Editors’ Picks: The 30 Best Drugstore Must-Haves We Swear By


Every beauty lover knows that some of the best and most effective products live on the shelves of the beauty aisle at the drugstore. As beauty editors, we get the chance to try makeup and skin care products at every price point, but it’s the ones that are affordable and accessible to everyone that hold a special place in our beauty-loving hearts. These are the game-changing drugstore must-haves we recommend you stock up on.

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OPI Top Coat Nail Color ($11)
The drugstore is a great place for nail products, especially if you have coupons! I always turn to this topcoat from OPI, which keeps my mani looking fresh for longer than other products I’ve tried. —Brittany Burhop, Senior Editor

2 / 30

Enlite Super Face LIQUID ASSETS Detoxifying Platinum Peel-Off Mask ($20)
I was shocked to discover this was a drugstore product and it’s been one of my 2016 beauty obsessions. It makes my skin feel soft, smooth and rejuvenated in just 20 minutes. —Brittany Burhop

3 / 30

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes ($7)
These are a staple in my carry-on and I never leave town without them. They’re incredibly skin-friendly and always reliable. —Brittany Burhop

4 / 30

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 30 Cooling Water Sunscreen Lotion ($36)
This is one of the best sunscreens I’ve ever used. It feels cool and refreshing on my skin and isn’t greasy in the least bit. I know I won’t get any hint of sunburn when I have this SPF on. —Brittany Burhop

5 / 30

Lierac Gentle Cleanser ($24)
This is a go-to of mine for years. It easily takes off makeup without leaving my skin feeling stripped or dry. —Brittany Burhop

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6 / 30

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre ($28)
In my opinion, this is, hands down, the most perfect daily moisturizer you can pick up at a Target. With decades of chic French women swearing by its hydrating and soothing properties, it truly has earned its status as one of the best cult-classic products of all time. This multitasking product keeps skin primed, hydrated and healthy throughout the day and can even be used as makeup remover in the evenings. I hoard these like the treasures they are. —Carolyn Hsu, Site Director

7 / 30

OPI Infinite Shine Iconic Shades Collection ($12)
As much as I love seasonal colors and trends, I always default to the classics, and OPI’s new Iconic Shades that are long-lasting (it’s formulated with innovate gel technology that doesn’t require a light) and come in colors you can never go wrong with. —Carolyn Hsu

8 / 30

Curél Hydrotherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer ($11)
I have very dry skin but I’m so bad at moisturizing—something about wet skin plus goopy moisturizer getting on my clothes just makes the entire experience not very pleasant or convenient. That’s why this in-shower moisturizer is a true life-saver. The product contains ceramides to soothe even the driest of skin, and the in-shower technology means it spreads and absorbs almost instantly. I put it on right before I step out of the shower and then towel-dry as usual. By the time I jump into my outfit for the day, there’s nothing sticky or slick to worry about, just soft, comfortable skin. —Carolyn Hsu

9 / 30

Ban Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant ($6)
When sweater weather rolls around, I have to swap out the traditional white sticks for something that’s less likely to cause streaks on my dry-clean-only wares. Ban’s roll-on deodorant gets the job done without any risk of embarrassing malfunctions. —Carolyn Hsu

10 / 30

yes to tomatoes Charcoal Facial Wipes ($6)
When I want a facial wipe that just gets my skin clean (and isn’t that the point of why them in the first place!), I turn to this new launch from yes to tomatoes. The charcoal provides a deep-cleaning experience and the light, refreshing fragrance makes them pleasant to use, not overwhelming. —Carolyn Hsu

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11 / 30

essie Nail Polish in Adore-a-Ball ($8)
The ultimate white-meets-nude shade, this polish has been my go-to for years and I’ve lost count of how many bottles I’ve gone through so far. It’s light enough to look feminine and delicate but thick enough to cover any ridges and discoloration that might be hiding underneath. —Danielle Fontana, Editorial Assistant

12 / 30

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Shine-Free Primer ($8)
With oily skin comes a drawer full of primers (both drugstore options and cult-classics) that promise to mattify and control oil production. Unfortunately, many of these don’t work at all, and it shows on your T-zone before lunch time. After using this for a week straight and not seeing a drop of oil on my face by the end of the day, I was officially hooked and I’m already on my second bottle. —Danielle Fontana

13 / 30

MD Complete Anti-Aging Restoring Cleanser & Makeup Remover ($17)
While claiming to remove every drop of makeup and leave your skin feeling soft-as-silk with one wash is usually a lofty promise for a face wash, this one delivers every time with no need to double cleanse. And if that wasn’t enough, the time-reversing ingredients also work to repair skin while you wash. —Danielle Fontana

14 / 30

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo ($6)
Comparable to high-end brand formulas, this dry shampoo leaves my strands feeling super clean (it doesn’t feel wet on my scalp like some formulas do) yet ultra-hydrated and leaves behind the cleanest scent for a just-left-the-shower feel. —Danielle Fontana

15 / 30
Pixi By Petra Glow Peel Pads ($22)

Everyone loves a good peel—they exfoliate, leave behind baby-soft skin and minimize pore size—and these are one of my main go-tos for the job. Infused with the brand’s beloved Glow Tonic (think glycolic acid and rose water), these pads are perfect for travel and easy to use. Just swipe all over your face, leave on for no longer than three minutes and rinse with cold water to neutralize its effect. —Danielle Fontana

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16 / 30

NYX Butter Gloss ($5)
I stock up on these at Target. For five bucks, you can’t beat the color selection—they’re always spot on—and the soft formula, which never makes my lips feel goopy, sticky or dried out. —Elise Minton, Executive Beauty Editor

17 / 30

Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ($6)
I first discovered these in high school and I’ve used them ever since. It’s pretty amazing how a little strip can pull out that gunk out of your pores. They’re a must-have for traveling and when I know I won’t be seeing my aesthetician for a while. —Elise Minton

18 / 30

Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash ($6)
I buy this body wash over and over simply because I love the way it smells. Plus, it counts argan oil as a key ingredient, which keeps my skin feeling super moisturized—a big plus! —Elise Minton

19 / 30

Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara ($6)
Nothing comes close to this mascara for the price. It delivers long, dark, lush lashes every single time. Although I’ve tried different variations of the formula, I always go back to the original. —Elise Minton

20 / 30
Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle ($4)
I always like to keep a tube of this hair-saving conditioner on hand. While I keep a stash of thick, moisturizing conditioners and hair masks on hand, there’s something about Pantene products that always draws me back in. I constantly recommend this product to friends who want something that gives them a lot of bang for their buck. —Elise Minton

21 / 30

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen ($36)
I am forever arriving somewhere only to find out that I’ve forgotten sunscreen for my body (and contact solution). Whenever I make my drugstore run, I always pick up one of these. It just works, and there’s nothing worse than getting a bad burn when you’re on the road. —Liz Ritter, Executive Managing Editor

22 / 30

Pureology Hydrate Conditioner ($30)
If I don’t have this purple bottle in my bathroom, there’s a problem. It’s not cheap for “drugstore,” but boy does it deliver. —Liz Ritter

23 / 30

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms ($5)
You sort of can’t beat the just-right color payoff these creamy balms deliver. Plus, they taste really good! —Liz Ritter

24 / 30

Dr. Teal’s Epson Salts ($5)
They could charge 10 times as much for these and I would still buy them. They are so good; I love taking a bath with the lavender one after a long day. —Liz Ritter

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Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($6)
I’m actually embarrassed to admit how many of these I always have stocked in my cabinet—the amount is not normal. Any time I have a coupon for CVS, you can bet I will buy as many of these as I can carry out of the store. I use about two each day; they wipe away everything. —Liz Ritter

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26 / 30

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water ($7)
This stuff is pure magic and lets me clean up my eye area without disturbing my eyelash extensions, allowing me to keep them in longer than usual. It also takes away all of my makeup off without me having to scrub my face super hard. The best part is how clean and moisturized my face feels after. Don’t get me wrong, I still wash my face regularly, but this is my go-to for taking off makeup and keeping my lashes intact. —Tatiana Bido, Special Projects Editor

27 / 30

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask ($24)
This overnight mask is a great no-brainer way to moisturize and recharge my dry skin. Just a thin layer is all I need to transform my dull skin and wake up with glowing, soft skin. —Tatiana Bido

28 / 30

Softsoap Luminous Oils Macadamia Oil & Peony Body Wash ($3)
I love the fragrance of this body wash and the silky, soft way my skin feels after I use it. It’s hydrating, nongreasy and you just need a small amount to get totally clean, and one bottle lasts forever. —Tatiana Bido

29 / 30

Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Fix Setting + Perfecting Loose Powder ($9)
This lightweight setting powder is the best cheap alternative to my holy grail translucent loose powder (that costs almost three times as much). That in itself is reason enough alone to love it, but it also leaves a natural-lookin matte finish so it works really well too. —Tatiana Bido

30 / 30

Real Techniques Bold Metals Contour Brush ($21)
This is the best brush to take the guesswork out of contouring your cheeks, jawline and forehead. It’s the perfect shape and density to pick up product and easily sweep it across your face. Adding it to my beauty toolbox helped me shave a few minutes off my makeup routine. —Tatiana Bido

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