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!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is happening in a few days, and it’s my second favorite holiday (only after Christmas). I decorate for it, I have a special Valentine’s wardrobe, and I’m in a good mood for weeks because this wonderful holiday brings to mind all the things I love and am grateful for – not just romantic love.

There are also some beauty products that I love, and I’m sharing them with you in the video below. These are products I use almost daily, and many of them I’ve used for several years. I hope you find something new to try, and enjoy your Valentine’s Day! See you next week…<3

 

Drugstore Divas

Now that we’re past Thanksgiving and it’s full steam ahead to Christmas, there are several gift guides floating around. I don’t know about you, but the number of people I need gifts for seems to outgrow my wallet every year, so here is a roundup of my ten favorite beauty items from the drugstore, all $12 and under, that you can gift yourself or others.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

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While you can purchase this on Amazon for around $13, I got my jar from Whole Foods for $7. This mask is everything I would ever want a clay mask to be – deep cleaning without stripping my skin, and all-natural. It claims that your skin will “pulsate;” and while I didn’t have that experience, it was slightly tingly in a good way. I’ve tried a few other natural clay masks, and they irritate the daylights out of my skin, but this one is gentle enough to use daily. I’ll even mix in a bit with my a.m. cleanser to add a layer of exfoliation.

RCMA No Color Powder

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Technically, this isn’t a drugstore item, but since it’s the best loose powder on the market and you get so much of it, $12 is very fair. Head over to Beautylish.com and pick up a bottle so you can prep your eyelids, pour a little in a travel container for on-the-go touch ups, and, of course, set your makeup when you’re buffing.

Weleda Skin Food

c/o Birchbox.com

This super product is popping up everywhere now – like Target – even though I used to only find it at Whole Foods or Amazon.com. For $11, you get a skin-saving moisturizer models swear by during fashion week when they have makeup applied and removed multiple times in a day. As the weather gets colder, I use it on top of my nighttime moisturizer and as a body lotion. Another use I accidentally stumbled on during a recent weekend getaway: a very small amount warmed up in your palms and applied just to the ends of your hair keeps flyaways and frizzy ends under control. And, oh by the way, it smells amazing.

Glossier Balm Dot Com

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Another multitasker, this $12 goo comes in five “flavors,” my favorites are mint and coconut, and I have found myself stashing them all over the house – and in every purse – because I miss it when I don’t have it. Hang nail? Chapped nose? Dry cuticles? Lip balm? Illuminator? Lip gloss? I could keep going, but this does it all. (For 20% off your first purchase, you can go through this link.)

Maybelline Brow Pencil, Gel Liner and Mascara

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This is a 3-for-1 because each of these products can stand right next to high-end versions and you wouldn’t know the difference – even though they are each $7 and under. The Brow Drama pencil is waxy enough that you don’t need a separate brow gel, comes in several shades and has a built-in spoolie brush at the end so you can comb the product through the brows.

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This Eye Studio Lasting Gel liner comes in several shades if you want to be adventurous, but I love Blackest Black for a long-wearing liner that’s easy to apply.

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I feel like I’ve written or spoken about Falsies mascara way too much, but that’s because it’s legit. Love the curved brush, and I stick with Blackest Black.

Dr. Bronner Castile Soap

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So, obviously, I use this multi-purpose solution for cleaning makeup brushes, but starting at $2 for a travel size of the liquid (you can also get bars of soap), this miracle product can be used for everything from cleaning your floors, to cleaning your expensive jewelery, to cleaning your face. There are several scents – my favorite is almond – and it’s a must try.

Thayers Witch Hazel

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The best astringent I’ve ever used costs $90. Not joking. The second-best is this one, and it’s around $8. I use the alcohol-free versions, but if you’re super oily and/or acne-prone, you can get away with their awesome astringent.

NYX Butter Gloss (or blush, lipstick, bronzer, etc…)

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NYX is such a great company because they provide quality makeup at incredible prices, and they’re cruelty-free. My favorite is the Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee ($5!), but it would be tough to find something from the line that doesn’t meet your needs.

Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks

c/o Drugstore.com

I am shocked by the number of people who don’t know about these little magic wands, but for less than $5, you can do everything from cleaning up a cat eye to removing mascara smudges at the end of a long day. These are so, so good – they’re in my purse at all times, and on my makeup table, and they’d make a great stocking stuffer.

KISS Cluster Lashes

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These. are. amazing. Also around $5, these are the lashes you wish you had growing out of your eyelid. They are super easy to apply – unlike individuals – and you can customize them for as little or as much fringe as you please. And, unlike strip lashes, you don’t have to worry about the corners of these little nuggets popping up at the wrong time. Maybe it’s because they sit flush to your lash line, but I feel like these wear longer than other lashes, too. (I use the clear DUO gel, also a drugstore product for about $6.)

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There you have it! Make sure to subscibe to this blog, as well as my YouTube channel, and follow @ElectraLane on Facebook and Instagram so you get all kinds of sweet makeup knowledge flying at you from all directions. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I can’t wait to meet you back here next week.

Images: Author, Google Images, Target.com, Birchbox.com, Glossier.com

Super Skincare and Glorious Glosses

You know how you picture something in your head, and then you get it in real life, but your imagination was better? This happens so often with makeup. A company launches an exciting new product, I get a sample, and am so let down.

But, every so often, companies launch new product lines that surpass expectations.

Here are two launches, one skincare and one makeup, that blew my mind in a great way.

Glossier The Supers

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Whether your purchase one serum or all three, you will not be disappointed. These serums work, and their price is on point – $28 each or all three for $65. Not sure which one to pick? Think about skincare like vitamins: sometimes you need more vitamin C if you’re sick or iron if you’re tired. Likewise, you can use serums to combat different issues on a case-by-case basis or to address a specific concern daily.

The Super Bounce is for a hydration boost (something to think about now that we’re headed into colder months), Super Glow is brightening, and Super Pure is for angry, irritated skin. Another option is to add a few drops of your preferred serum into your moisturizer to create a killer night cream. Use this link to get 20% off your first purchase (which does give me a small kickback – thank you!).

NARS Velvet Lip Glide

Image c/o NARSCosmetics.com

Never a fan of liquid lipsticks no matter how many I’ve tried, I didn’t even know this was technically a liquid lipstick. I thought it was a matte lip gloss. But, like the website states, this product truly “glides like a gloss, cloaks like a lipstick – and feels like nothing else.” Holy wow. It feels like a satin lipstick; while it is matte, it doesn’t feel dry and flaky, and it applies like a gloss. My favorite colors are Stripped, a nude, and Unlaced, a light pink. So yummy, definitely check these out.

Please stay in touch @ElectraLane on Instagram, and never miss a post by subscribing to this blog. Have a great week!

 

 

 

Images c/o NarsCosmetics.com, MarieClaire.com and IntoTheGloss.com

New Fall Lipsticks

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons, and this year is extra special because we’re finally back “home” in DC. I love to usher in the the colder months with a new lip, and with several new launches this year I couldn’t pick just one.

The Nude Gloss

Big surprise, this is my favorite.  The gorgeous gloss from Bluemercury CEO Marla Beck’s new makeup line Lune+Aster is creamy, offers great coverage, and is not sticky or goopy at all.

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These glosses are good for you and for the environment, and come with empowering titles like CEO and Soccer Mom – I chose the shade PhD.

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The Fancy One

Pat McGrath is one of the greatest makeup artists of all time, and I was so excited to get my hands on one of her launches.

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Sorry, it’s not a great picture of the product…let’s talk about the fact that the lipstick comes in a package of PINK SEQUINS. The lipstick is pretty exciting, too. I purchased the color Flesh 1, and even though it’s matte, it slides on beautifully and has a satin finish – it’s also long-wearing.

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Subtle Pop of Color

Many a beauty editor raved about the new Yves Saint Laurent Vynyl Cream, and the color 404 Nude Pulse is lovely.

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It’s not nude in the sense that it makes your lips look like your skin, but it’s very neutral while still adding a pop of color. This is super long-wearing, and has a velvet consistency that lies somewhere between lipstick and lip gloss. Definitely worth the splurge.

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With the exception of the Lune+Aster gloss, I usually apply a lip liner for definition and contour but wanted to show these lipsticks in their natural state.

Thanks for stopping by Electra Lane, and don’t forget to use my fancy, new “SUBSCRIBE” function so these posts will show up right in your inbox.  We can also keep in touch on Instagram @ElectraLane.

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