Recently I shared my top 7 beauty splurges that I think are worth the money. And I still do. but to be clear, I think there are tons of great drugstore beauty products out there, and I don’t think that everything in the world is worth a splurge. In fact, there are plenty of times that even after trying a pricier alternative, I return to a drugstore beauty product. Not just because it’s more affordable either, though that’s always a plus!

So here’s a list of my picks for some of the best drugstore beauty products that I absolutely swear by. In fact, you can find them all in my bathroom and cosmetics bag right this very second. At least until I run out.

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1. Salma Hayek Nuance Makeup Remover
Wow is this stuff amazing. I realize that even with fancier, pricier stuff in my medicine cabinet, this is the one I always reach for first — and that I went back to buy a few times over. It’s non greasy, it takes off makeup without tugging and rubbing, and essentially it just does what it’s supposed to do.

2. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
When I wrote about 4 of our favorite makeup removers, I mentioned this particular product and still stand by it as a favorite. It doesn’t sting, it doesn’t dry out quickly (though you have to remember to reseal the pack) and I love it in particular for travel. Or just for lazy mornings when even the idea of putting liquid on a cotton ball is too much to bear. I tend to buy it in bulk from Amazon or Boxed, wherever it’s cheaper at the time.

3. Scunci No-Damage Hair Elastics
I may be tempted by the fancypants, spendy hair bands at boutiques and department stores, but my budget always goes to the Scunci products at my local drugstore. I have wildly thick hair, while my oldest daughter’s is thinner and straighter, and nothing holds each of our hair better. (Which is why she steals all of my bands.)


7 of our favorite drugstore beauty products that are better than the expensive stuff | Cool Mom Picks


4. Neutrogena Rainbath Renewing Shower & Bath Gel
I love fancy bath products but oof, pricey. I bought this one at a supermarket this summer on vacation when I forgot my fancy stuff at home and…sold. It lathers a bit but not too much, it doesn’t dry out my skin, and I really love the scent of the Pear-Tea Tree that’s perfect for both men and women. Especially considering I don’t really like fragrances that are sweet or too fruity. If they just sold a big refill jug of it I’d be really happy.

5. Kérastase Nutritive Bain Satin Shampoo
Okay, so I debated about whether this belongs on this list since it’s not super cheap. However I have yet to find a better shampoo than Kérastase (which is owned by L’Oreal), and have been using it since it could only be bought for like a zillion dollars at a salon. It’s still about $40 a bottle at CVS, yikes! However I found it at and Amazon on sale in the $22–24 range for the 8.5-ounce bottle. So I’m just going to go ahead and count it as an awesome, more affordable drugstore brand — provided it’s not $40.

6. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
I have used this for a good 15 years and it still rocks. In fact, I once was sent some insane $25 lip balm to review and I still turned to Burt’s Bees first. It does what it’s supposed to do, it smells nice, and it’s great overnight — when I feel my lips getting chapped, I slather some on and by the next morning it’s generally better. Plus the tiny bit of menthol in there keeps my kids from stealing it. I definitely prefer it to the honey version, by the way, which feels more waxy to me; make sure you’re getting the original formula (the packaging does look really similar).

7. Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara
I have said before that while I admit that there are some outrageously good, high-end mascaras, if I’m going to cut somewhere, this is one place that a good drugstore beauty product can do the trick nicely. There’s a reason Great Lash is the number one brand in the US, and their waterproof formula is a staple for me, especially in the summer when you never know if you’ll end up at some impromptu pool party. Ha! Who am I kidding — I’m more likely to just sweat it off racing to pick up the kids from school. Only, I don’t. Because, waterproof.

Any drugstore beauty products you swear by? We’d love to know your favorites!

Top photo: SodanieChea of Norwalk, CA on Flickr via cc