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Top 5 Drugstore Beauty Steals


Top 5 Drugstore Beauty Steals

While I love Sephora, MAC, and department store makeup counters, I don’t love looking at my bank account after spending an afternoon there. While I do believe that “you get what you pay for,” I know that there are some awesome drugstore products out there that work better than their expensive counterparts.

Last week, I filled you guys in on the Top 5 Beauty Products Worth Splurging On, and this week, I present to you the Top 5 Drugstore Beauty Steals:

1. Bonne Bell Lipsmackers

Bonne Belle Dr. Pepper Lipsmacker
Bonne Bell Lipsmackers– $1.99 at

Back in our pre-adolescent days, these were just thought of as precursors to lipgloss and lipstick. I’m still snickered at when I pull a Dr. Pepper or watermelon flavor from out of my purse. But in all reality, Lipsmackers are a godsend. Not only are they seriously moisturizing and give the prettiest hint of color, but they smell incredibly good.

At $1.99 each, what’s not to love? These might be the only item from my tween years that I’m willing to use again and again… and again!

2. Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner
Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner- $7.49 at

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with liquid eyeliner from the early age of 13. Love, because nothing can make me feel more glamorous than some of this on my lash line. Hate because it’s incredibly difficult to apply, and, until recently, I hadn’t found a formula that glided over my eyelids as if it were nothing and stayed put all day long.

Ladies, meet Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner. Its felt tip goes so close to my lash line that I don’t have to spend an hour on each eye, and the color (I use black-brown, which is plenty dark) is unparalleled. MakeupGeek, my favorite YouTube makeup guru, also raves about this product. If you’re the kind of girl who uses liquid liner every day or just wants to try liquid liner, this is definitely one to look for!

3.Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash
Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash-$6.99 at

Back acne (bacne) sucks. It’s uncomfortable, sometimes painful and, to be real, it’s pretty gross… Worst of all, there seems to be little treatment available in stores for it, and I (and many of you, I’m sure) don’t have a bad enough case that warrants an expensive dermatologist visit.

Neutrogena answered our prayers with its Body Clear Body Wash. This body wash contains 2% salicylic acid, the same ingredient that’s in your usual acne-fighting face wash, which is what makes it so effective. This product is actually so effective at ridding my back of oil (and therefore, pimples/blemishes) that I only use it once or twice a week. If you have a mild case of bacne, this is definitely a must-buy!
Neutrogena also came out with a pink grapefruit version of this product. While I haven’t tried it myself (my six month old bottle is still half-full!) I hear the results are very similar and the scent is great.

4.Olay Quench Body Lotion

Olay Quench Body Lotion
Olay Quench Body Lotion- $8.79 for 11.8 ounces at

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m one of those girls that shaves every day. Consequently, I have extra-dry (but smooth!) legs that look scale-like without moisture. Most lotions that I’ve tried (and I’ve tried lots) aren’t moisturizing and take too long to rub it and constantly feel greasy throughout the day.

Not this one! Olay Body Quench Body Lotion is a godsend – it completely fixes my dry, scaly winter skin. And, since it’s so hydrating, the bottle lasts me forever! I find it to be pretty odorless, but it apparently has a vanilla smell to it that doesn’t interfere with perfumes. It also won an Allure Reader’s Choice Award- so what are you waiting for?

5. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock Lotion

Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock Lotion-$9.99 at

My house is filled with sunscreen-in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the entryway, my parent’s room… Why? Well, for one, my dad’s been diagnosed with skin cancer multiple times, and he takes sunscreen seriously, which is why my family has used countless tubes of Neutrogena’s Utra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock. It protects against UVA and UVB rays, is oil-free and does not feel greasy at all, yet rubs in incredibly fast. Also, it doesn’t ever sweat off, even after five mile runs. We all have really dry skin in my family, and Neutrogena has never irritated any of it.

While daddy dearest uses SPF 85 (told you he’s serious!), an SPF 30 or 45 gives one enough coverage for daily college activities-going to class, to the gym, to the bookstore, etc. Use some of this every morning and in 25 years, your future self will thank you.

What do you guys think?

Do you agree with these product recommendations? What other products are ‘drugstore steals’? Tell me all that and more in the comments!

Posted on on January 13, 2010 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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30 Responses to “Top 5 Drugstore Beauty Steals”

  1. 1
    January 13th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Love this! I completely agree on everything here (especially the lipsmackers!). But a quick question though, I use an eyeliner that’s not quite a pencil, but not liquid (it’s by CoverGirl), is the liquid liner so much better? Just wondering. Thanks!

  2. 2
    January 13th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    i tried to like quench, but it left an ashy tone on my caramel colored skin. and im still trying to find a sunblock that wont leave a ashy white sheen on my skin…

  3. 3
    January 13th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I LOVE to use Johnson and Johnson’s baby lotion! The scent is very subtle and it leaves by skin feeling a soft as a baby’s butt (pun intended). Not to mention that it’s great for sensitive skin! I usually buy the extra large bottle and it lasts me forever!

  4. 4
    January 13th, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Neutrogena carries some of the best products out there. Not only do they work but they aren’t bad for your skin. My dermatologist has recommended that I wear Neutrogena products because majority of them are non comodegenic (won’t clog your pores), scent-free (for sensitive skin), hypo-allergenic, and oil-free (prevents breakouts). I can recommend many of their products to whoever is interested. Another great drugstore line is Physician’s Formula. Like Neutrogena, their products do not contain harsh ingredients and are actually good for your skin. Why spend tons of money on make up if there are less expensive versions that work just as well, if not better?!?

  5. 5
    January 13th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I haven’t used any of these products but I’d definitely be willing to give them a try. For lotion, I started using Jergens Shea Butter lotion a couple months ago and in this dry cold weather, it has done wonders. It’s pretety cheap too! I also use Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara and it’s honestly the best mascara I’ve ever used (drugstore or department store). I’ve used a lot of mascaras so that says a lot :)

  6. 6
    January 13th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock! As someone with rosacea, it is soooooo hard to find a sunblock that won’t burn the skin, but this causes me no irritation! And it makes my oily skin feel smooth all day! :D

    One drugstore steal I have found is the NYC Concealer Wheel. It comes with 5 colours (green, yellow, ivory, lavender, and tan), and I use all except tan (in case your wondering, lavender works great as a hilighter). This stuff is creamy (same consistency as a MAC Paint Pot), it covers well (you don’t need a lot), lasts a very long time, and did not break out my acne-prone skin. The best part is that it’s only $6-7 CAD, but I don’t know if it’s available in the States (it’s not on their website), sorry…

  7. 7
    January 13th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    i LOVE olay quench! i’m not sure if its still like this, but when i first bought it, the lotion was slightly shimmery. it was just subtle enough that i loved it, but i always wondered why olay never advertised it on the bottle.

    also, on the topic of eyeliner, i love the looks of both a liquid and a pencil. I recently discovered smudge pots (stila makes them). with the right brushes, it glides on perfectly every time. its soft enough to smudge but also can be defined like a liquid if you use a primer. the stuff is pricey, but I have a small pot from a sample pack…I have used it almost daily for several months and I’ve hardly made a dent!

  8. 8
    January 13th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    The mention of sunscreen as a drugstore beauty steal makes this post awesome! I am so glad to see something sensible included in a beauty post, especially when so many women addicted to tanning. I’ve used the Neutrogena Ultrasheer and really appreciated how it left my skin feeling dry and without that oily buildup that most sunscreens leave behind (especially on my face).

    Also, I have recently taken to the Olay body quench body wash – its excellent! I’m glad to hear that the moisturizer is good too, its just about time for me to pick up a new bottle.

  9. 9
    January 13th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I never buy department store brand mascaras because drugstores have ones just as great but at a much lower cost. Great article!

  10. 10
    January 13th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Great post! As much as I love Sephora, I can’t afford every single item in my make up pouch from there.
    My favorite products are Aveeno skincare items- Body lotion, face scrub, face wash and moisturizer. Also agreed on drugstore mascaras, it takes experience but I love Maybelline Define a Lash. It does wonders!

    To Ashley- I use the same type of eyeliner you’re talking about. It really depends on what type of looks you’re going for. I find the non liquid type very suitable for casual, day looks because it goes on smoothly and looks soft.
    Liquid eyeliners tend to give me a harsher look for day to day basis, but great for going out. It’s all about the occasion.

  11. 11
    January 13th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    oh my goodness, i love lipsmakers, i use the dr. pepper chapstick everyday, you’re totally right, it smells good, moisturizes, and also gives you a hint of color.

  12. 12
    January 13th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Great post! =] I might try the Revlon ColorStay eyeliner! I use Neutrogena’s sunblock too. I like that it’s not super oily and doesn’t leave white residue on your skin.

  13. 13
    January 13th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Ashley-I completely agree with what Natalie says. While I’m not sure exactly what kind of CG eyeliner you’re using, I did look it up-I’m assuming you’re using the Liquid Pencil eyeliner? I’ve personally never used it, although the idea seems pretty innovative. However, the reason I like liquid eyeliner is partly because of the shape the bottle comes in. Even though I’ve been using liquid eyeliner for 6 years, I still mess up- a lot. The liquid-pencil seems like it would be much harder to put on, but again, that’s just speculation. If you’re at CVS/Walgreens/Walmart/Target and have an extra $8 in your pocket and happen to see this Revlon brand, I say go for it! But if your CG eyeliner is doing the trick then stay with that!

    For drugstore mascaras, some that I absolutely love are:
    Maybelline Define-A-Lash
    Maybelline Lash Stiletto
    Maybelline XXL Volume+Length
    L’Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara

    I don’t particularly care for LashBlast but apparently I’m in the minority on that one! Unfortunately, there’s a lot of trial-and-error involved with drugstore mascara because all of our eyelashes differ so much.

    Thanks for the comments guys :) Although I might not respond to each individually, I do read every single one of them so thanks :) and I love how you guys help each other out!

  14. 14
    January 13th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I LOVE my rimmel liquid liner and Neutrogena Combination skin moisturizer. Very few daily moisturizers DON’T have sunscreen and most sunscreen breaks me out.

  15. 15
    January 13th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I totally agree- revoln color stay eyeliner works wonders! i used to love maybellines liquid liner before the lady at harmons told me it was discontinued =( also another reat facewash i recommend it clean and clear’s deep action cream cleanser it leaves a cool minty feeling after wash and keeps the pimples away!

  16. 16
    January 13th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I actually love Maybelline’s Full ‘N Soft. It comes in a grey tube and is waterproof. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this yet.

    I’ve tried the XXL Volume + Length and thought it was way too gloopy and made my lashes look like tarantulas. The Full ‘N Soft mascara is absolutely wonderful, especially for someone who doesn’t have very long or full lashes. Imagine what it can do for those who have longer fuller lashes. I think the reason I like this so much is because the little bristles aren’t so spaced out. It makes my lashes look very very natural (as opposed to the XXL one). But of course, this is just based on my experience with my own lashes. :)

  17. 17
    January 13th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers was my everyday go-to all through high school. It has such a nice hint of color that rivals some pricier tinted-balms. I’d forgotten all about it, but I may have to pick up a tube soon :)

  18. 18
    January 13th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I think I’ll need to try Revlon Colourstay, I am a huge fan of liquid liner!

  19. 19
    January 13th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    The Aveeno facial cleansers are really good! Especially the foaming one.

    I’ll definately try to the Revlon eyeliner but my failproof is definately the MAC liquidliner. It lasts all day and night if you put some of the Urban Decay primer underneath. That combo is even better than all the liquidliners I’ve tried!

    You should do Fashion Steals too: this article is fantastic!

  20. 20
    January 13th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    One of my favorite posts so far!!!!!! wow! I love it! I liked all the other posts on best beauty products, but I am so broke that I can’t afford anything but the kind I can buy at target.

    I absolutely love St. Ives new line of paraben- and phthalate-free lotions and body washes! I’m really into the no-chemicals on my skin thing. But I really like the idea of a lotion without a scent that won’t interfere with perfumes… I might have to try that.

    great post! keep up the good work!

  21. 21
    January 13th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Wow, this is the first Beauty post I’ve seen on College Fashion that is relevant to ME, the non-makeup user! I love all of these suggestions, and when my Olay Body Ribbons body wash is used up (it’s a great two in one lotion + body wash, great for dry skin) I’ll consider the Neutrogena Body wash.

    My favorite face cleanser is the Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming one, because I used to have a lot of redness on my face after a few hard nights of studying, but it always takes it away after a good wash. I also suggest their Aveeno Sunblock Lotion, because you can moisturize and sunblock at the same time!

  22. 22
    January 14th, 2010 at 1:16 am

    This is awesome. I would love to see you expand this to include more products.

    And I use the Dr. Pepper lipsmacker every day and have since I rediscovered how much I loved it when using it in middle school. :) Recommended to everyone!

  23. 23
    January 14th, 2010 at 2:25 am

    i had pretty nasty bacne and tried that wash; it did nothing for me. But as soon as i went on the pill (yaz) mine cleared straight away

  24. 24
    January 14th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    The Dr. Pepper Lipsmacker is amazing. When I think my lips need a little color (especially in the morning before class) that is my first choice. You can look great without looking “done up.”

    Btw.. I was wondering recently, has anybody noticed how much smoother mascara goes on when it’s warm.. I’m from Florida, so it’s only cold for a couple weeks, and I’ve HATED my new Lancome mascara on cold mornings when my bathroom is 20 degrees colder than it usually is.. I was wondering if it was common knowledge to point a blow dryer at the tube before using it in colder regions, or something…

  25. 25
    January 22nd, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I LOVE Neutrogena’s Sunblock. I’m a lifeguard and the past 3 years I have always come back to Neutrogena for a facial sunscreen that won’t break me out or give me the typical “grease face”most sunscreens give me. Not to mention that it comes in very high SPFs, which make it nice for those scorching hot days when I’m not so diligent about reapplying.

  26. 26
    January 24th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    ^ shawn, yes I usually run hot water over the mascara tube before using it! it’s also good when you think the mascara is running out, the heat loosens it all up and you realise there’s a lot more left than you thought!

    I love covergirl lashblast mascara, I’m pretty unco and this is so clean to put on! I never smudge black all over myself anymore. I never liked maybelline’s mascaras because I found that later in the day they would flake off and leave black stuff under my eyes. plus they take awhile to dry and so I’d often put it on, think it’s good to go, then sneeze and my eyes would be all black.

    TN Dickinson’s Witch Hazel is really great for keeping my skin lovely!

  27. 27
    February 1st, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Try Nieva lotion….The smell is light (but really nice), non greasy and super moisterizing. I love it also try Keri

    Thanks for the tips!!

  28. 28
    March 28th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I’d kill to have Neutrogena body wash right now
    except it didnt hit our stores yet

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