Tell Us Your Favorite High-Low Skincare Combos


If there's anything to be gleaned from five-plus years of interviews, it's that the best beauty routines are not built on expensive products alone. Life can’t be all La Mer and Lancôme—and it shouldn't be, because that would make for very boring beauty journalism. Consider The High-Low, ITG's erstwhile celebration of the very finest in drugstore and prestige products that, simply, are better together. Brennan kicks it off with his choice cleanser/moisturizer combo—chime in with yours, too:

Please let it be known that I am a maniac for Bioré. If I were condemned to a desert island and could only take five things with me, I would take at least four different Bioré cleansers—and then, I don't know, a jug of water, I guess? Call me unfashionable, but don't call me unclean, because they're the best damn clarifying products around. It's my unyielding belief that the best things in life are under $10 and are also Bioré.

Like the pore strips and charcoal washes before it, Bioré's Baking Soda Pore Cleanser and I fell in love at first sight. The name is a little frightening (especially for those of us who mind our skin's pH), but don't sweat it. It's simply all of the cleansing prowess of baking soda, without the harmful effects and message board controversy. In fact, sodium bicarbonate ranks pretty low on the ingredient list, and is preceded by heavier dosages of things your skin likes: glycerin and jojoba, for example. And it smells like fruit. I'm into that.

But deep cleaning calls for deeper hydration. So after each cleanse, I follow up with a penny-sized dollop of Sisley's (very fancy) Express Flower Gel Mask. The price is roughly 24 times more expensive than the cleanser, but that could be because it is the most effective heavyweight gel moisturizer around. Don't rinse—let it sink in and do its thing. Give it a few minutes, and skin is cleaner, suppler, fresher, and nourished-er. Two products later, say hello to your baby fresh face.

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by Tom Newton.

More of the High-Low: Read about which very posh lipstick pairs best with Crest Whitestrips over here.