Wednesday, 31 August 2016

13 Freebies that are Actually Useful


There are a tons of offers out there buzzing around the internet for free samples, cash for doing surveys, and various other freebies that end up being a big waste of time. I'm sure a lot of you are just like me and don't want to waste hours answering stupid survey questions just to potentially get a few dollars (or cents) or have to stalk all sorts of websites begging for free samples. If that's your thing, have at 'er but I need things to be a little more streamlined. Because of that I've rounded up a few resources for great freebies that you will actually use and are easy to get. 

1. Edmonton Public Library - If you live in Edmonton and don't have a library card I don't think we can be friends anymore. You can redeem yourself by going (right now) and signing yourself up. Even if you're not a big reader it's still worth it as not only does the library have books, they also have movies, TV shows, video games, magazines, digital database subscriptions, etc. It's free and easy to sign up, just stop in to one of their 19 branches and get started. 


2. SampleSource - I've been a member of SampleSource for a few years now and have gotten my hands on plenty of great samples. I'm kind of a sample junkie (you can ask my bathroom cabinet) and SampleSource makes it really convenient to get a whole pack of samples delivered right to your mailbox. They usually have campaigns a couple of times a year so I suggest signing up for an account and you'll get an email notification next time a sample box is available. After you've received a box they do ask you to complete a survey about your opinions on the products but I've found the surveys to be pretty straightforward and don't take much time. Below is a picture of what was included in the last box I got:



3. CBC Television - I watch quite a bit of television and there aren't that many options for free TV viewing. There's always free trials for Netflix, Shomi, and all those streaming services but those will only last you so long. One really good option to check out is CBC. You can get free (no cable login required) access to all their shows streaming on the CBC website. I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now thinking CBC has nothing you'd be interested in but don't be too quick to judge. Try out X Company, Republic of Doyle or Being Erica.

4. Project Gutenberg - Another resource for free books. Project Gutenberg is a collection of written works that are part of the public domain and includes many of the classic books you've probably always said you should read. You'll be able to find works by Jane Austen, Charles Dickins, Mark Twain, etc. I don't know exactly how the collection works but it has something to do without copyrights expiring after a certain amount of time.

5. OpenOffice - If you're like me you spend a lot of time on a desktop computer at work and next to no time on a computer at home. Almost everything I need at home can be completed on my phone or laptop (I've just got a cheap chromebook) but every once in awhile I do need access to Word or Excel. Enter OpenOffice, a free software suite that will give you all the components of Microsoft Office for none of the money. It works, it's not fantastic but for the limited time I need it at home it absolutely serves it's purpose.

6. Free Fitness - There's no need to get locked in to paying for a gym membership every month as there are tons of great workout videos available for free on the internet. YouTube will become your very best get fit friend and you can get your workout done in the comfort of your own home. Check out Fitness Blender for an extensive assortment of full-length workout videos that will get you whipped into shape or if you prefer the yoga route you should definitely check out Yoga with Adriene

7. Swagbucks - I've used Swagbucks for a few years now and have been rewarded with $250 in gift cards in that time, and that's not even trying to hard. Basically you earn swagbucks a variety of ways and then redeem them from gift cards from a bunch of places including Amazon and Starbucks. You can earn bucks by using the swagbucks search bar, doing surveys or just by online shopping. I used to do more surveys but now usually just get them via online shopping. After you sign-up you just go to the shop section and link to whatever site you're planning to buy from (there's lots of options) and you earn back swagbucks for every dollar you spend. Simple! 

9. Free Nights at AGA - The last Thursday of every month gets you free access to the Art Gallery of Alberta from 6pm to 9pm. It's a great time to check out the current exhibitions and perfect for a cheap date night. Check your local museums and art galleries to see if they have a similar program running. 

10. Provincial Parks - Want to get out of the city and enjoy the outdoors but don't want to fork over a bunch of cash for park entry? Check out a provincial park instead of a national park. There are lots of great provincial parks in Alberta and they wont cost you anything to get into. Plus, I've found they are just as well maintained and often quieter than the national parks. My favourite spot that is within day-trip distance of Edmonton is the Cooking Lake/Blackfoot Recreation area just East of the city. It actually borders on Elk Island so has a lot of the same wildlife and vegetation, lots of well maintained hiking trails and nice picnic spots. 
Cooking Lake/Blackfoot Recreation Area - October 2015
11. Home Depot Workshops - If you have some home renovations that need completed but aren't exactly the best at DIY it is worth checking out your local Home Depot. They often have free workshops that you can attend to learn a new skill and this could end up saving you a bunch of money if you no longer need to hire someone to do the job. 

12. Birthday Freebies - There's quite a few companies that offer birthday freebies so it's worth checking to see if your favourite stores or restaurants have any perks. My all time favourite has to be Sephora, if you are a Beauty Insider you will get a free product during your birthday month and they are usually full-size, actually good products. Starbucks will also send you a coupon for a free drink on your birthday if you are a member of their rewards program and if you're a fan of burgers you can sign-up to Red Robin Royalty and get a free birthday burger. 

13. Free Printables - Just type this into Pinterest and you will be overloaded with free templates and art work that you can simply print off to use to organize your life or decorate your house. Sure, it's not going to be the fanciest art work you've ever seen but it's better than bare walls and real art work is EXPENSIVE! I especially like the printable planners, as much as I am tied to my phone I still like to have a hard copy of my schedule at home and when you use a pretty template it even looks nice on your fridge. I like this print, these prints and this print and am currently using this weekly planner

Friday, 26 August 2016

Fall Fashion

There's been a definite fall chill in the air this week and there sure isn't as much daylight as there was just last week. How does fall creep up on us so fast every year? Depressing! The one good thing that comes with the cooler temperatures is sweater, boots, and blanket season. I've already started pulling my sweaters out from their various hiding places (lack of closest space in this old house) and evaluating my fall wardrobe. I've already committed to not buying anymore clothes so I've got to work with what I've got right now. That doesn't mean I can't daydream a little about some new wardrobe additions so I've rounded up a few things I'm crushing on and maybe those of you who haven't put themselves on a spending-hiatus can buy away. 

Aritzia Winston Dress
This is the perfect dress to take you from summer straight through fall and winter it just depends on what you wear with it. Right now it would be adorable all by itself with a cute pair of flats and as it gets colder just throw on a pair of wool tights and boots and you're all set. 

H&M Sweater
I actually own this sweater (bought a few months ago when I was allowed to spend money, no cheaters here!) It's really great and it's from H&M so it's cheap too. It's a really lightweight knit so you wont cook when the heat gets cranked in your office and it has a really nice drape. There's also a bunch of different colours. 

Poppy Barley Ankle Boots
I've had my eye on these booties for awhile and I'm pretty certain they will be the next pair of shoes I buy, eventually. Poppy Barley shoes are fantastic, really good quality and super comfortable. I highly recommend checking them out if you are in the market. 

Simons Mixed Media Coat
I bought a new winter jacket last year that I really love but whenever I see a coat with leather sleeves like this one and I am a fan. I also really like the dark red on this one, I usually wear a lot of neutrals in the winter but this is a nice pop against all the bleakness. 

Belted Shirt Dress
This is another dress that will work for you year round and will also take you out of the black and grey slump you may find yourself in when the weather turns. However, if that's too much out of comfort zone it does also come in black. 

Matt and Nat Handbag
Back to the neutrals. I don't think I've ever owned a gray purse but this has such a classic look and Matt and Nat bags are amazing. I didn't even know you could buy them at Chapters, weird but convenient right? 

Boutique 1861 Dress
How cute is this dress? That subtle little bow and the pleats are adorable but the neutral plaid makes it a perfect work dress. Plus, Boutique 1861 is a Canadian company based in Montreal and it's always good to support Canadian business. They are always the first place I look when I need a dress for a special occasion and it's rare that I don't find something. 

Zara Check Blazer
Who doesn't love a good blazer? It's an easy way to instantly make an outfit look for polished and can be dressed up for work or dressed down with jeans. 

Flannel Plaid Shirt
Because obviously. I practically live in flannel shirts from September to April because they are just so darn comfy and cozy. This one has a nice silhouette (I like the long length) and doesn't look at all frumpy. The perfect staple to pair with these upcoming black skinnies...

Noisy May Extreme Soft Skinny Jeans
I own this exact pair of jeans and have probably worn them more than any other item in my closet. They actually feel like you're wearing sweatpants...seriously! I love how they fit and the 'extreme soft' is no lie, they look like black jeans but the fabric is so soft and stretchy but they are still thick and structured enough to be super flattering. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Credit Card Perks: Travel Insurance


If you're a frequent jet-setter you likely already have a credit card that pays you back in travel rewards, that's fairly common knowledge in this day and age. What you might not know however is that many of those very same travel rewards cards also give you insurance coverage for lots of the not so great things that can happen when you're on vacation. You know when you're booking a trip and you have to click through the part about accepting or rejecting medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance, car rental insurance, etc. All those things can cost you a pretty penny each time but skipping them might leave you with in a bad situation. For that reason it's worth checking to see what coverage you currently have through your credit card and maybe even switching cards if you travel quite a bit. 

First we're going to look at a few things you might want coverage from and then we'll compare a couple travel cards and see what kind of coverage you can get. 

Emergency Medical or Travel Accident Insurance
These are the basics, if you get sick or injured and have to seek medical assistance in another country you will be covered for the cost of those services. Accident insurance is an additional coverage that would pay out if there was a loss of life or dismemberment during the insured's trip. 

Trip Cancellation Insurance 
Pretty self explanatory. If you have to cancel your non-refundable vacation at the last minute you will be reimbursed and not have to pay for a trip you didn't take. 

Trip Interruption Insurance
Similar to trip cancellation but this would be if you are already on your trip and have to come home early (or are delayed leaving) for some sort of emergency. Trip interruption coverage would pay for any costs assosciated with getting you home ASAP such as rescheduling flights, hotel cancellation, etc. 

Car Rental Insurance
Will cover you if you are renting a car and get in an accident or the car is damaged or stolen. 

Lost Baggage Insurance
If your luggage is lost your insurer will cut you a cheque to cover it. 

We just recently booked a trip to Barcelona for November and the price we were quoted for medical, accident, cancellation, interruption and lost baggage insurance was $153 each. Now we are both healthy and fairly young so that price isn't that high but it still ends up being higher than the annual fee of most of the travel credit cards. Of course, if you're racking up debt on that same credit card you're going to see the insurance advantage run out real fast. These companies aren't crazy, more often than not they make their money back on your interest payments. Remember to always pay your balances in full and you can reap the rewards. 

Here's a couple of card options that are available to give you an idea of what sort of coverage you can get. There are plenty more out there so take your time to do a little research and find the best fit for you. Just a note, the numbers provided below are a basic overview...there's always going to be some fine print involved when it comes to insurance. 


BMO World Elite MasterCard
  • Annual Fee: $150 / Interest Rate: 19.99%
  • 2 points per dollar on all purchases
  • Travel insurance coverage:
    • Medical: $2,000,000
    • Accident: up to $500,000
    • Cancellation: $2,500/person or $5,000/trip
    • Interruption: $2,000/person
    • Car Rental: $65,000
    • Lost Baggage: $750/person or $2,000/trip

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite
  • Annual Fee: $120 / Interest Rate: 19.99%
  • 3 points per dollar
  • Travel insurance coverage:
    • Medical: $1,000,000
    • Accident: up to $500,000
    • Cancellation: $1,500/person or $5,000/trip
    • Interruption: $5,000/person or $25,000/trip
    • Car Rental: $65,000
    • Lost Baggage: $1,000/person

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
  • Annual Fee: $99 / Interest Rate: 19.99%
  • 4 points per dollar on gas, groceries, restaurants & entertainment, 1 point per dollar on anything else
  • Travel insurance coverage:
    • Medical: $1,000,000
    • Accident: up to $500,000
    • Cancellation: $2,500/person or $10,000/trip
    • Interruption: $2,500/person or $10,000/trip
    • Car Rental: $65,000
    • Lost Baggage: $1,000/trip

Sunday, 21 August 2016

August Loves

Where does the time go!? Usually I try to post my monthly round-up about the 15th but I'm running a little behind this month. I've also been trying to save my pennies after a fairly spendy summer so most of this month's offerings wont cost you too much moula. 

Citi60 Barcelona Guide
I stumbled upon this little book of goodness at The Prints and the Paper, a new addition to Edmonton's 124 Street. That store is a gem and is packed full of all sorts of wonderful things and it the perfect place to find a unique gift for that person who is impossible to shop for. Anyways, as any of you who have been reading the blog know, we are heading off to Barcelona in November and this city guide is packed full of things to see, places to eat at and lots of other must-do things in Barcelona from people who know the city inside and out. Each entry also has a QR code that you can scan with your phone and bring it up on Google maps. There's quite a few guides for other cities too, so if you're planning a trip I think they're worth checking out. 

Superga Sneakers
I've had these sneakers for about a month and I think they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned, that are still cute. I was looking for a pair of shoes I can trek around Barcelona in and these seem to fit the bill perfectly, as long as I don't wear them out between now and then. The link above is to ShoeMe; I've ordered a few pairs from them and have always had good luck, quick shipping, free exchanges and they ALWAYS have coupon codes (I like to wait for 30% off) so it's a good idea to sign up for their emails. 

The Fundamentals of Caring
This is such a great movie! It's a pretty recent addition to Netflix and it was on one of the many movies they recommended to me but it really is fantastic. I hate spoilers so I'm not going to give anything away, just go watch it...I promise you wont regret it. 

Invisibilia
I haven't given you guys a podcast recommendation for awhile so here you go. I listened to the first season of Invisibilia right when it came out and really enjoyed it. There was a long break between the first and second season so I kind of forgot about it but I started listing to season 2 and am hooked again. The two (now three) hosts tackle a separate topic each week that deals with the invisible forces that impact us. Really interesting stuff!  

Cafe Bel-Air Popsicles
The best way to beat the heat! These popsicles are made locally in Edmonton and are super tasty. They do change up their flavours regularly but my all-time favourite is the chocolate and sea salt. Keep an eye out for them at Edmonton farmer's markets. 

Kate Somerville EradiKate
If you get the odd pimple (who doesn't!) then you'll want to pick up a little jar of this magic ASAP. It's a little pricier than the zit cream you'll find at the drugstore but it's worth it. Plus, you only need to use the tiniest amount on each pimple so it will last forever. I dab on a little before going to bed and it really does shrink most spots within a couple of days. It also doesn't dry out my skin like other treatments can so you aren't left with flaky skin that's impossible to cover up. 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Splurge-worthy Beauty Buys


Last week I talked about my favourite bargain beauty find but today we're switching gears and taking a peek at the products I'm willing to fork over the big bucks for. You'll notice a bit of a trend here; most of the products I'm willing to splurge on go directly on my skin. I'm prone to the odd breakout and have somewhat fussy combination skin and do notice a difference when using cheap vs. higher quality products like foundation and primer. Nobody likes zits and decreasing their frequency is worth it to me. What about you guys, do you have specific products you are willing to splurge on? 

1. Kevin Murphy Shampoo and Conditioner
I had been using Monat hair products for awhile but was finding their shampoo and conditioner too heavy for the summer (who wants to wash their hair everyday). My hairdresser uses Kevin Murphy products in her salon so I took her advice and tried out the shampoo and conditioner (or wash and rinse cause they're fancy). The products smell DELICIOUS and have been working wonders on my hair, it's softer than I think it's ever been! Quality hair products are definitely something I'm willing to spend a bit more money on because I do find they make a difference. Usually they are extra concentrated so you can use less and this makes the cost difference not quite as substantial as you'd think.  

2. Nars All-Day Luminous Powder Foundation
This stuff is the bomb! I despise heavy foundation always but during the hot summer months I want next to nothing on my skin and like to switch to a light powder. This stuff is perfect for me. I like to apply a light coating with a brush and it gives me just enough coverage but feels like nothing on my face. You do have the option to apply it with a dampened sponge which makes it more buildable for heavier coverage but the lighter the better for me. Powder foundation doesn't work for me in the winter when my skin dries out but this is my go to for the summer. 

3. Atelier Cologne - Orange Sanguine
I've never been a big perfume fan but this stuff has totally changed my tune. It's very orangey so beware of that if citrus isn't your thing but I love that freshness. No strong florals that give you an instant second here! Even for perfume this one is a splurge so maybe add it to your Christmas or birthday list ;) 

4. Clinique Sonic System
This is another great item to add to your gift list (I can't be the only person that keeps an ongoing hidden pinterest board for things I want people to buy me!) I've been using the Sonic System for almost two years and would replace it in an instant if anything happened to it. It's so good at deep cleaning your skin and getting every possible bit of gunk out of your pores. It also holds a charge forever; I've never actually had it die on me and maybe charge it one every 6 months. The scrubbing head can also be replaced but I'm using the one it came with and it's still in really good condition. 

5. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush 
I've raved about this blush before but it really is that good and I think worth spending the money on. It goes on silky smooth and is really easy to blend. The best part though, it lasts longer than any other blush I've ever tried. Look for a sample at Sephora and I promise you wont be disappointed. 

6. Rocky Mountain Soap Co Sunscreen 
Sunscreen, the necessary evil...at least in my world. This stuff costs more than your run of the mill drugstore sunscreen but it makes up for it with it's greatness. I usually dread applying sunscreen because more often than not it is sticky, greasy and not so great smelling but Rocky Mountain Soap Co has solved all those issues. This lotion absorbs well, has shea butter for moisturizing and smells AMAZING. Plus it doesn't have any of that bad stuff you'll find in cheaper versions. 

7. Benefit Porefessional Face Primer
If you want your foundation to stay put and look good throughout the day (especially powder foundation) a primer really is essential and this is my favourite. Yes, it's expensive...but a little goes a long way and it is the smoothest, silkiest stuff ever. A thin coat of the primer will already make a difference in the evenness of your skin and once you add a light coat of foundation you'll be good to go.  

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Stop Passing Up FREE Money


Why on earth would you not take advantage of someone giving you free money? Sounds crazy right? Well it happens WAY more than you would think and you (yes, you!) might even be an offender! 

A lot of employers offer defined contribution pension plans or group RRSP's where your big bad boss will match your contributions up to a specific amount. All you have to do is get enrolled in the plan and start making contributions. I know, I know...you're probably thinking that you might not be able to spare that extra $50 or $100 per month but I'm here to tell you that you can. It's going to automatically come off your pay cheque and I promise you wont even miss it. Then you're doing yourself a favour by getting a jump on saving and you can think of it as getting a raise at the same time. If your boss is matching your $100 per month contribution that's like an extra $1,200 added to your salary every year. Plus, if you're saving into an RRSP you'll also get a bump on your tax return. 

It really is that easy and that's why it is so shocking how many people don't take the time to learn about what job perks are available to them. There was a study done in the States in 2005 by James J. Choi, David Laibson, and Brigitte C. Madrian called '$100 Bills on the Sidewalk'. They studied this exact phenomenon in the US and found that between 20% and 60% of participants lost up to 6% of their salary by passing up matching plans offered by their employers. Six percent might not sound like a lot but it's money that's owed to you. I certainly wouldn't throw away 6% of my salary just for being a little lazy or uninformed. 

The normal process for employer offered plans is that the employee has to 'opt-in'. I would love to see this changed so that you still have the option but that your enrollment happens automatically and if you don't want to take advantage you actually have to 'opt-out'. That way people aren't forced to save but it makes that much more challenging not to. Obviously I understand why employers wouldn't be all for this; right now they get to boast about having good pension plans but don't actually have to pay out at 100%. 

Hopefully I've convinced you to take another quick look at the package HR gave you when you got hired and make sure you are taking full advantage of any extra benefits your employer might offer. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Busted Summer Budget


Warm weather, festivals, patios, concerts, bbq's and an empty hole in my wallet...sound like anyone else's summer? I'm not sure how many times we've said 'but it's TOO HOT to cook!' this year but it's been more than a couple. 

I swear this happens to me every year around this time but I've yet to learn my lesson, I really need to save up a summer slush fund during the winter when I refuse to leave the house to pay for all the extras in the warmer months. I love being able to get out and explore my city and take advantage of all the great events that happen in the summer (fear of missing out much!) but this takes its toll on my budget. I'm not mad about it though, I'll get back on track in the next couple of months and sure don't regret packing my summer with all the fun. I'm a firm believer that you can have a little fun now and a little fun later....it's not all about saving for the future just make sure there's some balance. 

What am I going to do to get back on track? 

1. Shopping is off-limits: I've been a little too spendy this summer on things I don't really need, especially shoes which is usually not even my weakness. This stops now though! I'm cutting myself off from buying anything new that's not a necessity until we head off to Barcelona in November. That scares me a little but it's now written down so no take-backs. 

2. Sell some crap: this has actually been on my summer to-do list but I've been so busy spending all my money that I haven't taken any time to actually earn some back. I promise it's not actually crap, just stuff that isn't getting used anymore and needs to be listed on Kijiji. Selling stuff you're not using is an easy way to get a little cash on hand. 

3. Eat at home: this isn't going to be a be-all-end-all like with shopping but I'm setting an eating out limit at twice a week for the remainder of summer and then once a week starting in October. I know there's still a few festivals and events we want to make it out to this month and so I'm being reasonable. Unless we're out for something else though, no dinners out. 

4. Save for next summer: I actually really like the idea of a summer slush fund so I'm going to do it. This likely wont happen until we're back from our trip but even an extra $100/month from December to June will give us $700 to spend next year. Sounds like quite a bit of money but looking at how much we've spent this summer it's certainly not out of the ballpark. 

How is everyone else doing with keeping their budget inline this summer? Do you also need to hit the refresh button and get back on track? 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Beauty on the Cheap



Just because you have a bit of a make-up obbsession doesn't mean you have to spend all your money on it. There are a ton of great options you can find at your local drugstore and here's some of my favourites. 

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara
There's none of that fancy new mascara technology here, no weird rubber wands or extravagant promises just a classic formula that actually works. Goes on nice and smooth without clumps and has lots of pigment so when it says 'Blackest Black' it really lives up to that claim.

E.L.F Moisturizing Lipstick

Lipstick is one of those things I don't really like spending a ton of money because it always just wears off anyways. I'm not a fan of the super long-wearing formulas because they dry out my lips so much and that means I'm always having to reapply. That doesn't seem like such a big deal when you're only spending $3 a tube. This formula from E.L.F really is moisturizing and comes in a bunch of colours. The Ravishing Rose is my go to (perfect 'my lips but better' shade) but I also like 'Flirty & Fabulous' for something a little brighter. E.L.F products can be a bit hard to find in Canada but it's not too bad ordering from the States (they have lots of promos) and you can often find stuff at Old Navy (weird right?) 

Joe Fresh Brow Pencil

I lost my brow pencil sharpener awhile back and it was no easy task finding a replacement (seriously, they are sold nowhere) so as a last resort I grabbed this cheap pencil from Superstore while we were grabbing grocery and now kind of love it. It's got a handy little brush on one end that works well to get your brows in place and also for blending and the actual pencil is the perfect texture...hard enough to keep a point but soft enough to go on easy and blend well. 

Vaseline Lip Therapy: Rosy Lips

All the varieties of these Vaseline tins are perfection and I pretty much always have one on me but for an easy daytime look like rosy version is my go to. A little shine and just a hint of colour...easy, breezy, wait that's Covergirl. 

Klorane Dry Shampoo

If you don't have a good dry shampoo in your arsenal you are seriously missing out. Who actually washes their hair anymore? Obviously I'm joking but only kind of. I've tried a bunch of different ones from cheap to pricey and Klorane always seems to be the one I go back to. It's not the cheapest drugstore product you'll find but it gets my vote. You also don't need to use a ton to see noticeable results, in fact it's better not to so you avoid that gray halo look. 

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

Again, not the cheapest nail polish you can buy at the drugstore but this stuff goes on like a dream and actually holds up. I am hopeless at preventing chipped nail polish and even for me this nearly doubles the time my polish looks acceptable. I really like the 'Dig Fig' shade (dark burgundy's are kind of my thing) but there's a ton of great colours to choose from. Make sure you use a base coat though because I have found the darker colours can stain your nails if you skip that step (not really that unusual but keep it in mind). 

John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves

I used to be totally brand loyal to the Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray but that stuff if not cheap so I grabbed this stuff one day and have not looked back, it's a great dupe. Smells yummy and gives just the right amount of texture to my somewhat limp locks. I'm not really sure why it's part of the 'Blonde' line from John Frieda but I'm 100% brunette and it works A-Ok. 

Covergirl Trunaked Nudes Palette

Not willing to fork over the $65 odd bucks it costs to buy one of the actual Urban Decay Naked palettes then this set may be just what you're looking for. There's a couple of different versions of the Covergirl palette but I like this one the best. The actual shadows are decent quality and go on nicely but do wear an eyeshadow primer to get them looking a little richer and stay on all day.