Few things in my adult life have been as satisfying as finding my personal “it” beauty products that I can’t live without. I realize that might sound a bit shallow, but we all have big goals and little goals and they’re all important so stay with me here. Sometimes my skin/hair is out to ruin my social life. A zit will appear the day before a big event, stress will make me bite my lips raw, and a winter cold will make the underside of my nose peel for days (I know, it’s glamorous). So I’ve naturally amassed an arsenal against fate in order to protect the pretty. Normally I don’t share my personal secrets, but some of these are just too good to keep. If I was stranded on a desert island and trying to impress a cute boy, this is what I would take.
Protect the Pretty for Under $100:
1. Rosebud Salve. I gave up traditional chapsticks a few years ago, when I found things like salicylic acid (to make your lips chap MORE so you use their product MORE) and phenol (which makes me vomit because its the preservative we used on the bodies in my cadaver lab for the anatomy course I took my second year of university. It also causes cancer) are main ingredients. For a long time, I just went without and then my best friend introduced me to Rosebud Salve. This stuff is a miracle balm that’s perfect for everything from dry lips to a raw, over-blown nose during cold season. It’s probably even great for sunburn.
2. Klorane dry shampoo. It’s true that not all dry shampoos are created equal, so when you find the right one, you know not to let go of a good thing. At $16 a bottle, I always wince a little when I purchase this, but being able to go out in public with 2-day-old hair is worth the price.
3. Tea tree oil. Not sure if there’s one brand better than the other, but my cupboard holds Thursday’s Plantation which I picked up at Rexall fro less than $20. Tea tree oil is a miracle potion that will get rid of every blemish, from zits to razor burn, overnight. It’s very potent (like, your-skin-might-feel-like-its-on-fire-the-first-time-you-use-it and please-never-consume-because-you-will-go-blind-kind of potent), so I usually put a few drops in water to dilute before applying. In any case, this is my secret to incredible skin.
4. Vichy cleanser. I’ve long been of the only-water camp, never putting any soap or cleansers on my skin when I wash my face. However, this leaves my skin pretty dry in the winters, so while I’m still a water-only subscriber most of the time, I will wash my face at least once per day with Vichy cleansing milk. I would have never even found this but my friend got a sample during a shopping trip and we became instantly addicted. I love it because it’s mild enough not to irritate my sensitive skin, but still leaves my face feeling like I got all the gunk from my make-up off.
5. Sephora Instant Nailpolish Remover. This product itself isn’t unique, but the packaging is genius. Gone are the days when I needed a dozen cotton swabs to remove 4-day-old polish from my nails, now I simply slip them into the sponge inside this bottle, turn once, and out comes a perfectly polish-free nail. I no longer have any excuse to go to work with chipped nails, because it literally takes 5 seconds to remove all evidence that I was experimenting with vomit-colored hues in order to be more of a hipster. No, no one needs to know.
What’s your favorite beauty find under $20?