Life Update: May 2017

By now my inbox is full of questions: “Where have you been?” “When are you going to post this month’s Book Clubbin’?” “Is this the end of Bankrupt Beauty?”

Okay, okay. I owe you all an explanation.

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The last few weeks have been incredibly exciting for me– I wrapped up my final exams, finished school, and am now only weeks away from cross the stage and finally becoming a certified University Graduate. It’s probably not surprising that I’ve been a little MIA.


BUT– I have some amazing news. This summer I’ve accepted a position maintaining camp facilities deep within the Kananaskis countryside. While this means a full summer of hiking, lounging on the beach, and partying…. This also means no internet or cell service.


Which means– you guessed it– a temporary break from Bankrupt Beauty.

This was a really hard decision to make, but I’ve decided that spending June through October completely unplugged is something that I need to do. Being a blogger and remaining constantly online is mentally and emotional exhausting, and even the few months I’ve been doing it have taken its toll. I’m really looking forward to engaging in the real world, making awesome connections with other people, and furthering my career somewhere outside of Edmonton.

On the odd chance I get an internet connection down there I’m going to try to keep you guys updated on my life– and whatever nutsy antics I get up to while maintaining camp styled beauty bargains up in the mountains.

So wish me luck, Broke Babes! And try not to miss me too much while I’m gone!


Pretty in Pink: 15 Pieces That Have Me Totally Blushing

If you’ve been past any boutique windows in the past few weeks, you’ll notice that spring has sprung– and with it, brought an onslaught of all things pink.

If you read my earlier post about my predictions for the biggest trends of 2017, you’ll know I was dead on with predicting the rise of blush; the pretty pink hue has been dubbed the color of the season. But it doesn’t stop there– already trend analysts are predicting pink’s staying power, starting with a soft blush and eventually bursting into a hot pink for the Summer and fading into a beautiful jewelled magenta come Autumn.

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I love to live in the now, so I figured I’d start what I’m calling the Period of Pink with my favorite blush picks of the season.

Women’s Leith Plisse Pleated Skirt


You all know me. I’m a sucker for a ballet-style tulle skirt. Pair this with a crop top and heels and you’re set.

Deux Lux Blossoms Pouch


This pouch is basically hand-held spring time.

Express Slim Fit Convertible Sleeve Portofino Shirt


“But Lisa,” you will sigh, pausing in your scrolling to roll your eyes. “It’s just a button down.”

Every button down is a just button down. This is adorable, leave me alone.

AE Bomber Jacket


Cute, comfortable, and practical. Who doesn’t love a bomber?

AE Button Front Maxi Skirt


Okay, okay, so the skirt isn’t technically blush. But this is a great way to incorporate the color into your wardrobe if you’re hesitant, or if you suspect head-to-toe pink isn’t your style.

Converse Women’s Chuck Taylor Dainty Casual Sneakers


Odds are you already own these in some form or another, but if you’ve yet to pick up a pair I highly recommend grabbing these in blush this season. They’re an awesome alternative to the white converse that’s been so trendy the last few summers.

Topshop Faux Leather Pencil Skirt


I’m obsessed with this piece. The pink makes it fun and girly, while the leather gives an undeniable edge of badassery.

Women’s Nordstrom Wildflower Spray Scarf


Another piece for the timid. This scarf is also awesome because it’s color combination can be worn from Spring into Autumn.

Lush Blouson Chiffon Skater Dress


I wish I could put emojis here because ~*heart eyes*~

Michael Antonio Jaxine Heel


50’s inspired footwear is very in, and you really can’t beat the subtle funk of the snakeskin pattern printed here.

Express High Waisted Tulle Midi Skirt


I can sense you judging me for including another tulle skirt on this list but I’m choosing to ignore it.

MANGO Flap Tote Bag


This blush is so subtle it’s almost a neutral, which is beautiful in its own right. Paired with the rose gold finishes, how can you not love it?

Bb Dakota Halden A-Line Dress


Although this dress may look a little tricky, the A-line silhouette is actually flattering on almost every body type. Plus, the off the shoulder look is perfect for anyone who possesses collar bones.

Wayf Sweet Symphony V-Neck Blouse


Cute, simple. Just trendy enough. Love it.

Topshop Killer Studded Chelsea Boot


These are just so extra, you can’t help but love them. Pair with ripped skinny jeans and you’re golden.

What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Digging the blush trend?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and hey– don’t forget to follow!

~Bankrupt Beauty

Book Clubbin’: Made by Hand

Alright Broke Babes, it’s time for another reading assignment…



Lena Corwin’s “Made by Hand”

I’m a big fan of DIY. If done correctly, I think you can save a ton of money and create something truly unique to you. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with Do It Yourself is that you are, unsurprisingly, doing it yourself– which means that unless you really know what you’re doing, you’re likely to blow a lot of cash on wasted or unused materials and end up with something you don’t really like.

And come on. This is Bankrupt Beauty. Blowing cash is never an option.

Which is why Corwin’s book is awesome– inspired by the DIY classes taught by herself and her close friends, “Made by Hand” can teach you how to dye, weave, crochet, sew, and craft pretty much anything you can think of, along with step-by-step instructions and helpful pictures that allow you to make what you want without reproducing a carbon copy of what’s in the book. I’m pretty much the least crafty person I know and I managed to turn a pile of yarn into a beautiful (if somewhat knobby) crochet blanket, so if that’s not proof that Corwin knows what she’s talking about, I don’t know what is.


Between baby showers, garden parties, and anything else that gets me out of winter’s hibernation, I find that spring always gets me itching to try new things. And if you’re anxious for a fresh start (or even just jittery for a new hobby or obsession) “Made by Hand” makes for excellent Sunday morning reading– even if you never end up making any of the projects, Corwin’s writing is easy to read and offers plenty of inspiration for your home and wardrobe.

What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? New to the DIY game?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and hey– don’t forget to follow!

~Bankrupt Beauty

International Women’s Day: 5 Simple Pleasures of Identifying as a Woman

It’s 2017. International Women’s Day is more than just a day to celebrate conventional femininity.

Now more than ever is the time to celebrate womanhood in all its forms and to look at feminism beyond its classic cookie-cutter white washed portrayal– it’s time to look at and appreciate all women, regardless of race, religion, able-bodiedness, weight, sexuality, and whatever other dividers the world tries to put between us.

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If you identify as a woman, then I invite you to celebrate with me today. In the face of those who would want to separate us it’s important to gather strength and build each other up. Rather than look at our differences, I want to spend this International Women’s Day celebrating 5 Simple Pleasures of Identifying as a Woman.

     1. Beyoncé’s “Who Run the World (Girls)”

One thing we can all agree on is that this song is amazing.

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There is no better feeling than seeing a relatively empty dance floor become immediately crowded the second this song comes on, suddenly filled a hoard of diverse and universally pumped women shaking it as hard as they can in some sort of ritual to honor Queen Bey. I swear half the plot of Mean Girls could have been resolved in a second if Beyoncé had just released this song a few years earlier.

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No matter what kind of feminism or womanhood you prescribe to, we can all agree that women run the world. No matter your privilege, no matter your sexuality, no matter if you are Black, Asian, Muslim, Latinx, Disabled, Trans, Fat, or Poor– this song is a reminder that we are all important. The world needs women.

2. #WCW

Okay, I’ll be honest. #MCM is super lame. More often than not the only men featured in the Man Candy Monday Instagram hashtag are celebrities who are idealistic media portrayals of men or your friend’s idiot boyfriend who is being praised for not drinking directly out of the milk carton. Not worthy of a hashtag.

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#WCW on the other hand is a whole other game. Any given Women Crush Wednesday you can scroll through the #WCW tag and consistently be slapped by gorgeous woman after gorgeous woman. Even better, a large percentage of the posts not only honor the women for being beautiful (because, duh. we’re all hot) but also for their kindness, intelligence, caring, and success. It’s like a weekly little International Women’s Day.

3. Donald Trump Doesn’t Identify as a Woman

So congrats! You’re already distancing yourself from American’s Biggest Loser.

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Even better– so many other amazing, talented, intelligent, and successful people identify as women. There’s Beyoncé (obviously,) Tina Fey, Malala Yousafzai, Helen Keller, Melissa McCarthy, Christy Brown, Michele Obama, Oprah, Carolyn Walker, Amber Riley, Hillary Clinton, Sofia Vergara, Gabourey Sidibe, JK Rowling, Dalia Mogahed, Laverne Cox, Angelina Jolie, Judge Judy, Rihanna, Jazz Jennings, Adele…

And that’s just to name a few. We’re in good company, ladies.

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4. We Turn Our Characters Into Icons

Although there’s still a huge shortage of well-rounded and well-written female characters appearing in the world’s media, on the rare occasion we are given one we turn them into feminist icons.

When I was growing up, every little girl wanted to be Hermione Granger. And before that, it was Princess Leia. Now, it’s Katniss Everdeen. Anytime writers give us strong, purposeful, well-written women with agency they turn into symbols of the power women possess. Even less complex characters (like the Sex and the City gang, or the Pretty Little Liars) become signifiers of reclaimed control of one’s body and sexuality, and rebellion against imposing authority– and in 2017, we need characters like this more than ever.

Give us more female characters. Make them minorities. Make them trans, make them LGBTQA. Make them disabled. Make them reflective of every different side of womanhood and femininity. But never stop making them powerful.

5. There Has Never Been a Better Time to be a Woman

Let me rephrase this: being a woman is still difficult, and in many ways dangerous. We are still largely oppressed. We are still not equal to men. We are still not treated as we should be.

But for the first time women everywhere are beginning to set aside their differences to stand together and fight for each other. Every time one of us uses our privilege or agency to defend one another, that is powerful. That leads to change.

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We are only a few months into 2017 and already I have seen so many instances of women extending a hand to one another to fight against oppressive forces both in and outside of their government. Movements like the Women’s March are just the beginning of larger change that will eventually lead to more equality and to more understanding.

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To those who identify as women and girls, wherever you are reading this: we are more similar than we are different. We are stronger together than apart. We are all women in our own right, and that alone is worth celebrating.

Happy International Women’s Day.

What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Want to let me know?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and don’t forget to forward this to all the wonderful Broke Babes in your life.

~Bankrupt Beauty



Book Clubbin’: Why Not Me?

March is here, Broke Babes. Which means it’s time for another book…


March’s Book: “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling

In the sequel to her first memoir, Why Not Me? explores Mindy Kaling’s attempts to find happiness, love, and contentment in the world of Hollywood– a place that seems to be dead-set on reminding her that women like her don’t belong on television. Through short essays revealing cheeky beauty tips (“In Hollywood, a dark-skinned woman’s natural hair color is honey-blonde,”) to stories recalling being dumped by friends, first jobs, and whirlwind romances with President Obama’s security team, Kaling’s Why Not Me? is both comedic and demanding when it comes to answering one question– why is Hollywood so sh*tty to women of color? And plus-sized women?

What’s so wrong with being different?

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Although second to her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Kaling’s Why Not Me? is a mature but hilarious take on femininity and the experience of womanhood in contemporary American media culture. While some essays will leave you breathless with laughter, there’s an intense sort of vulnerability exposed when she discusses the distance between friendships and the loss of “prime best friend years;” and, if you’ve ever had any questions about her relationship with BJ Novak (or are like me, and just like being nosy) you’ll be touched (and a little heartbroken) when you read the chapter entitled “Soup Snakes.”


Okay, I know– you’re probably annoyed at me. I get it! This book has been out forever. But even though it’s older and a sequel (to another amazing book) when I re-read it I still caught myself laughing out loud; at one point I even called my mom to read out a few paragraphs. And if a book like that can’t be recommended to your girlfriends, what kind of book can?

What do you think Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Have some books you’d recommend to a friend?

Hit like, leave me a comment, and hey– don’t forget to pass along any book you think I’d like!

Curls, Clutches, and Champagne: My Fam & I Watch the Oscars

I come from a family of movie watchers– growing up, if it was a Friday or Saturday night you’d be hard pressed to find us anywhere other than the couch, eyes glued to whatever we’d rented from our local Blockbuster that week.

These days, some things have changed: children have grown up and have their own TV sets in their own houses, and Blockbuster is dead in the ground. Not to say that’s dulled our foursome’s passion for film– I’m a big Netflix junkie, and any spare cash I have goes towards trips to the movies with anyone who’s willing to put up with my snack hogging.

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But once a year, it all goes back to the way it was: The Oscars. In our family it’s an excuse to get together and finish up the champagne that’s been hidden in the back of the fridge since Christmas. We know all the stars, have seen all the movies, and are ready to see which films get recognized by The Academy.


As usual, we all had something to say about the red carpet glamour; watching any awards ceremony with my family is always hilarious because it’s pretty much a constant debate between my Mom and I (who actually understand fashion) and my Dad (who has been wearing the same Eddie Bauer plaid and light wash denim since I was born) while my brother operates as a referee, infrequently updating us on what Twitter has to say if we need to settle an argument.

Here’s some of our best– and most outlandish– comments about the Oscars 2017 fashion. All images found via

Brie Larson: Miss DIY, Apparently


I swooned when I saw Brie step out in this dress. “Best Dressed!” I squealed several times in the span of ten seconds, despite the fact that we had been watching the Red Carpet for all of five minutes.

My Dad was very quick to ruin the moment for me: “She looks like she hacked apart her dress with a pair of scissors.”

My Mom: “It’s 80’s inspired architecture.”

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This clearly meant nothing to my Dad, despite having lived through the 80’s. He shrugged and went back to shoving chips in his mouth.

Viola Davis: Classic (As Always)


Viola Davis never disappoints– be it what she wears, what she says, or what she does, she is always perfect. We all loved this look, although the only thing that stopped us from naming her Best Dressed was its predictability; it was a beautiful dress, just a little too safe.

My Mom: “Viola’s been wearing a lot of solid color this season. She does look beautiful though.”

Me: “And the clutch is adorable.”

Jessica Biel: Queen of Egypt/The Dead


My Dad: “She looks very… Egyptian.”

Me: “Like Cleopatra?”


My Dad: “No. Like… A Mummy. Something dead.”

Me: “Oh.”

Ruth Negga: Ideal American


We were all too distracted by the blue ribbon on Ruth’s dress to really comment on the look as a whole. All of us had theories about what the ribbon meant– at one point we were half convinced that it had something to do with prostate cancer– and it wasn’t until my brother had the sense to google it that we realized it was in support of the ACLU, or the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization devoted to the defending and protecting of the individual civil rights of American citizens.

The little ribbon made a big statement against the Trump administration; choosing to wear it with something Victorian-styled and historically designed for white women was a beautiful and elegant statement of rebellion.

We all agreed that Ruth looked great.

Alicia Vikander: Cap-Sleeved Cutie


I nearly cried when I saw the cap-sleeves. Why, why are they a thing? No woman deserves to look like she has puffed pastry stuck to her shoulders. This was such a great look, if only it had remained strapless!

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My Mom: “The cap-sleeves are cute! Besides, what if it needs to sleeves to stay up?”

Me: “Then get a different dress. They take away from the necklace!”

We bickered for a few minutes about the pros and cons of having little puffed sleeves about your shoulders, not settling the argument before the next celeb was on the screen.

Ryan Gosling: Unoriginal Dreamboat


I had just finished a long rant about how boring men’s fashion is on the Red Carpet (hundreds of them all wear basically the same outfit! If just two women wore distantly similar dresses there would be a thousand articles written for the sake of objectifying them and basically equating them to uncreative piles of dog sh*t. It’s stupid!) when Ryan Gosling stepped out. My crush on him has been notorious since I first saw The Notebook in the 9th grade and no one in my family gets it.

My Mom, still annoyed about the cap-sleeves argument: “HA!”

Me, backtracking: “The shirt! The ruffles! It’s unique, I swear!”

Nobody came to my defense. I was forced to attempt to drown myself in several very large sips of champagne.

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Emma Stone: Best Dressed Lady


You can always tell a good dress by the amount of initial reaction it gets when seen on screen. When Emma stepped out on the Red Carpet my living room was initially stunned into silence before suddenly bursting into loud and excited yammering.

Me: “This is totally a tribute to Old Hollywood.”

My Dad: “She looks great, and the ruffles–”

My Mom: “Fringe.”

My Dad: “The fringe looks pretty. She needs a necklace though.”

My Mom: “She has earrings!”

My Dad: “Then a bracelet. She needs more bling.”

Janelle Monae: Most Likely to Kill Sirius Black


This look was a universal miss for everyone. We all agreed it was the bottom– if the top had been mixed with a plain black slim fit skirt this look would have been a contender for my Best Dressed.

My Dad: “I don’t like the poof. She looks like that witch from Harry Potter.”

Me: “What? You mean Bellatrix Lestrange? Helena Bonham Carter?”


My Dad: “Yeah.”

Dev Patel: Mister Steal Yo’ Mom


I suspect my Mom has had a huge crush on Dev Patel since she saw him in Life of Pi. This suspicion was reinforced by the fact that I heard her sigh when we saw him.

My Mom: “I love a man in a white suit.”

My Dad: “It’s just a white jacket.”

My Mom: “Sh. He’s so talented.”

Halle Berry: Hairy Berry


My Mom and I both made loud retching noises when Halle Berry showed up in this; my brother looked up from his phone long enough to snort before returning to Twitter. As one of the most beautiful ladies in Hollywood, seeing her miss the mark so badly actually made me feel sick. I’m assuming the reason her hair was so big was because it was full of secrets– ie, the real winner of Best Picture.

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My Mom: “It’s just too much hair. And it’s flat too– a proper perm should have more volume upwards, not outwards.”

Me: “It would work if her dress was simple. You can’t have big hair and a busy dress.”

My Dad, however, adored Halle’s look. “It reminds me of my youth. All the girls had hair like that when I was young. Even the guys did. I had hair like that at one point!”

My Mom noticeably winced and didn’t comment.

Scarlet Johansson: Bathroom Babe


I was so unbelievably disappointed with Scarlet’s look. She’s usually one of my favorites for Classic Hollywood Glam, but I totally thought she missed the mark with this.

Me: “It looks like a shower curtain. The pink and green mix doesn’t work at all.”

My brother: “Why the belt? Why is everyone belting dresses?”

My Mom is a die hard Scarlet Johansson fan and came to her defense, jumping on an announcer’s analysis of ScarJo’s jewelry.  “The pinky ring! Look at the pinky ring! It pulls the whole look together.”

It was a cute ring, I’ll admit. But not cute enough to save anything.

Dakota Johnson: 50 Shades of Space


Me: “She looks like the gold robot from Star Wars.”

My Brother: “C-3PO?”

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Me: “Yeah. Sexy C-3PO.”

Mahershala Ali: Best Dressed Gentleman


Mahershala won our pick for Best Dressed among the men. Even my Mom, who usually doesn’t have a ton to say about men’s fashion, loved the look of the black on black.

My Mom: “It’s the black with the touch of silver and white– his pocket square and the hint of his watch modernize it and make it look so classy.”

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Have an Oscars look you love?

Hit like, leave a comment, and hey– don’t forget to hit that follow button!

~Bankrupt Beauty


Romantic Blush: A Valentines Day Makeup Tutorial

For me, doing my makeup is an important part of self-love.

So when it comes to the most romantic day of the year, I figured there’d be no better way to celebrate than by sharing a blush inspired Valentines Day look.

I’m also spreading the love to your wallet by only featuring products I’ve snagged in drugstores– no speciality boutiques, no online ordering, and nothing over $10. Enjoy!

Step 1: Prime Face & Eyes

No matter what I’m doing with my face that day I always start by applying Elf Poreless Face Primer to a clean face followed by Elf Hydrating Under Eye Primer to my dark circles and lids.

I discovered that there’s no way to pose for a makeup tutorial without accidentally looking like a serial killer.

This helps stop my makeup from creasing throughout the day and also makes me feel like I am a lot better at this than I actually am.

Step 2: Foundation and Concealer

In the winter time my skin varies between the Sahara desert and Shrek’s swamp– between the constant flakes and oil blotting, I’ve discovered it’s just easier to create my own blend of foundation than to try to find a product that works with every weird thing happening on my face.

The Secret Formula.

Using Elf Flawless Finish Foundation I gently buff pigment over my cheeks, chin, and anywhere else I have discoloration. In the places where I need a little more moisture and can handle the lighter coverage I apply Covergirl Smoothers BB Cream.

I finish by applying Elf HD Lifting Concealer to my dark circles, the redness around my nose, and any pimples or discoloration peeking through. Then I blend with my fingers– I can never get a natural look with brushes!

I will probably regret having this photo on the internet one day.

Step 3: Setting

To prevent creasing I dust NYX HD Finishing Powder atop my concealer with a foundation brush. Then, to prevent shine, I use a total face brush and apply Elf Beautifully Bare Finishing Powder along my T-Zone.

I use a lot of e.l.f products because they are cheap and readily available, like me.

Step 4: Dimension

To give my face dimension (and to avoid having weirdos on the internet call me a cake face) I apply blush, bronzer, and highlight.

If anyone from e.l.f is reading this you guys should totally, like, pay me or something.

Starting with the apples of my cheeks, I use a blush brush to swirl Elf Blush from the swell of my cheek up into my temples. Then, using an angled bronzing brush I apply Elf Baked Bronzer starting along my hairline and blending into my temples, down the hollows of my cheeks, under my jaw, and down to my collar bones.

A serial killer and her murder weapon of choice, an angled blush brush.

Finally, using an angled blush brush I press Elf Baked Highlight into the tops of my cheek bones. Then, using a smaller eyeshadow brush I also place highlight underneath the arch of my brows, the inner corner of my eyes, and along the centre of my cupid’s bow.

Remember: Use these products sparingly and when it doubt— BLEND!

Step 5: Brows

Using an Elf Instant Lift Brow Pencil no more than half a shade darker than my hair, I lightly fill in my brows and blend with a brow brush.

Side note: should I do a brow tutorial? Is that still a trendy thing?

NEVER REDRAW YOUR BROWS– let them grow in as much as possible on their own. Simply fill in any sparse patches.

Step 6: Eyeshadow

For this look, I want the eyeshadow to be very natural and soft. Using the Elf Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette, I start by applying a taupe shade just above my natural crease. This ensures the depth I’m creating to my eyes would be visible even when they’re open.

By far my favourite palette, ever.

Next, I’m going to take a sparkly and romantic pink and sweep it over my entire lid, taking care to blend it into the taupe shade but not above it.

Step 7: Eyeliner

Now the tricky part: eyeliner. Although you can totally rock this look with a simple coal liner, liquid always looks sharper. My trick is to never apply liquid eyeliner using the applicator in the package– always use an eyeliner brush, or a lip brush, to apply.

P.S- It took me nearly 20 minutes to do this. I am not an expert.

Unfortunately, practice does make perfect with liquid eyeliner. Most days I still average about two attempts before my wings match and don’t drastically change my eye shape. Here I’m using the Elf Expert Liquid Eyeliner.

Finally, using an eyeliner brush or a lip brush (really any small sized brush that allows for more precise work) sweep a dark grey shadow along the lower lash line to create a smudged and sexy effect.

I hope someday someone uses this picture for a cover of a YA novel about Vampires and losing your virginity.


Step 8: Finishing Touches

Almost finished! Complete the look with mascara– my current favourite is the Elf Volume Pumping Mascara or the Covergirl Lashblast Volumizing Mascara. For other drugstore mascara recommendations, check out my earlier post!

Again, not getting paid for this. I should be. *cough*

For Valentines Day I’m a huge fan of lip stains– they ensure you some colour smudging 5 minutes into a date. My favourite is this Elf Radiant Lip Tint in Dewy Nude. All the colour and none of the dryness! Another great & long lasting pick is the any Elf Matte Lip Color.

Step 10: Done!

The finished look!

You would never know that underneath all that makeup there was a goblin with consistent garlic breath.

What do you think, Broke Babes? Love it? Hate it? Have any Valentines Day Looks you’re eager to try?

Leave me a comment, hit like, and don’t forget to follow!

~ Bankrupt Beauty