other women feel good about themselves. “I grew up with acne, and I thought if I could fix my own skin, I could help other people fix theirs.”
Liz got her start working for others, first in a medical spa and then in various salons. It took some persuasion from a friend and a leap of faith to decide that she would be better off working for herself, and in 2004 Vanity Private Studio was born: “I wanted the freedom to dress how I wanted and make my own schedule…it was the best thing for me.” Today Liz’s venture is a success, and was even voted one of the Best Bikini Waxes in Los Angeles by LA.com. Her client list of over 1200 people continues to grow each week..and it includes yours truly. I trust my eyebrows to nobody other than her! (I have been going to her for 9 years!)
You would think it would be enough to start a successful business and achieve your dream. But after she found success in the beauty industry, Liz found her true passion in caring for animals. When Liz isn’t working in her salon, she is home in Santa Clarita on her 45-acre ranch where she has rescued over 70 animals! 6 horses, 2 donkeys, 4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, over 40 chickens, 11 ducks, multiple turtles, a tortoise...the list goes on.
Liz’s selflessness and love for animals is unlike anything I’ve seen before. When I asked her why she felt the need to help so many she said, “[Animals] are helpless. Most people can get jobs and find ways to support themselves. They are at our mercy; they have no control over their life at all... I want to do anything I can to help them.” And help them she does. Most of her time and money goes into supporting and caring for these animals.
While she has no formal training, Liz says she is becoming “quite the vet” after taking care of so many animals on her own. Her duties can range from nursing a rooster with a respiratory infection to hatching chickens, to dealing with injuries and administering medication. When she doesn’t know what to do she finds her answers through research and Google. “Thank God for the internet,” she says.
Not long ago, Liz faced a serious injury from a horseback riding accident that left her in a wheelchair. You’d think that would have slowed her efforts down, but it didn’t. She would wheel herself around picking up bails of hay, balancing them on her lap in order to feed her horses. Every morning she would take her walker to the chicken coup to make sure the birds had food when she could hardly get around herself: “I thought of it as forced physical therapy,” she says.
Now fully recovered, Liz’s normal workday starts at 7am and doesn’t end until 1am. She has a 50-minute drive to and from her salon and before she can leave she has to make sure all of her animals are fed and cared for every day. As I mentioned before, I have been going to Liz for 9 years and I haven’t once heard her complain about it being too much. She truly loves what she does and it’s inspirational to see how one person can take care of so many things and still wake up ready to do it again the next day!
So what’s this Made Woman’s five year plan? She says she would love to have a place where people can come on the weekends, bring their kids and spend time with the animals. She still wants to run her salon, of course, because she likes the balance of being able to make people feel good about themselves and then coming home to her peaceful ranch and her animals. For Liz, finding success meant becoming her own boss but her true mission in life is to help animals in need.
You heat it, you strip it, you dye it, you cut it. Every day your hair goes through major trauma. So what are the staples that you use to protect and care for your hair all year long? We asked our staff (since they always look so good) what their must-have hair care products are. No matter what your hair type, the products we use might be right for you too. Take a look:
Redken Smooth Down Butter Treatment: My hair is relaxed and I've been trying to grow it out. Redken allows me to easily comb my hair. – Brook Turner
ANTI.GRAVITY by Kevin Murphy: Smells AMAZING and gives my hair great volume for two to three days! Even in humidity. – Lindsey Jones
I really like Redken Clear Moisture shampoo and conditioner. I have very thick, naturally straight hair and it makes it so soft and light without adding the static most moisturizing shampoos do. – Lindsey Tewell
I love Oyin Handmade products for my hair. I have super thick hair and their products keep my hair moisturized and soft. – Nailah Blades
Hai Flat Iron. It always makes my hair smooth and instantly fixes a bad hair day. – Beth Livesay
Mixed Chicks. I have really curly hair and it's the only thing that can tame the frizz but keep my hair soft and touchable. Hard curls that lack body are not the biz. – Lindsey Day
My hair is fine and straight. I have to use conditioner, otherwise it's impossible to get a comb through it! I like Dove's line. – Amanda Szalasny
My hair is naturally kinky/curly and I style with tools that add heat, so I like Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo because it hydrates my hair but gets it very clean. – Serena Watson
I have thin, curly/wavy hair so I need something good to define and hold curl shape. I swear by Curls Rock cream from Tigi. – Jessica Dumont
Have you tried any of the products we mentioned or know about a product you think works wonders? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!
You get up in the morning and proceed to have an hour long prep session before you even start your day. You use enhancers, creams, and miracles on yourself before you feel ready to face the world. But what about when the day is over and you come home? Do you just crash? If your answer is yes then sister, we have a problem. We are all guilty of it; even me, I confess. But we can’t neglect ourselves at night and then look for a quick fix to combat our laziness (yes, I said laziness). I have learned that if I spend a little extra time simply practicing some self-love with my pre-bed beauty regimen, then I really have little need for extra products. Here are a few beauty tips for right before bed; I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 1: Always wash up.
I’m guilty of skipping this step -- and I’ve got to stop! Sweat, dirt, makeup, the day’s grime … all of that sits on our face at night, clogging our pores and aging our skin. So use a gentle facial cleanser and lukewarm water before going to bed, and follow up with a mild toner. And the last and most important step, don’t forget to moisturize your body and skin before bed. (I will too. Pinky promise.)
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 2: Never sleep with your hair in a ponytail.
No matter how exhausted you are, it’s important not to leave your hair elastics in, because they can cause breakage. If you want to avoid morning tangles, try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. It’s easier on both your hair and your face.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 3: Brush and floss every night.
If you skip the dental care at night, you’re not just in for a huge lecture at your next dental cleaning; you might actually be making yourself look older too. Brushing removes stains between and around your teeth, and for healthy gums you’ve got to floss too. Poor gum care can cause your gums to recede, making your teeth look longer -- and you older!
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 4: Let your feet breathe.
Keeping your feet in socks may keep them feeling toasty, but it also creates a moist environment where foot fungus can breed. Yikes!
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 5: Keep a glass of water by your bedside. Not only will this help if you wake up in the middle of the night dying of thirst, but also you are supposed to have a glass of water pre-breakfast to dull hunger and rehydrate. Remember, glowing skin comes from water.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 6: Don’t eat right before bed.
It is so important to eat within a reasonable time of your bedtime. When you eat right before bed, you don’t have a chance to burn off the calories. Certain foods and eating too much right before bed can lead to a restless night of sleep.
Bedtime Beauty Tip No. 7: Get your beauty sleep.
I know you really want to stay up late to watch your favorite show, talk on the phone, or peruse the internet, but beauty sleep is no myth. Your skin needs time to heal and restore. Plus, who wants under eye bags?
I hope you use these tips to re-energize your bedtime regimen. Instead of just crashing and waking up looking like a wreck, put in a little extra effort at the end of the day and stay looking young and healthy. Sweet dreams!
Word of mouth is the ONLY way to find someone to trust with your nail bed. That is why we appreciate sites like Yelp and CitySearch. But where do Made Women get their nails done? We polled our staff and put together a list of our personal faves. Check it out:
Nail Lounge – South Pasadena [On Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/nail-lounge-south-pasadena]
“Great Service! They don’t rush you. I can just relax and feel pampered. I really like the cleanliness and ambiance. Plus, I like that the polish lasts a long time even though I don’t get gel.” – Serena
Bonus!! Mention Made Woman Mag at Nail Lounge and get $5 off your next mani/pedi!
Marie Nails - Los Angeles [http://www.marienails.com]
“Amazing group of extremely-talented Japanese girls who create the most intricate Cal-Gel designs (nail polish dried with UV light and doesn't chip for weeks). " – Natalia
Serene Haven - Sherman Oaks [http://www.serenehavenbeauty.com]
“They are wonderful but you have to make an appointment.” – Lindsey J.
Stella Nails – Burbank Stella Nails [On Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/stella-making-beauty-burbank]
"I recently started going to a place called Stella Nails in Burbank CA. It's the only place I have found that my gel manicure lasts an entire 2 weeks and doesn’t chip!"
Nail Elite and Spa - Santa Monica [http://www.nailelite.net/]
“Their spa chairs and add-ons like massages and paraffin wax will provide instant bliss. A basic mani/pedi is $32, but if you can make it on a weekday (10am-1pm) it's only $25! The assortment of colors will keep your nails looking fresh year-round.” – Lindsey D.
Angel Spa Nails - Laguna Hills [http://www.yelp.com/biz/angel-spa-nails-laguna-hills]
“Prices are very reasonable and you never have to wait long. I also think they have subscriptions to every fashion glossy. This is where I go to catch up on my reading” – Beth
Square Nails & Spa - Irvine, CA [On Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-square-nails-and-spa-irvine]
“Their manicures and pedicures are not only flawless, but their massages that go along with both of them are to DIE for. Puts me to sleep every time --and when I wake up, they're still going at it!”- Ericka Crespo
Eye makeup is one of those areas where you really show off your personality. Regardless of the uniform you have to wear or the dress code you have to follow at work, you can always add to your style by changing up your eye makeup look. Here are a few examples of what’s hot right now:
This look is perfect for when you want to wear a bold colored lip and don’t want to look like you are wearing a ton of makeup. It also takes very little time to do so it’s perfect for those days when you are in a rush to get ready. Just apply mascara, a pale shadow or primer and a bright lipstick.
This look is a great twist on the dark smokey eye. It still gives you the dramatic darkness smokey looks are known for but adds some dimension with shimmer. This touch of sparkle makes this style perfect for a party!
The Cat Eye
This look never seems to go out of style. There are many ways to apply liner in a cat eye style that can complement your wardrobe and personality. You can go with a thicker line for something bolder or a thin sweep for something you can wear to work.
Bold and bright eyeliner is a great way to add a pop of color to your eyes without falling into the 80's with a colored eye shadow. A bright yellow or pink is fun to play with for a night out or you can use a muted blue or green for a playful day look. Just make sure to keep the rest of your makeup minimal.
Audrey Hepburn is a classic beauty and her makeup always reflected that. The classic eye combines a dark liner, light shadow and lots of mascara! It’s a no fail look that can transition from day to night flawlessly. Just add little black dress!
Menthol. Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate. Titanium dioxide. Trideceth-9. No, this is not a list of ingredients for a home-made bomb. They are the listed ingredients of a name brand, over-the-counter face wash. #Truestory. Facial cleansing products these days have a somewhat intimidating range of chemicals in them that we gleefully lather on our face daily. This is why, when it comes to beauty products, I am a believer in all things natural. I’m not much of a makeup wearer, so the less intimidating a name on a label and the color in a jar, the better. The main definition for natural skincare products are those items that don’t contain harsh chemicals, parabens, or dyes. The ingredients in these products are found in nature and should contain bionutrients, or other natural supplements that are vital to your skin’s health. The following are some of my favorites.
Burt’s Bees is probably most popular for their lip balm, which I've always been a huge fan of. But Burt's product line has evolved to include a variety of natural beauty products, such as cleansers, exfoliants, serums and acne solutions. None of us want wrinkles, so a repairing serum that makes us look and feel ageless is definitely worth the $25 price tag. Pomegranates are the main ingredient, which are loaded with antioxidants to fight skin-damaging free radicals. It also contains borage and evening primrose oils, which help diminish the appearance of fine lines by strengthening skin's moisture barrier. All consumer reviews are positive, plus it’s always a bonus to be able to read, pronounce and identify every ingredient on the bottle.
While makeup can be a fun accessory, and at times a necessity (concealer, anyone?), it is imperative for our skin that we remove it all before going to sleep. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover is formulated to be easy on the eyes, so it removes makeup as well as cleans the skin without robbing it of all of its moisture. The Peruvian Tara Seed is the secret ingredient to this “miracle in a pump.” With rave reviews and a price tag of only $6.99, there’s nothing to lose when trying out this product — except, of course, old makeup.
Aveeno Active Naturals
Aveeno is a leader in natural products. All of their products are formulated with a blend of their “active naturals” ingredients, which include lavender, chamomile, oats, soy, and feverfew. Each of these ingredients have their own beneficial qualities, which you can read up on Aveeno's website here. Their line includes everything from skincare to haircare to items specially made for babies. Prices range anywhere from $6 to $40, depending on what you're buying, but healthy skin is worth every penny.
We all need to wash our face at least twice daily. I grew up with a mom who not only taught me to wash my face, but believed in Origins, her beauty drug of choice for many years. Made with kelp, lavender, and spearmint, this natural cleanser is sure to give you a natural glow. One of the most widely reviewed products on Origins’ site, with 98% of customers recommending it, it’s worth giving this $18.50 tube a go.
Whether going all natural, or just incorporating natural products into part of your regimen, it’s always good to be in the know of what other options are out there to make you look (and subsequently, feel) better.
Winter has finally decided to arrive in LA (this week at least) and she brings with her much excitement. Can you say “holiday parties??” But with the change in weather comes a much needed change in your stock of beauty supplies. Yes, it's time to retire your summer suntan lotion and stock up on goodies that will keep you looking fresh and fabulous this holiday season.
Have your knee caps and hands become victims of that change in season ashiness? Shortage of moisture in the air during winter months can dry out your skin, which is why the most important thing you need in your beauty regimen right now is...moisturizer. I love Aveeno'’s Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer ($15.99) because it’'s lightweight but keeps my skin feeling soft and hydrated all day. It also comes with a SPF of 15 or 30 and is available with a tint. For all over body care I love Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturizer ($7.49). These are both products you can purchase at any drugstore or mega, uber Target. #Tooeasy.
If you aren't doing a mask at home once a week you're doing your face a disservice. Try out Aveda's Tourmaline Charged Radiance Mask ($31). It's gentle but deep exfoliation removes dead skin and minimizes pores. This mask is great for adding a glow to your skin when winter weather makes skin look dull.
Your color palette may be a bit more muted in the winter but your make up doesn't have to be. Dior's Diorshow mascara ($24.50) can give your lashes a "ready for the runway" look. It adds volume, length and those who have tried it swear by it. Go ahead and throw this one in the bag.
Another tool you'll need is the perfect pencil. I like Lancome's Le Crayon Khol Waterproof Eyeliner with a smudger ($24.50). It glides on smoothly and the smudger tool helps create a sexy smokey eye.
Just like your skin, your hair can get dull and dry during the winter months. If that's the case for you, first off, drink more water. Secondly, add a shine serum to your hair care treatments. I just discovered these and they do so much to help my hair look healthier while protecting it from heat. I like Joico's K-Pak Protect and Shine Serum because it adds shine and moisture without my weighing hair down.
Adjusting your beauty supplies to suit the season is a must! It's also good to check the expiration dates on your make up and throw out anything old. Taking time out to update your supplies makes staying fresh and fly that much easier.
We’ve all heard the saying “less is more,” but I often find myself challenging this notion when it comes to fashion. I admit it; I’m a label lover. But even I know that there is a time for searching for a steal AND a time for letting yourself splurge. A healthy combination of both is the way to go when it’s time to revamp your wardrobe.
But what about when it’s time to restock your beauty cabinet? Much like the fashion world, filled with its designer labels as well as its department store brands, the beauty world is cluttered with high and low end products. Since I am used to investing large portions of my income into clothing and accessories, I have generally stuck to low end beauty products. But recently, I had an epiphany: sometimes the best accessory is your natural beauty, and that’s worth investing in too. I realized that some outfits would look better if I had the tools and products to do my hair a certain way. And some looks could be enhanced if I had a certain shade of lip gloss or nail polish. You get the idea. There was a missing piece in my “get pretty” arsenal, and I set out on a quest to fill it.
Based on my research (in the mall) here are the best beauty indulgences and deals. You work hard for you money, so let’s spend it right!
Splurges So Worth It
We all want our hair to look like it was just styled at the salon. This flat iron does just that, making hair look smooth and sleek. The price tag is a pretty penny at $99.99, and other models can cost even more. But this one comes with a three year warranty, and beauty salons often have them on sale. Believe me, on the next bad hair day you have, this will be well worth it.
I’ve tried cheaper brands of dry shampoo, and there is just no comparison. Nothing feels so clean, smells so great and works so well. Short of applying powder to your roots, this is the greatest product for absorbing oils and giving your hair just one more day of styling before hitting the shower.
For $32.50 I feel this powder is actually a deal. I see instant results and it feels like I’m not wearing any makeup at all! This is also great for dusting over your foundation. It might be best to order or buy this powder before actually running out, as it sells out at the beauty counter often. And you know what that means…it’s a winner.
I don’t enjoy wearing makeup. The main reason is because it makes my face feel cakey and unnatural. But this $40 tube of goodness is my only exception. It moisturizes, has SPF protection and is not heavy like a foundation. I love the glow it gives my skin, and that confidence is something you can’t put a price tag on.
Deals For Real
Ranging in price from the high $20s (when on sale) to mid $30s, I fully stand behind these hair dryers. They dry hair quickly and the cord winds itself up with the press of a button. Hey, the less time spent on cleaning up, the better, right? Your time is as valuable as those hard earned dollars, so save both by purchasing this product.
I’ve purchased the expensive moisturizers from department stores before and while they do a pretty good job, there’s no need to break the bank when you can get awesome results from a drugstore brand. Apply Neutrogena’s Oil Free Moisture twice a day after washing your face for a touchable feel and SPF protection.
For just $4 you can help your hair combat high heat styling products. I spray this stuff on my hair while flat ironing and it works great. True, all the major hair care brands have their own bottle, but at $4 the price can’t be beat!
I read about this product in a magazine. And after spending $29 on department store concealer, I’m sure glad I picked up this product. Not only does this $9.25 concealer work wonders (what flaws?) but the highlighting end is the best part. It adds radiance and can be used on those dark circles (because really, who gets enough sleep?).
Remember, investing is not always about stocks and bonds. You have to examine the market for everyday items to get the most return as well. Putting your money to work by purchasing products that will last means savings in the long run. And hey, ever heard of the phrase “dress for the job you want?” Small touch ups to your overall appearance may actually lead to you making MORE money. Think about it, no one ever became president of a company by looking like they just rolled out of bed! You made that money, now use it to look MADE.