By Alison McGill
We love prestige beauty items, but we also love a get. Balance is everything with beauty budget and knowing where to splurge your hard-earned dollars—and how to save them by investing in luxury-level drugstore makeup and skincare staples—is truly an art.
TikTok and YouTube keep us well informed of the best drugstore makeup and skincare buys, and that info comes at us fast and furiously. If you’ve gone down the online rabbit hole and are wondering what the real deals are to spend your money on, here’s our pick of 10 tried, tested and true the drugstore makeup and skincare essentials.
This soap-free formula is perfect for all skin types, but especially sensitive skin that’s prone to redness. It’s perfect for double cleansing because it will never dehydrate your skin, and it can be gently removed with a cotton pad or rinsed off with water. Oh, and did we mention dermatologists love it?
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, $26, amazon.ca.
This gentle glycolic acid toner delivers the glow up by boosting cell renewal resulting in a clear, buttery smooth complexion. It works wonders on clearing acne breakouts and refining the appearance of pores. Swipe over skin to reveal a mega-watt, radiant you.
Pixi Glow Tonic, $38, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
You know everything e.l.f. is amazing, and this is the latest sellout from the brand’s Skin line—nab a few tubes when you find it! Not only is it a broad-spectrum sunscreen, it’s also a primer and imbues your skin with a healthy glow and warm glimmer.
e.l.f. Skin Suntouchable! Whoa Glow SPF 30, $20, walmart.ca.
Best Eyeshadow Palette
This is the perfect colour mix of 16 latte inspired shadow shades, some matte, and some with shimmer. We love that you can use the hues on your lids, to smoke and line eyes, and even to sculpt and highlight your cheeks using a small contour brush.
NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in Warm Neutrals, $33, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
Best Liquid Eyeliner
Hands down the best liquid liner for creating cat eye swoops and kitten flicks. This longwearing liner stays looking fresh for up to 24 hours and has the most precise ultra-thin tip to ensure a smooth and exact application.
Revlon ColorStay Dramatic Wear Liquid Eye Pen, $15, shoppersdrugmart.com.
A favourite choice of celebrity makeup artists for the red carpet, this mascara delivers pumped, feathery, and defined lashes. The brush is one of the best on the market—the plush wavy design contains over 200 bristles which means it can hit every teeny, tiny eyelash.
L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara, $15, walmart.ca.
This lippie rocks for many reasons; the incredible price point of course is a major one. Available in over 30 shades from reds to neutrals, this lipstick applies and wears beautifully, and stays fresh for up to 8 hours Every crayon comes with a build in sharpener with means you always have the perfect point for lining and shading lips.
Maybelline Super Stay Ink Crayon Lipstick, $13, amazon.ca.
Best Eyebrow Gel
We love this one because it keeps brows perfectly in place without a stiff or sticky feeling. Use on your au naturel arches, or as the final step after brow pencil or powder. Your brows will look groomed, gorgeous, and glossy.
Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow Volumizing Gel, $10, walmart.ca.
Best Makeup Remover
This micellar water is the OG, created by Bioderma and released in 1991—a bottle is reportedly sold every two seconds worldwide today. It gently cleanses skin, easily removes all traces of makeup and leaves skin feeling hydrated and soothed.
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water, $24, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
Best Retinol Serum
Smooth on one capsule before bedtime and wake up with smoother, firmer, and brighter skin. This formula is potent and rivals professional grade retinol formulas but does not cause any irritation—a major selling point as retinol is an ingredient that’s very often too aggressive.
RoC Skincare Retinol Correxion Night Serum Capsules, $44, shoppersdrugmart.ca.