The 22 Drugstore Beauty Products We Recommend to All Our Friends

Updated 04/25/19
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While there is an undeniable fun factor about discussing and trying beauty products boasting eyebrow-raising high price tags, regularly incorporating these types of products into our routine isn't the healthiest strategy long-term for our bank accounts. Sure, splurges here and there are fun and worthy of indulgence, but as editors, we know it's just as important to know and speak to the best drugstore beauty products on the market which can keep pace (or even exceed) the satisfying results of a £90 concealer or a £250 night cream.

(And yes, such majestic drugstore options do exist—usually at a cool £20 or less.)

It'd be deceiving to act as if we don't receive a lot of free stuff in our line of work, but that doesn't mean there aren't obsession-worthy products we spend money on or recommend to friends and family. And right now, we're about to dig into the latter. (For the former, aka the products we spend our paychecks on, click here.) Ahead are 22 of the best drugstore beauty products we at Byrdie HQ not only hoard for our own selfish purposes but also repeatedly recommend to our loved one's time and again.

Keep scrolling. 

best drugstore beauty products: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo $12
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"If anyone I know is struggling with breakouts, I send them to Boots on the lookout for this zit-zapping cream. Niacinamide reduces the appearance of spots, salicylic acid unclogs pores while zinc tackles shine. Glycerin ensures skin is suitably hydrated. It's a wonder that it only costs £16."

best drugstore beauty products: Makeup Obsession Medium Palette Luxe Gold Obsession
Makeup Obsession Medium Palette Luxe Gold Obsession $6
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"Makeup Obsession's build-your-own palettes are brilliant for the price. The eye shadows have a pigment payoff that rivals more-expensive palettes, and the fact you can build your own means you won't be stuck with any duds."

best drugstore beauty products: Revlon ColorStay™ Crème Eye Shadow in Chocolate
Revlon ColorStay™ Crème Eye Shadow in Chocolate $7
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"This cream shadow comes with a brush that is actually pretty good. It's workable, so you have time to blend it in before it dries and stays. It doesn't crease or budge until you remove it with eye makeup remover."

best drugstore beauty products: Sure Maximum Protection Anti-Perspirant Cream Stick
Sure Maximum Protection Anti-Perspirant Cream Stick $5
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"Hands down, the best deodorant I have ever used. It keeps me smelling fresh whether it's stuffy day in the office or I've just been to a HIIT class. It's not the cheapest, but if sweating is your issue—trust me—you need this in your life."

best drugstore beauty products: Avene Rich Skin Recovery Cream
Avene Rich Skin Recovery Cream $17
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"Sometimes all skin needs is a really good moisturiser and this rich formula by Avene has got me out of so many bad skin situations. It has weight but doesn't feel cloying or greasy on the skin, and practically coddles it in nourishment and nurses it back to good health."

best drugstore beauty products: Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blusher
Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blusher $7
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"I often find with cream blushers that it takes little more than a soft buff with a brush or rub of the thumb and all of a sudden they've completely disappeared. That's why I like Max Factor's. It actually has staying power and pigment that doesn't simply melt away. Plus, they look great as eye shadows too."

best drugstore beauty products: L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Excess Mascara
L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Excess Mascara $11
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"I like to fully load up my lashes with tonnes of mascara and find that drugstore formulas are often the best for that purpose. L'Oreal's Volume Million Lashes Excess is especially gloopy (but not lumpy) giving you great big fans of dark, thick lashes without feeling totally weighed down."

best drugstore beauty products: Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion $8
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"This is my forever body moisturiser. I've used it since university when I suffered from bouts of eczema, and it's been a staple in my beauty routine ever since. It's paraben- and fragrance-free, so it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and as it's formulated with naturally active ingredients like oatmeal it helps to restore and moisturise dehydrated skin. My skin never feels softer than after applying this."

best drugstore beauty products: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer $4
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"Whenever I run out of this hide-all concealer, I immediately run to the nearest Boots. It covers everything from blemishes to dark circles and lasts all day long, meaning you don't experience that horrible midafternoon face when you pop to the toilet and quickly have to reapply."

best drugstore beauty products: Essie First Base Care Base Coat
Essie First Base Care Base Coat $9
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"If I'm ever trying my hand at an at-home manicure, I have to apply Essie's base coat first. It's the only base coat that helps my polish last longer, look brighter and not chip one hour later."

best drugstore beauty products: It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask
It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask $32
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"This drugstore hair mask was a key player in the recovery of my brittle, broken hair following a horrible bleach disaster some years ago. Whenever a friend asks for a hair mask recommendation (budget-friendly or not), I suggest this bang-for-your-buck option straight off the bat. My best tip is to apply it to dry strands at night before bed, comb through, create a braid, and then rinse in the morning so you gain a full night of repair. Just that regular routine made a huge difference in the strength, shine, overall texture of my hair."

best drugstore beauty products: Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara $6
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"No matter how many mascaras I try (and even love), nothing has yet to compare to this OG formula from Covergirl. In fact, it's one of the only products I buy like clockwork and which truly delivers everything the marketing promises—voluminous, long, blacker-than-black lashes."

best drugstore beauty products: Revlon PhotoReady Concealer
Revlon PhotoReady Concealer $7
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"I've been using this concealer since college and thus am already quite aware of its concealing magic, but it's also one of the best drugstore beauty products I've gotten friends and co-workers hooked on as well. For instance, a couple weeks ago, our wellness editor, Victoria, was in a pinch pre–photo shoot, and I threw her this tube (we work three feet away from each other) as a quick-fix option. 'What is this stuff?!' she asked. 'It's amazing!' 'Nuff said."

best drugstore beauty products: Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser
Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser $9
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"Even though I'm pretty committed to a strategic acne-clearing skincare routine right now, I still have a very special place in my heart for this detoxifying drugstore cleanser from Yes To. Infused with charcoal, and yes, tomatoes, it has shockingly potent brightening powers and leaves a gleaming, impeccably clean finish post-cleanse. It's an amazing option for drugstore."

best drugstore beauty products: Nyx Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil
Nyx Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil $9
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"I've talked about this product so much I should basically slap a billboard of it on my chest. I've tried a tonne of pencils, and truly, this is the only product I keep returning to. It's got a tiny tip so I can draw little brow hairs and fill in patchy areas and a waxy consistency so it stays put on my oily skin. The shade taupe also perfectly matches my existing brows so I can avoid the dreaded red tint I've gotten from other pencils."

best drugstore beauty products: Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Sweet Violet
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Sweet Violet $5
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"This balm is the perfect intersection of hydration and sheer, buildable color all in one application. I'd fallen in love with these years ago but recently stumbled upon newer shade, Sweet Violet, a faint grape color I wouldn't normally gravitate toward but one that complements my fair complexion with pink undertones incredibly well."

best drugstore beauty products: Revlon PhotoReady Instafix Highlighting Stick
Revlon PhotoReady Instafix Highlighting Stick $10
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"I'm a little wary of drugstore highlighters because I'm so in love with the way my Prestige highlighters work, but this stick from Revlon is the real deal. The shimmer is buildable, so you can apply just a touch for a subtle glow or keep layering for more striking luminescence. I also love that it comes in both a gold and pinkish hue so I can switch them up depending on my makeup and skin tone that day."

best drugstore beauty products: Maybelline FaceStudio Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter
Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter $8
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"Maybelline's Facestudio Master Strobing Stick comes in both Light Iridescent (a pinky, candlelit shade) and Medium Nude Glow (a bronzy, golden hue). I've found myself using the Light Iridescent every single day this month. I swipe it on my cheekbones for a quick highlight, around my eyes and brow bone for some brightening shimmer, and along my Cupid's bow for the plumping effects. I even used the opalescent formula as lipstick. The secret is in the micro-fine pearls that reflect light and boost skin glow but won't leave you looking greasy or too sparkly.

It's a combination of everything I've ever wanted in a highlighter. It's quick, easy, and only £8."

best drugstore beauty products: Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm
Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm $3
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"I've been a Babylips devotee since they first came out, even after trying hundreds of fancier, pricier lip balms. Why? The buttery-smooth formula actually hydrates my lips whenever they feel dry, and I love that it comes in a bunch of different shades that all offer a super-flattering tint. My favourite? The cherry one, which gives a Popsicle-stained look to your lips and doubles as a cheek stain in a pinch (pro hack I learned backstage at NYFW: the clear Babylips makes for the prettiest, dewy highlighter)."

best drugstore beauty products: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Fragrance-Free
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Fragrance-Free $28
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"When I first became a beauty editor, I took a jar of this home and shared it with my boyfriend at the time. Both of us noticed a visible improvement in our skin after just a few days, and he ended up stealing/requesting this from me for the rest of the time we were together. It's made with brightening, plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and a slew of anti-aging peptides, and exists as stiff competition for its more expensive counterparts. If you're in the market for a budget-friendly anti-aging moisturizer, this is your best bet."

best drugstore beauty products: Nyx Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in Brights
Nyx Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in Brights $16
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"I actually picked up a Nyx eye shadow palette on a whim when I was grabbing travel toiletries before a flight to Aruba. I'm already hooked—the colours are PERFECT for summer, especially given my current appreciation for a graphic eye shadow look."

Dip an eye shadow brush in water before dipping it into the palette to get a super-saturated pop of color.

best drugstore beauty products: Pantene Gold Series Moisture Boost Shampoo
Pantene Gold Series Moisture Boost Shampoo $7
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"I shared photos of my hair on Instagram last week, which was done by Pantene celebrity stylist Chuck Amos, using the entire Gold Series line, and my DMs went crazy. People were so surprised that my hairstyle was done by using such an affordable line of haircare products all under £10. After seeing my finished hair look, so many of my followers and friends mentioned they were running to the drugstore ASAP to get their hands on this. I fell in love with this line last year when I heard the story behind the brand.

A team of women of colour scientists formulated this line using the most hydrating ingredients for textured hair.

"Countless haircare products land on my desk on a daily basis, but I'm constantly going back to this stuff because I'm obsessed with how silky it makes my hair look. This duo is super-moisturising, yet it doesn't weigh down my hair. I can't really ask for much else because it works amazing on my extensions and my natural hair."

Next up: the best drugstore serums to perk up your skin in this heat.

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