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Summer Budget Beauty: Luxe vs. Less


Now more than ever, it really pays to save. But there’s also something to be said for making a smart splurge or two—especially when you find a beauty product that you absolutely love.

These six summer buys all get the MARS seal of approval, despite their drastically different price tags. It’s up to you to decide which warrant spending some extra cash and which don’t require the extra dough. (We, for instance, love Not Your Mother’s Beach Spray, which is only $6 and one of the best summer-hair spritzers around. IOHO, of course).



Phyto Plage Protective Beach Hair Spray, $22

Tousled, sexy waves are a summer hairstyle standard. If you haven’t actually spent the day by the sea, a wave spray is key for creating this disheveled-but-sexy style. Phyto’s formula creates a beautiful, just-back-from-the-beach look, with plenty of texture and volume. It’s also a great hair protectant that contains UV filters to shield your strands from salt water, chlorine, and sun damage.


Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, $6

For six bucks, you can’t beat this beach spray, which smells absolutely amazing—close your eyes while you spritz it on and it’s almost impossible not to feel like you’re at the shore. Infused with natural Dead Sea salt and sea kelp, it helps form a sexy, windswept style and will hold waves for hours. And you really only need a few spritzes, so one $6 bottle can last you all summer long.



Clarins ‘Instant Smooth’ Self-Tanning, $35

Streak-free color, a natural looking glow, and skin smoothing moisturize is what you’ll get from Clarins’ jar of self-tanning mousse. A light hue will develop instantly (in about an hour), and with daily use you can build on your color to achieve the intensity of tan you’re looking for.


L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion, $10

You’ll also get an instant bronze glow from L’Oréal’s self-tanning lotion (within an hour, as well). Continue to build on the color, and eventually you’ll be two shades darker than your natural skin tone (if, of course, you want to take it that far). The brand’s new formula is also filled with good-for-the-skin ingredients, such as wrinkle-reducing alpha hydroxy acids and soothing vitamin E.



Laura Mercier Lip Colour Creme in Italian Summer, $24

Just because the temps are warming doesn’t mean you have to shy away from a bold colored lip. Laura Mercier’s Colour Creme is wonderfully lightweight, which is why it’s a great pick for summer. It’s also packed with moisturizing and anti-aging elements to keep lips soft, supple, and summertime sexy.


NYX Matte Lipstick in Pure Red, $6

This lipstick truly lasts all day, which is perfect if you’re planning to rock a glam beach beauty look. We do suggest adding a coat a lip balm before you apply, as this shade’s amazing staying power can cause a dryness. And don’t be afraid of red! A pop of the shade adds sexy oomph to any style, regardless of the season.

by Susan Linney 

Photos courtesy of,,,,,,

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