Ok, we all know drugstore beauty products are cheap and plentiful and their quality varies from excellent to seriously underwhelming. So how do you choose which ones to try? Well, if you’re me, you wait to go back to Toronto and then raid your mom’s beauty haul because she’s so much more adventurous than you are! Otherwise, you just roam the aisles at Target stalking the prettiest packaging (am I the only one who does that?) and it can be hit or miss. To stop that vicious cycle, and with thanks to my mom and my makeup artist aunt, here are my picks for the top 6 drugstore beauty products worth buying.
I discovered this in my mom’s beauty haul on my last trip to Toronto. Luckily, despite my perpetual LA tan, she and I are somehow still the same skin tone and N3.5 Classic Buff is the shade that works for both of us. This product is basically a pressed foundation and concealer in one. The sponge is terrible though; I would highly recommend swapping it out for the Beauty Blender.
TL:DR – It feels cool and fresh, is semi-sheer but build-able, and has a nice dewey finish which I like a lot.
Typically, when I love something, I tend to REALLY love it. The kind of love that has me using the same product almost daily for almost 20 years. Like this mascara. Although lately I have been alternating this with MAC ‘False Lashes Extreme Black’ Mascara, which was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law (thanks, Farrah!), I do think L’Oréal is always going to be my number one go-to for statement-making lashes at an amazing price point. That was a very long sentence.
TL:DR – Long and thick lashes. The curved brush is so much easier to use than a straight brush (I still don’t know why no one else makes a curved brush??). It doesn’t smell weird, is under $10 and usually on sale! What’s not to love? Bonus: When it starts to clump, and this one will, you’ll know it’s time to get a new one; I’m not sure that’s what L’Oréal intended but there you go.
Some time over the last two years, I woke up one morning to discover fine lines on my forehead. Cue: horror and panic. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to find the best minimizing solution for these sadly permanent lines the last few months. Out of all the products I’ve tried, from creams to serums to retinol, Olay Regenerist is the one that has made the most difference. The only caveat is it’s a seriously creamy cream. Ain’t nothing light and mousse-like about this and I did break out the first few times I used it. I don’t usually break out so I’m not sure why that happened but it went away and that’s what matters.
TL:DR – My skin is visibly fresher-looking after using it and my fine lines are seriously fine after this. They’ll never go away but at least they don’t holler “Look at me!!” anymore. It’s also packed with SPF30 Broad Spectrum sunscreen which is a must in any climate. I would suggest this as a night cream if you live where it’s hot and you’re prone to breakouts.
I came across this lip crayon during my “I must own all the matte lip colours” phase sometime last year. Considering I’m in Target plotting a home makeover at least three times a week, I’m surprised I didn’t test this lip crayon out sooner! It goes on lightweight, doesn’t have a weird smell or taste, and its a chunky pencil which is the easiest and most fun to apply as far as I’m concerned. Lipsticks can be fussy (or maybe I’m a klutz?? #possible) as can lip gloss wands but this is a liner and lip colour in one and I love it. I picked up Raspberry Nude and Mulberry Nude. Raspberry Nude is a pretty pop of fuchsia perfect for summer, while Mulberry Nude is more of a neutral brown. Both last a while although I found Mulberry Nude did a smidge better in the how-fast-can-you-eat-your-lipstick stakes.
TL:DR – Great colours, easy to apply, and given that it’s not a long wear lip colour per se AND at just $7.99, you really can’t go wrong even if it means retouching after a meal!
Ok, this product, ladies (and gents, if nail polish is your jam), I swear by. I’ve tried a ton of top coats and long wear coats and quick dry coats and nothing, NOTHING, comes close to this.
TL:DR – The brush is the perfect thickness and length, the product itself is like a watered down gel, it seals nail polish completely, and dries lightning fast. If they ever discontinue it, you know who’ll be hoarding it like a maniac.
6. e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer (Lilac)
This little product came to me through an e.l.f. Beauty Box that I was sent a while ago. Full disclosure: Primers are the product I have least experience with, so take this review for what it’s worth: this thing is amazing. The lilac colour visibly evens and calms down any redness on my face and leaves behind a silky powdery like finish which is the perfect base for applying foundation or powder. At $3.99 how can you not give this a try? Minor downside: You’ll need a tissue to hold your lid perfectly taut while you apply eyeliner because your skin will be too slippery smooth for just your finger alone, and then you’ll need to retouch your foundation at the corner of your eye where the tissue was. Not a big deal but an important detail, IMO.
TL:DR – The lilac colour visibly evens skin tone and is the perfect silky base for any powders or foundations to glide over. Cheaper than your morning cup of joe.
And that’s it! Those are my top 6 drugstore beauty product recommendations. What beauty products do you love? What should I try next? Leave me a comment below and tell me!
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