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Monday Q&A | Frugal Makeup and Homeschool Socialization

Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

I had a question about frugal makeup. Any tips? My makeup use is very basic (at least I think so). I use foundation (Covergirl), mascara (Maybelline) and eyeliner (Physicians Formula). Do you have any tips for making it last, or purchasing?

I think it sounds like you’re doing a pretty good job already of keeping it simple and frugal. All of the brands you’re using are fairly inexpensive, and you’re not using oodles of products.

I know you’re not supposed to keep makeup for a really long time (especially eye makeup) because bacteria can grow in the makeup, so I wouldn’t do anything special to stretch out the life of your makeup.

Aside from just not using makeup (an option I prefer to pass up!), another way to save is to look for sales on the brands you use and buy extras. Also, look for coupons for these brands…CoverGirl almost always has coupons in the Sunday paper, and if you like the Facebook page of the brands, you’ll also be alerted to any special coupons.

I would love to homeschool my son, but when thinking about homeschooling, my main concern is socialization….especially in the high school years. I feel that its such an important time…..I had my first boyfriend, first kiss, etc…..I remember the homecoming dance, football games, etc. How did you socialize? Did you have a boyfriend? How did you meet your husband if you didn’t attend a school? When you went to college, was it hard for you to adjust to sitting in a classroom? Meeting people?


That’s a lot of questions, so I’ll answer them one by one.

  • I didn’t have a boyfriend in my high school years, but that’s not because I was homeschooled. I didn’t want to pursue a romantic relationship until I was in a place in life where I could possibly get married, so homeschooled or not, I wouldn’t have dated in high school.
  • I met my husband at church when I was 18, and we got married when I was 19 (almost 15 years ago now!).
  • I didn’t have any trouble adjusting to college classes, though I was a little nervous at first. I maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking a fairly heavy load (15-18 credit hours/semester), and I made friends in all my classes.

I really don’t feel like I missed out on anything during my high school years…they were a happy time in my life. I taught piano lessons, baked and cooked to my heart’s content, babysat, worked out regularly, invested lots of time into practicing the piano, participated in a Bible study with other teenage girls, and sang in choir among other things. And I did get asked to go to prom with a guy, but I said no. 😉

Studies have shown that homeschool graduates do well at college, perform well at their jobs, and are involved in their communities, so I don’t really think there’s cause for concern.

I think sometimes people are under the impression that homeschoolers never leave their homes and never see other people. While that might be true for some families, especially those who live in remote areas, the vast majority of homeschoolers I know are involved with church and community groups and they definitely do leave their homes on a regular basis.

I hope that doesn’t sound defensive, because I don’t mean it that way. I just want to encourage you to believe that people can do just fine with a non-mainstream education.


Today’s 365 post: The rooftop pool

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Friday 27th of July 2012

Andrea - I think your points about fun experiences in high school is a good one. However, keep in mind that possibly losing some of those experience could make space to replace them with other positive experiences.

I would also like to say that looking back a lot of the "social skills" kids learn in school aren't actually very useful lessons. Do you remember high school? If I behaved that way in normal life I don't think I'd do very well. :( I think that being in an age segregated environment "normalizes" a lot of really stupid behaviour.

Of course, conventional schooling can be a great option too. But I think that both options can be good ones, it's just a matter of tradeoffs.

(I went to conventional school and had a very positive experience, for reference.)


Thursday 26th of July 2012

I haven't tried this yet, but I saw a tip on Pinterest about adding a few drops of contact solution to mascara tubes when they start to dry up!

Lee Ann

Wednesday 25th of July 2012

Hi Kristen!

I have recently started reading your blog and absolutely love it! I am in awe of your "frugalness". I have a question that I am hoping hasn't been answered before. I am trying to move to using mostly glass storage containers for leftovers, lunches, etc. I use A LOT of containers (because I hate to waste ANYthing). My problem is how do you store them? Mine tend to get stuck together if I stack the same size ones up. Right now, I place a plastic bowl between them, but eventually I would like to phase most (if not all) of the plastic ones out. Suggestions?

Thanks for inspiring me to be more frugal!

Lee Ann

Terri S.

Tuesday 24th of July 2012

Our local homeschool co-ops have social groups for tweens and teens. They have game nights, movie nights, pool parties, park days etc. The teens have prom every year. We are not anywhere ready for dating, my son is only 9, but we still " socialize" with "public school kids" also. We attend community events, local high school football games. You have kids, whether they are homeschooled or public schooled, you would normally be taking them to activities where kids are, there is your socializing.


Tuesday 24th of July 2012

For the homeschooling question -- I got nothing. As for the makeup question...

1) One obvious way to stretch your cosmetics is to find ones that you don't need to reapply constantly. You can also purchase an eyelid or a face primer. ELF makes a decent one for eyes that is $3. My eyeshadow would stay on for about 6 hours or so. If you want to go a little pricier, NYX's HD eyeshadow base (you can find this at Ulta!) is practically perfect. I haven't had any issues with it yet. I think it's about $6.95 a tube and it goes a looong way.

There are more expensive options, but I've been trying to find something that is less than $20, and those are my picks.

2) If you can find a decent powder foundation, you won't necessarily need two products!

3) It's usually, IMO, not worth it to purchase any mascara that costs over $10. Maybelline does have an awesome selection (as does Rimmel).

4) Check out your CVS occasionally for those 75% off items -- ESPECIALLY keeping an eye on the Physician's Formula. The cheapest prices I've seen for that brand are at CVS.

Make sure the products aren't separated. I would personally steer away from purchasing any of the liquid products, but there are powder blushes, eyeshadows, et cetera that you can still buy and use with no problems. I second the grocery store clearance aisle! I have found Burt's Bees products for under $2, Neutrogena face wash, Cover Girl lipglosses, etc. It can be a gold mine.

5) Ulta occasionally offers coupons. If you get the e-mails from the website, you can find out when they have their sales. They sell drugstore makeup as well as higher end items. Look out for the "Buy one get one" deals for your staple products. There's quite a few sale offerings every week.

6) I can't stress Makeupalley enough. When you're trying to keep your makeup purchases to a minimum, read all of the reviews there before making a purchase.

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