worth the trip- makeup project resurrection edition.

22 09 2011

or free lipgloss, whatever you’re into.

it’s been a while since i mentioned the makeup project. and well, it’s an xmas season kind of thing, so it didn’t seem necessary to bother y’all too much about it this summer. but all the sudden, it’s cold.  halloween shit is on sale EVERYWHERE (free candy corn @ CVS this week, but vegetarians beware, there will be gelatin!), and i have friends organizing apple picking dates on facebook. the truth has become evident: WINTER IS COMING.

and with this onset of the transition into corn maze and mitten weather, it only seems appropriate that i start to refocus my efforts on my winter projects like the fall SWAPmaine clothing swap, and of course, getting the ole cosmetic hoard for the year together to see how much further i have to go before december rolls around.

i’ve actually been really good so far this year. apparently, CVS changes its cosmetics wall twice a year (which means 75% discount fiesta), but also randomly marks things down throughout the year (just keep your coupon folder handy, and scan for these little round stickers whenever you go in). needless to say, i’ve got a pretty great stash going. here’s the count as of today: Read the rest of this entry »





i try it- coupon buying adventure!

25 01 2011

so last week when i was writing about coupon contingency plans when you miss a newspaper, i mentioned the possibility of buying coupons from an online clipping service. i’d considered it before, but always got big case of the lazy (with a side of cheap), and decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of buying a bunch of coupons that i might not ever have the occasion to use. but recently, the coupon stars have aligned in such a way that it finally seemed worth the minimal effort to take the risk (and by risk, i mean approximately $6 and a week worth of waiting).

there is a deal at CVS that has been quietly bubbling away over the last few weeks- seemingly unnoticed or unnoted by the usual local coupon clipping suspects (although, maine  just doesn’t have the shelf cleaner problem that’s rampant in other states). apparently, every year in january, they clearance down all of their cosmetics that are being discontinued. well the time has come, and there are tons and tons of little orange (75% off) and yellow (50% off) stickers (it’s breathtaking really) littering the beauty aisles. in general, i’m not really a makeup person, and i am FIERCELY LOYAL to the things that i do wear. for example, i presently have a fridge full of discontinued max factor foundation (11 tubes purchased on ebay) that i’ve been wearing since the late 90s. but since i started the makeup project and also began my burlesque career, i’ve found a greater need for such products in my life (i finally figured out how to apply false eyelashes!). biggest issue- COSMETICS ARE FUCKING EXPENSIVE! on the final day of the makeup project when i was trying to fill in the last few holes, the cheapest blush i could find was $4.99! so this year, i’m stocking up my burlesque sparkle stash and beginning the makeup project good and early (2011 will be bigger and better than ever!), so i never have to be saddled with the tragedy and shame of paying for full price blush ever again.

this is where the clipping service comes in. Read the rest of this entry »





worth the trip- full cosmetic takedown.

5 10 2010

so i’d never even heard of ulta before i drove by the mall a few days ago and saw that one had sprung up in the gaping void left by vinny ts (ok, maybe gaping void is a little dramatic- did ANYBODY go to that restaurant?). now generally, i would not entirely give a shit about a giant box store peddling makeup (sorry sephora, i’m just a low maintenance kind of girl), but they seduced me in with a $5 off $10 coupon in my sunday paper. i also did a little research and found out that in addition to their own lines and the high end lines they carry, they also carry all the drugstore brands, AND they take manufacturers coupons. SCORE! their flier showed a host of buy one get one 50% off deals on the drugstore brands, and i rounded up my very best coupons and headed over to see what i could do:

2 neutrogena blushes at $5.99 each with the BOGO50% sale, a $3/1 coupon (from all you) and a $2/1 coupon from this weekend’s paper= $3.99

2 NYC color nail polishes for $1.99 each with BOGO50% sale and a BOGO coupon from all you (seriously, if you don’t get all you, you’re doing yourself a profound coupon disservice)= $.99

2 cover girl eye shadows at $3.29 each with the BOGO50% sale, and 2 $1/1 coupons from the P&G brandsaver= $2.94

total= $7.92 minus the $5/$10 coupon from the paper= $2.92! i got all of the above makeup for less than $3! AND for joining their rewards club (totally free and painless to join), they gave me a sack of free goodies including a full size nail polish and eye shadow, scented body cream, and some fancy hair serum.  oh, and a 20% off coupon for next time. SUPER SCORE. also, the staff was super friendly and extremely patient with my crazy coupon ladyness. i’m hoarding this makeup for a secret project (details soon), so especially if they keep the coupon love flowing, i will definitely be going back again.

shaw’s- ok, i have never been a big fan of the “can-tastic savings” event, and this week was not particularly different. the only thing i deemed worth grabbing was the $.88 progresso soup. i had a $.50/2 coupon (doubled of course) from a coupon book i got in the mail, and considering they’re usually around $2 a piece, i thought that $.38 each was a good deal.

target sadly, all the clearanced all natural fruit roll ups & herbal essences 2 packs were already gone (who are you target shelf cleaner? reveal yourself!), but they did have a good deal on hunts diced tomatoes at $.82 a can (screw you can-tastic savings) and i had a $1/3 coupon. $.48 a can seems pretty good, especially because chili season is upon us. they also had the deluxe velveeta mac & cheese (i’m obsessed with mexi-mac) for $1.52, which is pretty much as low as i’ve seen it anywhere (including walmart). there was a good $1/2 coupon in the paper last week (i think!), so $1 a box for me at least, seemed like a score. although again, nothing amazing.

rite aid- the free crest toothpaste and nivea lip care are definitely on the top of my list, but that schick coupon they’re all talking about on the deal websites doesn’t exist up here (kind of like the revlon coupons that never show up in the maine papers). also, i’m gonna pass on the incontinence pads. otherwise, meh. decent deal on frosted flakes ($1.60 per box when you buy 5), and cottonelle 12 packs are only $3.99 after +UP (the only coupons i could find were $.50/2), which is a pretty good price for toilet paper (especially if you’ve ever paid $1 or more for a “desperation roll” at a gas station).

cvs- roughly as much excitement going on at the cvs, but there is a good $.99 revlon nailpolish deal (after ECBs- limit 6!), which would be free if you had any revlon coupons floating around. i didn’t, but i got it anyway because i didn’t want to waste the $4/$20 that the emailed me this weekend. however, the big deal to look out for is lurking in the magic coupon machine. $5 off all halloween decorations and costumes with NO MINIMUM PURCHASE! i bought a pair of striped tights and some purple hairspray for  $.99.  the big bummer was really getting the coupon (it’s a “one day only”) in a store that had kind of a minimal halloween section.

big lots- there is a 4/$10 movie deal goin on at the big lots right now on all regularly $3 movies. i couldn’t find 4 that i liked (my local store didn’t have deep blue sea as advertised- FAIL!), but i did find a copy of rocket science, which is a great movie starring portland’s very own oscar nominee, anna kendrick.  anyway, even though i didn’t buy 4 movies, it still came up as $2.50. they’ve got some decent horror, and the usual sub “straight to DVD” quality (heartbeeps anyone?), but if you like to dig through big bins of crap- there are occasionally some gems in there.





rip off artist.

13 07 2010

i have a blog crush. several actually, but the object of today’s affection belongs solely to a sweet disorder. there are many days when i wish i had decided to write a style blog instead of a financial blog… although i’d probably be in a lot more debt if i had taken that route.  but then i read kate’s blog, and i realize that i just don’t have the fashion chops. the girl rocked a goddamn air cast boot for like 2 months, and still looked cooler than everyone else in the room. i think my wardrobe is too basic to be interesting. not ballsy enough. although i’m also not a gorgeous amazon redhead with a tuft of peacock green hair.  but enough of the gratuitous love fest. i’m really loving on a sweet disorder today, because i’m about to blatantly rip off one of her posts (with love!).

i hold kate entirely responsible for my new polyvore addiction. it reminds me of being 14 years old and papering my bedroom walls from floor to ceiling with pictures i dissected from my mom’s old vogues & Ws. plus, it has an interactive shopping element! SHOPPING! kate’s been killing with the polyvore for a while now (i especially love her “cute stuff you might actually be able to afford” series), but this week she turned turned her gaze on drugstore beauty (well, she does work at a drugstore), and i decided it was time to steal the post and RUN.

i’m not really a beauty products person, but something about her post (possibly the glorious mint green nail polish) made me want to think about the beauty products that i do use. i definitely didn’t have a whole page worth, but i had some fun narrowing it down to just 10 products that i absolutely can not live without:

1. l’oreal hydrafresh toner– i have super sensitive skin, and this stuff is so gentle that i can carelessly get it in my eyes with no ill repercussions.

2. bonne bell gel blush– i’ve been using this since high school, and it’s the only blush that i’ve ever felt looks even remotely natural. plus, it’s dirt cheap @ $4.00 a tube. too bad it’s only available online through the bonne bell “heritage collection”. i should stock up now before it goes extinct completely.

3. dove deodorant– nice smell, moisturizing, does its job.

4. blistex lip medex– i’m a complete slut for chapstick, and probably apply some sort of lip balm upwards of 20 times a day. i’m also very partial to carmex and burt’s bees, but lip medex wins the overall prize for being the longest lasting and most moisturizing.

5. philosophy candy cane body wash– frugal me should think that paying $16 for a container of bodywash is a poor value proposition when there are so many similar products on the market that cost so much less. but this one is so minty and tingly and perfect. i mean, who doesn’t want to smell like a candy cane year round?

6. egoiste by chanel– i’ve been wearing this since high school. i often find perfume to be too heavy and flowery, but men’s cologne seems somehow lighter and more sophisticated on a woman (although i’m probably making that part up). this one smells like lemons and campfires and vanilla ice cream, and i’m pretty sure if i was douchey enough to use the phrase “signature scent”, this one would qualify as mine (i’ll be buried in it!).

7. revlon super lustrous shiny sheers in plumdrop– the perfect natural shade of lipstick is rare and beautiful, and i’ve got 4 tubes of this under my sink right now (right next to the enormous bin of reject colors). i’m hoarding, because it’s been discontinued (bummer). but if you know there’s something that you love that has left the shelves, check BIG LOTS. a ton of the major makeup manufacturers sell their discontinued overstock to discount stores for low low prices, and i got mine for $3 each.

8. biolage normalizing shampoo– i spent $.99 on my shampoo for YEARS. and in general, i don’t give a shit about my hair at all (i might own a comb or something…), but this one smells fresh and perfect like grapefruits and summertime. i can’t say that it works any better than my suave, but the scent alone makes it worth the $19 a bottle. also, i hate showering, so it takes me a while to go through.

9. max factor facefinity foundation in #2 light ivory– yet another shamefully discontinued product. this time, the only foundation that ever matched my skintone. another tip for hunting down and stockpiling fallen favorites, bring on the ebay. even if you missed it at big lots, somebody else grabbed it, and will not sell it to you for twice the price. my long-term solution, stockpile now, keep foundation stash fresh in the fridge (butter dish) for later.

10. earth therapeutics tea tree oil foot spray– i’m a flats girl, and with the sheer amount of miles i put on those babies by the end of the summer (those invible socks that aren’t ever invisible, don’t really do i for me), they start to get a little rank (and by a little, i mean a lot). this spray makes my smelly shoes smell like the minty rainforest (sometimes i spray it on my wrists it smells so good), and is super refreshing spritz on my hot and tired summer feet.

now it’s your mission to copy me (well, kate) and gell me your own beauty secrets. (and seriously, go to polyvore- it’s the funnest ever).