Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Some Quick Beauty Queries

Hi Belle,

I was hoping you could help me find a less pricey alternative for my favorite facial cleanser (Bare Face Cleansing Oil by Julep). At $28/bottle, it’s hard to commit to using this for a long time, but I’ve never found another cleanser that works as well for my dry, sensitive skin. Any suggestions for oil-based cleansers? 

Best, Bare-Faced Babe in Boston

If you’re looking for a drugstore oil-based cleanser, try Boots No. 7 Oil Cleanser or Garnier Cleansing Oil.  Another option are these Micellar cleansing waters that I keep seeing everywhere.  They cleanse the skin without stripping it.  Boots makes one, but the most popular one comes from Simple.

Also, a lot of readers make their own oil face wash.  There are lots of recipes on Pinterest that purport to treat various skin conditions.


I love nail polish but I can’t afford the Lippmann ones you like.  Is there a drugstore brand that’s really good?

Thanks for taking reader questions! Love the blog! Angela

Competition in the beauty industry has everyone raising their game.  The two nail polish brands that have really improved their new formulas are Sally Hansen and Wet n’ Wild.

WildShine polishes cost 99-cents, and beauty editors keep raving about their staying power.  I’d probably buy affordable colors, then add a pricier base and top coat.  The new polishes are also three-free.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel comes in at a still-affordable $8.  The brand promises gel-like wear and shine without harsh chemicals or UV lights of a salon.

Hey Belle,

Do you use a lip scrub?  Can you recommend a good cheap one?

Thx, Kailey

I use the TonyMoly lip scrub, and it runs about $10.  I use it mostly in the winter or if my lips get really dry.  (I also love the cute container.)  Also, you can make your own lip scrub inexpensively using things from your kitchen.  It’s easy to find little containers on Amazon, so you could even give it away to friends.

Dear Belle,

I had the best highlights at the start of the summer and now they’re all bleached out.  You mentioned something about sunscreen for your hair but I can’t find it now.  Is there such a thing or am I dreaming?

xx, Lindsay

Yes, you can protect your hair color from the sun to an extent.  A hat is the best solution if you’ll be hiking, at the pool, etc..  But if you’re just concerned about daily wear and tear, I like Aveda Hair Veil.  At $28, it’s a bit pricey, but it lasts the whole summer.

L’Oreal’s EverPure line makes a similar sun-protectant spray.  It’s $24, but you get twice as much product as you do with the Aveda.



  1. Katie says:

    re: Julep cleansing oil – If you are a Julep member, you get a discount on their products when buying directly from them and free shipping. This brings the full-size down to $22.40. They also have a new, smaller size that is $12 at regular price and $9.60 with the Julep discount. I agree their cleansing oil is a great product, so I thought I would let you know in case those prices are a little easier to stomach!

    July 13, 2015/Reply
  2. Jess says:

    I tried the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel and wasn’t impressed – I followed instructions and had major chipping after 4 days. I just tried the new Essie Gel-Setter top coat and was very impressed with its staying power. Orly rubber bonder base coat, 2 coats of Essie polish and a coat of the gel setter with another coat 4 days later and after 8 days, only had a small chip and slightly worn off at the tips. I like that I don’t have to go out and buy new polish to use it – it’s supposed to work with all Essie colors (and let’s be real – probably all the other brands too)

    July 13, 2015/Reply
  3. Nicholl says:

    It’s not less pricey, but I (and several friends) swear by One Love Organics Vitamin B cleansing oil. My skin has never felt better.

    July 13, 2015/Reply
  4. Gabrielle says:

    I purchased the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, and it was amazing! I now have multiple colors, it dries quickly (surface,full drying takes a bit longer) and it stays on my fingernails for a week (I used to be able to go 1 day before somehow managing to chip). Toenails (provided I let it dry) is even longer. I actually paint my nails for the office now. I haven’t tried the Essie version.

    July 13, 2015/Reply
  5. R says:

    Sinful Colors nail polish is amazing. It is $2. I do use CND base and top coat with it. Try different base and top coats with your nail polish to see what works best for you.

    July 20, 2015/Reply