I’m into luxury beauty, but I definitely don’t have a luxury budget. Especially now — I’ve spent the past year paring down my skin and beauty routines to make them as simple, effective, and inexpensive as possible. I’ve done pretty good, and have settled with a nice roundup of products that I genuinely love. I promise I won’t talk about how amazing African Black Soap is anymore (but seriously, omg) but I decided to dig through my ~beauty~ table (i.e. the Ikea desk that I do no work at, but apply a lot of makeup at) to pick out the most luxurious, effective, and inexpensive products out of the bunch. These all cost under $20, and are seriously spa-quality good. (Especially #1 — I would possibly sell my soul for #1.)
This stuff is called “Heavenly Night Cream” for a reason. My mom uses it, and after I borrowed it from her one day while I was visiting and forgot my own moisturizer, I ran out to buy my own immediately. It is the only thing I’ve found that actually helps lock some moisture into my newly super-dry skin (shoutout to my 22-year-old hormones for changing the game on me once again!) and makes my skin look glowy and hydrated without breaking me out. There is also a day cream version of this that I’m sure is amazing, but I haven’t tried it yet — (to be honest, I just use the night cream during the daytime too).
There are so many soap and body-wash products on the market, and while I’m partial to Dove products in general, this Sweet Cream and Peony scented body wash is the best one I’ve tried. It smells exactly how I imagine a pastel baby shower cake would smell, and it lathers up beautifully, cleans deeply, and keeps my skin soft and hydrated. Win for Dove!
This stuff is literally incredible. It comes in a cute-as-hell pink jar. It smells like heaven — lightly sweet, but in the cleanest, most refreshing way. It feels like literal butter on your skin, but melts in quickly without leaving any residue. It leaves your skin baby-soft immediately after it soaks in. And the best part? It costs $15 and is sold at Target and Walgreens. (Or on Amazon, if you don’t feel like leaving your house to get it.)
This mask is so inexpensive, but boy does it deliver. When I first bought this, I went insane and stocked up on about five of them so I wouldn’t run out — and I still have some left two years later. It is perfect for sensitive problem skin (like mine) that needs something to tame breakouts, but also needs something that won’t be overly drying or moisture-sucking. This stuff does the trick, and I break it out whenever my skin needs a little spa-day TLC.
I like all of the hair products from the Ogx brand because they are sulfate-free, which generally just works better with my hair. But this coconut water range in particular is amazing. It smells like a beach vacation, and it has a light formula that is perfect for deep-cleaning superfine hair like mine without weighing it down. If you like luxuriously coconut-scented things and want major volume, this shampoo and conditioner are for you. Also, each one is only about $6.
6. Caress Evenly Gorgeous body scrub.
Although the Caress brand may not be something you think of as “luxurious,” their Evenly Gorgeous body scrub has changed my world. This is the only body scrub I’ll ever buy, because it is effective without being too “scrubby” and harsh on my sensitive skin, and it smells a-m-a-z-i-n-g. It is probably one of my favorite scents in the world. It is like a lightly-floral brown-sugary baked good. I’m obsessed. And it is only around $6, depending on where you get it.
7. Lush fresh face masks.
I am a firm believer in most every Lush product available, but the fresh face masks are probably my favorite. They need to be kept refrigerated and only last about a week, but they are so good and totally worth it. I have used a bunch of them, but my favorite one is the Catastrophe Cosmetic (which comes in real handy if I have a stress-breakout — it calms my skin immediately). The best part about these is that they are under $10, and if you’re an avid Lush shopper, you can turn in five empty pots from other Lush products in exchange for a free face mask. Eeeep!
This stuff is really amazing. My skin is so sad and dry and ridiculously itchy lately, and I found this for super cheap and picked it up to see if it would do more for me than my body lotion on days when I need a little extra moisture. This stuff does the trick, and for only around $8, it is a total steal — especially because it is multi-purpose. I like it as a wet-skin moisturizer while still in the shower (because it definitely is oily when applied and doesn’t dry quickly), but it can also be used on dry skin, on split ends, on hands/cuticles, and under the eye in place of an eye cream or serum. Also, it smells like lemons, which is always a plus.
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