Marianna Hewitt on the $14 Charlotte Tilbury Dupe She Loves and How Shani Darden Changed Her Skin-Care Knowledge

When it comes to buying beauty products, we know it can get pricey. We support everyone in their endeavor to treat themselves to beauty buys that make them feel good, but there might be a way to do so without hurting your wallet. Co-founder of Summer Fridays, Marianna Hewitt, sat down with us to share some of her best tips on making meaningful beauty purchases and knowing when to splurge and when to skimp. “I think it’s really important, especially for young people, to really understand what they’re spending on,” says Hewitt, who has partnered with Credit Karma to help educate consumers. “It’s so important, especially with how many options we’re able to buy online every day.”

The makeup products she splurges on

“I think complexion products are really worth the splurge. I love anything like a foundation or a concealer. I feel like the consistency is really great for me when I’m splurging on a product.”

The makeup products she loves from the drugstore

“I really like products like mascara from the drugstore. I think I’ve used the L’Oreal mascara probably since I’ve been in high school, and I love drugstore lip products as well. NYX makes really amazing lip liners and matte lipsticks, and they’re only a few dollars. I actually saw this morning that e.l.f. is coming out with a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. I bought it this morning, and it was under $20 [e.l.f Cosmetics Halo Glow Liquid Filter ($14)]. I love that brands like e.l.f. are making similar products to the splurge products I like but at a more affordable price. So I definitely like mixing the highs and lows.”

Her favorite free self-care

“Going outside for a walk. I’m slowly becoming my mother. My mom has always gone for walks for as long as I can remember. It’s something she always did for herself. When she goes on walks, she’s just listening to music. She’s not answering my text messages. During the pandemic, picking up walks was something that I started doing, and now it’s something that I try to do almost every day. I count on my steps, and it’s a great way to just stay active, get outside and get some fresh air. 

It’s just a great free way that I can take care of myself. It just makes me feel really good. It’s not overly strenuous, but I really feel like I’m moving my body. One of my favorite things to do is listen to a walking meditation. I have a free one on my podcast, and so many people love it because they can play it, they’re multitasking, they feel good about themselves, and I just love that I can give them that content.”

The self-care worth splurging on

“Facials, for me, are one of the things that really coincide with my entire skin-care routine. As much as we want to do what we can at home with products that we use, I definitely think splurging on a treatment like this can really help, especially if you’re wanting to fix a skin-care concern or address something specific. It doesn’t mean you need to go really frequently, but if you are figuring out a skin-care concern and nothing you’re doing is working, going to a professional is really helpful. 

You could even invest in going to get a facial one time, and they can help you with product recommendations, understanding your skin type, and then you can take that knowledge for yourself, so when you’re shopping, you will be educated about what products you actually need for your skin type. You might think you have sensitive skin or combination skin, but working with an expert can really give you that guidance and information. Then you can take care of your skin in between appointments by yourself.”

Ways to save when buying beauty products

“Buying products that you can use morning and night, using the right amounts, not overusing your products. Then, tying it back, when you’re getting facials, it really helps you understand what products you want to splurge on and what to save on. 

When I started getting facials about 10 years ago, I was working as a TV host at the time. My skin was really bad from wearing makeup all the time. I started going to Shani Darden for facials, and she really helped me understand what products I actually need for my skin type and what I can skip. She was going through my entire skin-care routine. Investing in that facial with her taught me so much about skin care. It gave me so much knowledge over the years so that I really understood what products I can spend on, what I can skimp on and what I don’t need at all. 

I love a sale. Whenever there’s a Sephora or Amazon sale, or there was a Dermstore one recently, that’s when I’m going to stock up on my favorite products. So even like Summer Fridays, think about Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We have a sale on our site, and you know you have a favorite product—that’s a great time to stock up on your favorite thing. So instead of purchasing it later at full price, you can go through and pick up your things and get a little bit of a discount.”

Her skin-care routine

“It’s definitely mostly Summer Fridays. In the morning, I’m using our cleanser ($35), cc serum ($66), moisturizer ($44) and SPF ($36). In the evening, I’m using the same cleanser again. Then, I’ll use either a retinol or an AHA exfoliating toner, some sort of product that’s helping target a skin-care concern I’m wanting to fix. Then moisturizer and face oil. I definitely love multi-use products, so in the morning and night, I use the same cleanser, and then our Jet Lag Mask ($49) is a really great multi-use product so I can use it morning and night and as an eye cream, so I love that you can get so many uses out of one product.”

The first two Summer Fridays products a beginner should get

“I would definitely say Jet Lag Mask just because it really is so multi-use, and you can get so many uses out of it from a primer, a moisturizer, eye cream, overnight mask, hand cream. You can use it in so many different ways.

Then our Lip Butter Balms ($23) are amazing. I love them so much. We just came out with a new shade called Poppy. You can use it as a lip balm during the day and then at night because it’s really hydrating you can use it as an overnight lip mask.”