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Like a knockoff purse, drugstore cosmetics and hair products can do the same job as a designer brand at a fraction of the cost. Salon hairstyling products and specialty makeup brands do great things and are of high quality, but they also come with a high price tag. Most of the drugstore products below are around half the cost of comparable formulas from luxury brands. Here are some products you can find in your local drug store that can compete with their higher-priced counterparts.
Organix Moroccan Curling Perfection Defining Cream promises to moisturize, tame, and define frizzy hair into soft, gorgeous curls. Some curly-haired people who had sworn by MoroccanOil Intense Curl Cream have been switching over to the Organix version. Beauty blog Kathryn Rose claims that Organix is an exact dupe of Moroccanoil (although some user reviews point out that it has a different smell). Consumers are paying a lot for a scent, because a 10.2 fluid ounce bottle of Moroccanoil’s curl cream can cost anywhere from $24 to $30 online, while the Organix cream is about $7.99 for a 6-ounce bottle. Even at Moroccanoil’s cheapest, it’s almost twice the price per ounce of the Organix.
Mascara can have a broad price range, but one of the best brands is also one of the cheapest. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara is a classic, having been on the market since the 1970s, and is often on top mascara lists. It made Harper’s Bazaar’s list of “10 Fabulous Mascaras We Love” alongside versions from Dior, Lancôme, and Clinique. The difference is that it costs $7 or less, while the other brands are all over $20. Another drugstore mascara that is gaining ground is Covergirl Lashblast Volume, which also made the Harper’s Bazaar list and was named Best Volumizer on Real Simple’s top mascara list.
L’Oreal Paris HiP Concentrated Eye Shadow Duo received top marks from Total Beauty editors. The compact case contains two complementary colors that can go on bold when applied wet or a bit more demure when dry. The review says that “left alone, pigments won’t budge from lids.” This $7 drugstore brand tied MAC’s $14 eye shadow in review rating and beat out NARS, Clinique, and Bobbi Brown.
Makeup artist Craig Beaglehole teamed up with the L.A. Times to try and rate various drugstore foundations. Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Foundation was one of the top picks, and its dewy, sheer coverage earned comparisons to MAC Face and Body. For more coverage, Total Beauty users gave top ratings to L’Oreal Paris Ideal Balance QuickStick Balancing Foundation for Combination Skin (it also wins for the longest cosmetic product name I’ve seen). The $13.99 foundation gets top marks for convenience. It comes in a stick that can easily be thrown into a purse, and the coverage is thick enough that it can double as a concealer in a pinch.
There’s no reason that you can’t look your best if you’re on a budget or if there are no fancy cosmetic stores in your area. With these drugstore products, anyone can look gorgeous and pay about half as much as at the fancy stores.