I used to buy only high-end, name-brand skin care products and cosmetics, and I’ll bet you that over the years I spent a small fortune. It wasn’t until I starting writing for a hair and skin care web site where my job was to test and write articles on different products that my eyes were opened. In most cases, the low-end products were, in my opinion, just as good as the high-end stuff. Long story short, I haven’t bought the high-price stuff in decades.
For me personally, I found that the following items don’t have to be expensive to be effective:
Facial Cleanser: I buy a huge bottle of the stuff at the local big box store. It’s about $6 and lasts a long time.
Skin Toner: My toner preference is good old witch hazel. It’s cheap; about $2 max per bottle and you get a ton of it.
Eye Makeup Remover – I have an enormous jar of perfectly fine cold cream I bought at the Dollar Store. It works just as well as the high-end stuff, and even smells nice.
Eye Cream or Gel – I use the ‘tube o’ eye cream’ from the Dollar Store, or go to the discount rack at places like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. You can get great deals there; I’ve picked up a $30 jar of eye gel for $2.
Moisturizer and Night Cream – Daytime moisturizer/night cream is pretty much the same; the daytime lotion should have sunscreen (SPF 15 or 20 is plenty), and the night cream doesn’t need sunscreen. In fact, you can use the Dollar Store cold cream–it will leave your face soft and smooth in the morning. (To be honest, you could use Crisco and get the same effect. Just saying.)
Eye Shadow, Eye Liner, Lipstick – Again, the Dollar Store is a great place for these things. You can often find name brands that sell for much more in other places (although you won’t have the same selection). However, the regular Dollar Store stuff is pretty good, and I defy you to tell the difference in a blind test.
Note of Caution: If you are older like me, stay away from shiny or sparkly eye shadow. It will only draw attention to any wrinkles you may have. Stick to matte for a softer look. (And hey–if you don’t like it, you’re only out a buck.)
Thanks to my mom, who introduced me to proper skin care early in my life, I have been taking good care of my skin for years. The formula is pretty simple, and I do it to this day:
Day time routine:
- Wet a washcloth and use about a teaspoon full of facial cleanser and gently wash your face, neck, and behind your ears. Using the washcloth will help to gently exfoliate, too.
- Dab a bit of eye cream around your eyes. Be careful not to get it in your eyes.
- Apply your moisturizer over face and *neck, avoiding the eye area.
- Apply whatever makeup you regularly use.
Night time routine:
- Remove your eye makeup with cold cream and a tissue.
- Wet a washcloth and use about a teaspoon full of facial cleanser and gently wash your face, neck, and behind your ears.
- Wet a cotton ball with toner and gently draw it across your face and neck to get any lingering residue off.
- Dab a bit of eye cream around your eyes.
- Last, smooth on some night cream on your face and neck. Use upward strokes so as not to drag your skin down (trust me; gravity will do that for you so don’t help it out).
These routines are easy to do, and don’t take up much time. Plus you’ll look and feel better.
Watch for further posts on makeup and hair products. I’ll share with you what I’ve learned over the years that can save you time and money. You really don’t have to pay more to look good.
*Don’t neglect your neck when it comes to skin care. In fact, it never hurts to apply day time and night time moisturizer to your neck and upper chest each day–even if the sun isn’t out.