WTF Are Make-up RULES?

Beauty gurus are all about following the latest trend and fad, and often supply us with a set of ‘rules’ to achieve the perfect on trend look. But what about us who don’t want eyebrows as dark as coal, or who are not obsessed with enlarging our lips? Make-up is about expressing your self, and creating a look that you love. Make-up is fun, and not intended to be a strict regime of right and wrong. Leave it to me, Simply Samantha, to give you the real breakdown of rules with make-up. Don’t worry, none of the rules are about the ‘dos and don’ts of contouring’.

Rule #1 Clean & Protect your Skin

No matter how natural your ‘no make-up make-up’ look is you are still putting product, and chemical onto your skin. To keep your skin healthy and clear always remember to take off your make-up and avoid caking it on. There are many ways to go about this.. make-up wipes, liquid cleanser, and masks. What ever you choose know the ingredients, and be gentle with your skin!

Rule #2 Sun Block

Trying to achieve the golden tan that seems to be in all the magazines? Just go sit in the sun for hours on end.. it’ll be great right?! Wrong! On the beach or in a salon, tans are caused by harmful ultra-violet radiation. UV Radiation can cause wrinkles, dis-coloration, and ultimately skin cancer. Use safe tanning lotions, or better yet embrace your natural beauty and love the skin tone you have.

Rule #3 Enhance What you Want

Don’t be bullied into only drawing attention to the feature that one beauty guru told you to. If you love to enhance your eyes, do it. If you love to show off your great cheeks, do it! You don’t have to fall into the cookie-cutter idea of ‘perfect’ make-up. You are beautiful, and should wear make-up to enhance that. Don’t ever feel the need to cover things up or hide who you are.

Rule #4 Shelf Life of Make-up

We all have been guilty at least once in our life.. you know keeping that one open mascara in your purse just in case you are running late? How long has that been… 2 years! Throw it out! If your make-up does not have a listed expiration date here is a simple guide to help. If all else fails just remember if the color changes, or the product starts to smell different, or is not the same texture just get a new one!

Mascara & Liquid Liner 3-4 Months

Lipstick & Gloss 1-1.5 Years

Liquid Make-up 6 Months-1 Year

Shadow 2-4 Years

Rule #5 Break the Mold

Most importantly love yourself and have fun with make-up. Practice what you like best, and do that every day! The old days of strict dos and don’t need to be out the door!

Have a ‘rule’ you want to add? Comment down below, but don’t forget what make-up is really all about.. So refrain from the old school rules, or modern fads that we MUST follow to be beautiful. We are all beautiful just the way we are!

Don’t forget to follow SimplySamantha, and if you found this helpful, inspiring, or interesting please share!



Make-up Collection on a Budget

Let’s jump on into it. After reading the title I am sure you know what you are getting into here, but this has a twist… My make-up collection is build from affordable great brands like ELF, BH Cosmetics, and many drug store brands.  Any makeup lover can create something similar for under $100! Beauty on a budget is always Simply Samantha’s goal!

I’ll break this down into categories for ya, skip down to anything you have a particular interest in, or read the whole collection and learn how to build a great collection on a budget! Either way you wont be disappointed. As a disclaimer: this post is for information purposes only, and in no way is Simple Samantha boasting or gloating. This is just for fun!

This also is not my full collection of products, but a refined list of what I consider necessities! I can fit 80% of my collection into a three drawer Sterilite desktop unit, so it is not the most extensive collection, but it is budget friendly and not excessive or over blown.


Simply Samantha’s Make-up Collection:


I use a three drawer Sterilite desktop unit I bought from Walmart for $9.99. I cut card board dividers, and divided my drawers as needed. This works, and could Storagebe jazzed up and personalized with some colorful duct tape, but as for me I love the sleek simplicity of the black organizer. Along with the organizer I use a small basket for my large eye shadow palettes. You can find these at the dollar store, and most thrift stores. I also have an array of small-medium make-up bags that I have collected and use for various things. Ipsy bags are great for this, but I also use pencil cases. Really, any little bags will work great! I never spend over a couple bucks on each. Do you really need a $200 + Anya Hindmarch make-up bag that is most likely to get dirty, and ruined?



My brush appreciation has come a long way from using the cheap disposable brushes in middle school, to buying a cheap set from Fred Meyers, to finally steeping up my game to BH Cosmetics. I know for many beauty gurus Sigma, Morphe, MAC, etc are the go-tos. But this is beauty on a budget! Where spending more than $20 on 1 particular item is madness! And who needs 18 blending fluffy brushes? I mean, come on! I bought 2 brush sets from BH Cosmetics when they went on sale for only $8! I also have some miscellaneous brushes from Ipsy and ELF. I love the quality, and can you beat that price? Please note prices vary, and I got mine on sale. Watch the website as their sales change on a regular basis.




Neutral Eyes 28 Color from BH Cosmetics

Sixth Edition 120 Color from BH Cosmetics

Galaxy Chic 18 Color Baked from BH Cosmetics

Forever Smokey from BH Cosmetics

Wild Child Baked from BH Cosmetics

Enchanting Eyes Brown from BH Cosmetics

Mad For Matte from ELF

Need It Nude from ELF

Individual Eyes 944 from NYC

Individual Eyes 943 from NYC

I have been looking to get palettes from Makeup Revolution, an affordable brand known for its dupes of high-end product.

I also have many smaller quads from ELF like 3 of the Brightening Eye Colors. Quads from MAX, and NickaK. I also have the limited Ipsy loves NYX trio.

Simply put, do you really need 20 + palettes all with similar colors? I firmly believe if you wont use it, you should’t buy it just because or just for the hype the beauty gurus put out.

The mascaras I own a range from NYC to Wet n Wild to ELF, and SmashBox. Don’t forget to cycle out your mascaras every couple of months. We are all guilty of holding on to make-up because what-if, right?  Yet another great reason to buy on a budget. If we gotta get rid of it in 3-4 months, I don’t want to be spending $20 or more on trash!

The eyeliners I own also range from ELF to BH Cosmetics, and just like our mascaras if you love liquid liner you should be replacing it every 3-4 months. Here is a bonus though, you can horde your pencil liners for a couple of years!


To quickly go over things, my collection includes all ELF Matte Lip Color Pencils, all of the $1 ELF Lip Sticks, and all of the ELF Luscious Liquid Lipsticks.Among those I have miscellaneous samples and drug store singles. My favorite sample  I ever got from Ipsy was the Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in the shade Committed. To add to this I also own many miscellaneous drug store lip-liners.


You’ve guessed it by now, most of the foundations I own are affordable options. I have many ELF foundations. And if you buy mostly online, like I do, you know just how hard it can be to match your skin tone. Why spend so much on it if it might now match and it needs to be replaced in about 6 months?

I have Cover Girl Aqua Smooth, Sassy + Chic Foundation, ELF flawless Finish, and I use ELF HD Lifting Concealer mixed into my liquid foundations to get it light enough for my skin tone.  And as far as concealer goes that is my one product I buy in excess. I love concealer! I own 8, and my all time favorite is ELF Zit Zapping Concealer.

Setting powder is next. I have used Maybelline’s Shine Free Lose Powder since I starting wearing make-up. It is my old friend I always go back to. I also have BH Stuido Pro, ELF HD Setting Powder, and my new favorite Tarte Amazonian Clay Finish Powder. This is my one exception to my budget. It is worth every penny.

On to blush and bronze powders.. I only use a select few, including Wet n Wilds Mega Glow, BH Dasiy Blush, Bh Bombshell Blush and Bronze, ELF Pressed Bronze, and ELF Baked Blushes. I also have ELF HD Liquid Blush, and the Radiance Enhancer.

Next we’ll go over my highlighters. Next to concealer, highlighters are my favorite products. I use ELF Baked Highlighter, All Over Color Sticks, and Shimmering Facial Whip. And a favorite single of mine is from Maybelline.

My love and appreciation for high-end make-up is very real. Just like many of us I love to walk about the MAC counter just looking in awe, but when the day is done I am all about pinching pennies, and have a hard time spending double or even triple on similar products just for a label. I know some may have a nicer quality and packaging, but for me it’s not worth it.  I know for many it is, and this was not intended to guilt anyone into not buying what they love. Above all, if it is makes you happy then let no one change that!

Don’t forget to follow SimplySamantha, and if you found this helpful, inspiring, or interesting please share!


Why I Unsubscribed From Ipsy

We all know what Ipsy is. The personalized monthly bag that has 50$ worth of makeup samples in it every month for the low price of 10$.They bill you on the first, and you usually get your bag in the first week or two. Is all that glitters GOLD?

So what I’d like to do is break down what I received each month just to truly see how much product I was getting, and if it was worth for me or not. If you just want the overall summary and my overall thoughts, skip on down to the bottom of this post!

Please note my disclaimer on my About Me Page, and note that this is not to bash Ipsy or what their business does. This is an account of my own personal bad experience that I am sharing with you guys. If you are happy with Ipsy please do not let this post negatively affect that love.



Items in that bag included:

Briogeo-Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray

Urban Decay-24/7 Glide on Lip Pencil + Revolution High-Color Lipgloss

BelláPierre Cosmetics-Waterproof Mineral Gel Eyeliner Pencil

AMIE-Morning Dew Matte-Finish Moisturizer

Luxie Beauty-Tapered Blending Eye Brush 205

So seeing my first bag you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that bright pink packaging. After opening the bag, I was still fairly pleased with its contents. I felt somewhat satisfied with the items, and thought “okay, we’ll see what happens next month”



Items in that bag included:

IT Cosmetics-Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil

Smashbox Cosmetics-Photo Finish Foundation Primer


FORMULA X-Power Source nail color

tre’StiQue-Mini Shadow Crayon in Kona Coffee

Round 2, I was much more pleased. I actually received great product this time! I fell in love with the IT Cosmetics-Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil & the Smashbox Cosmetics-Photo Finish Foundation Primer. But wait, on closer realization, that’s only 2 out of the 5 products I received. Still somewhat satisfied I thought “okay, we’ll see what happens next month”


July 2015- SUMMER LOVIN’

Items in that bag included:

Nicka K New York-HQ Quad Eyeshadow

Teeez Cosmetics-Read My Lips Lipstick

Crown Brush-Professional Tweezers

pūr~lisse– pūr~delicate gentle soymilk cleanser & makeup remover

Coolway-Beachy Salt Spray

My third bag, I felt, again, just okay about what I was sent. I liked the Nicka K New York-HQ Quad Eyeshadow & the Crown Brush-Professional Tweezers, but only 2 out of 5 again. I started to wonder if this was the catch… “Do they only send you 1 or 2 products you’ll like and are the rest fillers” I wondered.


August 2015- Prep School

Items in that bag included:

Marc Anthony-Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Oil Treatment

Skone Cosmetics-Luxe Doubler Eye/Lip Pencil in Wine

‘Pencil Me In’ Cosmetics-Natural Eyeliner Pencil in Boysenberry

Marsk-Pro Line Eye Shadow Brush

Hikari Cosmetics-Lip Gloss

The 4th times’ a charm right? Wrong! Opening this bag was a compete oil slick. The Marc Anthony-Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Oil Treatment had not been sealed correctly, and had leaked all its contents into the bag. Upset, and disappointed I contacted Ipsy Care to report the problem. Long story short, I never did receive a new bag with replacement products. Also two pencil products very close in color.. Come on. On the bright side I liked the Marsk-Pro Line Eye Shadow Brush.


So if you’re still reading, I’m sure your thinking “If you haven’t liked much so far why did you keep paying for it? Gosh.” The answer is it wasn’t all bad, as I said up above every month I tend to like 1-2 items. I also am the kinda person who likes to give something a real good chance before I write it off. So onto my 5th bag.

September 2015- FACE FASHION

Items in that bag included:

clariSEA-Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant

First Aid Beauty-Ultra Repair® Cream

NYX Cosmetics-ipsy Eye Shadow Trio

tre’StiQue-Mini Matte Lip Crayon

Formula X-Nail Color in Ignite

Let’s start with the good. I loved the clariSEA-Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant & NYX Cosmetics-ipsy Eye Shadow Trio. Both great products in my opinion. But… there’s always a but. Another tre’StiQue Crayon and Formula X-Nail Color in Ignite. Shesh. I love nail polish as much as the next gal, but personally I am just content with Dollar Store LAC Nail Polish. So I edited my personal quiz, and awaited improvement with next month.


October 2015- ALTER-EGO

Items in that bag included:


theBalm Cosmetics-Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long-Lasting Liquid Lipstick

Coastal Scents-Xpress Line Cosmetic Pencil

Nourish Organic-Pure Hydrating Argan Face Serum

DOSE-Color Pill Nail Polish in Stormy

More nail polish?! No way I thought, even after editing my quiz I still was sent nail care. Well maybe it wasn’t updated in time I assured myself, “It wont happen again” The theBalm Cosmetics-Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long-Lasting Liquid Lipstick was great, and I actually wore it on my wedding day!


November 2015- BEAUTY BLAST

Items in that bag included:

Crown Brush-Deluxe Pointed Crease Brush

Smashbox Cosmetics-Full Exposure Mascara


INSPR Beauty-Eye Shadow

Coolway-Stronghold Spray

So here is November, not a bad bag, not a great bag. I really enjoyed the Smashbox Cosmetics-Full Exposure Mascara & ModelCo-HIGHLIGHTING TRIO. I also used the whole sample of the Coolway-Stronghold Spray for my wedding hair. I felt better about this month, and wanted to keep going.

A little side note: I was married 11.13.15 to the man of my dreams! ❤



Items in that bag included:

Crown Brush-C413 – Brow Duo Brush

tarte cosmetics-smooth operator™ Amazonian clay finishing powder

ACURE-Cell Stimulating Face Mask

Pacifica-Power Of Love Natural Lipstick

Elizabeth Mott-Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer

Finally, 2 bags in a row that I am mostly pleased with! The tarte cosmetics-smooth operator™ Amazonian clay finishing powder was fantastic! And I was pleased with the Pacifica-Power Of Love Natural Lipstick & Elizabeth Mott-Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer. I was one happy camper.


January 2015-ALL EYES ON YOU

Items in that bag included:

theBalm Cosmetics-Mr. Write (Now)

Hikari Cosmetics-Cream Metallic Pigment Shadow

PEEK Beauty-Natural Stain Brow Powder

Beau Gâchis Paris-Smudge Brush

Lasting Smiles-Lip Balm in Peppermint Creme

So after 9 months of trying Ipsy, disappointed again with my bag I decided this is my last month. The Hikari Cosmetics-Cream Metallic Pigment Shadow was the only item that I some what liked. I couldn’t even use Lasting Smiles-Lip Balm in Peppermint Creme as the packaging was backwards sealing the lid. And this is where the headache began. I tried to unsubscribe by just using the website, and following through to the point where I should have received an email confirmation. A couple of minutes go by…. hours… hmmm. I tried it again, and waited for the email. Days later nothing. This pushes me past the auto billing date for February. I contacted Ipsy Care on 2 occasions.


February 2015-  PRETTY IN #IPSYPINK

Items in that bag included:

Perfect Formula-Pink Gel Coat

Paula Dorf-Baby Eyes Enhancer

Smashbox Cosmetics-Photo Finish Primer Oil

VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind-Sparkling Lipgloss in Pink Sequin

Pure Brazilian-Deep Conditioning Hair Masque

Conveniently, after being billing and sent the February Bag unknown to me my subscription was canceled. I did not receive any emails apologizing for the error, or thanking me for my 10 month loyalty. I still am unsure if the unsubscribe link even sends you a confirmation email, or if you have to contact Ipsy directly.


All in all, why did I unsubscribe from Ipsy? I wasn’t happy with the shipping. I wasn’t happy with the customer care, and above everything, I found myself more and more disappointed with the items I was getting! If you love Ipsy and the samples you get, that is perfect. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t say the same for myself.

If you have thoughts you’d like to share please comment down below. If anyone ran into similar issues let me know I wasn’t alone. Also if you have a suggestion for a new monthly sub box for me to try tell me below. I would love to do a monthly in-depth review of a new subscription service!

And just to reiterate this is my personal opinion and not my intention to sway any Ipsy lovers to the dark side! If you are happy, stay happy reader! 🙂

Don’t forget to follow SimplySamantha, and if you found this helpful, inspiring, or interesting please share!