I had to split this post into drugstore and luxury items (post to follow) because it turns out I am a total makeup whore and use a loooooooooot of products! And of course when I say “it turns out” I am being facetious as the fact that I am beauty product obsessed is a surprise to no one – especially me 🙂
#1 Dr. Teal’s Mineral Soak Epsom Salts
OMFG if you have not tried Dr. Teal’s I suggest you drop what you are doing IMMEDIATELY and run to your nearest Rexall, Shoppers Drugmart, Pharmasave or London Drugs to pick some up. They are ah-mazingly luxurious and take your bath game to next level status. These Epsom Salts are moisturizing and do wonders for sore muscles. My favourite scents are the Restore and Replenish, Soothe and Sleep and the Super Moisturizer with Avocado Oil. They also come in liquid foaming bath gels as well.
#2 Milani 2-in-1 Conceal and Perfect Foundation
You guys, I cannot say enough about this drugstore brand. Milani is cruelty free and has quite a few dupes for luxury brand products (a few of which show up on this list). The 2-in-1 Conceal and Perfect Foundation is a great full coverage foundation that does a great job of concealing imperfections. I still use concealer under my eyes but that is because I am late 30’s 😦 The finish of this foundation is definitely dewey so for someone like me with an oiler t-zone I would suggest a mattifying primer and setting powder to lock everything in place.
#3 FitBalm Fit Stick Natural Deodorant
This deodorant is the SHIT! Period. About a year ago I decided to transition to natural deodorant so I was polluting my body with one less concoction of chemicals. Man oh man was the quest for the right deodorant difficult. I tried Schmidt’s, Jason, Routine and La Vanilla but I need I never found out early that ticked all the boxes. Schmidt’s and Jason left me rashy and stinky, Routine worked to combat odour but it was a paste that was kind of inconvenient to apply and smelled vaguely hippyish. La Vanilla was my mainstay up until I tried Fit Stick by FitBalm. It was the best out of the natural deodorants I had tried up until that point but still needed to be reapplied throughout the day. Fit Stick lasts allllllll day, through tough runs and stress, with no reapplying needed and NO smell. I am stinky so this is incredible! I highly suggest ordering this product and you can feel good that you are supporting a local businesses while also not poisoning yourself with aluminum. It’s a WIN/WIN!
#4 Milani Keep it Smooth and Keep it Sweet
Once again, Milani for the win! This lip balm and scrub are awesome. They smell and taste amazing and are the perfect products to prep your pout for liquid lipsticks or matte lip colours – anything that magnify imperfections such as dry skin. I carry the Keep it Smooth in my purse and gave incorporated the Keep it Sweet lip scrub into my nightly take-off-the-day routine.
#5 The Body Shop Almond Hand and Nail Manicure Cream
Love. Love. LOVE this Almond Hand and Nail Manicure Cream by The Body Shop! I know it is not technically a drugstore product bit it is also not quite a luxury brand so I am including it this post as it is pretty affordable. There is nothing more luxurious than a rich smelling, velvety, thick hand cream to take your self care to new heights. When you are taking time to moisturize your hands you know you are going that extra mile to show yourself some much needed love. I keep a tube of this in my office at work as I pee a hundred times a day therefore am always washing my hands and stripping them of any moisture.
#6 NYC Liquid Lipshine
These NYC Liquid Lipshine glosses are a great, budget-friendly alternative to MAC Lip Glass. I have gone through so many as they are super comfortable to wear, non-feathering and perfectly pigmented. So far London Drugs has the best range of NYC products that I have come across so I recommend checking out the Tillicum Mall location for its selection.
#7 Milani Amor Matte Metallic Lip Creme
The Milani Amore Matte Metallic Lip Creme glosses are an incredible dupe for Jouer lip toppers. I love the look of these liquid lippies but recommended applying them on top of a gloss or lipstick as they can be drying on their own. The drugstore has a decent range of Milani products but for new cosmetics you will want to visit Milani’s website and order directly from the cosmetic company.
#9 Pacifica Indian Coconut Body Wash and Body Butter
I first stumbled across Pacifica products at The Market on Millstream about a year ago. Let’s be honest, I was initially drawn to the packaging as I am a magpie at heart, but when I read that they are 100% vegan and cruelty free I thought I would give the body butter and wash a try. I can’t even tell you how luxe these products smell and feel – you will have to give them a try yourself. They are paraben free and totally affordable as far as body care products go!
#10 Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Earaser Dark Circle Concealer
I typically reach for Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer or Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (if I could get Shape Tape I would!), but when I don’t feel like making the trek to Sephora I pop down to Superstore and pick up one of these baby’s! The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles is an amazing drugstore concealer and is close to dupe status for Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Concealer. I have been using it consistently for the last few months and it does a pretty great job of covering up dark circles without any colour correcting.
#11 Cover Girl Total Tease Mascara
You guys! I have the oiliest skin EVER so literally every mascara I have ever tried has ended up on my eyelids or under my eyes giving me that 1994 grunge vibe, 25 years too late. I have tried beauty tubes, waterproof, falsies (don’t EVEN get me started on how bad I am at applying false lashes!) and finally I gave up and resigned myself to the lash extension train. But what about my lower lashes? Not putting mascara on my lower lashes always makes me feel somewhat undone. So on a whim, I picked up Cover Girl’s Total Tease Waterproof Mascara and it is incredible! It separates my lashes and is truly waterproof. There is no muddy, last-night’s-makeup looking smudges under my eyes either. This mascara is definitely my new jam.
#12 Rimmel London #Insta Flawless Primer
I randomly learned about this primer in a YouTube tutorial (I cannot for the life of me remember which Beauty Guru vlogged about it – maybe Brianna Fox?) as a dupe for Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer. I have used the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer and I really liked the consistency – at first it seemed quite thin and runny but I loved how my makeup wore over top. Rimmel’s #Insta Flawless Perfecting Radiant Primer definitely gives you that glowey base but it is waaaaaay thicker than its Too Faced counterpart. Don’t be discouraged! The Rimmel primer is a great base for liquid foundation and provides a nice dewy finish. As I am an oily gal I do need to set my makeup with setting powder, but for you drier girls; this is definitely a great, hydrating drugstore primer for those times when you want to give your wallet a break.
#13 L’Oréal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator Blush and Highlight
A word on shimmer, sparkle, illumination, iridescence or highlight of any kind after a certain age (and by certain age I mean 35): LESS IS MORE! I was talking to my bestie today and discussing how almost all of my makeup (in current rotation) is matte. It is not that I don’t love a good foiled shadow or shimmery gloss, it’s just that if I put foiled shadow in the crease, wear a shimmer bronzer, apply a bold highlighter and wear a metallic liquid lip: A) every single wrinkle, crag and crease will be on display for the world to see and B) I will look about ten years older trying to look ten years younger. In a word: DON’T! I chose to exercise my magpie tendencies in moderation and this highlighter is a perfect example. It is not a bold statement like Fenty Killawat Freestyle Highlighter, but L’Oreal’s True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator Blush and Highlight provides a subtle glow that makes you look as if you are lit from within.
#14 Elf Beauty Sponge
We all know there are a lot of beauty sponges on the market that claim to be equal to the almighty Beauty Blender, but there are truly few that actually live up to the hype. I have tried a lot and have been disappointed (Real Techniques anyone?), but e.l.f. once again proves that you don’t have to spend the big bucks to achieve professional results. The e.l.f. Blending Sponge enables you to flawlessly blend your foundation without the $20 price tag.
#15 NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette
I am relatively new to the contour game and for someone with forty chins this is pretty shocking! I jest, but for reals, if you have areas of your face that you would like to accentuate or perhaps diminish a little, contouring is a skill you need to acquire. I found myself intimidated for far too long picturing an aggressive, Kardashian-like contour as the only type of contour, but the truth is you can make your contour as subtle or as poppin’ (as the kids would say) as you want. Because I was an infant in the contour game I opted to go for a more affordable palette (Beauty Guru’s swear by Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Contour Palette) and once you perfect your contour skillz you may consider this splurge), so I picked up the NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette to try my hand at cutting cheekbones and hiding chins. As a person on the paler side, this palette is excellent as it has a great selection of cool toned contour shades PLUS the ever popular banana yellow that is so great for setting your under eyes whilst also helping to conceal any purple peaking through. At $25 this is an excellent quality, affordable palette to cut your teeth on.