A Beginner’s Guide to Frugal Beauty

Disclaimer: I am not a make up person. Never have been, and if I can be honest with you, the mere thought of learning a new technique stresses me out. Now that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the art of applying make up (cause let’s be honest what some girls can do is ART), I’ve just accepted that it is not high on my priority list. As I listen to beauty bloggers and skin care connoisseurs talk about their passion and show their nicely organized spread of products.. this simple gal sits back in awe thinking, “Wow. They are dedicated to their craft. Good for them.”

Now here I am today, a mom of two growing girls, and coming to the realization that they are showing signs of not following my  beauty routine footsteps. My oldest is at the cusp of her teenage years, has a style that Pinterest boards would envy, and if the way she holds a paint brush is any indication of her future make up skills.. Daddy better hold on tight to his wallet. So in the same way I would approach anything else my child was interested in that I lacked knowledge of, I’m going to have to learn. I mean.. I didn’t just  become a Pokemon/Fortnite pro overnight, or wake up one day with the ability to tell you about slow rising squishies.. I put in the work!




I think my “opposition” to beauty products stem from the following..

  • Price: Duh, I’m a frugal person and I would hate to spend a lot of money on something that isn’t for me. So I love the bloggers who share products that I can easily find at my local stores, because if I end up not liking it you bet I’m returning it.
  • Lack of Knowledge: The terminology intimidates me! I honestly don’t know the difference between a concealer, foundation, and powder. I get that they all go on my face and they come in different forms, but what do they actually DO?
  • Trust: Yes, I have trust issues. I don’t trust that the products will work, that I actually need them, or that the consultants at the make up stores have my best interest at heart. So then when you tell me my skin tone changes and I need MORE stuff for various times of the year? Heck no. Bye.

What’s a girl to do with all that baggage? Some would just give up and stay stuck in theirScreen Shot 2019-04-08 at 10.35.44 AM ways, and as happy as I would have been to choose that route, I went the other way and found a frugal, knowledgeable, trusted friend to help me. Sarah Chang is a licensed Esthetician and creator of So This Is Love Studios. Located in Sacramento, CA Sarah shares all things self/skin/hair care and make up on her growing Instagram page. I’ve always enjoyed her step by step tutorials via IG stories; the simple explanations, the humor, and busy Mom on the go hacks. Sarah was kind enough to put together her Top 5 Beauty products, for skin care AND make up, for this lost mom. Not only are they affordable, but they can be found at retailers nationwide, and online as well for most items.



Skin Care

To My Daughters: This is where you start. While most people would begin with make up, I want you to take care of your skin first. Remember.. no one paints over a dirty canvas. Make up is great, but a fresh face will never go out of style!

The Basics

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 11.22.45 AM
Products Can Be Found At (1) Trader Joe’s (2) Target & Target.com (3) Walmart & Walmart.com
  • Cleanser – remove make up, dirt, and oil to unclog pores and prevent acne
  • Exfoliator – remove the top layer of dead skin cells and refresh your appearance
  • Toner – shrinks your pores and acts as a barrier to oil throughout the day
  • Moisturizer – hydrates your skin and prevents irritations and redness
  • Sunscreen – prevents premature wrinkles and dark spots

What I learned..

  • Don’t like a product? Return it! Yes, even if you have already opened and tried it.
  • Who would have thought that Trader Joe’s carried so many great skin care products at an affordable price? I usually just grab my cheap flowers, a two buck Chuck, and I’m out the door!
  • To save at Target stack their regular gift card sales with cartwheel discounts, manufacturer coupons, and Ibotta rebate offers.
  • Sarah’s recommendations are for the average skin type (a combination of dry and oily). For sensitive or acneic skin, consult a professional before usage.

Make Up

To My Daughters: Two things I want you to remember before starting your make up routine is that 1) less is more and 2) there’s a time and place for everything. Make up is fun and is meant to highlight what is ALREADY BEAUTIFUL.. but if I see you with a full face at the grocery store I’m going to wipe it off with a lick of my finger.

*There are a ton of products out there, and everyone’s daily routine is different. What I have found to never fail me, especially in a rush, has been face, brows, and lashes*

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 1.45.33 PMThe Basics

  • Foundation – your base that creates an even, uniform color
  • Concealer – complements your foundation by adding extra coverage to problem areas (not entire regions) like pimples or dark spots
  • Powder – the finishing touch to your face coverage that reduces shine and control oily patches
  • Brows – no explanation needed? just remember they are sisters, not twins
  • Lashes – Mascara or falsies, an emphasis on your eyes never hurts

What I learned..

  • There is a reason people use brushes, but a sponge works great for beginners and is always better than applying make up with your finger! Truthfully, I used the finger application non-method most of my life and did not understand it was the reason my make up did not last all day
  • Brows are a never-ending struggle. Not only do trends keep changing, but so do the products that are offered.
  • Mixing shades is definitely a necessity, don’t settle for the color that is available, make your own!



All I ever needed.. or wanted.. to know about beauty routines! Simplifying skin care and beauty to five steps seems manageable and a good starting point for my daughters. I know there is a lot more to consider (skin types, product ingredients, and any allergies), but it will be an ongoing learning experience for them. Special thanks to Sarah for her time and patience with answering all of my elementary questions! If you’d like to learn more make sure you follow her on Instagram!