Do you ever walk into the drugstore, absorb the florescent lighting while the vibrant nail polish hues and Pop Chip displays captivate your mind’s eye like a Warhol silkscreen… and suddenly you think, “I can have everything… everything!”? If so, that’s because you’re poor. Don’t worry, I’m poor too, so I’m not here to judge. There’s something about knowing I could throw down a crisp $20 bill and leave with a bag full of goodies that will, at the very least, make me feel like a prettier, cleaner version of me, that makes me love going to the drugstore the same way other people seem to enjoy bi-weekly Moksha yoga classes.
Having a brand new bag of beauty products makes me feel like the world is my oyster, like I could go home and remove a layer of dead skin – the past, if you will – and start over with a fresh canvas that I can paint ever so prettily with my dreams of tomorrow. Sure, I get that that’s a totally melodramatic way to see your pit-stops at Shoppers Drug Mart, but I’m not a big believer in reserving passion for so-called “significant” life moments. A solo trip to the drugstore could be the best “me” time you’ve spent in a while, and I’m here to help you make the most of it. Here are 5 drugstore gems that will help you feel shiny and new without breaking the bank…
St. Ives Fresh Skin Exfoliating Apricot Scrub
St. Ives was my go-to brand in high school when I made $5 an hour babysitting and dreamed of a day I’d be fabulous writer in New York using nothing but the best from Chanel and Dior while writing my columns about my ridiculously awesome life. About 25% of my dream came true: I am a writer. It turns out that writers are super poor, and when we don’t get free products from high-end brands, we shop in the drugstore for all our other needs. I still use St. Ives because this scrub helped me get through some of my worst breakouts in my teen years, and these days it makes me feel like I’m scrubbing yesterday off my face and getting ready for a brand new day in which I will totally be discovered by GQ.
Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
I’ve said this before: Almost every beauty editor in the industry keeps Dove bars under her sink because this stuff is there for you on the days your supplies of $100 body washes and facial cleaners are running low and you’re waiting on your next shipment of “review” products. It takes makeup off like a champ, and it never dries out your skin. Whenever I’m traveling with just carry-on luggage, I actually just pop a Dove bar in my bag so I don’t have to bother putting all my liquids in sandwich bags for security. It’s the best $2 you’ll ever spend outside of the Wendy’s $2 menu.
Quo Flash Lash Heated Eyelash Curler
I love to curl my lashes like the next girl, but there’s something about dragging out my blow dryer in the morning to give a Medieval-esque metal contraption a blast of hot air before holding it near the delicate skin of my eyes that sometimes turns me off the idea. That’s why I’m currently obsessed with Quo Flash Lash Heated Eyelash Curler, which you can score at Shoppers Drug Mart, because there’s no electricity or dangerous early morning maneuvers with hot metal required. Just turn this baby on for a minute while you’re popping on your eyeliner, and then brush it over your lashes until they’re the right amount of curl you’re going for. Then apply mascara and you’re set.
Soap & Glory Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel
I love any beauty product that makes me feel like I have a special ritual or secret access to some kind of fountain of youth beauty tip. I’m also secretly lazy as hell, so imagine my excitement when I found this shower gel that you apply on damp skin, lather it up into a crazy thick lotion party all over your body, and then rinse off for the most insanely soft skin you’ve had since that underground oil wrestling competition. No need for a time-consuming moisturizing routine! I also use this stuff to shave my legs because it has a texture that’s in between hair conditioner and body wash, so it stays in place and leaves my legs soft enough to rock age-inappropriate cut-off shorts after.
L’Oreal Nail Color in Not A Cloud in the Sky & L’Oreal Top Coat Confettis in Black & White
You know how when Carrie Bradshaw was having a bad day on Sex & the City, she’d buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks to feel better? Well, real writers can’t afford shoes to feel better, and they almost can’t afford shoes for practical purposes like going to the gym or walking. That’s where nail polish steps in. Throwing on a new coat of nail polish is the poor girl equivalent of slipping into a pair of brand new Manolos. Right now, I am all about doing a base in L’Oreal Nail Color in Not A Cloud in the Sky and then sealing it with L’Oreal Top Coat Confettis in Black & White. You’ll look like you have speckled robin’s egg inspired nails when it’s all said and done, and it practically looks professionally detailed. No one needs to know that your treat yo’self spa day happened courtesy of the drugstore.