The Two Cent Chick

A bargain, thrift, beauty & lifestyle blog. Sharing my two cents to help you save yours!


The Easiest and Cheapest DIY Photo Gallery You’ll Ever Create

My attitude on crafts and DIY projects is “if a 2-year-old could complete it, my version will only have the potential to look half as good.” In other words, crafty, Pinterest-y creations and I are not a good match.

But sometimes, I’ve challenge myself to stretch my creativity muscle and try something new. So when I needed a dead-simple and cheap way to hang photos in my office at work, my Pinterest ninja skills helped me settle on this photo gallery using a only a few materials:

Photo gallery 2

  • Thick ribbon ($1.00 each at A.C. Moore)
  • Photos (ordered mine from Shutterfly. You receive 50 free photos when you sign up, and there are literally always coupon codes)
  • Tacks
  • Binder clips (makes it more “office-y” than clothes pins!)

Then just cut the ribbon to a desired length, tack to the walls and add pictures!

Photos galery 2



I spread out the extra photos around the rest of the office :)



Any other brilliant ways to hang photos? Please share!



Project Use Up Update (April)

>It’s been about four months since Project Use Up 2014 began! I’m making excellent progress using up products and donating/throwing away products I don’t need or use. My 13-product buying limit for last year has immensely helped reduce my compulsion to buy beauty products, and this year I’m limiting myself to 10 products.

>>Several bloggers and friends I’ve met through social media have joined me in using up as many products as possible in 2014, and I highly encourage you to join in! For more info, visit the Project Use Up 2014 and Project Use Up/13 for 2013 pages.

As of April 19, 2014:

Project Use Up April Update
That’s right, I’ve used up an additional 22 products since February! I purchased a Hot Tools curling iron, seen here.



37. Herbal Essences Drama Clean Refreshing Conditioner (thanks to my sister for helping with this one!)

38. Bath & Body Works Fresh Picked Heirloom Pear Hand Soap

39. Gilette Satin Care Shaving Cream

40. Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser


41. Bath & Body Works Cranberry Twinkle Shower Gel

42. Bath & Body Works Orange Sapphire Body Lotion

43. & 44. Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple Body Lotion (Used to love it, now I’m sick of it!)



45. Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo

46. Suave Keratin Infusion Leave In Conditioner (LOVE this stuff!)

47. Garnier Sleek Finish 5-in-1 Serm Spray

48. Sure Deodorant (Absolutely terrible)


49. L’Occitane Shea Body Lotion (Amazing!)

50. Hand Sanitizer

51. Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara (For my eyebrows)

52. Dermalogica Moisturizer

53. Fantastic Perfume (Imitation of Britney Spears “Fantasy” from Big Lots. The nozzle malfunctioned!)


54. Mario Badescu Control Cream

55. Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (Miracle worker, but way too expensive)

56. Desert Essence 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil

57. Benefit Porefessoinal Primer (sample)

58. L’oreal Double Extend Mascara


How is everyone else doing on Project Use Up? There’s still plenty of 2014 left to join in; leave a comment below if you want to join us in using up as many products as possible!


Classy Cocktail Attire {Thrift Style Thursday}

I’m not sure why I thought I had “nothing” for this week’s Thrift Style Thursday theme of cocktail dress! Maybe the problem is that I’ve never had the pleasure of attending a fancy cocktail party. After I tweeted about my lack of cocktail attire to the TST girls, I realized I have more possibilities than I ever thought!

This look was thrown together in about 2 minutes and it was freezing outside (yes, still cold in New York) and I’m not too pleased with the finished results, but I still felt compelled to share since I’m wearing a sock bun and red lipstick (and also to feature what I won in a recent giveaway)!


Merona Black Dress ($2 from Savers)

Pearl Necklace (Savers)

Earrings (Kohl’s)

Wedges (Payless)

Seashell Crossbody Clutch (purchased with $25 gift card from winning Rebecca’s  ASOS giveaway!)



Don’t ask me why I’m looking up :)




And just because I enjoy laughing at myself, here are some bloopers:



Check out what I’m sure will be gorgeous cocktail attire from my fellow Thrift Style Thursday ladies:

Zhenya // Being Zhenya

Martyna // Spoolish

Miche // Buttons and Birdcages

Nout // Sandpaper Kisses

Kristi// Alligator Toe

Jackline // Sincerely Miss J

Alex // Snippets with Alex

Megan // Eclecticity

Sheri // Confessions of a Refashionista

Jacki & Lesli // Sistas from Cali

Erika // Erika’s Style Diary



Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream Review + Discount Code

My 2013 and 2014 goals to use up as many products as possible, coupled with a spending restriction, have genuinely diminished my interest in most beauty products.

For example, I wince as I glance at my overflowing drawer of eyeshadow and think, “I’ll never use this all up, and it’s starting to lose its appeal.”

But a foundation with decent coverage is a staple I don’t like to do without, so when I had the chance to sample the Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream through BrandBacker, I jumped at the chance!


Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream Benefits

CC Creams are one of the newer beauty trends (just like BB Creams which started sweeping the US a couple years ago). Studio Gear’s comes in three shades (Linen, Natural and Wheat) and sells for $34 for 1 fl. oz.

Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream promises the following benefits:

  • Protects: SPF 20 protects the skin, while Hydra-Extend technology provides moisture for up to 72 hours.
  • Perfects: Enjoy natural looking coverage while micro-encapsulated pigments perfects and fade dark spots and acne scarring.
  • Corrects: Anti-aging and collagen building ingredients help minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Hydrates: Hydra-Extend technology provides up to 72 hours of continuous hydration.
  • Conceals: Micro encapsulated pigments deliver a fresh dose of color that adapts to your own skin tone, creating the most natural looking coverage.
  • Smoothes: Skin nourishing ingredients help to correct and maintain youthful complexion. In addition, Studio Gear claims that “This foundation simultaneously fights aging, retains moisture, and covers and treats blemishes with a non-oily, perfectly radiant finish.”

My Experience and the Verdict

First, a quick background on me:

  • This is the first CC Cream I’ve tried
  • I have sensitive skin
  • I have broken capillaries on my cheeks (aka I look like I’m permanently blushing. So cute! Not.)
  • I used to be very blemish-prone, but that’s changing with continued use of the Clarisonic (check out my bargain skincare routine)
  • I tend to purchase medium-full coverage foundation (my current favorite is CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation in 805 (Ivory); watch my makeup routine here)


The “micro encapsulated pigments” that comprise this CC Cream puzzled me; I’ve never tried a foundation that can truly “adapt” to your skin tone.  Also, why is 72 hours of hydration even necessary?! Does this imply that you shouldn’t wash your face for three days? Strange.


Here is what it looks like before, during and after application:

Studio Gear collage

After 6 straight days of application, here are my pros and cons:


  • SPF 20
  • Lightweight
  • Moisturizing


  • Light coverage (might be ideal for some people, but it’s not what I’m looking for)
  • Does not “perfect” or “conceal” (Clearly, under eye and face concealer was still necessary after applying the CC Cream)
  • Cannot layer to add more coverage

Verdict: I will not repurchase. This is a lightweight and light coverage foundation that would be ideal for somebody with close to perfect skin, or maybe to wear on “no makeup” makeup days.

Interested in trying a CC Cream of your own? Get 10% with discount code bloggercc

FTC: This is a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker.


eBay Tips and the Best Cheap Buys on eBay

(Before you dive into this fabulous post, have you entered my favorite things giveaway yet?! If not, you should!)

eBay is my favorite shopping goldmine; you can uncover treasures and strike gold if you use the right strategy!

I’ve been almost completely satisfied with every purchase I’ve ever made. But don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of junk and fakes on eBay.


I bought this lovely “opal” ring that actually features a large, white piece of plastic made to look like opal. Don’t worry…I got my money back!

Ring 3

Don’t buy a fake opal ring like I did. Follow these simple rules: 

1. Research

My #1 tip before making any purchase, but especially one from eBay.

2. Comparison shop/compare prices

Comparing the prices (especially for used items) is essential; ensure you’re actually getting a good deal and not getting swindled!

3. Ask!

Do not be afraid to ask the seller your questions or ask him/her to address any qualms you have. Better to ask beforehand than to end up with a purchase that’s not exactly what you had in mind!

With those tips in mind, here are three of my favorite cheap and awesome eBay purchases:

Crystal Glass nail file

I bought a 4-pack of crystal glass nail files for $1.79 last year and I couldn’t be happier with them! I gave one to my Mom and sisters and kept one for myself.

Nail file collage

Though the blue is chipping off on the top of the file, the grit of the file is still as perfect as the day I bought it!

Pro: These will last FOREVER.

Con: These usually come from China so you might have to wait about a month to receive these.

Knockoff Jewelry

Unlike the disaster of an opal ring I shared above, eBay is a fantastic source for cheap jewelry.

I coveted the J.Crew Bubble Necklace for a few years, but ain’t no way I was paying $150 for a necklace. A mere necklace. Does it come with an outfit and shoes, too?


So I turned to eBay and snagged this lime green knockoff for $7.95 back in January (featured in last week’s Thrift Style Thursday post). Love it!

Pro: You can find seriously cheap jewelry.

Con: Jewelry may not be the best quality (This was broken upon arrival but my sister fixed it with some jewelry pliers).

Phone Cases

From the good old days when I had a flip phone to my current iPhone 4S, I always purchase my phone cases from eBay. This beauty was only $3.09!

What's in my purse 6

Pro: Wide variety of cases at every price point.

Con: Some cases come from China and might take a month or more to arrive.

What are your favorite eBay purchases?


Giveaway: My Favorite Things!

It’s time for my first-ever giveaway! Just because I love this blog and all of my lovely readers so much :)

I’m giving away eight of my favorite things, plus a few random goodies, to one lucky winner. Here’s what you can win:

My Favorite Things


Giveaway 1

Neutrogrena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo  //  Dove Dry Shampoo  //  

The Body Shop Body Polisher (reviewed here)

Giveaway 2

e.l.f. Powder Brush // e.l.f. Eyelid Primer // e.l.f. Eyeshadow Brush //

Carmex Everyday Healing Lip Balm // Sonia Kashuk Nail Polish in Golden Ticket

Earn your first entry into the giveaway by commenting below with your email and three of your favorite things (could be a beauty item, skincare, nail polish, clothes, etc.)!

You have one week to enter. Good luck!

Open to U.S. residents only. 

ENTER HERE/more chances on my Facebook page!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 138 other followers