Now that I've confessed to dropping a small mortgage payment at the makeup counter back in the days when I had nobody to answer to but myself, I'd like to atone by sharing my favorite drugstore beauty must-haves.
I am pathetically brand loyal when it comes to makeup. Its silly, I know, but my girls Laura (Mercier) and Trish (McEvoy) make my life pretty easy and simple, so why rock the boat? Well, when you calculate the time value of the cost of a couple years' worth of their tinted moisturizer ... Which brings us to favorite #1) Sonia Kashuk Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, a steal at the low low price of $12.99. This stuff holds up to its pricier counterpart (Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer quite well. And at $12.99 if one color doesn't work for you, buy two and mix them (a-ha!). It provides a sheer, luminous coverage that doesn't make you look too made-up. If you're not down with the level of luminosity, mix it with a little of your regular foundation for a more subtle effect. Better for fall and winter months when your skin needs a boost. Oh, and its got SPF 20, so you're doing your face a BIG favor. Huge.
Favorite steal #2, also from the sublime Sonia, her very own version of the Beauty Blender sponge, at half the price. This is a great tool for applying foundation or tinted moisturizer and blending it for a natural look. Its also great for blending concealer too. Its $9.99 and if you treat it well and wash it often, it should last up to a year. Not bad at all.
Last, but not least, and certainly the most controversial: a big old tube of Retin-a. Now that the patent has expired, this wonder of all wonders also comes in at about $10 a tube with Rx insurance. There's really no reason to buy an anti-aging moisturizer for $30 (or more, gasp!) when most people can get this for far less. Its the only thing that has been proven to promote collagen production in your skin, and encourages cell turnover (which is why its great for fine lines as well as acne). Yes, there are contradictions (you can't use it when pregnant or nursing and really need to load up on the sunscreen when you are using it) but it really is miraculous otherwise. Of course, don't take my word for it, talk to your doctor or dermatologist because they've got the whole scoop.