The $100 Beauty Budget | May 2013


MAY 2013


When I placed the $100 spending limit on my cosmetic purchases last month, it seemed like a realistic expectation. It was easy at first – satisfying my ever gnawing need for “something new” with bargain hunting at Longs Drugs. This did produce a few fantastic (and cheap!) finds like the Pantene Hair Masque ($3.99), L’Oreal Ever Sleek Precious Oil ($3.42) and with a few coupons, I scored a Physician’s Formula for $4.46. It became more challenging when new higher end products jumped on my radar.

As part of this experiment, I also vowed to return products that I didn’t particularly like and would never use again. This padded my budget (is that cheating?) and I was able to pick up a few higher priced skin care items as a result. At the end of the month, I went on a shopping trip for a facial and makeover during the local Nordstrom Trend Show (my first makeover – ever) and ended up picking up a few Laura Mercier items. They are lovely and I’m happy to add them to my collection – but they are purchases I may have passed up otherwise.

WHAT I LEARNED THIS MONTH: Since every dollar was accounted for, I was very careful about what I purchased – there isn’t anything on the list that I regret. Instead of impulse buys, I did careful research about each skin care item and rarely made purchases during my first visit to the store. This helped me weed out products that I didn’t need (that’s relative of course) or want.

WHAT I’M GOING TO DO TO IMPROVE: I’m already about $40 into my June budget. This month I’m going to focus on replenishing my basics that have run out – cleansing oil and shampoo. I will limit drugstore spending and purchase items I really want. Since I do not have any products to return, it will be very challenging to stay within my $100 limit.


MAY BUDGET: $100 | SPENT: $347.29 | RETURNS: $186 | TOTAL: $161.29 | RESULTS: $61.29 over budget

  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle ($21.95,
  • Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Kampuku Beauty Bar ($11, Down To Earth, Pearl City)
  • Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection AgeDefy Rejuvenating Hydration Hair Masque ($3.99 x 2, Longs Drugs)
  • Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Bronze 02 ($36, Nordstrom, Honolulu)
  • Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse ($54, Sephora, Honolulu)
  • L’Oreal Preference in Iced Gold ($9.99, Walmart)
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution ($85, Nordstrom, Honolulu)
  • Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil ($45, Sephora, Aiea)
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads ($10, Sephora, Aiea)
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Amethyst ($24, Nordstrom, Honolulu)
  • Maybelline Color Whisper Lip Color in Some Like it Taupe ($7.49, Longs Drugs, Hawaii)
  • Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Liquid Metal Eyeliner Trio in Nude Eyes (SALE: $9, Longs Drugs, Hawaii)
  • Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Bold Gold and Metal – Inked in Pink (SALE: $5.25 each, Longs Drugs, Hawaii)
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circles Concealer in Medium (SALE: $7.50, Longs Drugs, Hawaii)
  • Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer (SALE: $4.46, Longs Drugs, Hawaii)
  • L’Oreal Ever Sleek Precious Oil Treatment (SALE: $3.42, Longs Drugs, Hawaii).


Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion ($75) – I really like Algenist as a whole and there’s nothing particularly wrong with this product – it just never gets used. The Lifting and Firming Cream would be my go-to from Algenist (I used an entire jar, which is rare).

Dr. Jart+ Smart Gel BB ($36) – This BB cream has a unique jelly texture that feels cool on the skin. However, its difficult to blend (even over moisturized skin) and didn’t do much for improving the look of my skin.

SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion ($75) – I had high expectations from this line since the Treatment Essence is an excellent product. However, like most of the SK-II line, its very pricey. This Mask-In Lotion didn’t hydrate like I hoped and made my skin a little itchy.

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