Five Beauty Products To Skimp On

Today the HuffPo ran a story about “beauty indulgences” in which a writer extolled the virtues of 10 outrageously splurgy beauty products, the total cost of which clocked in just under a grand ($986 to be exact, I counted). Her point, that some products are totally worth the money, is fair enough, but having spent some time in the trenches of the beauty industry, I have to take issue with some of writer Felicia Sullivan’s recommendations.

To be fair, if you have the money to blow, I guess go for it. But if you’re feeling bad that you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend each month on certain essentials, don’t. Seriously. Do not. After the jump, five products which it’s kind of foolish to waste your hard-earned cash on.

  • Body Moisturizer: Wow. Sullivan claims that her $195 La Mer body cream leaves her skin “soft, supple and refreshed.” I mean that’s great and all, but there are tons and tons of body products out there that will do the same exact thing for way less. One that instantly comes to mind is a cult classic that truly makes your body feel silky smooth: Avon Skin So Soft Body Lotion, which will set you back $7.50.
  • Skin Exfoliant: While I do admit to being a major exfoliant lover, I think the $60 price tag on the Amore Pacific enzyme peel she recommends is a tad steep, because basically, removing dead skin is removing dead skin. While I could recommend a million face scrubs that will essentially do the same thing, in the interest of using a more direct example, the line 100% Pure makes an awesome, natural Pineapple Enzyme Facial Peel which is similar to the Amore Pacific but you get more product for the considerably lower price of $17. But, like I said, plenty of scrubs do the same thing and are available at the drugstore for under $10, as well.
  • Daytime Moisturizer: While it’s totally up to you whether you want to spend $240 on Shiseido’s Future Solution cream, might I take this opportunity to say that most dermatologists would laugh their asses off if you copped to spending that much on day cream in their offices? After their looks of pity have subsided, they would probably inform you that the best daytime moisturizer is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and contains a formulation like Helioplex, which is found in Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense SPF 45, $13, and provides scientifically proven anti-aging benefits. While you’re there, your doc would also likely suggest you wash your face with Cetaphil, another drugstore staple.
  • Shampoo: Phillip B is a lovely brand that I like a lot, but call me crazy if I can’t endorse spending $140 on shampoo. (Could you?) While I know people rave about how glossy their Russian Amber product makes hair look, I also hear (and have experienced) noticeably increased shine using Pantene Pro-V Ice Shine. And because I’m lazy, I use the two-in-one. It costs $3.50. Ahem.
  • Hand Exfoliant: Yeeahhh, it’s hard to dignify the suggestion of a $50 hand scrub with any comment whatsoever, but I thought it a good opportunity to recommend an exceptional (and similar/better) product that celeb manicurists use on their famous clients all the time: One Minute Manicure for $15. Not only is it a miracle in a jar, it’s, well, not $50.

So, tell me: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence? And where do you draw the line?