Review: 9 of the cheapest beauty essentials in a beauty editor's kit
Mentholatum Therapy Lip Balm, $5.90
I was in Japan recently and was caught without lip balm and my lips were chapped and peeling like crazy. As I have so many lip balms at home, I chose the cheapest one from the drugstore and this was it. With one application my chapped lips were gone and I had the smoothest set of puckers. The cooling menthol sensation was quite strong though, almost like a medicated ointment that you would rub on your temples to ease a headache than a lip balm.
Sunsilk Smooth & Manageable Instant Smoothening Cream, $7.90 for 120ml
This is a mane smoothing leave-in lotion cum hair perfume rolled into one. It leaves tresses smelling subtly floral and also gives hair a polished, sleek look without weighing it down. And a small 20-cent coin sized amount is enough for mid-length hair just below the shoulders, so a bottle goes a long way.
Garnier Pure Active Matcha-Detox Pollution & Oil Deep Clean Foam, $6.90
One of my go-to facial washes, this foams up nicely and leaves my skin feeling clean but not tight, and fresh. I feel like my skin is thoroughly cleansed and it shows when I use a cotton pad to sweep softener on my skin after washing – the cotton pad is cleaner and less grimey after I wash my face with this. And I like the green tea scent too.
I picked this up from Guardian when I was having a bad cold and my nose area was all red from constantly blowing my nose. The green tinted concealer is sheer and it blended surprisingly well to hide the redness. Plus it feels soothing on my irritated skin thanks to cucumber, aloe vera and chamomile extracts in the formula.
This all-purpose cream can be used on the face and body. If you are pressed for space, like when you are packing an in-flight skincare pouch, this moisturiser is a must-have. It leaves dry skin comfortable, smoothes dry hands and soothes itchy dry patches on the legs or arms. I pack it whenever I travel to cold climates.
Syoss Professional Performance Moisture 10 Intense Shampoo, $9.90 for 350ml
This shampoo gives you instant strand-smoothing for dry, frizzy locks. It is packed with 10 hydrating active ingredients like hydrolysed collagen extracts to coat strands and make them silky to the touch. I actually use this when I don’t have time, or don’t feel like spending extra time, conditioning my hair. It still feels soft and manageable. Don’t skip conditioner too often though, or why not just use a leave-in conditioner instead.
NYX Professional Lip Smacking Fun Colors Lipstick, $9
I love this bright fuchsia lippie because it is so easy to wear. It is creamy, just shiny enough, and slightly sheer so it glides on and is not obvious if you don’t apply it like a pro with a lip liner and lip brush. The colour really pops without being too intense.
Nivea Body Oil In Lotion Rose & Argan Oil, $7.90 for 200ml
This body lotion smells amazing, similar to pricier body moisturisers out there if you ask me. And the best part is that it is completely non-sticky – you can test it yourself with a facial oil blotter – immediately after applying. There’s no trace of grease on the oil blotters and skin feels fresh and hydrated.
Gatsby Ice-Type Deodorant Paper Cool Citrus, $3.90 for a pack of 10 sheets
One swipe with this body cleansing sheet leaves skin feeling tingly cool and refreshed. Perfect for sweltering hot days when you’re sweaty and mucky and need to cool off fast when you’re out and about and can’t hit the shower. Just hide out in a toilet cubicle, wipe all over your body and you’ll instantly feel and smell better.