We Took the Under $20 Self Care Routine Challenge, and This is What Happened.

Last Updated on November 2, 2023

As the resident beauty maven here at Thrissle, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of luxury beauty products. That said, great self-care doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag. So, my team issued me a challenge to come up with a whole self-care routine using nothing but products that cost $20 or less each.

I’m always up for a challenge, so here we go!

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Step 1: Shower 

Dove Beauty Bar

Dove Beauty Bar – I start my routine by lathering up with this timeless classic. Dove has been a staple of my routine since childhood, just like my mother and grandmother before me. It’s affordable and doesn’t dry out my skin like other brands. Plus, it smells really good without a heavy dose of artificial fragrance. 

OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo

OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo – My naturally curly hair desperately needs extra moisture, so I lather up with this argan oil-infused shampoo and follow with the matching conditioner. It leaves my hair feeling soft and hydrated without weighing it down, and I can pick it up at any drugstore. 

Step 2: Body Moisturizer 

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – Once I’m showered and dried, I slather on this tried and tested moisturizer to keep my skin hydrated. My dermatologist recommended this brand because my daughter and I are allergic to certain fragrances. CeraVe is deeply moisturizing and doesn’t give my kiddo a case of “the itchies,” as she calls it. 

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment – I always have an industrial size jar of this stuff around the house because it has so many uses. I use this on my lips every day after I shower and on my heels if my feet are particularly dry. I also keep it on hand for when I get a new tattoo. Not to mention, it was a Godsend for diaper rash when my kiddo was a baby.

Step 3: Face Moisturizer

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel – I’ve used some of the world’s most expensive moisturizers, and honestly, this does the job for a fraction of the cost. It packs a healthy punch of hyaluronic acid, and the gel formula makes it a great base for my makeup. I love massaging this into my skin before I start my makeup routine, so I have a smooth canvas to work with. Plus, the light fragrance makes it feel like I’m at a fancy spa. 

Step 4: Teeth Whitening

Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic White Teeth Whitening Kit

Crest 3D Whitestrips Classic White – I do this Crest teeth whitening treatment once a week while my moisturizer sets. It’s cheap, easy, and keeps my pearly whites free of red wine and iced coffee stains.

Step 5: Makeup

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer – I work from home, so unless I have to appear on camera, I skip the heavy foundation and dab a bit of this age-defying concealer under my eyes instead. It doesn’t settle into fine lines, makes me look well-rested, and comes in a variety of shades. I also keep a few darker colors on hand, as it doubles as a great contour when I’m going full glam. 

NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss

NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss – Once my dark circles are concealed, I swipe on a bit of Butter Gloss to complete my “no makeup” makeup. I’ve been using NYX products for well over a decade, but this gloss, in particular, is perfect for lazy days because it provides a creamy, natural sheen.

Step 6: Nails

OPI Nail Lacquer

OPI Nail Lacquer – Nails can make or break the look if you’re trying to look put together. Thus, if I’m between salon visits, I touch up with a little OPI Nail Laquer because it’s chip-resistant and comes in a ton of shades.

And there you have it! A complete self-care routine for under $15 per product. What challenge should I take on next?

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