Most college students and young professionals are living on a budget. But of course, we all want to look our best at all times. I’m a self-described “high-maintenance” girl, but that does not necessarily equate to high-cost. I’ve always been a firm believer (and living proof) that you don’t need to be a slave to high-end, costly products to look really pretty. Here are 8 of my most recent favorite (and old standby) drugstore products, and why they’re so good.
1. Rimmel Clear Complexion Coverstick ($4) I never used to use concealer until this. It’s amazing and so simple; as well as dual purpose to help heal blemishes. I have a lot of acne on my jawline, and as I’ve started to use this it’s mostly just to cover up scars rather than new blemishes. For a bargain products it’s great underneath makeup and over as a touch-up as needed.
2. Physician’s Formula Summer Eclipse Bronzing & Shimmery Face Powder in Sunlight ($11) I’m tan year-round so I’m an addict for bronzers, I have so many. My usual gripe with bronzers is they either contain too much shimmer or glitter (makes you look like a disco ball) or none at all (which gives a flat, muddy appearance). This bronzer has the right balance of both, with a light gold glitter that’s very finely milled. You can always add highlighter or shimmer powder for a fiercer, brighter nighttime look.
3. Tresseme Tres Two Hairspray ($4) I used to swear by Joico’s Joimist, now I only use this. It’s about $10 cheaper and it does the same thing. You want a microfine mist with a light hold, this is the stuff you want–you’d be crazy to spend a penny more.
4. Softlips Lip Balm in Vanilla ($3 for two) I keep this stuff everywhere. It smells amazing. Guys like it. My mom always wants to borrow it. It’s a staple, you shouldn’t go anywhere without it.
5. Max Factor Lash Lift Mascara ($7) I keep a bunch of these on hand, too. I’m always getting compliments on my lashes when people see me. I use the black–and it’s amazing. When I find a good mascara, I stick with it. I don’t see how any department store brand could outperform this product considering its price.
6. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque ($5) This stuff is so good, I read about it in Allure last year; it’s been around forever. It’s a beauty classic, like a “goopy dreen Dyson for pores.” It tightens skin right up and sucks up oil like no tomorrow. I love it!
7. Bonne Bell Lip Lites in Vanilla Swirl ($3) I’ve been using this stuff since I was 13, no joke. Use it alone and it’s way too frosty and light, but tone it down with a slick of lip balm before or a clear gloss and it’s amazing. A bit extra on the center of lips makes them look fuller (not that I need the help)!
8. Revlon Bedroom Eyes Powder Liner in Smokin’ ($11) I think they already discontinued this, which depresses me. It was a limited time product that I hope they bring back because I swear by it. No more need to smudge that liner. I only use it on my upper lashline and it is just so sultry and sexy. It can be tricky to learn to apply without the powder migrating to your cheeks or giving you “racoon eyes,” but I’ve perfected a head-tilt technique and it comes out awesome everytime; this stuff really makes my eyes pop! The best thing is that it’s automatically imperfect, smudgy, sultry–and it’s just the most genius move for eyeliner in so long.