mexican woman standing under tree

Budget Glamour in Under Five Minutes


I can’t tell you the last time I picked up a blush brush or foundation. It was probably around the last time I was in a crowded bar. Part of the reason, of course, is that staying in hasn’t given me much reason to apply a full face of makeup. Another reason is that I’ve been taking the time to use products to improve the look and texture of my face. Probably part of my interest came from turning 40 and suddenly realizing I’d better start working on that whole anti-aging thing. But no matter your age, you don’t need a reason to do some five-minute pampering.

Here’s five great ways to improve the look and feel of your skin while indulging in a little bit of me time: 

SPF Mineral-Based Shimmer Lotion 

Although you might not be going to the beach every weekend during these warmer months, that’s no reason to skip buying the sunscreen. With so many dermatologists and estheticians imploring us to use it, it’s a good time to get into the habit. But some studies show that active ingredients in traditional sunscreen are able to reach the bloodstream, so I made the switch last year to only buying mineral sunscreen for my family. I’ve enjoyed the natural protection and, being super-fair, I can attest to it working effectively. The downside of mineral-based is that it’s often chalky and makes you look like a ghost, or in my case, even more like a ghost. That is until I discovered tinted mineral sunblock. Not only does it go on easier than some of the other formulas, but it makes me WANT to put it on whenever I go outside. The healthy glow the lotion gives to your face will make you a convert as well. Some mineral sunblocks can get pricey, but I found Sweetsation Therapy Sun Si’Belle Daily Mineral Tinted Moisturizer Tinted SPF 30 to be great for under $30.  

Tinted Moisturizer

I was given the opportunity to sample L’Oreal Paris’ Age Perfect Rosy Tone Moisturizer product recently…okay, I’ll admit, my “sample” was the freebie insert in this month’s Women’s Day magazine. I was skeptical of the pink tone. It seemed like a gimmick to color the moisturizer just to make it different, but free moisturizer is still free moisturizer, so on it went. About a half hour later, forgetting I had put it on, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and paused. What was that extra glow I was seeing? I liked it! Then I realized that it wasn’t my natural essence shining through; it was the pink moisturizer. Even better! No need to work on my essence and aura when this is only around $15 for a nearly two ounce jar. 

Vitamin C Serum

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the benefits of vitamin C in the fight against skin aging. Some of the benefits linked to this serum include reducing hyper-pigmentation, lessening inflammation, and encouraging collagen production — all the things you want happening.  I found this bottle of Tree of Life Vitamin C Serum on Amazon with good reviews so I decided to give it a try. It goes on a tiny bit sticky, but quickly absorbs. I immediately notice a smoother tone to my face and a bit of a tighter feel to my skin. It’s for those reasons I’ll drop some on before a Zoom meeting for a refreshed look!

Enzyme Exfoliant 

I had the pleasure of covering a five-star spa resort where I received a complimentary facial as part of the tour. This hypnotic facial treatment left me feeling like I was being transported to another dimension! After the treatment, still groggy from the experience, I recall the esthetician softly singing the praises of enzyme exfoliants. Afterwards, she showed me the ones I could purchase from their spa and since those $120 bottles were definitely not part of the comp package, I gently declined (but I remembered the advice). Since then, I’ve discovered Alba Botanica’s Even and Bright Sea Enzyme Scrub. It’s made a massive impact on my skin. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never had super soft skin and just cursed my genes.  Then I used this product and my face was touchable. Even I wanted to keep touching it! I use it in the shower, let it set for five minutes and then spend several minutes rubbing it around to slough off dead skin cells. Repeat that two-ish times a week and I bet you’ll notice the difference (all for only $7). 

At-Home Dermablading

One more tip I had to include. I was always unhappy with the peach fuzz on my face. Foundation didn’t lay right and it didn’t give that polished feel I longed for. Then enter the oh-so-satisfying dermablading (aka dermaplaning) trend. Although many med spas offer this treatment for sometimes hundreds of dollars, it’s something you can easily do at home in under ten minutes with budget-friendly dermaplane razors.  Honestly nothing is more relaxing than sitting with my honey watching a movie and shaving my face. Now, beyond illustrating what a romantic buzzkill I am, it also shows how super easy it is to do yourself. Total cost: $5 for three blades!


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