If my niece’s bedroom—which might as well be a warehouse for the best affordable Ulta products—is any indication, Gen Z is serious about skincare. With more resources than ever at the tips of their well-manicured fingers, kids aren’t just feeling empowered to inspect and review their products. They’re also game to keep it real about everything, including the need for regimens that don’t cost an arm and a leg to keep up with. I’m more impressed than nostalgic for my younger days when I think about it.
Speaking for the millennial set (and anyone with bills to pay), I think it’s fair to say we agree, even though our younger cohorts have the advantage of growing up in an era that’s more accepting of honest dialogue about anything beauty-related. Gen-Z-ers and millennials probably disagree on a lot of things too, but I know most of us believe skincare equals self-care.
Or in the words of Nick Stenson, SVP of Ulta Beauty Services, “it’s not only important to have a routine but also to see it as an activity to look forward to.” In fact, the allure of self-care has made skincare generally less intimidating and more fun, because if we don’t Instagram our 24K gold face mask, was it even there?
“Brands like florence by mills, which was created by Millie Bobby Brown, is a perfect example of a brand that Gen Z’ers love because it was made for them by someone they can identify with,” adds Stenson. Understandably so, the fun stuff is a welcome reprieve from current times. At-home everything is on an upswing and dinner dates have been replaced with DIY projects. (And I know I’m not the only one who wishes she could get a facial, like yesterday.)
“The best thing you can do for your skin during this time is to upkeep your normal at-home skincare regimen,” suggests Stenson. “Remember to be patient and leave the facials and advanced skincare treatments such as chemical peels or extractions to the professionals.”
So what’s a girl to do when she wants to spoil herself, pay rent and stick to a schedule for sanity’s sake? I love Ulta, but it’s easy to scroll yourself into a black hole of face masks and forget why you were there in the first place. Because I know you’re looking for an excuse to treat yourself, here are five budget-friendly finds handpicked by Stenson for your next TikTok, Instagram live, or private Netflix binge.
(Pro-tip: If makeup is more your vibe, Ulta also offers guests the opportunity to virtually explore, try on, and test makeup colors and shades through the virtual GLAMlab® within the Ulta Beauty app.)
“Ulta Beauty Collection has a great assortment of face masks starting at $3.00 as well as a series of Superfood Mud Masks.”
He also highly recommends this camera-ready 24K Magic Metallic Gold Peel Off Mask.
“You can also try a sampler like the I Dew Care Let’s Get Sheet Faced Sheet Mask Set which gives you 14 days’ worth of masks.”
“It’s important that you’re taking care of your lips. Since we’re not outside as much, you may not be wearing your lipstick or lip balms as often, which provides a layer of moisture and protection,” says Stenson. “In order to protect your pout and keep lips hydrated at home, try an overnight lip mask.”
“We also recently launched Sara Happ’s Perfect Pout Lip Kit which includes a Brown Sugar Lip Scrub to help exfoliate lips, while the Lip Slip One Luxe Gloss adds moisture and shine. Separately these two items are $24 each but you can get both in the kit for $32.”
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