Introducing our newest column, featuring beauty steals that are just as effective as the fancier competition. I’m the guiltiest of assuming that expensive equals better, but lately have been stumbling on some major drugstore discoveries. The whole the BB crew will be weighing in, but we love reader recommendations! Like this one from recent grad Deven, who’s trying to support her beauty habit on an intern budget. (Been there, done that.)
Sometimes I just want a break from thick, heavy face creams. I want something more, well, refreshing. And Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream ($7) is it! I love it in the summer because it’s light and non-greasy, and still delivers the moisture. But I use it year ’round because it is so gentle and lightweight it won’t interfere with other skin products, like an acne treatment gel or prescription face cream. I wear it over a retinoid and my skin stays smooth and calm. I had been using Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief ($49) but there wasn’t any difference except the price! –Deven
As if coveting her voice weren’t bad enough, I’m MESMERIZED by Lea Michele’s creamy olive complexion—the complete opposite of my pale British pallor. The star of GLEE clearly has a few things going for her. Good genes, for one. It prob doesn’t hurt that she’s a vegan. Someday I’ll give up cheese to test this theory, but for now I’m clinging to the possibility that Lea’s skincare secret can have a similar effect on me. A little birdy told me that she swears by AMOREPACIFIC Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra Gel, an oil-free lightweight gel that utilizes bamboo sap to hydrate skin and delay signs of aging. Of course I had to try it. Oil-free products aren’t usually moisturizing enough for my normal skin, but this gel is surprisingly creamy and it left my skin juicy—if you’ve ever had a facial, you know what I’m talking about. It’s been my savior throughout the series of sweltering days we’ve been having—and would be perfect for anyone with oily or acne-prone complexions. I’m equally smitten with the brand, which has that spa-inspired combination of clean, modern packaging and ancient formulas—in this case, indigenous Asian ingredients like green tea, bamboo, and red ginseng. If you’re wary about plopping down $100 for an unfamiliar product, try the limited-edition Moisture Bound Introductory Collection ($50) that includes luxury-sized samples of the hydra gel, an awesome foaming cleanser, alcohol-free toner, and a powder enzyme peel that you mix up fresh. I promise you’ll be singing its praises.