Budget Beauty

I couldn't decide whether to call this post budget beauty, drugstore beauty or old school beauty, because truth be told, its a bit of all three. I used to be a real product junkie and a sucker for new releases promising the world, but over the years I've learnt what to spend money on and what to scrimp on. So I thought I'd share some of the basic, budget bits you'll always find in my bathroom that may not be the prettiest, but are staples for a reason.... 

First up, Cetaphil - find it in the medicated section of drugstores and chemists along with the likes of Sudocream (bit off-putting I know, but don't be deterred). 

This super gentle cleanser is how I start the day and even though I don't have hyper-senstive skin, I've found it really good for sensitized, reddened winter skin - and don't worry, its not so gentle that you don't feel like its doing anything. I used to use Neutrogena's Pink Grapefruit cleanser but I've noticed a positive difference in my skin since cutting out the salicylic acid from my routine. That's the spot-fighting, oil-stripping ingredient you get in 'anti-blemish' cleansers and while it has its place, I do think it ends up having a pretty negative effect long term, even on sport prone skin.

Cetaphil's great on a Clarisonic too - I use with mine once or twice a week and wouldn't use anything else on it now.

Yes we've been using them since the 80s, but the old VO5 hot oil is still a winner on parched, straw-like ends. Warm up in hot water, put on wet hair for a minute, rinse and you're done. It pays not to forget the faithful oldies but goodies sometimes.... 

I think good quality shampoo, conditioner and masks are worth investing it, but when it comes to styling, there's a lot to be said for basic hair spray and dry shampoo. For me, a bit of dry shampoo (on clean hair) at the roots works to add volume and texture, while hair spay on finger tips can both mess-up the roots and smooth down flyaways. 

I prefer oil textures over creams when it comes to moisturising and use Bio Oil all over after a shower (when I remember) and on my legs before I go to bed - especially good when you've been in the sun or have seriously dried-out, winter skin. I have lots of little scars on my legs and its good for that too. Plus, I use about 3-4 drops on my face at night occasionally when it needs a bit of TLC - don't be scared on using oil on your face from time to time, it works wonder and won't make you break out if done in the right way.

Another two cheapies, Carmex is surely the ultimate budget lip balm - the smell has some kind of nostalgic quality to it now too - and while standard Cocoa Butter is great (if a little sickly),  this dark spot corrector is something I've started using since developing a few sun spots... its really good for scars and discolouration too. 

And last but not least, probably the least glamorous of the bunch - and that's saying something.

Yep, we all get them occasionally, and if you can't stretch to Dermalogica's overnight clearing gel, a tiny dab of Quinoderm cream should dry spots up in no time. I've been using it since I was a tea tree oil wielding teen, and while I wouldn't slather it all your face (especially if you have very dry/sensitive skin), it's something I find myself going back to again and again when I have one of those really stubborn, inflamed blemishes that I need to get rid off and quickly. 

Just use a tiny drop on clean skin at night and you should notice it clearing up by morning.


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