New, Mostly Affordable Beauty Finds.

*Image above via TheHomeEdit, whose organizational methods are #goalz. (Some of my favorite organizational finds here.)

I am evangelical about a number of beauty products (all of my favorites listed here), but a friend of mine once told me that her dermatologist claimed that there was essentially no difference between a drugstore brand facial moisturizer and a higher-end one, and that has always flickered through my mind as I’ve re-upped my prestige beauty product arsenal. I am sure there was more meat on the bone with her original content — perhaps she meant that certain types of moisturizers with certain types of ingredients? But it occasionally makes me wonder which beauty products I’m overpaying for?

I tend to believe that skincare is worth investing in (I am a devotee of this facial cleanser, this serum, and this or this moisturizer), but have been more game to play around with a range of different cosmetics, from the drugstore variety to prestige. Below, a few items I’ve been very impressed with lately:

THIS $6 EYELINER IS A SHOCKINGLY GOOD DUPE FOR MY GO-TO STILA — BOTH HAVE ULTRA FINE POINT FELT TIPS AND LAST

MY MOM TUCKED A PAIR OF THESE INTO EACH OF OUR STOCKINGS THIS YEAR, AND I HAVE TO SAY IT’S MADE WASHING MY FACE A BREEZE — I USED TO ALWAYS HAVE WATER DRIPPING DOWN MY ARMS!

IN LOVE WITH THIS NEW, ULTRA-FINE BROW PENCIL AND THIS $6 BROW GEL (<<NOT CRAZY ABOUT THE APPLICATOR, BUT I LIKE THE FORMULA AND USE ONE OF THESE INSTEAD)

NOT NEW, BUT I AM STILL SO IN LOVE WITH THIS TEXTURIZING HAIR SPRAY

ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS NEW MASCARA — IT’S LIKE MY FAVORITE, BUT A LITTLE LESS GOOPY / BETTER FOR DAYTIME; I FIND IT REALLY SEPARATES MY LASHES

THIS MASK IS WORKING WONDERS ON MY DRY WINTER HAIR — I USE IT IN PLACE OF CONDITIONER MOST OF THE TIME

STILL AN ALL-TIME MVP IN MY SKINCARE ROUTINE — SIMPLY THE BEST

REDISCOVERED THIS IN THE “BABY” PINK COLOR IN THE BACK OF MY COSMETICS DRAWER AND AM IN LOVE

HAVE BEEN USING THIS TONING SPRAY AND IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I’M ON VACATION

Finally, though I absolutely love my Belif moisturizer (so much so that I gave it as a gift to several friends this year) and believe it to be moderately well-priced compared to other products in its category, I have been convinced by a friend to try Neutrogena’s formula, which is apparently very similar. I have it coming in the mail…stay tuned and we shall see whether my friend’s comment from many years ago holds true!

P.S. More affordable beauty finds.

P.P.S. So many great sale scores to be had right now…this $31 coverall (also a great baby gift!); this Zimmerman-esque floaty frock for $120; this pretty pullover; my childrens’ Fourth of July jammies from last summer; this cardigan; this stunning dress for a major professional milestone/event; this sequinned stunner to closet for next NYE (like 70% off?!).

P.P.P.S. In love with Cosabella undergarments. So, so comfortable and stretchy. I sleep in these!

12 Comments

  1. What a GENIUS stocking stuffer idea from your mom! I’m totally going to take a cue from her & get some sweatbands … there’s nothing I hate more in my bedtime routine than wet spots on my cuffs from washing my face. Haha!

    That LSF ruffled sweater … so good for early springtime in Boston, when it’s still cold but I NEED to dress in spring colors. Ha! xx

  2. I also love the Belif, but my dermatologist swears up and down there is no need to pay for that. Her brands of choice are Cetaphil, Cerave and Avene. Avene is probably the highest end of all of them (and still way more cost effective than the Sephora type brands), but their products are AMAZING. Itchy itchy sensitive skin? XeraCalm Cream – the only thing to calm my eczema when I have awful outbreaks on my legs that keep me up all night. Dry and chapped winter skin? Cicalfate. Their sheet masks… I could go on, but I’ll stop now. But I swear up and down, the French just know how to do skincare better.

    I also got a Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil as a stocking stuffer this year and I haven’t put it down yet. The perfect non-sticky gloss/balm.

    1. Hi – have you used any of their facial moisturizers and if so, which do you recommend? I need one for dry skin with anti- aging agents. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

    2. My derm’s office is stocked with CeraVe, too! I use their Ultra Light Moisturizer with SPF 30 and love it.

      I think CeraVe has some products with anti-aging ingredients, but I haven’t used them extensively.

    3. Good to know — I didn’t know many of these brands or products! Cicalfate?! Need. Thank you so much!

      xx

  3. When it comes to the cost of skincare and deciding what to shell out $ for, here is a tip I learned from an aesthetician when I went for a facial (aaahh what a luxury!): look at the first few ingredients because that means those are the ingredients used the most in proportion to other ingredients in the formulation. I knew this about ingredient lists for food products, but it somehow didn’t occur to me with skincare! The active ingredients (e.g., a hydrating ingredient or exfoliating ingredient) should be within the first few in the list. I find that several drugstore products tend to have fillers like dimethicone (silicone) listed within the first 3-5 ingredients, and since I know dimethicone does not work for me, I stay away from those. There are, however, inexpensive products (e.g., Weleda Skin Food comes to mind) that have the good ingredients/actives first, or just have a good ingredient list overall. So I’d say it does vary, but I’m now more careful about looking at ingredients. As I’ve turned 40 and have decided to invest in skincare, I’ve come to realize that you get what you pay for in many cases!

    1. Brilliant – thank you so much for this tip! Will be reading the label more carefully. Thank you!

  4. I’ve used both the Belif moisturizer and the Neutrogena one. I find the Belif to be a little thicker and better for cooler weather and the Neutrogena a nice option for warmer weather as it’s a little lighter. Interested to hear your thoughts!

    1. Hi! OK, have been using the Neutrogena for the past week and totally agree with you. It’s a bit less hydrating than Belif but VERY good. I’m overall impressed. I think I’ll follow your lead and stick with Belif during the dry winter months and switch to Neutrogena in the summer. So glad to have an affordable counterpart for warm weather!

      xx

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