6 Drugstore Beauty Rip-Offs Every Woman Should Avoid

October 3, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Okay, technically, drugstores are that magical and convenient place that allows us to stock up on one bargain beauty after another. But here's the catch: there are times when you may think you're scoring a deal on a skincare cream or makeup product, but will actually wind up paying more in the long run because you didn't shell out the first time on a higher-end brand.


Our goal when shopping for drugstore beauty is to save money and get the best quality products possible. We love drugstore beauty as much as the next girl, but there are times when you just have to save your pennies and not succumb to the temptation of these drugstore beauty rip-offs.


Buy a "lip-enhancing" lip stain because you love the shimmering hint of color it gives your lips. Buy one because you want to keep your lips moisturized without wearing lipstick. Just don't make the mistake of stocking up on cheap lip enhancing products expecting to emerge with Kylie Jenner lips. Most lip enhancers, both drugstore and luxury versions, can't work miracles or give you bee-stung lips that last longer than a few seconds. Even Kylie knows this.

Cheap Nail Polish

The price may be alluring, but if you're spending $3 on nail polish when a perfectly wonderful bottle of Essie nail polish is on the next shelf and costs just a few bucks more, you're going to pay for it with chipped and dried-out nails. Many super cheap nail polishes require three or even more coats to make a color impact and they don't last as long as expensive brands. If you already have a cabinet filled with these polishes, make sure you invest in a quality top coat and always clean your nail thoroughly before applying polish to help your manicure last longer.

Super Cheap Mascara

There are some really outstanding drugstore mascaras--Maybelline Great Lash is one that so many makeup artists rely on, it's surprising they haven't jacked up their prices (heaven forbid). Unfortunately, in a sea of affordable mascaras, there aren't many that compare to Great Lash and you have to do your research before spending $2 or $3 on what just might end up being a puny wand, drying formula, and a thin coat of mascara that does nothing to plump up your lashes. Spend a few dollars more or stick to drugstore mascaras that already have a stellar reputation.

Facial Masks

Beware of adorable and cheap facial masks that you can purchase at a drugstore. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you may find the fragrances and chemicals in these masks are overpowering and potentially irritating to skin. Stick with masks that are fragrance free and that contain as few ingredients as possible--or, better yet, whip up your own right in your kitchen.

Acne Cleansers

It isn't fun having acne. But one mistake many of us make is to jump the gun and use products that are so drying they sap up pimples and oil--while taking our natural oils along with them. Many popular drugstore acne cleansers have been known to leave even the oiliest of complexions parched and thirsty for moisture. If these work on your skin and have been your saving grace, by all means, keep a good thing going. But if these cleansers dry out your skin, your best bet is to visit a dermatologist and get a prescription for a cleanser that will heal acne while preserving your skin's natural moisture.

Shampoo/Conditioner For Color-Treated Hair

Salon hair color can break the bank (but, boy, is it worth it). Using a quality color-safe shampoo and conditioner is a smart way to protect that investment and prolong the time you can wait between color sessions. But many cheaper shampoos and conditioners that are supposedly safe for color-treated hair, can actually strip color from the hair and leave it dry and looking dull. We know it hurts because the price is so darn cheap, but you may want to pay a little more to maintain your color.



Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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