12 best beauty buys under $50 to treat yourself this July (cos' why not?)
Treat yo'self: July edition
We’ve all been there: it has been a crappy week at work and you really need retail therapy to make yourself feel better but it’s not quite pay day yet. What’s a girl to do when she’s torn between instant gratification and being sensible?
Satisfy your urge to shop with budget-friendly buys, of course!
From skin replenishing lotions to exquisitely scented hand salves, here’s everything you need to keep your skin smooth and supple without making a dent in your wallet. So go ahead and shop to your heart’s content with these sensible beauty buys!
Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Hand Creams, $39 for 30ml each
We called it first: these hand creams will be a mainstay in your handbag once you try them. Formulated with a moisturising base of shea butter and argan oil, this lightweight and fast-absorbing hand cream feels more like a lotion rather than an occlusive cream. And as its name suggests, the Blu Mediterraneo range evokes memories of a Italian summers. With a total of five different scents to choose from, each handy tube is packed with refreshing bursts of lemon, grapefruit, bergamot and orange, making them perfect for everyday use and taking you to a happy place instantly.
If staying up has taken a toll on your skin, meaning your skin is dull, parched and puffy, then this is your best bet. Formulated to revitalise tired, stressed out skin, this face moisturiser melts into skin upon application for a cooling sensation. A host of botanical extracts that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants fortify, strengthen and locks in moisture, which means it doubles up as a overnight sleeping pack. And thanks to its sorbet-like texture, it is lightweight and doesn’t feel greasy or sticky so you don’t have to worry about staining your pillow case.
Crepey skin and puffy eyes will become a thing of the past with this potent eye essence. Formulated to iron out wrinkles, improve skin elasticity and banish the look of tired eyes, this multi-tasker harnesses the regenerative powers of Black Orchid and Bio Energy Complex for energised and younger-looking peepers. For maximum results, dispense a drop onto your ring fingers and pat into the eye contours as the serum-like texture sinks into skin rapidly to lock in moisture and improve the appearance of lines, sagging, puffiness and dark circles.
It is often said that the foundation of healthy skin is ample hydration. Yet, despite our best efforts, an unhealthy diet and frequent exposure to air-conditioning can still accelerate moisture loss from our skin surface, resulting in dry patches and discomfort. Formulated to replenish moisture throughout all layers of the skin, Hada Labo’s wide range of lotions are catered to all skin concerns, including oiliness, dullness and the loss of elasticity. And to ensure that even the most dehydrated skin gets its share of moisture, its latest Oil-In-Lotion is specially designed to restore parched and rough skin to its smooth and supple state, thanks to this nourishing concoction of squalane, vitamin E and Niacinamide, which work in synergy to lock in moisture, strengthen skin’s barrier function and minimise water loss.
If there’s one thing that makes your hair look like a million bucks, it’s a healthy shine. And like its name suggests, this hair conditioner does just that. Inspired by what properties of a topcoat for your manicure, this nutrient-rich emulsion creates a transparent, weightless protective layer over your tresses, sealing off cuticles for a healthy, natural shine. Moreover, it’s fortified with Amla Oil and Sea Kelp Extract to fend off free radical damage and strengthen hair fibre. Sunflower Seed Oil and glycerin also deliver moisture to dry locks, ensuring that your hair stays soft and smooth. Simply apply a grape-sized dollop along the lengths of your hair after shampooing and leave on for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off thoroughly. Alternatively, you can use it on dry hair for an instant glossy finish.
With the notion of self-care taking on a holistic approach to overall wellbeing, the ritual of pampering oneself now extends far beyond just applying lavishly textured products. In our quest to digitally disconnect and calm our minds fully, many urbanites are increasingly turning to meditation and aromatherapy. Turn your home into a relaxing haven with Innisfree’s lavender-scented diffuser. Known for its soothing properties, lavender is widely used to induce relaxation and relieve anxiety. What’s more, this product is certified eco-friendly by Korea’s Ministry of Environment so you know you’re doing good while feeling good.
Max Factor Healthy Skin Harmony Miracle Foundation in Nude, $27.90
Touted as an auto-adapting foundation, this “smart” foundation responses to the sebum and moisture levels at different areas of your face to help keep skin supple and radiant. With an in-built shine control benefit, it absorbs excess sebum around the T-zone for those prone to oiliness while delivering moisture to the U-zone, which can be more susceptible to flaking. And while it offers medium to high coverage, the foundation doesn’t feel thick and heavy at all as it blends seamlessly into the skin. It also settles into a semi-matte finish that lasts through a day in the office so you can even skip setting it with powder unless you have very oily skin.
If your wish is to achieve a “my lip colour but better” look, this is your best bet. Not only does it coat your lips in the brand’s universally-flattering Orgasm shade (that’s a peachy shade with tiny gold flecks), it goes on sheer to deliver Monoï Oil and a protective blend of antioxidants for smooth, supple and sexy lips.
On days when you wake up feeling and looking blah, reach for this handy little tube to add a touch of glow to your complexion. Perfect as an instant pick-me-up, it has an oil-free formula which packs glycerin and a blend of botanical extracts to douse skin in hydration and leave it looking dewy. Dab on the higher planes of your face (tops of cheekbones, nose bridge, cupid’s bow) to enhance skin glow or apply a thin layer all over before foundation to use it as a hydrating primer. For an intense dose of hydration, apply a thick layer onto cleansed skin and leave it on for five to ten minutes twice a week or whenever needed.
Frizzy hair is commonplace when living in a tropical country like Singapore. And while it’s intuitive to associate frizzy hair with dry and damaged hair, sometimes loading your tresses with rich creams and conditioners just isn’t the solution as they can weigh down fine hair. To get the most of your hair care products and truly kick frizz to the kerb, its important to treat the root of the problem, no pun intended. In healthy hair, the top layer of each hair strand is coated with hair cuticles that lie flat along the length of each hair strand. However, when hair is dry or damaged, these cuticles no longer lie flat, which means that moisture in the surrounding air is able to enter the hair strand, causing it to swell unevenly and seen as frizz. And while most anti-frizz products work by temporarily sealing off cuticles to keep moisture from entering the hair shaft, many contains silicone which can weigh hair down. This hair mist from Schwarzkopf keeps frizz at bay by replenishing hair shaft with moisture and repairing the outermost layer of hair. At the same time, it is free of silicone and absorbs quickly, so you never have to worry about flat and limp hair even if you have super fine locks.
The Body Shop Shimmer Waves Multi-Purpose Palette in 02 Blush, $36.90
Light up your complexion with these new and improved palettes from The Body Shop. Available in three colours: bronze, blush and coral, each palette is made with super finely-milled powder that blends beautifully and naturally into skin. Perfect for use on the cheeks, you can also use them on the eyes or all over the face to create versatile and vibrant looks to match your mood. Did we mention it’s also 100% vegan for the ultimate peace of mind?
YSL Beauty La Laque Couture in 103 Red Anarchy, $40
Few things are likened the instant mood-boosting ability of a pampering manicure. And what better way to glam things up than with a fire red nail lacquer? Give your tips an instant makeover with this creamy red nail polish from YSL Beauty. Neither too cool nor warm, this neutral red works on almost every skin tone. Plus, its specially designed applicator brush makes it super easy to use for foolproof DIY application.