Mallory Lepage

After living in several of the greatest cities in the country, I made Chicago home a short three years ago. Chicago is the perfect hybrid of the Midwest relaxed mentality and chaotic city life that allows me to enjoy so much it has to offer. I’m equal parts tom boy and glam girl, I love watching sports (Go Green!) just as much as I enjoy taking hours to get ready for a night out on the town with my girlfriends.

chicago cheap ass (6)
Beauty, Life,

Chicago Beauty #Basics: Do’s and Don’ts.

no comment

Chicago Beauty Basics

Don’t, in fact never, go to bed without finishing your makeup routine no matter how tired you are – take off your makeup!

Don’t whiten your teeth the same day as a big night out; chances are you will drink wine… or whiskey.

Don’t skimp out on razors. If a men’s razor is good enough for his face its good enough for my legs. Tip: Dollar Shave Club! Men use them…on their faces!

Don’t forget to wash your makeup brushes well and often. This prevents breakouts and helps your makeup last longer. You don’t need to break the bank with that expensive brush wash; baby shampoo ($1) is effective and gentle on your skin.

Don’t pluck (anything) before applying makeup, lotion or sweating. Do pluck before the shower, after makeup removal or after moisturizing before bed.

Don’t forget to treat the tops of your hands and neck like your face, wrinkles happen everywhere.

Do exfoliate your face and body at least once every week. This could include dry brushing your body or using a cleansing brush on your face with mild face wash. I use DDF brush ($100) with Kiehl’s Facewash ($10).

Chicago Beauty Basics

Don’t assume hotel shampoos and soaps are safe to use. This is a quick way to ruin all your beauty efforts. Soaps can dry out your skin and shampoos without sulfate will expose your hair leaving it vulnerable to heat and weather.


Do protect your hair from hot tools. My go to products are L’Oreal Paris Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray ($5). Apply to damp hair as this protects it from your blow drying. While curling fine hair, it’s especially important to watch the temperature since, fine hair tends to burn faster. To continue protection against curling irons and straighteners I used Sexy Hair: Style Sexy Hair 450 Degree Protect ($19).  Both products smell divine and no one is ever mad about that!

Chicago Beauty

Do find a signature perfume for your everyday use then purchase a travel size perfume or rollerball in something different.  This is a little psychological way to associate smell with vacation and fun. Trust me, it works.

Do give your hair breaks from hot tools summer is the best time to utilize this effort  my favorite solution is a bun, while there are several bun solutions I use Hot Buns ($5.99 at Sally Beauty Supply or CVS).

Chicago Beauty Basics

Do find a Beauty loyalty program and stick with it (stay tuned) because it pays off.


Absolutely exercise and stay hydrated. This is key to keeping healthy skin. Your pores need to breathe and your body needs water.


What are your Chicago Beauty #Basics Do’s and Don’ts? Please share in the comments!

chicago cheap ass (3)
Beauty, Life,

Chicago Beauty: Haircare Basics

no comment

A wise person once told me that you should treat your hair as delicate as your skin. The sun damages and dries while the vapid Chicago winds dry it out. It’s important to have different Chicago-related beauty routines, especially where your hair is concerned.

Contrary to popular belief, It does matter what type of shampoo, conditioner and product you use on your hair – especially colored types.  We spend enough money on our cuts and coloring so we should protect it in between those pricey visits.
Nexxus Color Assure
Price: $20 for shampoo and conditioner, each. $10 for primer
Chicago Beauty Haircare Basics
It’s best to use sulfate-free products. They’re easy to find, but Nexxus Color Assure is the highest quality product for the price point.  Start with the Primer while your hair is dry before the shower.  Hot water is harsh on your hair, so the cooler temperatures are better. After shampooing, leave the conditioner in during the rest of your showerly duties. Let the conditioner rinse be the last thing you do before turning the water off. This serves as a mini daily deep conditioner.
One ‘n Only Argan Oil
Price: $10
Chicago Beauty Haircare Basics
My every day post-shower hair product for all weather types is One ‘n Only Argan Oil.  It can be found at Sally Beauty Supplies and lasts nearly a year! I’ve been using it for over a decade, days missed are highly noticeable on my texture and frizz control.
Kardashian Beauty K-bomb Volume Foam
Price: $15
Chicago Beauty Haircare Basics
Shamefully, I recently purchased a Kardashian Beauty product. Simply because their hair is bomb (does there need to be a better reason?). I bought the Kardashian Beauty K-bomb Volume Foam, and so far I love the results! To use, apply at the roots when damp for a little extra va-va-voom! If you’re hesitant, it’s made with black seed oil… I’ll let you think about that one. All jokes aside, it works double duty to promote hair growth and prevents hair loss.
It doesn’t take expensive products to maintain great hair. It’s important to keep it simple and be consistent with a daily routine. Adding something like the Kardashian Volume Foam ever so often enhances your routine but adding too many products too often can be wasteful and expensive. Don’t overdo it and weigh your hair down after all the hard work you put into it!


Any Chicago haircare tips I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Don’t forget to pin your favorite products for later 🙂
chicago cheap ass (6)
Beauty, Life,

Basic Skincare for Chicago Weather

no comment

Please join me in welcoming our newest blogger – Mallory LePage! She’s seriously fabulous and is an early adopter when it comes to trying beauty products. If you have any questions or products you’d like her to review, please let her know in the comments!

We all get suckered into trends and new skin products that are a gamble for wallets and skin, alike. It took me 27 years to get my skin routine down… and it’s still evolving!

The key to great skin is consistency. You don’t need creams made from caviar, or cotton balls made of silk. This is my basic skin routine for Spring, Summer and Fall. Chicagoans need to adopt an aggressive plan in the Winter to handle the wind, hail, sleet, snow, and most recently… polar vortex. But we’ll worry about that when our two months of summer are up!

Before attempting, remove all makeup via makeup wipes or cotton ball and makeup remover.


Step One:  Use two types of cleansers. Try to avoid anything too harsh. I interchange my cleansers every few days based on the level of dirt and oil on my skin.  My favorite more expensive brand is Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleaner.  It’s black and warming, which makes for a nice morning cleanser. One pump is enough and will rid your skin of the city grime.  My other cleanser is Kiehl’s which is typically expensive unless you go to Nordstrom Rack where they regularly have it for a third of the price! Boscia tends to provide a deeper cleanse, and Keihls is softer and appropriate for all skin types.


Step Two: Time for spot treatment. Look, none of us are perfect. Blemishes happen. Stop them, without picking or squeezing, before they really cause a problem. My go-to is Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix. It can easily last six months, making it well worth your money. It does not cause redness like several other ‘solutions.’ Apply after cleansing and before lotion.


Step 2 1/2: On the sunny days (which are rare in Chicago)… apply 50+ SPF before lotion.

Step Three: Lotion. Why not listen to Jennifer Aniston – use Aveeno. She has the best skin around and is notorious for being particular with endorsements, so I listen.


I use Aveeno with Vitamin C, because why not put that on your face? Creams can cost more than clothes. Aveeno is simple and affordable for your every day basic skin care routine.

Never fall asleep without doing your routine! Your skin needs special care when the weather is constantly changing.

What are your skin care secrets for dealing with Chicago weather?