Better Skin on a Budget

I LOVE me some La Mer. I’ve tried to break up with it several times, but I always come back because it’s that. good. It has completely transformed my skin, and both the original moisturizer (there are several versions for various skin types) and the lip balm continue to amaze me even after seven years. Plus, people constantly comment on how great my skin looks, so I know it’s not just me trying to justify the price tag.

Speaking of the price tag, La Mer is insanely expensive. I get that. And I get very annoyed when bloggers post something that most people can’t afford (i.e. their 5th Chanel bag), then add, “but here are some affordable options,” as if to say, “I’m rich, but you’re poor so here’s something for you peasants.” AmIright? Although I won’t begrudge someone for how she or he chooses to spend their money, I know we all make decisions regarding what works for us and our budgets – and skincare is where I choose to invest.

And, full disclosure, I used to work for La Mer. I researched the line for years, and it was on my One Day When I Have Extra Disposable Income list (along with Louboutins and a Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM…still hoping for those), so I never planned on using the products this soon. But, then, I saw the results, and I’ve never turned back.

However, if you’re never ever in a million years going to spend this amount on skin care (which is totally understandable), I have rounded up three dupes that are only a fraction of the price and still produce results.

Lip Balm

Never would I have ever thought that lip balm would be such an important part of my skincare regimen, but whenever I run out of it my lips dry out and skin starts falling of in sheets. I love La Mer lip balm because not only does it penetrate to heal and plump your lips, it also protects so you just apply it twice a day (more here at the 5:50 mark). But, it’s $60.

Enter Korres Lip Balm in Guava, I get it from Sephora. At only $12, it is very hydrating and buttery. Unlike the La Mer, you have to apply it more often and it has a very glossy finish. They have a couple of flavors with pigment, so this would be an amazing, moisturizing gloss to use throughout the day. Another option in stick form is the lip balm from Treat Beauty.

Moisturizer

If my clients purchased one product from the line, it was the original Creme de la Mer moisturizer. I’ve dabbled with the Soft Cream, but I always come back to the OG. Like the lip balm (and all La Mer products), it’s dual action: it heals your skin from the inside out while protecting the top layers of skin from outside irritants. This moisturizer was created to heal chemical burns, so think about how much it repairs and replenishes normal skin. But it starts at $170 for one ounce (which lasts around seven months using once a day). So let me introduce you to TruKid Easy Eczema Cream for $15, available at Amazon.com.

While this product doesn’t heal and protect my skin, it absolutely does hydrate it – I love to mix it with a few drops of skin oil and use it as my night cream. It’s meant to be used on the entire body, too, so it’s great for dry winter skin.

Eye Cream

I saved the best for last, because this product is so good that it made me ditch my La Mer The Eye Concentrate! The Eye Concentrate is focused on reducing signs of ageing, which it does beautifully, but it absolutely knocks out dark circles. Unfortunately, the price rapidly keeps going up and up, so I began a relentless search for a replacement.

Enter Miraculous Anti-Wrinkle Retinoid Eye Repair by Philosophy (mine is from Sephora):

It doesn’t hydrate as well as the La Mer, but that’s an easy fix because I layer my aforementioned night cream concoction on top. It also does not obliterate my hereditary and allergy-induced dark circles, sadly. However, there are so many great concealers now that I can cover up the circles. What it does do, and in my opinion better than La Mer, is firm the skin around my eyes – most likely due to the retinol.

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If you’re interested in the other skincare products I use, here is my morning routine and my nighttime skincare. Keep in touch on Facebook or Instagram for more tips and tricks or to ask questions, and have a great week!

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