Sunday 12th July 2020
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What is your splurgiest beauty product? Your Cheapest?

OK, splurgiest first: for a while now, I’ve been using this bronzer from By Terry, and the crazy price is worth it to me because it works perfectly with my skin tone, and that’s tough to find in a bronzer. It also goes on super-creamy.

And now the cheapest: these makeup remover wipes from Neutrogena, which truly do get off everything, and aren’t the least bit greasy.

Posted on July 11th, 2017 77 Comments

77 Responses

  1. Tammy Madsen says:

    My splurgiest is La Mer moisturizer. I buy a jar and buy other moisturizers so I can make a 2 ounce jar last a couple years. It truly is worth the price.

    My cheapest is Olivü 426’s hydrating lip balm, which is $3 per tube. Olivü 426 is a natural skin care company based in Sheboygan, Wis.

  2. c.w. says:

    When in Austin I keep a package of the Neutrogena wipes in my car so I can give my face a cleanse right after my pilates classes.

    Now that I think about it…I don’t really have a splurgy item. argh.

  3. joannawnyc says:

    I probably spend the most on shampoo (Davines or Living Proof) but not sure if you would call that a “splurge.”

    Or sunblock. I will pay a lot for a good sunblock.

    Oh but I do spend on perfume! Does that count?

    Least: everything else, lol.

    • EW says:

      “Oh but I do spend on perfume! Does that count?”

      absolutely. fine fragrance is a wearable art

  4. DeDe says:

    Pretty much all of my beauty products are cheapo ones – I can’t use very many because my skin is so freakin’ pissy, and the ones I do use have to have very simple formulas or else they risk ushering in a personal cutaneous apocolypse. The only expensive item in my cabinet is that Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow whiz thing, which is $21 and which I buy maybe every other year. Everything else I use is in the $5-$7 range, the cheapest of the cheap being small containers of plain Vaseline petroleum jelly (the only thing I can use on my lips – yes,I am glamour personified) which costs all of $4.60. Hair care however is a whole ‘nother thing. Let’s not even go there.

  5. Amy says:

    I’ve gone all in on True Botanicals – serum, vitamin C booster, oil. I have convinced myself that after 6 months of use I have reverse-aged, but it’s also possible that it is important that I think spending all this $$ on beauty products has been worth it 😀

    For cheapest, I loved Carmex Moisture Plus lip balm but I think they changed the formula recently, total bummer.

  6. Tami says:

    My splurgiest is Trish McEvoy beauty booster cream. Can’t leave home without it.

    Cheapest is Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes.

    • Stakra says:

      What is it about that beauty balm? On one hand I think it’s crazy to spend $85 for a therapeutic BB cream/tinted moisturizer, but it’s a product I used compleletey and have yet to find something I like just as much.

  7. LMM says:

    Splurgiest: My face serum (REN Keep Young and Beautiful) or my shampoo/dry shampoo (both R&Co, both about $30/pop).

    Cheapest: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer in Brightening, which removes all traces of undereye circles.

  8. Viajera says:

    Well it isn’t just for vanity… but for anyone who lives somewhere sunny and drives at all, you can put special UV blocking film on your car windows (and you don’t have to have them tinted, the film comes in mostly clear).

    I would imagine that newer cars just come with this… but if I were you-all, I’d still check to make sure.

    It’s not that expensive when you think about it.

  9. Mary Alice says:

    Splurgiest: Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream – it’s the BEST for legs and arms, creamy, whipped consistency that goes on smoothly and smells yummy. One jar lasts a summer so the $50.00 price tag is not too bad.

    Cheapest: Those little red Maybelline eyebrow pencils that come 2 to a pack for like $2.00. The blonde color is perfect for me and they last a long time.

  10. Nicole says:

    My splurge is the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. Just make sure you wear sunscreen every day when you’re using this serum at night!

    My save is Neutrogena hydroboost moisturizing gel. Since it’s oil-free (uses hyaluronic acid as the moisturizing agent) it really keeps my skin clear. That plus the serum every few nights has done wonders for my complexion, as someone with sensitive skin/skin that gets red easily.

    • Lisa says:

      I have really sensitive skin as well, so when it is acting really delicate I use the Neutrogena hydraboost eye gel for my entire face. No irritation at all.

  11. Mae says:

    Splurgiest: Lancome bath and body products and perfumed things. My quarterly order is about $250.

    Cheapest: Chapstick. Great for lips and cuticles.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Splurgiest: a tie between the Clé de Peau concealer, and Sevani Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Crème. Although, if hair coloring counts, it’s far and away my biggest beauty splurge.

    Cheapest: definitely my lip balm, which is whatever looks good at Whole Foods whenever I run out of what I’m using at that time.

  13. Another Rebecca says:

    Splurge is Perricone skin care (various). Save is Burt’s Bees lip balm.

  14. Sydny Miner says:

    Splurgiest: Skinceuticals C+E Ferrulic. Makes a huge difference in my skin.

    Cheapist: Shingar Kajal. 99 cents. At Kalustyans.

  15. EW says:

    splurgiest: only my doctor knows =)

    thriftiest: Cerave facial moisturizer, night and day version; vaseline+

  16. Francine says:

    Ooooh Kim, I love these posts.

    Splurgiest is my botox (don’t judge people), that sets me back about $500 every 4 months (now that I do that math, meh, it ain’t bad.) Also, the TNS Serum from Skin Medica that’s a whopping $200.

    Cheap? The lip balms I get from my ortho. I love, love them. But also the lip butters from NYX that are about $5. Great colors, lovely shine and they smell like vanilla.

  17. Nebbe says:

    Splurgiest: Chanel Exclusif fragrance (purchased before the recent switch to EdP formulations/price increase)
    Splurgiest makeup, Chanel 2015 limited edition powder blush at about $50 (gah, but it was for wedding makeup), REN sleeping mask same price.
    Cheapiest: $5 wet n wild setting spray (love it) and $8 garnier micellar water.

    • Sara says:

      Oooh. I’ve been wanting to try a setting spray, but not wanting to spend 30+ bucks on it. Thanks for the tip!

  18. Maneki Neko says:

    Splurgy: Cosmedix Reflect sunscreen- a spray on titanium dioxide that doesn’t make my face white or irritate skin $45. Nude Skincare ProGenisus Milk $68

    Savey: Boom Colorstick. It is $36 but take care of lips, cheeks, eyes & lasts forever

  19. Bex says:

    Splurge: cleansing oil, face wash, and toner from DHC, a Japanese skin care company. It ain’t cheap, but it lasts forever and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

    Cheap: $6.99 Rimmel London mascara

  20. Comic Sansa says:

    Splurgiest (face): Sunday Riley Good Genes. I love this stuff.
    Splurgiest (body): Le Labo or Hermes shower gel. I’m truly washing money down the drain, but I don’t care, because it smells so good and makes me happy every morning.
    Thriftiest: Ordinaries serums (HA+B5, AG12 vitamin C); they work and have replaced more expensive versions that weren’t any more effective.

    • Megan says:

      Me too on the Good Genes splurge! Love that stuff. I use the Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream on top of it and it’s magic.

      Cheap: CeraVe face wash and Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum lip balm.

  21. Christine says:

    I’ll limit this to things I use below my neck.

    Cheapest: Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint castille liquid soap used with long Muji exfoliating nylon body towel. The Muji towel lasts forever, doesn’t mildew, easily cleans my back. No need to get body scrubs.

    Splurgiest: Buly 1803 or Leonor Greyl body oils. I feel like I just donated an organ when I buy them, but they absorb quickly, smell nice yet blend easily with the edt or perfume I’m wearing that day. But for my feet I’ll use whatever body lotion I’ve got from CVS.

  22. Jasmine says:

    Pretty much anything Tata Harper. I use a lot of her products. I love them. The ingredients are very high quality and they’re all natural, non-toxic. In that world, it’s hard to find products that actually work and are also a bit luxe.

  23. LisaR says:

    Splurgiest: By far, it’s my Sisley Phyto-poudre compact in #2 Transparent Irisee, which I buy to use during the spring/summer and warm-weather travel. It is advertised as a matte powder, but I find it gives a subtle glow and adds just the right amount of natural-looking color to my pale complexion. I justify how ridiculous the price is ($112) by the fact that one compact lasts me an entire year.

    Cheapest: All my hair products. I love Loreal’s Everpure line of shampoos and conditioners (they seem to keep my color from fading). I also love Garnier Fructis Curl Scrunch Gel.

  24. Hick from Styx says:

    S: Kiehl’s mineral sunblock.

    C: Olay Cleansing cloths original (the kind that need water, like a facecloth), which do a fine job of removing sunblock. For anyone who has an eyelid hygiene regime from the opthalmologist, try these. Beats the heck out of the baby shampoo nonsense.

    • Viajera says:

      Hi Hick! If you are dealing with blepharitis, you might want to try the Original version of T-Gel … though of course, don’t let it get in your eyes or it will sting a bit. I’ve had really good luck with it (though I also think an antibiotic ointment years ago got me into a good place).

      Weirdly, it seems like I feel a difference in my eyelids soon after I eat junk food, but I may be imagining it.

      • Hick from Styx says:

        Thanks. My other secret trick for the annoying eye problem is to apply Nizoral to my dry face and eyebrows, lave o for five mi utes, then carefully remove with a damp face cloth. Thanks to these two things, no more problems at all. And I noticed that this coincided with a talented RMT who worked on my sinuses during a facial massage. Allergies do seem part of the picture for me.

  25. Sara says:

    Spurgiest: NARS tinted moisturizer and concealer for the face, plus whatever fragrance I’m into (Maison Louis Marie’s Le Long Fond right now).

    Cheapest: Neutrogena face lotions and sunscreens–I like to keep it simple.

    On this topic, I’m building an app for kindred spirits to share exactly this info — the products people we trust and admire swear by and can’t live without. I’d love to put it in front of the GOACA crowd when we’re live in the App Store! Which will hopefully be soon, though not as soon as I’d like, because when you’re bootstrapping a company things happen when they happen. 🙂

  26. Rebecca Too says:

    Great post!
    Splurgetastic – perfume. But they last forever.
    Thrifty – Lumene CC Cream, Nip+Fab Glycolic Exfoliating Pads, Hylamide Subq Serum and Hyraulonic Acid (Hylamide is The Ordinary’s big brother and available in many CVS locations) and, embarrassingly but it is great…Biosilk Shampoo which is extra cheap at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx…

    Back in the day the splurges would have been Nars blushes, Chanel powders, and Armani lipstick…the the older I get the less I need. Happily.

  27. Karin says:

    Splurgiest: Shiseido sunscreen for my face.
    Cheapest: Cerave moisturizing cream in the giant tub that they sell at Costco. So cheap you can put it on your legs, face, anywhere.

    • DeDe says:

      That CeraVe moisturizer is aces, truly. I can’t use it on my face (too heavy) but everywhere else, it’s a winner. Literally nothing else works as well for me.

    • suz says:

      Me too! That moisturizer is perfect for everything except face. And I have super reactive skin.

      • Mamavalveeta03p says:

        Yup! Count me in. Great for my eczema prone skin, plus my daughter uses it on her face in the winter (Dry skin = No pimples at age 19….while in the meantime, 57-yr old mom is still breaking out! GRRR….)

  28. themis says:

    My splurge is Korres Wild Rose oil; it’s not that pricey, it’s just that it makes me smell so amazing and keeps my skin so glowy, that I might use strictly more than necessary. I’m another Living Proof user, too, but since my hair’s short and only gets washed every third day since the stuff hangs on to style so well, it doesn’t really work out to a splurge by the time I’ve worked through it. Oh – maybe L’Occitane hand cremes, too.

    I am cheap with face wash. Okay; actually, I use Mrs. Meyers’ hand soap on my face. Or anything olive oil & glycerin based.

  29. Sarah says:

    Splurgiest: multiple items by Biologique Recherche, namely P50 toner and the Masque Vivant. I’m also seriously considering Vintner’s Daughter given all the rave reviews (would love to hear any thoughts on this one).

    Cheapest: I read about this cheap body wash from Spain called Magmo on GOOP and I can’t get enough of it! I wish I could buy it as a fragrance.

    • D says:

      Vintners Daughter is worth the splurge. I was surprised not to see it mentioned more here. It’s lovely to use and has so many great ingredients it can replace other products you might use. I alternate nights between P50 and prescription Retin, and use it over both.

  30. suz says:

    Splurgiest isn’t all that crazy – lancome dual finish powder foundation – they make a good neutral pale (Matte Porcelaine I )though it’s hard to find in stores. About $40 and I have used it since the 90s. If they stopped making it I would cry.

    Cheapest – everything else. I use a lot of health food store oils and drugstore standbys – particularly eucerin and CeraVe which are excellent for the sensitive skinned. I have been using Eucerin Daily Protective Facial Lotion SPF30 for about 15 years.

    • suz says:

      I forgot my fave cheapo product! I don’t wear lipstick much if ever – but I do mix some lipbalm with wet n wild 666 brandywine lipliner – a makeup artist friend turned me onto this color in 1992 and its perfect. Costs about a buck depending where you buy it, and is a perfect almost natural lip color on most people.

    • DeDe says:

      Those are both seriously underrated brands. They don’t look like much, but man, I’d be lost without my CeraVe face wash and Eucerin hand lotion – truly scent-free, gimmick-free, effective products that do what they say they will without flaring any of my skin issues.

    • Lynne says:

      I love the Eucerin Daily Protective Facial lotion SPF 30 as well and have been using for about 20 years. I have recommended it to many people. It’s the perfect texture and sinks in and doesn’t leave your face greasy or slick, so makeup goes on well. I usually buy 2 or 3 bottles at a time, and if they ever discontinue it, I will freak! Actually, they were out at CVS last week, and I admit I got a bit worried, but I’ll check another store this week.

  31. y.k. says:

    splurge – roche posay anthelios tinted primer & their tinted sunscreen. which after reading comments don’t seem all that splurgy at all.

    thrifty – maybelline eyebrow pencils & burts bees tinted lip balm.

  32. Mich says:

    I spend thousands of dollars at the dermatologist each year for fillers and recently an Ulthera treatment. Thats splurgy but worth it In my opinion .
    I use Origin for my face and Vox for my hair. They do the work just fine. And also a wide rimmed hat at all times – priceless investment in skin care.

  33. Sarah Cairns says:

    Splurgiest: Vintner’s Daughter active botanical serum
    Cheapest: Cetaphil cleanser

  34. Susanna says:

    My splurges are generally whatever new foundation I’m trying–Makeup Forever, Bobbi Brown, etc.–in the $40 to $50 range.

    But my absolute favorite cheapie is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick. I have at least four or five stashed away everywhere I need them. Great for lips, elbows, sunburns, almost anywhere. (It comes in a large tub, too–I use that all over my hands at night.)

  35. Emily H says:

    Splurgiest – Sunday Riley Good Genes
    I just started using this recently and holy moly – this stuff is awesome. My skin hasn’t looked this good in a long time, and it has even helped with hormonal acne flare ups. I hate the price tag but damn…it’s worth it.
    Cheapest – Acure argan oil. (Also, anything by Acure) This stuff is also magical but it’s ~$9 on Amazon. I use it on my face, hair, body, you name it – it solves all dry skin issues and makes your skin glow.

  36. Stakra says:

    Kim – along these lines would you consider doing a post or poll on going gray versus maintaining color? I would assume most of us are the age where regular hair coloring has changed from something done just for fun to now a regular commitment (almost monthly for us dark haired ladies). I’d love to hear from others as to how they’ve navigated this very personal choice.

    • Amy in StL says:

      It’s funny that you post this. This past year I tried all kinds of fun colors which wrecked my fine hair. So I’ve gone short and I’m using a color depositing shampoo from Viral to maintain my color while the remaining damage grows out. However, I’m considering stopping the color all together which is scary since I’ve colored it consistently since 1998. I’d love to hear how other women have navigated the transition.

    • Maggie says:

      Yeah, dying my hair is the most expensive thing for me (that and Shu Uemura conditioner). I went back to my natural golden blonde color because when I was a brunette, I had to dye it every four weeks. Now I can go an extra month without noticing the grey as much.

      The cheapest and best product is Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (the regular one actually burns my skin). I’ll never use anything else.

    • jenny says:

      I’m a dark haired woman with 50% grey in front; for some reason, I got worried about all the toxic exposure from commercial hair color. Started using a combo of henna, cassia, and indigo on my hair 2 years ago and am pretty happy with it. It covers grey and I do it at home mostly. Not overtly red, but dark brown with red highlights. for henna that’s tested for lead and other toxins.

  37. Adrien says:

    Splurgiest: Sunday Riley Juno oil. I use it morning and evening and love the way it feels. Nothing else even comes close.

    Cheapest: Cerave hydrating cleanser. It’s basic, non-drying and unscented. You can also shave with it!

    I’m having to re-think most of my face products since I’ve suddenly started getting rosacea flare-ups out of nowhere. Man, mid-40s is just kicking my ass. Is this when everything goes to hell?

  38. Robin says:

    Splurgiest is my face oil. I really like the Caudalie Premier Cru. I’m taking a break from it to try the True Botanicals face oil, which I am not sold on yet.
    Cheapie – I’m digging the Garnier Whole Blends Avocado Shampoo

  39. Rachel D says:

    Splurgiest: Erasa, which I started using after the price of Renova went through the roof. It tackles those fine lines, and it smells really good. As a side note, the day my Sephora VIB Rouge card arrived, my teenaged daughter asked me what that meant. I told her it meant I spent too much money at Sephora. (I do have two daughters, though, who help).
    Cheapest: Rosebud salve. I use it nails, lips, hands, neck, everything.

  40. Candy says:

    Not a huge splurge, but wanted to give a shout-out to Hourglass Veil mineral primer that Kim has recommended. Gave it a try, and it’s as great as she said it was.
    Also, love Lune+Aster tinted moisturizer. Use it over the Veil primer for coverage plus SPF protection that looks and feels natural.
    Cheapest: Aquaphor for lips, cuticles, dry and cracking heels. Aveeno daily moisturizing lotion for the rest.

  41. Laurel says:

    Splurge: Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. Cheapest: Make Me Brow eyebrow gel. It’s $3 and a better dupe of Glossier’s Boyfriend Brow.

    Also I’d always felt that my favorite lip balm (Weleda Everon lip balm) was a splurge, but upon reading these replies, I don’t feel so bad about it anymore! 🙂

  42. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Splurge: Skinceuticals Ferulic CE Antioxidant serum. It works wonders on my skin…smooth, blemish-free, and Luminous. The other splurge thing is lipstick, but I’m a lipstick snob, so it’s worth it for Tom Ford or Bobbi Brown at $36 or $34/tube.

    Cheapie: Hmmm…I love high-end beauty products, so this is a little tougher…I got it! Garnier Frizz-free hairspray, which almost everyone I know uses.

  43. christine says:

    I splurge on facial sunscreen, such as Skinceuticals 50 SPF. Very little compromising in that category.
    I cheap out by making my own foot/lip scrub for the shower with coconut oil and salt. An aesthetician on a cruise ship told me once that sugar is much more drying and corrosive on the skin than salt. Not sure if it’s true but since then I’ve used course salt from the kitchen cupboard.
    BTW I love the idea of a thread about going grey. I stopped colouring about 9 months ago.

  44. Gables girl says:

    Splurge – Tatcha face cleaning oil and Drunk Elephant Serum. Cheap are Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm.

  45. Heather H says:

    Splurge – Cle de Peu concealer

    Cheap – Neutrogena hydro boost.