My Favorite Drugstore Beauty Buys

Happy hump day, friends! Yep, it’s Wednesday already! Thank you, three-day-weekend for that added bonus. I hope you had a great long weekend! Mr. SP and I slipped off to the lake for a night…alone! It was so nice, especially since we haven’t been truly alone in seven months.

Even though we see each other all-day, every day, it’s not the same as intentional time together, and we were starting to feel a little distant. It’s amazing what 24-hours can do, and I’m already thinking of more staycation ideas. What sort of thing are you and your honey doing?

Today I’ve got a fun post for you, and I can’t wait to hear what you think. Beauty is a big topic around here, with my Sephora Hauls being one of the most popular monthly posts. But just because I love all things Nars, Tarte, Olehenriksen and more…doesn’t mean I don’t have a cabinet full of drugstore products I rely on and use daily!

In fact, in some cases, I prefer the budget find over the pricier counterpart. Here are my favorite affordable beauty buys…

one. Silk Pillowcase // I’ll do just about anything to keep every hair on my head, including buying a $90 silk pillowcase. Don’t pillow shame me, it was my first foray into silk pillowcases! Fortunately, I’ve since found this option for a fraction of the cost, and it feels almost identical! Not sure if they’re necessary? Think of your cotton pillowcase as a sponge…absorbing all the products and moisture out of your hair and skin. Mmmmhmmm, bet you want silk now, ha!

two. Collagen Peptides // You bet your strong nails I consider collagen a necessary beauty buy! Our body’s natural collagen production starts to slow around 30, so this helps to sustain the vitality of our skin, nails, hair and joints. I think it also gives my digestion a boost, which helps with bloating.

three. Argan Oil Hair Mask // I left this hair mask at the lakehouse earlier this summer, and my stepmom immediately called for the details! She couldn’t believe it was an Amazon find, since it leaves hair so soft and silky, with so much shine. It adds instant hydration, perfect after a summer of sun and swimming. Just check those almost 12,000 5-star reviews!

four. Intensive Foot Repair // Don’t ask me how it works, all I know is this ointment makes dead skin disappear! It’s the consistency of Vaseline, with no smell or color, and has visible results after one use! I slather it on at night, and sleep in socks, and it’s made a dramatic difference for this barefoot girl.

five. Shiseido Facial Razors // You knew these would make the list, right?! My favorite razors for at-home derma planing (find my tutorial HERE), they’re super sharp and leave skin exfoliated, smooth, and glowing.

six. Coconut Lip Scrub // Lips need a little refresh? This scrub will dissolve any dead skin, and leave them hydrated and smooth.

seven. Makeup Brush Cleaner // Forget soap and water and wet brushes, this cleaner literally melts the makeup and bacteria off your brushes in minutes!! It’s truly miraculous!

eight. Insta-Dri Top Coat // I love a good salon pedicure, but do my own nails 90% of the time. I keep them short and just refresh the color once a week. This top coat dries any polish almost instantly, allowing me to paint and go with no nicks or smudges. Plus, it’s got a great high-gloss shine!

nine. Mascara // I’m a mascara connoisseur, next to lipstick, it’s my favorite makeup product…and I’ve tried a lot! This $5 formula holds up to any high-dollar mascara on the market. I reached for it more than any other this summer. Seriously, check those reviews and try it for yourself!

ten. Astringent Pads // Remember Stridex pads of our youth? These are a gentler version, and add an extra layer of cleansing that will blow you away. No matter how well I wash my face, these always remove more dirt and makeup. If you want to take it next level, try these glycolic peel pads…I love, love, love them! They’re pricier, but worth every penny. (Save 20% with code SUGARPLuM20).

eleven. Self Tanner // Mousse formulas are my fave when it comes to self-tanner…I think they blend better for less lines and streaking. I love St. Tropex, but this Jergen’s is a close second. It dries quickly with a beautiful, natural-looking tan.

twelve. Body Wash // I discovered this body wash a few months ago, and literally can not get enough! It lathers great and leaves skin so soft, but even better, it smells incredible. It reminds me of the products at Westin hotels…if you know, you know.

thirteen. Ultra Moisture Lotion // I am super fussy when it comes to body lotion, and hit the jackpot with this one. It absorbs quickly, but leaves just a touch of sheen to my skin that makes it glow! It’s also super-hydrating, with a light coconut scent.

fourteen. Glycolic Acid Face Scrub // Mr. College Guy started using this last year at his dermatologist’s suggestion, and we saw a huge difference after only a few washes. So much so, I’ve started double-cleansing along with my Colleen Rothschild Cleansing Balm. It contains 10% glycolic acid to keep pores clean and slough away dead skin. It’s great for sensitive skin, too.


Okay, I know there’s probably more…but these are my top budget buys that we use and reorder regularly. Now it’s your turn…hook us up with your best drugstore finds! Are any of mind on your list, too?


Leave a Comment


  1. Kristen wrote:

    This was a great post, thank you!

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
  2. patricia wrote:

    I tried that intensive foot repair and can swear to it’s effectiveness! I had feet like sandpaper from wearing sandals all summer; including deep cracks at least 1/4 ” deep. The sandpaper is gone and the deep cracks are now shallow. I’ve only used it a few times. Definitely on my summer must buy list!

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      That’s so awesome to hear!! Thanks for sharing, Patricia! xo. C

      Posted 9.10.20 Reply
  3. Sandy wrote:

    Can’t wait to try some of these, Ms. C!
    I cannot stand a too perfume-y scent in shampoos and conditioners, but I luv VitaBath
    moisturizing bath & shower gel-original spring green scent. It’s a very green, clean fresh herbal scent.

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Yes, I remember that one!! I love the scent, too! I think you’d love the Nivea wash, it’s got a similar vibe.

      Posted 9.10.20 Reply
  4. Sandy wrote:

    Forgot one! One that Mr. SP might really like, Badedas brand Original Bath Gel.
    Thee most awesome green, herbal forest-y scent out there. Stuffs amazing.
    Could only get it in Europe for many years, glad to see Amazon carries it! Awwwwesome!

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
  5. Sandy wrote:

    Oops! It’s the Original Badedas Bath Gel w/extract of Horse Chestnut. That’s the one that smells awesome!
    Ok, I’m done for the day. Whew!

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
  6. Vicki wrote:

    Cassie, do you seriously only do your nails once/week? Please tell me what products you are using! I went from getting bi-monthly gel nails to diy home manicures & don’t think budget-wise that I could ever go back to those salon trips that often, however, I’ve also now gone from nails that lasted 2 weeks to ones that barely last me 3 days (sometimes start chipping on the 1st day!). Been swapping out products but please advise on what you are using or maybe other readers could as well?

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I think this top coat helps, but I also keep my nails fairly short, so they’re harder to chip. Also, little chips and nicks don’t bother me, so I likely go a little longer than I should with my manicures! 😉

      Posted 9.10.20 Reply
  7. Keri Brown wrote:

    Revlon Colorstay Creme Eye Shadow, Longwear Blendable Matte or Shimmer Eye Makeup with Applicator Brush in Purple, Black Currant (740) This eyeshadow is amazing and so inexpensive.

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      That’s an awesome find, thanks for sharing! xo. C

      Posted 9.10.20 Reply
  8. Colleen F wrote:

    Always enjoy your lists and personal reviews. This is a nice variety of fun choices for stocking stuffer ideas for my daughter and daughter in-law. Yes, I’m already Christmas shopping…in a teeny tiny way. Thank you!

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Great idea, these would be great stocking stuffers, too!!

      Posted 9.10.20 Reply
  9. Debbie wrote:

    Great choices and I love the budget angle. I’d say one of my best low cost beauty buys is the teeth whitening gel I get at the dentist every 6 months for $15 or $20. I invested in a tray more than 10 years ago and still use it.

    Posted 9.9.20 Reply
  10. Patty G wrote:

    Great post! I just recently switched over to Lash Princess Mascara based on your recommendation and I am still amazed at how amazing it is!!! I actually use Essence Get Big Mascara as my base coat and then top it with Lash Princess. The effect is way better than the Tarte mascara I was using before. Thank you for such a great find!!

    Posted 9.11.20 Reply
  11. Stephanie S wrote:

    Love this!

    Posted 9.11.20 Reply
  12. Susie wrote:

    Hi Cassie! Does your son use a moisturizer or lotion after the Glycolic Acid Face Scrub? Would love to know what his skin care routine is (if he has one of course lol). My tween has KP on his face and his dermatologist said it will probably turn into acne later on. I am looking to make his skin better now and hopefully decrease the outbreak that is coming!

    Posted 9.13.20 Reply