High glam, low budget, lower standards

Libby Williams, Columnist

As we round out one year in a pandemic, there is no shortage of new obstacles we’re all experiencing in our daily lives: the lack of social interaction, the total loss of a perception of time, the anxiety surrounding a once “simple” trip to the store. But perhaps the most obnoxious and difficult of all, a year of staring at our own face in the corner of a Zoom call. 

Pre-pandemic, a trip to the public bathroom or an unfortunate window reflection was the only time we’d have to acknowledge how other people perceive us. Now, for hours a day, the constant reminder of what our face looks like is being shoved into, well, our faces.

Sure, you could just hide self-view, but perhaps you actually want to make some changes. Power to you! But maybe you’re still a bit apprehensive about venturing out into the world, or you’re looking to “glow up” on a college student’s budget. Either way, here are some dirt cheap cosmetic “dupes” you can try at home. 

Always remember, confidence is your best asset, and much more importantly, CWU Observer is not responsible for how … beautiful … these tips make you! 


Microblading is the process of tattooing semi-permanent pigment to your eyebrows to achieve a fuller look. If you’ve been nervously picking at your brows for the past year every time you open Twitter, this could be the cosmetic endeavor for you. 

But the service can cost a couple hundred dollars, and a tiny needle to the face? I think not. Do you know what else applies pigment? Sharpies. 

Enough of this “semi-permanent” nonsense, give us the real deal! The iconic marker comes in a large range of natural hair colors, as well as literally every color of the rainbow if you’re looking for something more vibrant. The silver packaging is to die for, and would look great in any vanity.


If you’ve visited TikTok recently, you’ll know the 1980s are returning to the hair scene with the resurgence of the mullet. 

I say we raise the bar: perms. This style is pulled off by using chemicals to change the texture of your hair, specifically to make it curly or wavy. 

But why drop your hard earned paycheck for a bunch of mystery goo to sit in your hair for a few hours? Chemicals are chemicals, completely interchangeable. 

Go grab some scrubbing bubbles or Windex, wrap your hair around some pencils and get spraying. That burning sensation means it’s working.


Never underestimate the power of some good lashes. There’s lots of options out there for making your lashes look fuller and longer: mascara, extensions and fake glue-ons. 

Sure, you could pick up some falsies at the dollar store to appear frugal, but a dollar spent now is a dollar you can’t spend later on a thumb tack or a clove of garlic. 

Really, what are false lashes? Little hairs clumped together. Just take anything with bristles – a toothbrush, a paintbrush, a dish scrubber – clip off a few strands and glue them gently to your lids! 

If you’re worried about the color match, just pluck some of your own eyebrows. You can always Sharpie in the blank spots later.