Affordable Skincare

When is the last time you got on Instagram and there wasn’t a celeb launching their own skincare or makeup brand? Probably sometime in 2018 to be honest.

Skincare only seems to be a more and more complex game with new products daily. For someone who has pretty bad skin, its overwhelming to say the least.  However, if there is anything that I have learned from years of acne, most of these brands are overpriced and full of ingredients that really don’t do anything.

For the most part, you can use a basic set of affordable products that contain most of the same base ingredients and get better results.

My Recent Skincare

Recently, with all the stress of work (Hello working for a bank right now!) my skin has been extra terrible. I am getting acne in places that I never used to, and the healing for my scarring is slowing to a halt.

At first, I had been trying to take extra good care of my skin and I was trying new moisturizers and masks but no luck. So I went back to basics. Back to products that I know work and letting my skin adjust to the new balance on its own.

Makeup Remover

I still have to go to the office for work and right now I am also working weekends so I pretty much wear makeup everyday. So I take off my makeup as soon as I get home. About 6 months ago I bought a pack of like 10 washcloths that are just for taking my makeup off. I use one of these and I use the Garnier Micellar Water with Rose Water. This is so gentle and Micellar water is amazing because it removes so much makeup without being oily at all.

I highly suggest Micellar water to remove makeup, it is so lightweight and super gentle on skin. I used to use coconut oil but I found that it just left my pores super clogged. At about $9 a bottle this is a super reasonable price for it.

Face Wash

Is there anyone out there that doesn’t have strong opinions about the face wash they use? Probably not, especially because I am one of those people. Right now I literally have 2 bottles of the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser because I was afraid of not being able to get another one. That is how much I LOVE this stuff. At $18 a bottle, it seems pricey but I believe in this stuff so much I would be willing to pay twice that for how well it works. So really I am glad it is only as much as it is.


Toner is something I feel like I go back and forth with in my skincare routine. Right now, as its warming up my skin will have more oil produced so I want to make sure to use toner to really get it all out of my pores.

Right now I use the Pixi Glow Tonic. Before I talk about how much I love this product, I do want to say that I know it is pricey for how much you get so don’t worry I have another option coming up.

I feel like this product plays a key part in helping my scarring clear up. I notice a difference when I don’t use it. It has a great smell and there is a reason Pixi sells this stuff in bigger bottles, people need more!

However, if you are not into the 18$ price point I would also suggest a plain witch hazel toner. I use the Humphreys Witch Hazel which you can get at Walmart for only $10. Equally as effective as the Glow Tonic but a lot more wallet friendly.


This is one piece of the skincare puzzel I have to be EXTRA careful with. I have found that serums are the way to go with this for me. Anything creamy is just not what my skin likes. I have been using the Pearlessance Vitamin C serum for a while and I just barely ran out. It really just makes my skin feel so good without the added oils of something that is more cream based.


Maska can really make or break a skincare routine. Right now the only maks I use are from The Ordinary. If you have ever been on Tic Tok you have seen people using the AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution. It is a red mask that comes in a similar bottle to a serum. I have been using this for a few weeks and it is amazing. It seriously helps with acne and overall skin texture. And its only $7, which is incredible.

The other mask I use from them is the Salicylic Acid 2% mask. It also really helps to clear my pores and reduce the amount of acne I have. This one is only $12 and i absolutely love it. The whole brand is really reasonably priced and I really want to try more from them.


These are the only products I am putting on my skin right now. With my work schedule and our entire lives being turned upside down, why add worse skin to my list of things to worry about? Keeping it simple and clean is really my goal right now.


Let me know how your skincare routine has changed since social distancing and what your affordable skincare staples are right now.


XOXO Kate.

Why I Choose Ulta

I feel like Ulta vs. Sephora is a long had debate but I am here to throw my opinion in the ring as well. Ulta is better than Sephora.

I wrote a post like this a while ago and you can read it here. I am a much bigger fan of Ulta than Sephora and I really always have been. In college, I worked in a mall so I spent a good amount of time in Sephora before and after shifts. However, I would find myself driving across the street to Ulta to get things I needed more and more often.

I feel like there are probably a lot of people saying negative things about Sephora right now and I don’t feel like I really need to add my two cents to that.

However, I feel like I can’t say enough good things about Ulta.

Product Selection

I am always really impressed with the selection not only of makeup that Ulta has but also body care, hair care, and nail products. For every type of product they carry such a wide range of price ranges as well.

I fell like I can get the full beauty experience at Ulta and it is an easy place to feel like I can go run and pick something up.


With both Ulta and Sephora you can find people who have had bad experiences with their associates. Personally, I have never had a bad experience with an Ulta associate. I could write lots of stories about Sephora associates but in the light of sharing positivity I want to share a great experience I had with an Ulta associate.

My Experience

Last January I had returned from Hawaii and I was about to start a new job at a bank. However, with it being January the foundation I had before the trip didn’t match me anymore. So, I went to Ulta and told the associate I needed a new foundation. I explained my skin concerns and the kind of coverage I was looking for as well as price point.

She had me sit  and she came back with a few options in several different price ranges. She used her little scanner to get a few different shades to match my undertones and applied them to my cheek and neck. My face was a little red in some spots  from a sunburn and she just told me no worries and we could work with that. After she narrowed it down to a couple colors she took me over by the window to see if I liked the way it looked in the sun. Then she took me away from the window to see if it looked good in artificial lighting. When we decided on one she grabbed me samples of the other colors so I could try them at home if this one didn’t work

I was literally so happy with how she helped me and I left a glowing review for her with her manager and on Google.

Price Range

I have mentioned this a couple times but I feel like it needs its own section. Ulta carries things from so many different price ranges. If I walk in looking for a particular kind of product, I can find one that matches my budget.

For example, as a blonde I have to use purple shampoo. I can go into Ulta and find things from about $10 per bottle all the way up to $30-$40. I can find something for almost any skin concern. And I can find it in a wide range of prices.

Rewards Program/ Point System

I know that a true mark of being a makeup lover is having VIB status at Sephora. However, I have saved so much more using Ultas reward system. At Ulta you can earn more points per money spent and they are also easier to use. I feel like almost every time I go in I have points I can use.


I feel like overall Ulta gives you the full beauty experience. The associates are always well trained, in my opinion. They have so many different kinds of products and at lots of price ranges. For lack of a better term, its a one stop shop for beauty.


Let me know if you guys have a preference between Ulta and Sephora and what your experience with associates has been!