Beauty & their substitutes

[By Greta Hatton]

Makeup brands will have you believe that you cannot live without at least a full armamentarium (read: truckload) of beauty aids, but beauty experts have found that some simple substitutes can do the job just as well for a fraction of the price!

Before you splurge on expensive cosmetic products, take a look at some of the items you will do well to skip.

Lip Balm

Substitute: Facial moisturizer


Lip balm is one of the mainstay of any young lady but the truth is that our lips like any part of our facial skin will respond to simple moisturizers just as well. If you have a rich facial or eye cream, dab in and massage over chapped lips for instant hydration. Try Epicuren Rose Otto, made from Bulgarian rose oil.

Makeup Primer

Substitute: Facial Moisturiser


I have never been a fan of makeup primer. I am just not sure I see the difference in adding an extra layer under my foundation. Use a good moisturizer to ensure skin is supple and smooth before applying foundation, and that is sometimes the best primer that you’ll need. If you have combination skin and large pores, opt for a matte finish moisturizer such as Sloane Inc Multivitamin Booster. If you have dry or mature skins, go for a nourishing treat such as Epicuren’s Enzyme Concentrate for long-lasting hydration.


Eye primer

Substitute: concealer

The truth is that no eye primer will erase dark eye circles as well as good old concealer. Choose a shade close to your normal skin tone, and gently dab it in. If you have fine lines around the eyes, use a concealer that has moisturizing properties as well, then go easy on the powder after to prevent accentuating the lines. Try Nars concealer that comes in a variety of 11 shades that will match almost any skin tone.


Substitute: lemon Water


If you have oily skin and think that using an astringent is an absolute must, try using a splash of water with a squeeze of lemon. It does the trick at half the prize. If you would like to skip this astringent step, just opt for a foaming cleanser that does a thorough job of removing makeup, oil and grime from your face, and ensure you rinse your face thoroughly after.

Toner for mature skin

Substitute: chilled green tea


Chilled green tea can make for a soothing toner for mature and dry skin types. Just leave a green tea bag in a container of water overnight. After cleansing face, splash on some of your home made toner for a refreshing experience.


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18 thoughts on “Beauty & their substitutes”

  1. I finally decided to try Epicuren’s Enzyme Concentrate after several friends highly recommended it. I had been using MyChelle and liked that it doesn’t contain nasty chemicals. However, they changed their formulas to mostly organic and in the transition something was majorly lost. When I finally looked at the epicuren ingredients, I felt that it was also a very natural line. So, I bought the “kit” containing the 6 primary skin care products. It has been just under a month and I absolutely love what it is doing for my skin. The aesthetician said it would take approx 2 months for my skin to entirely adjust and for enough cellular turnover to see big improvements. She also recommended not using any other skin care products as they can reduce the effectiveness of the active enzymes. The first 2 weeks I did notice that my skin seemed tight and a little dry, but since I was warned this could happen I stuck it out (a couple of the products need to be introduced gradually). Now I seem to have adjusted and can’t wait to see even more improvements in the coming months! I am leaving this review for all 6 of the products contained in the kit I am using, as they are meant to be used together.

  2. Epicuren Rose Otto is great. Since I have combination skin, my face gets very dry, especially during the winter, around my mouth, cheeks and near my eyes. I usually dab this on the dry patches and it moisturizes without leaving your skin feeling greasy. Don’t like greasy feeling products. I would recommend this to those who suffer from either combination or very dry skin. After finishing this one, I’ll repurchase it again.

  3. I’m generally not a big fan of stick concealers and my friend bought Nars Concealer by mistake instead if the much raved radiant creamy concealer. As there’s a no returns policy on the concealer, I decided to use it instead, and was very pleasantly surprised! The concealer is surprisingly soft and easy to blend. The coverage is pretty high, so I didn’t have to use too much. I will definite consider this again in future purchases, although right now I am still interested in getting the radiant creamy concealer after this.

  4. I love NARS Concealer. I have a lot of blemishes and this is the first concealer that actually matches my skin tone; I wear the color Custard. However, for what you pay ($24), you get so little product in the tube. The tube doesn’t allow you to get all the product either, so I feel like you don’t get everything you pay for.

  5. NARS concealer is a really nice concealer. It covers my dark circles pretty well and it doesn’t dry out my skin. It blends with my skin alright, but it does offer good coverage…

  6. I love that Epicuren Bulgarian Rose Otto may be applied directly to clean, damp skin or combined with a moisturizer. The rose oil calms and hydrates the skin without clogging pores. I just love what it does to my skin.

  7. Wow, Didn’t know that lemon water or Chilled green tea can have all those effect, i mean, I know that cucumber might do the trick but using this are better.

  8. I generally LOVE Nars products, but Nars Concealer was a bit of a let down. It doesn’t cover very well and makes my skin look super duper dry and cakey, as well as settling into the creases something chronic, even with eye primer and powder.

    HOWEVER, one thing this concealer can be good for is a highlighter. I have it in Chantilly (lightest shade) and use it under my foundation to give my cheekbones a slight glow. And my cheekbones only. Can’t use it on my nose or under eye area because as I said it makes my skin look very dry in those areas. Disappointing.

  9. I’m always looking for a higher coverage concealer, drier formulation to cover dark blemishes. It’s tough to get on the regular market I find. Most drug store ones are too oily, even higher end makeup lines don’t have the dry but blend-able consistency that I am looking for.

    Nars Concealer-Stick was one of my newest discoveries recently. You have to be looking for a drier consistency concealer to be happy about this one. It’s too dry for under the eye area, it’s definitely for covering scars, moles, discoloration etc.

    Technique is pretty important so warming it up with your finger tip definitely helps with such a product. I can see by swiping it on it’s own and not blending it well or not setting it with a powder on your skin area (please don’t put this under your eyes and set with a powder or else you will ask for crepe paper eye-bags).

    I’d buy this again, definitely because it’s great for covering specific blemishes that I want to hide and it’s slim enough to stick in my wristlet and smaller purses. I knocked off 1 point from 5 because it’s more expensive, but for good quality stuff ya gotta pay for more. 😉

  10. I have started likely more and more Nars products lately.

    I do like Nars concealer. I use two shades depending on what I want to cover. Vanilla and Chantilly. Vanilla for covering darker spots, days when I have had less sleep, or as a highlight. I like the Chantilly shade as a corrector for brightening the inner corner of my eyes or covering a blemish that is mostly healed.

    I actually use a lip brush to apply them. And smooth out with fingertips or a damp sponge depending on space. I find they apply smoothly this way. I do think they crease a little more under my eyes than say the Kat Von D tattoo concealer. I always use a primer and a setting powder.

    However I think I like Nars Concealer with Nars Sheer glow foundation. I think they blend well together.

    Has any one else noticed how this is the exact same packaging for Nars Concealer as for Nars Matte lipsticks? I looked at the ingredients list on the packaging and they contained the exact same base (obviously different color choices). I just thought I would mention that. I have to read the labels to see what color I am about to apply when I want to use my nude matte lipstick (Madere) because the shade is only a smidgen peachier than Chantilly concealer. 😀

  11. This Nars concealer matches my skin (which is just a matter of luck but) that makes this good for the face. This is the only concealer I can wear without foundation if I just want to hide spots but not do the whole makeup routine. I don’t use it on my eyes because they need something brighter and creamer to correct the dark circles. (Bobbi Brown is what I use normally.) I like the stick applicator too. I apply it directly to my skin then dabb with my finger. I’m using Dark1 Cafe with Bobbi Brown Foundation in Chestnut.

  12. Nars Concealer is the best stick concealer I own. I think it’s pretty easy for almost anyone to find a shade that fits her without too much trouble. The formula is long-lasting and it will cover just about anything. If you’re having problems with it feeling tough when you apply it straight from the stick, try running a couple swatches on the back of your hand to warm it up. I use this lightly and I don’t have any problems with cakiness whatsoever. It’s such a nice formula, you don’t have to apply too much. Mine has a nice pink undertone which is perfect for my under eyes. Plus, it’s only just a little over $20, which is a lot for a stick concealer, but not for one that’s so high quality. I love it, and I’ll buy it again and again. 😀

  13. I like green tea. In fact, I drink a lot of the good Chinese stuff that you can’t get anywhere but Chinese tea shops.

    But it isn’t just green tea, so if you don’t like lemon verbena, lemongrass, lemon, or peppermint, you won’t like it. But to me the complex of flavors is excellent. I drink, on average, a half gallon of it (unsweetened) per day, which is one teabag per day.

    Don’t pay more than $4 for a box.

  14. I have been using Epicuren’s Enzyme Concentrate off and on for about a year now and I really love it. I use it about 3 to 4 times per week and I think that it keeps my skin in check. When I first started to use it, I my skin care regimine was all Epicuren (and boy, that was expensive). I have since changed to other products but I continue to use this as a staple, as this is the core product of the line and it makes a huge difference in my skins texture, tone and color. It is expensive but I buy the larger pump, which set me back about $89.00, and it will last me almost the entire year (no kidding). Next time though, I think I’m going to also buy a small bottle of the Cholostrum as well (sp?), my facialist has been raving about it and thinks that I should add it to my regime.

  15. I used Epicuren’s Enzyme Concentrate off and on for a couple of years as I liked the active metabolic enzyme concept. I also tried the entire Epicuren line and had numerous Epicuren treatments and facials at the salon. I had problems with redness, dryness, irritation and breakouts from a lot of Epicuren products (I have sensitive, dry, mature skin), but the concentrate was fine. I don’t love their plastic bottles or having to refrigerate after opening (per the Epicuren aesthetician and their website Q&A). I have come to the conclusion that this line is good quality and pretty reasonably priced, but it just didn’t give me the “WOW” or strong antiaging results I am getting from other brands. I think it would be a great line for younger women to try, though. 😀

  16. LOVE IT! The girl that gave me the facial with Epicuren products at Mandalay Bay told me to only use the Enzyme Concentrates two to three times a week as they can be too drying for every day use. This will clear any pimple up!

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