8 products under $13 to help you feel better about you

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Mom life is awesome — and challenging and exhausting! I keep saying to my husband, “I wish I had one more day in each week. Then I could get everything done!” Of course that’s not going to happen. But taking care of ourselves all the time, especially when busy and stressed, is important for our own good and mental health. I’ve found a few small products and ways to help treat myself in small ways that add up.

Low-maintenance face care
As I told you a couple of weeks ago, I love makeup and always have. I’m also not a fan of dropping a lot of cash on makeup or makeup that constantly has to be retouched. Who has time for that?! I’ve found a couple of products I really truly love that you can get just about anywhere.

CoverGirl Outlast lipstick has been my favorite since I was in graduate school way back in 2002. And for the last 16 years, it is the only brand I’ve used. I love the stuff. It stays on so incredibly well. I really can put it on in the morning and have it last through the whole day almost every single day. My current color of choice is Wine-to-Five. I first used Brazen Raisin. I’ve also tried some other colors and liked them. Wine-to-Five is my daily, though.

When it comes to my entire face, I really love a daily moisturizer with SPF in it. I found this one from Oil of Olay and use it daily (I used to get this in Target’s Up&Up brand, but they stopped making it). I struggle with dry skin, especially in the winter, thanks to some medicine I take. This combats that nicely without being greasy. I don’t want my face to feel or look greasy and shiny. 

Each morning, I top that moisturizer with Loreal True Match liquid foundation, which I’ve been using about as long as the CoverGirl lipstick. I like that it has 15 SPF in it, because that’s just a good idea. But I also like how well it smooths on and smooths out my face. It really does match well with my pale skin. (Seriously. The color that best matches my skin tone is called Soft Ivory!) I don’t have trouble with the makeup coming off and getting onto things. I really do just put it on and let it go.

My blush, mascara and eye shadow brands and choices change the most regularly, but I’m faithful to my eyeliner. A couple of weeks ago, I was shopping and the store was out of my usual CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus eyeliner in Charcoal, so I picked another brand. I regretted it. I was going to make myself use it and not be wasteful, but it was so bad that I just couldn’t. So I ordered my favorite online and didn’t risk the store being out again!

And all of that makeup leads to how to remove it. Again, I don’t want a long, complicated process. I especially don’t want that at bedtime when I’m exhausted. I love, love, love these makeup remover wipes from Target’s Up&Up brand. They have gotten even cheaper in the last year and are only $1.99 for 30 wipes, which makes them even better! They are pre-moistened. I wipe over my entire face, including eyes and lips and just like that my makeup is gone and my face is clean but not dried out. I can tell you that it takes me 30 to 40 seconds to remove all my makeup with these wipes because I do so while swishing my mouthwash around and count the time for that.

Body care that rocks
When it comes to the rest of my body, I am the same way as I am with my makeup: I like low-maintenance, easy-on-the-budget items. A few months after my daughter was born nine years ago, my sister-in-law suggested Schick Intuition razors. Since she had triplet babies and a toddler at the time, I figured anything she could easily work into her routine would work in mine. And she was right. I love these razors and use them exclusively. It takes me only a couple of minutes at most to shave my legs in the shower now. 

After shaving, nothing is nicer than applying lotion. I was using random store brand lotion until a couple of years ago when my mom gave me a tube of Bath and Body Works’ Beautiful Day-scented body cream. Just that one small switch to something that felt and smelled so good made me feel pampered. I loved the clean scent so much that I bought the shower gel and body spray. I continue to use them now. I love Beautiful Day! I recommend the body cream over the lotion because it is thicker, you use less so it lasts longer and it moisturizers better and longer lasting. I also found that after I can’t get any more out of the tube that I can cut off the top and get enough lotion out of the tube to last for at least four or five more uses. Another hack for this body cream is that it retails at Bath and Body Works for $13, but you can get it for $12.63 with free shipping for Prime members on Amazon.

I’m going to add nail polish into body care because nails certainly aren’t face! Ha! Along with makeup, I’ve loved nail polish since forever. Actually, I’ve probably loved it longer because I was allowed to wear nail polish way before I was allowed to wear makeup! I’ve tried all sorts of brands and types through the years. But my hands-down favorite for the last few years is Zoya nail polish (Aurora is one of my favorite colors!). This is my splurge item because I have to order it and it costs $10 a bottle. But, it’s worth it. I first tried with with a free promotion Zoya was doing and have never looked back. They offer decent deals throughout the year and awesome deals on Black Friday, so they are worth paying attention to if you are at all a nail polish lover.

Zoya polish is big 10 free, meaning it doesn’t have a lot of the harsh chemicals other polishes do. But that isn’t why I tried it or fell in love with (though it’s a super nice bonus, especially when I’m doing my daughter’s nails). I love it because it stays on so incredibly well, even the dark colors. I usually go for colors that have a bit of glitter in them because they stay on even better. I also pay attention to the opaqueness rating when picking out colors. The more opaque it is, the easier it is to do touch-ups. I love the Zoya topcoat as well to lock in the color. While I still have some other brands of nail polish in my rotation, Zoya is what I use at least 80 percent of the time. It’s really good stuff!

What products do you use and love that make you feel pampered? 

About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

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