Drugstore Digging

Duane Reade is having a major cosmetics sale right now. Or, at least, the Duane Reade on 46th and 2nd is. Here’s the thing; drugstore cosmetics are always affordable, but when they slice ’em down to 50% off, it’s seriously time to roll up the sleeves of your winter coat and figure out which new shades of lipstick you need to try. In any case, the sale got me thinking about drugstore beauty. It’s a sad fact that the La Mer and Bulgari creams, the Kiehl’s masques and the Dior mascaras cannot be harbored in bulk anymore. They are specialty splurges I treat myself to once or *maybe* twice a year, and the majority of what I’m refilling the cabinets with is unfortunately quite cheap.

Think you can't be this on-trend with cheap makeup? Think again.

But is it really all that unfortunate? When you look around at all the beautiful women in this city, the mind starts to ponder. Sure, most of us have a really special lipgloss in our treasure chest, or swear by a certain serum that, at $100 (or more) a bottle, cannot be outdone. But for the most part, aren’t many of us existing almost exclusively on affordable products? In other words, I think I’ll be just fine… for now.

*All products below can be purchased at drugstore.com; all photos courtesy of drugstore.com.

Best Remedy for Chapped Lips:

Whether you prefer the classic beeswax or honey flavor, this 100% natural balm will heal your pout in days. And at $2.99, it's a total steal.

 Best At-Home Manicure:

This LED-activated OTC gel polish will last for weeks and every single one has a fun name like "Thank You Thank You" or "Paparazzied." Red Carpet Manicure polish, $9.99.

Best Name-Brand Hair Product Line:

Sally Hershberger is as famous as she is for a reason. Her product line is just as genius as she is. I like this wavy hair shampoo and conditioner; it keeps my waves fluffy and loose, without the frizz factor. $9.99.

Best Expensive-Looking Lip Product:

Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick is rich, reflective, and long-lasting. I love the pinks and reds, of course! $7.49.

Hands-Down Best Mascara (Even when compared with Dior!):

I've always been faithful to Volum' Express--the Falsies version is like that, only better. $6.59.

Best Cheap-o Makeup Tool:

This eye shadow brush works like a charm, and is only $1.49! Unbelievable.

And, as for that sexy photo above… all it takes is this:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Covet, $18, beauty.com.

L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber lashes kit, $12.76, drugstore.com.

Yes to Carrots C Me Shine lip gloss in Nude, $6.49, drugstore.com.

Essie nail polish in Trophy Wife, $8, essie.com.



Mochacino Melts my Heart

What is it about the neutral nail trend that we all love so much? No matter how happy pink makes you, how sexy your guy thinks red is, or how wonderfully dramatic it might feel to wear black polish, the past several seasons have been replete with browns, tans, and taupes. Don’t get me wrong; I truly do love this trend. But I’ve reached a point where I need a little naughty in my neutral. Enter the new favorite hue from Essie.

I arrived at Job #2 this evening about 30 minutes early. (Okay, backtrack. If writing is Job #1 and Tiffany’s is Job #2, then I arrived at Job #3 tonight 30 minutes early). Across the street from Job #3 is one of those amazing Duane Reades that actually cares about bringing its customers the best in beauty. Instead of the standard assortment of 20 or so Essie throwbacks, they offer a huge seasonal selection, plenty of classic faves, and a few randoms for fun. In the mood to paint my nails and dying for something totally different from what I’ve been sporting lately, I settled on a creamy, pale gray-chocolate infused with silver opalescence. Dead.

Called Mochacino, this funky hue is the perfect solution to your conundrum about how to play it safe but have just enough fun. And, as always, at $8 a pop, you can hardly beat a bottle of Essie. Happy weekend, my loves!

Simply sizzling

Pair your pretty face with a simple dress for weekend fun

Josh and I are headed out of town with a couple we love, and I am so excited! A weekend in Connecticut, with Blackberry (and Droid!) tucked away, and a glass of chilled wine in hand is going to be quite welcome. This particular couple is very lowkey, and we all know I’m a bit high-maintenance in the upkeep department. How to fit in on a comfy-casual weekend but make sure no photo opp is unwelcome? You have to take care of your face!

You shouldn’t wear too much makeup on a weekend by the lake. That said, summer skin woes like acne bumps, oil shine, and sunburn can make for a less-than-camera-ready appearance. The best way to be ready for your close-up is to care for your skin morning and night. Wash with a gently exfoliating cleanser like Yes to Carrots!, soap.com, $9.99. An oil-free moisturizer will do wonders, too. Make sure to reach for one with SPF like Clean & Clear morning glow with SPF 15, soap.com, $5.49. Bonus: these drugstore brands blend in with everyday cosmetics and don’t make you look like a total diva next to your weekend bunkmates.

This stuff is amazing!

Make sure to pack a great all-purpose concealer like Stila cover-up stick, (beauty.com, $20), to nix undereye circles and blemishes. Add a quick brush-over with a pink-toned bronzer like Tarte’s matte waterproof bronzer in Park Avenue Princess (sephora.com, $29) and voila! Ready to glow.