Welcome to “Splurge/Save,” a sequence through which we quiz magnificence obsessives in regards to the high luxurious (“splurge”) and drugstore (“save”) merchandise of their routines.
Amy Chang — the Los Angeles-based digital content material creator recognized to her many followers on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok as @bondenavant — has some opinions on the subject of magnificence merchandise. She’s examined nearly every part value making an attempt, and her followers know they’ll belief her for trustworthy takes on formulation, remedies and tendencies. It is Chang’s grounded, relatable presence, on social media platforms that may typically really feel overwhelming, that retains followers coming again.
Born in South Korea however raised in Minnesota, Chang says her ardour for magnificence stems from her “Sicilian and French Canadian” mom.
“She all the time has a full face, even when we’re outdoors within the woods mountain climbing,” Chang tells Fashionista. “She all the time has lipstick on — she reapplies it all through the day, even when she’s dwelling alone. This I nonetheless do not perceive, however she says, ‘Amy, I simply apply it for myself.'”
At 19, Chang briefly dropped out of faculty and obtained a job working at a Shiseido counter, the place she remembers first falling in love with skincare. “That little seed of ardour was there, it simply wanted one other push,” she says. “After I went again to varsity, I obtained an internship at L’Oréal, at Shu Uemura of their PR division, and thought that this was going to be my path.” She spent years working in magnificence after which hospitality public relations in New York Metropolis earlier than experiencing burnout.
“My boyfriend on the time — now husband — requested me to maneuver to L.A., and I used to be like, ‘Certain, let’s do it. Let’s go on one other journey,'” she says. “I knew I did not wish to return to an company life, so I began a weblog about magnificence and wellness, issues that I used to be exploring on this new world of L.A., like Botox and fillers and lasers and smoothies and juice cleanses.”
What initially started as a “ardour undertaking” finally grew right into a full-time profession as a magnificence content material creator.
“I feel I used to be simply all the time looking for reference to different girls, and my weblog allowed me to have that,” Chang says. “I met so many fascinating girls alongside the best way, and I had the perfect time speaking with them and sharing what I am exploring and what works and what would not.”
Chang’s product vetting course of is thorough and practiced, although it differs relying on the formulation: “Cleansers, I can get a reasonably good sense after the primary couple of makes use of of how my pores and skin goes to reply, so I really feel like I am switching out way more incessantly than any of the opposite merchandise. Serums, I give at the least a month to see, ‘Okay, what is that this doing?’ If I am not seeing something after a month of constant use, I am sort of like, ‘Okay, this isn’t taking place.’ I must be seeing one thing there, even when it is just a bit enchancment.”
Whether or not she’s selecting to cowl a product on her channels organically or deciding to associate with a model, Chang all the time asks herself three questions: “Is that this a product that I might spend my very own cash on if I did not already, if it was gifted? Is that this a product that I might re-purchase? Is that this a product that I might advocate to my sister, my mother, my greatest good friend? If it is sure to all three, then I deliver it to my viewers.”
Forward, Chang shares her high “splurge” and “save” magnificence picks throughout all kinds of classes.
Mascara: “I’ve non-existent eyelashes. You possibly can’t even see them. That is simply the byproduct of being Asian. They’re straight, skinny, limp, brief. My budget-friendly one which I like is No. 7 360 Waterproof Mascara in Darkish Brown ($10.99). It does such an incredible job of lifting and offering just a little curl. It would not smudge. And darkish brown is the factor — I really feel like this previous yr, I’ve actually opened myself to brown eyeliner and brown mascara, and it has been a game-changer. It is such a smooth search for daytime, and it makes me seem like I haven’t got something on my eyes. Black is extra dramatic; I put on that for nighttime.
“For top-end, I like the Tower 28 MakeWaves Mascara ($20). I do not know if it is as a result of the founder is Asian and so she most likely was creating this product for herself, however I find it irresistible. It builds up very well. It provides a pleasant curl, and it holds and elongates my brief lashes.”
Cleanser: “The ‘low’ is an OG in my family: the CeraVe Cream-to-Foam Cleaning Face Wash ($14.99). It really works for everybody in my household. I’ve handled dermatitis. My youngsters have dermatitis and eczema patches. I apply it to them, on myself, on my husband. I even use it as shampoo on my youngsters, and it is phenomenal. I like that product.
“For ‘excessive,’ I actually just like the Philosophy Purity Foaming Cleanser ($27). At first, I used to be sort of like, ‘I do not find out about Philosophy model.’ There’s one thing in regards to the bubble baths. It appeared very… not severe skincare, proper? However then I attempted this cleanser, and it is so good. I’ve delicate pores and skin, and it has salicylic acid in it. It is extraordinarily mild. It helps to clear up clogged pores and blackheads. It is one among my favourite cleansers now.”
Sunscreen: “Great thing about Joseon ($10.29) is a Korean SPF that went viral final yr for a cause. I imply, it is $10. It has the lightest texture. There isn’t any white forged. It is only a superbly crafted SPF. The one hesitation I’ve with it personally is that there is not any tint, and for somebody like myself who’s coping with melasma and pigment, carrying tinted SPF is absolutely important as a result of it protects towards that blue mild which may stimulate the melanin manufacturing of pigment.
“On a day-to-day foundation, I actually do attain for the EltaMD Tinted SPF 41 ($36.50) for delicate pores and skin. I have been utilizing it for years. I find it irresistible as a result of it is formulated for use post-laser and chemical peel. That is truly after I first obtained launched to it — I had a Fraxel laser executed, and my dermatologist really useful I exploit this SPF. I additionally actually just like the SkinCeuticals Fusion SPF 50 ($36). It additionally has a tint, so I really feel good that I am getting that additional safety from the blue mild. It has extra of a watery texture to it.”
Shampoo and conditioner: “The luxurious one nearly pains me just a little bit to advocate it as a result of it is so costly. Properly, I find it irresistible. It is the Augustinus Bader Shampoo ($55). The factor is that it is a shampoo that the extra you employ it, the higher your hair will get. Usually, shampoos are like a face cleanser: You need one which’s not going to be damaging, that is going to be mild — yeah, it might probably contribute some advantages, however as a result of it is a wash-off product, it is not going to be as dramatic as a hair serum, so you actually simply wish to discover one thing that is mild that works on your hair kind. However this, I truly discover enhancements in my hair with continued use.
“For the budget-friendly one, I am a very massive fan of Kristin Ess Further Mild Shampoo ($11). I feel there are 5 – 6 completely different surfactants in it. If you store for a shampoo, probably the greatest indicators if it is good or not is what number of detergents they use, as a result of if there’s two several types of detergents to get a foaming motion, they want a variety of every of these two detergents. However if in case you have 5 – 6 completely different varieties and also you simply want just a little bit of every one, there’s much less risk that you’ll get an irritation or a response to that detergent. It additionally has a variety of film-forming humectants, which add moisture to the strands. When individuals take into consideration hydration for hair, they’re all the time pondering butters and oils, which, sure, are nice, however you really want issues that can bind water to the strand, too. Butters and oils can actually overwhelm strands. It is the film-forming humectants that actually give that moisture that makes hair sort of versatile and bouncy.
“For conditioners, I like the accompanying conditioner for the Augustinus Bader [shampoo] ($55). I additionally actually just like the Briogeo Mango Cherry Conditioner ($30). When you’ve got superb, skinny hair, you need one that does not have too many of those wealthy butters and stuff, as a result of it may weigh it down.”
Scroll to Proceed
Retinoid: “I only in the near past obtained again on the retinol prepare after a really lengthy hiatus. I am utilizing the SkinCeuticals 0.3 Retinol ($70), which I feel is simply probably the greatest if in case you have delicate pores and skin. It is a focused supply system.
“For the budget-friendly one, I just like the CeraVe ($20.99). I discover that it is just a little intense. I am going slower with these budget-friendly ones. I feel they attempt to pack just a little extra punch into them.”
Eye cream: “For the ‘low,’ I’ve beloved The Inkey Listing Caffeine Serum ($13.79) for years. The one disadvantage is that it would not have anti-aging advantages to it, but it surely provides you that rapid payoff of serving to with darkish circles as a result of that is my downside. Caffeine is a vasodilator, so it helps with bettering blood movement. And it is $10 and it simply brightens it immediately.
“On the upper finish, after I’ve been utilizing nightly, I like the Estée Lauder Superior Night time Restore Eye ($70). It is so humorous as a result of I really feel like this product has been round ceaselessly, however they lately reformulated it and added on this know-how that has this antioxidant mix that helps block the blue mild. With research popping out and discovering that blue mild damages collagen and elastin and helps to stimulate that pigment, I take into consideration on a regular basis within the day I spend in entrance of a display — I get up, seize my cellphone, go to the Peloton display, to the TV display, to my laptop display, again to my cellphone display at night time after which I am going to mattress. There actually is not any break. It is very unhappy.”
Physique scrub or wash: “The Kopari KP Volcanic Ash Scrub ($26) is fingers down my favourite physique scrub. That is actually good.
“I might say on decrease finish for physique wash, I actually love the Uncooked Sugar Physique Wash in Watermelon and Contemporary Mint ($7.99). It is actually mild, it smells nice, it is solely $10 and also you get this big bottle.”
Eyeliner: “L’Oréal Paris Make-up Infallible Grip Eyeliner in Brown ($11.99). It has a felt tip — I am a busy mother, so it simply makes it really easy to swipe on.
“I actually love the Uncommon Magnificence Eyeliner ($22). It is actually moist, so it’s a must to watch out, but it surely’s wonderful at getting that actually sharp winged eyeliner look.”
Lip gloss: “I like something that is tingly and plumping. I am a giant fan of the Dior Lip Oil in Cherry ($38). It is all the time in my bag. I like its Lip Maximizer in Coral ($38).
“For the decrease finish, I just like the L’Oréal Infallible Professional Plump Lip Gloss ($8.99). It has that good tingle to it.”
Blush: “The one which I’ve used the longest and actually stayed true — I really feel like I all the time come again to it — is Nars Orgasm ($32). That is simply an OG. I like that one.
“For the ‘low’ choose, I just like the W3ll Individuals Stick Blush ($22). I simply tried it the opposite day and it is very nice.”
Basis: “Kosas Revealer Basis ($42). I like that it is actually hydrating. On days that I exploit it, I do not use any moisturizer. I am going to simply put my SPF on after which I am going to put my basis on. I actually just like the Summer time Fridays Pores and skin Tint ($42). It is tremendous sheer. That is for the times the place I really feel like my pores and skin is wanting nice and I do not truly need that a lot.
“For the ‘low,’ I actually love Physicians System Natural Put on Basis ($12.49).”
Essence or toner: “I like the SK-II Pitera ($185). That is actually nice as a result of it has that fermented yeast that has the B nutritional vitamins. It is so costly. And for the longest time, I used to be like, ‘Come on. Actually? Why is that this so costly?’ However then I used it and truly seen an enormous distinction within the redness on my face, particularly round my chin and nostrils. And it did assist with my pigment, oddly. I am unable to deduce precisely what’s inflicting it, which actually perplexes me as a result of I am like, ‘How may simply the B nutritional vitamins and this fermented yeast do that?’ However I feel it helps with the pores and skin barrier, actually strengthening it. That is the way it helps with the pigment and the spots and the redness.
“I actually just like the Cocokind Rosewater Toner ($17.99). I am a giant fan of rose water. I consistently spray it on my scalp, on my face; when my women get itchy, I spray it on them.”
Highlighter: “Everyone seems to be simply obsessive about the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter ($46). I exploit it in a shade lighter than what they advocate for my pores and skin as a result of it actually provides a variety of brightness to the face.
“There’s the viral dupe, and it really works simply as nicely — it is referred to as the L’Oréal Lumi Glotion ($15.99). It really works simply as nicely at giving that very same sort of excessive beam, strobe mild, actually massive brightness to the pores and skin. The distinction is the consistency: The Lumi Glotion may be very skinny and light-weight, and the Charlotte Tilbury one is thicker.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
Please notice: Often, we use affiliate hyperlinks on our website. This by no means impacts our editorial decision-making.
By no means miss the most recent trend trade information. Join the Fashionista each day publication.