The New(ish) Bargain Brand That's Winning Me Over


I get [checks inbox; gets exhausted] somewhere in the ballpark of 500 press releases a week. Each one detailing a shiny new doodad in the beauty world. Exciting, yes; overwhelming, definitely, but if I’m being totally honest here, the best press releases come from you. In the comments section, AKA my other inbox. You guys really know how to sell a product. Case in point: Crystal Peel Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Soap (smooth skin for days, thanks dayman and Georgia Bloomberg), and Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (neither just for Brazillians or butts...).

Another purchase based on reviews from the land of comments: The Inkey List. Allow me to let Lise V. tell you all about it: “I used to be a big fan of The Ordinary but then I got into The Inkey List thanks to Caroline Hirons. Way better textures of the serums! Found it in a Canadian drugstore oddly enough - they must be expanding.”

Lisa, you had me at The Ordinary comparison, so I gave the whole line a try. And...once again you guys hit it on the head. Let’s go through my top two favorites, yeah?

The glycolic acid toner is the star here. It’s a 10-percent glycolic acid solution that’s formulated with witch hazel and boy do I love it. It’s a toner-meets-exfoliator that promises to never let my skin look patchy, or feel rough. I use it every night, after I double-cleanse my face and it instantly makes everything look a little cleaner and smoother. It’s not irritating (to my skin, at least), and it really gets to work on dark marks. Case in point—last month I went on vacation and I was attacked by no fewer than 15 mosquitoes. I’m talking bites everywhere, including one conveniently positioned to the left of my chin. It left a dark mark after the swelling subsided (as my bites tend to do), so I started swiping it with a glycolic acid-soaked pad. Left on their own, I’d say my dark marks eventually fade within three months. But with my Inkey List glycolic? Three weeks, tops.

My second favorite The Inkey List product is the hyaluronic acid. It already beats out a handful of other hyaluronic acids for lack of stickiness. Other than that it...hydrates? I’ve never met a hyaluronic acid that didn’t, though. Truthfully, what makes one hyaluronic acid better than another is the cumulative experience. Does it pill? Does it break me out? Does it smell weird? A full suite of “no’s” to those questions is harder to come by than you think. But with The Inkey List’s serum it’s no problem at all. Back when I took that vacation last month I brought the serum along. Like a good little beauty editor, I put some on before, during, and after my flight (preceded by Tatcha’s mist, followed by Mecca’s sunscreen each time). It moisturized my skin to the touch but didn’t make me feel greasy. This is what a hyaluronic acid should do! Doesn’t have to be complicated. Or, apparently, expensive. I really do love it, and I'm putting money on it that you will too.

—Ashley Weatherford

Photo via ITG