Luxury Skincare on a Budget: 5 Ways to Make Your Skin Feel Like a Million Bucks


There’s a whole new world of skincare out there. It’s fun and it’s affordable with new formulations and innovative, targeted products.

Pampering myself with skincare makes me feel like a million. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can coax out the most beautiful skin we can possibly have, regardless of age.

Say Hello to Luxury Skincare “Dupes” – Your New Best Friend

As I mentioned in part 1 of Millionaire Skincare, you can now get highly effective skincare products at the drugstore. Millennials know this and wouldn’t dream of spending the big bucks when they can buy the brand “sisters.”

L’Oréal owns Lancôme, YSL, Shu Uemura, Giorgio Armani, Body Shop, Maybelline and L’Oréal of course! LVMH owns Dior, Benefit and Sephora. Shisheido owns Bare Minerals. Then, there are the brands that don’t advertise that are even less expensive.

Go onto our beauty friendly internet and check out a mass market brand like NYX, and see who owns it and where its tech is coming from. Learning about a brand’s powerful parentage is one way to enjoy top skincare on a budget.

Dupe is short for duplicate. If there’s an expensive skincare product you want or like, chances are you can get a luxury skincare dupe. Go online and type in the name of your favorite expensive product, followed by the word, “dupe.” The skincare industry itself clones and copies products and issues them under other names and labels, at a fraction of the cost.

The beauty bloggers have done all the work and review top products and their dupes for you. (Margaret reviews various brands and products on the Sixty&Me YouTube channel.) If you go into Sephora, tell the sales assistant the name of the product you like and ask for a dupe. They know exactly what you’re talking about.

For instance, I loved the sample of Glam Glow Cleansing Mud that Sephora gave me. But $69? Ouch! I typed the product name and “dupe” after it and up popped up many options with reviews. I opted for Body Shop 3-in-1 Blue Corn Cleansing Mask, which was $11 on sale. One-fourth the price for four times the amount of product. Body Shop also has a Charcoal Cleansing Mask for $28 and L’Oréal has another good, inexpensive dupe.

You can buy Lancôme’s Eau Fraiche Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water at $39, or go to the supermarket and pick up Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for $6.29.

What’s Cleansing Water You Ask?

Cleansing water is an example of the new formulations entering the market. Remember how cleansers used to be creams or lotions? Micellar water has been around for a while but has finally entered the consumer mainstream. Basically, it’s water with oil molecules floating in it, and it turns out to be the most gentle, miraculous way to remove your makeup. No more scrubbing; your makeup literally slips off onto the cotton pad.

Cleansing balm is the new darling. It’s a cleanser in a waxy formulation that seems to melt on your face, bubbles up with water and rinses away beautifully. Keep your eyes out for “balm”– it’s the new buzzword. “Sticks” are big, too.

Have Fun with New Formulations

Previously there were creams, lotions and toners. Creative formulations coming out of Korean Beauty have taken skincare into new textural territory. You’ll discover serum, essence, mud, balm, water gel, moisturizing gel, mousse, cushions and the rage: facial masks (and I don’t meant the medical ones we’ve come to hate!).

Masks have been around for ages and finally, masks are in; masks are big! In Asian countries, there are entire shops devoted to selling facial masks. Instagram is filled with images of famous women posing in their masks.

Moisturizing, de-puffing, cleansing, soothing, anti-aging, purifying, firming; you name it, masks. Hand masks, eye masks, neck masks, even feet masks. Coffee, pomegranate, seaweed, collagen, mud, aloe, wine; you name it, masks. They come in single package applications and are the most fun, luxurious and affordable way to pamper yourself.

Here Comes the Cushion

“The cushion is coming, the cushion is coming!” Actually, the cushion is here. The cushion compact is a delivery method patented by AmorePacific, a leading Korean brand. It’s a jar, compact or tube with a “cushion,” or sponge into which the foundation, blusher, highlighter, lipstick, eyeshadow or eyeliner is poured.

The cushion has changed the formulations of classic products and introduced a new application method. Lancôme has a cushion compact, which means its sister company L’Oréal has one too. You can find cushions now all over the drugstore beauty section.

Keep Your Eye on Korean Beauty

For formula innovation, fun packaging, reliable, targeted results and good pricing, Korean beauty is the way to go. The brands are innumerable, but a few to start with are: AmorePacific, Laneige, Innisfree, Sulinhasoo, Missha, Skin79, Dr. Jart+.

Type “Korean Beauty” into your search bar and have some fun. A good, curated website to begin with is When mass marketer Target has Korean beauty products online and in their stores, you’ll see that pampering your skin is no longer an extravagance. Beautiful skin on a budget is one way to feel – and look – like a million.

Have you found luxury skincare dupes for your favorite products? Where do you find the best information on new formulations? Have you discovered K Beauty? Tell us any experience you’ve had with K Beauty brands. Do you think it’s something you’ll try?

Let\’s Have a Conversation!

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