Splurge v. Steal: New Year, New Beauty

Did you make any New Year resolutions?  Exercise more, eat better, go to bed early?  How about any beauty resolutions?  Maybe you’ll remember to wash your face every night to remove makeup before going to bed.  Maybe you’ll make sure to use eye cream every night.  With the New Year upon us, this is the perfect time to treat yourself to some new beauty products to help you keep those resolutions.  Here are some great options for skincare and makeup, in both $ and $$$$ options to fit every budget.



First up, sun protection!  We all know how important SPF is, but sometimes facial moisturizers with sunscreen feel so greasy on the skin.  Here are several options that are lightweight but still offer high SPF protection.



L’Occitane ‘Immortelle’ Brightening UV Shield SPF 40 is so lightweight it barely feels like you have anything on.  It’s great for those with oily skin.  However, if you have really dry skin, then it may not provide enough moisture for you.  If you have dry skin, then Perricone MD Photo Plasma SPF 30 may work better for you.  It’s thicker and more moisturizing than the L’Occitane lotion.  If you want to protect your skin without breaking the bank, try Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 30.  The texture is very much like a typical lotion.  It’s not as light as the L’Occitane lotion, but it still won’t leave you face feeling greasy.


Tired of the same bar soap you’ve been using for years?  Here are some sweet-smelling body washes to try out:


Juice Beauty makes an amazing Ylang Ylang body wash.  It’s the perfect mix of floral and earthy scents.  Even though Burt’s Bees baby shampoo and wash is advertised as a baby product, it makes a great body wash for grown-ups too.  It has a subtle lavender vanilla scent, with a nostalgic hint of Johnson’s baby shampoo that your mom used on you as a kid.  It also comes in an unscented version, so make sure you get the scented version if you’re using it for yourself and want the full olfactory experience.  Finally, Dove has come out with some new scents for its body washes.  Dove Purely Pampering Pistachio Cream with Magnolia Body Wash is a lovely floral scent that’s not too “perfumey” and so very moisturizing.


How many scrubs and mask products do you have hiding in your bathroom cabinet?  Let’s clean up this year by getting rid of all those products and getting a combination product that combines the benefits of both a scrub and facial mask.




Pangea Organics Matcha Tea Acai Goji Berry Facial Mask feels like a day at the spa.  The product has a wonderful earthy scent.  The clay softens skin, and the scrub isn’t too harsh on delicate facial skin.  Another option that’s more friendly on the wallet is St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub+Mask.


If you’re always in a rush in the morning, sometimes it just takes too long to apply sunscreen followed by primer, followed by foundation, followed by….whatever else you use.  This year, streamline your morning routine by using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen already built in (or try a bb cream, or cc cream….you get the idea).




This Tinted Moisturizer by 100% Pure is all natural and has SPF 20 built in.  It goes on easily with a sponge applicator or just with your fingers, and it comes in a range of colors to suit many skin tones (I use golden peach).  Aveeno also makes a great SPF 30 tinted moisturizer.  It’s thicker than the 100% pure tinted moisturizer, so you may want to use a sponge applicator like the Beauty Blender.


For the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of facial oils on the market.  But some oils are just….well, too oily!  Even argan oil, which is at the height of its popularity, can feel too oily.  Here are two oils that provide the benefits of a facial oil without the added greasiness:




Tarte’s Maracuja oil is more lightweight than some other facial oils, and it doesn’t have a strong smell.  Just a little goes a long way.  Tarte says it’s rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin c.  The only downside is the price ($46 per 1.7 ounce at the time this article was written).  A more budget-friendly option is Burt’s Bees Repair Serum ($18 per 1 oz.). Although it’s called a serum, the main ingredients are oils (rosehip seed oil, jojoba seed oil, lavender oil, and evening primose oil, just to name a few).   It does have a lavender smell, which may or may not be pleasant depending on your personal preferences.


Hopefully these ideas will inspire you to try some new beauty products this year.  Happy New Year, beautiful!