Editor’s Note: First of all, I LOVE this post from guest blogger Hayden because who doesn’t love beauty bargains AND an excuse to visit CVS (so I have a weird drugstore obsession – SO WHAT). Second of all, I saw one product on this list in particular (*cough* Wet n Wild) and was like, “Hayden girl, for serious?” But lo and behold, she has nailed it again, because intensive Internet research revealed that indeed, the foundation she listed is one of those WILD finds (no pun intended) that performs like the big boys but is a fraction of their price. And now I’ll let her preach the Budget Beauty Gospel…
Buying your makeup from the drugstore is a great way to tighten up that beauty budget. #TRUTH. But strutting down the aisle dropping any pretty-packaged product in your basket thinking, “Hey this looks good,” or “It’s just $7,” is a CASH DEATH TRAP. You might end up walking away from a brand that you’d actually love, but now hate because you bought the wrong product. And what’s worse and absolutely certain is that you are shooting yourself in the financial foot. A bunch of $7 products do add up quick (so says the financially reckless product zombie that possesses my body within a 50-foot radius of a cosmetic aisle).
Drugstore beauty buying does take a little extra pre-purchase research. But for a fraction of the price and often similar quality, the right products will work just as well for you…and even better for your bank account. To help you out, here are a few of my picks for seriously fantastic finds for your face.
1. CoverGirl’s LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara ($9): For me, this mascara is the ultimate drugstore buy right now. It gives me the best fluttery length and natural drama of any mascara (high- and low-end) I’ve used in years. (Editor’s note: Allure gave it a Beauty Breakthrough Award, AND I recently tried it myself…and couldn’t create a clump if I tried. Very impressed.)
2. Rimmel London’s Show Off Lip Lacquer ($5): Compared to bigger brands, these lipsticks are pigment rich and beyond worth the $5 price tag. Be forewarned they can be a tad drying, but if your concerns are rich color and longevity, this product won’t disappoint, leaving a pretty stain when it fades.
3. L’Oreal Paris Visible Lift Blush ($12): For the girl on the go, cream blush is key. One of my favorites right now is L’Oreal’s Visible Lift Blush in Rose Gold. Can’t spend that $30 on the epically popular NARS Orgasm blush? Opt for this product for a healthy flushed, shimmery cheek. (Psst: I think this blush looks even more natural than NARS… just saying.)
4. Wet n Wild Coverall Cream Foundation ($4): If you have really sensitive skin, it’s certainly smart to purchase a higher-end foundation recommended by your derm. Sensitivity not an issue? This Wet n Wild Foundation gives you medium-to-full, natural coverage, with a hydrated, satiny finish. For extra staying power, don’t forget to set your foundation with a finishing powder (like one of these gems).
5. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal Eyeshadow ($7): Used alone or as a base, these cream eyeshadows are blendable and long-wearing. New to Maybelline’s Tattoo Eye Studio Line, they’re metallic, pigment rich, and a fun and affordable way to spice up your makeup in the evening hours. (PS, get edgy and use these shadows as metallic war paint).
6. Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin SPF 15 ($10): This is hands-down one of the most classic go-to moisturizers. Cut the fancy schmantsy packaging of most skincare, Olay brings a product that effectively moisturizes skin of all types without causing breakouts or shine.
There you have it, my fiscally responsible friends: Six top drugstore beauty buys with a complete retail value of less than $50. Want more? Download the free Pretty In My Pocket (PRIMP) app and peruse trustworthy ratings and reviews from friends and experts on over 100,000 products (that’s a lot). Need a drugstore alternative to a pricier product? Check out “Alternatives” on the app for beauty dupes suggested by the pro PRIMP network.
And for you NYC peeps, download PRIMP to receive special discounts in all Duane Reade/Walgreen’s stores!
Savin’ money’s cool, y’all.
‘Til next time,