# beauty reviews # budget beauty

Drugstore Beauty Favorites

This week, by popular demand, I am sharing my drugstore beauty favorites with you. Often when I do my skincare and makeup posts, readers ask for drugstore alternatives to the higher-end, more expensive products. This week I am sharing a handful of my favorites with you.

All of these finds I came across myself, and many have been very pleasant surprises! If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of the blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Moisturizer
This drugstore facial moisturizer is such a find! After running out of my favorite high-end Eminence Age Corrective Coconut Moisturizer, I wanted to see if I could find a drugstore version that would compare. I have found it with this cream, which is very lightweight, and is priced at an extremely good value.

St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub
This is a marvelous dupe for my favorite Epicuren fine herbal facial scrub, and is much more affordable. My only complaint is that the scent of the St Ives scrub isn't my favorite, but try it for yourself to see what you think.

Dove Purely Pampering Body Wash
in almond cream with hisbiscus
This is the most luxurious of all the drugstore body washes. It is a bit pricier at around $9 a bottle, but you get a lot for your money and the quality, scent and texture is my favorite (and I've tried nearly all of them!)

L'Oreal Infallible longwear lip color in mulberry
I've talked about this amazing lip color before and can't stop boasting about this gem of a find. The color truly lasts all day long and does not dry out your lips. Mulberry is the shade I recommend.


Thank you to everyone who watched my Critics' Choice Awards red carpet fashion run-down last Thursday. What a blast I had with the entire Maker TV cast and crew! I am pictured above with host, Taryn Southern.

The Epoch Times discovers the ten-item wardrobe in a very humorous way.

The Neo-Trad lists both Madame Chic books as the Best Books for Francophiles.

Ruby's Musings discusses the ten-item wardrobe on French Girl Friday

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Don't worry if you do not have a big budget for skincare and makeup products. Contrary to what many women's publications will have you think, you don't need hundreds of products to keep up a beauty routine. Focus on clean and clear skin and a manageable le no makeup look and you will find yourself saving money and feeling inspired to appreciate your natural beauty. Also, for every high-end product you long for, chances are there is a less expensive dupe out there. Read reviews, talk to your friends and cultivate a beauty cabinet that works within your budget.

Comment of the Week

Julia G. writes:

Just a brief note to say that I followed your advice a few months ago and started eating lunch. As a teacher, this is generally impossible, but in so doing it has improved my quality of life 2 ways: bringing me a moment of peace and pleasure in a busy day, increased nutritional intake. I never dreamed I'd be listening to DeBussy's La Mer in the middle of the school day, but it is so nice. It's an island of calm. Thanks, again!

Julia this is wonderful to hear. Your job as a teacher is so vitally important, I'm glad that you are taking the time to nourish yourself at lunch!

This week I would love to know... what are your drugstore beauty favorites? Do you have any good ones to recommend?

FTC: All items were purchased by me. I have no affiliation with any companies represented. As always, my honest opinion is used.

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Amy said...

It's interesting - I wonder if you'll revise the le no makeup look when you're approaching 50. I just finished a book called "Makeup Wakeup" (aimed at women over 45) and it recommends a bit more makeup. I tried le no makeup look and I think I genuinely look better with a bit more defined makeup (more eyeshadow, liner). Nothing garish, just normal Bobbi Brown neutrals. I'd be interested to see what women over 50 think about this?

Susan said...

I have used the Infallible lip stain and balm since you introduced it last fall and absolutely love it! I definitely will try the St. Ives and Dove products, as well. Thank you for sharing your budget friendly finds!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to answer Amy, above, as I am a woman over 50. I am actually wearing more natural looking makeup now than I did when I was younger. For one thing, my skin finally cleared up. That only took a short eternity! I may wear just as much face makeup, but now I can apply it with a lighter touch. As for eye makeup, I find that I look better -- and younger -- with less eye makeup, using variations of a nude palette. I used to blend together three or four different colors on my eyelid. If I did that today, I would look "like mutton dressed as lamb".

Now on the subject of drugstore items, I find that some items are worth splurging on (foundation, concealer, and powder spring to mind. They just seem to be formulated better.) and some are just as good when gotten on the cheap. I love L'Oreal's Wear Infinite eye shadow. It lasts all day without creasing, and the color Smooth Latte is my go-to nude shadow color. The absolute best eyebrow pencil, in any price range, is the 99 cent NYC brow pencil in taupe. It doesn't rub off until I wash it off. I go over it with a (cheap) clear mascara, which defines the hairs that are still left to me, and the look is natural-looking, not drawn-on. Which it is. As for mascara, I think it's just silly to spend lots of money on that, when all the formulations are basically the same; it's the brush that changes, and makes the difference in how it looks. I like Cover Girl Lash Exact waterproof mascara. It stays on through rain, eye drop use, and a good cry. Comes off easily enough with coconut oil. I find that the brush it comes with separates the lashes nicely. But if I preferred the look of an expensive brand (I used to use Chanel before I got wise to it just being about the brush.), I would buy the expensive brand and keep the brush to use with the cheaper brands afterwards. (Just make sure you clean it well from time to time.)

Laura Kelly said...

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for the information.
I used St. Ives products for many years and like them very much.
The past several years I have become very aware of horrors of animal testing. I no longer use many of the brands you were showing since most of those companies still test on animals at some some stage of manufacturing.
I was wondering if at some point in time you could review some "Leaping Bunny" cruelty free products for those who may be interested. Thanks!
I look forward to listening to you each week!

Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer, My favorite facial moisturizer is Alba Botanica Hawaiian Moisture Cream. It's a cruelty free product. It's about $20; it's very nice on my face, more natural, and less expensive than department store creams. It can be found at higher end grocery stores that carry natural products. Hope you will try it!

Ladylike said...

Hello again,
My other fave great inexpensive product is Jenna Hipp Essential Nail & Hand Cream. This is also a cruelty free product and contains no parabens, phthalates, PEG, artificial fragrance or synthetic dyes. It contains 20% shea butter and myrrh plant extract. (remember the three wise men and their gifts?) It is available at my Costco right now. By the way the Alba Botanic mentioned above also contains no parabens or phthalates.

Amy Woods said...

I love hearing everyone's thoughts on this and glad you wrote about drugstore finds Jennifer. I'm in my mid 40s and have tried and used a kazillion products. Plus my best friend works in the spa industry and so I get tons of samples. For me Petroleum jelly is keeps my feet nice - I put it on thick and then socks at night. Same goes for my hands if they are a bit dry. And I even use it on my face on occasion and always on my lips. I like the Cetaphyl line of products as it's gentler on my skin. I have to be careful, I get red so easily. And as far as a skin line with active and effective products especially if you have brown spots, I swear by Skinceuticals (not cheap but worth the money) - their Phyto serum has been a life changer and no this isn't my friend's line. Still I think the absolute most important thing you can do is wear sun screen and not lay out and bake your face, neck and chest area in the sun. Can't wait to read other tips.

Fiona said...

I will definitely explore the lip stain. I hate having to apply all the time. I'll also check out the moisturizer. Thanks for the tips!

Lisa H. said...

Love this post. I've been using the St. Ives scrub and moisturizer for years but have never tried the Dove body wash. I'll definitely buy it. Has anyone tried buf-puf body sponges? I'm wondering whether to try them in place of my body pouf.

I recently starting using sweet almond oil under and around my eyes. I put a few drops on my fingertips and dab it around my eyes before bed each night (after putting on the St. Ives collagen elastin which i am a huge fan of). It makes my face a little shiny before the oil absorbs so I wouldn't recommend it in the morning before going out. But it does help a lot with dryness and supposedly helps with dark circles (I haven't noticed a difference yet).

HeatherS ErinD said...

Hi Jennifer,
A few years ago, I began trying to use products that had a healthier rating on the Environmental Working Group's website. (www.ewg.org/skindeep) I use
Jāsön moisturizing cream, Alba Botanica shampoo/conditioner, and Yes to Carrots face wash. I've been very pleased with the more natural products!

Summer Smith said...

I love this post and the comments. I just ran out of my normal Vitamin E Day Moisturizing Cream from The Body Shop and was thinking of trying something a bit cheaper, so thank you for the timely post.

I love Dove Deep Moisture body wash for my skin, it is very sensitive and I have keratosis pilaris on my arms and have found that this is one of the only ones that does not irritate. Also, Dr. Bonner's Liquid soap in Lavender is great too, and last a long time.

For moisturizing my body: I have used Curel Daily Moisture Original Lotion since I was 12 . It does not smell, goes on clean and stays with me all day. I also love Cetaphil's Moisturizing Cream when I need extra conditioning. I have recently started adding Organic Coconut Oil to my arms and I like that too, although it does not offer as deep of conditioning as I would like.

Someone mentioned something about buf-puf body sponges and I don't know anything about that but I swear by my Dermalogica's Ultimate Buffing Cloth, that is all I use for washing my body. It is great for travel and exfoliating my skin every day. And talking about exfoliating the body, I used Trader Joe's Lavender Sugar Scrub, I love it.

Jennifer, I have a question for you (or anyone else that has a good recommendation), what are facial SPFs, high-end and/or drug store priced that work for you? It seems whatever I try, flakes or globs on my skin after putting on my moisturizer. Thank you so much.

Ladylike said...

Hi again,
As you can see I am a fan of natural or organic beauty products. How did I forget my favorite EOS organic lip balms? The flavors are luscious, and they last forever. They are available at my Costco, which makes them very reasonable.

Dianna said...

I've recently discovered Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E cream. I've never found a cream before that I would put on my face, but I love this. It makes my skin feel soft and even delicate.

I am looking for an affordable everyday sunscreen for my face and a product to tame the fly-aways on my fine hair, especially when it's humid. I would love to hear your recommendations.

Christina Durborow said...

One of my all-time favorite drugstore products is Loreal's Voluminous mascara. I've strayed over the years but always find myself coming back to it. Great volume and does not smudge. The next two items aren't drugstore items, but they are inexpensive--Vitabath body wash (I get it at Ulta--it's sulfate free, moisturizing, under ten dollars and comes in a wide variety of fragrances) and Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil (applies easily, doesn't smudge unless you want it to, costs 10 bucks and comes in over 30 colors).

Lastly a sunscreen recommendation for Summer: La Roche Posay Anthelios. Not a drugstore brand but the formula sinks right in and does not break me out or appear oily on my skin (a minor miracle). Also I have no trouble applying product on top of it(although I moisturize first and wait 5-10 minutes between applying sunscreen and applying make-up). Hope that helps!

Jenifer said...

I have read Paula Begoun for 20+ years since she started the books "Don't go to the beauty counter without me" and now has the reviews online at www.beautypedica.com. Loads of great info on what ingredients are truly effective and what products are just marketing hype. It has helped me use effective drugstore products without all the trial and error.

She has her own line, paulaschoice.com, which some of my friends and I have used for years and it shows. Now that we are 50, the signs of aging are definitely showing for those who have not taken care of their skin. Her products are only sold online but are very affordable and highly effective. The lady at the Origins store actually asked me what I was using and wrote it down saying she had nothing to recommend me I looked so good.

On the questions about makeup at age 50. I agree that a bit less, or at least less garish colors are a good idea. I find that a lot depends on your skin texture and quality (careful of what settles into wrinkles-eek). I love Bobbi Brown's color palette and find that for me, it makes me look very finished and refined without looking "done up." I wear Bare Minerals foundation and love it. I get lots of comments about wearing no makeup when I have it on and it stays on all day even living in TX where the heat can be horrible. Also, I have found that using a good regimen of an AHA or BHA and a retinol cream has been a great help with skin texture and evenness (Paulaschoice are super effective and reasonable).

Linda said...

Just bought the L'Oreal Infallible Lipstick in Mulberry and I am hooked!! Lasted the majority of the day today at work and yes through lunch and several cups of tea! You are right Jennifer the Mulberry colour really is perfect.
To answer Amy as well - I am swiftly approaching 50 (in exactly 2 months to the day!) and I find le no makeup is the best look for me - always has. If I wear a full face of make-up or even eye shadow and liner I look much older. I have colleagues my age who wear more makeup than I do and I really feel it ages them because it looks like they are trying to hide something. My secret weapons for staying youthful are good hydration (face and body moisturizer because up here in Canada it's darn cold, and drinking tons of water), le no makeup and getting enough sleep!
For products I wear MAC blush and under eye concealer, benefit Instant Brow pencil, Smashbox Hyperlash mascara (because I need a skinny wand or I'd poke my eyes out!) and now this L'Oreal lipstick because it lasts better than the more expensive ones. If I'm going all out I use the benefit High Brow pencil on any parts that need "lifting" (face parts that is!) - woo wee!

LadyFin said...

My favourite drugstore products are Eucerin Aquaphor for my constant battle with excema and Klorane shampoos and conditioners. I like using the date and the oatmeal ones.

As I approach my 40s I have been doing a lot of research into skincare and what products I should be investing in and what is not worth it. I have discovered that most do not recommend scrubs to exfoliate and that AHA and BHA methods are much better.

I did invest in the coconut moisturizer from Eminence and I have been enjoying using it so much! My skin thanks you for this recommendation Jennifer!!

Rachel Nesbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Nesbit said...

My favorite drug store find is Kirk's Castile bar soap. It's about $3-4 for a pack of three bars. Living in a hot, humid climate (Mississippi) and being an avid runner, I found that even the most expensive and best-smelling bar soaps were just not cutting it. What turned me on to this particular bar soap was how clean the ingredients were (Coconut Soap, Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Coconut Oil, Natural Fragrance). Much to my surprise, it is the ONLY bar soap I have found that keeps me feeling and smelling fresh ALL DAY. I cannot recommend this soap enough.

My other drug store favorite is Gold Bond body lotion. Not very chic-sounding, I know, but this stuff moisturizes your skin without leaving a greasy, slick residue. In the summer time I like to have a little "sheen" to my legs, but if I'm lotioning up right before putting on skinny jeans I don't want that dewey, wet, feel on my legs. So Gold Bond is perfect!

Kristien62 said...

I fell in love with Eucerin Hyaluron Filler which I bought at a pharmacy in Switzerland. The Eucerin products have always worked well for me, but this one is wonderful, especially for those of us "of a certain age." Unfortunately, it is not sold in the US; so I hope I can get it online (or maybe go back to Switzerland!)

Anonymous said...

Both Summer Smith and Dianna asked about sunscreens, and I have one that I can greatly recommend: Blue Lizard Face with an SPF of 30. I tried many sunscreens and they have always left me feeling oily. Even the highly touted Anthelios, which looked great at first, but got oily as the day progressed. Blue Lizard is a mineral sunscreen, which I like, because I try to avoid harsh chemicals. It doesn't look white on the skin after it sinks in for a couple minutes. And it stays matte all day long. And it's WAY cheaper than Anthelios.

Also, Dianna asked about fine, fly-away hair, which I certainly know something about. It seems that serums and creams that give me the sleek look also give me the greasy look by the second day, and I don't want to have to wash my hair every day. I tried Dep Endurance Styling Gel, as I had used Dep YEARS ago when I had bob-length hair (which I have once again). It works wonderfully! No fly-aways... it doesn't frizz up even on humid days... and my blowout can last three days if necessary without looking greasy.

Also, speaking of hair, I used to use Living Proof, which worked well but was getting too pricy. I tried L'Oreal Eversleek shampoo and conditioner, and it works even better at a much cheaper price. Plus, it is sulfate-free. (Again, the fewer chemicals, the better.)

And while we're talking cheap, drugstores aren't the only source of cheap, reliable products. I get most of my skin care products from a local Indian mart. Vicco turmeric cream with sandalwood oil works much better than hydroquinone or retin-A for evening the skin tone. My husband had a patch of sun damage on the top of his forehead ever since I knew him. He started using my Vicco, and within two weeks, the damaged area was gone. I was amazed at how well this stuff works! Also at the Indian mart, I found Himalaya Herbals Neem Purifying face wash, which I use in the evening with my Clarisonic. It keeps my skin clear without drying it out. As a toner, I use Cortas rosewater, which I also use on a cotton ball in the morning to cleanse my face. It leaves it soft, yet toned. I also use a clay mask I found there: Hesh Multani Mati. I dilute it with the rosewater instead of tap water, and use it twice a week. Any of these products can be found on Amazon if you don't live near an Indian mart, but of course it will not be quite as cheap. Lastly, my moisturizer for face and body is the cheapest of the bunch: safflower oil. Yes, the same stuff you cook with. It is high in vitamin E - a wonderful anti-oxidant, and once it sinks in, it doesn't feel oily at all. When my face is still damp from the rosewater, I apply a thin film of the safflower oil. I wait a few minutes for it to sink in, and I blot any that hasn't sunk in with a tissue. I have acne-prone skin, and this is one of the only moisturizers I have used that doesn't break me out. At one point, I had just stopped using moisturizers! It even works as a daytime moisturizer under my sunscreen, without any oil break-through mid-day.

I know this is a lot of info, but all my decades of experience trying products should be good for something, right?

Summer Smith said...

Christina Durborow and mimimanderly, thank you! :) I will check out both of those products. Blue Lizard Face sounds funky-chic! ;)

adrianna murillo said...

Regarding woman over 50, how much make-up you need to wear depends on the individual. We have women in the office who think they look good without make-up but look drab. Our company photographer said that older women need to wear more make-up for photo's otherwise they look washed out in pictures. Some woman look great with a little makeup and some look great with more, it depends on how its put on and if the colors and tones are right for you. I loved the Make Up/Wake Up book for woman over 45. The photos are great of examples of less or more make-up. My favorite drugstore products are Argon Oil for face and hair, Cera Ve face wash, Neutragena make-up remover towlettes, and Lubriderm Dry Skin lotion.

Hannah Ruth said...

I like St Ives scrubs too.

Next time you're in the UK you should stock up on Dove body wash as it's £1 - £2 here! :)

wild nettle said...

The composition is more important than the price, and if you read the label that you can buy good and cheap cosmetics.

Evaline said...

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing low cost products. I love the idea. I personally research the product or its ingredients on the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database and on Paula Begoun's site

If products rate poorly, I will stay away, even if people like them and they are affordable.

I find good and affordable lines such as Weleda and Wants at health food stores and on well.ca in Canada.

Evaline said...

In my comment, the second product line I mentioned should read Sante. ...the autocorrect changed it. Sante. Is from Germany where they have very high standards for ingredients for personal care products.

Jennifer said...

L'Oreal Extraordinaire by Colour Riche in Molto Mauve (500). Use it every day!

Michelle Bush said...

Hello! I have dark blonde hair and very dark blue eyes. I find that dark eye shadow makes me look sleepy, so I recently went hunting at Target and Walmart for some lighter, affordable, options. I found some great champagne-colored shadows/sets (with light pinks, browns, etc), but my greatest finds were 3 amazing eyeliners at Target. Two are Loreal Paris: Silkissime; one in silver, the other is a champagne-colored highlighter. They are AMAZING, and go on silky-smooth. I use the silver at my lash-line, and a shimmery teal liner above it and blend the two together for a very pretty, brightening, and unique (yet not over-the-top) look. The highlighter is great with other muted colors, shimmery and light-catching but very natural. The third is the Pixie: Extra Eye Bright Liner. It's meant for the inner rim of the lower lash line, and waterproof so you won't blink it away. It's a very pale pink color, and it really does help your eyes to look brighter and whiter when you use it. I don't like wearing any mascara or liner on my lower lash line (makes me look sleepy), but this I love. It lets me wear SOMEthing there, making my eye makeup look more complete, but without darkening it at all. Thanks for all your tips! <3

galant said...

I was in need of a new facial scrub and moisturizer, so have ordered the St Ives ones you have mentioned. I love my L'Oreal Age Perfect skin cream but I'm always willing to try something new - it would be boring not to!
Margaret P

Lisa H. said...

I don't know what the deal is but every drug store, grocery store & Target in my neighborhood is out of or does not carry the Mulberry lipstick. I live in Cambridge, MA. Anyone know of a good online retailer? Also, I tried the body wash. I was a little worried because when I smelled it in the store I worried it was too perfumey for me. But I bought it anyway and found that the scent was much more pleasant in the shower than sniffing straight from the bottle. Also, the scent is not overpowering when I get out of the shower. I always worry about how the scents of lotions, deodorant, and body washes will mix with my perfume. This one didn't seem to be a problem.

Lisa H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

I've been a Clinique fan for years, especially the Superdefense moisturizer, but for drugstore brands, I love the No. 7 day and night moisturizers. Both the No. 7 day and the Clinique Superdefense have sunscreen in the formulation, which I swear by. For body lotion, I love Lubriderm daily moisturizing lotion with SPF 15. And in summer, I like a little color and love the Jergens Natural Glow & Protect with SPF 20. It is very natural looking, no orange streaks, and protects my skin. I am very, very fair skinned with blue eyes and need my sunscreen every day.

Tracey Smith said...

I went to CVS last week and picked up the L'Oreal Infallible lipstick in Mulberry for half price! Now that I've been wearing this for at least a week in many different situations, I can attest this is the BEST long wearing lipstick! It's even a better than one that was three times the price! I like that it doesn't dry out my lips either and truly doesn't budge.

For the questions about sunscreen especially for oilier skin types - I live in FL and swear by Elta MD UV Clear Broad- Spectrum SPF 46. It's not cheap but it's the only sunscreen I've ever used that doesn't hive me breakouts and really does the job. I order online through Amazon but can also purchase at my dermatologist office.

I love hearing about makeup/skincare/nail dupes, please keep posts like this one coming!!!

Little Miss Know-it-all said...

Hi Jennifer, I was just looking into that Dove body wash/cream bath because it's one of the products we can get in Europe. You state that it is relatively expensive at 9$ for 22 fl oz, which is only 650 ml. On amazon.de (Germany) you get 750 ml for just over €5 and in stores it can be under €4 , which is absolutely no comparison! It certainly looks the same as yours, though the formula may be different here, I suppose. Just for interest!

Ruby Coleman said...

I've recently discovered Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E cream. I've never found a cream before that I would put on my face, but I love this. It makes my skin feel soft and even delicate.

I am looking for an affordable everyday sunscreen for my face and a product to tame the fly-aways on my fine hair, especially when it's humid. I would love to hear your recommendations.