5 Drugstore Beauty Products That Make It Impossible for Me to Avoid Impulse Buys

My bias was never about hating inexpensive products. I just hate things that suck.

Drugstores in NYC aren’t exactly the wonderland of sales, deals and points that they are elsewhere in the US. Here in Manhattan, we have severe and senseless markups on everyday products, no rhyme or reason to what lines are being carried where, instant sell-outs of the best stuff, no new launches, and ornery fellow shoppers.

Too often I would buy an item that is $5.99 nationally only to spend $12.99 on it because they don’t follow the same sale cycles, only then to HATE the item and regret even wasting the cash. For me it was simple: save money through DIY-ing certain items to splurge on other items. Why pay $12.99 without the help of a swatch or salesperson when you could go to Sephora, swatch or grab a tester, and return it no questions asked it if you hate it?

So, what's bringing me around to using drugstore stuff? Well, my profession, for one. I really do want to try the best stuff around, whether it’s $2.99, $12.99 or $120.99. And it just so happens that I got to try a whole heap of new and exclusive to drugstore products, and I consider my opinion changed!

CVS Finds

Nuance by Salma Hayek Mamey Fruit Texture Enhancement Spray smells like a very sexy lady, and that makes perfect sense. The result of the spray is somewhere in between a salt-free beach spray and a dry shampoo; it isn’t quite either and acts like both depending on how you use it.

Clay adds texture and soaks up oils in a snap. It smells warm and clean—not sweet but not powdery—which is rare for a drugstore item. Salma is clearly not messing around!

Finding a high-quality moisturizer under $20 can really be a crapshoot. I sampled Skin+Pharmacy’s CVS exclusive Dual Action Moisture Boost Gel and did a double take. You’re telling me that I can has hyaluronic acid and seaweed extracts in a quick-absorbing gel formula, and I can get it around the corner from my home? A fresh tea and leathery scent with hints of hose water (one of my fav smells)? This is a dream come true!

This cream is lightyears better than many of the major brands out there, and at $19.99, it's priced to compete!

You no longer have to go to a beauty supply store to get a great brush cleanser! Makeup Academy Professional makes a yummy-scented brush balm that gets the makeup off of your brushes in seconds. It works amazingly well and is gentle enough for high-quality brushes. You need only a quick swirl with a damp brush to git 'er done, and it’s a very reasonable $11.99.

Walgreens Finds

I freaking love a good tongue scraper, but the one I use can be harsh sometimes, and it’s not also a tongue scrubber, which I need with my garlic-loving ass. Enter Orabrush, which is so good at marketing through social media that they do it for other companies as a side gig.

I had the utmost LOLs after stopping by to see their crew of dancers and dancing tongues make a #freshflashdance on Thursday near xoHQ for National Fresh Breath day.


My kinda flash mob #freshflashdance

A post shared by Danielle (@danizig) on

I’ve been using an Orabrush for a few weeks now in addition to my copper tongue scraper, and I have to say, on an extra-grody day, I reach for the brush. You can use some toothpaste or the brand’s tongue foams to get things extra-squeaky-clean—no more garlic problems.

Walmart Finds

OK, so Walmart isn't a drugstore, and truth be told, I don’t often shop there, but I’ve heard they sell old man hats for $5.99, and I have a weakness for geriatric style.

On a whim I tried Bodycology’s Wild For You Moisturizing Body Cream, and I genuinely had no idea what to expect as I usually reach for a different breed of body lotion (coconut, patchouli, standard beach witch fare). So when I got a nice day of soft skin with a flowery and warm scent, I was a happy bb—and it's crazy-cheap at $3.97.

This is made in the USA (woo!) and contains aloe as well as butters of jojoba, shea, and cocoa! The smell grew on me—at first I felt it was very Victoria’s Secret—and then I began to work it in with my woodsy spice and it worked like a charm. Vanilla, rose, and sugar peach are the base scents, and with a touch of my cedarwood and oud, you get a unique and powerful combo.

Now that I have proven to myself that drugstore beauty is evolving with the times, I feel confident that I will be impulse-buying again from time to time.