I’m Back!

HELLO~!!! I can’t believe it has been almost a year since my last post.  There were many changes and happenings during the last year in my personal life.  I just kind of forgot about my blog going through my life basically, but I’ve been really missing it recently.  I felt really badly about abandoning my blog for so long and couldn’t face any of you that are still checking my blog out.  But not getting over this feeling, which is mostly guilt, will definitely end my blog.  So I’m going try to come back to it.  It’ll take some time to get the swing of things and re-connecting with old blog friends as well as making new ones.

Let me give you a brief recap of what happened in my life the past year.

First one that is big enough to be mentioned here is a real biggie.  My hubby got laid off last summer.   I knew in my head that this could happen to anyone including us, but it seemed so unreal when it first happened.  My hubby’s company was a small company and after losing a contract, they couldn’t afford to keep him.  But by grace of God and my hubby being diligent, he found a new job in a month.  Praise the Lord~!!  He’s still with the “new” company and this really hit me in the head about getting the emergency fund ready.    With my tiny salary, little bit of unemployment, only paying the minimum on all our debt, and a little emergency fund, we could’ve lasted 2 months without my hubby working.  But if my hubby didn’t find a new job that quickly, I don’t know how we would’ve survived.  Our emergency is still small, but I am building it faster than my original plan.

Second one is the fact that my hubby finally finished his MBA program.  Whoo whoo~ I was and am still so proud of my hubby having a demanding full time job and putting so much of himself in his studies as well for 2 ½ years.  He didn’t just want to pass, but he wanted to really learn everything he could and get great grades.  And he did.  A cherry on top is the fact that we ended up with around $16k left in his MBA loan.  We tried to save and pay as we went and that really helped a lot.

Third one is that fact that my uncle in Houston passed away out of the blue.  Remember a couple of years ago I mentioned about my cousin’s wedding in Houston?  It’s his dad who passed.  My brother and I went there to support our family there.  It was surreal seeing him lay there.  He was a very healthy and strong person.  I really thought he would outlive us all.  I am glad I got to go there to say goodbye to him and be there for my aunt and other relatives.

Fourth one is the fact that my mom was hospitalized again a little over a week ago.  She is extremely weak and getting more confused.  My brother and I have been alternating days to spend the night at her house.  She doesn’t express her pain or show her suffering, but I can tell she’s having a hard time, because she’s so physically weak.  Please keep her in your prayer.

Finally, that last one I wanted to keep you guys updated is that my car has been paid off and my student loan has less than $4k left.  Since my hubby graduated from his MBA program, we have been less careful with money.  We’ve been eating out more and shopping more.  But I still think we’re making good enough progress.  We can do better and we will, but I want him to enjoy his free time a little longer.

So there you have it.  I hope I didn’t depress you guys with a couple of sad news, but don’t worry.  We’re doing well and I am thankful.

How have you all been?  What’s the one thing you would tell me from last year?

Almost Had to Use Our Emergency Fund II

We had another scare with an emergency last week. My hubby went to pick up food at a restaurant and when he came out with food in his hands, he couldn’t open the driver’s side door to his car. He had to go through the passenger side to open since it opened from inside thankfully. He tried to figure it out on his own when he got home, but it looked like the problem wasn’t as simple as we hoped it would be.

My hubby called the mechanic that was referred to us by my co-worker and dropped the car off. Good thing my hubby did some research beforehand, because this guy tried to jack up the price of the part that was needed. My hubby even found out exactly which dealership had the part and how many they had on their hands with the exact price. The mechanic low balled the labor charge to make us think he’s giving us a deal, but tried to charge us crazy amount for the part. But we didn’t get fooled and we ended up paying a fair price for it I think. We were worried about what kind of sloppy job this guy would do on the car, but the car seems ok. One thing for sure is that we will never go back to that guy again.

Since this happened out of the blue, we had to have the money right away. I was thinking we might have to use the emergency fund, but we didn’t. We were under budget for couple of weeks and I was waiting for another week to transfer the left over money to our savings account, but that ended up covering for this unexpected car door repair. This is why it’s important to have an emergency fund and staying under budget. As much as I would hate to dip into our emergency fund, if need be, it’s there to be spent. Even better that that is when you are under budget enough to just absorb this cost without touching the emergency fund. Sweet~!!

Do you know any good, honest, and reliable mechanic in Northern Virginia area? Did you have to dip into your emergency fund lately?

Long Overdue Update

Happy Friday everyone! Boy am I glad that it’s Friday today. I didn’t have a difficult week or anything, but I think this warmer weather is making me itch to go out or drink margarita or something. Which is why I’m going to a happy hour with my hubby today. He needs to relax a little too. It can’t all be work and school.

Like I mentioned last time, we paid my hubby’s Summer tuition with cash and we have one more semester to go after that. The end is near and both my hubby and I can’t wait to go on a vacation afterwards. We haven’t had a vacation in 2 years!!! I’m giving him the first choice to pick a destination, but if he doesn’t let me know by end of May, I’m going to select it. We need to put money aside and plan it ahead of time. I’m leaning toward Las Vegas since they have package deals and my hubby has never been there. There are many different things that you can do without moving around too much either. But we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be sure to let you know once it’s decided. I know some of you might think that we should wait on taking a long vacation, but aside from anything else, we really need a vacation. Both my hubby and I need to get away and have fun. This is needed for our sanity and health in my opinion.

Another good financial news is that my Salliemae student loan is finally below $10k mark. Yay~!!! I’m so excited to see the needles moving. I’m hoping I can pay mine off by end of next year. Our priority now is my hubby’s MBA loans since they’re bigger and the interest rate is ridiculous. I’ve been working on my new debt payoff goals and plans for the next few years. Of course things could change for the better or worse, but as of my current projection, we should be debt free by end of 2017. But that could also change depending on whether we decide to save up for a house before we’re debt free. We won’t really talk about that until next year anyway.

Where are you guys planning to go for a vacation this year? I’d love to hear where you guys are going and the budget amount, so I can imagine it and help me wait until next year.

New Position and Tax Refund

Hi friends~ If there are any left since I haven’t been blogging at all for a few weeks now. This procrastination started with updating my resume and applying for a new position in a new team within the same company. I got the job after the interview and I’m in the new team training right now. I was putting my blog off for a few days initially, but the few days turned out to be few weeks.

I’m really excited about my new position and although I really like my old boss, I just needed a new challenge. It’s funny how I started hanging out with my old boss outside of work right when the transition started. That does tie into my financial life since I started to go out more than before. I’ve been bad the last few weeks with spending. I’ve ordered bunch of stuff from Sephora and Ulta. I’ve gone out to a few happy hour gatherings and eating out with my hubby on the weekend. I’m trying to close the gap by purchasing a cheaper phone to replace my old Iphone before it gives me the red screen of death. I initially was going to spend $350 on a Note 3, but I think I’m going to get S5 and spend $200 instead. That $150 can close the gap of my overspending that I did during the time I stayed away from this blog.

One good news is that we can pay for my hubby’s Summer tuition with cash. Woop woop~ Unlike last year when we paid a couple of grand for taxes, we are getting back couple of grand as tax refund this year. So that will all go toward his Summer tuition and we already have around $6,000 saved for upcoming tuition. $2000 + $6000 = $8000. We’re a little short for now, but we can definitely save another $1,000 in a month or so to have enough to pay for all 3 Summer sessions. Yay~ I’m so relieved and excited about that. We do have to borrow more for his final term in the Fall, but we will continue to save to decrease the amount we’ll have to borrow.

Our total debt amount is still overwhelming, but the fact that we were able to pay some semester tuitions with cash and keep the MBA loan to minimum is making me extremely proud. Although I’m using the term “minimum” very loosely since 5 figure loan amount is not a small change. Next month, my undergraduate loan will be below $10,000.00 and my car will be paid off in October. These little milestones are really important to me since they make me believe that my goal of being debt free will be achieved some day and they make me feel good about myself. They seem like baby steps, but compare to where we were last year, I feel like we passed the baby stage and we’re in a toddler stage. Maybe next year, we’ll be entering a pre-teen stage.

I hope everyone is doing well with their debt payment and staying under budget. Any exciting news you want to share with us?

Mini Vacation

My hubby and I took a trip to Atlantic City this weekend.  Actually we left on Sunday and came back on Monday.  I was browsing through Groupon a couple of months ago because that’s just what I do to waste time.  I found a  deal for the newest hotel in AC called Revel.  So I called my hubby and found a date he didn’t have class, which was this one specific weekend and booked it.  It was going to be a short trip to begin with, but with so many snow days here in our area, my hubby’s school schedule changed and he had to go to school that night for the final presentation.  So the trip got cut shorter.  We had to leave right after lunch on Monday and on the way down when we were in Maryland, we started hitting traffic.  We weren’t sure if he was going to make it on time, so we quickly found the nearest metro station and he hopped off to get to his school in DC and I drove home by myself.  What a crazy day that was since I had to pick him back up at the metro station later that night.

Anyway~ enough with the non-sense.  Let me recap this very very very short trip spending.  The Groupon amount was  $108.05 for the one night hotel stay.  The toll fee was around $35.00 back and forth and the gas total was $48.00.  I filled up my gas the night before we left and when we got back, the empty gas sign came on.  The food total came out to be $140.00 with 2 lunches, one light dinner, 1 snack, and 2 cups of coffee.  We both were very tired starting out this trip and we really didn’t have time to recover from hangover if we decided to drink.  So we didn’t have a single drop of alcohol while we were there.  We spent $140.00 on gambling.  We played $20.00 on penny slots that lasted us several hours.  Hubby spent $40.00 on black jack and I spent $80.00 on roulette and we didn’t win anything.  But then again, we weren’t expecting to win.  We were just expecting to delay losing the whole thing, so we could spend more time actually playing something.  We’re not big gamblers and with our budget right now, we weren’t going to spend much money.  We just wanted to get away even for a short period of time and do something different.

Our original budget for this trip was $450.00.  But the grand total for this mini vacation was $471.05.  I think it’s a little more than I would’ve liked to spend on a such a short trip even if we were right on the budget.  There are a few things that I would do differently to save more money if we do this again next time.

– Get a cheaper hotel and take a cab to a nicer casino to play.
– Bring another couple and split the toll fee and the gas money.
– Bring some snacks and alcohol to consume at the hotel room instead of ordering in or going out to a bar.

We took a short trip to AC couple of years ago and I didn’t really think the trip was expensive back then, firstly because we didn’t have a budget at that time.  Secondly, we won some money which lowered the total amount we ended up spending.  This shows you how much you don’t know your own spending habit without a budget and how a budget plays a big role on your perception of what is too much and what isn’t.  Hindsight, I would’ve saved this money and added more to take a better trip, but what’s done is done.  Now I know how wasteful Groupon can be not only with time, but with making you buy without much thought into it.  At least we saved this money before going up there, so no debt was added.  And we didn’t sacrifice other debt payments to save this money, so that’s good.  Live and learn is what I’m saying about this trip.

Did you go anywhere recently?  Did you go over your budget on that trip?  Do you regret going on that trip?  

February Spending

Since I’m late at posting my updates or recaps and now that it’s mid-March, it must mean it’s time for February recap.  As I predicted, the numbers for February look much tamer than January.  I mean I shouldn’t even be comparing February numbers to January since January was a crazy spending month.  Aside from being more conscious about our spending, February was a short month and we had a few snowstorms which forced us to stay home.  This gave us less chance to go out and buy useless crap while cooking at home.  We ended up binge watching so much stuff on Netflix and TV in general that we didn’t even think about ordering stuff online.  So to the actual recap…

Eat out total                       $162.26/Budget $200                      PASS
Gas total                              $173.27/Budget $300                      PASS
Grocery total                     $314.50/Budget $400                      PASS
Misc/shopping total        $234.31/Budget $200                      FAIL

We passed all except the misc/shopping category.  But I’m not going to consider this a fail since the overall actual total amount is under the overall total budget amount.  Sadly, I know we already went over in the same failed category in March buying some skincare products.  Plus my brother’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and that’s another unusually large expense.  Although his birthday present was already budgeted separately so that will not be counted against our monthly budget.  I’m pretty happy with February result and we’ll see how March total will end up looking soon.  I really should get better at recapping things on time.  I apologize if anybody’s annoyed by my laziness~^^

How are you doing with your spending so far in 2014?  If you went over, what specific item or categroy made you go over?

My Real Wedding Budget Part 2

We had another snow storm early this week.  What a way to start March.  I always knew the weather can change its mind quickly, which is why I don’t trust the weather forecast that much.  But the one day I wanted the forecast to be wrong, it was right on the money.  It was supposed to rain all day on my wedding day and indeed it rained all day.  The day before and the day after had perfectly gorgeous Spring weather.  I know I need to get over that instead of keep coming back to it since it’s been almost 3 years.  Anyway~ this is the second part of my wedding expenses post.  There are so many little categories that I had to lump some of them together to not make the list super long.  As usual, let’s jump right into it.

13. Bridesmaid dresses $156.97 –  I went online for months to search for bridesmaid dresses that looked cute and were reasonably priced.  This was perfect.  It’s deep purple knee length dress with one asymmetrical shoulder strap.  It has draping layers on the bust part of it.  It’s not a dressy fancy outfit.  It’s perfect for my laid back lunch wedding.  I bought 3 to give to each of my bridesmaid.

14. My dress, hair, makeup, tuxedos $2,060.00 –  This price included rental for 1 ceremony dress and 1 reception dress along with a veil and accessories.  It also included hair and make up for myself, 3 bridesmaids, 2 moms, and a test makeup.  Also included are 4 tuxedos for my hubby and the 3 groomsmen.

15. Misc decorations and stationaries $443.03 –  This included stamps, birdcage veil, hair fascinator, thank you cards, pens, program papers, aisle runners, and etc. I didn’t get to use the birdcage veil though.  I’m thinking of coloring the veil and wearing it to somebody else’s wedding or something.

16. Studio photo shoot in Korea $2,100.00 –  This included 3 dresses, hair, make up, hubby’s 2 tuxedos, and the photo shoot session with an album.  I loved everything about it.  The quality was top notch and everyone treated me like a princess.  I want to experience it again.  I felt so beautiful~

17. Honeymoon $4,500.00 –  I’m not going to include all the costs to Korea.  I’m only including the cost to Thailand from Korea.  The actual honeymoon was in Thailand and Korea trip included the family visits and studio photo shoot.  Even if I wanted to include all the money we spent in Korea, I wouldn’t be able to do it since I didn’t keep track of it.  The $4,500.00 included the round trip flight from Korea to Thailand Phuket with all the food, excursions, sightseeing, and accommodations.  The resort we stayed for couple of nights called Trisara was the most luxurious and gorgeous private pool villa I’ve ever been in.  It was truly once in a life time experience.

18. Round trip flight to and from Korea $2,790.00 – Although I said I’m not going to include costs in Korea, I needed to get to Korea to get my studio pictures done and the price to Thailand would have been way more if we were to get there from the US.  So I thought the flight cost to Korea fit in this wedding expenses total.

19. Wedding night hotel $292.31 – We booked a suite at a hotel for the wedding night.  We had a post reception gathering with just our close friends here.  The price was really great for the square footage and the set up.  It had a bedroom with an attached bathroom and a whole separate living and dining area with a sink and a refrigerator.  Another bathroom next to the living area so the people didn’t have to go into the bedroom at all.  This is the same suite we got for my bridal shower.  They don’t even offer this suite anymore when we checked recently.  After people left, my new hubby and I got to spend the first night together there.

20. Dinner for wedding party $365.78 – My hubby and I took our bridal party, day of coordinator, ushers, and emcee out for dinner.  We took them out separately before the wedding to thank them for helping out at the wedding, but some people couldn’t make it.

21. Gifts for bridal and groomsmen party $351.35 – We got great deals for all the gifts.  I’ve been searching for gifts online for months and collected what I wanted and put them in separate Jcrew canvas bag for each girl.  I changed up some of the items to customize it for each girl’s taste.  I put stuff like L’occitane body scrub, Sephora nail polish, Swarovski earrings, and etc.   For groomsmen, they were all different gifts to fit their needs.  Since hubby bought them, I don’t exactly remember what they were.

22. Out of town guest bags $92.98 –  We only had a few out of town guests and I wanted to welcome them, so I bought little knick knacks and snacks to put them in a cute bag and gave them out on the rehearsal dinner night.  I bought goofy stuff like cartoon tees and socks from target, hand lotion from Bath and Body Works, and bottled water.

23. Mani and pedi with the Maiden of honor $140.00 – The day before the wedding, I met up with my maiden of honor to have lunch and get our nails done before we headed to the rehearsal.  It was a relaxing day after all the craziness of preparing for the wedding just to chat with my best friend one on one.  I really needed it.  It’s really important to have a good support system.  She was living in California at that time, so she didn’t get to be involved in the planning process of my wedding much.  It would’ve been so much easier and fun if she were here with me.  I was going to pay for her lunch, but she insisted on treating me.

24. Limousine $300.00 – I hired a limo to pick up mom in the morning to the hair and make-up place since I didn’t have time to pick her up.  My brother took her to the venue after she got her hair and make-up done.  Aside from practical reason I had the limo pick my mom up, I had another reason to schedule a limo to pick her up.  She never rode in a limo in her life and what other chances is she going to get other than her own daughter’s wedding?  After that, the limo took the groom, bridesmaids and me to the ceremony venue.  I didn’t extend the limo service to take us back after the reception since it’s not really necessary especially for the price it was going to increase.

25. Tips and gifts for wedding helpers $650.89 – This included tips for vendors and gift cards for everyone that helped out at our wedding.  I got Nordstrom gift cards for regular helpers and got VISA gifts cards for the day of coordinator and the emcee.

26. Post reception party food, drink, and supplies $556.38 – We had about 15 people gather at the hotel suite we booked.  We catered Korean food to pick on, bought liquors from ABC, and all other supplies from the dollar store.  We brought left over flowers from the reception to the hotel to decorate a little.

27. Family thank you gift $600.00 – We didn’t have enough money in our budget to buy new suits for my brother and my brother in law.  So we decided to give $150.00 each to them and also to my mom and my mother in law.  I know it’s not much, but they understood and they made wise choices with the money to come up with nice wedding outfits.

28. Misc $400 – There were small expenses that I didn’t keep track or couldn’t categorize it elsewhere.

Part I total was $12,822.08 and Part II total is $15,799.69The grand total for my 100 people wedding is $28,621.77.  I’m aware that my engagement ring and our wedding bands are not included here.  But I decided not to include that here.  Keep in mind that I’m in Northern Virginia area and it’s quite pricy here.

How does your wedding cost compare to mine?  I hope this is helpful to people who are planning their wedding.

January Numbers

It’s been a lazy and hazy past 7 days.  It started with a huge snow storm in the middle of last week, which caused me to stay home Thursday and Friday.  My car was completely plowed in even though my hubby tried to clean it on Thursday, I still couldn’t get it out on Friday with more snow the night before and plow trucks basically trapping my car with snow.  Those 2 days were spent absolutely uselessly.  I didn’t blog, I didn’t read, I didn’t clean, and I didn’t even sleep.  I watched TV and Netflix all day my back just stuck to my sofa.  I ended up with a backache by Sunday.  Then a new week started and there was much catching up to for work and the house, so I’m just getting to my posting today.

I was trying to compare my budget from 2012 and 2013 in this post and because I didn’t keep track of all my spending monthly, I had to average it, round it, and guess it to come up with some random numbers.  So for this year, I decided to post those same categories monthly to better keep track of my progress.  I know February’s almost over it is super late, but I do have a good excuse.  My bank merged with another bank, so the bank statement wasn’t available right away.

Let me say it up front before I reveal my numbers that January doesn’t look so good.  My hubby’s cousin visited in January and I posted here about what we spent, so that increased the numbers quite a bit.  We also purchased a casino night tickets for 2 for $176.24, which is this Saturday.  It’s hosted by my hubby’s school and bunch of his school buddies and their spouses are coming.  Hubby needed some fun to help him go through this tough year without a vacation.  We’re both really looking forward to it.  We also purchased a Groupon deal for $103.05.  It’s a one night hotel accommodation at Atlantic City.  It’ll be a very short trip, but we did this before and we had a great time.  This is coming up in March and I am trying to put aside a little money for toll fee, food, and gambling money (no more than $100).

So here are the numbers:

Eat out total                       $636.89/Budget $200                      FAIL
Gas total                              $215.91/Budget $300                      PASS
Grocery total                     $324.49/Budget $400                      PASS
Misc/shopping total       $673.50/Budget $200                      FAIL

These are way~~~ over what I wanted to spend each month.  We went over by $750.79 in total.  Since we haven’t had any guests and I don’t think we went out much in February, the numbers should look much better.

How is 2014 going for you so far in terms of new budget and new financial goal?

1 Year Blogoversary

I can’t believe it.  It’s been a year since I started my humble blog and it’s been one year since I decided to buckle down and tackle my debt and be an adult about my money.  There were times when I was discouraged due to the lack of commitment I had for my money plan and my blog.  There were times when I wanted to quit writing on my blog since I felt like no one was reading it and cared for it.  But there were also times I felt incredibly grateful for the few readers that encouraged me.  There were times when I felt accomplished and really satisfied looking at the numbers changing in my finances and just an overall change I see in my life.

Now that I’m looking back at the one year life of my blog, I’m glad I stuck to it.  This was my driving force in pushing through with my efforts to clean up my financial life and life in general to achieve that.  I met a few friends through this too.  I’m not sure if they think I’m their friend, but I don’t care.  I feel a sense of belonging.  Granted it’s a small circle, but size doesn’t really matter, right?

So I thought I’d mention top 3 of my most popular posts for those of you who missed them.  Other than the About and Debt Status pages, my most viewed post was Wedding Dress and Cake.  I’m one of those people who is automatically drawn to anything wedding related.  I guess there are others who are like me in that respect.  My fascination with weddings started when I was planning for my own, but it never died.  I still love looking at wedding blogs and reading about people’s wedding planning journey.  I actually want another wedding for myself, but with the same guy of course~^^

Number 2 on my list is How Much Do You Budget For Gifts?  People must have similar problem as me in trying to figure out what and how much to include in gift budget if at all.  I did get better since then, but certain things just come up without a warning and all you can do is to deal with it the best way you can by either saying no or be super frugal.

Number 3 on my list is Do You Have Misc. Category In Your Budget?  Budget category seems to the topic many people liked on my blog.  I think most of the commenters said they don’t have misc. budget.  I got better at anticipating expenses and staying under budget, so this sort of became a non-issue for me.

Well thanks for following me on my journey for the past year and if you’ve just found me, feel free to snoop into my past.  Please continue to follow me and encourage me while I’m trying to get rid of my nasty debt and let’s try to have some fun.  Yay~!!!

What was your favorite post on this blog?

MY Favorite Things – Drug Store Edition

We had another ice storm last night and when I walked out this morning, all the trees were coated in beautiful shiny ice making it look like crystal.  My car was also covered in snow, so I had to break into my car(?), I mean I had to break the ice to get into my car.  It wasn’t too bad though.  It melted quickly once I started the engine and broke easy.  Looking at those pretty ice made me think of glitters and glitters made me think of eye shadows and eye shadows made me think of make-up in general.  So I wanted to list my favorite things for this month concentrating on my make-up favorites.  Since I’m on a budget, I started using drug store brands.  Huh~ The horror!  I’m actually pleasantly surprised by some of the products and here are my surprise drug store finds.

1. Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer by Maybelline – As I complained many times before, I have acne and acne scars that make my face look dirty and spotty.  So I usually focus using concealer for those acne marks to cover them up.  But I realized that my dark under eye circle was contributing quite a lot to my overall uneven tone.  So after reading some reviews online, I headed to buy this at a drugstore.   I’ve used drugstore make-up before, but not anything that’s for the face.  For some reason, I feel like it’s going to damage my skin and make me look cheap or something.  However, I’m glad I got this.  It really brightens my under eyes and that itself brightens my whole face.  You have to turn the tube to get the concealer come out of the spongy part, but the first time you use it you have to turn it many times.  I thought I bought a damaged one, but it eventually oozed out.  It’s easy to use and it doesn’t leave streak marks either.  It feels very smooth and you don’t really need much of it.  I also put a little on top of my nose and the center of my forehead to brighten it up and put a highlighter on top to add some shine.

2. Volume Express The Falsies Washable Mascara by Maybelline – I love mascara.  I think I love it more than black eye liner.  I think you can wear mascara without the eye liner, but I don’t think you can wear eye liner without the mascara.  Maybe it’s just my eyes that make it weird, but that’s just my make-up philosophy.  This particular mascara really gives volume and mass to your lashes and even though the brush is big, it’s still easy to apply.  It didn’t clunk up my lashes surprisingly.  I have oily skin and even oilier eyes, so it did smudge a little, but when I used a make-up setting spray right after I was done putting the make-up, that problem went away.

3. Rapid Clear Oil-Control Foaming Cleanser by Neutrogena – I know this is a cleanser, but cleansing is an important part of make-up routine.  I especially like this one, because it leaves me feeling like all the oil on my face has been sucked out.  It lathers pretty well and it does quite a job of removing make-up.  Though I find that you have to use eye make-up remover for mascara and black eye liner to be completely gone.

4. Daily Facial Cleanser by Cetaphil – I use the oil control foaming cleanser at night to lather it up to remove my make-up, but I use this one in the morning.  It’s gentle and doesn’t break me out.  Good cleanser to wake up a sensitive and very acne prone skin.

5. Super Lustrous Lipstick in Wild Orchid by Revlon – I’m not usually a lipstick wearer.  I feel like I’m channeling a clown when I’m wearing it.  I was always envious of people who can rock a red or hot pink lipstick.  They look so stylish and bold.  So I finally decided to try wearing lipstick in bold color.  But I didn’t want to spend $30.00 on something that I might not like.  So I went to a drug store and picked out a color from the cheapest lipstick brand.  On that day, this brand was on sale, so I picked it up.  I’m satisfied with my choice, because the color’s not too deep and it’s enough to bring nice color without overpowering everything else on my face.  It glides on smoothly and it doesn’t dry my lips out either.  I usually put a light color lip gloss on my lips and put this lipstick mostly toward the inside edge and blend the outside to have a gradual fading effect toward the lip lines, if that makes any sense.

6. Dream Bouncy Blush in Pink Frosting by Maybelline – Hmm.  This is my 3rd Maybelline product on this list.  I guess the price point was good for me to try it and I ended up liking it.  I like the color, which is bright and pops without being too much.  It has a gel/balm texture and I didn’t like it in the beginning, because the top would be pushed out of the container, but once you get passed that point no hassle there.  I like pink tone for my blush, but I think I’m going to try a peach tone next time.

What are your favorite drug store make-up products?