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favorite budget-friendly beauty products

My idea of a perfect Saturday? Perusing the aisles of Rite-Aid, without the kids, finding a new favorite nail polish color. I’m boring, I know, but it’s the little things–a new lipstick, a new moisturizer–that keep me happy these days.

What I love about drug store beauty products is that you don’t have to break your bank to get a totally new look. It’s a tiny pick-me-up in your day that only costs $5. And if it’s the wrong color? Give it to a friend and try again. Here are my favorite recent finds, most of which you can find at a drug store near you.

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Maybelline Baby Lips is like your favorite chap stick, but with a hint of color. Stash one in your purse and you can forgo the lipstick altogether! $4

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Cover Girl is now making a fabulous knockoff of the famous Clinique Chubby Stick–for less than half the price. Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm comes in awesome shades and works just as well as the pricier version, but for $7.

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I just came across this J.R. Watkins Facial Cleanser this week, and already my skin is softer and smoother. Plus it smells great. $8.50

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This Sally Hansen eyelash curler works just as well as the $30 versions–but it’s only $6. Plus, it’s lasted twice as long as the bank-breaking version I bought on a whim last year.

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Ever get those tiny little bumps on the back of your arms? It’s keratin building up in your pores, and the alpha hydroxy acids in Amlactin lotion slough it all away. Summer-ready skin? Check. $16

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I’m loving the wintry shades of Revlon nail polish right now, especially Stormy (left) and Midnight Affair (right). $5

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A friend sent me this sample of 100% Pure coffee bean eye cream, and I don’t think I’ll ever use any other kind. It contains caffeine, so it instantly wakes up your eyes and de-puffs. Great for tired moms. $10

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Okay, okay. This Too Faced Lash Injection mascara runs at a pricey $21, but the tube lasts twice as long as the drugstore brands. Plus, it seriously looks like you’re wearing fake lashes. I don’t use any other kind.

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Another thing I don’t scrimp on? Foundation. Or, in this case, my daily go-to tinted moisturizer with SPF 20. Too Faced Beauty Balm leaves your skin soft and smooth, without looking shiny. It’s that dewey, fresh from the beach look. $32

What are your favorite beauty products of the moment?

Big News: ASYLUM, coming soon

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I have some exciting news! My debut novel, ASYLUM, is being released soon!

This book has been a long time coming, and I’m so thrilled that it will finally be available for purchase. ASYLUM is a young adult paranormal mystery–think Twilight meets Girl, Interrupted. Here’s the official blurb:

“After being found guilty of first-degree murder, sixteen-year-old June Foster is sentenced to life at Washington Pines Sanitarium.

June remains convinced that she was right to kill a man she knew was evil, but as time goes on in the asylum, she begins to question everything she knows. Or thought she knew.

As the events leading up to her incarceration are recounted, she begins to understand that the web she finds herself in is far bigger and stickier than she ever imagined. The warden of the facility, both violent and vindictive, is intent on making June’s life a living hell.

June’s previous boyfriend, beautiful turquoise-eyed Frank, is the only one she can trust. Or is he?

Caught in the middle of child experimentation with untested drugs, arson, and murders, June Foster is reduced to two options—accept the fact that she has gone crazy, or hatch an escape plan from the asylum to get her life back.

Set in America during the 1950s, Asylum is a book you will not be able to put down. The author pulls you along relentlessly in a page-turning thriller that leaves you wanting more with each sentence—to a mind-blowing and unexpected conclusion you will not believe.”

Excited? You can read the first chapter for free on my author website.

I’ll announce the release date in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!

xo

Jenny

11 minutes in the mind of Lucy

This is Lucy. She’s almost 4, precocious as hell, and talks non-stop. Like broken record non-stop.

Lulu

I’m an introvert. I need time and space to collect myself, but I have a yapping almost-4-year-old at my feet most of the time, chiming on about nonsense. So basically I haven’t collected myself in…almost 4 years.

I’ve tried to embrace it. I even tried to record it, but then I realized I’d have to sit and listen to the whole damn recording, which would be like having the almost-4-year-old yapping in my ear all over again. So then I tried to follow her around with the laptop, typing everything that she says. I got to 11 minutes before I gave up. I couldn’t write fast enough. But those 11 minutes were like gold, so here they are, for your reading pleasure.

Oh, and for reference, Char is her little sister.

Char

This girl.

Nudge is our dog.

Nudgles

This guy. Poor muffin.

11 minutes in the mind of Lucy Miller

7:20am

It’s part of a tampon.

Look, it’s a tampon sword.

A tampon sword is what I use. Yaaaaaaar!

Nudge, you say it like this: TAM-PON.

How does it feel like having tampons in your panties?

Nudge what are you up to little doggie? What are you up to Nudgles? I’m going to go see what that is.

Mom, can you find my Merida wig? Oh, there’s my tampon swordie. I get all this yucky stuff on the washcloth. Mom, look! It’s a washcloth! I have to go get Char.

7:27 am

Char, look! A tampon! Do you like it? I traded Char for the blue washcloth for the yellow washcloth. Bluuuuuuuuuuue! Yaaaaaaaah! She wants me. Nudge, I was sitting right there and you can’t stiff me!

Ruff ruff ruff ruff. Howwwwwww! Ow ow owwwww!

Oh yeah? Hey little dog.

Nudge growls.

Okay, just stay there a second Nudge.

Yelling from the other room, then quiet.

7:31am

Can you find the little curl that’s hanging in Merida’s eyes please? It’s ok. It has Velcro! See that little scratchy there? It means it has Velcro. You don’t have to worry Char. He wants his PJ’s on it’s cold!

Char cries, “No, no, don’t want Lulu!”

-end-

For the record: I blame her father.