10 Beauty Gifts Under $10

Hey guys! I was looking around at wishlists that other bloggers had posted, and I noticed that lots of other bloggers had posted awesome beauty gift ideas, but lots of them were wayyy above my price range (I’m a poor college student!). So I thought I would put together my own beauty gift idea list, with options for a tight budget! Hope this helps you think of those last second gifts or stocking stuffers! (or treat yourself 🙂 ) All of these affordable picks are on my own wishlist too!


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1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

On sale now for just $10, this cult favorite eyeshadow primer would be perfect for any beauty junkie! (I grabbed myself one!)

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2. Milani Foil Eyeshadow Palette

This gorgeously packaged eyeshadow quartet comes in 4 different color combinations! Milani says it’s not a shadow but more of a shine. While I’m not sure what that means, I do know that you can get it for just $9.99 and that I want them all!

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3. ELF Lip Exfoliator

I just received this from a friend as a gift, and it is seriously amazing! Its lipstick shape makes it so easy to use, and it’s just $3!

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4. Maybelline Face Studio Master Glaze Blush

This product is something I normally wouldn’t look at due to its somewhat odd packaging for a blush, but if you’re looking for a portable blush under $10 this is for you! At just $9.99, it looks like a chapstick, but does come in quite a few colors!

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5. Eos Lip Balm in Lemon Drop

Lip balm is something we all need, and this flavor comes with SPF 15, which I love! Plus, it’s only $3.29, and they work amazingly well in addition to lasting forever.

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6. Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme

I’m totally obsessed with Milani, if you’re reading this blog for the first time haha! I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these matte lip cremes…they’re just $8.99 and come in 8 colors, just begging to be swatched!

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7. Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin’ Curves Mascara

I love the fun packaging, and Rimmel is one of my favorite drugstore brands. Try this mascara at Target for $5.49 (and let me know how it is if you do!)

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8. Physician’s Formula All-In-1 Cheek and Lip Stain

This product actually won an award, and it’s definitely on my list of things to try (to be fair, that list is about a mile long!) Grab it for just $6.95, and it’s hypoallergenic, gluten free, and paraben free!

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9. Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil and Gel

This brow fixer ($8.99) has double the products in one! Definitely something that would help me out, it could even work as an eyeliner in a pinch. I’m on the lookout for new brow products, any suggestions?

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10. Swissco Complete Precision Blending Kit

Last but not least, something to help you put it all on! This kit contains a beauty blender and a cute brush, and it’s just $9.99.


What do you think? Have you tried any of these products, or are they on your list? Any brow recommendations? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post. All photos used in this post belong to the companies or websites they are from, I do not own them.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Ramblings and Retro Vibes or Ofra Eyeliner Review

Clarisea Sea Salt Scrub Review

Today I have a product to share with you all that I received in my September Ipsy bag. I was super excited to test this Clarisea Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant with you! Keep reading to see what I thought.


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I was super excited to get this sample in September! The Clarisea website says it “vacuums up impurities from deep within pores with naturally detoxifying ingredients…Add it to your favorite face cleanser or just blend with water to create an instant pore clearing scrub.” It’s all natural, vegan, gluten free, and even comes in recyclable packaging! I’m always a fan of helping the environment. It also features Himalayan salt, bamboo charcoal, and almond flour. Sounds great, right?

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Unfortunately, I have no idea if this face exfoliant actually lives up to its big claims, because it is so darn hard to actually use! It comes as a sort of powder, sort of scrub consistency, and the directions say you should mix a little of it with your favorite face wash. Easy enough, right? Wrong! The powdery mixture gets everywhere, is impossible to mix evenly, and once you get it on your face, it exfoliates for about 0.2 seconds before the salt dissolves and disappears! I had really high hopes for this product, so I was pretty disappointed. I tried it in multiple washes and by itself, and I got similar results.

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To be fair, I may just be doing this completely wrong. Has anyone else tried this product, or something similar? Any tips to make it work better? I’d really like to make this work for me, since it sounds so great, but I just can’t make it happen! If you’d like to test this out yourself, you can pick it up here.


On the plus side, just a few more days and I’ll be home for Christmas 🙂 Ever tried anything like this? What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Insta Roundup #1 or Prairie Chic

What’s In My November Ipsy Bag?

This month’s Ipsy bag was a big improvement over the last one! If you happened to read last month’s review, you may remember that my bag was almost entirely skincare products. I’m much happier with this one! I received some products that I can’t wait to test out.


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Starting off is the product I’m least excited for, simply because I almost never use hairspray. My hair is too short for updos, and I hardly ever curl it. However, I’m sure it’ll come in handy eventually, since it’s a travel sized sample. Find it here!

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When I saw this Absolute New York Nano Eyeliner I kinda of freaked out a little, because a) the packaging is super pretty, and b) because I’ve been wanting an eyeliner with an extra fine tip for a while, so thanks Ipsy for reading my mind! This super fine felt tip makes it really easy to get a great flick. I can’t wait to use it in a holiday makeup look! When I was swatching it, I realized that it dries almost instantly as well. Hopefully this will translate to being smudge-proof on the eyes.

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I love eyeshadow crayons, so I can’t wait to test out this Beaute Basics Eye Crayon in Sahara Gold. I can definitely see this paired with the eyeliner for a Christmas party look! It’s also an easy product to just throw in your purse for touchups on those busy days, since it’s a light shimmery gold that would work just by itself as well.

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I also received an eyeshadow brush this month, which I found exciting since I had never received any tools from Ipsy before. The Deluxe Pointed Crease brush from Crown Brushes seems to be very soft! As for its other qualities, I’ll be sure to let you know once I test it out.

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Last but not least- Smashbox’s Full Exposure Mascara! I wish this wasn’t just a sample size, because I’m sure I’m going to use it up quickly! I received the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in a previous box and absolutely loved it, so I hope that this product will be just as awesome! The brush seems rather large to apply mascara to lower lashes however. Find it here!

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Overall, I’m very happy with this month’s bag! I received a much better mix of products than last month, in my opinion. If you’d like to sign up for Ipsy, you can do so here.

What do you think? Do you subscribe to any monthly services? Have you tried any of these products out? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post. 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Empties-Skincare or 6 Study Tips For College Kids (And Other Busy People)

Ofra Eyeliner Review

 Today I want to talk to you about a less widely known brand: Ofra! I discovered them when I was sent an eyeliner in an Ipsy bag a few months ago, and their products are something I think anyone with an interest in makeup should definitely check out, purely based on this one amazing eyeliner.

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I received this in Turquoise, which at first I found odd since I have medium brown eyes. However, as I soon realized and I’m sure most of you already know, applying blue eyeliner around brown eyes really makes them pop from contrasting with the whites! I’ve been wearing it so much it’s all worn down, and I forgot to sharpen it before this photo-oops!

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This eyeliner is made with a synthetic beeswax, so it goes on extremely smoothly, a plus with eyeliners. I hate when they pull at the sensitive eyelid skin. It’s also waterproof, and really long lasting! I find it rare that waterproof eyeliners actually work how they’re supposed to, so this one was a nice surprise!

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As you can see, this eyeliner looks very blue on the skin and in the packaging, but online the photos advertising it look extremely green, so beware before buying this in any other colors! A wide range is available online as well. Get this eyeliner here, for $13.00 USD.

I’ve also recently gotten a lipliner from Ofra, and while I haven’t gotten a chance to test it out throughly yet, it seems great too! What do you think? Have you ever tried anything from Ofra? What are your favorite not-so-well-known makeup companies? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy What’s In My October Ipsy Bag? or Ramblings And Retro Vibes

Empties- Skincare

 Today I have some of the products I’ve been using a ton to share with you! Most of these are from past Ipsy bags, with a few exceptions, so they’re mostly sample sizes. I was going to do a post on all my empties, but I realize I have way too many! So I decided to narrow this down to the ones focused just on skincare. All the product prices below are for the full sized products!

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First up! This body butter by Lavanilla Laboratories claims instant hydration. It contains all organic ingredients, no parabens, and claims to leave your skin non-greasy. Sounds great, right? While I enjoyed this product and thought it worked well enough, I disagree with the advertisement of non-greasy. Using this on my arms and legs was great, but on my neck and face it left a bit of a film. If you’re looking for a general moisturizer though, I will say that this one does smell divine! It’s deliciously vanilla-scented, and comes in 4 other types. Grab it at Sephora for $19.00.

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I was super excited to test this product out when I received it in last month’s Ipsy bag! It works really well as far as I can tell, the sample was very small and only had enough for five or six uses. I saw an improvement in my skin over the two weeks I tested it for, and I feel confident that a larger amount would produce even better results. I found that my skin’s redness and dryness was reduced by this scrub. Find it here for $78.00.

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This Glamglow facewash is my favorite, as you can tell from the sorry state of the bottle! I carried this travel size bottle with me as I hiked across Spain this summer (for more on that, read here!) and it worked so well on my sun damaged skin! The formula is “mud-to-foam”, which means it starts off as a paste and lathers with the addition of water. It does an awesome job of helping your skin feel moisturized and refreshed! Pick up one here for $39.00.

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This St Ives apricot scrub is definitely a cult classic! I reviewed it previously here if you’d like to read a little more about it. Let’s just say I think it’s awesome! Grab some here.

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Last but not least- the Dermatologica Clear Start All Over Toner! I really love this product and will definitely be repurchasing. It reduces redness, helps clear breakouts, and overall just improves the quality of my skin. I would recommend this to anyone! Get it for $19.50 here.

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So there you have it, what I’ve been using a lot of lately for skincare! What have you been loving? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

I’d also like to congratulate Yasmine, the winner of the CaseApp giveaway! Congrats girl 🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy My Fall Drugstore Makeup Picks or OZ Naturals Face Mask Review

What’s In My October Ipsy Bag?

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Happy Saturday! I’m home in Vermont on October break, and it’s so nice to be home 🙂 I’m excited to share with you what I got in my Ipsy bag this month! If you’re not familiar with Ipsy, it’s a subscription bag service that sends you 5 higher-end makeup products for just $10 a month! To get an idea of past bags, you can check out my May or August bags, or visit the Ipsy site. The theme this month was Alter Ego, kind of a Jekyll and Hyde makeup idea. The bag was gold on one side a black vinyl on the other. However, other than a dark purple nail polish and a pink lipstick, I didn’t get anything that really reflected this theme. This month’s bag was really heavy on skincare! Let’s dive in, shall we?

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First up: a BB cream with SPF 30, made by Purlisse. I was super excited to receive this, as it was the first foundation/bb type product I’d received in an Ipsy bag. It claims to have “natural looking coverage and a flawless finish”, and the high SPF is a great plus! I can’t wait to try it. It retails for $32 for 2.4 oz. Find it here!

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 Next, two more skin products: a hand cream and an exfoliant. The hand cream, by Be Delectable, contains shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera. It comes in both scented and unscented versions. I have the coconut and cream scented version and it smells divine. Pick it up for only $12 here!

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The exfoliant is Dr Brandt’s Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant. This is probably the most expensive product I received this month. To purchase this from Sephora, it’s $78 for 2 oz or $99 for 3.5 oz. Talk about expensive! I can’t wait to try this out. You can find it here.

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This is my favorite out of this month’s picks: The Balm’s Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long-Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charming, a mauve shade. This is the definition of long-lasting! I swatched it for review yesterday when I took these photos, and it’s still on my hand! I’d definitely recommend a good makeup remover with this. I love the color and I can’t wait to wear it. Pick one up over at The Balm for $17.

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Left, liquid lipstick, and right, BB cream octipsy5

I got another nail polish this month, and I was a bit disappointed. It seems like every bag I get lately has another nail polish! I’m not a huge fan of the color, although it is very pigmented and lasts well. I couldn’t find a price for this, but apparently you can get it directly from Ipsy here. If you like these types of shades though, I would recommend it.

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Overall, I enjoyed this month’s bag, but I’d like some more variety next time! It really was a bit heavy on the skincare. (And no more nail polish please haha.) Do you subscribe to a subscription service? What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Splurge, Spend, or Save: Bronzers or My Fall Drugstore Makeup Picks.

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush Review

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 Today I’m excited to review an interesting product I’ve been loving lately: this Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Plum Wine. I purchased it last week while on a weird Amazon binge (do you guys get those too? Only me? Gotcha.) and I ended up with this in my cart for cheaper than I could get it at the drugstore, so of course I got it. Thanks to Amazon Prime’s enabling of me, it was here two days later!

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 The leaves are truly gorgeous right now, so of course I had to “artistically” put it in some of them for pictures. I couldn’t help myself!

I chose the shade Plum Wine, I’m really loving plum and maroon shades of everything right now! The quality of this blush is really amazing. The packaging claims that it applies like a powder but sinks in like a cream, while being a gel. I actually have to agree with the application! It sinks right into your cheeks, staying like a tint all day. I usually apply it with a beauty blender and blend it in.

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It should be said, the packaging of this product is not exactly aesthetically pleasing. The top is fine, but the pan is just cheap looking plastic. I was a bit disappointed in Maybelline, but they’re still one of my favorite drugstore lines! I’m still looking to collect the rest of these shades. I just wish they were prettier, like my favorite metallic Milani packaging. Overall, 4.5/5.

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I tried to get a picture of what it looked like on, but the wind was not cooperating with my hair! Oh well, I did try. The color in the pan is very rich and dark, and that stays true with the transfer to skin- a very little bit of this goes a long way. You can pick it up at the Maybelline site, or head on over to Amazon for the cheaper one 😉

What do you think? Have you tried this blush series? What do you think of Maybelline? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy Splurge, Spend, or Save: Bronzers or OZ Naturals Face Mask Review

Laser Hair Removal- What Even Is It?

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Hello everyone, and happy Friday! Today I’ve got something a little different to talk about: hair. More specifically, too much hair. We all hate the chore of shaving, but as a woman, it doesn’t always feel like we have a lot of other options. But we actually do!

Have you been struggling with body hair in places you don’t want it, but avoiding having laser hair removal because you don’t know enough about it? Do you have concerns about how the process works, how successful it is, and what the risks are? I was in the same boat as you until a lovely individual reached out to me about talking about laser hair removal. I thought this was something we can all relate to! Here’s what I learned.

How Dangerous Are the Laser Machines?

Any cosmetic skin treatment has some side effect risks, but the risks during laser treatment are minimal. At least, they are minimal as long as the procedure is being performed by a fully certified, experienced technician, and also as long as it is an appropriate procedure for your skin type. You see, laser devices have varying intensity levels and skin penetrating capabilities. Some of them are safer and more effective to use on certain types of hair or skin. For example, if a dark-skinned person is treated by a machine that is better suited for lighter skin tones, they could experience blisters and other problems. However, your trained technician should be able to easily tell you which skin treatments are good for your skin and which you would be better off to avoid.

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Do Skin and Hair Colors Really Make a Difference?

Yes, skin and hair colors can make a huge difference when it comes to laser treatments. There are several reasons for that. First of all, those with darker skin tones are more prone to having oily skin, which can blister easily if the wrong treatment is performed. Also, certain lasers can change skin pigmentation, leaving patches of different colored skin in the treated area, which is generally more noticeable on people who have dark skin tones. More to the point, certain machines simply don’t work well on people with dark skin because the machines can’t “see” the hair. Many of them are designed to automatically target dark hairs against a lighter background, which is the surface of the skin itself.

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Should I Completely Avoid Laser Therapy if My Skin or Hair is Dark?

No, you don’t need to avoid these treatments. In fact, there are plenty of medical lasers that can be calibrated to work on those with dark hair or skin. You will just have to consult experts to make sure that your treatment plan is going to work with your skin and hair combination.

Do I Need a Lot of Sessions to Cure the Problem?

Finally, there’s the question of how many treatments you are going to need. Multiple sessions will definitely be required, no matter what type of machine you are being treated by. Contrary to what some people think, you cannot completely cure the problem with any laser treatment, no matter how many sessions you undergo. Since the treatments go right down to the roots, unlike shaving, the hair will take longer to grow back. But at least some of it will eventually return, although some roots (follicles) will become dormant. So, after the initial round of therapy appointments, it will be up to you to decide when you need to come back for more.

What do you think? Have you ever tried laser hair removal? Is this kind of informative post something you like reading? Let me know in the comments, I’d love some feedback on what you like to see! Thanks for stopping by!

Love Kiki

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This post is sponsored, but all opinions are honest and my own.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy 4 Ways To Make A House A Home or How To Be A Good Roommate

What’s In My September Ipsy Bag?

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Hello everyone! I hope your week is going well so far. Today I want to share with you what I received in my September Ipsy Bag! I keep falling more and more in love with my Ipsy subscription each time I receive a bag. This month’s theme was Face Fashion, and the photo insert featured natural and golden bronzed looks. I love the bag that everything came it, the textured surface is so pretty and I love the color! It’s perfect for fall.

Let’s take a look at what I received!

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Formula X nail polish in Obsessed. This is a dark burgundy shade that’s perfect for fall! I received a Formula X nail polish in a previous Ipsy bag, and the color and quality were amazing! You can check out my review of it here. I like this merlot color even better than the previous peachy shade!

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Next up, the Clarisea Sea Salt Solutions Rapid Detox Charcoal Face Exfoliant. That’s a crazy long way to basically say it’s a charcoal face scrub haha. I can’t wait to test this out!

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This is the Ultra Repair Cream from First Aid Beauty! I’ve never tried anything from this brand, but I’ve heard really good things about them. Since I have dry skin, this is a perfect product for me to test. I can’t wait to review it for you guys!

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This Trestique Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude is one of my favorite things in this bag. The shade is a perfect “my lips but better” color, and even though it’s matte, it’s not too drying.

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And last but not least, this NYX eyeshadow trio! The color palette is designed through Ipsy to match the September theme, so I couldn’t find it to link it. I love the shades though, they’re amazing and extremely pigmented!

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From left to right: NYX eyeshadows 1, 2, and 3, and Trestique Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude

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Make Your Own Ipsy Bag; Formula X Nail Polish in Obsessed, full size $10.50,  Ultra Repair Cream, 2 oz for $12.00, Trestique Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude, full size $28.00, Clarisea Charcoal Exfoliant, 4 oz for $18.00

Have you tried any of these products? How do you feel about Ipsy? Do you subscribe? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by!

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy OZ Naturals Face Mask Review or Clarifying Cucumber Face Mask Review 

My Fall Drugstore Makeup Picks

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  As fall quickly approaches, I think it’s time to begin switching over my makeup collection! Just like you change wardrobes as the seasons change, I change the contents of my makeup bag. However, I’m a broke college student who doesn’t have much spare cash to spend on makeup sadly. So here are my top makeup choices for fall that don’t break the bank-in fact, all of these are less than $4 each!

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I told you in my August Favorites post how much I’ve been loving baked eyeshadows lately! This one from Jordana Cosmetics in Bronze Gala is such a gorgeously bold metallic, and fall is all about those metallics! I use this wet for a bold look, but you can also use it dry for something softer. Bronze Gala Eyeshadow, $2.49

This blush is also from Jordana, and I picked it up in the shade Redwood. I think darker blushes are the way to go for fall, because they give you that chilly air flush. This product is satiny with just a little shimmer. Find it here for $2.99! It comes in a few dozen other colors as well.

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A red statement lip is classic fall makeup, of course. I’ve been loving chunky lip pencils lately, and this LA Colors one is a great way to rock that fall lip! It’s somewhat sheer, but can be layered to give the appearance of a stain.

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 And of course, since fall weather is so drying on the lips and skin, I always have a few of these Baby Lips chapsticks lying around! You can get them in tinted, sheer, and SPF 15 varieties for just $3.99 each from Maybelline! This is one of my favorite brands, I’ve got a couple in every purse! Find them here.

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From left to right; Lip Crayon in Best Red, Baby Lips in Grape Vine, Baby Lips in Fierce N Tangy, Jordana Blush in Redwood, and Jordana Baked Eyeshadow in Bronze Gala

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What do you think? What are your favorite drugstore products? What about your favorite fall look? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by!

Love Kiki

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All opinions are my own; this is not a sponsored post.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy 3 Lipsticks for $3 or Drugstore Makeup Haul