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Lotion that costs over $200 definitely isn't for everyone, which is why drugstores exist. While splurging is fine—if there's anything you should splurge on, it's things going directly on your face and body—there are a handful of items we continuously snatch up at Duane Reade and CVS. Without further ado, we present 17 of our favorite real-world, not-expensive drugstore beauty products, after the jump.
1. Maybelline Line Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Eyeliner, $7.25
A good liquid eyeliner doesn't need to cost a ton of money, but it does need to be good. This one from Maybelline doesn't dry out upon application, or crack after a day's worth of wear. The brush also allows for a really precise application, so you dont have to go crazy trying to get the cat-eye just right.
2. Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam, $10.99
We know: This is our second Maybelline product on the list. But do you know why? Because after all these years, Maybelline has totally mastered the art of cheap beauty products. This foundation goes on super light, and, we've found, that it stays on all day.
3. L’Oreal Studio Secrets Face Primer, $10.99
Apply just a bit of this (the jar is small) before applying your foundation to keep your makeup from melting off a few hours later.
4. Revlon ColorStay 16 Hour Eyeshadow, $7.49
We love this Revlon eyeshadow, because mix and matching colors has never really been our thing, as in, we don't quite know how to do it. These little quads do that job for you, and last for a long time—without creasing.
5. CoverGirl Blast Flipstick Lipcolor, $7.99
Let's just say Sofia Vergara and her commercial for this lipstick had us sold. Plus, the fact that it's essentially three different things in one doesn't hurt, either.
6. Dry Idea Antiperspirant & Deodorant Roll On, $6.49
You know how some deodorants after repeated use seem to make you smell worse? In all our years with Dry Idea, this has never happened. And it says "Advanced Dry" but we’ve never found that to mean "Totally Gonna Dry Out Your Ampits" like prescription deodorants are wont to do.
7. Pantene Pro-V Classic Clean Shampoo (and conditioner!), $4.99
Pantene Pro-V is about as vanilla as it comes, but after years of devotion, we're still swearing by it.
8. Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base & Topcoat $4.99
Our tip for this Sally Hansen polish: Apply it once after you paint your nails, and once a few hours later, and continue to apply once daily. After about four or so applications, you’ll find it’s nearly impossible to chip your nails.
9. John Frieda Frizz Ease Smooth Start Repairing Conditioner, $5.39
Just a bit of this John Frieda serum will keep your hair from frizzing out when there’s any kind of humidity in the air.
10. Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Face Lotion SPF 30, $7.04
And now, for what might be the most important beauty product you own: sunscreen. We recommend wearing some kind of SPF on your face everyday, even when you aren’t planning on being out in the sun.
11. Nivea Creme, $3.79
A close second to Eucerin’s ultra-thick Aquaphor Healing Ointment (see #16 below), but less heavy, and easier to apply since it comes in a handy tube instead of a tub.
12. Vaseline Jelly, $4.39
Vaseline is great for everything: dry skin, chapped lips, cuts and stuff like that—but if you’re going to tote it around in your purse, make sure it’s the squeezable-tube version, and not the giant jug of it that’s bound to get stuck under your fingernails when you pull out a big glob.
13. Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer, $8.49 and Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer, 8.49
Okay, technically this is two products, and while we’re not often fans of buying in bulk, using these in combination gives really good results. The Express Body Moisturizer is strong on its own, so if you’re using it on pre-sunkissed skin, it’s going to be noticeable. The Daily Moisturizer, on the other hand, is a lot slower, so if you all of a sudden have a white dress you need to be tan in, you'll need to start a few days ahead of time. Mixing the two together, though, allows you to control how much color you're really putting on your skin. Once you build up a base, (whether it be real or faux), either product will work well on its own, depending on how tan you want to be.
14. Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads, $4.99
Almay’s eye makeup remover pads aren’t oily, and they make wiping off your eye make-up a cinch at the end of the night when you can barely muster up the energy to wash your face. Plus, they’re tough at getting off even the thickest-lined lids, for those occasions where you may have gone overboard on the eyeshadow.
15. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $5.99
If you have sensitive skin, or just need a break from any harsher products you’ve been using, the best advice we can offer is to introduce Cetaphil into you’re routine. It’s fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, and it won’t disrupt your skin’s natural pH level.
16. Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment, $15.29
Warning: Eucerin’s Aquaphor Healing Ointment is thick. Like, really really thick. But in the winter, you’re skin will practically be begging for it. After many a New York winter, we’ve learned that this is pretty much the only thing that helps our skin not feel crackly. So lather up.
17. Johnson’s Baby Head-to-Toe Wash, $4.29
There’s a reason your mom bathed you with this as a child: It’s amazing, and we still use it to this day. It’s mild, and it won’t dry you out because it’s 100% soap-free and pH-balanced. Plus, it’s got their No More Tears formula, so you won’t start crying when you accidentally get it in your eyes.
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