Makeup | Skincare

5 recent (mostly budget-friendly) makeup and skincare favorites

December 7, 2015
5 Recent Favorites
5 Recent Favorites

After being away for several weeks, I’m feeling very behind on sharing what products I’ve been trying out. After having been on that trip, however, I definitely have some good stuff that I took with me and have been appreciating. All but one of them are from the drugstore, and I have a little mix of skincare and makeup.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser ($)
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser ($7.49)

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser … $7.49

I decided to try this this after finding that the CeraVe Renewing SA cleanser was a bit too drying for my skin earlier in the fall. To be honest, I don’t use a lot of Neutrogena products because they aren’t always the most gentle on skin, but a cream cleanser sounded like something my skin would really appreciate. I was really pleasantly surprised by how well this has worked for me. It cleanses but doesn’t lather and doesn’t dry my skin out at all, and it rinses clean. It does have some menthol added for a light cooling sensation, which is really here nor there for me (though for those with truly sensitive skin, it probably isn’t the best idea).

Stridex Single-Step Acne Control pads ($)
Stridex Single-Step Acne Control Pads, Maximum Strength ($4.99)

Stridex Single-Step Acne Control Pads, Maximum Strength … $4.99

The last time I found myself needing some salicylic acid, I went to the drugstore with the intention of finding something that could at least hold me over until I was able to purchase something more serious. A jar of 55 Stridex pads was on sale for $2.99 and contained 2% salicylic acid, so I figured it fit the bill. I can’t believe I’ve never tried these before … I could tell instantly that these made a noticeable difference in my skin. And they’re so cheap! I went and bought a second jar that same week because they were still on sale and I could tell that this was a real breakthrough for me. I’ve been using them twice a day after cleansing and I’m now nearly finished with that second jar. I’ve almost entirely quit my benzoyl peroxide treatment, and I’ve only had maybe 2 blemishes since I’ve started using these. I can’t believe it.

Innisfree Olive Real Serum ($)
Innisfree Olive Real Serum ($23)

Innisfree Olive Real Serum … $23

I’ve had some moisture issues with a combination of my age, the season, and the different acne products I’ve tried over the past few months, and I needed to try something new when I ran out of my Simple lotion, which I’d been layering under my cream. I still layer a moisturizer over this product, but the Olive Real Serum from Innisfree thankfully has a nice oil-rich formulation and has really helped me out. I overpaid for this ($34, I think) because I bought it in a pinch from a physical store in Manhattan rather than online, but it’s still worth it. The packaging is really lightweight and practical, and it’s a fabulous product that makes my skin look luminous but doesn’t result in oiliness or affect makeup wear time.

Revlon ColorStay Under Eye Concealer ($)
Revlon ColorStay Under Eye Concealer ($9.99)

Revlon ColorStay Under Eye Concealer … $9.99

I bought this on a whim without having heard anything about it, but it ended up being a great fit for me. I also like that it’s sold in a sealed package, as I’ve wanted to try other concealers from Revlon but they often get abused in the store. The shade Light worked really well for me, it was just slightly lighter than my skin so it was great under the eyes, but I also tended to use it around my face, too. It gives medium coverage, looks pretty natural, and doesn’t crease or fade. It has a click-up applicator and a fabric tip on the end, has slim packaging, and just feels nice and practical. I reached for it for some of my wedding events and just recently completely used it up.

L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar primer + mascara ($)
L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar primer + mascara ($10.99)
L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar primer + mascara ($)
L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar primer + mascara ($10.99)

L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar primer + mascara (blackest black, waterproof) … $10.99

I don’t typically buy waterproof mascaras because I don’t always love having to work to remove them, but when my wedding events were coming up I ended up buying a few new mascaras to try because I wanted to be smudge-proof. The Voluminous Superstar is a relatively new release from L’Oreal and is a two-step system with a primer on one end and a mascara on the other. I bought the waterproof version in ‘blackest black’. I find that if I use the mascara on its own, I get a very natural, lifted and lengthened look, and if I use the primer first (I usually do), there’s a slightly clumpier and volumized effect. I use the mascara alone (no primer) on my lower lashes and love it for that, too. The only issue I have is that ‘blackest black’ doesn’t feel like a jet black color. Otherwise, it lasts wonderfully and doesn’t smudge on me, and I used it everyday while traveling.
Have you tried any of these? What have you been loving lately?

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