Ask FOr Three Coats of Color
Whether I am getting regular polish, gel, or dip they usually do two coats of color, but I usually like to ask for one more. I feel the extra layer really creates an extra bond that delays chipping.
Fill In Chips
I'm boring and usually always get the same pink or red colors (I always get major regret with anything else!) so it is easy to keep these basic colors at home and fill in any chips that I may get. Not only does this make the manicure look less raggedy but it also seals the break and makes it less likely to keep breaking off.
Add Clear Polish To New Growth
Ugh one of the most annoying things is when your gel or dip manicure is growing out and the edges near your cuticle start to pop off your nail. When you put your hands through your hair, every strands gets stuck under your mani and it is like nails on a chalkboard feeling. I like to use clear gel polish on these areas to keep them more sealed to my nail so I don't get that horrible feeling + they are less likely to pop off entirely.
Add A Gel Top Coat At HOme
My mom bought me a personal gel lamp which I love to use when I can't make it to the salon, or if I get just a regular manicure I can slap on a quick gel coat on top. It's usually only a couple of days before regular polish starts to chip so this at home gel coat extends the life of the mani for at least a week. I've linked a few below you can purchase through Amazon, prime and under $30! (which is just the cost of one manicure!)
Opt For Shorter Nails
I know those long, coffin nails are in right now but my poor, weak nails just can't manage those that type of length for long. I've found that when I start a mani below the tip of my nail, my gel or dip polish lasts so much longer. My nails actually break underneath the gel/dip and leave just the polish behind!
Please let me preface this post by saying that I am in NO WAY blessed in the way of knowing, understanding, and implementing beauty styles and trends. I am 99% sure I am not applying my eyeliner correctly and for most of my life I've been curling my hair with a straightener. Yeah. But when I finally decided to expand my hair style repertoire and explore buying a product that was actually intended to curl my hair, I came across Foxybae's products. I'd never heard of them before, but reviews were good (and the products come in cute colors and prints!) so I decided to invest in a higher quality hair tool.
I've had the Foxybae 1" curling wand for a couple months now and I have to say I definitely see the value in the investment! After I use the wand to curl my hair, the curls last and I'm able to go 3-4 days with minimal touch up! To get the beachy waves I have above, all I did was curl 1" sections of my hair around the barrel, brush out, add hairspray, and done! I'm actually currently rocking the second day waves from this pic.
While in the past I've only seen these curling wands in the triple digits, Urban Outfitters is currently carrying them at a fraction of the price! The 1" barrel I use is marked down to $70, and the wand with two interchangeable barrels is under $100! You can shop these steals on Foxybae below by just clicking the picture!
I know I've talked about getting my hair colored and styled at beauty schools in the past, but after using these services for nearly 3 years now, I feel like I have gained enough insight to write a new, more in-depth post about my experiences. The good, bad, and everything in between is below so if that sounds interesting to you keep scrolling!
I've been going to the Paul Mitchell beauty school in Costa Mesa, CA since June 2016 to get my hair colored and cut. I love being blonde, but the upkeep of maintaining golden locks when you have naturally dark hair can be very costly. On average, people pay anywhere from $150-$200 on root touchups at typical salons, and getting highlights or balayage can be double that. If you are like me and going in every 6-8 weeks, that adds up so quick! I actually came across the Paul Mitchell school when I did a hair modeling gig there (yearsss ago), and thought I would try it out to see if it was worth it to save some dough. 3 years later and I'm still a loyal customer!
What To Expect
You are paired up with either a phase 1 or phase 2 student. Phase 2 are the more advanced students, however you will pay higher fees with them. You'll sit down and explain with the student what you are wanting, and from there the teacher will come over and confirm with the student what the course of action is, and will help them mix any dye if necessary. They will also write out for you on a board at the station what you are having done, approximately how long it will take, a range of costs (for dyes sometimes you may need more which can affect the cost), and recommendations for products you may like. The teacher checks in sporadically, but mostly it is just you and the student. You will even get a nice blowout or style once your hair is done!
- The Paul Mitchell beauty school I've been to is very updated, modern, and chic, and pics of others I've seen have a similar aesthetic. You definitely don't feel like you are in a discount salon!
- Teachers confirm all work with the student before they start, and are often checking in to see how the progress is going which makes the whole process feel more knowledgeable and secure.
- You still get a nice drink or hot beverage while you are getting your hair done!
- Paul Mitchell makes higher quality salon products that the students use on your hair, and they often have discounts going on at the salon so you can buy them to take home.
- I love that I get my hair styled with a blow out because they last for nearly a week!
- The prices are a FRACTION of what you spend at a normal salon.
- Despite having a teacher monitor the progress, you are still having your hair primarily done by a student who has little to no experience. Mistakes may happen!
- Along with learning salon skills, these students are also learning professional skills so you may get bonked with a hair dryer here or there.
- Students are rotating between phases and eventually graduate from the program so you can't always stay with your favorite who does your hair just right.
- Because they are a school with classroom time, they can't always accommodate all types of services during their salon hours (i.e. I can only come in the mornings to get my hair done because they don't have the students long enough in the afternoon to get it done)
So you are probably wondering...how much does she pay to get her hair done already?? Well, on average I pay only around $50 to get my hair done! This may go up or down depending on if I need a hair cut, or if I waited longer than usual and they had more growth to cover up. But that is a DRASTIC difference from hundreds of dollars! For me it is totally worth the time and *slight* anxiety to get my hair done at a beauty school.
Aside from hair services, they also provide a variety of barbering, waxing, and skin treatments! I've only ever gone for hair, but I'm itching to give one of their facials a try. I'll report back once I do! Paul Mitchell has beauty schools all over the US, so if you if you are interested in checking them out for yourself you can find a location here: paulmitchell.edu
I'd love to hear about your own beauty school experiences, so feel free to leave a comment below or send a message!
I wanted to try something a little different for this blog post, and went through my closest trying to put together the cheapest + cutest outfit I could. I'm talking head to toe, bags, shoes, everything. And I came up with this little number! Everything I'm wearing in this photo is all together under $40 (minus the Apple watch... is that cheating :|)
J. Crew Cross Front Tank [new, $8] Gap Skinny Ankle Pants [new, $15] Banana Republic Slip On Wedges [secondhand, $1] Forever 21 White Criss Cross Headband [new, $5] Hermes Crossbody Bag [secondhand, $6]
Outfit Total: $35
**To be noted...obviously the Apple Watch + Louis Vuitton bracelet were not included
This top I got recently on our last trip to San Fran during a mall trip while hubs was busy working. J. Crew was having an additional 40% off clearance. I wish I had picked up more of this top in other colors because it is so comfy + really cute!
This Gap skinny ankle pants are SUPER stretchy which is so appreciated (especially after meals) and they just go great with everything. They kind of give me retro vibes too! I had Gap cash which I used at the Gap outlet to get these extra cheap.
The slip on wedges I've shared about before, but in case you missed that post, I picked them up at Goodwill for only $1 during a color tag sale day. They had zero wear on them so I am guessing someone picked them up and just let them sit in their closet before donating. I have had a lot of success with Banana Republic shoes lasting foreverrr so I was excited to find these and keep them for myself!
I don't make a habit of shopping at Forever 21 (their clothes don't last one wash cycle!) but before we took our trip to The Netherlands earlier this year I wanted some cute wrap headbands that would double as ear covers because it was FREEZING. I've found I also love wearing these without the need for extra heat and they add a special, classic twist to my outfits.
I still can't believe I found this Hermes bag the thrift for $6. Have I taken it in to be officially authenticated? No. Are the details perfect? Yes. I have decided to live in a fantasy world and just allow myself to believe it is authentic and I am just the luckiest girl in the world. HERE is a link to Hermes if you want to compare. Note the price tag!
Thanks so much for reading! Do you like posts like this? Want more cheap outfit challenges? Drop one below!
We all have seen our favorite bloggers and celebrities that share their favorite beauty items and how awesome they are, but when you look more into these products you find out they are often in the triple digits! I don't think these products are realistic for most people (including moi) and I don't really think our skin really needs all those products. It knows what it's doing! So I thought I would share my every day beauty go-to's that I have been using for years and I have found to be super effective PLUS cheap!
Nivea Creme, $5.15
I've talked about my love for Nivea before, but I have been using this stuff through out my twenties every night as a thick mask and it just feels sooo gooood. It's like I can actually feel my wrinkles soaking it up! Back when I was a teenager whenever I had a break out, I would try to use one of the many "zit zapping" products, but those just left my skin dried out and dull. If I get a pimple now I make sure to moisturize it super well and by the next morning it is significantly less red and noticeable!
Olay Complete Moisturizer with SPF, $6.94
I have been using Olay's complete spf moisturizer since I was 14 (thank you mom!!) and I think a lot of the reason why I am not already a pruney mess (I am super pale and have only lived in super hot, sunny places for the last half of my life) is because I have been protecting my skin from the sun all this time!
Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser, $5.96
Another product from my high school days. I love to use this product in the morning because the vitamin C really wakes up my skin and the beads scrub my skin and make it shiny and healthy looking!
Trader Joe's Organic Coconut Oil, $8.99
This is one of the newer items in my skin care repertory but I like to rub it into my skin at night time as a deep moisturizer! I let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour and then wash away any additional oil. While I'm at it I also run a (very small!) dab through my hair as well! Not only is it super hydrating but it smells sooo good. Bonus!
This is not really a skin care product, but water is such a cheap and easy way to get great skin! Up until my mid 20s, I was drinking multiple diet sodas a day. SO bad for me! And my skin showed it. I was slowly able to phase out soda with the help of tea and lemonades, and now drink sparkling water nonstop and love it! Not only is it healthier for me, but my skin has improved sooo much. Minus any major stressors, I rarely break out! And if I do break down and have a soda, my skin definitely shows it the next few days.
Thanks so much for reading! I would love to hear your own cheap skin care product must haves. Leave me a comment below!
Live for luxury? No trust fund, no problem!
Join the fancy free journey as we seek the
finer things in life, sans millions.
- Marie Claire, September 2016