Step Aside Sephora

Step aside Sephora, Momma’s out of milk and mascara and only has time to make one stop!

That’s a true story, and one I faced recently. As I grabbed said mascara en route to the express H.E.B. check out, I realized that over the past year, I have replaced all my my beloved Sephora products with drug store dupes and I’m not the least bit sad about it. I’m spending WAY less time and money on beauty products and feeling just as satisfied with how I look. AND all that cash I’m saving has been swiftly reallocated to my coffee fund! #winwin

I have always loved makeup and though I’m not a beauty expert, I did a fair bit of trial and error to find products that worked for me and so I share them now with the hope of saving my fellow moms some time and effort. 

Hair Products

I used to use Redken products and LOVED them but didn’t love the $22/litre pricetag.

I tried several drug store brands from the cheapest of the cheap to the ‘higher end’ brands and finally settled on Pantene products. Back in the olden days when I used to watch commercials, I recall seeing many ads for Pantene which may have influenced my choice. Ultimately, I didn’t notice any significant difference by switching to a drug store brand – not in the state of my hair or the longevity of my colour. Pantene runs about $6 per 750ml bottle which means I save about $14 per equivalent-size bottle, or put in terms that make sense to some of us:: I save seven bottles of Two-Buck Chuck per bottle of shampoo or conditioner. Got your attention now?!

beauty products for moms

I don’t use a ton of hair styling products but always had Kenra hairspray on hand which runs about $19 compared to $6 for Pantene hairspray and, just like with the shampoo and conditioner, I noticed no significant difference in my hair.

beauty products for moms

As for styling, like any mother, I have 1.5 seconds to do my hair. In the past, I used Redken Rewind which runs about $20 per pot at Sephora. Now I use L’Oreal Air Dry It spray which is less than $4 per bottle and is user-friendly – spray on wet hair and go. No sticky hands, no fussing. When you live in Houston, you need something that works without necessitating blow-drying, CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

beauty products for moms

beauty products for moms
Okay, I concede this product may not help you achieve… heavenly realms, but it ought to suffice for the average day.

Skin Care

I must give a disclaimer before you read any further:: I’m not a beauty blogger and tend towards laziness when it comes to my beauty routine. I have three kids and about the same number of minutes to get ready in the morning. I’m usually in bed before I remember to put on a mask. I have had a facial exactly once in my life. I don’t drink enough water or get enough sleep or wash my face at night. I always wear sunscreen but at age 45, I’m in the don’t-give-a-hoot stage of acceptance about my wrinkles. I’m lucky enough to not have to worry about problem skin which might otherwise change how I do things, but for now, my skincare regime is pretty simple::

1. Wash my face with Norwex Body Cloths which cost $27 for a 3-pack and last a year or more. Before discovering Norwex, I bought facial cleansers that cost me at least $10 a bottle plus makeup remover wipes. The Norwex cloths work perfectly to remove all my makeup including waterproof mascara {we’ll get to that} and save me hundreds of dollars throughout the year. This is the one product you can’t get at the grocery store, so I’ll allow it. beauty products for moms

2. I used to use the Olay Regenerist line of face creams which cost about $25 per bottle. Once I downloaded the EWG Healthy Living App which scans barcodes and rates the health and safety ratings of a variety of products, I realized Olay gets a poor rating, so I looked for a drug store moisturizer with a fair rating and settled on the $9 Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture with Sunscreen. I aspire to even more environmentally friendly chemical-free beauty products… once my kids are out of braces. 

That’s it. Don’t @ me; my two-step skincare routine works for me.


I’ve tried TONS of cosmetics over the years with varying results. 


The MOST important product to this momma who hasn’t had proper sleep since 2005, I replaced my beloved $40 Nars concealer with $7 Maybelline Instant Age Rewind. It’s super easy to use which is a major bonus when you lack skills. 


I have used  MAC Studio Fix Pressed Powder Foundation to the tune of $31, and Make Up Forever Foundation for $38. That’s a lot of coin, mommas. I was so happy to discover Maybelline Matte & Poreless Pressed Powder for about $6 which even covers my sun damage {thanks Oblivious Youth}.

beauty products for moms


I have shelled out for mascara over the years for the Sephora classic fave of Lancome Definicils at $27.50 tube which does NOT last forever. Turns out Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara is a fantastic dupe that stays on till you want it off – for less than six bucks. #yesplease

beauty products for moms

Brow Pencil

I was a hardcore Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer girl till I couldn’t justify the $23 price tag any longer. Then I had to find an affordable option that didn’t leave me looking like I used a sharpie to shape my brows. Enter Maybelline again, this time with the Total Temptation Brow Definer for $6.59. It’s as easy to use as its pricey counterpart and the colour lasts just fine.

beauty products for moms


Am I the only one who uses eyeliner till it dies a slow, winding death over years and years of gradual use? #pleasesayno Liquid eyeliner is a different story though, and I used $22 Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner till it ran out then found that the NYX Professional Makeup Vinyl Liquid Liner for LESS THAN FOUR DOLLARS works just as well. Sign me up.

beauty products for moms

Eye Shadow

I love me a good MAC eye shadow or, swoon, the Urban Decay Naked Palette but $54 is too rich for my blood. It turns out ELF eyeshadow palettes are truly a good dupe and they run $6 to $8. Is this even really a choice?


I’m not a huge blush girl because I’m usually hot, sweaty and red enough just from chasing kids around BUT the Milani Baked Blush is about $9 and is a convincing dupe of $30 Nars Blush. 

beauty products for moms


I have been known to lay down $30 or more for lipstick and lipgloss at Sephora because A GIRL HAS NEEDS. But my fave from H.E.B. has got to be Revlon Balm Stain for about $6 or $7. They last well, don’t bleed, and I can fit 27 in my purse. 

beauty products for moms

Affordable Beauty Products For Moms

Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE Sephora and am more than happy to browse the racks, try some samples and even purchase a product once in a while. BUT Sephora gives me a bad case of the “I wants” and it’s not as easy to get to as H.E.B. and Target. And while I’m picking up that milk, you can’t blame me if a new lip product just *happens* to jump in my cart! 

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  1. Lots of great products in here. I 100% agree with Norwex body clothes but I use mine with cleanser.
    And my Sephora product using 18 year old loves Age Rewind concealer (she doesn’t use foundation, just this). I’m not ready to give up my MAC shadows but I think I will try your drug store foundation powder just incase I can save myself $30 a pop!


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