Somewhere between puberty and our first wrinkle we hear a little voice inside us asking: “Should I be using a better face cream?” Absolutely! But which one? Beauty must-have articles suggest we use the best industry products and RUN to the nearest cosmetic counter. The truth is that there are plenty of effective options that don’t cost a fortune. Here are a few to check out:

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First, a confession: My makeup kit does include the same high-end facial lotions and serums found in the kits of many celebrity makeup artists. But I pack my drugstore favorite CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion right alongside the high-priced products. CeraVe is not only a go-to line for me personally and professionally but also for celebrity and Emmy award winning makeup artist Kevin James Bennett of This is a man who has the entire cosmetic world at his fingertips, and he includes CeraVe amongst his well-priced faves. Kevin shares,“Thanks to some major advances in technology, you don’t need to spend a fortune when you want highly effective skincare. You can find so many great moisturizer options on the shelves of your local drugstore chain.”

I found this line years ago when my dermatologist recommend CereVe because it moisturizes simply and effectively. According to, the moisturizing lotion which contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, “restores the protective function of the skin barrier, keeping the moisture where it belongs, restoring damaged skin and keeping skin looking healthy.” CeraVe pairs well with serums or any anti-aging or prescription products you may use. I like it because it’s gentle, doesn’t feel greasy and is fragrance free.

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This kit includes products that will last you months, all at a great price. Shaklee is a company that has been around for more than 60 years and is best known for being truly natural. Their products are tested beyond the organic standard and are paraben free. I grew up on Shaklee products and, after having used their skincare line for a few months, I am receiving many compliments on my skin. I love how Northern Virginia Shaklee Director Heather Colon puts it, “It’s like rubbing vitamins directly on your face!” I appreciate buying the products as a kit because Shaklee has made all the selections for me, but if you prefer, the products can be purchased separately.

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A brand long-coveted by American makeup artists has finally come across the pond. This infamous product won the Good Housekeeping seal and Boots’ website claims one serum is sold every eight seconds in the United Kingdom! The Boots line includes skincare as well as cosmetics and can be found at Target, Ulta, and online at The serum is rated highly by users and claims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles to produce younger looking skin. Serums are usually used as a first step after cleansing. Follow up the serum with either the Protect and Perfect Day Cream with SPF, or night cream. Make sure SPF is included somewhere in your daytime moisturizers or makeup. Never leave home without it!

It’s also important to exfoliate so that your moisturizer can easily penetrate your skin. Makeup looks so much better on a face that’s exfoliated and well hydrated. My favorite item in the line is the Boots No7 Total Renewal Micro- Dermabrasion Exfoliator. It’s a great replacement for the MAC exfoliator that was discontinued years back. The price can’t be beat: $15.79 on Target and Boots’ websites.

Choosing which product is right for you can be overwhelming. For easy comparison shopping, visit a Sephora store or They have an ingenious wall in their stores called the “Sephora Skincare Favorites.” On this wall you can find a variety of facial products rated highly by their customers. You can see them all in one place as well as listed by price point.

This wall and website include a feature called “Skincare IQ,” which walks consumers through a series of questions to match the perfect products to your skin. From there, you can print out information about the products that interest you. It’s a fantastic resource! Sephora also offers samples of many of their products so you have a chance to try things before you buy.

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