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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