The Drugstore Beauty Products Our Editors Can’t Get Enough Of Right Now

A well-stocked drugstore is like no other place on earth, a land of plenty where impulse buys (cheap scented candles, festive fairy lights) live just an aisle away from the bare necessities (toilet paper, Tylenol Headache Relief). And the beauty section is particularly compelling: The endless options and reasonable prices make the shopping experience low-risk, high-reward, and non-committal, which is as good a reason as any to try them all.

Ahead, the hair care, skin care, and makeup picks our editors can’t get enough of right now, from the practical (a no-frills cleanser that’s become a staple in our routine) to the frivolous (a multitasking tint that carried us through a spontaneous trip to Music City, U.S.A.) and everything in between — like, you know, a wave spray that will make actually styling your hair a thing of the past. Let’s just go ahead and file that one under “life hacks.”

“This Maybelline palette is higher-quality and more user-friendly than many of the department-store versions I’ve tried.The powders are super soft and blendable, and there isn’t a single WTF shade in there that I’ll never touch. The range of browns, golds, and champagnes all perfectly complement each other for a variety of looks that don’t require four blending brushes and a cosmetology degree to pull off yourself.” — Cat Quinn, beauty director

Maybelline, $6.74, available at Jet

“Maybe I’m way too dedicated to the Friends franchise, but one time Jennifer Aniston told me by way of basic cable commercial that she used Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Daily Scrub, so I went out and bought it immediately. And while I did love the delightful citrus scent and how it buffed away the day’s sins quite nicely, my skin was always far too sensitive for regular use. This month, the brand introduced a gentler body-wash equivalent that checks all the boxes: It smells just as good as the face scrub, uses natural exfoliants, and makes me feel like Rachel Green in season one, episode 13. You know, the one where she gets out of the shower…” — Kelsey Castañon, beauty news editor

Aveeno, $7.82, available at Walmart

“Hopping on a plane to Nashville for 24 hours with nothing but a credit card, Chapstick, and the clothes on your back is a good way to find out just how high-maintenance you really are, I thought as I dumped a lash curler, black eyeliner, mascara, brow gel, dry shampoo, a mini hairbrush, and this tinted balm in front of the Walgreens cashier soon after landing. I’m ashamed to admit that I panicked momentarily when I got in the car and realized I’d forgotten blush — until I remembered the berry balm. I already knew how pretty it looked on lips, but I didn’t expect it to give my cheeks the dewy flush of a healthy person on a light jog rather than a haggard girl who’d been drinking heavily all weekend. Turns out I didn’t really need anything else, which would have been nice to know before buying the lash curler that inspired my friends to refer to me as a ‘Kardashian diva’ for the rest of the day.” — Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor

Revlon, $3.91, available at Jet

“Lately — or perhaps this has been my whole life, I’m not quite sure — I’ve felt like styling my hair exactly 5% of the time. For the rest of my week, I mist my lengths with this baby for texture, fullness, shine, and hold, and slick my strands into a chic, center-parted low bun with a couple of Goody Spin Pins. Say it with me now: ‘Why yes, I did sleep until 9:07 this morning, and it was lovely!’ — Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor

Kristen Ess, $14, available at Target

“No AHAs, BHAs, PHAs, micro-exfoliants, essential oils, botanical extracts, snail slime, sheep placenta, or bee venom here — this creamy, soothing cleanser is as simple and wholesome as it gets, the skin-care equivalent of the warm glass of milk a child in a fairytale might drink before bedtime. Is it boring? Perhaps. But the hydrating, soap-free formula actually makes washing my face a much more enjoyable experience now that I don’t have to worry about my cleanser leaving my reactive skin dry or irritated. The bottle’s enormous size is both a blessing and a curse: I can’t foresee a future in which I run out of it, but how the hell I am supposed to get this on a plane?” — Rachel Krause, beauty writer

La Roche-Posay, $14.99, available at Amazon

“No matter how many expensive mascaras I use over the years, I’ll always go back to my one true love: Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies. Before everyone was talking about eyelash extensions, this was the mascara that fooled friends into thinking you were rocking individual lashes. If you dig goopy, wet formulas that last well into the wee hours of the morning, this will be your beat.” — Samantha Sasso, beauty editorial assistant

Maybelline, $6.99, available at Ulta Beauty

“I’m still perfecting my wash and go method — it’s been lots of trial and mostly error — but I know that thick, creamy moisturizers are the best for making sure that my curls come along. I slather this styling ‘smoothie’ from root to tip on my hair while it’s soaking wet, diffuse, and let my little ‘fro do its thing. I get compliments on how healthy it looks every time I use it.” — Khalea Underwood, beauty writer

SheaMoisture, $11.97, available at Walmart

“This dual-ended wand is everything I look for in a shadow: pigmented, long-wearing, never patchy, and available in a wide variety of neutral and bold shades. I’ve been wearing the light blue shade nonstop since I got it.” — Mi-Anne Chan, beauty writer

L’Oreal Paris, $6.74, available at Jet

“Like so many others, I love, love, love matte lipstick, but I tend to shy away from it in the fall and winter since my lips are already too dry. This stuff is the total opposite, though — it glides on like a gloss before setting into a smooth, velvety finish. I enjoy them so much that I’ve bought the entire collection… and a few backups just in case.” — Brianna Arps, production assistant

Wet n Wild, $4.68, available at Jet

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29


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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the great article on great drugstore beauty products. It is amazing how the right product here or there can make a world of difference. I look forward to more interesting articles. Thanks

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