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Ten Things Tuesday: Drugstore Finds

Though a few staples come to mind that I will always purchase from Sephora, that great mecca of beauty (this, this, and especially this included), the reality is, very few of us can afford to buy only high end cosmetics and personal care products. To that end, I’ve done a good bit of experimenting with good ‘ol drug store brands, and this week, I want to share with you a few that I keep coming back to.

Now, keep in mind that these products might not work for you like they work for me. But if you have normal to dry skin that you’re trying to prevent from aging too quickly,the very rare blemish, wavy, thick unruly hair that you can wear either straight or curly, medium toned skin, and eyelashes, these products may work wonders for you! At the very least, if you’re interested in trying one, try to buy it from a store like Walgreens that allows returns.

Burt’s Bees Garden Tomato Toner

Before this last year, this was my full-time toner of choice. I adore the smell (it does really smell like the stems of freshly picked tomatoes, a scent I find exhilarating and completely intoxicating), and it’s not irritating to sensitive skin. The only reason I don’t use it full time now is that my sort-of aging skin suddenly turned a bit drier, and since this is alcohol based, it was too drying for me. Now though, when I have the occasional pimple, I find swabbing a bit of this over the area dries things up quickly. If you have oily skin, this could be a great toner for you!

Studio 35 Cosmetic Wedges

Along with the drier skin this year, I found that a dusting of translucent powder was no longer enough for my face each morning — in fact, it started making me look worse. I began using Laura Mercier’s oil-free tinted moisturizer earlier this year and love it. One of the main reasons I think I love it is because of these sponges. These are super soft, and enriched with Vitamin E, which is good for your skin. I throw away makeup wedges at minimum once a week to keep things hygienic and prevent breakouts, so I need something inexpensive but still good quality. These completely fit the bill. In fact, recently Walgreens was out of this product for a few weeks, and I was forced to buy some sponges from MAC that cost three times as much, and just smeared everything around without blending. I couldn’t stand them!

CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara

Before using Lash Blast, I was a devotee of Fresh’s Supernova Mascara. Don’t get me wrong, that’s one fabulous mascara. It’s also $25, for something I throw out every three months. After hearing so many good reviews of CoverGirl’s Lash Blast, I decided to give it a try. For the price, it is pretty amazing. It doesn’t clump at all, and makes my lashes much thicker (though that’s not saying much). The only thing I wish it did in addition to Supernova is make your lashes grow a little. Supernova had some ingredient (not the one in Latisse) that I swear made my lashes much longer. My lashes, unfortunately, are pretty stubby.

Garnier Moisture Rescue

Back in the day, I could smear some Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion on my face and be good to go. These days, my skin needs a little extra sip of something, so I recently started using Garnier’s Moisture Rescue gel-cream. It’s amazing! It’s very cooling, and soaks into skin FAST. I’ve been wearing it under other moisturizers, and I’ve noticed a big improvement in my skin’s moisture levels both during the day and when I wake up in the morning after using it overnight. It costs around $8, and is pretty similar to Clinique’s Moisture Surge, which starts at $34.

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew

Since last spring, my morning routine has included Garnier’s Skin Renew every single day. I started using it after someone (I think maybe in a Sephora!) told me to check it out, comparing it to other moisturizers that cost upwards of $150. The lotion has SPF 28, and once it soaks in, makes a fabulous base for my tinted moisturizer. It makes your skin so soft, and I think helps with luminosity too. I really, really like it. It’s one of the best SPF moisturizers I’ve ever used — not greasy at all. It runs for around $13 or $14, and one bottle should last you several months.

TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

I love the idea of dry shampoo, but had never been able to find one with a scent I could handle. I once bought a small travel size of Ojon’s dry shampoo, and though it worked pretty well, the smell was awful and I thought it made my hair really greasy by the end of the day — though admittedly, that’s probably because it needed to be WASHED. But sometimes, a girl is running late, doesn’t have time to wash her hair, but needs to do something to ensure it’s not a disgusting, smelly rat’s nest by the end of the day. TRESemme’s dry shampoo is the perfect remedy. Dry shampoo is not for everyone, but if you can get past the idea of having to wash your hair everyday, it’s something that can really help your hair health between cuts. Which reminds me, I desperately need to get my hair cut. It’s waaaaay too long these days.

Garnier Fructis Style Flexible Control Hairspray

Last year, Joe mistakenly bought this hairspray for himself, thinking it’d be a good option. He not only hated the smell (very floral and girly), but it didn’t have enough hold for him. It worked out well for me though, because this hairspray is perfect for when I wear my hair wavy/curly. I wrap sections of my hair around a curling iron to create waves, then spray three or four pumps of this into my hands, rub them together, then gently rub my hands through my hair. It provides the perfect amount of hold, and I think it smells really nice.

St. Ives Vitamin E Body Lotion

This has been our go-to body lotion of choice for years, though admittedly I need to start using it more. It’s very rich, but soaks in quickly, and the scent is innocuous enough that even Joe will use it. I like it.

Revlon ColorStay Brow Enhancer

I have the opposite problem of many women. My eyebrows are a little sparse, not because of over-plucking, but just because of my genes. I fill them in a little each day with this. What I especially love about it is the highlighter on the other end. Revlon doesn’t tell you this, but it’s a cheek bone highlighter in disguise! The creamy quality of it allows you to easily smudge some onto your cheek bones, then blend it in with your finger tips. It creates that dewy, fresh faced glow. The result is not dissimilar to using Benefit’s Moon Beam.

Neutrogena Facial Bar

I’ve used a lot of cleansers in my day. Currently, I use a mix of Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple, Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils, and of course, Neutrogena Facial Bars. Let me tell you, when it comes to washing off all the junk and getting an absolutely squeaky clean face, with zero irritation, nothing is better than a plain ‘ol Neutrogena bar. I really like using this at night, to make sure that every ounce of makeup is washed away before applying toner and moisturizer. I’ve used these facial bars since I was literally 10 years old, and I’ll probably never stop!

Okay, so I have to know — what are some of your favorite drugstore beauty buys? Anything I should try?

5 Responses

  1. Hi V-Mac! Love this post – I also switched to lashblast after using a sephora mascara for the past 2 yrs – it’s a big savings…also thanks for the garnier moisturizing products tips – I have never used Garnier but was always curious!

    I wanted to mention a body lotion I picked up at Walgreen’s (2 for 1!): Gold Bond has come out with several different varieties that smell great and come with vitamin E and SPF 15 (imporant when you live in 300-days-of-sun-land). It’s also rich and fast-absorbing.

  2. im faithful to my maybelline full & soft mascara but id love to give the cover girl lash blast a try! i also love benefits moon beam!

  3. @autumnmornings — I just recently tried Moon Beam, and I agree, I really like it too! I change between that, the Revlon highlighter, and some NARS illuminating powder. Nothing like that gorgeous, dewy glow, is there? Thank you so much for your comments. Do you have a blog? Would love to check it out!

    @RT — Def. give the Garnier Moisture Rescue a try. It’s been a total revelation for me. The results are as good if not better than every other intense moisturizing gel-cream I’ve ever used. I’ll check out the Gold Bond too! :) Hope all is well with you guys. xoxo

  4. I am obsessed with dewy luminescent cheeks! yes, I do have a blog. feel free to visit..http://www.autumnmornings.wordpress.com

  5. Nessa, just got a Sephora email about this Benefit product: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml;jsessionid=354CJD4QRASKICV0KRTQIGQ?id=P272008&categoryId=C7010

    Wonder if it’s as good as Moon Beam!

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