The BEST Drugstore Beauty Buys

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There is something totally zen about perusing the aisles of a drugstore. I could literally spend hours walking up and down those aisles inspecting the latest and greatest in beauty products.

Back in the day, it was my local, NYC 9th Avenue Duane Reade. These days, I’m more of a WALGREENS girl. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the TARGET beauty department! All these assorted drugstore beauty destinations have worked diligently to clear my head (and my occasional hormonal breakouts) and stock my bathroom with an arsenal of effective beauty products that could rival any high-end luxury brand.

Here are 10 of my recent finds that have proven that great beauty products don’t need to cost a fortune:

(Click on the images below for product details!)

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1. Jergen’s Natural Glow

I believe I posted about JERGEN’S NATURAL GLOW a few years ago? Well, I still love it. It’s the easiest, streak free, and un-Cheeto orange way to fake a summer glow. It comes in two shades – light/medium & medium/dark.  Select your product based on your current skin tone and how natural you want it to look. I also recommend a good exfoliation with a loofah or shower glove to ensure a smooth base to best absorb the product.

2. Real Techniques Blender

Who needs to spend a fortune on the high end Beauty Blender when you have THIS!? This sponge gets high marks from those You Tube makeup pros you binge watch to teach yourself how to actually apply makeup. Oh wait, is that just me?! I love that it has a wider end for foundation blending and a more narrow end for precise concealer application and coverage. It’s also not too squishy and doesn’t absorb too much product. Best of all, the price tag makes it far less painful to toss after a few weeks of use.

3. Ardell Lashes

Ok, lately it seems more-is-more when it comes to lashes. Rarely do I see a celeb photographed without lash falsies these days. It makes sense, though. Fake lashes are the easiest way to fake your way to being photogenic. They open the eyes and instantly make you look younger and fresher. While I don’t have the patience for daily fake lash application or even semi-permanent extensions, every once in a while I get the urge to go a bit more glam. That’s where ARDELL LASHES come in. Personally, I find the INDIVIDUAL LASHES easy to apply and the most natural of the bunch (I generally use 3 small clumps on each eye), but people also swear by these NATURAL STRIPS. Just make sure to trim the length to match the actual length of your eyelid for easiest application.

4. NYX Setting Spray

This SETTING SPRAY will give even the most expensive setting products a run for their money. A few spritzes of this product keeps my makeup in place and looking fresh even on the longest, hottest days. No smudges, no fading and no stress that I look like Jabba The Hut by the end of the day. It also comes in 2 finishes — matte & dewy! Although I have yet to try the dewy, I imagine it’s a good solution for folks like me who love the “wet” makeup look but can’t seem to keep it on their face!

5. Kristen Ess Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray

Can we discuss this product for a sec?! I love the look of messy beach waves, but my hair definitely needs some definition and hold in order to get that style without the inevitable frizz. This spray gives my waves just the right amount of texture and hold without that gross crunchy feel that many of the beach wave products create. I can’t rave about this spray enough.

6. Babylips Color Balm Crayon

If you like the original BABYLIPS lip balm (I keep one in my car!), you’ll love this new more opaque version of the cult favorite. Rather than a lip balm, I’d consider this more a lipstick in easy-to-apply crayon form. It glides on smoothly and has a good non-sticky texture that is long-lasting without drying out your lips. The best way to describe it is as a less-expensive, hydrating version of the NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL that I adore.

7. NYX Ombre Blush

In addition to a section of really pretty shades, this blush offers a goof proof solution to those days you over-do the application. Just quickly sweep the lighter tone of the blush over your heavy handed goof and voila! You have yourself a perfectly blended, soft cheek color… for only $10!

8. Dove Advanced Care Invisible Antiperspirant

As someone with really sensitive underarm skin, I live for this antiperspirant. It’s the only product I have yet to find that will protect me from sweating (for 24+ hours!), smell divine AND keep my delicate skin from breaking out in an irritating and itchy rash.

9. Cetaphil Cleansing Wipes

Ok, I admit… I’m rather lazy when it comes to makeup removal and washing my face. I do it religiously, but I’m always looking for the easy fix. I think I found it. These wipes do a bang up job getting every last bit of makeup off my face without leaving my skin feeling tight, dry or irritated. They also make for a good travel beauty companion.

10. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream

By now we’ve all heard about the wonders of Retinol for smoothing wrinkles, repairing skin and eliminating acne. You can go and spend a small fortune on amazing high-end skin care lines, or you can use this NEUTROGENA RAPID WRINKLE REPAIR CREAM which will only set you back about $20. I have been using the DAY CREAM with SPF 30 in tandem with a much more expensive night cream and eye cream and have loved the results. I’ve also loved how much money it’s saved me over the past few months.

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