Any regular reader knows I am an advocate for high quality, affordable cosmetics. Affordable, of course, is a very subjective term and I, like anyone, enjoy splurging on luxury goods now and then.
What I do not like is spending extra money and not getting great quality.
Here is a shortlist of some of my favourite cosmetic finds. High and Low. You decide which ones are correct for you. Yes, all of these items are in my bathroom right now.
High: Sisley Botanical Shampoo ($95 for 200 mL)
By far my favourite shampoo. The formula provides added body, tone and shine. It is so gentle it can be used daily but I find it is so effective I only need to use it twice a week. Rosemary purifies the scalp removing oil for days, chamomile decongests hair and prevents product build up, hops gives shine and body and kokum prevents my colour from fading. Low detergent so it does not suds as much as other shampoos which in turn prevents the hair from drying out. So concentrated one bottle lasts me 10 months.
Low: John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Conditioner ($12 for 250 mL)
A daily use conditioner (even when I don’t shampoo my hair) that protects my colour and helps create manageability and anti frizz during humid weather. Formulated by one of the most world-renowned hair stylists (I would argue John Frieda’s reputation is second only to Vidal Sassoon) the products are as high a quality as any expensive salon brand out there. Formulated with actual; pearls and sweet almond oil this moisturizing conditioner protects and preserves colour as it rehydrates the actual hair shaft.
High: Guerlain Terra Cotta Scrub ($81 for 150 mL)
Guerlain has always been a favourite for body products. While I am not a fan of their skincare (over-fragranced, basic formulas that offer no real benefits) they really do have some amazing body care. This particular product is multi-purpose and multi-benefit—which to me is worth the money. Less products with more results. An exfoliator and shower gel with the added benefit of moisturizing oils so no lotion is actually needed after using this treatment. It also ensures summer colour fades evenly without depositing any self tanner to the skin at all. One tube lasts me the entire summer. The secret is a blend of round micro-beads, natural rice particles, and a fine powder. Upon contact with water, the oil-based gel transforms into a body milk that works to remove dead cells, massaging the skin and leaving it satin-smooth and radiant. Once the skin is sunkissed, the Terracotta Scrub enhances the tan by increasing its intensity and luminosity.
Low: Roger and Gallet Lotion ($20 for 200 mL)
On those occasions, when my body skin is very dry, I reach for this lotion. Formulated with many of the very same ingredients found in high end, expensive formulas this milky lotion is intensely hydrating without being greasy. Also it comes in a variety of scents so I can match it easily with my fragrances. The light, fast-absorbing formula provides lasting moisture, as it strengthens the natural hydrolipid barrier.
High: OPI Nail Envy ($30 for 15 mL)
I have used this product for nearly 20 years. It saved my nails when I was a nail biter. Used weekly this strengthener created diamond hard nails that never chip, break or crack. This product also makes a great base coat and top coat for nail polish and comes in both a shine and matte formula. A blend of keratin and calcium prevent damage while reinforcing the nail’s natural density.
Low: Arbonne Skin Conditioning Oil ($15 for 15 mL)
Technically a skincare product I use this exclusively as a cuticle treatment. A blend of multiple NMFs that prevent hang nails, split cuticles and dry fingers. Results last almost a full week and this little bottle lasts almost one year with weekly use. Most high-end cuticle oils are exactly the same type of ingredients for 2 or 3 times the price.