Tag Archives: ballin on a budget

Violet Voss Le Macaron Palette Swatches Pt. 1

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Violet Voss Le Macaron Palette Swatches Pt. 1

Hello! During my last Sephora Haul, I purchased two new eyeshadow palettes: Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez and Le Macaron by Violet Voss. I wanted some beginner level palettes to play with but I also didn’t want it to cost an arm and a leg, either. Rare Beauty was twenty-five dollars and Le Macaron was only eighteen! I was comfortable with these prices and the large amount of positive reviews made me feel confident with my online order.

Today, we are going to be taking a closer look at two of the eyeshadows in the Le Macaron palette. There are some colors that are similar to those in Rare Beauty so we will be bypassing them! Now, let’s get to it with the top left and bottom right shades:

^^^ There are no names for these eyeshadows so I guess I will do the honors. Let’s go with “Purple Haze” and “Birthday Cake”.

The only negative reviews I noticed on Sephora’s website for the Le Macaron palette were complaints on the pigment quality. Happily, I did not find that to be true in the slightest while swatching these shades. While the eyeshadow may have been drier in comparison to the Rare Beauty palette, which was quite creamy, it still applied easily and in a rich hue. You just can’t beat that for eighteen dollars!

I can’t say that I will be wearing Purple Haze very often because warm undertones don’t look the best on me now with my red and pink hair. However, I absolutely adore the eyeshadow in Birthday Cake and it was actually one of the biggest selling points of this palette for me. It reminds me of fairy tales, bubblegum, and all things sweet! Purple Haze is a swing and a miss but Birthday Cake is a definite home run. 😀

What is your favorite eyeshadow palette? What are your favorite makeup brands? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Bath & Body Works Semi Annual Sale Haul

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Bath & Body Works Semi Annual Sale Haul

Hello! The Bath & Body Works semi annual sale is like a siren call and, whether I need new bath and body care goodies or not, I always end up doing a little shopping. This past weekend, I met my friend Danielle at Summit Mall for an outing and I showed up early enough to run into B&BW beforehand to make some purchases. I got eleven items for under thirty bucks with a total savings of one hundred and two dollars. Talk about a steal! Check it out:

The Haul:

  • 2 Champagne Apple & Honey shower gels
  • 2 Pearberry shower gels
  • 2 Pretty As A Peach shower gels
  • 1 Raspberry Tangerine body spray
  • 1 Pretty As A Peach body spray
  • 1 Market Peach hand soap
  • 1 Boardwalk Vanilla Cone hand soap
  • 1 travel size Warm Vanilla Sugar shower gel (Free!)

I know what you all are thinking… Sarah, did you really need all of the above? And my answer is YES, yes, a thousand times yes! When it comes to my beauty stock pile, my motto is the more the merrier and why not buy products that I know I am going to use at a fraction of the cost? I exclusively use the shower gel, hand soap, and body spray from B&BW and if I can get a great deal on it, I am going to stock up.

Not only is my bath and body care hoard good for me, it’s especially beneficial during gift giving occasions as well. If I feel like whatever I am gifting needs a little something extra, I am happy to add in a goodie or two from Bath & Body Works to sweeten the pot. After this haul, I am thinking that I will be good for bath and body care products for close to a year…

The only reason I didn’t buy more? I knew the bags were going to be so heavy while shopping with Danielle that I restrained myself and I’m glad I did. Toting around the purchases above for over two hours was a work out!!

Which store has the best sales? What do you have in your beauty stock pile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

How to Easily Brighten Up Your Home On a Budget

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How to Easily Brighten Up Your Home On a Budget

If your home is looking a little dull, what are some of the things you can do to brighten it up without spending much? If you want to get creative with your living space but don’t have a huge budget, there are plenty of ways that you can change the look and feel of your house without breaking the bank. Here are a few suggestions for easy ways to brighten up your home on a budget:

Paint the Walls:

A fresh coat of paint can significantly brighten up space and, when on a budget, you don’t have to work on the entire house but can paint one or two walls in each room. Make sure to choose bright colors that coordinate well with your decor. For a more professional outcome, consult interior painting companies. You’ll make fewer mistakes and end up with satisfactory results. For affordable color schemes, try pastels or choose a single color for the whole space.

Add Plants or Flowers:

Plants add life to any setting and are an affordable option when livening up space. You can also use plants and flowers to hide out-of-place furniture in your living room, hallway, or kitchen. Choose vibrant flowers that will make the space feel fresh, new, and elegant. Flowers and plants also make a room look expensive without spending a fortune. If you have some extra time, try planting some vegetables in containers for decoration inside the house. For the best results, place the plants at strategic locations near the windows and the front door to give your home a more natural look.

Buy New Curtains or Rugs:

One of the easiest ways to change a room is by replacing the curtains with new lighter or brighter ones. Switching your rugs up is another good option too. If you can’t replace all of the curtains or rugs in your house, start with the ones in the living room, then move on to other rooms such as bedrooms and kitchen. The most used rooms should come first.

White and Off-White Décor:

Just about any color scheme looks good with white or off-white décor, so it’s a great way to create a new look without spending much money. To get the most out of your investment, buy furniture, wallpaper, and artwork in coordinating but bright colors. This will make your home feel more spacious and radiant.

Lighting:

Think about the colors of light bulbs you use. Warm-colored light will create a cozy atmosphere that can make any room feel more inviting. This type of lighting is better in rooms for relaxation like the living room and bedroom. Brighter white lighting is good for rooms with high activity like the kitchen. You may also want to consider adding decorative lighting like table lamps or wall sconces for an even softer glow.

Refresh Carpets:

Vacuum and shampoo carpets, then add a deodorizer to keep smells at bay and refresh the color so they don’t look dull. If you’ve had the carpets for a while, replacing them eventually would be a worthwhile investment.

As you will realize, these suggestions don’t require much money and most of them are easy DIY projects – no local professional required!

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Spend Less On Your Family’s Essentials

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How To Spend Less On Your Family’s Essentials

There are some things that we all need to pay for and costs we need to cover. And, thankfully, there are lots of ways in which you can spend on these essentials and manage the costs associated with them. If you want to learn how to spend less and keep the costs low, read on now:

Raise Your Insurance Deductibles:

Insurance is one of the things that we all need to have in place. And for most of us, there are lots of different types of insurance that are needed. In order to keep yourself and your family safe going forward, you’ll need to find the right deals and put the right coverage in place. But you can, nonetheless, raise the deductibles in order to get a better monthly rate on those policies.

Cook Your Own Meals:

If you’re someone who eats out a lot or orders takeout food a little too often, you’ll know how costly that kind of stuff can be. Cooking your own meals can take a huge amount of that financial burden away. You can cook and prepare meals very cheaply when you buy fresh ingredients and put the effort into cooking. It’s not as hard or as daunting as you might think!

Create a Debt Repayment Strategy:

Lots of people struggle with debt and get dragged down each month by the repayments they need to make. You can create a good debt repayment strategy if you want to, and doing so is almost always advisable. When you have a strategy and plan in place to pay the debt off faster, you’ll start saving money because you won’t be getting constantly hit by the interest.

Start Using Coupons Routinely:

If you’re not doing so already, you should definitely think about how you can start using coupons and discounts to your advantage. If you’re a pet owner you can use a Canada Pet Care coupon code for your pet food needs. And there are plenty of discounts, offers, and coupon codes that will help you with your regular shopping, including grocery store purchases.

Cut Your Travel Expenses:

When you’re always traveling by car or public transport, it can get costly. There are many ways to cut your regular travel expenses, such as by doing more walking and cycling. Or you can try carpooling to work with colleagues so you can all spend less on gas. Traveling less and doing more activities closer to home might also be a good idea if you really want to cut those costs as well as be friendly to the environment.

Spending less on your family’s basics and essentials isn’t that difficult and it never needs to be. When you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll be surprised by how much you can achieve and how far your money can stretch.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

May 2021 Finishes

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May 2021 Finishes

Hello everyone and happy last day of May! Normally, I am a huge fan of the month of May but this year, it couldn’t end soon enough. Not only are both mine and Johnny’s birthdays in June but our wedding is too! We are so incredibly excited and I can’t wait to share our joy with all of you. Before we say farewell to May, let’s discuss my beauty finishes for the month:

Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Neutrogena/Garnier Moisturizers: I love a good gel moisturizer, especially in the summertime and plan on using both the Neutrogena and Garnier moisturizers all season long. While I am more partial to the Neutrogena Hydro Boost, you just can’t beat the low price of the Garnier and it is a wonderful less expensive alternative. The Hydro Boost moisturizer is fourteen dollars on Amazon and the Moisture Rescue is around seven. To help cut the cost, I alternate between the two and think that my skin looks much brighter, clearer, and supple because of it.

Eclat Serum: The novelty of the Eclat Vitamin C serum still hasn’t worn off on me yet and I love the way my skin looks and feels after each use. I highly recommend this product and if you purchase it for yourself, I would also highly recommend buying more than one bottle. Despite the excellent quality and unbeatable price (Seven dollars!) one bottle alone will not get you through an entire month if you are using it twice daily. I find that I need at least a bottle and a half to last me for a whole month.

SkinLab Eye Gel: SkinLab products were my go to for the longest time because I could get them on the way cheap at TJMaxx. I would pay about eight dollars for the moisturizers and eye creams or gels. However, during the pandemic, I only shopped online and was shocked to see that the SkinLab products were over double what I paid at TJMaxx on Amazon.

I opted for different moisturizers but still would shell out for the Lift & Firm eye gel since one jar lasts me about three months. After a few repurchases of the eye gel on Amazon, I just couldn’t justify the twenty dollar price tag on it any longer. Once I finish the eye cream that I am using from The Body Shop, I will be testing out a seven dollar one by Elf and have my fingers crossed that it will work well!

There! Now we can officially bid adieu to May. 😀

Which products did you use up this month? What are some of your beauty staples? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pro Tips For A Spring Wardrobe Revamp

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Pro Tips For A Spring Wardrobe Revamp

Hello! I consider myself a seasonal shopper and enjoy upgrading my wardrobe with a few new pieces as the seasons change. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really able to show off my fall and winter TJMaxx haul in public because pandemic. However, with spring just around the corner and the promise of socially distanced outdoor hang outs, now is the time to give your wardrobe a boost so you can step out for the first time in ages in style. Consider the following tips as you revamp your wardrobe for spring:

Do Some Pre-Shopping:

Prior to browsing online, I always like to go through my closet and see what I already have before I add onto it. You can only have so many floral dresses and light jackets so evaluating what you have beforehand will allow you to purchase pieces that will stand out more in your wardrobe. I also do a lot of window shopping online before I commit to anything to get a feel of what trends and colors are going to be hot for the season. Mid February is a great time to do some pre-shopping, especially since full spring collections typically don’t drop until the end of the month or early March.

Set A Budget:

Once I have a good idea of what I will need from pre-shopping in my closet, I like to make a list of pieces that I would like as well as set a budget that I am comfortable with. Setting a budget is a wise thing to do before seasonal shopping because you don’t need a whole new wardrobe. Rather, just a few new pieces to freshen things up. You can leave a little wiggle room for a find that you simply can’t live without just don’t blow your entire budget on one extravagant purchase!

Keep Statement Accessories In Mind:

Spring is one of the best seasons to accessorize for and you can completely transform a look with one statement accessory. Accessory shopping tends to be cheaper than purchasing brand new clothes and if you like what you already have in your closet, then it is a great way to go for a wardrobe revamp. Think bold necklaces, patterned tights, floppy hats, floral fashion scarves, and pastel hued purses. Don’t forget a soft shawl or cardigan to layer with for chillier days.

Come Up With A Color Palette:

Warmer weather encourages a brighter color palette and while pre-shopping in your closet, it is also important to consider what colors your wardrobe is lacking. I, for example, prefer clothing in a darker color – so much so that I never really realized how much fun it is to experiment with clothing in pink, white, yellow, and green. Incorporating shades that you have never worn before or shy away from will quickly revamp your wardrobe so come up with your own spring palette and give it a try. The worst that can happen is you not liking it!

Updating your wardrobe never has to break your bank – especially if you follow the tips above. Set your budget, snag some statement pieces and, like the beautiful flowers of spring, your wardrobe will blossom too!

Which colors are in your spring palette? What is your favorite season to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Eclat Vitamin C Serum Review

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Eclat Vitamin C Serum Review

Hey! Before my last skin care haul, I decided to look up the best recommended products for people in their late twenties. The resounding themes of the articles I read through included adding a Vitamin C serum as well as hyaluronic acid into your skin care regimen. For the hyaluronic acid, I ended up purchasing the Hydro Boost moisturizer from Neutrogena. As for the Vitamin C serum, I went with a well rated (five stars) and very cheap (six dollars) serum by Eclat. And, I will be damned if it isn’t the best, most inexpensive serum I have ever used. Let’s discuss:

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From every aspect, this Eclat Vitamin C serum rocks. First of all, it smells divine – just like freshly squeezed oranges and being able to use it first thing in the morning is invigorating. A little of this product also goes a long way because a dropper and a half full is more than enough to completely cover your face and neck. These are both important factors to me when it comes to a skin care product because I simply cannot use something that doesn’t smell good to me and having to use a lot of it to make it feel effective is definitely not the best bang for your buck.

The best thing about the Eclat Vitamin C serum, though? I am being one hundred percent truthful when I say that I noticed a difference in my skin after just one use. I had an extremely busy week at work and I was on my period so, needless to say, I was absolutely exhausted. And, when I get that tired my skin starts to look really dull. I used this serum for the first time during one of my melt into the couch tired days last week and my skin instantly looked more radiant and bright. It was amazing to me that I looked well rested when I didn’t feel it in the slightest.

I was curious to see if this product would keep seeming effective to me once I wasn’t so worn out and I was happy to find that it still lived up to the hype I built for it in my head. My skin just has this glow to it that certainly wasn’t there before with the Azure Lux serums that I have been using regularly for the past two or so years. I am beyond thrilled with the Eclat Vitamin C serum and highly recommend it because after one use I already knew that I would buy it again! GREAT SUCCESS!

What is one of your must have skin care products? Do you use any age specific products? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Down? Treat Yoself!

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Feeling Down? Treat Yoself!

Hellooo!! The coronavirus pandemic can induce a plethora of feelings like exhaustion, stress, depression, and anxiety. I have definitely experienced all of these and if you’re taking the virus seriously, then I’m sure you have too. It is hard to get yourself back to baseline when you are feeling so down but there is nothing like a little treat to lift yourself up. How about brushing off the blues with some of the following?

Your favorite drink:

Nothing perks me up literally and metaphorically like my favorite coffee drinks from Starbucks. I live for the holiday season when I can get my Peppermint Mocha fix and the warm fuzzies I feel with a steaming, fragrant cup in my hands. For even more feel good power, pay it forward for the person behind you and see if you can get a chain started. Then, you can make someone else’s day too!

Pizza party:

This past weekend, Johnny and I ordered a pizza and watched Christmas movies together and it was a blast! Our food was delicious and it was so nice to just settle in for the afternoon without worrying about what to make for dinner. It was also a relief to have some entertainment that wasn’t stress inducing with violence or triggering story lines. I highly recommend a viewing of Elf, Jingle All The Way, or The Muppets Christmas Carol to get yourself in the holiday spirit as well as to put a smile on your face. 🙂

Smell goods:

There is nothing better than sinking into a nice, warm bath filled with lush bubbles in your favorite scent. Have a shopping trip online to your favorite bath and body care supplier and order some pampering treats for yourself. How about some bath bombs from Lush? Or some uber lathering body wash and a few candles from Bath & Body Works? My favorite scents of vanilla, orange, and apple always help to relax me – combine that with a long soak in the tub and it is heaven!

A new book:

Take a step away from the craziness of the real world and tuck into a good book. Grab something from the library or Barnes & Noble and settle in for the afternoon in a totally different world. I love to read and I always feel infinitely more relaxed after I knock back a couple of chapters in whatever book I am working on finishing. If you’re not the biggest fan of reading, try a subscription to Audible for some book tapes that you can play while driving or cooking. My Johnny loves having Audible and I definitely recommend it too.

New home decor:

This is not to say to remodel your living room entirely but you could always purchase some new wall art or a cute knick knack that you can’t live without. Seeing something daily that you find visually appealing is a sure fire way to make you smile. You could also always skip the purchasing process and DIY some decor with your bestie. Every time you see it, you will think of the sweet memory of a craft night – no matter how your art work turns out. 😀

Treating yoself doesn’t have to break your bank. Use the tips above and get the spring back in your step!

How do you like to treat yoself? What makes you smile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Ballin’ On A Budget Christmas Gifts

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Ballin’ On A Budget Christmas Gifts

Hi! Christmas is coming in hot and it is no secret that this year’s holiday celebrations will be much different than in 2019. COVID-19 has put a damper on literally everything and many are still out of work and struggling to make ends meet. It is understandable that the holiday season might be stressing out those in a pinch even more so I put together a list of totally sweet and cheap gift ideas that will make anyone’s day. It’s always, always the thought that counts and your giftees will love the following:

Picture this:

Do you have a ton of favorite selfies and pics with one of your giftees? Print a couple out and frame them or print out a bunch and tuck them away in a photo album. I love this gift idea and have used it often, myself. Photos bring you back to happier times like vacations, girls night out, and family get togethers. Everyone can certainly smile more during these times and a pic with you and your giftee will do the trick just fine.

DIY:

Another simple and fun gift idea is all things DIY. How about crafting some holiday ornaments for everyone on your list? Holiday themed decor always goes over well and your options are limitless. Perhaps painted winter scenes to hang up? Homemade bath and body care items or candles? Or you could assemble all of the ingredients to make holiday cookies into a cute Mason jar. DIY gifts are special because no one else in the world will have something like it!

Future fun:

Talk to your giftees about what they are most excited to do when it’s safe. Are they dying to see a movie in theaters? Browse the mall care free for the afternoon? What about dining at their favorite restaurant? Get the deets and present a plan for a day together with those on your list in 2021. This is insanely thoughtful and it shows that you’re listening when your loved ones talk to you. Also, who doesn’t like having something to look forward to?!

Family Day:

Instead of a gift, why not opt to plan a winter wonderland day for your family post or pre Christmas? Host a snowball fight or a trek through the woods. What about ice skating on a lake? Or driving around to look at Christmas lights? It will be such fun to have everyone all together again! Have hot chocolate ready for once you head inside and pop on a Christmas movie or comedy to keep the good vibes going. I would love to do this with my family. 🙂

Books & movies:

I don’t know anyone who isn’t constantly asking for recommendations of books or movies to help ease their pandemic boredom. Choose a new book or movie that you think your giftee would love. It could be one of your favorites, it could be something new from their fave author or actor – heck, it could be something totally random! Either way, you are providing some entertainment for everyone on your list and they will be most appreciative when they feel like there is “nothing” to do.

The holidays shouldn’t be a stressful time so try and enjoy yourself! Easier said than done, I know. But, as I said before, the thought you put into your gifts is the most important thing so use the ideas above to help get you started. ❤

How is your holiday shopping going? Do you have a gift you are really excited to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Amazon Skin Care Haul

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Amazon Skin Care Haul

Hello! Whenever I needed new skin care back in pre-COVID days, I would go to TJMaxx and browse the aisles for everything I needed/didn’t need. Now, when I am running low on my skin care, I order a three or so month’s supply from Amazon. Originally, I was having a lot of luck finding all of the brands that I liked from TJs on Amazon. The prices weren’t as good but I was still happy to use what was familiar to me.

This time around, it came as a HUGE shock to see that the SkinLab brand on Amazon that I love so very much had all of their prices jacked up to twenty dollars. I was normally paying seven to eight bucks at TJs and eleven or so on Amazon. Twenty dollars for moisturizer and eye cream is just ridiculous so I had to try out some new products at prices I was more comfortable with. Check it out:

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The Haul:

  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for normal/combo skin
  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream for dry skin
  • Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating facial cleanser
  • Pacifica Kale Charcoal Foaming Facial Detox Bar
  • 3 Azure Lux Rose Gold serums
  • Garnier Micellar Water

After I discovered the high price of my SkinLab products, it took me a while to find a moisturizer at a price point I was okay with. Finally, I found a great deal on the Garnier pack of two moisturizers for SEVEN BUCKS! I thought that was a steal and I love Garnier products as well as gel cream moisturizers. Do I wish that I could have gotten my usual SkinLab Lift & Firm? Yes. But, I am excited to try something new.

Another product that I was sad to see wasn’t available on Amazon that used to be there was the Destiny Boutique charcoal face bars. I have been using their face bars for years and always like to have one or two handy at my apartment. Sadly, the brand was nowhere to be found on Amazon so I had to try my hand at the Pacifica bar, instead. I like that it is a foaming bar but I don’t like how small the bar is in comparison to the picture online. It was also packaged really poorly, which was kind of a turn off so we will see!

Along with my other usuals of Garnier micellar water and the Azure Lux serums, I bought a new Clean & Clear cleanser, as well. I am currently finishing up their Skin Brightening Morning Burst cleanser and have enjoyed it. However, it was really expensive on Amazon – over ten bucks, if I recall correctly. So, I went with the less pricey Hydrating cleanser. I am okay with this swap, though, because my skin needs all the hydrating it can get come winter.

I am looking forward to trying out all of my new products because it certainly has been a while since I went for something totally different. The almighty dollar talks every time and I don’t think I will be using my old faithfuls again until their prices go down.

Do you have a favorite product that got discontinued or really expensive? Does the substitute you picked out compare? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah