A few years ago, when I was new to the Byrdie editorial team, I did an experiment where I wore exclusively drugstore makeup for a week. Then a self-proclaimed "brand snob" (I was 24, so please don't judge me), I was pitifully unfamiliar with how amazing many affordable products can be. Since then, I have let go of my snobbery, willing to try any skincare, makeup, or haircare product with a formulation that intrigues me, and though I've encountered my fair share of flops over the years, I've also amassed a collection of affordable go-tos that I'll continue to buy and love until the day I die or (goddess forbid) until they're discontinued.
The following seven drugstore beauty products, from a $10 lip gloss to a $7 dry shampoo, stand up to products five times the price. Curious to see what one drugstore-obsessed beauty editor claims are the best of the bunch? Just keep scrolling.
Every dermatologist stands behind CeraVe's high-quality formulations, and so do I. If I were given $25 to spend on face cream, I would without a doubt pick up one of these massive bottles of salicylic acid moisturiser, which hydrate the skin while gently correcting flaky skin and clearing out clogged pores.
Another affordable skincare find that pretty much every editor is obsessed with comes in the form of this British-made 5% glycolic acid toner. I apply this with a cotton pad four or five nights a week for mild chemical exfoliation, and whenever I do, I wake up genuinely glowier than I would otherwise.
I'm so glad lip gloss is back because I've been whipping out this old standby like nobody's business. This sugary-smelling tinted gloss is lightweight, nonsticky, and comes in an array of ridiculously pretty shades with solid colour payoff.
No matter how many dry shampoos I try, including luxury ones, I always come back to this $7 formula. It just does the job of making greasy hair look clean and fresh while boosting its volume, so I look less like a wet rat. Plain and simple, it's my favourite, and I find myself reaching for it every time.
Ask any Byrdie editor what their favourite drugstore highlighter is, and they're probably going to name this one. What can we say—Maybelline killed it with its creamy, shimmery formula, which I like to warm up with my fingers and tap along the high points of my face for a natural, real-skin glow.
Before I went to the dark side and started getting eyelash extensions, these insanely pretty, natural-looking lashes were my jam. I'd actually cut them in half and apply them just to the outer part of my lid, so they'd fool everyone into thinking my real lashes were just slightly fuller than they were.
I've been wearing this Revlon classic in Kiss Me Coral since I was 18, and every time I forget about it and rediscover it, I'm reminded of how good it is. The texture is creamy, the colour payoff and staying power are amazing, and the shades are so pretty. I'd choose this over a $50 lipstick any time.