My Favorite Drugstore Make-up: Skin Care & Tools

Goodness knows I’m not a style icon by any stretch of the imagination, so there is absolutely no really good reason for you to listen to anything I have to say on the subject of makeup. Back in January though when I mentioned that I don’t know the first thing about makeup, I was shocked by just how many readers shared my confusion. Seriously, did we miss a class or something? Are we the ones without older sisters, or fashionable moms? Maybe we’re the enlightened ones who can look beyond the surface…or maybe we’re just a tad bit lazy. 😉
Whatever the reasons, I just really wanted to figure this out. The why really doesn’t matter to me as much as the how, and the next thing I know I’m up to my ears in cosmetics, makeup artist’s youtube channels, beauty magazine articles, and product reviews from all over the web. I even took a list of questions to Ulta in an attempt to find some answers, and over the next week or so I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned.
Hopefully my ramblings can help serve a starting point for anyone else who feels like they missed 
out on some critical makeup lessons through the years. Lets get started!
My favorite affordable skin care products. (reviews)
Any product with a pink star is one that I have not personally be able to try yet, but I’ll be sure to add updates when I do.

Face Wash
Save: Clean & Clear deep action cream cleanser ($5) – I seriously hope that Clean & Clear never decides to discontinue this face wash. I’ve been using it since high school, and converted Anthony to it sometime in college. Now it’s pretty much the only face wash we ever use. I love the way it tingles, and your face really feels clean after you’ve used it.

Splurge: Neutrogena pink grapefruit foaming scrub ($8) – I haven’t purchased this face wash yet, but have a weakness for almost anything pink grapefruit. I needed something to help exfoliate my dry winter skin at the end of the day. I’m currently working my way through a bottle of Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub which seems to be pretty similar. So far I haven’t noticed either damning or miraculous results, but it’s only been a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

*Please note pink grapefruit products generally don’t agree with people who have sensitive skin.


Save: Clean & Clear morning glow moisturizer ($6) – Opps, I accidently added the wrong picture to the collage. The Dual Action formula pictured contains salicilic acid to help prevent breakout, while the Morning Glow version contains SPF 15 to help protect your skin. Clean and Clear seems to be rapidly discontinuing moisturizers though, because I have yet another older option that I’m finishing off right now. 

Splurge: CeraVe AM and PM facial moisturizing lotions ($12-14) – Ok, so it felt like a total splurge to buy two different moisturizers initially, but now I’m pretty well hooked. I love the SPF 30 of the AM version to prevent me from turning into one giant freckle this summer, and the PM version is very cool and soothing after I’ve exfoliated in the evening. Over all my skin has gotten much softer and smoother since I’ve added the CeraVe moisturizers to my routine.

Eye Cream
Save: Yes to Grapefruit dark circle correcting eye cream ($16) – I’m not even 30 yet (milking those last few months ;-), so the thought of having to purchase eye creams already makes me pretty cranky. Then the fact that they all seem to cost an arm and a leg make me even crankier. Yay for coupons! I use this at night before going to bed, and I can actually feel the tightening under my eyes when I wake up. The downside…It doesn’t have the greatest scent (more licorice root than grapefruit), and my dark circles haven’t magically disappeared. Darn.

Splurge: Burts Bees intense hydration eye cream ($18) – Luckily I scored this eye cream with a coupon and while it was on sale at Target so I only paid about $11. I’m not terribly sure I would buy it again if it wasn’t on sale though. I usually apply it in the morning before putting on my makeup, and it does keep my under eyes from getting too cakey, but I can’t tell if it’s doing anything the Grapefruit cream wouldn’t do. I might save it for when winter really starts to dry out my skin.

Makeup Primer
Save: NYC smooth skin perfecting primer ($4) – Most of the more affordable makeup primers have very mixed reviews. I personally haven’t tried this NYC version, but it was the cheapest “ok” rated one that I could find. They don’t seem to sell it at any of my local stores, but if you’ve given it a try I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Splurge: Monistat chafing relief powder gel ($7) – Ha ha! Yes, I’m telling you to put Monistat on your face. I’m sure you have the same look on your face right now that I did when my friend Rachel first mentioned this to me, but I promise it works. Make sure you’re getting the chafing gel and not that you know, other stuff and you’ll be amazed at how well this works. The gel blends to a nice powdery finish that really makes your makeup stick.

Favorite affordable makeup tools. (reviews)

Makeup Brushes

Save: BHcosmetics 12pc brush set  ($9-12 depending on sales) – I’ve heard good things about this brush set from quite a few make-up vloggers on Youtube. My set hasn’t arrived yet, but I’ll let you know how awesome they are when it does.

: e.l.f. Studio 11pc brush set ($30) – I don’t own this particular set, but I’ve purchased most of these brushes individually. So far all my Studio line brushes have been super soft and non-shedding.

I do not reccomend the e.l.f. Essential Professional 12pc Brush Set ($12) unless you are willing to buy additional single brushes to replace the total face and blusher brushes. These red bristle brushes are very rough and make it feel like I’m sanding my face. 

Makeup Remover

Clean & Clear makeup removing cleanser ($5) – I’m pretty sure this version has been discontinued, but since I still have half a bottle left, I’m sticking with it for now. 

I also just purchased some makeup removing clothes yesterday, but haven’t had a chance to see how they work yet. When my foaming cleanser is gone, I may simply start using my cream cleanser at night as well, to remover makeup and cleanse at the same time. 

Brush Cleaner

Johnson’s baby shampoo ($4) – It turns out, gentle kid’s shampoo or liquid hand soap is the perfect brush cleaner, and most of you probably already have some kind of  in your house. Every other week or so, simply add a small drop to the cupped palm of your hand and swirl your brushes in a circular motion until the water runs clear. Just be sure to keep the brush pointed in a downward angle to prevent water getting inside the handle and loosening the bristles. Lay them on a towel to dry.

Makeup Sealant

I already own a full bottle of sealant from a company that closed up shop a few years ago, so I haven’t had a need to try this one. But I’ve heard wonderful reviews from many bloggers and Youtube makeup artists.

Eyelash Curlers

e.l.f. Studio Eyelash Curlers ($3)- This curler works just as well (if not better) than any eyelash curler I’ve used I the past and it’s a steal at that price. I can’t wait to get the mini version in my next order to help with those stubborn outer corner lashes. 

Pencil Sharpener

These can be found at most shops that sell makeup for about a dollar. 


Also available at most retail stores, these can run anywhere from $1-30. So far I’ve never had a problem with any of the cheaper versions, as long at they have a slanted tip. 


Great for cleaning up tiny mistakes, and you probably already have them in your bathroom.

Well, that’s the end for today. Do you use any of these products, or have something else that you’d recommend? 

Stop back tomorrow to see my picks for foundations, concealers, powders, and other makeup or creating a fresh canvas.

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See more of my makeup picks here…

 Face and Cheek Color | Lips | Eyes and Brows

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Drugstore Make-up: Skin Care & Tools

  1. I love the monistat gel! I'll definitely be checking out the NYC though. As for the grape fruit scrub, it smells heavenly but I had an allergic reaction to it. It made my face feel amazingly fresh. Tweezers are one tool I'm incredibly picky about. I found mine at the dollar store and freak anytime I think I might have lost them!!

    1. Hehe, Isn't it weird to be so enthusiastic about Monistat? That's a bummer about the grapefruit scrub though. Most products containing citrus are a little dicey when it comes to how your skin will react, but I just can't resist when they smell so good! Do you think it might be just a case of pregnancy sensitivity, or did you try it before muffin #2 came along? And I totally know what you mean about the tweezers! We have probably 3 or 4 pairs floating around the house, and I get so mad when I can't find my special rainbow one that came from the dollar store. crazy!

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