As you know, Andrew and I are both teachers, so we’re always ballin’ on a budget. I can’t afford to try every new beauty product, fashion trend, or fancy accessory, so I have to be choosey about what I splurge on. Here are a few things that I’ve tried that are either worth the hype or not! No sponsorships here, just my opinions.
- Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette: This is honestly a beautiful product and definitely high quality. That being said, I can’t justify the price being THAT much higher than anything else. Especially when I don’t feel like it’s really superior. It looks lovely and I have enjoyed mine, but I wouldn’t splurge on it again. There are lots of dupes for this product (dupe 1, dupe 2, dupe 3 which also comes with a blush). I also love this cheap e.l.f. bronzer & Milani highlighter that I was using before this purchase.
- Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm: Nice, but doesn’t do as great of a job getting off my eye makeup as a foaming cleanser would. This is great to use at night because you wipe it all off with a muslin cloth, so it’s less water mess when you’re getting ready for bed. I love mine, but I don’t have to have it. It smells great and leaves your face feeling really soft and smooth. I would always recommend trying the travel size before you buy the big or jumbo jar!
- Colleen Rothschild Quench & Shine Restorative Mask for hair: Worth it. Not terribly expensive, can be used daily or as a mask, has a fantastic smell, and I love the way it makes my hair feel.
- Living proof dry shampoo: This one’s tricky. I buy the Batiste Dry Shampoo in the Bare scent for my everyday use, because to me it’s almost just as good and I can buy it in bulk. However, I do love the Living Proof and do think it’s better quality and has a better scent. The Batiste is a close second. I save my Living Proof for special occasions! This one is worth it, but not for everyday use if you can’t afford to buy lots!
- Fancy mascaras: You name it, I’ve tried it! There are some great mascaras from expensive high end brands, but y’all know I love my L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara. I do feel like I have to restock more often than a more expensive mascara, but not enough to make a difference in the cost. The brush is nice and fluffy, and I feel like it does a great job separating, lifting, and lengthening. I just don’t have any complaints. I buy the regular, not the waterproof.
- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: I just have to admit that no matter what primer I have tried in the past, they all seem the same. I really like the e.l.f. green one, which is much less expensive. NYX has good stuff too! I know people have their opinions on high end makeup products, but I just haven’t noticed a huge difference here.
- Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder: Save your money. You can get so many different setting powders like it for much less cost. I said what I said.
- St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: Honestly, when I used the L’Oreal Sublime Bronze mousse, I didn’t do any worse than I did when I used the fancier brand. My friend Alora also really loves the b.tan mousse, and it has great reviews as well. I don’t particularly love any sunless tanner, to be honest, but if I’m going to use it, there’s no need to spend a ton of money on it.
- Billie razor kit: SO WORTH IT. The best thing I’ve done for myself recently. I love that I don’t have to think about it, and new razors will be sent to me every couple months for just $9. That alone is enough for it to be worth it to me. It is truly the best shave I’ve ever gotten. The handle is designed perfectly, it’s not slippery, it magnetizes to the holder on your shower wall, it has a great travel case…I could go on and on. Worth it.
- FabFitFun subscription: Overall, I would count this as worth it. It’s $50 4 times a year, and you get a box full of goodies that are valued at well over that price (full-sized products, not samples.). I have loved a TON of the stuff I’ve gotten in my boxes, and some stuff has been fun to give to other people if I’m not going to use it. It can be hit or miss, but it’s always fun, and there’s always at least a couple of goodies in there that I’m really excited about.
- lululemon Align High-Rise leggings: No question. Hands down, WORTH THE SPLURGE. These are EXPENSIVE for leggings. I’ve talked about them before, but I will never change my opinion of these until I find a REAL dupe that is ACTUALLY comparable for less. All of mine were gifts, because I can’t afford to stock up on them. Believe me, if I could, I would! I love the AE Real Me Offline high waisted leggings, too, but they’re not a dupe – just another good legging option at about half the price (and they go on sale often…like, for instance, right now).
- Birkenstock EVA plastic sandals: These are nice and don’t actually cost an arm and a leg, but I love my cheaper Amazon sandals. I wear them almost every single day. They are SO comfortable and easy to clean.
- Steve Madden studded sandals: I love these, but you can find similar ones everywhere. Here is a pair from Target for $25, and here is a great dupe from Amazon for the same price (both with good reviews!). To me, these are not worth the splurge.
- Tommy John Second Skin High Rise Brief: WORTH. IT. Very expensive for underwear, but I don’t want to wear any other pair now. They are currently doing a 3 for $48 sale. Still expensive, but I’d grab some up!
- Rothy’s shoes: Definitely an investment, but these shoes have a cult following for a reason (just like Tieks, which I also love!) I especially love the loafer style of these shoes, and love that they’re made from recycled plastic water bottles and other sustainable materials and can be thrown in the washing machine! Worth the investment to me. They run sales periodically, and do a teacher discount, too! If you can, wait for a sale or ask for a pair as a gift! Do your research on sizing, because different styles fit differently.
- Tory Burch Miller Sandal: I CANNOT justify spending $200 on a flip flop. I LOVE the way they look, but I just don’t have it. So I got these dupes from Amazon that are about $20, and I love them! I’ve been wearing them all summer and they’re really comfortable. Lots of color options! I recommend going up half a size.
- Madewell bags: A great investment for a piece that you can carry and use for YEARS. As the name says, these bags are…made well. I have purchased 2 and both are still in great condition. Leather ages so well in my opinion, so scratches and scuffs don’t bother me and are bound to happen. My favorite is the English Saddle color – perfect with anything. These bags are timeless.
- Loopy Case for phone: Love mine!!! I’m left handed, and I love that you can order a left-handed loopy case, too! Lots of options, pretty prints, and if your loop tears (which takes a LONG TIME), you can order replacement loops, too! It is so convenient for full and clumsy hands.
There you have it! I haven’t tried all the fancy things out there, but hopefully this helps if you’ve ever considered any of these items. Finally, the last thing that I will always pay for and that I think is totally worth the hype is a nice, cool, blasting AC…but you already knew that about me!
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