Beauty Products: What to Buy and Skip at the Drugstore

Ah, I have such a love affair with the drugstore--Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS are my faves. But before you load up your cart with beauty products, let me share with my tips that could save you some money. Check out What to Buy and Skip at the Drugstore:

  • Limited Editions: Drugstores seem to be the only place to find limited edition beauty products. I always have to see what's new, even if I have no plans on buying anything. 
  • New and Seasonal Collections: If you want to see the latest beauty seasonal collections, drugstores will always have them first. Plus, many times I've never seen those collections make it to Box Stores (Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, etc). The selection is so much more, since bigger stores have more diverse products to carry.
  • Hard-to-Find/Unusual Products: My favorite false lash glue is by Revlon. Even though Revlon is sold everywhere, this product is hard to track down, and I can only find it at drugstores. One of my favorite polish brands is Julie G. and I can only find that at Rite Aid. Jordana Cosmetics is another beauty brand that I can only find at Walgreens.  Drugstores have lots of goodies to be found. Just look!
  • Salon Hair Care: It's so tempting to purchase high-end products from a drugstore, since they're at a discount. But have you ever looked at the packaging? There's usually a sticker covering the original upc bar code. Generally, the products are purchased and sold at a discount because they are old, discontinued, surplus, or expired. It's called diversion--there are tons of articles on this practice. That means you could be using expired products on your hair. Or they could even be knock-offs. 
  • Beauty Staples: If you want to purchase your favorite tried-and-true beauty products, skip the drugstore and head to the Box stores. Chances are, it will be much cheaper. 
What are your favorite drugstore products?


  1. Excellent tips, and I wish more people understood the part about salon hair care!!! I see way too many people grabbing these items and bragging about the "deal" they got. Facepalm.

  2. These are really great tips! I wish we had the variety of drugstore make up here in Germany!

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  3. I love you wrote about this! Mark (playfully) teases me as I love to go and hang out at the Walgreen's near out house (in the cosmetics, mostly!). I love finding bath salts, nail polishes--you name it--there. :) Hugs & joy, T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  4. I agree with the limited editions. Those are always worth it IMO.
    My fave drugstore product has always been mascara.

  5. Yes x 1000 to the salon hair products thing - so many people I know do that! And it's a little nuts.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  6. Excellent tip Elle. Thank you for alerting us about the hair care. Although I usually buy mine at the salon at target but it helps to know.


  7. THANK YOU for mentioning the salon hair care products. I'm sadly no longer working in the JCP salon, I'm stuck out on the floor, but we have monthly limits on how many products an individual can buy (which we ignore for good customers who get salon/spa services). This is because we'll get sketchy men coming in, all with foreign accents, all paying with gift cards, who buy as many products as we'll let them. These people resell them to distributors who dilute the products. It's a huge quality control issue. You have no idea what might have been added to those bottles after they leave the salon.

  8. Great advice! I actually haven't bought beauty products at the drugstore in a long time. I feel like I'm always going to Target.

  9. LOVE this. I've been looking for a post just like this because beauty bloggers have me tempted into drugstores but I never know what's worth it! :) Thanks Elle!

  10. Smart tips. I need such guidance.

  11. Great tips! I had no idea about the hair care.

    I wish there was a Rite Aid near me, I hear such good things about the Julie G polishes.

    Thanks for sharing! :)


  12. These are great tips - especially about the salon hair products. I don't think people realize that stuff might not be the best/real products! Thanks for the tips :)
    Nikki at www.bedazzlesafterdark.com

  13. I never thought about it that way when it comes to salon hair care! I usually buy my Redken shampoo from Ulta and dispense it into smaller bottles so it lasts like two years. Ulta has great sales on salon hair care if you're patient. I think my favorite drugstore products are Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner (LOVED the winged look) and pretty much every L'Oreal volume mascara

  14. Thanks for these tips, I fully agree on the salon shampoos, they somehow never live up to expectations!

  15. I am so glad I do not buy from the drugstore. I have not bought hair products from there probably because I'm not big on using products but when I do I don't get it from there and now I know why, haha.

  16. Those are some great tips Elle, I'll have to keep those in mind and I didnt know about the Hair products.


  17. you have the best tips! thanks for this great post :)

  18. Great post! I've been meaning to go to Rite Aid to try the Julie G. nail polish you recommended. I love that drugstores always seem to be less busy than Walmart or Kmart, too! I need time to look at all the products before I buy. :)

  19. Great tips! my favorite drug store products are Revlon colorstay's foundation and Jesses Girl Eyeshadows

  20. I never knew that about salon haircare at drugstores! I've never bought any of mine from the drugstore because I can usually find a better deal somewhere else, but that's still pretty interesting to learn...

  21. great tips as usual! yes, i never buy salon products at the drugstore! my best drugstore buy is red cherry false lashes, lol!

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  22. Great tips, I hardly go to the drugstore, but lately I have found a few goodies that I love to grab there. I found a quck lipgloss when I was in a pinch and forgot to carry my usual on me. /Madison xx


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