The Topic: Getting (and sitting) pretty with drugstore beauty and body essentials with Online Editor Anna Peraino
The Dish: I'm sure it's no surprise when the soaps, moisturizers, makeup, and cleansers that keep us looking good can wreak havoc on our wallets. With some of the world's most popular beauty buys topping off at $140 per ounce (Here's looking at you, La Mer), one might think that keeping our bods clean, healthy, and looking like 140-bucks-an-ounce will break the bank. Not so! Many inexpensive, vegan products are just waiting on the shelves of your local drugstore and often work just as well as the expensive stuff. Below are five of the VN editors' favorite drugstore buys that definitely don't cost an arm and a leg. (Disclaimer: I can't promise everything in them is all-natural or organic, but at least they're cheap and totally vegan, right?)
1. Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith's Rosebud Salve, $5.59* (0.8-oz. tin). Loved by fashion and beauty editors the world over, this lip balm is light, smooth, and works like a charm. And it's multipurpose to boot: The salve also treats rough cuticles, diaper rash, minor burns, and even blemishes. A tip from a Rosebud user: If you can find the tins of Strawberry Lip Balm, clear the shelves.
2. Alberto VO5 Hot Oil Weekly Intense Conditioning Treatment, $3.99 (two treatments). Whether it's constant blow-drying, winter weather, or bad genetics, sometimes your tresses need a little TLC. Enter: Alberto VO5. This stuff has been around for decades, and for good reason: It works. The oil gives the one-two punch of moisture and strength for your mop, all for two bucks a pop.
3. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $9.59 (12 fl. oz.). I read labels all the time that say "Dermatologist Recommended," and usually don't believe a word of it (truth in advertising!). My own personal dermatologist actually recommended this calming cleanser for my sensitive skin a few years ago, and I've never looked back. The fact that it's loads cheaper than any of that fancy stuff is just the icing on the cake.
4. Tom's of Maine Soap Daily Moisture Natural Beauty Bar Soap with Olive Oil and Vitamin E, $5.99 (two 4-oz. bars). All-natural and all-soothing, this sud-maker is sure to make your skin baby soft. And the more you use it, the better your skin gets. Plus, Tom's gives 10 percent of its profits to human and environmental causes. That's a lot for a bar of soap.
5. Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion, $10.49 (12 fl. oz.). Green tea, aloe, and chamomile combine to create one of the best lotions we've ever used. It's also hypo-allergenic and unscented, so those with sensitive skin can benefit from its über-moisturizing effects.
The Final Word: If you want to get more DIY with your beauty routine, this Lavender-Rosemary Scrub works wonders for a pittance. To simplify even further, try Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria's go-to scrub for soft and supple skin: mix two tablespoons of sugar with olive oil and scrub away! I also hear that dousing your hair in a can of flat beer is a great way to add shine and body post-shampoo. And everybody knows how cheap a can of PBR is.
* All prices from drugstore.com