My Affordable Beauty Favourites
In 2014 I went through a phase where I became obsessed with watching beauty and skin care YouTube channels and following their every advice. Don’t get me wrong, I still actually love watching their content, but fast forward to present day, my beauty and skin care routine, along with my product collection has been greatly minimized. This comes as a result from multiple changes in my life. For starters, my skin has greatly changed in the last 6 years (thanks Accutane), and after much trial and error I have finally found products that I love, at a much more affordable price tag, and that actually work for me. My interest in makeup also changed after transitioning from school and an office job to a more technical field job; it is still something I enjoy doing as a hobby on my days off, but no longer do I take the time to recreate elaborate looks on a daily basis. During this time, I also fell in love with the peacefulness that living a more minimal lifestyle brings me, which led to me forgoing my extensive makeup and skin product collection. I now only own the products I love, use consistently, and repurchase time and time again.
So, without further ado, here are my top beauty and skin care products, in the order that I would generally use them in while getting ready. No sponsored items or affiliate links are included in this post. Just a girl sharing her favorites!
For the longest time, I used any sort of Pantene shampoo and conditioner available at a drugstore. I love their scent and always associated my hair’s texture with it simply being my hair’s texture (frizzy, not straight, not curly, not wavy). It was not until an accidental conversation with a friend who is a hair stylist that I was made aware that my hair products could be the cause, or simply not helping, with my hair texture. She suggested to try the Redken line, specifically the All Soft Mega Shampoo and Conditioner, and honestly, I have been hooked since. I saw improvements in my hair within a few days, and now that I have been using these products for over two years, my hair is completely different than it once was. I still get frizz on occasion, but I am now able to let me hair air dry or style it once rather than using damaging heat tools daily to reduce the frizz and make myself look presentable. While this is not exactly considered an affordable brand, a very small amount of product is required and I only wash my hair two times a week, making a small size bottle last upwards of one year.
I don’t use any additional products while showering other than a razor. I utilize the lather from the shampoo as body wash and use conditioner as shaving cream. I don’t use any cleansers for my face in the morning, I just rinse with water. When I am out of the shower the very first thing I do is apply moisturizer. I use three drops of organic cold press rose hip oil for my face, and almond oil as needed for my body. Rose hip oil became my staple product during and after my Accutane treatment. Before being prescribed Accutane, I would use a lot of different synthetic moisturizers and cleansers, which now knowing what I know about skin care, could have very well been the cause of my cystic acne. Stripping your skin’s natural barrier leads to acne and premature skin aging, so finding more natural and soothing ingredients is your best course of action. Rose hip oil (as well as almond oil) is categorized as a 1 out of 5 in the comedogenic scale, making it a non-comedogenic oil, meaning it will not cause breakouts for oily and breakout prone skin types. I prefer to use rose hip oil on my face, as rosehip oil is also packed with vitamin A and C which contain anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Vitamin A also promotes skin cell turn over, helping diminish surface scars and wrinkles. Select an oil that is organic and cold press to ensure you are obtaining all the benefits. If I were stranded on an island and could only have one of my favorite beauty or skin care products, rosehip oil would be it!
Once moisturized, I put in eye drops and my contacts in, and start up on my make-up. Now that my skin is clear I am able to get away with using a light coverage foundation, a BB cream or a CC cream. My favorite, and daily go to is the Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector - Combination to Oily Skin. I have tried all brands of BB and CC creams, from high-end to drugstore, and this just happens to be the one that works best with my skin. This is the only cream that is still in place after 10+ hours of wear without me resorting to an actual foundation. When I want something a bit more full coverage or plan on doing a more elaborate makeup look I will use a light to medium coverage foundation, but on a daily basis I like the benefits of a cream that will allow my skin to breath and will provide more hydration. (Yes, oily skin types still need hydrating products!). The color selection is not the greatest, but because it is a BB cream it does fade into a very close match to your natural complexion. I apply this either with my hands or using the Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush. I do not use a separate concealer. I simply apply a second layer of the BB cream on the areas I would like to conceal, and let the product sit and “dry” up a minute or two before lightly tapping it in to blend with my ring finger.
Because my skin is oily, I absolutely need to set my face with a powder if I want anything to last. Not to mention, a wet face does not look cute. My skin is so oily that even after setting my BB cream with powder, my face will look dewy towards the afternoon, which I like. The YouTube community had me loving the famous Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder for years, and I honestly cannot remember why I ended up trying the Maybelline New York Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder, but I am SO glad I did. The biggest difference is that the Maybelline powder does have some pigmentation, but I personally do not mind a bit of extra coverage. This powder is just as smooth as high-end competitors and comes at a fraction of the cost. I apply the powder using an e.l.f Cosmetics Total Face brush.
Bronzer and blush are products I use in my daily routine, but do not necessarily have a favorite. I cycle through different brands and shades every time I need to repurchase. One product I have repurchased multiple times, though I don’t use daily, is the Physicians Formula, Power Palette, Mineral Glow Pearls Bronzer. They have different shades to suit various complexions, and I love how glowy it makes you look without being glittery.
Once my face is done, I move on to eyebrows and eyes. My eyebrows are naturally pretty full, and I maintain the shape using tweezers at home. I do however have a bare spot where my hair does not grow, so I fill that in with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrown Pomade using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Duo Brush #12. I also personally prefer the fluffy brushed up look to eyebrows, and I achieve this using hair spray and the spoolie on the brow brush. I used to purchase eyebrow gels, and after running out one day without a backup, I got creative and used hairspray I already owned, loved the results, and have stuck to this ever since. On a daily basis, I just curl my lashes and apply one or two coats of mascara. My go to mascara, even above any high-end formulas I have tried, is the waterproof L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara in Carbon Black. I choose a waterproof formula because it holds the lash curl a lot longer, and I often find myself out in the rain or snow without warning (construction life).
Lastly, call me old-school, but I turn to my trusted Classic Cherry Chap Stick. This is by far my most repurchased product out of any product I own. Love the tint, love how it makes my lips feels, I have one of these in my purse, car, desk, bathroom, you name it.
I do my hair last to allow it some time to air dry (even though my daily makeup routine takes less than 10 minutes). I spray any heat protectant I have at the moment and comb through it with a regular comb. I do not have a favorite heat protectant or comb and constantly cycle through products. But one hair tool I do love is the Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer. This one is actually a relatively newer purchase, but I have not been able to put it down. Blow-drying my hair and styling it separately would take me over 40 minutes, not to mentioned when I curled it, I was never completely satisfied with how it looked, and when I straighten it my hair would look flat. This Revlon tool dries my hair and gives it a straightened look with lots of volume. I start by sectioning my hair into four parts: the bottom layer, middle layer, top back layer, and top front layer. I begin with the bottom layer and work my way up, grabbing 1- or 2-inch sections of hair at the time. My entire hair is dry and styled within 15 minutes. This has been my best beauty find in the last year!
Impromptu selfie of the final result.
At the end of the day, I remove all my makeup using the Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser, which gets everything off my face, including waterproof mascara, on the first wash. You can feel how gentle this cleanser is and your skin is not left feeling stripped of any natural oils. I finish off by moisturizing once again with my rosehip oil, this time adding a few more drops so my skin is extra oily and can absorb all that throughout the night. Brush my teeth, apply my chap stick, and call it a night.
Let me know if you have tried, or end up trying any of these products; I would love to hear your thoughts!