It’s a constant refrain of mine – nobody has to go broke to have good skin. Yes, some specialized treatments, such as botox and lasers, can be pricey. So can department store brands, many of which are effective but really over-priced. The truth is the essential products for good skin are usually available at most drugstores, and they certainly won’t break the bank.
I love trying new beauty and skin products — it has always been a passion of mine to share my finds from the best foundations, to moisturizers to hair products. Recently, I have been testing out facial cleansers for all skin types. Whether you want exfoliating, moisturizing, clarifying or all three, here are my favorites at every price point!
1. Cygalle Healing Spa Honey Oatmeal Cleansing Crème, $65
If you prefer luxury products with natural ingredients, this creamy formula is for you. Containing organic almond and jojoba oils, aloe and seabuckthorn to moisturize normal to dry skin, it promotes elasticity while cleansing but does not leave an oily residue. Plus, the scent is euphoric!
Unfortunately, beauty has a bad side. Between late nights, stress and, sometimes, just plain laziness (consider me guilty as charged!), our appearances can go horribly awry. In honor of today’s Partner-in-Crime Girlfriend (have you told us why SHE is your Partner-in-Crime Girlfriend in the National Girlfriend Awards yet?), we’re letting the crime fit the punishment with fab fixes for your biggest beauty law-breakers.
CRIME: Late-Night Laziness
PUNISHMENT: Late nights and a little too much wine can often lead to laziness, especially in the skincare department. After all, isn’t that 10-15 minutes it takes to remove your makeup better spent in bed? Alas, waking up with mascara on your cheeks and foundation on your pillow is never fun. Cut your nightly beauty routine in half with Olay’s Daily Facial Express Wet Cleansing Cloths for Sensitive Skin (SALE: $4.49 at CVS). These pre-moistened wipes are alcohol- and fragrance-free and contain skin-nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and aloe—they even take off water-proof mascara! Perfect for ladies with sensitive skin and those who would like to get some shut-eye, ASAP (uh, everyone?!).
CRIME: Dark Under-Eye Circles
PUNISHMENT: So that double shot of espresso might be a totally necessary start to your day (and night), but too much caffeine and lack of sleep will start to show eventually. Fight tired eyes and dark circles with Aveeno’s Active Naturals Smart Essentials Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment ($9.59 on Drugstore.com). This easy-to-apply product comes in a roller ball that massages eyes to reduce puffiness while distributing anti-aging antioxidants like Southernwood and vitamins E and C. Bright eyes are just a swipe away!
CRIME: Bald Brows
PUNISHMENT: If eyes are the windows to the soul, then make sure they look awesome by not over-plucking your eyebrows. Thicker, more natural-looking brows have been the trend for a few years now and there is nothing sadder than seeing a pair of unflattering, pencil-thin brows. The key to a great at-home pluck session is backing aaaaway from that fluorescent-lighted, magnified mirror (use natural light and stand back a bit, believe it or not!) and dropping the hard-to-hold tweezers for an easy-to-wield option like the Tweezerman Slant Tweezer ($20). The shape and fullness of brows should complement your face, which means being able to see your entire face before and during plucking.
CRIME: Popping Pimples
PUNISHMENT: Pimples have the worst timing (job interviews, weddings, first dates), but drop the rubbing alcohol and tweezers already (popping a zit will probably just result in blood and having to cover an unsightly spot with concealer, anyway!). Try Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear 2 in 1 Fight and Fade Gel ($8.99 at Target) to effectively zap zits. Good guys like salicylic acid help erase pesky spots and fight any fade marks after the fact.
CRIME: Hair Help
PUNISHMENT: Every now and then I go a little crazy with the styling tools—I have a pretty intense relationship with my blow-dryer (…and my flat iron, curling iron, etc. ). Add over-styling to all that summertime humidity and fun (like swimming), and anyone’s tresses can get into some serious trouble. So, sentence your strands to Oribe’s Shine Supershine Moisturizing Cream ($49 at Neiman Marcus), a lightweight, creamy leave-in conditioner that moisturizes hair while fighting frizz, humidity and even defining curls—all while creating shiny and touchable hair.
What beauty crimes are you guilty of committing? How do you help punish your bad habits? What do you think of our fixes?
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Admit it: We’re all guilty of having too many products. It’s hard to resist trying something new and before you know it, you have product overload. Summertime is a time for lightening up, so why not take the time to simplify your routine? Ideal for busy days out on the go, here are our picks for the best multitasking products guaranteed to keep you covered.
Cut the medicine cabinet clutter with Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One soap, a great 18-in-one cleaning solution that works on body, hair, teeth, clothes, countertops… if you think it, it can clean it! The Dr. Bronner’s website has helpful tips on how to best dilute the solution to fit your washing needs. Moderate with water for use as a detergent, or apply full-strength to fight tough grease stains. The popular soap line comes in an assortment of scents, leaving whatever they cleanse smelling light, fresh, and good as new.
Buy Now, $4
If you want to get the celebrity red-carpet look of glistening skin, O.N.E. olive oil is the trick. It smells great so you can skip perfume, and it’s perfect for the summer months when skin is most prone to drying out. O.N.E.’s combination of vitamin E and organic olive oil can work to revitalize a wide spectrum of skin types and can be used as a cleanser; refreshing or soothing as need be. We love it for its organic, enriching formula that’s just as effective on hair: Apply to damaged or frizzy ends for a smooth texture and increased shine. Great to use on dry cuticles, too!
Buy Now, $30
Clean skin is beautiful skin, which is why AHAVA 3-In-1 Mineral Toning Cleanser is rapidly becoming one of our favorite beauty bets. It’s no longer necessary to have multiple cleansers for face makeup, eye makeup, and facial wash: Remove and reinvigorate with one lightweight, 8.5-oz. bottle. AHAVA’s cleanser not only cleans and tones, it comes specially formulated to act as an anti-ager.
Buy Now, $30
Multitask the fight against aging on multiple fronts with Olay 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Cream. Dark circles, fine lines, puffy eyes, loss of firmness, uneven texture, uneven tone, and dryness are no match for the line-and-dark-circle minimizing brush, which is gentle enough for daily application. Olay is a trusted name in anti-aging, and this cream is the perfect complement to its over-night products that work to leave you with firmer – i.e. younger-looking – skin. The tinted moisturizer works particularly well in achieving an ideal smooth coverage.
Buy Now, $13.50
Keeping your skin soft in the summer heat is one of the season’s most important concerns… as is staying safe from pesky bugs. Hitting two of our most pressing needs is why we love Avon’s Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Body Spray. Containing citronella that leaves behind a lemony scent and helps repel mosquitoes, this spray is best applied to post-shower damp skin for long-lasting effectiveness. It can also be used as a summer perfume that will keep those buzzing friends far and away.
Buy Now, $7
We love the all-in-one, multi-use NARS stick called “The Multiple.” One stick for cheeks, eyes, body, and lips, the creamy tip goes on as powder to whichever area is most in need of sheer coverage. This product is available in a variety of great colors for all skin tones. Our recommended color, of course, is Orgasm, the wildly popular NARS-addict favorite.
Buy Now, $40
Deemed the “original tool for a girl on the go,” Miss A Kit is your go-to solution for any problems that may pop up when you’re out. Whether it’s a loose button, an unwanted headache, or the need for a little scented therapy in the form of a quick perfume squirt, this tool has you covered: Mirror, pill box, knife, needle and thread, flashlight, keychain, and perfume bottle (and then some!) all come in one compact, Swiss army knife-like container that’s easy to stash in any sized purse.
Buy Now, $20
Pantene’s 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner will cut washing time in half without cutting corners when it comes to the health of your hair. Choose between the Medium-Thick, Fine, and Curly hair options for the formula that best suits your texture for optimum, silky results.
Buy Now, $7
SoulCycle, the now-famous workout where spinning meets spiritual enlightenment, has a ton of celebrity followers including Nicole Kidman and Brooke Shields. It’s always difficult to get into one of Stacey’s classes, but we were lucky enough to steal a few minutes with the popular instructor! Keep reading for some of the talented trainer’s thoughts on the worlds of beauty and working out.
Melissa Meyers: In terms of exercise, what is a nice complement to spinning?
Stacey Griffith: Power walking and swimming.
MM: What do you eat for breakfast?
SG: I am a big sucker for a bowl of cereal in the morning! I love granola, fruit and skim milk, but if I’m running behind I’ll usually grab a low sugar-content protein bar. Cliff [bars] in any flavor are tasty and filling!
MM: What do you eat before and after a workout?
SG: I actually very rarely work out for myself, because I teach 18 classes a week. However, I try to eat half of a protein bar before, and a balanced meal afterward. (It doesn’t always line up balanced!)
MM: Favorite workout music?
SG: I love all music! All of the playlists in my classes are mixed by my girlfriend, and I love all of the music she chooses: hip-hop, dance, electronic, deep house, etc.
MM: Must-have beauty products?
SG: Oil of Olay. (My grandma Stella’s favorite)
MM: What is your post-workout beauty routine?
SG: Shower and, if there is time, a long spiritual bath with candles and Epsom salts!
MM: Which celebs work out at SoulCycle?
SG: A LOT!
MM: What do you drink to stay hydrated?
SG: My GrifFiT Green Juice, bottled at East Hampton Gourmet on Newton Lane (by the EH studio, [containing] green apple, kale, celery, cucumber, lemon). Phytonutrient heaven!
Buy Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Cream Cleanser, $7.34, at Amazon.com