Four considerations when choosing beauty & skincare products (if I had to place a generalized guess on behalf of the many valued women in my world) include:
- Value (quality for price, etc.)
- Non-toxic (the product is chemical-free, not harmful, as clean and breathable as possible)
- Effective (the product does what you want it to)
- Cruelty-free (for significant bonus points)
We can’t always have the best of all worlds because not all 4 of the criteria can always be met. The point is to do your best to make choices that satisfy all points in a diversified way – especially on meeting the portion of your budget that you’ve allocated to these expenditures. When choosing drug store brand vs. premium brand products, there are GREAT ones to be had on both sides of the equation. Don’t break the bank where you don’t have to.
Tip One: Invest in products that can double up in some areas and one-two punch in dual purpose, i.e. toothpaste for cleaning your teeth and for spot treating acne over night (Marvis toothpaste is a fave here), the blush that doubles for eye shadow Trust the cystic acne child archives as per myself, it works.
Tip Two: Take care of your skin. When you have healthy skin you need less (or no) make-up. I’ve cut my make-up costs significantly over the past 6 years (although I’ve made up for it in skin care). The result: I’m healthier, happier, and A LOT less puffy in the face. Six years ago I began the deep process of shedding the toxic in all areas of my life, which had me actively purge that which wasn’t serving me – make-up being an unexpected, though very welcome one.
Tip three: Splurge on skin products that work. Make up the difference in areas you can break the rules a little in. I.e. Drug store eye makeup remover (I’ve loved Nivea’s lotion remover for so many years), buy Epsom salts in bulk (I swear they all come from the same place, just add your own essential oil blend). You get the drift. Some things work make-shift, others you won’t want to skimp.
I’ve listed some of my fave drug store and non drug store products below. I’ve also put my “why” and “where to find”, in case you’re interested. It’s all about sharing the wealth around here!
Splurge vs Save
- La Roche Posay Effacler (foaming gel cleanser). I’ve used this since 2012 (during my worst phase of cystic acne). This was recommended to me by my dermatologist, and I say it’s a definite recommend for all skin types (I’m combination). As you age and amp up your skin game this will likely shift. The perfect go-to for quality for price tag. Cost $20. Find this at most drug stores; London Drugs in Canada carries it.
- May Lindstrom’s “The Honey Mud” (cleanser & masque). I’ve used this product over the past 18 months & I’ve purchased two jars. It’s truly a dual-purpose, non-toxic, luxe product that delivers. Love all of her products. Cost is $99.50. Found at EcoDiva Beauty (online).
- Loreal Voluminous Mascara . This is a great drug store find. Cost $7. Found it at most drugstores.
- Nivea eye make-up remover. Ultra gentle eye make-up remover that does the job. Cost $9. Found at most drug stores.
- RMS Beauty un-cover up (concealer). I’ve been using this for over a year, and still have the same pot of it (which means it’s time to replace it), and it is amazing. This is a non-toxic product and the ingredients actually help de-puff yours eyes. Cost $45. Found online at one of my fave Vancouver haunts, Kiss N Makeup.
- Everyone Lotion (body lotion). This company also makes amazing hand wash! If you can find this brand on sale at Whole Foods (which happens, once in a while), it’s a decently priced non-toxic lotion. I’ve used it on my face in a pinch as well, and my sensitive skin hasn’t been bothered. Cost $15 (32oz). Found at Whole Foods, Amazon or Well.ca.
- Epsom salts. Buy these babies in bulk! Pick them up at the drugstore. Pair with your favorite essential oil in the bath tub and you have one divine, low-cost, heavenly nighttime routine. Cost $5 for 5lbs. Found at any drugstore.
- Skin Addix 3 Step-System (1. hydrate, repair, protection, 2. skin oil, 3. moisturizer). These are miracle products in a bottle and are my can’t live without’s. I’ve been using these products every day for the past two years and I’ve worn such minimal make-up as a result. Non-toxic, Canadian-made, healthy skin in a bottle. I go through all three products maybe 2.5 times/year and I use them every single day. Cost $165 (when purchased together), or $65 per individual item. Daily Fix (step one) also doubles as an under eye serum. Found online here.
- Glo Minerals Lip Crayon (lip color). Okay, I’m busted. Kind of false advertising on this one, as I generally don’t wear lip color, but – my fave beauty guru Denise Elliot loves the line & makes some beautiful faces out of it. Check them out here. Cost $19.50. Found at most drugstores.
- Konjac Sponge. This is a great, dual purpose product in that it can take off make-up with water (my black liquid liner comes off no problem with this), and it’s handy to travel with. Dries quickly, doesn’t harvest bacteria. Cost $16. Can be found online at Kiss N Makeup or EcoDiva Beauty.
- Eminence Grapefruit Masque (spot treatment for acne). This is a non-toxic product, and if using for spot treatments only (which is what I use it for), you’ll never go through an entire jar in 12 months, so split the cost with a friend and put half in a tightly sealed jar to hand off to them. Note: this is the one Eminence product I endorse. Cost $44. Can be found online at Amazon.
- May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon (great nighttime moisturizing balm, as in – my absolute favorite). This is the ultimate in unapologetic luxury. Completely combats uneven skin tone, takes away redness, and is hydrating but not over-hydrating. Cost $200 and is worth every penny. Can be found at EcoDiva Beauty (online).
Make a list of your faves and make a list of a more affordable version to whatever that might be, then make your choices in save vs. splurge and eco/green/non-toxic vs. less green. Don’t forget to look to all that is dual purpose in action. My obsession in that department is tinted moisturizer with an SPF (my fave is Elta MD), and toothpaste for zapping acne overnight.
If you’re making crucial choices in non-toxic vs. green or eco beauty and cost is a factor – think about what product is spending the most time on your skin. The products that are spending the greatest time on your skin might be the one’s that win in the eco-department since they’ll be on your face for 75% of the day.
Action item one: go through your medicine cabinet or make-up tool chest and take inventory on what could use and upgrade or a downgrade, and be ruthless. You deserve it. x