The Broke Girl’s Guide to Sephora

tumblr_lmn208SCLf1qbjuk9o1_500In no way, shape, or form do I claim to an expert in Sephora, seeing as they carry like 23049879 products.  I am however, a savvy shopper, and want to share my favourite things the store carries, which are pretty affordable.

Sephora Collection: Cream Lip Stain – If you are an avid lipstick wearer I definitely recommend you try this product out.  It comes in so many fun colours, stays on FOREVER, and is easily as good as the other cream lip stain products – just at a cheaper price.  $11 – $16.

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Cream Lip Stain: Always Red

Benefit Cosmetics: Roller Lash – I just recently tried this product, and I love it.  I always have a lot of problems trying to find a mascara that works for me, but this one lifts and curls lashes like nobody’s business.  At $30, it’s about the average price for a quality mascara, but it’s long lasting and totally worth it.

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Roller Lash by Benefit

Smart Tip: Sample, sample, sample! Before you buy anything you’re unsure of, ask for a sample.  This is one of the best things about Sephora. They will give you almost any product you ask for in a sample to try before you fully commit to it and pay full price.

Stila: Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – This product I tried based on a recommendation by a friend and I loved it!  It’s super easy to use, goes on smoothly, lasts all day, and the product itself lasts for a really long time.  It costs $26 and typically lasts me about three months – well worth it.  Bonus it comes in 15 different colours to fit all of your makeup needs.

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Stila Eyeliner: Jet Black

These are just three of my favourites, I would love to hear your best Sephora tips and secrets so let me know below!

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Mini Vacation on a Mini Budget

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Since this week is my Reading Week, I’ve got vacation on my mind.  I may not be able to afford a tropical paradise, but a weekend getaway is sometimes all you need to recharge and refresh.

Where to go?

Go someplace relatively close, somewhere that is worth driving to for only a day or two.  This could be someplace you’ve always wanted to visit, or a place you’ve been a million times but never seen the sights.

How to get there?tumblr_n1gtapCT7B1qkegsbo1_500

ROAD TRIP! If you have access to a vehicle, driving is usually the quickest (and most fun), but beware of parking fees and the price of gas.  If you can split the cost with friends though driving becomes pretty affordable.

If you don’t have access to a vehicle, check out the bus schedule.  Companies like Megabus run last minute deals where you can get tickets for as low as $1!

Where to stay?

If you have friends or family in the area that’s always a great place to stay for free – however sometimes staying with family isn’t much of a vacation.

Depending on the place you’re visiting, Hostels can be a great low-cost option as long as your comfortable in that atmosphere.  Check out Hostel World for ratings and reviews of hostels all over the world – you can even book right from the website.

Fiji

The island you can rent from Airbnb – probably a little out of your (and my) price range!

If you’re looking for something a little fancier, check out Airbnb.  This website is one of my favourites because it allows you to stay in full apartments or houses (or even your own private island) in prime locations – you kind of get to see the city beyond a tourist standpoint. A bonus with Airbnb is access to fully functioning amenities, like a kitchen, where you can make your own food instead of paying to eat out.

As for what do while you’re there…

This is hard to say without knowing your exact location but I can offer some advice.  Give yourself a tour, go for a walk or rent bikes and see what the city has to offer.  Check out small cafes and tiny restaurants – they are usually the hidden gems – and ask locals what their favourite places are.

I hope I helped you get started booking your own mini vacation!

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Buying Textbooks: Saving & Splurging

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So you’ve paid your first instalment of tuition, first and last month’s rent for the year, stocked your fridge with groceries and then find out your prof assigns the class a $250 text book.  You reluctantly shell out the cash watching a week’s worth of pay go out the window – totalling almost a month’s when all of your book purchases are complete.

Before you know it you’ve gained a library of dust-collecting textbooks that serve as a constant reminder of the hole in your bank account.

There are some instances that you will have to splurge and buy the book at full price:

  • the edition is brand new
  • the book comes with software that you will require for the course
  • you will constantly need the book for referral following course completion

In other instances follow these rules before you purchase:

1. Wait – Wait as long as you can to buy the text.  Often you’ll realize that you may not need it at all, or enough to own your own copy.  Sometimes you can even get away with using the copy in the campus library without ever owning a personal copy.

tumblr_nkjvj0oqcS1qiiufio1_5002. Share – If you find that you don’t need a copy of the book to use all the time offer to split the cost with one or two other people in the class and share the book.

3. Rent – Certain websites like amazon will let you rent the book for a fraction of the purchasing price.  You simply pay for the rental price, receive the book in the mail and then mail it back at the end of your semester.

4. Online – Buy your book online instead of in print.  My entire last semester of University I used coursesmart and got all of my textbooks online, giving me access to them where ever I brought my computer and preventing me from lugging around heavy books.  They also offer the option to rent, giving you access to your book for a specific duration of time.

Smart Tip: Google: Name of Textbook” Filetype:PDF – once in a while you’ll get lucky and find a free online version of your book.

5. Used – At the very least if you can’t do any of the above, look for your book used.  Depending on your university or college there may be a student hub where students can sell their books to others usually at a reduced price (like The Cannon at University of Guelph).

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Ladies’ Night Done Right: Five Tips for a Budget Friendly Night Out

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There are few things as sacred and ritualistic as the infamous girls’ night out.  For my fellow Student Socialites, here are my best tricks to keep the tradition alive.

GrouponGroupon is the Ladies’ Night Out BFF.  Not only do they offer tons of restaurant vouchers at discounted rates, but they offer a variety of experiences at a great price – like wine tours and tastings – that are perfect for groups.

BYOW – Bring Youtumblr_nezigg6e5T1tp41kxo1_500r Own Wine.. to the restaurant.  You might be surprised how many restaurants don’t have a corkage fee, or wave that fee one day a week.  In a lot of cases it will work out to be cheaper even with the corkage fee to bring your own bottle and split it with the girls – rather than each buy a glass or two.

Try Tapas! – So many places offer Tapas night, which is a great way to try everything on the menu for half of the price.  With a group of people you get to try a little bit of everything for a fraction of the cost.

Be Fashionably Early – If you plan on going to grab drinks when all is said and done, arrive a little earlier than usual to the bar.  A lot of places don’t charge cover if you come before a certain time, saving you money and time (beating the line).

Dessert over Dinner – Eat dinner at home and meet the girls for dessert instead.  You still get that quality time and atmosphere, it’s just centred around something a little sweeter – and cheaper.tumblr_njvbqiOwKv1sfku6po1_500

I hope these tips help you plan the perfect girls’ night out that meets your budget!

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How to be Savvy at Starbucks

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I thought I’d use my barista knowledge to share with you all some ways to enjoy Starbucks on a budget.  I honestly could dedicate my entire blog to Starbucks drinks, but I tried to keep this post limited to just my favourites.

So pick your poison…

Sweet Tooth?

If you have a sweet tooth – like me – the White Mocha is an obvious favourite.  A grande one of these allows you two shots of rich espresso poured over white chocolate sauce and mixed with steamed milk – giving you the perfect dose of caffeine and dessert.  However, the sweet coffee treat, which by default is topped with whip cream, is going to cost you in both cash and calories.  Instead of a grande white mocha (for $5.37 and 470 calories) opt for a grande white mocha americano-misto (for only $4 and 250 calories).

I order mine as a “grande,  3 pump white mocha, nonfat, no foam, americano-misto,” which I realize comes off as crazy for those of you new to the Starbucks world, but it is seriously the perfect drink.

FYI this tip works for almost any flavour of latte, so if white mocha isn’t your thing trade that in for the regular mocha, or vanilla, or pumpkin, or which ever syrup tickles your fancy.

Need a “I have to write a 20-page paper on a 400-page book I haven’t finished… for tomorrow” pick-me-up?

tumblr_njok14D6tX1tpdcs9o1_500Ounce for ounce espresso has more caffeine than regular brewed coffee, but when put into perspective coffee wins almost every time.   A double shot of espresso (which would be considered a regular amount) is going to give you about 150mg of caffeine, while a grande coffee will jolt you with nearly 300mg.  So go for the classic Pike Place – a grande will run you $2.35, or a Red-Eye for $0.75 more.

Smart Tip: Bring your own cup, save 10 cents and the planet at the same time!

If you want to know more about anything Starbucks leave a comment, and let me know!

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Hi, Hey, Hello !

0799Welcome to Student Socialite. My name is Nicola and I am a 22 year-old Public Relations Graduate Student and fluttering social butterfly.

I hope with this blog I can help guide my fellow socialites with Gossip Girl dreams on a 2 Broke Girls budget.  I plan to share with you my favourite tips and tricks allowing you to maximize your limited time and money without having to sacrifice all any of the things you love. I decided to write this blog because I was tired of feeling like I had to pinch every penny to be able to eat at my favourite restaurants, pickup some of my favourite goodies from Sephora or even grab a latte when meeting friends.

Being a student is expensive, yes, and being a socialite isn’t without cost either, but you can have the best of both worlds.  I’m not saying however, that you can afford to eat out six days a week at a restaurant where a reasonable tip is the same as your rent payment.   But you can dually maintain your social and student status, all it takes is a little creativity, effort and some savvy saving tips.

I would love to hear from you so feel free to comment, reach me online, or send me an email.

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