Best Drugstore Beauty Items - Beauty On A Budget

Brandi Adair

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Maybe she's born with it… or maybe she's saving money! Isn't that how it goes? As a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion influencer, I have the luxury of trying many beauty products for free. Even with the hundreds I've tried, I consistently repurchase these wallet-friendly items over and over again. I've rounded up my favorite products that I can't live without.

1. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - The Most Gentle Makeup Remover

If you're not familiar, micellar water contains micelles, which are molecules made of cleansing oil. It's perfect for sensitive skin and even removes waterproof makeup. In fact, micellar water was created in Paris long before it came to the United States because the tap water was too harsh for facial cleansing. To use: apply micellar water to a cotton pad and gently pat and wipe away makeup. While it technically is a cleansing step, it's best to follow up with a facial cleanser to wash away the day fully.

2. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser - Dermatologist Recommended

My dry skin despised face wash for a long time. The products I tried for dry skin dried my skin out even more - until I tried CeraVe. CeraVe products contain ceramides which keep the skin supple and moisturized, and they are dermatologist recommended. This cleanser is perfect after removing makeup. It won't remove makeup on its own, but it won't strip your skin of natural oils either. I love that it's scent-free and doesn't contain additives that are irritating to the skin. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, try out the Foaming Facial Cleanser or the Renewing SA Cleanser.

3. Vichy Minéral 89 - Hello Hydration

If you have dry skin and you aren't using hyaluronic acid - you should be! Hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. It's also what is used in cosmetic fillers to plump up lips and cheeks. Get the plumped look without the needles with this skin-loving serum. It contains minerals from thermal water, is fragrance-free, and great for all skin types. Use before moisturizer for the most benefit. It is a tad pricier for a drugstore item, but the bottle is large and lasts a long time. Use twice a day for maximum hydration.

4. Batiste Dry Shampoo - Extend That Blowout

What did we ever do without dry shampoo? Washing your hair every day is so yesterday. Thank goodness we can be lazy and protect our hair. Did you know it's actually bad for your hair to wash it every day? I love Batiste because it's a powdery spray that absorbs oil. Spray it on and pat it in to remove any white cast. Batiste has formulas for every hair color and a wide array of scents to choose from. My personal favorite is Wild.

5. Essie Gel Couture - Salon Mani At Home

I absolutely love the look of a shellac manicure, but I can't stand the thought of the price. If the price alone wasn't enough to make me stop, I also found that my nails became extremely brittle as well. I could no longer grow out my own nails because they were so thin from the removal of shellac. They're basically scraping a layer of your nail off with the polish at the salon. The Essie Gel Couture line has helped my nails and my wallet for the better. You don't need a UV machine or special removal products. Simply apply two coats of the polish and a coat of the gel topcoat. The topcoat is a real game-changer. It gives that plush, juicy look that a shellac manicure has. My polish lasts at least a week and a half, and my nails are so much stronger. My favorite shade is Matter of Fiction.

6. Maybelline Falsies Mascara - The Best Mascara Ever

Now, this is my true holy grail product. I have used this mascara for over 10 years now, and I haven't found anything better to replace it - and trust me, I've tried. I've tried department store mascara that was $30 a pop, fiber mascara, waterproof mascaras, etc., and nothing beats Falsies. It's the perfect mix between volumizing and lengthening. You can add multiple coats without it looking clumpy, and it comes off easily with micellar water or makeup remover. I use the regular mascara in Blackest Black, but it comes in waterproof and other shades as well.

7. L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Conditioning Primer Mascara - Up Your Lash Game

I love the Falsies mascara alone, but I especially love it when I use the L'Oreal Primer Mascara before. This mascara does exactly what it sounds like. It primes your lashes for mascara. It works just like a foundation primer, but for your lashes. I like to apply to one eye and follow up immediately with mascara and then move on to the next eye. Pro tip: don't let the primer dry, or your mascara will be clumpy. I know it seems like more work with an extra step, but I promise it's worth it. Your long lashes will thank you.

8. got2B Schwarzkopf Glued Blasting Freeze Hair Spray - For Serious Hold

There is nothing worse than curling your hair, and it falling an hour later. Living in a humid state, I'm all too familiar with short-lived hairstyles. This hairspray is less than $5 and gives serious staying power. I first learned about this hairspray from a friend who competed in dance and drag competitions, so you know this stuff is good! Dancers need their hair perfectly coiffed, and competing on stage leaves no room for beauty mishaps. You can use this every day, or for those special occasions you need your style to stay in place.

Sometimes when you get what you pay for, it's a good thing. Drugstores are really stepping up their game by stocking new, trendy brands all the time. And who doesn't want to feel beautiful without a ridiculous price tag? You don't have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks.

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Hi there! I’m a fashion and lifestyle influencer and content creator. I’m spilling all the deets on fashion, lifestyle, travel, and beauty. Follow along for inspiration, tips, and ways to apply the hottest trends to your life in a practical way.

Houston, TX
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