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10 Drugstore Beauty Staples I Can’t Live Without

How many of these have YOU tried?

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photo collage of drugstore beauty products in shopping cart
The Girlfriend Staff
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I’ve been obsessed with beauty products since I was six. I still remember the afternoon I asked my mother when I’d be allowed to wear blue eyeshadow and pantyhose. I don’t recall what her exact answer was, but it wasn’t as soon as I’d hoped, and I spent the rest of the day crying on my bed.

As soon as I started getting an allowance, I’d save it all and head to the drugstore after school with my friend a few times a month. We’d pour over all the testers, get our hands on as many samples as possible, and then decide what to purchase. My collection of eyeliners, nail polish, perfumes, lotions and potions grew very quickly, and I’d spend hours organizing everything on my desk and nightstand.

When I got my first job after college and could afford more expensive brands, it didn’t take long to discover I preferred my drugstore finds — they were so much cheaper and most were just as good if not better than the pricier stuff.

Here are 10 drugstore beauty products I can never go without.

1. L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation ($16.99)

This is the only makeup I’ve ever put on my face that you can’t see. It provides fantastic coverage — my favorite part is that it’s not cakey and I feel safe applying it under my eyes because it doesn’t settle in my crow’s feet.

I use it all over my face or as a concealer. It covers blemishes and red patches on my skin better than any concealer I’ve tried. It comes in 20 shades, has a blurring effect and doesn’t transfer onto my clothes. You can also try Revlon ColorStay Pressed Powder or Laura Geller Filter Finish Radiant Setting Powder.

2. Olay Rinse-Off Body Conditioner ($7.99)

I originally purchased this conditioner because I was really lazy about moisturizing my skin after I got out of the shower. The fact you could do this in the shower is what drew me to it.

I happened to purchase the one with retinol (they have a few different formulas to choose from), and I couldn’t believe how it changed my skin. It was so smooth and soft and felt nourished and moisturized. I don’t get dry, itchy patches in the winter and the best part is I can use it right in the shower. You might also want to try Floyd’s 99 Refresh Hair and Body Conditioner or Mom’s Bath Recipe Wash Off Body Milk.

3. RoC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Restoring Night Cream ($18 to $33)

I started using this 10 years ago when a friend recommended it to me. She’s 10 years older than I am but looks younger, so naturally, I had to stock up on it.

Not only does it make my skin glow (my friends and family noticed the difference right away), but nothing, in my opinion, fades brown spots like this night cream. Believe me, I’ve tried a bunch. As soon as I stop using it, I see my spots return, and my skin looks dull. You might also want to try Neutrogena Rapid Retinol Wrinkle Repair Retinol Pro+ Night Cream and Eight Saints Night Shift Hydration Gel.

4. Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. Nail Hardener ($7 to $10)

I’ve tried all-natural polish in the past only to be disappointed by the clumpy coverage and the fact it never lasted. Sally Hansen’s Pure line is plant-based, all-natural, and comes in 59 shades. For me, it lasted longer than traditional polish and went on like a dream. You might also like products from Nail Tek.

5. Kristin Ess Workable Hairspray ($12 to $15)

If you need hold but hate the feel and look of hairspray, you might want to try this. It's light enough that you don't see it, but it will hold any hairstyle and give it a fantastic shine without weighing it down. Other hairsprays you might want to try include Aussie Instant Freeze Hairspray and John Frieda Volume Lift Hairspray.

6. L’Oréal Everpure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo ($10)

This shampoo is sulfate-free and will tone your color, whether you dye your hair or not. It’s great for shades of blonde, gray, and brown. A little bit of this goes a long way. I use it about once a week to tone my highlights and keep my hair from looking brassy. Other shampoos to try include Pantene Unbreakable Lengths Sulfate Free Shampoo with Rice Water and SEEN Shampoo.

7. Marc Anthony Grow Long Anti-Breakage Mask ($25)

Hands down, this is the best hair mask I’ve ever used. It tames my frizz and keeps my hair shiny for days without weighing it down — and it smells so good. I notice a huge difference in my brittle hair. This mask stopped my breakage, and at age 48, my hair has never looked better. I also recommend First Botany Rosemary Mint Biotin Mask and Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask.

8. CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ($17 to $23)

Nothing plumps the skin like hyaluronic acid, something we all have naturally but start to lose as we age. There’s no need to spend a ton of money, though. CeraVe has a great formula that you can easily layer with other creams and serums. After finding it at my local drugstore, I traded my more expensive brand for this one and haven’t looked back. You might also want to try No7 Future Renew Damage Reversal Serum and Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum.

9. CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 30 Sheer Tint ($14 to $20)

I wear this sunscreen every single day and love its slight coverage without being heavy and greasy on my skin. If you wear sunscreen daily but hate the white cast it leaves behind, you may want to try this. You might also want to try Eucerin Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 35 and DrFormulas Invisible Sunscreen Moisturizer Face for Sensitive Skin.

10. wet n wild MegaGlo Makeup Stick Concealer ($5)

I’ve loved wet n wild products for decades. When I found these makeup sticks, my love grew deeper. They are so easy to apply and can be used on eyelids, lips, cheeks and just about anywhere you want a splash of color. There’s no need for a separate highlighter, as these offer a hint of shimmer. You might also want to try Julep Cushion Complexion Multitasking Skin Perfecter and Almay Skin Perfecting Comfort Concealer.

What's YOUR favorite drugstore beauty product? Feel free to make a recommendation in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Lifestyle