‘Tis the season to spend money on others… so why not save where you can on products for yourself? Store brands have definitely stepped up their game with lots of different beauty products, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite store brand items in this post! Some of these products aren’t available online (at least, not yet), but you can definitely check them out in the store.
Wal-Mart: Equate Everyday 2 in 1 Daily Facial Cloths ($8.37, WalMart.com)
These are the kind of face wash cloths that are dry in the package, and then you moisten them with water to build up a bit of a lather to wash your face. I’ve been using similar cloths from Olay since college to remove ALL of my makeup- even eye makeup- with no irritation. One side of the cloth is very smooth and the other side is textured and has a nice exfoliating effect. These are also incredibly handy for travel… you can just grab a few and they take up hardly any space (you also don’t leave a mess of the day’s makeup all over your host’s washcloths). These cloths from Equate are definitely my holy grail face cleanser/makeup remover!
Dollar General: DG Body Vanilla Body Butter Wash ($2.50, Dollar General Stores)
If you like creamy body washes that don’t strip your skin of moisture- this one from Dollar General is a great option! For less money than brand-name Softsoap, you still get a luxurious texture and a lightly sweet vanilla scent. I love that even though this is a very thick body wash, I feel like I’m getting totally clean. If you find that your family is quickly draining bottles of shower gel, save a few dollars and try this!
Walgreens: Well at Walgreens Sphere Lip Balms ($2.99 each, Walgreens stores)
Walgreens now has their own version of the popular EOS lip balms. For a dollar or two less (depending on your location and special discounts), you can try out these sphere-shaped lip balms. So far I’ve found a couple of flavors- Watermelon and Strawberry. They have a deliciously sweet scent and a tasty fruit flavor. Keep them around the house for a moisture boost when you need it, wear them under lipstick or lip liner for a smoother application, or keep them in your purse… I’m able to find these quickly in my bag because of their unusual shape!
Target: Up & Up Crease Brush and Smudge Brush ($1.97 to $2.49, Target.com)
You might be surprised at the quality of brushes you can find at Target for just a few dollars! Target’s Up & Up brand has a couple of eye brushes that I’m especially fond of. If you feel like most eye brushes are a bit to large or don’t give you enough control with your eyeshadow application, give these a try. The bristles are super soft and nicely tapered to give you a great blend. The crease brush is nice for softening the edges of your look, and the smudge brush is actually a great size for patting shadow on your lids.
Have you found any store brand beauty products that perform as well or better than their brand name counterparts? Let me know in the comments section- I’d love to check them out! And if you’d like to see more beauty reviews and tutorials, check out my Beauty Broadcast YouTube channel and blog. Have a great day! – Emily
Hi everyone! It’s the season for dry skin, and sometimes the dryness can be pretty sneaky! This time of year, I often find that I’ll like the look of my makeup when it’s freshly applied, but as the day rolls on and I’m out in the dry air… everything from my lips to under-eyes are visibly dry. Here are a few quick, inexpensive, purse-friendly ways that you can touch-up throughout the day to keep your skin healthy and hydrated!
NYX Dewy Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray ($7.99, Ulta.com)
This setting spray helps you combat the appearance of dryness as soon as you finish applying your makeup. A couple of sprays of this on your face help lock in your makeup look, while removing a powdery appearance. I don’t find that the finish becomes overly “dewy”, but it really makes the face look fresh and keeps the makeup looking like skin. This is great for a little pick-me-up late in the day as well.
E.L.F. Daily Moisture Stick ($6, eyeslipsface.com)
If your main problem area for dryness is the under-eye area, this is the product for you! While I love my full coverage under-eye concealers, they don’t always stay looking so fresh as the day rolls on- especially when you’re applying it on top of fine lines and wrinkles. Just get a small dab of this on your finger, then apply it directly to any dryness under the eyes. It doesn’t un-do your concealer, but instead makes it look freshly applied- plus there’s a bit of a cooling sensation! This is also great for dry patches elsewhere on the face or body. Click here to see a video that shows my before & after with this product!
Jack Black Intensive Therapy Lip Balm – Lemon & Chamomile SPF 25 ($7.50, Ulta.com)
Dry lips are something I’ve come to expect this time of year, and there are lots of great lip balms that can make your lips feel soothed and moisturized! But I stumbled across a new favorite when I was with my husband, browsing the Jack Black products in Ulta. This lemon lip balm will blow your mind with its amazing scent, but it’s equally impressive in its ability to hydrate chapped lips. I like to put it on before I start applying my makeup so my lips are nice and soft by the time I add lipstick, lip liner or gloss. It’s also handy for touch-ups on the go.
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ($7.75, Wal-Mart)
I love keeping my hands moisturized with lotion, but for some reason, my cuticles often remain dry. This cuticle oil has become a must-have for me- not just when I’m doing a manicure, but anytime I feel like the skin around my nails is feeling extra dehydrated. Just apply a tiny drop on each cuticle and rub it in. It makes a world of difference in the overall look of your nails!
Do you have any must-haves for dry skin? Share your tips in the comments section! And for more makeup reviews and tutorials, check out the Beauty Broadcast blog and YouTube channel. Have a great day! – Emily
When it comes to my summer makeup concepts, in the sage words of Rihanna, I want you to stay. That’s all. Many primers talk a big game about helping your makeup ride out the day… and many fail. It acts like a sort of double-sided tape to keep your makeup from wilting before 5pm. Here, a roundup of the top five primers that have passed my rigorous tests. Check it.
Essence I Love Stage Eye Shadow Base, $3.50 at Ulta
This cheap thrill delivers. Use it under concealer or eye shadow for a little insurance against humidity or distance from your makeup bag throughout the day. Its creamy texture is blendable but not runny. I apply it with a small concealer brush to hide discoloration on my lids and undereye area.
NARS Pro-Prime Pore-Refining Primer, $34 at Sephora
Pores are so 2012. Lose yours with this skin smoother that locks on makeup while mineral powders control oil and blur the look of fine lines, pores and wrinkles.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer, $13 at Neutrogena.com
The silky, lightweight formula includes soy and SPF for protection and a makeup base in a single step without clogging pores. I like to wear it by itself sometimes just to smooth and perfect my skin on low-key days.
Hourglass Mineral Veil SPF 15 Primer, $52 at Sephora
It smooths my skin, protects from UV rays and doesn’t pill. I like that it gives everything I layer on top of it a little extra oomph. It’s a bit pricey at $52, but a little goes a long way and a bottle should last you six months plus.
Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control, $42 at Sephora
Don’t be put off by its Incredible Hulk green hue; this mattifying pore eraser yields smoother, more even skin, shrunk pores AND won’t break you out, a claim not many primers can make due to their high silicone composition. This step saves me from humidity and helps anchor my makeup under even the most vile weather conditions.
What primers are you loving this summer?
It’s hot out there, yet in a complete disregard for my own well-being, I refuse to guzzle down water like I should. Thank heavens for
iced lattes the wealth of new water-centric skin and haircare products, otherwise I might shrivel away.
If you’re skeptical about paying good money for something that actually markets itself as water, I understand – but trust me when I tell you these formulas are not the sprayable Evians of that lady next to you on the plane. Refreshing and soothing, these are designed to let your skin and hair drink in moisture and nutrients with none of the greasy effects of traditional moisturizing products. It’s slimy enough out there in the summer!
Here are 5 great ways to explore this water world of beauty:
1. Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water ($39) – A best-seller for this cult Japanese brand, this soothing cleanser is made from mineral-rich hot spring water and essential herbs. It replenishes skin and eye area while removing makeup and dirt – so easy for the end of those draining summer days.
2. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleep Mask ($48) – This overnight treatment locks in skin’s own moisture while boosting with essential oils and hyaluronic acid (a cell plumper) – perfect for replenishing skin after those drying days in the sun and/or on the water.
3. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Perfecting Water Moisture Mist ($38) – I’m a huge fan of starting the morning with a spritz of this as a moisturizing prep for makeup, in lieu of traditional moisturizer which I find encourages foundation to melt off.
4. Josie Maran Lavender Calming Mist ($24) – Whether you’re trying to survive life sans air conditioning or you’re loathe to layer on night cream in the summer, this natural mist is ideal for pre-bed moisturizing and helps lull you to sleep with aromatherapeutic lavender oil.
5. Yoshi Magic Water ($14) – This cult classic from hair stylist Yoshi is ideal for smoothing summer frizz without weighing hair down with silicones or oils. Instead, it hydrates with sage leaf and rosemary and adding shine with soybean extract.
With a new BB/CC/ZZ cream on the market every five minutes, how can a gal know in which ones she should be investing? To quote famous philosopher Michael Jackson in the negative, ABC; it’s NOT as easy as 123. Here, the definitive list of my ten favorites tinted wonders, in no particular order.
1. Dr. Brandt BB Matte With Signature Shinerase ($39)
Humidity in NYC in the summer is enough to give anyone a permanent “messtache,” so I do what I can before leaving my apartment to combat shine. This mattifying BB cream is ideal for steamy summer months and boasts a blendable formula which also manages to conceal dark marks like a dream.
This one’s my go-to for travel. The cream boasts a petite, slim package and self-adjusts to your skin tone. All that, and it costs under a Hamilton.
3. Orlane SPF 25 Anti-Fatigue Absolute Sunscreen BB Cream ($70) It’s a bit spendy, but finding a French moisturizer complete with SPF is more difficult than you’d think. Plus, this one invigorates tired skin for a fresh complexion every time. A little goes a long way with this one, as well.
4. Kiehl’s BB Cream Actively Correcting And Beautifying With SPF 50 ($37) If broad spectrum protection is paramount, Kiehl’s offers the motherlode, thanks to its infusion of SPF 50. This one yields a bit better coverage, if that’s your bag (and sometimes it’s mine).
5. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream ($6) Maybelline offers a ton of shades, blendable texture, skin-tone correcting capabilities and a smooth, fresh finish for just $6.
6. CoverGirl Smoothers SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer BB Cream ($7) This inexpensive gem is very natural looking and gives a nice dewy finish without being super oily or slick. It also yields a wearable non-orange color on skin.
7. Boscia BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 27 PA ++ ($18) A mid-priced oil-free blend creates a flawless finish and features botanical ingredients. It blends well and stays put all day. Also, can Boscia have gone with a more random SPF #?
8. Rimmel BB Cream SPF 25 ($7) This drugstore deal provides a no-makeup makeup look when you just want a smidge of light coverage. I love its moderately matte finish and non-greasy feel.
9. Wei To Go Ideal Skin Perfect Finish ($30) Perfectly portable, this packet features a little window from which you can get your tinted cream out without having to rip anything nor endure a mess. This one’s a CC Cream, thanks to its color correcting capabilities and comes in three shades. It contains licorice root, mandarin orange and mulberry leaf to brighten skin.
10. Revlon Photoready BB Cream ($9) As my goal is to look as Photoshopped as Ryan Gosling does in that scene in “Crazy Stupid Love” (stop, you know which one), I’m a big fan of Revlon’s Photoready franchise. This budget-friendly tinted balm evens out my skin tone and imparts a slight dewiness when applied with a stippling brush.
What’s your favorite BB/CC cream?
If I gave you a peek into my cabinet full of skin care products, you might have me committed. Though I already have an arsenal of products, I’m always looking for something new to try. But despite my curiosity and ever-increasing skincare supply, I have some that always make the cut. I’ve been using Mario Badescu for years, and swear by their affordable products. They have a wide array of skincare available; what works for you will depend on your skin type. You can fill out their questionnaire for targeted recommendations, or if you live in NYC, visit their salon for a one on one consultation. While you’re there, I highly recommend trying one of their facials. I get them regularly, and usually add on a vitamin-c treatment or the occasional glycolic peel. If you go, make sure you let us know how your experience is!
Can we all agree that the goal is not to NEED foundation in the summer? I’m off for a week of fun and sun in Greece for a wedding (it’s all VERY “The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2″–what do you mean you never saw it?!) and I’m packing my most vital skin care items. These are officially the Windex to my Gus Portokalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame, carefully chosen to help me keep my makeup to a minimum. Obviously, I packed the earth regarding cosmetics, though. Just in case.
Now in an oil-free iteration, this magical formula puts your skin in soft focus while evening out texture and tone. It makes large pores, acne scars and fine lines much less noticeable without adding heaviness. All that and SPF 30, too. Get involved.
This peel helps get rid of dead skin cells that can dull up my glow–and girl, I need it to attract all the Greek shipping heirs. Alba’s latest launch from their Good & Clean line (great for oily skin!) uses a fruit acid detox fusion that naturally makes pores look smaller and brightens up my skin. See you soon, Stavros.
This easily spreadable SPF from my sun care go-to Neutrogena is worth checking a bag. SPF 30 is just enough that I’ll be protected but not to the point I’ll return from vacation resembling Nicole Kidman’s children in “The Others,” and it’s water-resistant and oil-free. No bacne at a beach wedding!
BBs and CCs used to come in a single shade–vampire. In 2013, brands started to up their shade offerings to a range of perhaps 3-7 hues, but it’s still difficult to nail your shade, especially when you’re at the drugstore. Almay takes the guesswork out of the entire equation with a hypoallergenic iteration that boasts a creamy, blendable texture that masks imperfections easily and includes smart shade technology so it naturally adjusts to your skin tone. My favorite part? It packs a hefty SPF 35, not typical for most BBs and CCs.
I use wipes for EVERYTHING from fixing my makeup to sharpening a cat-eye to removing oil post-workout to cleaning my brushes. They are vital to my day-to-day, and I burn through them at a rapid pace, making 25 for $5 a great deal from Aubrey Organics. These never irritate my sensitive skin and smell vaguely herbal, which always makes me feel haughtily virtuous.
What are your inexpensive skin care favorites?
While there is merit to some beauty products that cost the earth (this gal has bought several replacement bottles of $150 Rodin Olio Lusso, for instance), the phrase “you get what you pay for” can be as incorrect semantically as it is grammatically. There are a bevy of fabulous beauty buys at your local drugstore that can be scored for under a Hamilton note. Here, my favorite inexpensive makeup, hair, skin care and body buys.
1. Revlon BB Cream: Revlon’s foundations have long impressed me, and the brand’s foray into the BB cream space is worthy of a parade. It yields light, smooth, even coverage with a hint of hydration ($9).
3. Maybelline Clean Express Makeup Removing Lotion: My lids and lashes have become a “no-fly zone” for regular face washing since I started getting lash extensions at Courtney Akai Lash Boutique and recently became a convert to Browhaus’ brow resurrection service. This creamy lotion on a Q-tip removes all traces of even the most stubborn liner, shadow and mascara ($5).
4. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask: This is my go-to when I’m about eight months deep into a haircut. You and I both know highlighted, heat-styled ends are absolutely a Greek tragedy by that point. This creamy, lush masque whips them into shape without scissors ($6).
5. John Frieda Full Repair Perfect Ends Sheer Mist: Similarly, spritzing this stuff on ends before flat-ironing or curling can help me eke out another two months of wear on a haircut ($9.99).
6. Yes To Carrots Hydrating Shower Gel: Moisture, great cleansing, a crisp, refreshing scent and natural. Get involved ($7).
7. L’Oreal Paris Miss Pixie Nail Color: For six dollars, you can score the very same hue as talon titan Jin Soon Choi’s legendary Blue Iris Nail Lacquer, which beauty editors love. Note: You’ll need an extra coat or two; this one skews a bit more sheer ($6).
The name of this skincare line reminds me of a tomato sauce. Maybe because it rhymes with “marinara” and I’m typing this post before lunch(??) But, probably because it evokes in me the outdoors, like a vine of ripe heirlooms surrounded by fresh lavender and chamomile (#yesIgarden). The company’s founders would probably suggest the later.
Primavera launched more than 20 years ago in Germany with the mission to bring the power of skin- and mind-healing plants to the masses. Well, they’ve found at least one convert in me.
I don’t have seasonal allergies (that’s my hubby’s and son’s bag), but you wouldn’t know it by the recent appearance of my skin—it’s been dry, itchy, and red for the last month. I started using the Primavera Calming Face Cream to see if all of the lovely plant extracts in it (chamomile, borage seed, honeysuckle, ginger root, licorice, helichrysum) could inoculate my not-allergic-to-anything-but-still-crazy-looking skin.
And, it’s been working. Apparently, the active ingredients are super-mild, so as to quiet dry, reactive complexions like mine while locking in moisture. My skin is a lot less dry and blotchy looking. Using it also makes me feel more chill, thanks to the aromatherapy qualities of the ingredients. Confession: After applying it to my face, I sniff my hands for a good 60 seconds and then I’ll rub a little on my pulse points for later.
The vehicle through which a product is delivered is an ever-changing thing in the beauty space. Jars and pumps have their merits, but here are five unlikely beauty items now available in spray form that are so good, each warrants its own boombox-over-the-head moment a la Lloyd Dobler. Read why I’m having a spritz blitz now that the formulas below can be applied with the press of a nozzle.
Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer: I live by myself and have never in my life hydrated my back (and ignore the “Silence of the Lambs” Buffalo Bill-ness of lotioning up one’s back). Now I can, thanks to Vaseline’s genius spray version ($6).
Model In A Bottle Makeup Setting Matte Spray Finish: In lieu of powder, spritz on this mattifiying miracle spray to set your makeup and mattify in even the most tropical climes ($18).
Style Sexy Hair Spray Clay Texturizing Spray: This stuff gives you the effect of a clay in a no-mess spray form and yields a more even application to achieve a texturized look. I apply it after curling my hair to break up the waves and make them less “prommy” ($19, launches this summer).
Guerlain Terracotta Spray SPF 10 Bronzer: Yes to a bronzer that comes in two shades, one of which is perfect for my natural vampire skin tone, AND imparts SPF in a handy dandy spray format ($61).
Skinceuticals Equalizing Toner: Yes, it does the same thing as when you sweep it on with a cotton ball, but I like to spray this one on my back and shoulders when the odd blemish pops up—usually precipitated by workout wear ($34).