Pick up any women's or beauty magazine, and you'll find glowing reviews of the latest products to make you younger, more beautiful, less wrinkly. They're so tempting, these magical creams and potions.
Already, you're justifying the splurge in your head. Hey, $50 isn't that much to pay for "visible line reduction." Or, $150 for a face cream that holds the promise of turning back time? Well … I'm worth it!
Stop right there, ladies. Quit kidding yourselves. Plenty of the products at the drugstore are formulated with ingredients that are every bit as effective as the expensive stuff from department stores and luxury beauty boutiques.
With the guidance of expert Paula Begoun (the ninth edition of her definitive book "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" is due out this fall), I went shopping for drugstore products that work as well or better than those that cost vastly more.
Here are five drugstore beauty basics, all from Walgreens (walgreens.com), that can save you money and still do the job.
Revlon Age Defying Makeup
1.25 ounces, $15.99
Ellen says: The ad copy says, "The only makeup with Botafirm to relax and visibly reduce the appearance of expression lines." It didn't do that for me, but it does everything I expect in a foundation — evens skin tone, good coverage, not gloppy, sunscreen.
Paula says: "Great colors. It's hard to get better than this for the money."
CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM
Ellen says: Great base for the day's makeup; not greasy or heavy, and you don't have to worry about adding sunscreen since this has SPF 30.
Paula says: "A very advanced formula and can and should be used around the eye area."
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
12 ounces, $15.99
Ellen says: Works great, doesn't burn your eyes.
Paula says: "One of the best, least expensive cleansers in the world. Women looking at expensive cleansers are just being idiotic. Both this and the 'foaming' cleanser are well done and they're cheap, not fragrant, gentle."
Wet n Wild Juicy Lip Balm
Ellen says: Love that it has sunscreen; not crazy about the fruit flavors.
Paula says: "It's perfect and has broad-spectrum sun protection, something the expensive brands rarely include! I don't know how they do it so cheap."
TRESemme Climate Protection Shampoo
32 ounces, $5.99
Ellen says: I only use DevaCurl products on my curly hair, so I haven't tried this, but you can't beat the price.
Paula says: Any of the TRESemme shampoos and conditioners are great, and all are really cheap.
Other bargain picks
•Sonia Kashuk Satin Luxe Lip Colour, $9.99. "Impressive, and it has a great sunscreen."
•NYX Cosmetics Pore Filler, $12.99; NYX Matte Lipstick, $5.99. "One of the few truly matte lipsticks around." Ulta, ulta.com.
Victoria's Secret PRO Pout FX Lip Primer & Definer, "Best wrinkle filler for lips. If you have bleeding lipsticks, this is the best that's out there. Really." $12, victoriassecret.com.
•Maybelline great lash mascara, $6.99. I’ve tried a huge array of mascaras, even designer vibrating ones, but I always come back to the big pink tube at the small price. I especially like the little brush that comes with the Lots of Lashes, Walgreens,