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Miss M's Best Drugstore Beauty Buys

Anyone who has seen the contents of my beauty arsenal, or my purse for that matter, knows about my perpetual tendency to buy beauty products. I’m an equal opportunity product purchaser, and so my shelves are full of hair and skin care products, cosmetics, body lotions and perfumed potions. After a recent trip to my favorite, fully-stocked *Bed, Bath & Beyond, I bought the drugstore versions of higher-end beauty favorites in an attempt to see what splurges were worth it, and where I could save. And now I share this review with you, so maybe you can do the same.

*Please note the Bed, Bath & Beyond in Chinatown has the BEST drugstore department – ousting CVS any day. Belle and I often take a routine trip through this location before or after outings to Rasika, Poste, Proof, Ping Pong Dim Sum, Rosa Mexicana, ok we’re beauty junkies and foodies at heart. No apologies!

Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner
Splurge: Bumble&Bumble Crème de Cocoa
Save: L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner (Rosemary Juniper)
Verdict: Save. I love Bumble & Bumble and spend a fortune on their products as well as Kerastase and MoroccanOil. However, my love for J.LO and her newest endorsement has grown once again, as she is putting this hair care line on the map. The shampoo is hydrating without weighing hair down, and the conditioner is light enough for every day without being heavy or leaving unwanted residue (ew). This is a definite winner for me, and I am using these on a regular basis on my color-treated hair with no loss or fading in color and all the styling capability in the world.  Amen.

Argan Oil Infused Hair Therapy

Splurge: MoroccanOil Intense Hydrating Mask

Save: Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner

Verdict: Splurge. Though the Organix product smells delicious and does hydrate, the MoroccanOil mask (though heavier when applied) rinses cleaner and leaves hair softer and more manageable than the Organix.

Flexible Hold Hairspray

Splurge: Frederic Fekkai Coiff Sheer Hold Hairspray

Save: David Babaii Light Hold Hairspray
Verdict: Save. I have NOT TOUCHED my Frederic Fekkai hairspray ($30 per can) since I picked this David Babaii up a few weeks ago. I love volume and hold so much, one would think I’m from Dallas. Ladies, I cannot tell you enough how obsessed I am with this hairspray. David Babaii is neither sticky, nor drying, neither heavy nor weak. It smells clean and a bit lemony, with the perfect amount of force while allowing me to brush through my waves or use on the roots post-blowout for finish before I step out the door. A must-have. Stock up now.

Nail Polish Trend: Pearlized Grey

Splurge: Chanel Spring 2011 Black Pearl or Chanel Steel

Verdict: Save. I am willing to spend on trendy colors, but in this case, Sally really nailed it! For less than $10 and easily available at the drugstore, get this one before it sells out and no one will know the difference!

Zit Zappers

Splurge: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Save: Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment
Verdict: Save.While I don’t suffer from cystic acne by any means (Belle sheds a tear), I do get the occasional breakout or mean blemish, and keep a plethora of products to fight them.  The Burt’s Bees allows for multiple applications per day, and never over-dried while being effective. Be aware of the pungent smell when first applying – however, this diminishes after a few minutes. I was also able to seamlessly apply makeup over this product – perfect for treatment, followed by concealer!

Body Lotion

Splurge: Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter

Verdict: Save. While the Bliss Body Butter is thick and creamy, it takes a while to absorb and doesn’t seem to provide lasting moisture to my dry skin. The Nivea is my favorite all-together moisturizer, leaving skin soft, smelling clean, and best of all, it absorbs quickly. My hands-down pick, all for under $5.

Eye Pencil

Splurge: Trish McEvoy Classic Eye Pencil in “Black”

Save: L’Oreal Le Kohl Pencil Smooth Defining Eyeliner
Verdict: Save. I happen to have received both of these as free swag and use them interchangeably.
Let me know if there are any other reviews you’re interested in – between Belle and I, we’ve got it covered! Cheers to spring beauty buys and frugalistas!



    leave a comment

  1. Meg says:

    Great post! I've been eying the Moroccanoil for a while, so will definitely be picking up some and am glad to know it is worth the splurge.

    March 10, 2011/Reply
  2. Liz says:

    Miss M,

    You had me at Bed, Bath, & Beyond drugstore! I discovered this GEM in the Chinatown BBB shortly after moving to DC about five years ago and it is WONDERFUL. The prices are at least $1-3 less than what you would pay in a regular CVS. It's totally worth it to make a trip to this store and stock up on all of your drugstore needs.

    March 10, 2011/Reply
  3. DB says:

    I actually recently bought the Organix Morrocan Argan Oil Renewing Treatment which is more of a deep conditioner and may be more comparable. I'm very happy with the results thus far, it seems to wash out clean by my standards. I was considering the shampoo/conditioner set to go with it, but if the conditioner itself doesn't wash out clean, I might be better served to look elsewhere. Thanks for all the advice though!

    March 10, 2011/Reply
  4. CG says:

    What a great post! Please consider making the “splurge/save” section a regular feature. I can't tell you how many times I've wandered the drug store aisles pondering “is this product really worth the money”? Having unbaised testers do the leg work for me is huge. Keep up the good work!

    March 10, 2011/Reply
  5. KRF says:

    Fantastic! I would like to echo CG's request to make this a regular post. It was incredibly helpful to read what beauty products may or may not be worth spending extra money. I have been using two of Nivea's products–the lotion that was featured in this post and “A kiss of shine” lip gloss for a couple of years now and they have served me well! Thanks so much!

    March 10, 2011/Reply
  6. MidwestChic says:

    I agree with the ladies above, please make this a regular post!

    And as far as nivea goes, I use Touch of Sunshine and the lotion in this post daily, as well as a touch of moisture lip balm. This is by far the BEST lip balm I have ever tried!

    March 11, 2011/Reply
  7. K says:

    I would be interested in a future post like this on self-tanners for pale girls who don't want to turn orange. I'm looking for something very subtle, just to get rid of my legs' blinding winter whiteness when I start wearing spring dresses.

    March 11, 2011/Reply