Low budget makeup tips from prison

Back when I was a bright-eyed teenager I set off on a journey to college. Meeting me on this journey were a variety of lessons meant to prepare me for adulthood. The most valuable of which was money management.

I had to learn money management the hard way; by getting enough money to last several months and blowing it in two days.

Yes, I was that girl who got an eight hundred dollar refund check and thought she was ballin’.

The first place I would spend my money at would be the mall.

I would spend a little at Forever 21.

A little more at Pinkberry.

And racks at Sephora.

Sephora got all my little money. I was out here splurging on Naked Palletes and Better than sex mascara like I had somewhere to go where appropriate attire didn’t include sweatpants.

I would then proceed to beat my face with my purchases. I had to look good at the dining hall.

So my refunded loan money would be enough to support my makeup habit and keep me looking fly for a few weeks but after it ran out I was forced to look fly with no money.

Thankfully, I had been gifted numerous tips and tricks from a slew of family and friends who had gone to jail and/or prison on how to look SNATCHED using ordinary items. Some of the methods I learned are below.

Use Colored Pencils for eyeliner

Row of colorful pencils

I was initially introduced to this option by Tracy on Love After Lockup.

Tracy swore by this method and notably donned it for her television debut.

It is simple, place the tip of a number 2 or a colored pencil in hot water for a few seconds in order to soften it up then proceed to utilize it as you would any other eye pencil.

The long-lasting results will leave you questioning why you ever wasted your money on eyeliner in the first place.

Dye hair with Kool-Aid

This tried and true method to dye hair has been a staple for years. I still remember attempting to dye my hair deep purple with a packet of grape Kool-Aid and hopes and dreams. What resulted was a funky purple ‘fro that I was able to rock for the weekend before I had to rinse it out for school on Monday.

Maintain eyebrows with dental floss

One of the most important things on your face should be your brows. You could say the cure for cancer but if your brows look like this

no one is going to care.

Lucky for you, dental floss can double as low cost eyebrow threading utensil.

Get eyeshadow from magazine spreads

You don’t have to spend your money on expensive eyeshadow pallets. Simply buy a magazine, find a pigmented photo in it like this one

And with one finger rub it in circles until the ink from the image rubs off on your finger. Using the ink rub it on your eyelids to get a beautiful eye look!

Natural lipstick

No makeup look is complete without a gorgeous lip color. You can get your own with two simple ingredients: petroleum jelly and beets.

With these makeup hacks you will be looking glamorous for less than the cost of a cup of coffee! Do you have any tips?

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Best beauty items at the drugstore

People always seem to think that the more expensive the item is, the better it is.  The perceived correlation of price to quality is not true at all.  In fact it is one of the many reasons that most high end brands can charge $50.00 for a product that costs $5.00 to produce.

The truth is that the ingredients used in many high end make up products are the same ones used in drugstore makeup products.  Proof of this can be found in various youtube videos which specialize in providing visual comparisons of high end makeup products to drugstore ones.


You can find drugstore dupes to almost every high end makeup product.  But in the products listed below a low cost replica of high end makeup products was not searched for, but rather drugstore makeup products that were just great and were not nessacarily like another pricier product.  So let’s get onto the items!



So now I have my eyebrows tattooed, not micro bladed. I have never had my brows micro bladed so I cannot adequately compare them to one another, but I do highly recommend some form of permanent eyebrow makeup.  It is a big upfront cost, but think about it in terms of how much you will save on brow products over its course.  I paid $200.00 for my brow tattoo and it will last 7 years.  I used to buy a new brow pencil about once a month for $8.29.  Over the course of 7 years that is $629.26!  That’s a savings of close to $500.00, and I wake up looking cute :).

But if you are not ready for the commitment don’t  fear!  I used Maybelline Brow Define to do my eyebrows for years and can personally attest to its greatness.  It comes in 4 different shades and it looks fantastic on every complexion.  The pencil has a creamy texture that easily goes onto the brow.  It is amazing and will stay put all day, my biggest problem was trying to remove it at night because it wouldn’t go anywhere!



There are LOADS of mascara to choose from and its difficult to tell them apart.  One tube will claim to volumizing and another lengthening but frankly I see no difference.  I have used $5.00 mascara from H&M and $30.00 mascara from Sephora and may eyelashes look the same.woman-shrugging-medium-dark-skin-tone

So I am not really an expert on this, but can recommend what works for me!  And what works for me is honestly any mascara that is under $10.00.  Some of my favorites are Covergirl Lash Blast and Maybelline Lash.



If you frequent beauty guru videos chances are you have probably heard them rave about the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation at least one time.  This product was not over hyped.  It is legitimately amazing and makes your skin look airbrushed.  It’s like an Instagram filter in a bottle.



This will forever be the era of the lips,  everybody and their mama came out with a matte lipstick.  Brands made it seem commonplace to spend 20 or more dollars on a lipstick.  Some of us have bills to pay and mouths to feed so spending that much on a lipstick is out of the question.  Personally, I have been wearing matte lips for years.


Some may have called it a 0.99 cents lip pencil from the beauty supply store rubbed across my lips, I called it fashion.   This isn’t for everyone and some people prefer “real” lipsticks.  So for that I suggest Milani Color Statement Lipstick.  My go to shade is sangria, but my friend that’s much lighter than me tried it and the color looked really bad on her.  So as with any lipstick choose a color that works for you.  Luckily this lipstick has a wide range of colors.  I love how resilient it is.  It doesn’t care if you drink a glass of water or eat an apple, it’s not going anywhere!  It also has great color payoff and is as vibrant on your lips as it is in the tube.



Blush is one of those items that you don’t think you need until you put it on.  Blush is a game changer.  It can make you look like Pennywise or Tyra Banks, so choose wisely.  There are loads of articles online suggesting what color blush you should get.  But I will suggest what type of blush to get and that is my all time favorite powder blush the Wet n Wild Color Icon Ombre Blush.  Ombre blushes are multi dimensional and look more natural on your face than typical, one shade blushes.  They also are more forgiving in terms of mistakes.  I love this one in the berry shade



I am not one who wears eyeshadow everyday, not because I don’t want to, I’m just not great at doing day appropriate eyeshadow looks.  So to prevent looking like I was a model in a drag queen magazine while just going to Wal-mart I opt for bare eyes during the day.

But as soon as the sun goes down my MUA smokey eyeshadow palette comes out to play.  Never before have I encountered a palette that makes doing a smokey eye so easy.  I swear this pallete is magical as you can use any combination of colors on it and your  finished look will be amazing.

Bonus: Fragrance


It has been said that we eat with our eyes first but I have to disagree.  We eat with our nose first.

So any baddie knows the importance of perfume.  And if you’re a 90’s kid like me chances are you know a thing or two about those Calgon body Sprays.  Even Mariah Carey sang about them so don’t act like you never used them!  I still prefer to use them throughout the day.  They last as long as their higher priced counterpart.  If you layer the fragrance over it’s lotion it seems to be stronger.  I love these and they come in so many scents!  They are perfect to wear when going to work or just running errands.

What is your favorite beauty item from the drugstore?

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Top drugstore skincare products

I love accentuating my beauty with makeup as much as the next beautiful girl and I have discovered the best foundation ever.  It does not cost one hundred dollars or even come in a bottle.  The best foundation to your makeup is clean and healthy skin.  Luckily it does not cost a fortune.  Listed below are the best skincare products that you can find at your local drugstore.  Links yo purchase all the products can be found at the end of this article.

1. Number 7 Eye Cream

Honey boo boo chile!!!! You need to get you some of this!!  If I could only have one item for the rest of my life I’d choose this one.  I would gladly walk around with ashy knees looking like Mr. Brown if it meant I could keep my staple product.  This is hands down the best product for removing dark undereye circles.  I come from a long line of raccoon eyes and this is the only eye cream that I have used that can get rid of them.

2. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen SPF 70

A common misconception of us people with darker skin tones is that we do not need to wear sunscreen, our melanin protects us.  But that widely held belief is not true.  It’s true to some extent but to ensure full protection from the sun we should use a moisturizer with at least SPF 30.  This sunscreen is perfect for all skin types as it does not leave that gray tint that a lot of sunscreens tend to leave.

3.  Freeman Facial Charcoal & Black Sugar Polish Mask

This product is hands down the best mask which I have ever used, and I have used quite a few masks.  It’s hard to believe this product is less than $50.00 as the results are akin to some high end and pricier options.  This charcoal face mask should be used at least once a week for clear, moisturized skin.  I like to soak in a warm bubble bath with this mask on my face and Goapele on in the background.  Sometimes I have a glass of wine in my hand, most times I have a cup with tequila.


But no matter what the beverage is I always emerge with moisturized and tight skin.

4. Burts Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser

You cannot say “drugstore skincare” without Burts Bees (ok technically you can, but why would you?).  Burts Bees is the Mark Twain of drugstore beauty products and the end all be all of all things face.  I remember in middle school one of my friends gave me my first Burts Bees product, one of their infamous chapsticks.  It turned my cracked pucker into a kissable pout in a matter of weeks.  When I had my first kiss like 10 years later (I was a late bloomer) it was on my lips.  So I must admit I’m a bit inclined to favor Burts Bees products due to personal bias.

But I swear that is not the case with this cleanser.  It really is amazing and I actually use it everyday.  In comparison to other face washes I have noticed that it does not leave your skin with a dry and stripped feeling after use, rather a moisturized and clean feeling.  Most face washes are too harsh and drying and actually cause acne.  This one is the total opposite of that and removes dirt and old makeup while leaving your skin fresh and rejuvenated.

5. Neutrogena Oil- and Alcohol-Free Facial Toner

Toners are often skipped when buying products to hydrate your skin, but they should not be skipped!  Toners are a very important step in the journey to clear skin.  Toners restore the skins ph balance which is naturally acidic but due to the highly alkaline nature of many face washes that balance can get skewed.  As a result the skin will work overtime to fix the sudden imbalance.  By “working overtime” that means producing a lot of oil.

Thankfully, you can help your skin so that it does not feel the need to produce more oils.  You can help it by using a toner!  The affordable toner listed above is not only a great toner but also manages not to have that chemical smell which most toners do!

What’s your favorite skincare product from the drugstore?

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