Beauty on a Budget

Back To School Beauty Finds: Makeup Storage

I swear I must be the only girl alive that loves wandering down the aisles of Staples and thinking up strange and unusual ways to use office supplies for beauty storage purposes. At the moment I’m using various desk top organizers that I purchased online and in office shops as storage for cosmetics (I happen to do the same thing with kitchen draw organizers too!). Oh well I never claimed to be normal!

I needed a few items for my office this week so I hurried down to Staples in excitement in what I’d find in the Back to School aisle that I could use for beauty purposes. I love Back to School! It’s the best time of the year for locating little pencil boxes, small plastic bins, and other awesome little compartments and boxes that I can use for stowing away lipsticks, shadows, and the likes!

Sadly, I didn’t find too much in Staples Back to School aisle aside from three kids bawling there eyes out and one frantic mum trying to quiet them. I suspect they didn’t like the idea of shopping for school supplies in July but that’s just my theory of course.

However, I did find one cheap and cheesy find that I am loving for travel storage! A rather cute plastic pencil case that snaps open to reveal a little pull out draw. Obviously it’s used for stowing away pencils and such but I find it particularly nice for stowing brushes when I’m traveling!

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Great idea right?

It has enough room to hold a ton of your eye brushes and you can neatly hold at least five or six face brushes inside maybe more if you don’t mind them being squished up.

At 79 cents I’d say it’s a steal and a deal plus convenient! The Muse highly recommends heading down to your local office supply store and looking at Back to School pencil boxes in a new light! Consider your makeup collection inside instead of a buncha pencils, pens, and erasers.

Simple ideas from your silly, old Muse!

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How the Muse stores her stash!

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Lori Griener Cosmetic Storage Solutions

Kawaii Storage

MuseTV: Revisiting My Storage Solutions

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Beauty on a Budget: L’Oreal Studio Perfect Fix and Studio Soothness Smoothing Cream Review

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I was recently given a few L’oreal hair care products for review so I thought I’d slap them in my Beauty on a Budget section and give you the low down on these two new products from L’Oreal.

I got both the L’Oreal Studio Perfect Fix Ultra-Fine Spray and the Studio Smoothness Smoothing Cream. Since they are both for hair management I figured I’d review them together!

The good news is I actually like both.

It deserves to be mentioned that my hair has been silicon free for a few years now. I use all Lush hair care which contains no silicons which in turn equals perfect hair everyday of my life. The only silicons that take up residence in my hair were a bit of smoothing gel I used to use a year ago but I had since switched my gel over to Lush’s King of Mods and that was the end of silicons from my life completely!

Aside from that I will say that I’ve been using the L’Oreal Studio Smoothness Smoothing Cream for a week now and I actually do like it. I know hair care posts are probably a snore but since I have the products here anyway I figure I might as well review them!

The texture is simply wonderful. I may be out of touch with the drugstore brand of hair care and there may very well be a product out there like this already but I’ve personally never seen such an interesting formula. The texture is just like a moisturizing lotion that you’d apply to your body! I take a little more than a pea size amount and apply it to my wet hair and smooth it in. It tames my any frizz I have and keeps my hair safely in place all day long. My hair is very long, very wavy, and very out of control thus slicking it back into a bun and slapping a hair band in place is my normal order of the day when I’m heading out to work. It happens to smell really fresh as well kinda like the way most salons smell when you walk in! You know what I mean I’m sure!

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Now I also received the matching L’Oreal Perfect Fix Ultra Fine Spray Finishing Hairspray! Holy cow that was a big mouth full! This too I will give a raving review too. Again, I feel a bit out of touch with hair care from drugstores and have no idea of options available out there but I felt like this was very different from my past drugstore purchases. It’s been ages since I’ve touched drugstore styling products and I always think back to my teen years when hair spray and gel bulletproof’ed my head for me. This was great because if someone shot at me I could carry on without worry since the bullet would literally bounce off my head. Can’t say I get the same sort of protection with this hairspray! It’s very light, smells lovely, and doesn’t leave behind a hard, crusty layer! It actually makes my hair very soft and bouncy! The Muse likey!

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As I said I’m shocked as I really do associate major build up with styling products but both of these did work well and gave a very natural finish and hold that I liked! I’m still using both after a week now which could count for something, obviously I’m impressed.

If you’re looking for something to give your hair great management and minimal buildup with a cheap price tag I’d definately see about picking up both of these. These are pretty darn good.

What do you use to manage your hair?

Tried these?

Love ‘em?

Want to try ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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Beauty on a Budget: L’Oreal Infallible Lipgloss Review

Last week I was picking up a few items at CVS for a swap I was doing when I noticed that L’Oreal Infallible Lip Gloss was on sale. The first thing that caught my eye about these is the awesome applicator and I was intrigued if they’d be any good. Since the price was right at Buy 1 Get 1 Free I decided why not! I’ll give it a shot.

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Total cost for both, $9.99 USD plus taxes. Not bad right? I felt for sure I’d get them home and they’d be absolute rubbish but at least I didn’t shell out a whole lot of cash for them. Guess what? Turns out they aren’t too bad and possibly, with a little tweak here and there, could have potential awesomeness written all over them!

As I mentioned I was originally attracted to these due to the very nice sponge applicator that I prefer in lipglosses. Aube Gloss Frutina is famous for sporting a similiar sponge and Lancome’s better known, Color Fever Gloss. I will say that the sponge applicator on the L’Oreal Infalliable Lipgloss is actually better than both of those. It’s a generous size sponge, wider in size, and bent at a nice angle to make applying a generous amount of gloss to your lips easy with a flawless finish. I’d kill to have MAC adapt to these fantastic sponges! I find they pick up color so much better and offer almost a plumping effect when on. They also happen to apply a super generous amount of gloss to your lips which most regular sponge applicators fail at.

The color selection available is vast and I’d say there are about 15 to 20 shades to choose from, possibly more. I only selected two because at the time I didn’t realize how good these would truly be but the good news is I was clever enough to score a rain check when I was checking out so I can go back for a few more since I am enjoying them so much! The colors I selected were 305 Fiery and 125 Bloom. Fiery is a brownish copper shade that looks great with warmer shades where as Bloom is more of a fun bubble gum pink shade.

Fiery
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Bloom
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They deserve a rave for the pigmentation which is wonderful so staining your lips or applying lipstick beneath is entirely optional on your part. You can easily swipe on bare lips and have a killer, glossy shade of color minus a ton of layering! However, the taste is simply disgusting. I can’t put my finger on quite what the flavor is…it’s some sort of weird cross between fruity, vanilla, incense, patchouli flavor. Very strange! But luckily it goes away after a bit so you aren’t subjected to the horrible flavor for hours.

Staying power is promised at 6 hours and I’d say the gloss holds just enough stickiness to hold it on for about 2-3 hours maybe a bit more if you press it. However, I felt like the formula was slightly flawed. It goes on very nicely and has a minimal amount of tacky, sticky feel but I’ve made my peace with glosses that sport that particular problem however after about 10 or so minutes of having the gloss on it dries down to a rather weird, waxy feel. First application is comfortable and great but the dry down does irritate a bit. The strange waxy feel does not go away for the remainder of the time you have the gloss on and I can only assume that this is their solution to six hours of contentious wear. It’s rather strange when I wet my lips or lick my tongue over it but I guess I can get over that.

This is a tad bit off topic but it did rather peeve me so it’s worth a mention. When I got home I decided to look these up online and see what the review on the street was. I noticed both in reviews and adverts from various sites they mention a mirror being attached to the gloss. I later realized they meant the cap. The cap is mirrored however, for some odd reason, it peeved me that they choose to pimp this out as a feature when in fact it’s not even worth mentioning. The mirrored cap, in my humble opinion, is completely useless. You can’t use the cap for application considering the sponge applicator is attached to the cap. How the hell can you use the cap as a mirror? So strange they even bothered putting this in descriptions for the product! I even read a review where one girl said how convenient it was that the cap was mirrored. She could have possibly been drinking at the time, I’m not entirely sure. To give reviewers and retailers the benefit of the doubt I firgure that once applied I can just check my lips in the mirror after screwing the cap back into place but again useless. The mirrored cap distorts your image so it’s not exactly clear if your lips are looking great or not. That was a rather long rant but the Muse has to get her fifty cents in about the stupidity of the entire situation!

All in all for a drugstore beauty find these are actually pretty good. They do have some minor rants attached but I felt like it was one of the better products I’ve come across in my wanderings into the drugstore beauty world here in the US.

Even though it needs some work to be perfection it is affordable and it’s worth picking up if it’s on sale. I wouldn’t pay $9.99 USD per a gloss but I wouldn’t mind picking up a few more of these at the Buy 1 Get 1 price! $5 USD each for a pigmented gloss that has decent wear time plus looks very nice on isn’t too bad a splurge!

Tried these?

Love ‘em?

Hate ‘em?

What’s are your Beauty on a Budget lip gloss finds?

Tell the Muse!

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Beauty on a Budget: Clean Perfume Twice as Clean Gift Set

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Clean makes some outstanding perfumes but the price tag is a tiny bit high. At $76 USD per a bottle it’s a hefty amount of cash to splurge on a fragrance. However, it is well worth the twice considering it’s a parfum you’re investing in.

Eau de Parfum consists of about 15% perfume concentrates which makes for a long wearing, lingering scent that sticks around all day with a quick spritz or two! So at $76 USD you’ll not only smell wonderful all day but you’ll also have the bottle a good long time.

For those of you that aren’t so willing to dish out that much for a perfume yet have always yearned to try Clean or replenish a bottle you might already own you can now do so at a nicer price tag!

Clean has introduced a really great gift set called Twice as Clean which includes a two, 1 oz Eau de Parfums in two of it’s popular fragrance options. You’ll get a 1 oz Clean Shower Fresh Eau de Parfum and a 1 oz Clean Warm Cotton Eau de Parfum all for $48 bucks!

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Sweet right?

This makes a truly luxurious gift for a loved one or let’s be honest here..just grab it for yourself right? You know you want it!

I own all of the Clean scents in the larger sizes however the bottles in the kit are fabulous for travel or as I mentioned it’s cheaper than purchasing two full size parfums. You can get two different scents for a much nicer price tag!

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Clean Shower Fresh is a beautifully fresh, just stepped out of the shower fragrance that’s a complex blend to describe. Although the notes are a unique blend of fruits such as Mandarin, Lemon, and Orange I felt like it was more of a clean, sweet scent that just smelled sort of, for lack of a better word, sudsy and fresh!

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Clean Warm Cotton is pretty much self explanatory. Think of sticking your fluffy towels in the dryer with some softener and you pretty much can imagine what Warm Cottom smells like. It’s that beautiful, light clean scent that your favorite sweater holds in the Winter! Perfection!

I haven’t personally seen the kit for retail as of yet but keep scouring HSN and Sephora and I’m positive it’ll pop up soon so you can be Twice as Clean at half the price!

Simply love Clean perfume?

What are your favorite scents from Clean?

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Beauty on a Budget: Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara Review

I nabbed some of the new Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara a few days ago…Hells was that a mouth full or what?

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That’s some ridiculously long name!

I had to go to Rite Aid…or maybe CVS…somewhere like that to pick up a prescription so this was hanging out on a large end cap display and all the shiny neon packaging drew me in like a moth to a flame.

I firgure that shelling out $4.99 USD had to be better than losing $8.99 USD on that scary L’Oreal Telescopic mascara!

Thanks to Mandy for reminding me of this fab commercial!

Well it turns out that Maybelline has done a good job with Colossal Volum’ Mascara! Aside from the really long, irritating name the mascara itself is actually quite good for the price tag!

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We have lift off people! Finally a Beauty on a Budget find that’s good!

I prefer my mascaras to have some sort of comb applicator so I wasn’t thrilled to find out that this had a rather large brush applicator. I normally find that large brush applicators cause major clumps for me which is the reason I don’t like some of the Dior mascaras that are out. Large voluminizing brushes just make a mess in my humblest.

The good news is that it is indeed a BRUSH. It’s not a piece of plastic with some spikes on it that they call a brush….it’s a brush…with bristles…Maybelline is kicking it old school with this mascara! Even better news is that the brush works well at evenly distributing the mascara and fattening my lashes up nicely. It promises volume and it delivers. It fattens my lashes up very nicely without making them a clumpy, spikey mess! It also has great long wear without smudging or flaking all day even in severe humidity (it’s been humid here in New York the past few days)!

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I didn’t experience major lenght after application but it definately gave me an appearance of nice, full lashes. I didn’t have to struggle with it during application, or fiddle around trying to get it on correctly, or have to comb it out afterward. I brushed it on quickly, it applied evenly and perfectly with the first stroke, and I was good to go. Unlike other drugstore brands I’ve tried this was pretty good quality for the price.

This isn’t really a “oh my god you must buy this or die!” post because I wasn’t that impressed with the mascara to get that crazy! However, at a price of $4.99 USD it is worth checking out for yourself especially if you’re either on a budget or just don’t like shelling out large amounts of cash for a top shelf mascara.

The Muse thinks it’s a Steal, a Deal, and a great Beauty on a Budget find!

Not necessarily Muse Approved but definately worth checking out for yourself!

Have you tried Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara?

Love it?

Hate it?

Tell the Muse!

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Craving more mascara? Take a blast through the Muse’s past and check out some old mascara reviews!

Click here to read my raving review on Excel Mascara!

Visit my Beauty Addiction list to find out which mascaras I’m addicted to!

Click here to find out why I wasn’t loving the new Visee mascaras that were released with the Spring Collection!

Check out my Year End Review to see what mascara made it as a favorite!

Find out why Heroine Mascara Remover isn’t all that!

Click here
to read my rave for Urban Decay’s New Summer Collection that includes Big Fatty “Color” Mascaras!

Click here to find out why I love Fairy Drops Mascara from Japan!

Find out about a rather interesting Lorac mascara that was recently released!

Click here to see me wearing Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara in a Face of the Day I did recently!

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