Hi readers! Before we get into the details of today’s post, I want to mention some exciting news (if you haven’t heard it already). Last week, CoverGirl signed James Charles to be their first male ambassador. He is an incredible makeup artist with a huge following on Instagram and YouTube (seriously, go check him out), and while he isn’t the first to do so, he’s breaking gender norms like nobody’s business. This is an amazing and high-profile opportunity to encourage anyone who wants to wear makeup to go for it. I want to mention that while this series is titled Broke Girl Beauty, it doesn’t mean the guys can’t get in on it too. Makeup isn’t just for women; it’s an art form that anyone and everyone with an interest should partake in.
Now, on to today’s post.
As most of you know, I’m a college student. This implies (correctly) that I’m on a budget. So while my heart says yes to the new Urban Decay palette coming out on October 26, my wallet says no. I love my high-end brands as much as the next junkie (check out my high-end holy grails here), but what’s a beauty addict to do when they’re broke? Head to the drugstore, of course.
I’m not ashamed to peruse the beauty aisle at CVS. I’ve found some of my absolute favorites products in the under-$25 range. So today, I rounded up my favorite drugstore skin care products. Check them out below and get ready to pamper your skin (even if you’re on a budget!).
This mask is amazing for acne-prone skin. It’s definitely intense, but the 5-acid blend (Mandelic Acid, Lactic Acid, Gylcolic Acid, Pyruvic Acid, Salicylic Acid) really does unclog pores and improve skin texture. I recommend using this at most once a week. Follow it up with a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer, since it can be really drying.
Beauty 360 Detoxifying Perfecting Black Facial Mask, $11.99, available at CVS
Micellar water took the beauty world by storm a few years ago when it broke into the U.S. market after being used for years in France. If you don’t know, micellar water has the same viscosity as water, but is actually made up of micelles (tiny balls of oil) suspended in soft water. The idea is that the micelles attract dirt and oil and can cleanse the skin without sucking the moisture out of it.
I’ve always sworn by Neutrogena’s makeup removing cleansing towelettes, but this micellar water by Garnier may have converted me. It takes some getting used to at first, and I definitely had to restrain myself from running to the bathroom to rinse off the micellar water. However, my skin felt so much better when I started using this instead of harsh wipes. It melts off even the most stubborn waterproof makeup without pulling out any eyelashes or stripping the skin.
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser+Waterproof Makeup Remover, $8.79, available at CVS
The truth is, I stumbled upon this product while looking for something to smooth my skin besides moisturizer. I’ve always had problematic combination skin, and my nose would get especially rough. So when I read that hyaluronic acid can smooth skin texture when applied topically, I picked up this serum. I honestly noticed a difference right away. My skin felt instantly smoother and more supple.
This serum is technically marketed as an anti-aging product. While hyaluronic acid can’t actually fight wrinkles unless it’s injected into the skin, the product does contain retinol, which has been shown to help with signs of aging. I may be a little young to have any noticeable wrinkles (thanks for the great genes, mom and dad!), but it’s never too early to start an anti-aging skincare routine. The multitasking this product does definitely makes it worth the slightly higher price tag.
*I recommend using it at night with a good moisturizer as the retinol can be drying. In addition, if you do choose to use it in the morning, be sure to apply sunscreen to avoid irritation from the sun.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum, $23.99, available at Walgreens
With fall in full swing, chapped lips are a major concern as the temperature drops. I found this hydrating lip balm at Target (I know, technically not a drugstore) for just $2.99 and it seriously soothed my lips. It’s formulated with coconut oil, vitamin E, shea butter and cocoa butter and is the best lip balm I’ve ever used.
Palmer’s Creamy Coconut Ultra Lip Flip Balm, $2.99, available at Target
Sunscreen is one of the most important steps in a skin care routine. What’s the point in taking care of your skin with other products if it’s just getting damaged by the sun everyday? My favorite sunscreen is this multitasker by Cetaphil. It’s formulated for acne-prone skin and hydrates, protects, and mattifies all in one go. And unlike some suncreens, it doesn’t leave a greasy finish or white sheen.
Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30, $20.99, available at CVS
Beauty 360 Facial Masks, $5.99, available at CVS
I’ve long been a fan of witch hazel, but these wipes are the best when it comes to convenience and portability. I like to use one of these when I first wake up to gently cleanse any products and oil from my face and at night after cleansing to tighten my pores.
T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Pads, $3.99, available at Walgreens
When you hear “Pond’s,” you probably think of the cold cream your grandmother swears by. You should probably listen to her. Pond’s has the best cleansing and moisturizing creams around. My favorite is their dry skin cream, a rich moisturizer that won’t make make your skin greasy or breakout-prone. The cream is also really refreshing, despite its heavy texture, and really gives skin radiance.
Pond’s Dry Skin Cream, $8.79, available at Walgreens
I try to avoid scrubs on my sensitive skin, but it’s hard to completely swear them off when they work so well (in moderation, of course). This blackhead scrub by Garnier exfoliates skin and deeply cleanses pores. It’s formulated with charcoal to draw out impurities and salicylic acid to continuously treat acne. The gel formula is also really refreshing and makes skin feel squeaky clean, but not dried out.
Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, $8.49, available at CVS