8 skin-care Sephora best sellers you can snag for $15 or less


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Photo: Getty Images / Emma Kim

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but my urge to splurge remains. It’s like the flood gates—or, more accurately, vault doors–have been opened and nothing can re-contain them. Lately, I’m clicking on every Instagram ad, opening every retailer email, and just generally ruining my prospects for ending 2019 on a responsible fiscal note. It’s a problem.Fortunately, I somehow landed me on the Sephora best sellers page, where I was surprised to find a number of affordable skincare superheroes for $15 of less.

Though I’m likely to snag a few for myself—my skin is not exactly thriving through the holiday stress—more altruistic individuals might want to consider them as stocking stuffers or otherwise assorted holiday gifts. Starring prominently among these selections are cult-beloved clean beauty brands like The Inkey List and The Ordinary, both of whom make serums to die (er, live?) for. Several products from the Sephora Collection also fit the bill as bestsellers that won’t break the bank, including a butt mask that screams White Elephant exchange if ever a product did.

Sorry (not sorry) for bringing these gems to your attention, but irresponsible spending loves company—or something like that. Happy between-holiday hunting!

Check out these skin-care Sephora best sellers for $15 or less

inkey-list-retinol
Photo: The Inkey List

1. The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum, $10

The fountain of youth isn’t yet available for purchase, so this clean serum will have to serve as a stand-in. Retinol, its star active ingredient, can sometimes be intense, but here it’s formulated to be gentle enough for use on all skin types.

the-ordinary-aha
Photo: The Ordinary

2. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, $7

If your skin’s struggling as much as mine this season, try throwing this exfoliator into the mix. It’ll give you that kiss-me-under-the-mistletoe glow.

sephora waterproof makeup remover
Photo: Sephora

3. Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, $11

Let it snow, sure, but only if you’re wearing waterproof makeup so the moisture doesn’t ruin your holiday party look…right? This remover will help you scrub off snowflake-resistant mascara after the clock strikes midnight on the new year.

the inkey list caffeine eye cream
Photo: The Inkey List

4. The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream, $10

Even my toenails need caffeine this time of year, so I’m enamored with any product that allows me to slather it onto the more forward-facing parts of my body, e.g. the under eye area. For just one Hamilton (aka, $10 bill), this cream will de-puff and brighten so you actually look as joyful as you (hopefully) feel.

Origins clear improvement
Photo: Origins

5. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, $13

Rudolph’s supposed to have the red nose this season—not you. Mask up to clear out those pores for the upcoming holiday party parade.

the ordinary niacinamide sephora best-sellers
Photo: The Ordinary

6. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $6

Niacinamide is like an anxiety blanket for your skin, so if you’re prone to angry red flareups, this formula might be the savior your skin needs—for less than the cost of an oat milk latte.

the inkey list hyaluronic acid sephora best-sellers
Photo: The Inkey List

7. The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum, $8

One of the few things in life it’s impossible to overdo it on—alongside avocados and happy baby pose—is hyaluronic acid. This is especially true in the winter, when heaters and dry air conspire to make your skin thirsty AF.

Sephora Collection butt mask sephora best-sellers
Photo: Sephora

8. Sephora Collection Bawdy x Sephora Collection Butt Sheet Mask, $4

Nether regions-related gifts aren’t appropriate in every setting, so you may want to read the room before nabbing this for your White Elephant gift exchange. Still, nothing beats a funny gift that’s actually useful in making you feel bootie-full (see what I did there?).

Here’s what a dermatologist’s skin-care routine looks like:

Not yet satiated in your (budget-friendly) spending? Nab the $3 moisturizer that sells every 3 seconds in Korea. Or, shop an NYC dermatologist’s must-have drugstore picks.

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