Bargain Beauty, Cleansers, Lips, Masks

Pretty Cheap, Vol. 1

The drugstore is the first place we all started experimenting with crazy beauty, right? If you were like me, you were young, you only had birthday money, and you were obsessed with Long’s Drugstore. They had all the best shit! Tons of face glitter and lots of cheap nail polish to shoplift.

Nail polish and toe rings….

Now that I’m too old to get busted for shoplifting without it being totally humiliating, and I have a debit card, I still like to peruse the drugstore for cheap beauty products. Scoring a good deal on a quality product is fucking intoxicating. I like to buy a bunch of stuff, show it all to Jason, and then gloat about how, “If you think about it, I’m really making us money by buying all this cheap product!” He says that’s not how it works, I say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

So, today I’m introducing you guys to some of my very favorite discount beauty buys. These are all products that I’ve extensively tested and re-bought. They’re all good, they’re all cheap, and they’re all super easy to find at Target, Ulta, the grocery store, and online.

Pick up your Cipro and some lip gloss all at once! Let’s do it!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masquemint masque

Ulta, $3.99

Don’t let the dated packaging and low price fool you, this mask is the real deal. Like, old school, thick and bright green. It’s straight up Mrs. Doubtfire status.



Haha! I love it! Mrs. Doubtfire, you are SO CRAZY!

Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque has a clay like consistency, which is why it hardens as it dries. This part can hurt a little. I don’t know, maybe it’s pulling on the hypothetical peach fuzz I definitely do not have on my chin. After 15 games of Bejeweled, rinse it off, and rewash your face with your cleanser. You should see brighter and clearer looking skin. It definitely helps with blackheads and drying up zits. The site claims it “shrinks enlarged pores,” but that’s bullshit because that’s impossible.

In fact, let’s clear this up right now:


All beauty products can do is decrease the appearance of your pores by cleaning them out. I’m sorry. I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is. But, hey, if you’re in the market for a mask that will decrease the appearance of your pores, this one will do it. The mint can sting a little, so if you have extremely sensitive skin, tread carefully. I’ve been using this mask for years, and I buy it over more expensive masks all the time.

ETA: A friend left a comment about her experience with the mask, “When I was younger than 20, it was fine. Now that my skin is aging, it is asking for trouble. It dries me out way too much, it burns like hell, and leaves me with a thin, frail, red mess.”

So, fair warning for all you tender faced readers! You could maybe still use it in spots; if my cheeks are feeling really dry, I’ll only put it on my nose and forehead. But, if you have qualms, spot test first.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

lip butter, $5.99

I’m a sucker for products that have the word “butter” in the name. I’m drawn right to it! I don’t know what that says about me other than the obvious; I’m hungry and susceptible.

Revlon’s Lip Butters go on so smoothly. Even the colors with shimmer in them don’t really drag or get caught up if your lips aren’t in great condition. Which is good for me because, as I’ve stated earlier, I gnaw on my poor mouth. The color payoff is good, with finishes ranging from sheer to dark. They have a balm like consistency, but they don’t seem particularly moisturizing. If that’s a concern for you, you can apply them over whatever lip moisturizer you use. They’re great for summer because they’re light, they aren’t sticky, and they don’t travel all over your face.

“Peach Parfait” is my oh-shit-I-don’t-have-lipstick-on emergency kit. It’s a fantastic nude that’s always in my purse, and it looks great with almost any eye makeup I might be wearing. I loved that first color so much, I bought two more, “Cupcake” and “Tutti Frutti.”

I was just embarrassed for myself typing out, “Tutti Frutti.” That sounds like a grandma lipstick.

These Lip Butters are such a great deal. The quality is great and the price is awesome. You can even find them on sale all the time! BONUS!

Yes to Blueberries Facial Towelettes


Amazon, 30 ct., $5.99

Look. I hate washing my face as much as everybody else. I especially hate it when it’s after 2:00 AM, and I’m, um, three sheets to an ill wind.

So many vodka tonics


washing my makeup off over the sink



Followed by all the things on the bathroom counter being knocked over. I’m great at holding it together at the bars, but the second I get into the car with Jason, I go crazy! I’m like Roger Rabbit when you give him liquor; all broken windows and steam coming out of my ears.

OK, I’ve never broken any windows. But, I did once flood my mom’s front room because I passed out in the shower with my leg over the drain.

If I’d had these facial towelettes then, I never would have gotten into the shower that fateful morning! I would have just wiped my face, and gone to bed. Then, the whole 80s movie montage that went down when I woke up and had to frantically clean up all the water because MY PARENTS WERE COMING HOME EARLY never would have happened.

It sounds like I was 17 when this happened, but I was 23. Oops!

Well, I didn’t quite learn my lesson, I still drunkenly climb into bathtubs and showers. But, it happens a lot less often. For real, the ability to be able to just wipe off my makeup at the end of the night is such a relief.

These towelettes are perfect for taking off face makeup, and eye shadows, but they’re not great for effectively removing all of your eye liner and mascara. It can be done, it just takes a little more work. I don’t really care about that for this product because I’m not using it as my primary cleanser. Besides, who doesn’t like a little sexy, smudged party eye?

I like to wipe my face with them, then rinse out the cloth and give my skin one more pass. That way, I can pick up any extra cleanser or makeup that’s left behind. They clean your skin, and they moisturize too. So, if you’re drunk or just lazy you’re all set!


Put these products on your Target lists. Don’t shoplift them!

Shoplifting is for 13 year olds with attitude problems. And Winona Ryder.

Are you a 13 year old or Winona Ryder?

No. You’re not.

Shoplifting and teenage suicide, DON’T DO IT.


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General, Links

10 Year Old Me Was Awesome


A piece over on xoJane is giving me so much inner fortification today.

“YOU are OK. I am OK. We are all so fucking OK.”

Fuck yes, we are! Tree trunk thighs, gapped teeth, four eyes and all. Those things I hated when I was 10, are all still with me.

23 years of war waged against my body, and we’re still together. Sometimes, we forge a tentative peace treaty, but then, shots are fired by way of a new bathing suit, or whatever, and I’m back on the front lines. It’s a nonstop battle.

Reading things like this though;

“Love the 10-year-old you who just went for it, awkwardly, blindly, fucking it up, but still going for it, bad hair, bad teeth, bad clothes, and you BELIEVED and you stumbled but there was a part of you that just knew.You just knew how rad you are.”

These are the things that make those tough days a little easier.

“What about me? I’m motherfucking great, that’s what.”



Cleansers, Fresh, Maintenance

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

fresh soy cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, $15-$38

As I’ve previously bragged, I’ve never really had a lot of skin problems. When I was a kid, I had the usual smattering of hormone induced pimples and overall oiliness; the perfect compliment to my bushy eyebrows and “tree trunk thighs” (thanks, super clever kids on the bus). But, as an adult, I only ever had the occasional random zit (eyebrows are now so fly, tree trunk thighs are still in full effect).

I was so used to basking in my beautiful, problem free skin, that when it went haywire in The Great Kiehl’s Disaster of 2010, I was totally fucked. I frantically cycled through cleanser after cleanser, desperately trying to bring some order back to my skin. I mean, when you got dem tree trunk thighs, you gotta keep that face, right? I tried all my usual esthetician tricks; I was oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling, but nothing worked.

This is a battle I’ve been fighting, with various degrees of success, up until two weeks ago.

After yet another less than satisfying run with a piece of strange cleanser, I finally got around to giving Fresh Soy Face Cleanser a shot.

From Sephora’s site:

“Rich in amino acids, soy proteins promote moisture retention, elasticity, and firmness. Rosewater balances and tones the skin. Fragrance-free and soap-free, calming cucumber extract and nourishing borage seed oil enriches its formula.”

This is a gel cleanser, and a little bit goes a very long way, which is great if the price tag is scaring you away. I’ve been using this cleanser, along with my Clarisonic brush and Pore Cleansing Pad (not at the same time, or in the same day. NEVER in the same day), and my skin was better, literally, overnight. Seriously. After the first time I used it, I was impressed, but skeptical. I’ve been through the old “first time using a new cleanser” song and dance a lot over the past few years, and nothing has held up past the the first few uses. Well, that was two weeks ago, and every time I wash my face, I’m still impressed. Even though it is a very gentle cleanser that is appropriate for all skin types, it effectively removes my full face of makeup, mascara and all, while clearing out my pores, without drying or irritating my very tender, usually dry cheeks. I’m not crazy about the cucumber/soy scent, but it’s a small hurdle to overcome.

I could have had my nice skin back a long time ago. But no, I refused to buy into the hype of one of SEPHORA’S TOP RATED, BEST SELLING CLEANSERS (I’m so dumb), choosing instead to trek through the skincare wilderness all alone. See, kids? This is why peer pressure is a good thing. If you give into peer pressure, you’ll be smoking, and blow j’ing, and your skin will look great, and everyone will love you! You’ll be the coolest!

Look at me! Since I started using this cleanser, my skin has become smoother, clearer, more hydrated, AND I got invited to all the best graduation pool parties. NO PARENTS, YOU GUYS.

That last part was a lie. I’ve never in my life been invited to a cool, unchaperoned graduation party.

The first part though? That part about how much better my skin is now that I’ve been using this cleanser? That part is the truth.

Hair, Links

TBD Party Prep Pony

“It’s not that crazy, I promise.

Step 1. Start with clean dry hair.

Step 25. Spray all over with a finishing hairspray.”


I spent a considerable amount of time last night analyzing this Party Prep Pony tutorial from The Beauty Department, and I can not, for the fucking life of me, figure it out. Best I can tell, you tie your hair into a series of knots. Is it just me? Am I an idiot?


LUSH Lust Perfume


Did you used to have a signature Bath & Body Works scent?

You did. Everyone did!

Mine was “Night Blooming Jasmine.” It smelled SO GOOD; like jasmine and lilacs and musk. At the height of my daily addiction, I would use the shower gel, cover myself from high boobs to toes with the lotion, and give myself a generous mist of the body spray. Then, I’d straighten out my little Bettie Page bangs, maybe put some spiked chopsticks in my hair (this was the early 2000s), and I’d take it all out into the world. I was barely 21, mostly drunk, smellin’ nice and looking for dudes.

Lucky for me, dudes really liked this stuff.

Now, they might have just liked my general “ready to mingle” attitude, and the aforementioned high boobs. But, in my body spray’s defense, upon first meeting me, hardly anyone ever said, “Man. You slut it up so good.” No. They said, “You smell really good. Like, really good.”

It happened so often, if such a thing existed at the time, I would have gone over to the Bath & Body Works site and written a review for this scent that just said, “WANG MAGNET. 4 STARS.”

When the unthinkable happened, and they discontinued the scent, I was totally crushed. I ran through a bunch of their other offerings, but I never liked anything else as much. So, that was that.

Until, all of a sudden, 10 years later, I could order Night Blooming Jasmine from their site. I was so fucking stoked! I bought all the pieces of my old regimen (you know the drill, buy 3, get 2 free), sat back, and dreamed about the day my order would show up and I could seduce my husband with how good I smelled.

The second it came, I immediately knew it was a bad idea. Opening that jasmine scented package was like lifting up the lid on some old haunted jewelry box and having the ghost of my most embarrassing former self jump out. I rubbed on a little of the lotion, and there she was; with her underwear in her furry leopard purse, slept on eye makeup and Lucky Strikes mouth.

I couldn’t wear it. It wasn’t me anymore! It had been so long since the last time I’d smelled it, I just assumed I’d still love it. Instead, in an it-all-came-rushing-back moment, the scent brought up so many old memories, it literally made my stomach turn. It was fucking gross.

It was a relief to return it; I didn’t even want it in my house.

It’s not like that period of my life was a nightmare. It was just so long ago. Like any other distinguishable time in my life, it had its good moments (running wild with my BFF, my superhuman Mad Dog 20/20* drinking skills), and its bad moments (any time I picked up my phone to hear someone’s secret girlfriend yelling at me, the night I learned about peppermint schnapps). It’s fun to relive those times in your mind, but it’s a different thing to add in a sensory memory. It makes you remember exactly what you felt like. It’s a trip.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

I hate the blue kind of mint gum too because my sophomore year boyfriend chewed it nonstop, and now, when I chew it, I only taste a 17 year old boy’s sticky mouth on mine.


That was just a long story about another product to bring you to the product I really want to talk about: LUSH’s Lust Perfume.

I was just playing around at LUSH one day, rubbing the lotion on the skin, and I found Lust by accident. I’m still such a sucker for jasmine, but nothing ever came close to the love I had for that Bath & Body Works body spray until I randomly ran across this perfume.

LUSH describes Lust as “a heady mash-up of rich florals and a warm, woody base” with notes of  jasmine, ylang ylang, rose, vanilla and sandalwood. It is deliciously, unashamedly sexy without smelling like an old lady perfume. To me, it smells sexy like sitting out on some secret jasmine garden patio in Morocco** on an old colorful rug, topless (but you know, classy, with my hair covering my boobs), and smoking a joint. Floral and musky and exotic like that.

I sprayed some on my arm to find out how it would react with my skin, left to do some other shopping, and found myself constantly bringing my arm up to my nose, taking a big whiff and going, “MMMMM!!!” It was love at first sniff. The perfume itself was gorgeous, and the way it smelled on me was divine. Finding Lust was such an awesome, cosmic occurrence. It was like running across my grown up self just sitting on a shelf, waiting for me. It’s so perfect, I brought it home, and it’s my new signature scent.

Please don’t buy this if you know me in real life.

Unlike Night Blooming Jasmine, it’s a scent that suits who I am now. NBJ me was cool, but she was very unattached, super young and pretty dumb. Lust me is older, smarter (ehhh? I don’t get into cars with strangers anymore, I guess), and married.

Like, I still want to do ho shit, but I do ho shit in a different context now.

So, these days, I spray Lust all over my not-as-high-but-still-rocking boobs, fix up my bangs free*** hair (I’m almost 2 years bangs sober), and climb all over Jason.

They say you can’t turn a ho into a housewife, I say you can’t spell housewife without ho.


*Go ahead and do a Google Image Search for “Mad Dog 20/20” if you want to barf.

**Is this what Morocco is like? I have no idea. If it isn’t, please don’t tell me.

***I still love bangs so much. After 15 years with them though, I felt like I was stuck in a rut. I am still your bangs sister. Always and forever.

Lab Bunny Mob, Nails

Nail Call

The white mani is making a splash like Jan Brady, y’all!


Jennifer Williams puttin’ it down for Californ-I-a.


Julianne looks fly in Dubai!

Thanks for sharing your rad nails, babies! You guys are so fucking hot!

Nails, Upcoming


I was just getting ready to trim my nails short, and then this poked me in the heart…

conlimonCon Limon

So, I basically lost my fucking mind because it’s so rad. I’m crazy now. Like, insane. I’m insane and I can’t breathe from the excitement!

Obviously, coming soon.


All Skate!, TGIF

Beauty Confessions

It’s been a long week for me down here at the old blog mill…

When you’re the boss of your own pretend job, it’s too easy to make yourself work unusual hours. Crazy, inhumane hours like, 2:30 AM – 6:00 AM, or 4:15 AM – 7:00 AM. Hours when I should be dreaming about doing it with Louis CK (more pleasant than you would think), or fighting with teenaged girls (exactly as horrible as you would think).

Also, I’ve been making some extra money working double time on the seduction line.

Needless to say, I’ve got a case of the Fridays. That’s like a case of the Mondays, except for instead of not wanting to do anything on a Monday, you don’t want to do anything on a Friday. I had a case of the Wednesdays too, but it was less severe.


Annnnyways. It was during one of those early morning blog shifts, when I was thinking about the post I’d read about beauty mistakes we make while we’re first learning how to self style, that I got inspired me to write a post about my own cringeworthy mistakes. But, now, I want to know yours!

I know you guys were out there with crunchy hair and too much eyeliner.


That loose boob is the best thing she has going on here.

Come on! Spill those beauty confessions!



Baby’s First Contest Winners

I had to call my lab assistant out of bed just now to help out with the contest. It’s so hard to find good help these days.

Since all of our hats are princess crowns, we had to come up with another way to pick the winners.



So, we used a random number generator instead!


And the winners are……






Congratulations, Lab Bunny Buddies! I’ll be in touch to get your prizes to you.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway! We’ll do another one soon!