Mirror, Mirror: My Six Beauty Favorites Under $10

I remember the day I found my mom’s nearly dried out Covergirl mascara in the toiletries cabinet. Truly a stupendous moment. Was I too young to even consider putting caked, black crap on my eyelashes (and eyelid because I have terrible aim)? Yeah, probably. Makeup wasn’t exactly clandestine in my house but my mom never wore it and even though my dad let me paint his toenails once, neither of them had an enthusiasm for what my aunt so affectionately calls, “putting your face on”. From there, it was Lipsmackers lip-glosses, which I now realize resemble Vaseline, and when I was hit in the face during a field hockey game but had to go on a TV program the next week, I bought my first face powder to cover the welt.

I’ve been lucky and always had a healthy relationship with makeup and think that positive experience has allowed me to enjoy it more than find it obligatory in order to leave the house. However, because its always been more of an enjoyable activity, I’ve never been one to splurge on makeup. Note that as I get older, I would like this list to evolve into something more environmentally conscious but for right now and with a college student’s budget in mind, these do the trick.

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  1. Herbal Essences Tousling Mouse

Every night, I grace the world (jk just my roommates) with my Pippy Longstockings braids and hit the hay. In the mornings, I undue the braids and end up with some nice body and texture to my hair. This is all well and good until 4pm, aka the daily slump show hour, rolls around and my hair, along with my energy hits the ground. Well, not anymore! I’ve never used any hair products, with the exception of hairspray, but this mouse is something else. I don’t shower in the mornings so I either apply a little before my hair dries at night and a bit more in the morning or just add the product into my morning waves. No more run-away volume; my hair stays in all day regardless of how profusely I sweat at the gym and feels flouncy af.


  1. Tocca Perfume in Violette

Trying a new perfume always feels like such a commitment to me. You have to commit your body to the smell and aura it gives off in addition to finding some clever way to pawn it off on a close friend if it ends up smelling like your grandmother’s sofa. However, while at TJMaxx (they should sponsor me…I already sponsor them), I saw this .5oz bottle of Tocca and decided I could handle it. And thank god I made the leap and jumped into the relationship full-force because this is my favorite perfume to date. Its long lasting with a sweet but present scent. Once it runs out, I’m considering buying the full three piece set because I am that impressed with this fragrance. The right smell can be so grounding and having a specific scent you carry with you all day is like a sneak attack accessory that is, more or less, unique to you. A signature scent is one of the first things people will initially pick up on and while it says little to nothing about you, it adds another dimension to how you present yourself.

  1. Maybelline Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer

You can totally judge how hard someone hustles by the size of the bags under their eyes. So next time someone rudely comments on how pale or tired you look, you can respond, “I worked fucking hard for these raccoon eyes!”. In the past four years, I have watched my circles grow and while sleep certainly helps, its not always able to hide the darkness as much as I’d like. I apply this product with a makeup sponge, dabbing it gently around all sides of my eye. Its important to be careful not to pull or rub the skin as the under-eye area is one of the most sensitive. The concealer normally lasts me around five to six months and, in my experience, has stayed pretty natural looking during the day rather than flaking off in unfortunate places. It also goes on very easily after moisturizing, which is an added bonus when I don’t have time in the mornings to wait for my face to dry before applying makeup.

  1. L’oreal Voluminous Original Mascara in Blackest Black

Mascara is my FAVORITE type of makeup and no matter how many I’ve tried, I always come back to this baby. I swear my college town super market and Target puts this exact product in the checkout lanes so I’ll begin a stockpile. Unlike the rest of the world, I love a good bulky lash and will never apply any less than ten coats. I think the key for me is how well the brush is suited to my tiny, gerbil eyes and how that shape really helps to make sure all the little lashes get the attention they deserve.

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  1. NYX Liquid Suede in Cherry Skies

I searched everywhere for this product. While I was studying in Barcelona, a NYX store opened near by house and, being the smarty I am, I went to the grand opening with high hopes of finding this exact product and shade. LOL Barcelonans love makeup and when I got there, I was physically pushed out of the way by girls half my size. Not wanting to die for the cause, I left empty handed. It wasn’t until this summer, in a boring US CVS, that I finally found my love of all lips. The matte on this gloss is A+ and it literally doesn’t come off. In fact, I wake up the morning after a night out and my lips are still so red that I look like I got some action the night before even though that’s a blatant lie. In my mind, everyone should have a vampy red lipstick and I’m partial to matte because it looks much less trying compared to a gloss. Even for someone with tiny lips (I have small features, okay?!), this matte makes me feel like my mouths shows up all the way to the lunar spacecraft.


  1. Wet n’ Wild Matte Lipsticks

To this day, I don’t know how I ended up with eight of these but they really are a solid product. They’re not tested on animals and for the less than $2 that you pay, they come in a wide range of shades and mimic their more expensive counterparts. My only complaint about these is that the covers come off at the worse times and many a time have left me with blood-like streaks on my hands after reaching into my bag unaware that I would be swatched. In case you were curious about what shades I have, here is a Snow White and the Seven Dwarves-like list of all the shades I own.



Purty Persimmon

Spotlight Red


Purples / Maroons:

Sugar Plum Fairy

Ravin’ Raisin

No name but its code is 907C (its my favorite)


Pinks: (I guess they ran out of product copywriters but fortunately, this is an area of interest for me post-grad so I’ll make up names and put the real codes after)

Hilary Got Majority: Code – C901B

I’d kindly ask you to stop mansplaining – 901B

I left my Ralph polo at the country club– 903C







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