August 8, 2011

Drugstore Deals

Long ago, I was a single girl on a limited budget that somehow stretched in the most superficial of departments. Before special events, I found wiggle room for a manicure, pedicure and spray tan. My hair was trimmed regularly, whitening strips were in heavy rotation and my makeup, though by no means expertly applied, was from my favorite department store and Sephora brands.

Walking down Walgreens' cosmetics aisle resulted in a basket with a half-dozen lip glosses and a few hair products that were rarely, if ever, used. Mix in the glow of youth and I had a lot of time, energy and money on my side.

These days I have far less time, disposable income and brain cells to devote to the cause. While I hope this doesn't mean I've "let myself go," I find that my focus is on other things more often than not. Do I still want to look cute? Absolutely. Do I have the same resources to do so? Notsomuch.

Sure, I still snag what I need, but my goal is (cringe) value. Sephora sales and free shipping codes, Belk gift cards used for beloved MAC classics and drugstore coupons cashed in to make those brands an even better deal.

Lately I've found a few drugstore items that are even more than I (ha) bargained for - and you know you take a risk when you pick up something new there. Unlike the big box beauty stores, there are no "try before you buy" luxuries, but I've gotten lucky lately and had to share.

LinkCover Girl NatureLuxe Foundation: I got a free full-sized sample of this through BzzAgent, a program I highly recommend, and I adore it. It's light, with perfect coverage and no heavy feeling. A perfect texture and finish, for just under $10. (I have a few $2 off coupons to share if you're interested - just shout!)

Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara: I have approximately two eyelashes, both thin and short. As dark as my hair is, it seems epically unfair, but that's another story for another day. I got the waterproof formula, which evidently cuts down on its fabulousness, but this mascara promises to help your lashes grow. Jury's still out on that aspect, but I like the lack of clumpiness and overall look. Not nearly as dramatic as...

Maybelline Falsies Flared: Such a transformation. I've tried the much-loved DiorShow mascara and, while I love the rosewater scent, I find this formula to be just as good for a third of the price. And on sale at Target! (Run!) As I said, anything that makes me look like I even have eyelashes is a vast improvement. Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss: From the "quilted" top to the half-brush, half-tip applicator, this lip gloss feels far more luxurious than something for sale on a drugstore shelf. I loved it so much I went back for another! (Bonus: They put coupons in the Sunday paper. And evidently you can get them for $0.29 at CVS as part of a bigger deal. So worth it.)

elf Bronzer: Oddly enough, I don't use this product as a bronzer too often. The pink makes a fabulous, sheer blush and the other colors are perfect summer eyeshadows. And for $3, you can't beat it! For those of you with a more natural tan hue, using it for its intended purpose would probably be fabulous. This arctic tan speaks for itself, though.

Don't get me wrong, I still find that my Bare Minerals powder and a few annual essentials are worth the trip to and expense of department stores, but drugstore deals are making my summer a lot more fun. Have you found any new products I need to try?


Winsy said...

I still think you should try birchox and get all the fun samples in your mailbox once a month! Today I am rocking new perfume and some bronzer that has me looking like i just vacationed for weeks at the beach. xox

The Gaymons said...

I am with you in your "forced transformation" from buying any and all beauty products to buying only a few and only from drugstores. But, you always look gorgeous to me so your bargain ways are working out nicely for you, friend. Keep up the good work!!

Rowena said...

I agree that you always look gorgeous! That said, I'll totally take you up on the Cover Girl coupon. As a Bare Minerals devotee myself, I'm a harsh critic so your review is particularly welcome.

Emily Emeneker said...

FYI...CVS offers a 'Beauty Guarantee". If you purchase a product and are not happy with it, you can return it. Some of my absolute favorites that don't break the bank: Neutrogena facial cleansers (all kinds) and Maybelline Great Lash mascara (it's an oldie but goodie). I also use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer as my sunscreen/moisturizer/foundation in the summer. Saving here gives me flexibility to buy Bare Minerals and Fekkai beach waves spray!

Kristen said...

I’m definitely going to have to try that Revlon lip gloss!

Totally with you, bestie. A few years ago I posted my favorite beauty indulgences on my blog and now, almost every single one has been traded in for drugstore finds. I’ve Tweeted my love for e.l.f. products lots of times! Their “Glow” blush is my fave. My Pureology hair care has been replaced with L’Oreal EverPure and my MAC eyeliner has been replaced with ULTA store brand (not a drug store, technically, but the price is right!). Also, I just fell in love with Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara … it’s getting harder to justify the price of Chanel Inimitable when there are so many cute jon jons to be bought for that money! :)

The Wife of a Fisherman said...

I also love falsies mascara. However, I recently bought the waterproof version and don't like it as much as the original.


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