My beauty routine is pretty set in stone. Sure, I’ll test out the latest and greatest products (because, work), but it’s rare that I overhaul my entire regimen since, for me, consistency is key. But after I received a press release all about Target's best-sellers, I was dying to try so many brands and products (celeb hairstylist Kristin Ess’ line, PIXI by Petra’s cult classics, and the all-natural goodness from Captain Blankenship, to name a few) and see if any could replace my pricier go-tos. In the name of journalism (and financial stability), I took a selection of top-selling formulas for a week-long test drive to see how they hold up. Read on to see which products I’m keeping around.
PIXI by Petra H20 Skin Tint ($24): Since I’m easing back into coverage after a makeup-free week, I was especially excited about this skin tint that met my expectations and then some. Just one pump of this lightweight, long-wearing gel is all I needed for a velvety soft, even canvas. I never felt like I was wearing makeup, but it gave me just enough coverage to feel confident at work.
Sailor by Captain Blankenship Smooth Sailing Gentle Resurfacing Mask ($20): The exfoliating enzymes found naturally in pineapple, papaya, and apple worked their magic on my face, leaving soft, smooth skin. The aloe vera was essential to keeping my sensitive complexion happy and not irritated. I will continue to use this mask on self-care Sundays to achieve #skingoals during the week.
Kristin Ess Anytime Anywhere Recovery Balm ($14): I turned to this small-but-mighty balm for so many different reasons: as an overnight treatment to mend heat damage, to fight frizz, and to gloss up my locks. This is now my new go-to travel hair product thanks to its versatility and ability to save me a ton of packing space (not to mention it's spill-proof).
PIXI by MatteLast Liquid Lip ($14): I can never seem to find a lippie that gives me the balance of a completely matte finish and comfortable hydration, but this manages to do both. I love the doe foot applicator because it deposits just the right amount of pigment onto my lips, leaving behind a saturated color that doesn’t require a liner at all. While the pigment won’t last all day, it doesn’t leave behind a harsh line of demarcation as it fades — instead it ends up looking like more of a subtle tint.
Pacifica Pineapple Cleanse Oil Slaying Face Wash ($10): Relying on a cleanser that cuts through oil, grime, and makeup without drying me out is key to keeping my face in check. While the fruity, tropical smell wasn’t for me, I was a big fan of how easily this got my skin squeaky clean. The papaya extract helped naturally slough off dead skin cells too, so I was left silky and oh-so-smooth.
Good Chemistry Water Lily Perfume ($25) and Rollerball ($13): If you’re a fan of clean, light scents like I am, give this affordable (and portable) option a try. I was happily surprised that the crisp blackberry and lotus notes weren’t overpowering — and gave off total spring vibes well into the afternoon. The rollerball tucks perfectly into my purse for a quick touch-up before I jetted to dinner.
PIXI by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen ($12): A far cry from the dry, chalky eye pencils associated with bargain beauty buys, these eye pens glide on smoothly sans tugging (or jagged application). They last all day without smudging or smearing, and come in a ton of fun hues. I have yet to find a jewel-toned shade from the line that’s not flattering or foolproof.
Kristin Ess Extra Gentle Shampoo ($10) and Conditioner ($10): I have officially swapped my high-end lather for this non-irritating duo. My sensitive scalp loves how gentle the formulas are, while my parched ends drink up the moisture. I found its frothy, rich lather easily removed days’ worth of dry shampoo, spin class sweat, and general grime without ever leaving my mane feeling stripped.
PIXI by Petra Glow Tonic ($6): This cult-favorite formula comes in a must-have mini size, leaving me with no excuse to skip out on daily toning when I traveled. I swiped a soaked cotton ball over my face and instantly noticed a brighter complexion. The formula, which works on my sensitive skin, is made with five percent glycolic acid, which chemically sloughs off dull areas without leaving my face looking red or feeling bumpy.
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Styling: Cassidy Miller
Photography: Brittany Griffin