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How a top dermatologist would spend $100 on beauty products


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Photo: Shereene Idriss
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People in the beauty industry get tons of goods to test out, so when someone spends their own money on something that they’ve run out of, you know it’s good. In this series, we give beauty buffs $100, and ask them how they’d spend it on the best-of-the-best cosmetics from around the internet. 

No matter the weather outside, everyone’s chasing the lit-from-within glow 365 days a year. Those who stop in for a session with Shereene Idriss, MD, a New York City dermatologist, will find it it—heavy on the “from-within” part (which is the mark of a very good dermatologist, TBH).

Aside from being a skin expert, Dr. Idriss sets herself apart by making a special connection with each and every one of her patients. Part of her magic comes from working to understand why a someone is in her office and sending them away feeling radiant—both inside and out.

From her gentle touch to her own flawless skin, you could kind of call her the complexion whisperer. So, I’ll gladly take a page out of her book (or better yet, a peek into her medicine cabinet) to uncover the products that she turns to daily, all for under $100.

Keep scrolling for the items Dr. Idriss would buy for under $100.

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Photo: First Aid Beauty

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, $15

“Exfoliating is essential, especially during the dry winter months,” explains Dr. Idriss. “I start my day by clearing my skin with these pads after my morning shower. Skin tends to lose moisture throughout the night, causing dead cells to accumulate on the surface. So, I use these, which have a combination of glycolic and lactic acids, to tone, brighten, and smooth the skin.”

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Photo: Elta MD

EltaMD Moisturizer, $16

“Hydration is the secret to beautiful skin,” says Dr. Idriss. “I use this after exfoliating, when skin is more likely to absorb water and moisture. This particular product is both water-based and fragrance-free making it ideal for sensitive skin types. Plus, a small amount goes a long way, and it can be used both in the a.m. and p.m.”

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Photo: Mineral Fusion

Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 30 Brush On Sun Defense, $25

“Before leaving the house, I dust off with this mineral powder SPF,” says Dr. Idriss. “It protects my skin from both harmful UVA and UVB rays while the subtle light-reflecting particles give me a glowing finish without needing to apply makeup. I pop it in my bag and use it to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. It’s an overall win for my skin!”

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Photo: Vaseline

Vaseline Original Lip Therapy, $2

“I get the most mileage from this $2 product than any other product I’ve purchased,” admits Dr. Idriss. “I constantly apply and reapply it on my lips, because chapped lips are never a good look and are unfortunately inevitable in the winter. Not only is it great for lips, I also apply it at night under my eyes to help smooth and hydrate the delicate skin and help plump fine lines.”

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Photo: Benefit

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara, $24

“If I had to pick just one cosmetic product, it would be mascara,” admits Dr. Idriss. “This one is gold! It not only curls, but it also lifts my lashes, giving me a bright-eyed look—even at 9 a.m., before coffee!”

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Photo: Stila

Stila Eye Shadow in Kitten, $18

“This shadow is universally flatter, no matter your skin tone or eye shape,” says Dr. Idriss. “You can also use it to highlight your brow bones and the inner corners of the eyes. I typically apply it with the tip of my pinky because it goes on so smoothly. Plus, it’s super pigmented so a little bit really goes a long way.”

Derms do know best. Here are the acne-treatments that seven of them recommend and here’s how Dr. Mona Gohara would spend $100 on beauty products.

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