Drugstore Digging

Duane Reade is having a major cosmetics sale right now. Or, at least, the Duane Reade on 46th and 2nd is. Here’s the thing; drugstore cosmetics are always affordable, but when they slice ’em down to 50% off, it’s seriously time to roll up the sleeves of your winter coat and figure out which new shades of lipstick you need to try. In any case, the sale got me thinking about drugstore beauty. It’s a sad fact that the La Mer and Bulgari creams, the Kiehl’s masques and the Dior mascaras cannot be harbored in bulk anymore. They are specialty splurges I treat myself to once or *maybe* twice a year, and the majority of what I’m refilling the cabinets with is unfortunately quite cheap.

Think you can't be this on-trend with cheap makeup? Think again.

But is it really all that unfortunate? When you look around at all the beautiful women in this city, the mind starts to ponder. Sure, most of us have a really special lipgloss in our treasure chest, or swear by a certain serum that, at $100 (or more) a bottle, cannot be outdone. But for the most part, aren’t many of us existing almost exclusively on affordable products? In other words, I think I’ll be just fine… for now.

*All products below can be purchased at drugstore.com; all photos courtesy of drugstore.com.

Best Remedy for Chapped Lips:

Whether you prefer the classic beeswax or honey flavor, this 100% natural balm will heal your pout in days. And at $2.99, it's a total steal.

 Best At-Home Manicure:

This LED-activated OTC gel polish will last for weeks and every single one has a fun name like "Thank You Thank You" or "Paparazzied." Red Carpet Manicure polish, $9.99.

Best Name-Brand Hair Product Line:

Sally Hershberger is as famous as she is for a reason. Her product line is just as genius as she is. I like this wavy hair shampoo and conditioner; it keeps my waves fluffy and loose, without the frizz factor. $9.99.

Best Expensive-Looking Lip Product:

Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick is rich, reflective, and long-lasting. I love the pinks and reds, of course! $7.49.

Hands-Down Best Mascara (Even when compared with Dior!):

I've always been faithful to Volum' Express--the Falsies version is like that, only better. $6.59.

Best Cheap-o Makeup Tool:

This eye shadow brush works like a charm, and is only $1.49! Unbelievable.

And, as for that sexy photo above… all it takes is this:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Covet, $18, beauty.com.

L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber lashes kit, $12.76, drugstore.com.

Yes to Carrots C Me Shine lip gloss in Nude, $6.49, drugstore.com.

Essie nail polish in Trophy Wife, $8, essie.com.


Easy tip: Fake a Rested Eye

Just a few easy steps and your eyes can look natural yet awake

It’s a miserable Monday morning in Manhattan and everywhere around you, people are yawning, dozing, and grumpily making their way to work. A weekend spent indulging in food and alcohol, staying up late, getting too much sun, and generally enjoying yourself can lead to tired Monday-morning eyes. So, how to not look like a total mess when your boss “stops by” your cubicle? Fake it!

The Night Before:

I like to take all my eye makeup off with a gentle removing cleanser like Clinique’s “Take the Day Off” (Clinique.com, $18). Let your eyes rest for a while, and then just before bed, apply a rich and soothing eye cream like Laboratoire Remede hydra therapy eye cream (Remede.com, $110). It’s an investment, but should last a long time. You only need a tiny dab for each eye; work in gentle circles on undereye bags and top lids, out towards the tip of your brows. Now, try and get some sleep!

The Morning Of:

After waking, wash your face with cool water. This tightens the skin everywhere, including around the eyes. Cold water also helps you to feel more awake. Then, follow these easy steps to brighten and awaken your eyes.

1. Start by building a concealing base under the eyes. Take a decent-sized dollop of drugstore brand eye cream and match with the same amount of creamy foundation like Clinique Even Better makeup (Clinique.com, $24.50). Blend with your finger tips or a small makeup brush and apply to the entire eye area as you would an eye cream. Let dry.

2. Five minutes later, double-up on your coverage by adding a no-nonsense undereye concealer like DiorSkin Nude (dior.com, $30). You only need a dot per eye so this product will last you for months. Once you’ve applied and allowed the concealer to dry, avoid fine line caking by dotting some of your Remede eye cream on top of the polished look.

3. A daytime-appropriate smoky eye will brighten things right up. You can be in and out in five minutes or less if you pick your palette appropriately. I like the elf Essentials Brightening Eye Color palette in “Drama,” eyeslipsface.com, $1. It could not be more user-friendly. Sweep the lightest color over the entire eye, then smudge a bit of the second-lightest color into the tear duct area. Follow by taking that cool dove gray and applying to the top lid, up to the crease. Then, take your finest eye makeup brush and apply the black hue like you would eye liner along the top and bottom lash lines. Follow with two coats of CARGO TexasLash mascara (Ulta.com, $20) and you’re out the door!