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How To Smell Like A Tropical Vacation…For $9 Dollars

babes on a budget 1b | the skinny confidential

Sometimes you’re in a PINCH.

To be real with you, when I was in high school & college I was always ( ALWAYS ) in a pinch.

I was broke.

Not like sort of broke either, like REAL broke.

The kind of broke where your credit card declines for a dive bar $10.99 dinner in front of 10 girls who are judging you kind of broke. ( Not saying that happened, not saying it didn’t happen ). It was bad.

Let’s just say money management wasn’t my strong suit.

There I would be at Starbucks using quarters…or nickles ( the green Coinstar machine was my BFF ) buying a grande black coffee, abusing the free cinnamon/nutmeg privileges. To even further reiterate how broke I was?

I was that girl at the gas station asking “can I get $1.09 on #7?”

That happened. A lot, actually. 

More than one would think. Like there I’d be on my way to work as a cocktail server & I’d realize “fuck, I’ve been on empty for 15 miles- I should probably get gas, right?” But I’d only have like a dollar or something on me.

That was fine though because I was on my way to make cash tips ( usually about $40 bucks- this changed when I became a bartender though- thank God ).

After work, I’d head to my car with $1.09 of gas in it & drive straight to ampm to fuel up on Flaming Hot Cheetos & cheap Pinot Grigio + $20 dollars more of gas.

Hey, the strategy worked. I got home- with red powered fingers, mind you. But at least I got home.

Sometimes I feel like we don’t discuss these days as much as we should ( should we? ).

I have so, SO many stories about being a bartender ( remember that time a pissed off, older woman flicked a crusty thong at me across the bar! ). If you’re a broke college student paying your way through college- I feel you. I feel you hard. And I feel your budget.

One thing about being on a budget that is very badass is you have TO GET CREATIVE.

I actually attribute a lot of The Skinny Confidential to my time spent being on a budget because I was always finding angles & ways around roadblocks. Sneaky, sneaky. No one could tell me no, because if they told me no- I’d find a different door. You know what they say: if there’s a will, there’s a way.

After reading the book, How To Murder Your Life, I picked up on a tip I USED TO DO ALL THE TIME. A tip I forgot I did but I did do A LOT.

YOU KNOW WHAT MEAN? Like don’t you all of a sudden remember something you did a long time ago that you forgot you did but you want to keep doing, you just forgot you did it?

Oh, come on. Anyone? Some of you get it.

Anyway, that’s this tip.

This tip is one for the babes on the budget. The girl who’s reading this in her dorm, driving her car from school to work on $1.09. The girl who’s maybe eating Top Ramen ( S/O to the blue packet- Oriental Flavor with “lemon” from a plastic lemon squeezed all over it ). The girl who wants to smell expensive but needs to put the funds towards a flat tire & drugstore mascara.

So are you ready for it? It’s a weird one.

babes on budget 2c | by the skinny confidential


( It’s not for the sun though, quit whining! You know I would never tell you to lay in the sun? Come on now ).

That’s right, the tip is that simple- cheap tanning oil.

ROCK IT YEAR-ROUND. Throw this shit on your neck, arms, chest, legs ( especially legs- this was my go-to ).

PEOPLE will love it. No seriously, there’s something so incredibly appealing about smelling like this cheap, drugstore oil.

Guys will sniff you. Maybe sniff you too close. But hey, at least they’re sniffing?

They will say: “OH WOW, you smell like the beach!”


Also for PREVENTION people. I mean it’s 4 SPF- so you’re kind of protecting your skin from the sun and at the same time smelling like a pineapple while rocking the perfect ( CHEAP ) glow-y glow.

However don’t let that fool you- I loved wearing this stuff out at night while I hit the town with ten inch heels & a mini skirt that kind of showed my Target thong, kind of didn’t- you be the judge. It’s FAB on legs. Really makes them glow like the Angels on the VS runway, you know. And you’re not spending 2398432 dollars on this product, it’s just cheap tanning oil.

Make sure you get the deep tanning oil in ‘dark.’ Get specific, you know.

( Nothing is sponsored here, I’m just a weirdo ).

If you don’t like this cheap hack & want something bougie, go for Supermodel Body Slimmer Shimmer by Charlotte Tilbury. It works like a charm. I must say though, my tanning oil trick is just as good.


Do you like these babes on a budget tips? I kind of do. Should I make it a thing? To be honest, there’s still a lot of weird drugstore tips like this I do. I feel like a billionaire could even use a little Banana Boat Tanning Oil…if you’re the owner of SPANX & reading this, e-mail me- k?

With that, off to read, YOUNGER by Dr. Harold Lancer ( so much anti-aging goodness ) & eat ( FIVE ) mini dark Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. I can’t quit them lately. They’re so good- you just throw them in the freezer & BAMMMMM- it’s a real mouth party.

Chat tomorrow, lauryn x

+ other babes on a budget realness: EPSOM SALT BATH | BONE BROTH | 2 MIN FLOWER CAKE

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  1. Yesssssss to money saving hacks! Quick rant – just spent $400 at the mechanic, so back to the budget I go. LMAO, thanks for sharing Lauryn!!

  2. Love the babe on a budget tips! I’m off to Wallgreens this afternoon to pick some Banana Boat today. What a great idea!!!

  3. LOVE this tip! Buying Banana Boat today, that smell is heavenly! I love budget tips and cheap, but great products. Why spend more money when you don’t need to? Thanks for sharing! xx

  4. This has definitely never occurred to me but it’s such a good idea! I love hearing more about how life was when you started this blog. I think we can allll relate to getting a card declined in front of someone embarrassing too…

    xx Pia

  5. Love these posts about being on a budget. Your lifestyle is serious goals but I am definitely not there yet!! I’m sure a lot of girls can agree!!

  6. Yeeees, I love the smell of this stuff. It’s a classic, my mom has used it for years and I never get over it! I also love Palmers, it smells like chocolate and it’s cheap as heck. When you smell delicious, who cares how much you paid?

    Nicolette |


  8. omg this was my ride or die in highschool, while the other girls were buying escada perfume (was that a thing in the U.S.? They had these crazy bottles and it was like, the thing in Vancouver, everyone had these stupid escada perfumes) anyways, I always just wore the classic hawaiian tropic sunscreen ALL OVER myself, and everyone always commented how I smelled sooo good. Here I am, almost ten years after graduating and I still practically bathe in that sunscreen just for the beachy scent. I thought I was the only one!

  9. Absolutely yes to more posts like this! Love it so much! I feel you on getting creative when you’re on a budget, and sometimes I think those are the best tips!

  10. Yes please share more cheap tips and tricks. I also love your book recommendations. I’m new to your podcast and website and I am just mesmerized and totally in love with you guys. I am for sure in stalker mode 🙂

  11. yes! I love tips like this. I have actually been doing this for the last few years with Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil ( smells so good) and the Saint Tropez orange gelle squeeze tube. Make skin look amazing and smells like vacation. I will try the Bannana Boat.

  12. I loved this post, Lauryn!! It was a fun flashback & kind of reminded me of older TSC posts. Also SOOOO guilty of the 32940023″ heels & short skirts. I feel like that was the look of like 2010-2012 LOL! x Shannon ||

  13. Banana Boat for the win! Love the smell, so reminiscent of high school way to bring it back!
    Love posts like this, definite yes to more “salad days” stories and budget babes posts. I love hearing your origin stories, always SO relate-able & hi-larious!

  14. Girl!!! You got me with the Oriental Ramen and Lemon, OMG that was my go-to dinner in my early 20’s. And I have always loved the smell of that tanning lotion but never thought to just use it for fragrance (light bulb moment) – I am a “smell good” junkie so def going to re-visit.


  15. This is my favorite post to date of yours! Thank you for getting personal! xx

  16. This post made me so unexplainably happy. Please talk more about your broke college days. I have the budget of a broke college student/part-time barista… because I am a broke college student/part-time barista. Can’t wait to be a broke college student who smells like Majorca though!!

  17. Love this Lauryn!!! I absolutely love budget hacks. I am 23 and was a Hooters waitress through college and your story brings back memories! It’s so crazy how things can change in just a few years 🙂

  18. Love this post! Could you do a post on budgeting and how to come from broke college to building a savings!

  19. I do this all year and it seriously is the best thing! I hate laying out in the sun, so I’ll wear sunscreen for that, but year round to smell amazing this is perfect!!

  20. Love this tip! I definitely remember those days of serving/bartending when every day was a struggle to pay for gas and coffee. While I’m not exactly on that same struggle bus anymore, I still appreciate a good budget beauty tip, so thank you! Also- Younger is a fantastic book! I learned so much! xoxo

  21. LOVE LOVE LOVE the babes on a budget idea! I’m a college student, I’ve worked at least one job consistently since I was 14, pay for all my own stuff, so I would love to hear your thoughts/stories on budgeting. I feel like money is such a “taboo” topic that when people do get real and talk about being broke at one point or another it is the most refreshing thing ever.

    Also s/o to coinstar – I redeem my coins for a starbucks or sephora gift card (a lot of the machines don’t give you cash anymore sadly) so that I have some coffees or a couple makeup updates pre paid for me. Serious game changer.

  22. I love reading stuff like this because it’s so real and relatable and who doesn’t appreciate a tip that won’t break the bank! These days you see so much more of the fabulous and glamorous in the world that’s great to also see something real!

  23. Hi Lauryn! Loved this tip and love the Babes on a Budget theme :). I’m always on a budget as I’m unemployed and trying to figure out where I would like to go with my blog, so I would love it if you made this a thing 🙂 Loved you since the beginning XOXO!

  24. Love this and would definitely love to see more similar posts! Would be great to see a post/podcast on budgeting and learning to save $. I struggle so much with putting money away and not dipping into it! Also any tips on sticking to a budget… I always make one but then can’t keep track! Xo

  25. I seriously love this and can’t wait to use this tip. Would love to keep seeing ideas of cheap(er) tips and tricks along with creative ideas on a budget. Any money saving tips are always appreciated 🙂

  26. I seriously love this and can’t wait to use this tip. Would love to keep seeing ideas of cheap(er) tips and tricks along with creative ideas on a budget. Any money saving tips are always appreciated ?

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