Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


7 Beauty Buys Under $15

The Beauty Buster takes You Shopping!

Last week I posted about what I considered Beauty On A Budget moisturizers.

Well, I received more than a few emails asking where I came up with the "budget" in my recommendations. Of course, I should have been more clear; I really was writing about "bargain" buys, meaning not actually "cheap," but "value." I still stand behind my recommendations—I do think for the performance, direct comparison and the ingredients, the creams I listed are very good value for your money. (One reader asked how I could recommend a cream that was almost the same price as a high-end department store product, but while on the surface the prices look the same, mL for mL the one I recommended was actually almost half the price. But I digress.)

One note really struck me though—a reader took me to task saying (and I am paraphrasing), "What about those of us that have to put shoes on our growing kids' feet? Where is the budget for us?"

I am very fortunate that I am, sometimes, able to make slightly extravagant purchases without having to consider anyone other than myself. I, of course, know that for many working parents there are many other considerations to be made when allocating dollars to anything—least of all, beauty products. The lesson for me was one of gratitude, and at the same time humility.

So with that said, I really had a good look at the products I like to use and recommend. Yes, I do  have some special items that are luxuries, but, above all else, good value is for what I most often shop.

There are a lot of great products out there that can fit anyone's budget! Great products can be found at any price point.

Here are my top 7 picks under $15. How did I choose them? They all meet my exacting standards for ingredients and performance, and they are all in my bathroom right now! All of them are excellent formulas that will deliver results like many expensive designer or spa brands.

1.  John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon ($7 for 120mL)


Forget the expensive Moroccan Oil, this product controls hair that is out of control, even in the worst humidity. I use it all summer long here in Toronto, when the humidex reaches into the 80s.


2.  Neutrogena Rainbath Shower and Bath Gel ($15 for 500mL)


Fresh, clean and beautifully foamy, this shower gel has the same ingredients as any high-priced designer fragrance, and a beautiful clean scent. Great value for the dollar.


3.  Dove Energizing Body Mist Grapefruit and Lemongrass ($5.99 for 90mL)


This is my summer fragrance! I used to buy a very expensive French perfume made from graepfruit, but I can't tell the difference between this Dove product and the one I used to buy (except it is about 10 times less expensive).


4.  St Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer ($7.50 for 300mL)


Okay, I admit, I do not use this on my face, but it is an excellent body cream with moisture factors found in very expensive lotions. In addition to that, it works with any fragrance I choose to wear. A great cream for feet, elbows, shoulders and knees. I use it very liberally.


5.  Burt's Bees ResQ Lip Balm ($3.60 for 4g)


I rarely use lip balm, but when I do, this is the only one. No petroleum, no synthetics, no stickiness, and also great as a cuticle treatment when I need a quick fix in between manicures.


6.   Nivea Sun-Kissed Beautiful Legs ($12 for 200mL)


While marketed as a self tanner for legs in short skirts, it actually works all over the body. I like a little colour in the summer, but I never go in the sun. This product goes on like lotion, has no smell, and gradually gives colour without streaking or patchiness. Yep, I have even used it on my face.


7.  OPI Nail Polish ($10 for 15mL)


The gold standard of nail polish! In the summer, I love to use a dark colour on my toes. When I am at work my feet are in dress shoes, but on the weekend I like to be a little daring when wearing flip-flops. Wears for over a week without chipping and is available almost everywhere!