Ballin’ on a Budget: 6 Beauty Winners at Target


I LOVE TARGET. I could spend hours on end wandering aimlessly through aisle after aisle, filling my cart with all sorts of goodies. I love their food selection, men’s pajamas, homewares, prices on toothpaste…yes, Target is a very special place for me. Especially the one in Spanish Harlem, which is conveniently located only twenty-ish blocks from where I live. It’s a pain to get to, still, since it’s so far east, but the moment I walk through those sliding doors and into that red-and-white themed megastore I’m in heaven. I grab an iced tea at Starbucks, a shopping cart, and start cruisin’.


I must admit that I haven’t really purchased any beauty supplies from a drugstore since turning 21. I discovered the magical world of specialty stores and never looked back. But after recently making some big-ish plans for the not-so-far-away future, I realized it’s time to scale back a little.


And it sucked, at first, until I realized that I had definitely been overspending. A sizable amount of stuff I was getting at speciality stores had counterparts equal (or even better) in quality just waiting in the local drugstore! Now THAT was a revelation. And since my no. 1 goal for 25 is to manage my money better, I made the trek uptown and took the first step into making this year a glorious, beautiful, and much less expensive one.


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The Fantastic Four: Outstanding Oils!



So it’s been a hot second since I last wrote about my skincare routine and let me tell you, there have been some CHANGES! Y’all completely did not hear about my adventure into the land of Soap & Glory, which was a passionate and short-lived (but fondly remembered) dalliance that ended in heartbreak, i.e., Sephora discontinuing carrying their products. Supposedly shops like Target (ahem, Targét) will start carrying the line soon, but in the interim I was left high and dry and with a face that was quickly crumbling into Crypt Keeper territory.

Crypt Keeper

Me showing up late to a function.

I’d been reading about oil cleansers for some time now, but hadn’t been blown away by any that I’d tried. They mostly left my face feeling kinda greasy and unclean. So I wasn’t expecting much when I got a sample of Tatcha’s One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil–I honestly just picked it because of the packaging. #shamelesslyshallow

One wash later and I was in love.

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Lush with LUSH: Four Body Butter Bars

When I went home to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving weekend, I discovered that my mother had gone to Lush and randomly got me four different types of body butter bars, just because. I had only used one of them before (the Buffy Bar), and was otherwise new to the other three: King of Skin, Aqua Mirabilis, and You Snap the Whip. I personally would not have purchased four different body butters, since they’re all basically doing the same thing, but because I didn’t actually spend the money on them myself I am sucking it up and happily using them. I thought I would do a little comparison of each bar, therefore, since I am now sampling every single one of them and can now speak to the differences between them all.

Smooth Criminal…post body butter bars.

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Spray n’ SLAY: 6 Best Dry Shampoos (On Any Budget)

Dry shampoo: a most basic need for even the baddest of biddies

My mom is in the middle of a career switch (shout out to the moms!) and has been going to a bunch of interviews lately. If you’re worried about going on interviews as a twenty-something, imagine what it must be like as an older person–the pressure is ON to look 101% fly AF. My mom being my mom, though, is totally chillax about the whole thing (being naturally fabulous definitely gives you an edge). The only thing that causes her to worry is her hair. “Should I wash it again?” she asked. “I want it to look shiny, but I don’t want it to look too greasy. But I just had it colored, so I don’t want the color to fade…”

“Use dry shampoo,” I said.

“No! I don’t want to dry out my hair and damage my scalp,” she said. “I’ll just wash it again.”

My mother, like many poor unfortunate souls out there, has been burned (or parched?) by bad dry shampoo. Hey, world, it happens. Bad beauty products are REAL. It’s also possible to try something new only to use a product too weak or too strong for your particular needs. Dry shampoo can be tricky. It’s supposed to be a time-saver, but if you’re using the wrong kind, you could end up spending an extra 3+ hours frantically attempting a semi-presentable updo and wardrobe change (because everyone knows that hair up vs. hair down totally dictates the kind of neckline your top can have. IJS).

Dry shampoo is not only a time-saver, it’s also a hair-saver. Less washing is super-great for the health of your hair. And if you’re a workout junkie and/or sweat at all, preemptively applied dry shampoo can help to keep heat-styled hair fresh even after the most intense I-Wanna-Be-Beyonce squat session ever.

As a self-professed beauty product guinea pig, I’ve tried my fair share of dry shampoos. I’m a heat addict, work out semi-intensely three times a week, and have some crazy thick and curly hair that’s recovering from some pretty awful damage. I live off of dry shampoo. Hopefully the rundown I give y’all will help you to pick the right dry shampoo for your needs! I tried to give a solid mix of high and low price range products so you can find the right dry shampoo for your budget, too. After this, you’ll be able to hit snooze six times and still strut out the door looking Gone With the Wind fabulous.

Mandatory Beyonce .gif

Mandatory Beyoncé .gif

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In Lust with Lush

It’s Lush Haul O’Clock!

I am an impulse shopper. It’s pretty bad, but I justify my habits by reminding myself that most of the brilliant writers and artists I love died broke and alone because they partied too hard and spent all their money on booze (here’s looking at you, Alexandre Dumas). So this basically confirms that I’m a creative genius, right? Right.


Muahahahaha, I’m such a horrid spendthrift!

Since I’ve been feeling kind of blue lately, I decided to revamp my skincare routine. And as a firm believer in retail therapy, I went on a bit of a binge…at LUSH!!!



I am very, very new to the Cult of Lush but was a pretty easy convert. Having a store open literally nine blocks away from my front door has been pretty amazing for me and pretty disastrous for my bank account…but hey. Beauty is (financial) pain, right?



Anyway, here’s some of the stuff I bought in the past week. Like I said, I’m revamping/enhancing my skincare routine in pursuit of the ~*best skin evarrrr*~ and after trying Lush’s seaweed mask last week I knew I had to, had to, HAD to try other products from the shop. I can’t say for sure yet if this is just a fling or something more long-term, but so far it’s been a pretty promising relationship!

My current skincare routine varies by the day but it’s pretty much a combination of Origins, Kate Somerville, and Ole Henriksen stuff. I’ve been looking for a good daily moisturizer and everyday cleanser for some time now, though, so that’s where I started on my Lush trip.

Imperialis moisturizer and Aqua Marina cleanser


Lush Aqua Marina Cleanser

Aqua Marina has the consistency of soft clay, so for someone used to liquid facial washes, this might also take a bit of time to adjust to. It’s wrapped in seaweed and smells…seaweed-y, so it will kind of feel like you’re rubbing a creamy California roll on your face. The (rather aggressive, but incredibly persuasive) Lush saleswoman assisting me assured me that this would be great for my sensitive, acne-prone skin. It contains calamine, which is SUPER calming. So far, so good! I’m always looking for brightening skincare products, and this cleanser gives an extra glow-y boost. I didn’t realize how stressed out my skin was before! NOTE: this cleanser works best on makeup-free skin. Use makeup removers before busting out this baby–I recommend Ole Henriksen’s Nurture Me Cleansing Cloths and the eye makeup remover of your choice!


Lush Imperialis moisturizer

Imperialis smells kind of like plastic, but it’s a solid everyday moisturizer. I’m still sticking to Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins and Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment for my bedtime routine, but this is a great pick for day. It’s moisturizing but not greasy. I’ve also been spritzing on Lush’s Eau Roma Water–another haul purchase–prior to applying Imperialis (I also use OH Truth Serum between the two). I don’t need to use as much moisturizer this way, and it helps to maintain that super-chill and calm (almost zen-like, really) feeling. Gotta be honest, though: I also got a sample of Perricone MD’s Face Finishing Moisturizer and I like it a LOT. The primary deterrent for making the switch is $$$ (it’s $69 for 2 oz. of FF vs. $25 for 1.5 oz. of Imperialis), so I’m going to alternate 10-day stretches to see which one I truly prefer. NB: it takes 7-10 days for your skin to adjust to a new skincare product/routine, so even if you see pretty instant results, you won’t really know how you like/react to anything until you’ve tried it for that period of time!!!

Lush BB Seaweed Mask and Mask of Magnaminty

I looooooooove a good mask! Seriously, though. I LOVE MASKS. I mean, look at how HAPPY I am here:

In my element

In my element.

Finding a good mask isn’t easy, though. So I was so happy when Lush’s BB Seaweed mask was introduced to my universe! NOTE: This is easily my favorite mask, results-wise, but also easily the nastiest stuff I have ever put on my face. Sure, I’m glowing harder than J. Lo in her my-bronzer-has-no-limits days after I wash it off, but this stuff is straight-up disgusting in appearance, texture, and smell. It honestly looks like bird shit and it smells like dollar-store potpourri dusted over a mountain of seaside garbage. Only wear this mask when you are absolutely alone. If you can get past the scent hanging out on your upper lip for 10-15 minutes, this the perfect mask. If you can’t, that’s okay. It takes a certain kind of mental and nasal strength to do this one.


My first time trying the mask, me visibly building up a tolerance to the mask’s smell by the second use, me smiling like a loony person post-mask while binging on Criminal Minds

I really like Mask of Magnaminty. It smells a little weird (or just super-organic?) because of the honey it contains, which also functions as a preservative, but when you wash it off your face feels wonderfully tingly and oh-so-fresh. Really big fan of this one. It’s clarifying and very, very refreshing.

Lush Lip Scrub and Lip Balm

You can’t give good lip with a bad base! I’m big into lip color, but I have chronically dry lips…womp womp. So exfoliating the lip region frequently is super-important.


Lush Mint Julips scrub and Lip Service balm

I really like the Mint Julips scrub from Lush because it’s super-easy to use and also delicious. Yes, delicious! After scrubbing onto lips, you just lick it off. It’s 100% edible and has jojoba oil, which leaves your lips soft and moisturized. Btw, did you know that the “j” in jojoba is pronounced like an “h”? Like it is in all Spanish words??? WHAT!! (It should be noted that once I asked for a “vay-heh-TAH-blays” burrito, though, so yeah…there’s that.)

happy lippy

Yay for lip color!

The Lip Service balm is the bomb. Seriously. It melts into your lips and makes them instantly soft and oh-so-kissable. Not that I’ve got anyone to kiss nowadays (#soalone)(I’m holding out for Shemar Moore at the mo, can you really blame me?)…

So if you love lip color as much as I do, definitely get these two buddies. They’re pretty inexpensive, too. And they both come in several flavors. Ooh la la!


So those are some of the wonderful things I bought at Lush. I’ll try to review the rest later–promise! In the meantime, I highly recommend heading over to your local Lush to pick up some of these goodies for yourself (try Mask of Magnaminty!! And the lip scrub!). Don’t forget–you can always ask for samples if you’re on the fence. They’ll be more than happy to hook ya up.

Alright, I’m off on an adventure to Target now. Hopefully will have something new to post after the trip! See ya later, nerds.

P.S. Got a fave Lush product? Know of other super-crunchy brands we should check out? Share in the Comments below! We’ll love you forever (and ever)(and EVER).