Beauty at a Cost

DIYs and YouTube tutorials have become the go-to guru for all things. From interior decorating, maintenance on vehicles, and beauty needs; there’s a video for everything. Speaking of beauty…sometimes we get so lost in the products and the names and the “skin care routines” that some of our favorite YouTubers utilize that we might do more harm than good.

Did you know, that you should never exfoliate dirty skin?! There are thousands of exfoliant products that are advertised to us, that tell us that we NEED to exfoliate regularly to keep the dead skin to a minimum, but… if you’re face isn’t clean then it makes zero sense to exfoliate. The granulates in the exfoliants actually press the dirt deeper into the skin, creating dark areas, black heads, and clogged pores. We think that we’re cleaning but we’re not. And clean doesn’t just mean splashed with water or lathered with bar soap… An exfoliant is not the same thing as a cleanser and should only be used once a week, give or take the type of skin you may have while cleansers should be used twice a day essentially. Skin types are very important to recognize. From oily, to dry to normal to a combination of the sorts, this recognition helps you to choose products that will work along with your skin rather than against.

Rgiphy-1ule of thumb, if you do nothing else… Cleanse. Tone. Moisturize. Keys that lead to great, clear, firm, supple skin! #staywoke

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“Money doesn’t grow on trees”, we all know that, but pinching pennies could lead to bacteria and even fungus growing in your makeup products. Mascara only has a utilization life of about three months. As air and other matter seeps into the mascara container with each use, it makes it more susceptible for those growths and using the product after its expiration date can cause pink eye, a stye, or other problems. Not washing your makeup brushes is also a dead shot to bacteria build up. Foundation, concealer, bronzers, and other makeup generally only have a “safe” life of about six months to a year, after that it would be a good idea to replace those products.


One YouTuber who’s caught my eye with her makeup handy tricks and tips is Michelle Phan. She’s gained populairty over the years allowing her to develop her own website, watching just a few of her vids, she’s shown me that you don’t need expensive products to make those makeup tutorials come to life. That’s right! Aside from E.L.F and NYX products being just a couple of the more affordable and quality brands,  some of your basic house hold items can be utilized for a lot of beauty tasks. For example, cleaning makeup brushes is a “major key” and sometimes getting that foundation out of those bristles is a stubborn job but a 2:1 ratio of Dawn dish soap and Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a super fast and easy way to clean those brushes compared to purchasing a basic solution. Most DIY-Beet-Blush-and-Lip-.jpgmakeup products can be made right at home with just a few simple ingredients, petroleum jelly or moisturizer, eye shadow or other powder, and an essential oil. This combination of ingredients can be used for a few things like a lipstick or gloss, blush, amplified eye shadows, and even a high light or contour cream.


There may be tutorials and guidelines all over the web that you can look up, but there’s no law against cutting a few corners or saving a buck. Check out some DIY’s and get creative!!!




Smooth Operator

Everyone’s on a health kick these days, from detox flat tummy tea to the infamous waist trainer. As of lately, i’ve discovered a new found love…smoothies!

They’re nothing new, they’ve been around for quite some time but in this hipster age juice bars and smoothie sit downs are popping up all over town. Each cup comes with all “natural and organic” ingredients like kale, spinach, avocado, and other fruits and veggies. Not to mention Omega 3s, chia seeds, and other nutritious vitamins. Each cup also comes with a stinging price tag of at least $7. Though that little $7 may not seem threatening, but to get hooked on a delicious smoothie and buy it a few times a week, it’s hitting pockets for atleast $25.

My favorite smoothie that i’ve recently discovered is called “Alive,” produced by the juice bar, Beyond Juicery + Eatery. The juicery has several locations located in the metro Detroit area. They’ve received wonderful reviews and business is booming for them! Maybe i’m just the DIY type, but to save time and money, i’ve decided to recreate the smoothie i’ve fallen in love with. My rationale: Buy the ingredients for that smoothie and make a cup everyday for two weeks…all for $25!


I went on a venture for all the ingredients that included

  • almond butter
  • almond milk
  • flax, chia seed mix pack
  • vanilla extract- pure, preffered or imitation
  • peaches-frozen, unsweetened
  • strawberries-frozen, unsweetened
  • orange juice
  • bananas

all ingredients can be found at Meijer, with a grand total of $25

With my single serve blender, I mixed the ingredients to taste

  • 4 strawberries
  • 6 slices of peachesgiphy (1).gif
  • 3 to 4 ice cubes
  • 1 table spoon of almond butter
  • half of a banana
  • pack of flax, chia seed mix
  • 2 table spoons of almond milk
  • teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of orange juice

Of course, you can substitute any ingredients to your liking but this is what I used and I must say it almost tastes the exact same as the smoothie I bought from the juice bar. These ingredients lasted me about two weeks, allowing me to make a smoothie everyday. The smoothie acts as a “meal in a cup” meaning you can drink the smoothie and feel full, allowing you to have a smaller meal or to skip it entirely.

Try new recipes. Kale, spinach, apple, and pineapple is a popular mix along with bananas, peaches, and pineapple give or take some extra ingredients. Smoothies make you feel light and healthy and are tasty to drink!

Keep cool for the remainder of the summer with a drink in your cup- on your way to class, work, or out and about for the day!