Choosing a Face Palette


I’m not much into makeup, but when I came across this Estee Lauder makeup palette at Macy’s I just thought, “How convenient and travel friendly!”  Yes the price is a little hefty.  It did cost $64.  BUT it pretty much includes 2 types of blushes, 4 eye shadows, 1 bronzer, and 1 highlighter.

The pink blush is a little too pink for me, but the orange color is fantastic.  The bronzer and highlighter are also beautiful and blends in very well.  The eye shadows still need to be tested, which I plan to use for special occasions.  I don’t wear eye shadow on a daily basis because I often rub my eyes.  However, I love having it at the ready in case I’m feeling fantastic enough to put some on.  It’s just great having everything in one palette.  It’s very convenient for daily use, travel friendly, and pretty much hassle-free.



Four Nights for $1200?!

Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself because I’m debt free.  I have an upcoming trip that’s been planned since last year and somehow things have not gone to plan.  I was thinking of switching accommodations to be closer to the event I’m attending, but after finding out the cost, I stopped in my tracks.  Even with a 20% discount it’ll cost $1,200 for four nights stay.  That’s just insane to me.  No thanks I’ll just stick to my original accommodations even though I have to drive quite a bit.  To me the $1,200 could go into other things like an international trip or set aside for real emergencies.  Frankly, I just don’t see the need to be closer to the event all for the sake of convenience.  To each their own I’d say.

How Awesome is Amazon Really?

I can’t remember what blog post I read, but someone has already mentioned how great Amazon is for international skincare.  Let’s face it, we are a globalized society thanks to the internet, tourism, and international business in general.  There is this cross-pollination of products which somehow Amazon makes easy to access.  The exception is probably European luxury retailers who feel that selling through Amazon would cheapen their brand.  Other than the likes of Louis Vuitton or Chanel, Amazon sells international products that we all have access to.  That’s how I was able to buy Korean skincare through them.  More importantly, products are often cheaper on Amazon compared to retail stores or other websites like Sephora.  I bought my Tsubaki hair mist at a Japanese grocery store for $16.99, but Amazon sells it for $9.74.  The great thing is we have options.

2 Reasons Why You Should Shop On a Budget

If you’re still in debt but feel the need to buy beauty and skin products, or even new clothes, then at least make a budget for these things.

Shop on sale or look for cheaper alternatives.  There’s just no need to buy a luxury brand while still in debt.  Not that you can’t, but logically it’s impractical.  Even if you refuse this advice, then at least save for what you want and account for it in your budget.

Buy things slowly and within your means.  You’ll appreciate what you have and you’ll stop making impulse purchases.

Things I Can Now Afford

In my early teens and twenties, I didn’t have too many issues with acne.  Often times others complemented me on such great complexion and because of this I didn’t feel the need to take care of my skin.  I pretty much didn’t do anything to my face except put on moisturizer with SPF.  I also had a bad habit of sleeping with makeup on, which I think has all caught up to me.  At times I would break out around my chin and cheeks area and couldn’t figure out why.  LOL.

Eventually I got into the habit of washing my face before bedtime.  And then last year I discovered makeup wipes.  Well, I started using them.  First a non generic brand and then I switched to the target brand.  Those wipes broke me out so much I will never purchase them again.

Recently I got into skincare and my first introduction to it was the sheet mask.  I was curious to try it because it’s such a popular thing to do in South Korea.  Suddenly, I got into watching a lot of Youtube on Korean skincare and realized I was doing nothing to preserve my skin’s elasticity.  I started looking at Sephora, Macy’s, and Nordstrom to see what skincare they offer, and let me just tell you, it is surely overwhelming if you don’t even know where to start.  More importantly, price points are outrageous!  I could not believe my eyes when I saw the $100 price tag for eye moisturizer.  I mean I care about my skin, but I also care about my budget.  With all said and done, I recently chose to purchase a lot of Korean skincare products and some western products based on affordability and quality reviews.  Let’s face it, budgets are just more important.

Burt’s Bee’s BB cream, Estee Lauder face palette, Estee Lauder free samples, Micellar cleansing water, Tsubaki hair mist, Rosewater face mist, and Derma-E sunscreen moisturizer (bottom right to left)


South Korean skincare proucts: Innisfree sheet mask (free sample), Neogen bio-peel exfoliator, Cosrx moisturizer lotion, Cosrx low PH morning cleanser, Cosrx moisture pads, Innisfree green tea serum

Practicing Gratitude

Being in debt is overwhelming.  You think you’re the only one having a miserable time especially when you’re surrounded by friends with parents paying the bills.  There’s this feeling of unfairness, which leads to a lot of finger pointing and the blame game.

I get it.  I’ve been there.  Why wasn’t I born with this or that right?

What helped me curb the evil monster called jealousy was to practice gratitude.  I began with the simple things:

  1. I’m grateful for my morning cup of coffee.
  2. I’m grateful for taking walks around my neighborhood.
  3. I’m grateful for Netflix.
  4. I’m grateful for being debt free.
  5. I’m grateful for a job that I love.
  6. I’m grateful for a loving husband.
  7. I’m grateful that my husband cooks our meals.
  8. I’m grateful for having discovered Korean Dramas.
  9. I’m grateful for having discovered the Kpop group called Big Bang.
  10. I’m grateful for Youtube because that’s how I discovered sheet masks.

It’s easy to get jealous and think ‘life’s not fair’, but there’s so much to discover in life at your own pace.  Life is not a competition of who’s been to where, what size is your house, the number of children you have, or what luxury bags you own.  Instead, be grateful for all the simple things that make you happy.

10 Simple Tricks to Save Some Money

  1. Don’t put on the heat until it’s absolutely freezing.  We got through several winters just by layering, going under blankets, and keeping our curtains open during the day to naturally warm up our place.  Our highest heating bill was $39.76, which was actually our last bill.
  2. Ditch cable and go for Netflix, Prime, or for sports enthusiasts, get Sling TV.  These are all options that are a fraction of the cost of cable.
  3. Bring a packed lunch to work, and stop eating out.  Not cooking your own food is a budget killer.
  4. Just drink water.  Not only is it healthier, it’s cheaper than soft drinks, sports drinks, or flavored teas.
  5. Make your own coffee at home or drink the office coffee.
  6. At one point, I didn’t wear makeup for two years just to save money to put towards debt.
  7. I also started cutting my own hair and giving myself manicures and pedicures.
  8. My husband and I stopped going to the movie theaters, and if we do go, we go to the very first showing, which costs $9.50 versus $13.50.
  9. Don’t get caught up in FOMO. Everyone is different.  There’s just no need to keep up with your friends, neighbors, or co-workers.  You will eventually get there.  It may not be today, but you will.
  10. Don’t upgrade your digs until you’re out of debt or have saved enough for a down payment on a house.  Upgrading to a luxury apartment complex because you want to treat yourself or because you want to experience living in such a place just eats up your chance to save, and will make paying off debt longer.