5 Best Drugstore Beauty Buys

The beauty products under $15 our editors love.


Know when to splurge and when to save. | Shutterstock.

Beauty products can really start to add up, especially when it takes more than just a handful of items to get the job done. That’s why it’s important to know what products are worth splurging on, and which ones don’t need to come with a department store price tag. While I’m a self-proclaimed MAC girl through and through, these are the five products I always grab at the neighborhood drugstore instead.

  1. For a natural, non-cakey foundation application, you need a good beauty blender ($5.49) in your life. There is absolutely no need to pay a premium for a sponge that gets the job done. This tool is amazing for regular liquid or creme foundation application as well as blending in colors for contouring. Pro tip: For lighter coverage, dampen the beauty blender with warm water before applying product; this will slightly dilute the foundation, creating a more natural finish.
  2. Don’t get me wrong; I die for some quality mink lashes, but one of the oldest makeup artist tricks of the trade is stocking up on drugstore lashes to use on clients instead of dropping $15 to $30 on brand-name sets. Look no further than the drugstore for false eyelashes ($3.99) that will make you look like a million bucks, and while you’re there, opt for the Duo clear lash glue ($3.99) for a long-lasting hold that won’t let your edges pop off.
  3. My favorite bronzer of all time was a stocking-stuffer in high school that I buy time and time again: Boots No7 bronzed pearls ($10.39), which provides a healthy, illuminating glow that’s perfect for light coloration or all-out contouring. Pro Tip: Use a high-quality brush to get the right amount of blending  –  this stuff can be really dark if applied with a heavy hand.
  4. Although I’m a firm believer in mascara being one of the most personal beauty choices out there, I stand by my L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara ($5.84). I’ve sprung for the $42 Ulta brands, tried every magazine’s mascara of the year, and even ran through the name-brand options promising length, volume, pure magic; through it all, this mascara has been the constant a sea of trial-and error tubes.
  5. You cannot beat quality nail polish at drugstore prices. While many stores’ coupons do not apply to polishes for some reason (ahem Ulta), drugstores like CVS will honor that 25 percent off coupon for top brands like Essie and OPI, and they usually have a killer selection of colors.

What’s the takeaway here? Stop paying more for beauty products than you need to. Period. Just because something carries a name-brand does not mean it’s an inherently better product. Save your cash where you can, so that you can splurge a little on items that really call for it (like brushes and lipstick and eyeshadow).