I Spend $275 a Month on Skincare—But These New Under-$20 Products Are Amazing

I wouldn’t call myself incredibly extravagant when it comes to my purchases, but I do have a weakness for the odd luxury. Currently, these consist of weekly blow drys at the Drybar, buying one too many Reformation dresses, and $19 Martinis at Sunset Tower Hotel. But I’ve noticed a grand portion of my paycheck disappears on luxury skincare. What can I say? I have a soft spot for $325 La Mer Soft Cream, $215 La Mer Eye Cream, $80 Eve Lom Cleanser, and $160 Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Masks. All of which strip my wallet of approximately $275 a month when I calculate how often I replenish them. (That’s $3300 a year—a business class ticket to Paris when you think of it that way.) Insert shocked face emoji here.

Curious to see if I could curb my luxury skincare kick for at least a few months (and save some major dollars for that getaway to Paris), I put Versed, our new sister skincare brand, to the test. The whole skincare range at Versed clocks in at under $20, is available to buy at Target, and prides itself on its clean, uncomplicated ingredients, and sustainably sourced, nontoxic, results-driven items—including cleansers, moisturizers, eyes creams, and oils to serums, peels, masks, and spot treatments. The cool packaging looks way more expensive than its price tag and is practically made for Instagram.

I tried and tested a selection of products catered to my dry skin. Scroll below for my thoughts and my favorites that I’m now using on repeat. (Perhaps that business class trip to Paris is closer than I think.)





Hydration Station Booster with HA

Made for dryness (so perfect for me), this hydrating booster is the missing product my skincare regime has been yearning for. It's made up of two types of hyaluronic acid (that magic ingredient that bumps up hydration levels), so I added a couple of drops to my daily moisturizer and occasionally to my foundation. It created an overall dewier look and made my skin feel quenched. It's such an easy and effective way to add moisture to parched skin. Top points for this one.

Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask

I love the fact I can layer this mask onto my skin and go out to the store or open the door to the mail carrier and no one will actually notice I have a face mask on. The hydrating and plumping gel mask is beautifully clear and is made for dryness and aging skin concerns. I didn't feel that it really penetrated into my skin, nor did I feel the tightening or tingling feeling I often do with other masks—but it was, however, extremely soothing and cooling and it make my skin feel super smooth afterward. I also love the rosy scent, not to mention the Insta-worthy packaging. Plus, for $11 you can't go wrong.

Just Breathe Clarifying Serum

I've never really added serum to my skincare regime, but this product has made me think twice. I have uneven skin tone, redness, and am prone to breakouts, and after using it morning and night (applying it to slightly damp skin) I noticed a real difference—it calmed my inflammation, soothed my redness and I never broke out once over the weeks I used it. 

Wash It Out Gel Cleanser

This is so refreshing and great for summer! It's such a light, gentle, and fresh daily cleanser and is perfect if you're looking for an easy everyday face wash. Made of mint and rosewater, it creates a frothy and foamy texture and made my skin felt minty-fresh without that tight-skin sensation after. While I'll probably keep my deep cleanser I use right now for my problem skin, this is a great supplement to when I'm looking for something easy and gentle.

Vacation Eyes Brightening Eye Gel

I am yet to find a formula that will eliminate my dark under-eye circles completely, but this lightweight and brightening cooling eye gel does a great job of perking up my dull eyes.  It's made of vitamin C, ginseng root, and coffee seed extract and leaves a lovely dewy and luminous look on my tired eyes.