Thursday, January 30, 2014

Favourite Drugstore Products

I did a guest-speaking spot at York University last week (shoutout to the social media marketing kids at Schulich!!), and some very pleasant and curious girls approached me after the class and asked me what my favourite drugstore products are. While there are a boatload to rave about, here are some that came to mind without me even thinking twice. Read on to find out what I gravitate towards every time I set foot in a Shoppers or Rexall (or what I click over to when perusing or

I could ramble on about lip balms all day (or for a considerably long post right here), especially at the drugstore level, where there's quite the selection of sticks, pots and spheres to choose from. That being said, this stick of Live Clean lip balm held its own when I started using it this past summer. It's an all-organic formula, enriched with natural oils that are hyper-hydrating for lips. Equally important is what this formula doesn't contain, which is petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, phosphates, preservatives, dyes and colours. None of that stuff! None of it! And it's a vegetarian-friendly formula and is cruelty-free. Not too shabby for $4!

At the Unilever 2014 preview last year, there was sort of a travel-sized free-for-all situation set up on a table in a corner of the event space. A travel set of Simple products was bestowed upon me and a lil tube of this rather understated face wash was included. I've used it any time I've traveled (mostly short jaunts to visit the folks) since then, and I'm actually rather chuffed to find an effective, soap-free cleanser at a drugstore price point ($10 for 150 mL -- not too shabby!) that doesn't dry out skin at all (thanks to it being soap-free -- it's not rocket science, y'all) yet still manages to remove a full face of makeup (and y'all know I'm not exactly light-handed when it comes to my face). Bonus: It contains panthenol to hydrate and soothe skin. What could be bad about that?!

I get excited over mascara. Y'all know I've tried plenty of them (exhibit A, exhibit B), and there are some fine formulations at the drugstore price point, but this brush has really flipped the script for me. In my experience (and as we know, everyone's mileage may vary with beauty products, mascara especially), this brush is great for volumizing lashes, lifting and winging them out, which conveniently mimics the visual effect of a feline flick liner, all for about $12 bucks. The past few months I've had this tube in my rotation, I've had more people stop and ask me which mascara I'm wearing when I've worn this formula over any other. It's (foot) traffic-stopping!! I've always found mascara, Voluminous formulas being no exception, to work much better when they've dried out. Make sure you let it dry out a little and give it a go.

I'm a sucker for a high-end lotion usually because I like a good scent just about any way I can get it, but I have a serious soft spot for drugstore lotions. Since I've finally established and committed to a routine of habitual body moisturization (though, frankly, in this weather, it's moisturize or cringe from your skin feeling too tight and itchy all bloody day), buying into a more expensive body moisturizer is quite illogical for this time of year. This particular lotion came to me in the fall after Nivea underwent a repackaging of their body range, and I'm rather thrilled it did! I worked my way through the smaller bottle I received and actually repurchased a bigger bottle [Note: A testament to the product: I felt the need to actually add yet another bottle to my bathroom counter because it performed that well]. The formula contains vitamin E, shea butter and ginkgo extract, making it quite hydrating. It absorbs quickly and has a fairly gender-neutral, subtle scent (i.e. my boyfriend doesn't object to using it at all). A big bottle is around $11 at drugstores and it will last you, so I urge you to slather on generously post-shower and please be comfortable in your skin.

Hand cream is a whole other post, quite frankly, because there are a slew of good ones out there, but y'all know they clock in at incredibly variable price points. This Neutrogena hand cream is honestly more salve-like in texture, brimming with glycerin, but that's what makes it so highly effective in rehabbing chapped hands to a much more hydrated and smooth state. This stuff seems like a bit of a rip when you think, "$7 for 50 mL? What am I paying for?" I assure you, this is a highly concentrated formula. Hell, the box even assures you that there are approximately 200 applications in a single tube, so don't fret if you're a frequent hand cream user, because this one will last you.

I've been using this pressed powder for probably 4 years now and it does a brilliant job of banishing oil and keeping makeup in place, and the price point is so incredibly fair. This is a product I've hit pan on and repurchased many times. I keep an eye on ASOS to see what the UK Rimmel product assortment is like. They have this powder in a lot more shades than we do (and really neat ones, too, like "Peach Glow" and "Pink Blossom"), though it is marginally pricier through ASOS, so just keep an eye on it because usually the whole brand goes on a 30% off offer every so often. One downside that I wish the brand would pay attention to when people review this product: the packaging is absolute garbage. I'm shocked my powder hasn't shattered, because the packaging is so flimsy. Just use caution when packing this in a makeup bag for travel, and definitely don't grab this if you're thinking it would be handy for touch-ups on the go. It's not. Aside from that, it's a wonderful product that delivers on its claim!

L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner

This is one of the most pigmented and smooth eyeliners I've had the joy of using, and it just happens to be a drugstore product. It's oil-based and is loaded with polymers to give the gel-like application, but it can be a bit tricky to remove, as it is in the Infallible range, meaning it's a long-wearing formula. No matter how much Bioderma I use, I always seem to have a bit of residue the next morning. This doesn't bother me too much, as I feel the pigmentation and how the liner wears when I tightline with it is phenomenal. 

Disclosure: This post contains product(s) sent from the company or their PR team for editorial consideration. For more information, please click here. 

1 comment

  1. I've never tried that Norwegian formula but I can tell it's quality. I got it for my boyfriend because he's always hated hand creams, but he has the driest, most cracked skin ever so he needed some hand skin rehab pronto. After his first use, he actually likes it! There's "virtually no smell" too so, apparently, it's guy-friendly ;P


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