Weekend Itinerary: A Drugstore Spa Day

Duane Reade is Shangri-La for cheap gluttons like me. I find CVS’ lighting too harsh, and any Rite Aid will forever remind me of the Rite Aid in my hometown, which is a scary place to be after 7pm. Ricky’s is legendary, but doesn’t sell Utz chips or paper towels. My good friend Duane sells everything, is usually clean, and caters to all of my weird cravings 24 hours a day. What do you call a place that sells French drugstore products and Kit Kats on the same shelf? You call it paradise.

The other great thing about Duane Reade is that you can ball out in the cosmetics section for about thirty dollars. At the drugstore, peasants are kings. Just because I spent all my money on cabs and Juice Generation smoothies during Fashion Week doesn’t mean that I can’t treat myself like the Crown Prince of Brooklyn with a few strategic drugstore buys. Which makes it the perfect place to go once you’ve canceled all of your weekend plans in search of a little R&R. Less than $100 gets you a full-body spa day. Head, shoulders, knees, toes. Here’s the menu:

The DIY Facial: Yesterday you heard from Aida Bicaj, who is arguably one of the greatest facialists in New York City. But she’s uptown and I’m in Brooklyn… Luckily for you and me, drugstore masks are abundant and are usually really, really good. Take Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque, a beauty school favorite and excellent May Lindstrom switch hitter—it’s got a fresh scent, major clarifying power, and a satisfying, cartoonish key lime green color. I love to keep a mask on for as long as possible, but this one should stay on for 10 minutes, max.

And then, like the spoiled babe you are, you should follow with: Another mask. Specifically, L’Oreal’s Revitalift Intensive Overnight Mask. It was invented for slumber but for the purposes of this day, shall be used as a prolonged treatment mask. I asked my roommate if she would be interested in applying this to me, à la Bicaj. She politely declined. Revitalift has that “nice mask” smell (not for the scent adverse) but when applied lightly, leaves your skin a little bouncier afterwards. Blame those hyaluronic acids.

(Total for the DIY Facial: $29)

The Deep Pamper: If you live in New York or in a small apartment anywhere, the idea of taking a bath is either 1) luxurious, because you don’t have a bathtub or 2) unsavory, because no matter how much you clean it, it still seems kind of dirty? So if you have a bathtub, I urge you to overcome your fears and take one. Boom! That’s an indulgence you can have for free. Pour in some $8 Mayfair Body Wash Bubble Bath (scent rec: Sea Lily Jasmine) and you’re all set. And because this is a total body experience, eschew your usual conditioner for Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioning Treatment. There’s deep, and then there’s deeeeeep—if winter is ravaging your hair, this is the perfect antidote.

I’d also suggest a pair of Pedispa Exfoliating Foot Masks—the kind that you can feel working while you use them. Pedispa recommends an hour to 90 minutes of foot soaking, which means you get an hour-to-90-minute excuse to remain horizontal.

(Total for the Deep Pamper: $22)

The While You Watch Vanderpump Rules: Nothing goes better with schadenfreude than a lil at-home manicure. Begin with Sally’s Cuticle Remover and follow up with the 18K Gold Nail Hardener. It’s easily the best 18K gold product you’ll find at Duane Reade, for one. Flecks of gold mean a slightly shimmery, metallic clear polish (and it’s buildable if you’re looking for something more) that works as a treatment on it’s own or a topcoat over another polish. Do your toenails, too! And while you’re down there, Neutrogena Foot Cream is no-frills, but works wonders for calloused, cracked skin. It is the perfect remedy for the trench foot I acquired while trudging to shows through inclement weather this past week.

(Total for all of that: $19)

The Quick Fix: Maybe you don’t have all day to indulge. If you’re like me, your “free time” consists of the 30 minutes you’ve blocked off on Saturday in which you complete the tax forms you’ve been putting off. In that case, slap on Bioré Pore Strips and Earth Therapeutics Hydrogel Eye Gels to get the job done. The first is a cult classic cleanse. The second is, hands down, the best under eye treatment $9 can buy. That brings the grand total for the whole spa day to about $87, which might be something to consider if you’re debating shelling out for some SK-II sheet masks. Sometimes more is more.

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by Tom Newton.

Speaking of options, pick out a new matte lipstick while you’re there. And say hi to Duane for us.

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Lolita Cros, Curator

“I work as an independent curator. I started doing it in college—I put together my first show there and I really liked it, so I started to do mostly group shows in the city. Recently I started curating solo shows, which is a little more focused, and a little more time consuming, and a little more stressful. But I’ve always really liked art. I’m constantly accumulating the names of people I want to work with. I approach artists I really like, and they’ll introduce me to other artists…It’s a very social thing. New York definitely has an art scene to go out in, whereas in France, where I’m from, it’s more of a music world where DJs are hanging out at night.

When I go out, I like to take my time getting ready—usually I’ll put French TV on the iPad first. There’s a show called Le Petit Journal which is really good—it’s like a late-night show with great reporters all over the world. Then I like to take a shower, because I feel like it wakes me up and gets me in the mood. I need to clean my hair before I go out—it drives me crazy when I’m out with dirty hair. When I wash it, I use this one amazing French brand called Phyto, and after that I use Klorane Conditioner with Oat Milk. I wash my hair every two or three days, but I clean my bangs every day with a tiny bit of shampoo because if I don’t, they look greasy.

After I shower, I sit around in my towel looking at Instagram for an hour, and then I’ll remember I’m going out and I start picking my clothes. [Laughs] I’ll also pin my bangs back to give them a little volume, which is really embarrassing. My hair is really boring and flat…I can try to make it look good and it’ll go flat as soon as I leave the house. But I love to go dancing, so I’ll usually end up putting my hair into a high ponytail anyway and it doesn’t really matter. I also love to put lotion on when I’m getting ready. I moisturize really heavily, it’s just something that I like to do. I like Laboratoires Gilbert Liniment—it’s for babies and it’s made with olive oil. I actually stole it from my niece! Then I have this Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm when I’m traveling because you can’t bring a whole bottle. This is pretty good, but it’s not as amazing as the other one.

I wash my face with this thing called Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash. I’ve only had a facial once in my life—in France, people don’t do that, but here it’s a really big thing—and the guy recommended that I use this because I have really sensitive skin, and it’s really good. Right after the shower I’ll use Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Day Cream. I was friends with a bunch of hippies in college and they all had it and I was like, whatever, it looks pretty, and then I used it and it was amazing. After moisturizing, I’ll put on the Touche Éclat, and then I’ll use Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint to equalize everything. It’s also really nice because you feel like you don’t have stuff on your face. You forget about it. Oh, I have this really great thing actually that I use every weekend…it’s Nars Orgasm blush—it’s so good!

I think beauty is kind of like clothing, in that it should enhance whatever you’ve got. Because I have thin lips, I like wearing lipstick. It depends on my outfit, but I always put on a chapstick before—I’ve been using the Glossier Coconut Balm Dotcom. I like Chanel Coco Rouge in Marie, but only if I’m wearing a deeper color. I already have dark features, so oftentimes I’ll go for the lighter Dior Special Edition Holiday Red. Sometimes I do the eyeliner thing, like for weddings or slightly bigger occasions, but I keep rubbing my eyes because I forget I have it on! Before I discovered high-end mascara, I used an eyelash curler from CVS and Maybelline Great Lash. I have big eyelashes, so again, it’s all about enhancing. Now I wear Diorshow—that’s good when I’m not really doing anything else and I just want to bring out my eyes. Also, I learned that if you highlight your eyes, then it’ll make it look like you slept, so I’ll wear Balm Dotcom on my lids.

Tonight, I’m wearing this plaid dress—I don’t know the brand because it was my mother’s from 20 years ago. You can call it vintage! I always wear it—I like that it shows some leg, I like that I can wear it with sneakers, I like that I can wear it with cute little ballerina flats. The look that I like to go for is ‘five-year-old boy.’ [Laughs] If I have a cocktail party or an opening I’ll dress up a little more, but for the bars, this works.

I stay out very late and I always eat somewhere after. There’s this dollar pizza place around the corner and I’ll go with my boyfriend and the guy is so sweet. And then I’ll go home and watch TV. I love having the luxury of watching TV really late and knowing that it’s OK because I can sleep late after. I was re-watching all the seasons of Friends last year, so that was perfect for late-night, but that took me a whole year. I just started re-watching Sex & The City. I like these little late-night things.”

—as told to ITG

Lolita Cros photographed by Tom Newton in New York on November 17, 2015.

Learn about model Alexandra Agoston’s meticulous loose bun technique and illustrator Joana Avillez‘ “skinvigorating” cheek tint in the Top Shelf After Dark.

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Media Brecher, Copywriter, Tory Burch

“My name is Media Brecher [@mediabrecher] and I live in New York. I’m a copywriter at Tory Burch, which involves writing style tips, emails, and copy for the website. I love the variety of the work. Before that, I worked at Teen Vogue for several years, and something that surprised me when I moved to a brand is how much the two worlds have in common. A magazine is also a brand, in a lot of ways…It’s important to keep in mind, when reporting and writing, what a publication stands for and who its audience is, which I have to consider daily working for a fashion brand. In my job there are many moving parts, which can be challenging, but it’s also part of what makes the work compelling. And putting the pieces together can be so satisfying.

Working with creative people definitely influences the way I think about beauty—the different ideas that are thrown around, the energy…it all factors in. I didn’t really start wearing makeup until college, and even then it was pretty minimal. I tend to stick to a few simple, reliable products, though I have my fair share of random purchases from the drugstore—I can waste quite a bit of time and money there. One time, I bought this orange lipstick that I thought would look cool, but it was all wrong and terrifying. It’ll all start with the goal of buying toothpaste, and end in the black hole that is the cosmetics aisle. For makeup, I sometimes wear concealer. It took me a while to find one that matched my skin tone, but thankfully, years ago, a makeup artist introduced me to the magic one—MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC42. I’ll wear that with a little Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powder in Love Sick, Glossier Boy Brow in Black, and Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara in Black.

For lips, I like Smith’s Rosebud Salve or Burt’s Bees. When I’m going out or to an event, I’ll sometimes wear lipstick—I gravitate toward deep berry shades—and my current favorite is Revlon’s Raisin Rage. It’s an easy way to dress up a look, especially if I’m in a rush. Or I’ll do a little cat eye with L’Oréal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black. I don’t use any special techniques. I wish I did! A lot of my makeup is done quickly as I’m running out the door.

I wash my face with Cetaphil, which is gentle and doesn’t dry out my skin—my dermatologist recommended it. Then I moisturize with Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 30, which my sister recommended. We both have sensitive skin, so when she finds something that works for her, I’ll usually get in on it, too. It’s lightweight and lasts all day. To moisturize the rest of my body, I like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and Coconut Revolution Coconut Oil.

I used to be really into nail polish and would buy the weirdest colors. I look at my collection now and I’m like, why? Did I actually need that six pack of glittery rainbow hues? I still keep them though, because you never know when the mood for jazzy polish will strike. Also, I may have hoarding tendencies. Right now, I’m just using Essie Mamba. It’s this great neutral color with a hint of pink that works well with my skin tone.

Living Proof hair products are the best. I’m careful not to wash my hair too often because it’ll dry out, but when I do wash, I use their No Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ll finish with the Satin Hair Serum, using a few pumps all over, but especially at the ends—it smoothes out my usually-frizzy hair and gives it some shine. I don’t like my hair to look too polished, though…Messy hair is way more fun.

To relieve stress and stay calm, I often return to my parents’ advice to breathe more. Sometimes it’s as easy as that—taking a step back to breathe can be like hitting a reset button. And if that doesn’t work, drink a glass of wine. Or hang out with a dog—is there anything more instantly mood-lifting? I don’t think so.”

—as told to ITG

Hannah Johnson reveals the secret to making a fragrance last all night, Daniel Kong shares the best moisturizer for long flights and Alyssa Reeder talks getting most out of your haircare routine in the #ITGTopShelfie.

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The Best Drugstore Matte Lipsticks

Imagine you’re home right now (not at your apartment—home home) having a wonderful respite from all of your worldly possessions in favor of spending some quality time in your childhood bed. Better yet, you’re in Miami, finally putting that Lisa Marie Fernandez bathing suit to some good use and hoping that your Kindle is piña colada-resistant. Not to put a damper on any of that, but perhaps you forgot something? Maybe something in your makeup bag? Hey, that’s understandable—it’s not easy to miniaturize the contents of your medicine cabinet and bring all the right ones with you on your getaway. Don’t fret; hotel toiletries are there for a reason. That said, no hotel seems to stock really good matte lipstick yet. Until that happens, it’s just you and the drugstore aisle, and that’s plenty good. There’s more than enough to pick from. Such as:


Maybelline Color Sensational ‘The Buffs’ Matte Lip Color in Blushing Beige

For that Jean Shrimpton glamorous nude feel that goes so well with a chunky turtleneck and a weather report that could be classified as “Wintry Mix.” Maybelline is worth its weight (and then some) when it comes to matte staying power—even though this one goes on more like a cream. That’s a good thing though, because the formula stretches with you, meaning no weird, dry cracks. Lighter colors can be tricky during colder months though, so brush lips clean of any dry skin and moisturize first.


Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in London

Very, very easy to apply. And good for anyone desperate to get their hands on a Kylie Lip Kit dupe (or a more flattering color of the same sort of thing). The wear is almost too long-lasting—have Bioderma’s better tasting cousin, Vichy Micellar Solution, on tap for removal.


Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss in Shade 110

Coral might feel a bit summery, sure, but remember what Isabel Toledo said: The real fun is in the application. To keep any color seasonally relevant, blot on the center of the lip and smudge out. Gives your mouth a bit of that inner glow the rest of your face sports so well.


Wet n Wild Megalast Lip Color in Sugar Plum Fairy

This lipstick is literally a dollar. $1. Sometimes you can find it on sale, too. Wet n Wild deserves to win something for their efforts. In the meantime, wear any and all of their everlasting colors a little messy, without a distinct line, and well blotted. Your insurance here is that it will stay put no matter what, so a good time to experiment with procedure, no?


L’Oréal Colour Riche in Blake’s Red and Freida’s Red

L’Oréal’s line of celebrity endorsed reds (and nudes, for that matter) are some of the most flattering in the game. So why use just one? To contrast with the above, use the matte texture to match the exact shape of your lips for a graphic look.


Rimmel Show Off Lip Velvet in Meteoric Matte

This is the least matte of the batch—but that’s because it’s velvet. So, still fancy. If you wanna go the extra mile (you do) apply with a lip brush or add lip liner to keep color contained and get a crisp edge. Blot with a bit of translucent powder if you’re a matte die-hard.

Eden Weinhardt (New York Models) photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Mayia Alleaume (The Wall Group).

Next up: Read ITG’s guides to the best drugstore mascaras and concealers.

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Kenya Kinski Jones, Model

“I’ve been obsessed with beauty since I was a little girl. I’ll spend hours in Sephora with my older sister, Kidada [Jones]. She’s so much fun. We love products. We’ll be like, ‘What’s your newest product? What’s yours?’ and share things that we’ve found…We read about what they do for your skin, your hair—all of it. We’re obsessed. Like, it’s a problem.

I guess it started with CVS…Neutrogena and all that. For me, the price doesn’t matter—if the product’s good, it’s good, and I love it. Now I feel like I’ve really perfected my routine. I love St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. It’s amazing. My skin gets dry and flaky, and that helps. When I use it at night, my skin’s really bright the next day. I like the Elta MD UV-Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 because it doesn’t smell, and it’s not too thick. It’s easy. I also love Kiehl’s. It’s got history. Their Midnight Recovery Concentrate is really good. And speaking of…I threw out all of my foundation when I bought Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint. It’s the perfect amount of coverage. It makes your skin glow, but it doesn’t overtake. It’s so natural-looking. I tell all my friends, ‘You have to get this.’ Your real skin shows through, which I love.

I keep makeup really minimal, but I like to explore eye looks. Day-to-day I keep it simple, but for events, I like to jump in, get into it, and try something new and fun. I dye my hair, too. Last week, it was orange, and then white—now it’s back to normal. I have to work at it. It takes several attempts. It can be hard going between New York and LA because you kind of bounce around, and you have to find that one person who does your hair right and stick with them.

I grew up in LA, but I would come to New York every summer for three or four months. Now that I’m out of school—I just graduated from Loyola Marymount University—I’ll be able to come back and forth more, so I’m excited. LA’s more dry, but I’m kind of weird in that I like the New York mugginess. I love the hot summer nights to go out. In LA, by driving all the time, you’re kind of disconnected from people and the city, but here, you become a part of it because you’re actually walking and touching and talking. You come here and it’s like go, go, go.”

—as told to ITG

Kenya Kinski Jones photographed by Tom Newton on July 7, 2015. For more interviews, check out Gigi Hadid and Selena Gomez’s Top Shelves. For more eye looks, Valery Kaufman shows ITG her ‘easy eye‘.

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