It feels like such a long time ago that the only place you could go to stock up on beauty essentialswas your local pharmacy (with the possible exception of David Jones or Target.) These days, if we run out of our fave mascara, we beeline straight to Sephora or Mecca and don’t think twice about handing over a $50 note and getting no change. But we say, the humble pharmacy shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to makeup and skincare shopping. They’re actually a goldmine for affordable products that work just as well as your premium stuff. That is, if you know what to look for! That’s why we’ve rounded up 7 super cheap pharmacy buys that have a cult following (plus, what their devotees have to say about them).
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
This iconic mascara is so popular, a tube is sold every two seconds. While it’s not the most volumising and lengthening mascara on the market, its universal appeals lies in the fact that it never clumps. “It defines lashes without being clumpy or thick, gives a touch of length without looking unnatural, and doesn’t flake off throughout the day,” — Anonymous Reddit user.
Shop the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
Sure, Kylie Jenner’s matte lip kits are great—but not everyone can afford to spend upwards of $50 on a lip gloss. Ask any beauty-savvy gal on a budget what they use to achieve a flawless pout and it’ll probably be this $6.50 lip cream. “Love it! I’m a waitress, and nothing is worse than going to your tables with cracked, peeling, and faded lips. But I don’t even have to check my compact with this stuff, and I love how vibrant it is, too! Where has this product been all my life?” — Amazon user Erynn.
Shop the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
It doesn’t get any more ‘no frills’ than a Cetaphil cleanser, but there’s a good reason it’s been a best-seller since 1947 (!!!). It’s gentle enough to not upset even the most sensitive skin types, and it actually works. Like, really well. “I use it every day. It’s the only cleanser that’s worked reliably for me, and my skin changes through the seasons. It got me through my teenage oily pimply years to my dry skinned ’30s. Also gets makeup off like a champ. My dad has crazy sensitive skin and he could borrow it to use when needed.” — Reddit user StoutHearted.
Shop the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleaner.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles
Ladies who have inherited dark under-eye circles (represent!) know how impossible they can be to conceal. So, when a product comes along that does the job for $16-$17, it’s kind of a big deal. “I find that this product helps with the dark circles under my eyes. I use it daily with or without any other makeup. I apply it with the applicator then tap it with my finger to blend. It really brightens up the area.” — Amazon user Magpie1978 via Buzzfeed.
Shop the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles.
Micellar water is the French girl’s deep cleansing secret, but Garnier is making it accessible to the masses with their $13.99 cleansing water. “It’s the first product I’ve ever used that makes me feel like I’m in that scene in Mulan where she just wipes her face and her makeup just slides right off.” — Reddit user peachbot.
Shop the Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water.
Anything from The Ordinary
You’d be hard-pressed to find a beauty brand with more of a cult following than The Ordinary. Not only are their products insanely affordable (they range from $9-$25) but they’re known to have mind-blowing results. “Let me just tell y’all how The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA and their Niacinamide + Zinc is the best thing to happen to my skin thus far. Texture WHO?! Pores WHO?! I don’t know them!”— Twitter user @caveofbeauty
Shop The Ordinary.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion
I remember when I was in year 7 and the cool thing to do was wear Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. 13 years later (God, I feel old now) and their moisturiser is still worshipped for its divine smell and super nourishing properties. “I have been using Palmer’s for years and honestly couldn’t imagine life without it now. I’ve tried other products in the past but haven’t found anything that nourishes and hydrates my skin like Palmer’s does. I use it morning and in the evening and really notice a change in my skin when I use it.” — BeautyHeaven user olivialondon.