Whenever I walk into a drugstore, I am assaulted by the OPTIONS.  Sephora may have more, but you can test out the product on the spot, whereas in the drugstore you’re taking your chances.  The major plus: way cheaper.  But the thing is, ten dollars is ten dollars and you still want to get your money’s worth.

Here are my favorite drugstore beauty buys (so far)…

Mascara: Hmmm…This is a tough one.  I haven’t tried that many drugstore mascaras, but I guess it depends on what you’re looking for.  If you want natural, lush lashes, I’d go for Revlon Grow Luscious.  For something that stays on all day, Maybelline The Falsies in Waterproof literally doesn’t come off for three days (even WITH a powerful makeup remover) although it IS a bit clumpy.  And for a trusty stand-by, I’d go with Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes or CoverGirl Lashblast Volume.

Nail polish: You’ve seen my rave about Revlon Nail Enamel in Gold Coin, so that would be my number one pick…but if you’re in a rush out the door and need something that won’t smudge onto your clothes, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color really does dry incredibly fast (I love Pronto Purple for a dramatic night look).  

Blush: Not to sound like a Revlon spokeperson (I swear they aren’t paying me to say this!) but I do love their powder blushes.  It’s one of the first I ever used (Clinique began my love affair), and for the price, you can’t go wrong.

Eyeliner: I still love Wet n Wild Color Icon, because they’re HUGE (most product I’ve ever seen in an eyeliner) and…WAIT FOR IT…a SINGLE DOLLAR.  You could buy every color of the rainbow for less than twenty bucks.  AND they smudge really well…if I’m in a hurry I’ll line my waterlines with white and then tightline my upper lash line with black.

Eye shadow: Maybelline makes great colors and palettes (they’re ones with the Lid, Crease, Browbone and Liner labels are crazy easy) but you do get a bit of fallout.  If I had to get ONE, though, I’d probably go to the Body Shop because I love the tins they come in and the nude colors are ones I use every single day.  They also last FOREVER.  A great investment (start with a shimmery champagne and get hooked.)

Foundation: This may surprise you, but I actually don’t wear foundation!  Never have, and probably never will, so I can’t recommend a good one.  If I need coverage, I slap on some concealer (MAC Highlighter in Radiant Rose under my eyes and around my nose and Clinique Acne Solutions on any pimples or red marks) and maybe dust some powder all over my face to keep shine in check.  But if I’m going to an event or feeling self-conscious about my skin (we all have those days, right?) I’ll mix a concealer with my moisturizer and rub it all over my face.

Highlighter: Is it just me, or is highlighter only a high-end thing?  I use Benefit High Beam, and it’s lasted for YEARS, so I’ve never really felt the need to buy a new one, and the drugstore just does NOT have selection.  If I was desperate I’d probably buy a shimmery eye shadow and use it as a highlighter.  Works surprisingly well (I’ve done it with my Body Shop standby).

Lip balm: TWO WORDS: CHERRY CHAPSTICK.  Nothing will ever compare.  I make sure to ALWAYS have a stick on me, because it is just the ultimate lip product EVER.  The first time I ever wore it, my friend said it looked like I was wearing the perfect shade of lipstick (it seems to adapt to fit each person). AND IT’S $1.69!  But another one of my all-time favorites (a very close second)?  Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm.