What is your favorite drugstore beauty product?

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Here are a few of mine, starting with this newish L’oreal mascara that I just discovered over the weekend, and am really impressed with: it curls and volumizes your lashes to an incredible degree, and I think it’s a pretty good dupe for my usual big-drama fave, Nars Climax (which it costs about half as much as).

I typically always have a Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm on my person—it keeps lips nicely hydrated, and comes in some really good barely-there hues, like this one, which is called Daisy. It also works and looks every bit as good as this pricey Tata Harper formulation I once splurged on.

I never want to wash my face and who knows why, but ever since I discovered this Bioderma micellar water (there are several versions and this one is for sensitive skin) that just doesn’t matter much anymore. I usually need to use two cotton pads soaked in it to remove all my makeup, but after that, skin feels deeply clean and so hydrated—the latter of which is something that cleansers almost never make your skin feel.

 

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34 Thoughts on What is your favorite drugstore beauty product?
    Debra Gibson-Welch
    28 Jun 2021
    11:22am

    Skincare – Cerave is so good, I mix with it La Roche Posay, I can’t live without any of the Le Poche Rosay lines, the cleanser, the moisturizer, the serums, the entire line is top notch and for beauty Almay or Loreal Voluminous mascara, they are outstanding. And Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty ( select Krogers in Atlanta) line eyeshadows remind me of the Urban Decay shadows in simply amazing colors and they stay put for hours.

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      Jenny
      28 Jun 2021
      7:20pm

      Your profile picture is an advertisement for whatever you’re using. Flower is also available in some CVS stores (just saw it today).

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    Hodgko
    28 Jun 2021
    12:11pm

    Jumping on the Cerave gentle train here! Face, hands and other delicate parts. I also ADORE Olay’s Sensitive skin moisturizer with SPF 30. It absorbs well, leaves a nice finish and protects!

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    D.Morgendorffer
    28 Jun 2021
    12:56pm

    I notice a lot of overlap in tastes here–if we ever have a slumber party, no worries if one of us forgets our favorite drugstore products! I live in horror of Cerave moisturizing cream ever being discontinued, which I combine with Avene, Hada Labo, and Sebamed products. I always have ELF Gotta Glow, Burt’s Bees lip balm in Rose and Sweet Violet, original Labello lip balm, Vaseline Rosy Lips (the European version), and Revlon lipsticks. I never see anyone mentioning The Ordinary’s Resveratrol and Ferulic Acid or COSRX Propolis Light Ampoule, both of which I frickin’ love. I had meant to try the Skinceuticals’ version, but at this point, I am so keen on the The Ordinary’s version that I wouldn’t consider it.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      30 Jun 2021
      11:59am

      I’ve been interested in trying The Ordinary’s resveratrol +, and your comment just pushed me closer to the checkout line. (I envision the glorious “D” as having equally glorious skin!)

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        D.Morgendorffer
        1 Jul 2021
        1:36pm

        Aww, thank you, am blushing…

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    Alice
    28 Jun 2021
    12:58pm

    I’ve had luck with a few of the products in the Garnier Fructis line – the hold paste and the leave in conditioning cream. I have frizzy hair normally and summer humidity just wrecks it. I’ve tried a range of expensive products and dirt cheap Garnier are the ones I’ve re-bought over the years.

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      kimbersam
      28 Jun 2021
      7:17pm

      To your point, I was just reading a review of Garnier Fructis dry texture spray and the reviewer said it was better than Serge Normant and Bumble and Bumble. And it doesn’t cost $48!

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        AnnieaA
        30 Jun 2021
        12:21pm

        Will have to give it a try, once I use up my jumbo-sized, flyaways-busting Elnett.

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      Gablesgirl
      28 Jun 2021
      8:02pm

      Love Garnier curly hair products. They work great and cost much less than salon products.

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    Jax
    29 Jun 2021
    11:57pm

    I’m loving Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm too — currently the rose. I usually wear untinted lip balm, so it’s been a nice treat. I want to try some other colors too.

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    AnnieaA
    30 Jun 2021
    12:19pm

    I scoffed at the very concept of mascara primer, since I could barely stand to put on regular mascara in the first place. Changed my mind after trying L’Oréal Lash Paradise Mascara Primer. I’ve been asked whether I’ve had lash inserts, so two whole steps now seems worth it.

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    cw
    28 Jun 2021
    7:27am

    I only wash my face (and those nether lady parts) with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ––NOT the facial wash which I do NOT recommend. And Aveeno Daily Moisture is the lotion I’ve used for years on my super dry skin.

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    Deborah N Flanagan
    28 Jun 2021
    7:39am

    I love Cerave Skin Renewing Night Cream. My skin is sensitive to so many things (especially Vitamin C). I have no reactions to any Cerave product. Burt’s Bees lip balm makes my skin breakout around my lips, as does various toothpaste brands!
    Another favorite is The Ordinary brand of hyaluronic acid. Love that stuff.

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      DeDe
      28 Jun 2021
      8:54am

      Have you ever had a patch test for contact allergies? I ask because I found out about mine after I developed an awful rash on my lips that wouldn’t go away. The flavorings in toothpaste (which can be a lot of the same things that are in fragrance mixes, actually – I know it sounds weird!) are major allergy culprits. Lip balms, too (bee products are another common allergen). In my case the cause was probably an Aveda Lipsaver lip balm I’d been using for decades. Anyway, it might be worth looking into if you haven’t done it yet. Once you have one contact allergy you’re prone to developing others, which can make life really difficult, so, you know. Just a heads up!

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    Gemma
    28 Jun 2021
    8:45am

    Revlon Cherries in the Snow lipstick will forever be my signature color.

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    DeDe
    28 Jun 2021
    8:48am

    Jumping on the CeraVe bandwagon! I use the foaming face wash and the dry skin one depending on what I need atm, as well as the lotion in the annoying tub (but not on my face, I don’t need an intervention or anything). I have a cinnamate/fragrance allergy, so I have to be super careful of what I use on my skin or things get literally ugly really fast.

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    Liz
    28 Jun 2021
    9:37am

    I’ve tried tons of pricier department store moisturizers, but none are as good as Olay Regenerist. That and Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (don’t use the regular – it will burn your face) are all I use with a little Differin at night. I’m 46 and my skin is even toned and wrinkle-free so far.

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    cw
    28 Jun 2021
    10:39am

    This is apropos of nothing mentioned here, but I have a number of friends in the Pacific Northwest who have lived there their whole lives and are having difficulty dealing with the horrid heat wave…a couple of “tricks”…dampen a top sheet right before you go to bed and sleep under that damp sheet––if you have a fan place it so the breeze from the fan goes over the sheet––put a damp/wet washcloth in a baggie and put it in the freezer to cool quickly (you don’t have to freeze it, just get it really cold) then wrap it around your neck. If you are lacking a wading pool, dig out that roasting pan you only use for the turkey at Thanksgiving––add water and some ice cubes and stick your feet in preferably whilst drinking a cold glass of water.

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      MaryAlice
      28 Jun 2021
      11:26am

      Those little red Maybelline eyebrow pencils that come two in a pack and cost like $2 are the absolute best brow pencils ever.

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      Kate
      28 Jun 2021
      11:28am

      That’s really thoughtful, cw. I finally caved and bought an air conditioner last week, so mainly climate anxiety is my problem — record-setting fires, ice storms and now heat in one year is tough. Hope your friends are hanging in there.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    30 Jun 2021
    11:57am

    I use Garnier’s Micellar Water, and even though it doesn’t do a great job of mascara removal, at least I feel that my face is clean on too “tired to care” nights. I’m a big fan of Garnier Hair Care Whole Blends in the coconut version. I love trying new hair products and Id put this up against any of the high-end brands I use. CeraVe moisturizing cream is my year-round body cream go-to. It keeps my eczema in-check.

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    LisaR
    29 Jun 2021
    10:27am

    Ponds Cold Cream to remove eye makeup. It’s amazing – it doesn’t sting, it gets everything off (I smear some around my eyes and then wipe off with a tissue before washing my face with cleanser ), it leaves the eye area moisturized, and it is so cheap (price is low plus a jar lasts a long time since a little goes a long way). I first tried it when I was a kid for removal of dance recital makeup (my mom’s since she used it to remove her eye makeup) and I’ve used it my entire adult-makeup-wearing-life. I never see it mentioned in blogs, magazines, etc., which surprises me because it is so good.

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      D.Morgendorffer
      29 Jun 2021
      10:39am

      I’m an Albolene user myself (fragrance-free for my rosacea) for my face, but let me add, the various Ponds are great hand creams. So, if you’re ever short of hand cream, give your Ponds a try.

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        LisaR
        29 Jun 2021
        3:01pm

        I will try that, thanks!

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    RC
    15 Jul 2021
    5:32pm

    I’m a big fan of the St. Ive’s body washes: sea salt and also the rosewater and aloe. Really good formulas for under $4 a bottle, and I love the scents. I picked up some mascara at the Boots in Heathrow years ago that I loved, but I can’t find it in the U.S. – Target does carry the Full 360 formula, for around $7.

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    Caroline
    28 Jun 2021
    8:30pm

    I love the Cetaphil foaming face wash—it’s unscented with a pump thing that makes it foamy. My skin feels so soft and smooth, never dried out, and it removes my makeup. I’m phasing it out bc trying to go cruelty free, but damn I can’t find anything as good, so I’m dealing with a sub par face wash now (any recs, would love to hear).
    Not exactly drug store, but I like the coconut oil and jojoba oils from Trader Joe’s for body moisturizing.

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      Heather
      29 Jun 2021
      9:52pm

      I noted the Trader Joes below – their products are cruelty free (i’ve been trying to go all cf myself).

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      Viajera
      29 Jun 2021
      12:55pm

      Well. Good for you for helping animals – I used Cetaphil for years, and I didn’t know they did that? – they should stop. Meanwhile, lately I use bronner’s on my face – I just get my face wet, put a couple drops in my hands and lather it up. (This only works if you are using the teeny sample-size bottles … which I re-use … otherwise, you’ll get too much at once.) … … … All I am taking off is sunscreen though – so, this works fine for me. I ignore the gratuitous religious sniping on the package. In my conception of the Divine, S/He doesn’t have time for petty nonsense. Plus, the type is so tiny you can barely read it. Does this make me spineless though? A question for another day. Now, should I worry about insect testing? Is that a thing at all? I had to get out the magnifyer to make sure it said “not animal tested” on the bottle. Really, I should have asked about it at the store. Because Caroline, you are right. There is no need for that testing anymore, I hope.

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        D.Morgendorffer
        29 Jun 2021
        1:37pm

        Maybe you’ve already tried this cruelty-free option, in which case, sorry to waste your time…have you tried any Vanicream products? Their gentle facial cleanser in a pump bottle might approximate the Cetaphil foaming cleanser in performance. I want to say it’s a little under $9 and is innocuous enough you can repurpose it as a mild body wash or hand wash if it doesn’t work for your face.

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    Viajera
    28 Jun 2021
    1:47pm

    This post and these comments are exactly the sort of pep talk I need. I would say I’ve gone feral, except frankly I was kinda bad before, too. I do bathe … but really, probably not often enough! Ha.

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    Heather
    28 Jun 2021
    4:34pm

    I really like the Trader Joe’s face wash and face lotion with SPF, as well as the coconut body butter (I use it as a nighttime hand and foot cream as it’s a bit greasy).

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    JeanneK
    28 Jun 2021
    7:58pm

    Top three, not skin care related: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polish (ASAP Apple or Cinna-Snap), Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and conditioner, and my fave – Revlon Colorstay lipstick in Stay Currant.

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      kimbersam
      29 Jun 2021
      11:19am

      The Trader Joe’s Tea Tree is a great dupe for the Paul Mitchell brand!

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I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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