Best of: Drugstore Beauty.


We talk about beauty over here quite a bit, and I will admit… my taste in beauty products can be pretty spendy at times. I rationalize it in that I spend more money for higher quality ingredients (especially because I try to stick to an as-natural-as-possible beauty routine when I can. Many of you have commented and emailed, asking for affordable drugstore beauty options, but I only have a few current drugstore favorites. So… I turned to some of my favorite bloggers to get their favorite drugstore beauty products.

Read on, and prepare to learn about a few new gems. I learned a lot from consulting my peers… definitely need to do this more often! There are lots of (affordable) all-natural goodies included in the mix too!


Let’s start with cosmetics… (man, I need to try Ardell lashes, apparently!)

“My drugstore favorite of late is L’Oreal Paris Visible Lift Blur Blush, which is straight-up MAGIC. The blur thing is big in the beauty industry right now and it seems like every product is trying to Robin Thicke everyone’s face to death but this primer-like gel rouge is crazy good. I have dark marks from the phantoms of blemishes past from YEARS ago and this stuff goes on smoothly and sheer to brighten from within (at least, that’s how I perceive it to look) and camouflages the hyperpigmentation to a hazy memory. All that and it’s only $13 feels like the work of Houdini. My mom stole my favorite shade, Soft Berry, but they’re all divine.” – Amber Katz, Rouge 18

Revlon color-stay liquid eyeliner, in blackest black. I’ve used this since high school. It’s the only liquid eyeliner I’ve found that truly does not budge!” – Hallie Wilson, Corals & Cognacs

“Maybelline Pumped Up Mascara. I always get stopped on the street when this mascara is on my lashes!” – Liz Schneider, Sequins & Stripes

I love the Ardell DuraLash Flare Medium Black individuals (here is the starter kit, as you will need the glue). A set of these lashes is just $4.99 and one box will last compulsive users for one full month. The clear glue is like cement and it is invisible to the eye (unlike black glues that can appear metallic when you blink). Application tip: apply the lashes with your own tweezers and try to nestle the individual lashes between your lashes, at the root. If you place them on top of your lash, they will be uncomfortable and more discreet.”- Amber Venz Box, VenzEdits

Ardell Individual Lashes in Short – throw a couple of these natural-looking flares in the outer corners of your lashes for instant going-out eyes. They’re super easy with a bit of practice–promise!” – Elizabeth Dehn, Beauty Bets

CoverGirl LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara – this is my current favorite mascara right now! It does exactly as it says it does: it keeps your mascara from clumping, even after 4-5 layers. It makes my lashes super long, thick and un-clumpy! I take it everywhere.” – Merritt Beck, The Style Scribe

L’Oreal lipstain in Coral Tattoo. It’s super light and stays on all day long!” – Liz Schneider, Sequins & Stripes


Next up… skincare! There were a few repeats again, causing me to add Simple Cleansing Wipes + Bio Oil to my own shopping list. My personal drugstore skincare favorites are Biore Pore Strips (I’m a little addicted to these as I can be obsessive about the pores on my nose!) and this cleanser from Salma Hayek’s line… it’s really creamy and does the best job exfoliating without irritating. And like Julia, I love, love, love Burt’s Bees Chapstick. I keep one in my bag, one at my desk, one by my bed… and so on + so forth.

Neutrogena oil free eye make up remover. I’ve used this for years and it’s always been my favorite. It’s inexpensive and takes off my make up easily.” – Chassity Evans, Look Linger Love

“Clean & Clear oil absorbing sheetsThey take away oil but leave make up. I have a serious aversion to shiny noses so I use at least one of these per day.” Also: Burt’s Bees original lip balm… I’m addicted. It’s a problem. I love the peppermint smell and it’s the perfect consistency.” – Julia Dzafic, Lemon Stripes

Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes – as someone who has very sensitive skin (and is really bad about washing her face before bed), these wipes are my go-to! They’re very gentle on my skin and can be used multiple times per day (if needed) and it still won’t irritate my skin! – Merritt Beck, The Style Scribe

“I am obsessed with Baby Lips (in Grape Vine) which is probably not a huge shocker as most girls are. I love that it enhances my natural lip color with out being sticky. It’s basically tinted Chapstick. Also, Cetaphil Cleanser – this is a staple in my bathroom and has been for over 15 years. Dermatologist reccomended, it is the best mild cleanser. And lastly, St. Ives Apricot Scrub! That sh*t is the bommmb, and has been for over twenty years. I remember my sister having it in our shower when I was a little girl and she was in high school. Good and also cheap!” – Lauren Kolodny, Honestly WTF

“I love Aquaphor… it keeps my lips hydrated, heels up flakey skin {read: zits that I can’t stop picking at}, and keeps skin soft! I also love Burt’s Bees Ageless Serum – I put this on before I go to bed and I seriously notice a difference when I don’t use it. It lifts and tightens my skin, smear it all over your face and neck.”  – Liz SchneiderSequins & Stripes

Bio Oil. It’s my skin saver when the weather turns to fall. I rub it on before a hot shower and at night and it keeps my skin dewy and moisturized.  – Samantha Wennerstrom, Could I Have That

“I love the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes!  At the risk of sounding completely lazy, there are some nights I just don’t have the energy to wash my face before bed.  (Especially when traveling.)  These cleansing wipes remove make-up without using alcohol or oil and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth (thanks to the Pro-Vitamin B5)!” – Caroline Harper Knapp, House of Harper

My favorite is Bio Oil! An editor at People Stylewatch told me she swears by it and now I do, too. It makes your skin so smooth and hydrated and doesn’t leave any sort of residue!” – Meghan Donovan, Wit & Whimsy

I never buy eye makeup removers — they’re always a weird mix of ingredients and I think they’re totally superfluous! Instead, I use any facial oil that I have on hand, put a few drops on a cotton ball, and sweep it over my lids when I’m washing my face at night. The oil immediately removes mascara, eye liner, shadow, and anything else. Plus, if you use a non-toxic, organic facial oil, there’s the added benefit of not putting a bunch of chemicals right on your delicate eye skin! If you don’t have a face oil at home, you can even try this trick with olive oil straight from your pantry.” – Victoria McGinleyVictoria McGinley


And we’ll end with hair + body products!

“While most of my beauty products come from local businesses and organic manufacturers, I recently fell in love with Jergens’ Shea Butter Deep Conditioner Moisturizing Cream. After a severe attack of hives (as a result of a gluten sensitivity), this lotion was the only thing I could imagine putting on my body. Barely scented, it’s deeply nourishing and absorbs pretty quickly, making The Hive Blitzkrieg of 2014 infinitely bearable.” – Felicia SullivanLove.Life.Eat

“EOS Lavender Jasmine Shave Cream! I love that drug stores are selling more and more paraben-free products like this shaving cream. It smells amazing and is great for sensitive skin. The bottle is pretty too which helps.” – Julia DzaficLemon Stripes

“Neutrogena Body Clear body wash. This is a must in my shower every summer (ain’t nobody got time for back-ne) — and you can’t beat the price!” – Hallie WilsonCorals & Cognacs

“I love Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in Lavender. These soaps can be used for just about any cleaning task, not just for the bathroom. I always take this camping with me as it is organic and biodegradable. Also, Neutrogena Sunscreen Broad Spectrum. This is another recommendation I got from my dermatologist. Living at the beach I am in the sun a lot, and have stared to notice some sun damage. I have been told my sunscreen must be Broad Spectrum. So I listen to my doctor.  – Lauren KolodnyHonestly WTF

“St. Ives Body Lotion Oatmeal & Shea Butter. I have insanely sensitive skin and this lotion is like a dream. I use a few pumps every day for my legs and love the way it moisturizes without causing irritation.”  – Carly Heitlinger, The College Prepster

“I adore Acure Organics shampoo and conditioners. They’re natural, non-toxic and actually work! My favorite is the Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner — it’s thick and luscious, and has a wonderful almond fragrance that’s neither too sweet nor too earthy.” – Victoria McGinley, Victoria McGinley

images: one // two // three // four

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  1. Totally agree on Lauren’s recommendation of Cetaphil + St. Ives scrub…I’ve been using that combo for years as well, and it’s never done me wrong! And I have to put in a plug for Revlon matte lipsticks. Great colors, and the formula feels as nice as my Stila ones!

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  2. I’m going to try the shampoo and conditioner that Victoria suggested. I love almond scents and I’ve been meaning to switch to an all-natural shampoo and conditioner…just wasn’t sure which one to go with. I would LOVE if you could suggest some all-natual/non-toxic/organic makeup (even if it is expensive). I just gave Bare Minerals a try but found it to be way too thick and makeup-y.

    9.5.14 Reply
    • Girl, I will hook you up with a billion makeup recs when I see you next! 😉 I know Grace has some good ones too!

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    • I have been a die-hard of the Triple Moisture from Acure for over a year now, and I love their leave in too. I add an extra dropper full of their Argan Oil to the bottle, as well, to give it more oomph. Their line is FAN-TASTIC.

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  3. jillian:

    i love this list! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

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  4. Hooray! Thanks so much for having me over, friend! I love chatting beauty 🙂

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  5. I personally can’t use Simple wipes, they irritated my skin – which is odd because I’m not particularly sensitive, but I have heard great things from people who do use them.
    I use No 7 wipes (2-30pks at Target) or Target brand ones that have one textured side for exfoliating… used to be cucumber, now apricot I think. Great for travel.

    Love cetaphil and St Ives. Used both for years!
    If it isn’t considered drugstore, sorry, but Philosophy PURITY face wash is pretty spot on too.
    It’s one of the best light naked clean feels my face has had in a long time.

    Yes to Baby Lips tinted! I’m not a lipstick person,
    so I love those and/or the tinted Burts Bees (in the dark gray chapstick looking shape).

    And when my friends ask about my mascara, the answer is always always anything Maybelline! Their mascaras are always less clumpy than others, and their brushes work like eyelash bras – lift and separate!

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  6. Love baby lips tinted!


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  7. Alright, trusting your girls on their Ardell lash recommendation! Just picked up my first ever falsies to DIY. Last time I wore them was over 2 years ago at my wedding, and I did not self-apply…wish me luck.

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  8. So on point! Totally on board these picks, Ardell lashes are a must have, I would also add Maybelline’s dark circles eraser!

    Birdie Shoots

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  9. I love this post. I’ve been watching a ton of Youtube videos lately, and love the Drug Store hauls. I’ve spoiled myself over the years, and generally only use high end makeup (but my skin is so sensitive, I like knowing that high quality ingredients are going onto my skin). With that said, I much prefer drug store lip products. Regardless of the brand you wear, your lipstick wears away as you talk, eat and drink. And the Rimmel stains are incredible. I found they looked much nicer, and lasted a lot longer than the YSL cheek and lip stains. Plus, I’ve found them on sale for as little at $4 before. Complete bargain and worth every penny.


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  10. Loved this post! And of course Hallie’s answer made me lol.

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  11. Now i want that blush blur stuff!

    Also, I will never again in my life buy make-up remover. I use coconut oil to remove my eye make-up and then a simple cleanser – I refuse to throw $10 away every month just to wash my face!

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  12. I’m with Hallie on the Revlon liner, have also been using it since high school, along with Rimmel kohl liner. Also love L’Oreal Infalliable Eyeshadows — I love my MAC, Nars, Bobbi Brown eyeshadows(addict, I know), but the L’Oreal ones are seriously good for a fraction of the price. With Kelly above on her picks too!

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  13. I need to bite the bullet and try Bio Oil. I’ve heard so many good things.

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  14. Yes- Burt’s Bees, Maybelline, and Revlon are all so great and have been long time favorites!

    Warm Regards,

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  15. Sam:

    I love some of these recs. Personally I’d recommend CeraVe Face wash and moisturizers, which were recommended by my dermatologist. Love how gentle they are and the PM moisturizer is especially nice. I tried Bio Oil on a friend’s rec but then looked up the ingredients and stopped using it. Several of the ingredients have been banned for cosmetic use in other countries and have some pretty serious potential health risks associated. I’ve been trying to pay closer attention to the ingredients in skin care products rather than trusting that they are safe, and I would avoid using this one.

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    • Grace Atwood:

      Oh wow! That’s not good… thank you for letting me know, I will avoid it!

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  16. awesome post! Needed some of these recommendations 🙂

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  17. The Simple wipes, Burt’s Bees, and Apricot Scrub are my JAM. Another awesome beauty by from the drug stores are Maybelline ColourSensational Lip Colour. These lipsticks are AMAZING. And if you are looking for a more chemical free version of Baby Lips, Burt’s Bees makes an awesome one, they are just like chap stick and you can layer them to make the colour more intense.

    Check out my life and style blog

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