Category Archives: Ten or Less

$10 or Less: Drugstore Beauty Steals

We love indulgent beauty splurges, but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of discovering a hidden gem at the drugstore. Here are our picks for what is a must at the drugstore right now, all for $10 or less.

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara ($8) is the latest in the Lash Blast family, and I’m obsessed. I’ve recommended this to no fewer than 7 people in the last few days and all are loving it as I am. The claims of up to 30 strokes is true (Product Girl-verified) and the brush is almost like a lash comb in that it is impossible to clump. Major lengthening here, and no smudging or flaking. It’s so new it’s not online yet, but you should be able to find these at your local Walgreen’s.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Colour in Haute Couture Red ($5.99) is that perfect vampy oxblood shade that is all the rage this season. L’Oreal’s formula is pretty stellar – no streaking, goopiness and it wears amazing all week. I’m on Day 5 with this shade and no chips or obvious tip wear.

Dove Purely Pampering Body Wash ($5) is a new addition to Dove’s endless offerings of body wash. I love the aroma of the Coconut Milk with Jasmine Petals, and even though it isn’t a natural body wash (which I prefer these days), it’s non-irritating and leaves my skin feeling clean and moisturized. Dove, I just will never be able to quit you!

Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo ($7.99) smells amazing. It’s more of a “wet” dry shampoo, but doesn’t weigh down the hair and gives me the volume I seek from a no-wash ‘poo. Aveeno left out the sulfates and instead added seaweed extract.

Blistex Moisture Melt ($1.89) and Blistex Simple and Sensitive ($1.29) are the brand’s newest lip essentials. This is a brand I always associate with winter — my husband is addicted and like me, stashes a balm in every coat pocket. At under $2, you can afford to stash these all over the place at work and home. I love the Simple and Sensitive under lipsticks and the fact that it only has six ingredients.

And, bonus, team Blistex is giving three Product Girl readers the entire product line (yes, all of it!), which will obviously include a set of the new Moisture Melt and Simple and Sensitive products! Leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, November 13, and we’ll pick three winners at random.

Ten or Less: Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush

For some being “beauty obsessed” means different things. For a “product girl,” I think it means having a sense of adventure. At the core of our love of beauty is having a little fun with our makeup. Be it wearing a bold lip or rocking false lashes; we like to try new things. I can think of nothing more fun in my beauty routine right now than Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy Blush. It’s like a grown-up play doh or something. It’s a cushy powder/gel formula that has actual bounce. Like legit spring! It’s beyond cool. Fingers are the way to go here with application, and the colors are just stunning. Ten in total, but I’ve got a few favs.

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Four Drugstore Beauty Gems to Buy on Your Lunch Break

There’s practically a CVS or Walgreen’s on every other block in downtown Chicago, so impromptu beauty splurges are a regular occurence. Anyone with me on that? What starts out as a run for Q-tips turns into so much more. Sometimes you hit the jackpot, and other times it’s “meh.” The four items I’m RAVING about today are so good, you should probably go run your lunchtime errands immediately.

  1. Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shimmering Spray. I have a love for high-end hair oils, so it even came as a surprise to me when I began favoring this $8 version. It’s infused with hydrolyzed keratin protein, coconut oil and cocoa sead butter, and behaves kind of like a leave-in conditioner with a serious side of shine. I like to use it before I blow dry — the spray mists out the perfect amount of product and it never looks oily. Smells phenom, too. This must be the drugstore hair aisle’s best kept secret.
  2. Maybelline Super Stay 10 Hour Stain Gloss. YSL just released a similar product last month. But guess what? Maybelline’s version is AS good. The all caps is necessary. I am going nuts for this product. I love the wand, the intensity and the completely wearable shades. Berry Heaven is perfect for bold but not too bold. You can go intense with these and layer them up or wear them transparently.  And you can buy practically four of these for the price of one YSL Glossy Stain.
  3. L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm. If we’re drawing comparisons, this super lightweight balm reminds me of Chanel’s new Rouge Coco Baume. The colors are sheer and the formula is very hydrating. I love how the Pink Satin shade gives my lips the slightest glimmer of baby pink lips without it looking like I applied product to my lips. No color in this collection is off-limits because of its nature. No chance of a “meh” purchase here. Just not possible!
  4. Aveeno Positively Nourishing Energizing Lotion in Pomegranate & Grapefruit .  Even though Grapefruit is listed second, there is no mistaking that citrus in this product. Which is why it’s awesome. I’ve been having a grapefruit moment for like a year now, and this refresh from Aveeno (you’ll recall the Positively Nourishing Lotion in Grapefruit & Rosemary in a pump bottle) is something special. I love the new packaging, and the slightly tweaked scent. Definitely more grapefruit action. Don’t hate me if you can’t find this yet — it’s making its way to stores this month!

Happy Thursday to everyone! Let us know if you try any of these! And we’d love to hear about your drugstore runs lately. There is just so much good stuff happening for under $10 that our minds are spinning.

Ten or Less: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss

Left to Right: La-La, Nude Peach, Perfect, Beautiful

Lately I’ve been on the hunt for some new favorite lip products, but what makes finding such a good product even better is when you just happen to stumble upon it! I was checking out my local Nordstrom and I saw that they now have make up in their Brass Plum section. I was on the hunt for a pair of big, fun earrings, and instead found my latest favorite lip gloss.

It’s the NYX Cosmetics Mega Shine Lip Gloss. I’d never tried a NYX lip gloss before so I wasn’t sure what to expect so being the cautious shopper that I am, I only bought one. But as soon as I paid that $5.50 for it, I glossed up my lips with it for the first time and it was love at first use!

The pigmentation of these glosses is just right, and depending on which shade you get, can really go a long way and complete a look. The first shade I got was in Beautiful, then I went back to the bin and picked up Nude Peach, La-La, and Perfect. The consistency is exactly what I look for in a gloss, not to sticky or thick, just right. Officially one of my everyday glosses now.

Ten or Less: Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks

We’ve all been there: Racoon-eyed and irritated when we woke up in a hotel room with traces of last night’s makeup still under our eyes. It’s actually one of my biggest annoyances when traveling. I refuse to pack actual makeup remover for fear of it spilling (especially since I roll with the oil-based miracle that is Lancome Bi-Facil), and sometimes makeup wipes don’t get everything. Hence trace evidence when you wake up in the morning. Which is why I squealed with joy at the sight of Almay’s Oil-Free Makeup Remover Sticks. Can I get an Amen here? Why haven’t these existed sooner?

They’re quite simple. Pop off one end of the Q-tip and turn it upside down so the solution drops and soaks the other end of the tip. Then simply remove your eye makeup. It is perfect for getting right at the lashline. I reserve them just for travels, and love that they come in a handy case. No more looking makeup-removal troubles traveling, and my waterproof mascara still gets to come with, too!

Ten or Less: Stila Deals on Sephora.com


Happy almost-weekend everyone! We’ve got news to share of some fantastic Stila deals. Seriously, these are too GOOD to pass up! Stila Smudgestick Liner for $5? Kitten One Step Primer for $10? Yes, and yes. These and more Stila products are for sale at Sephora.com — just scan the sale page! May we recommend the Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer? We love this with Coconut Crush on the lips and cheeks and a dusting of powder on the t-zone. Simple beauty at its best!

Ten or Less: Softsoap Body Butters in Strawberry Smoother, Heavenly Vanilla and Coconut Scrub

Softsoap’s Body Butters have been in rotation in my shower for a little while now, they have been keeping my skin soft this summer. I was in a trance with Heavenly Vanilla until another scent took its place, using this in the shower practically teleports me to a tropical resort. The warm vanilla smell IS heavenly and reminds me of the tropics, there may even be a bit of amber in the scent to make the scent heavenly. Heavenly Vanilla is not a scrub but when I want some buffing action, I have been turning to Coconut Scrub and my new shower obsession: Strawberry Smoother.

Both of these scrubs have buffing grains that are gentle and small enough to use everyday without exfoliating your skin to death and they both have delicious scents that you can appreciate in the shower. What surprised me most of all with the scrubs is that you can get a really good lather going with them and you do not need to follow up with another product to make your skin feel clean, as I sometimes feel the need to do. I got Strawberry Smoother this week and have not been able to stop using it, it smells amazing in the shower. It could fit right in with Lush’s line-up. I like this one so much I actually poured a bit of it in my bathroom soap dispenser for my sink. There’s nothing wrong with a little exfoliation when I was my hands, is there? Got to keep my hands looking young! ;)

Ten or Less: L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss

L’Oreal expanded its Colour Riche line of lip color with a new lip gloss called “Le Gloss.” With Le Gloss, L’Oreal promises lots of shine and hydration. And with ingredients like omega 3, vitamin E and argan oil, it definitely is made to be moisturizing. When I spotted the display, I was instantly drawn to it — with the pops of bright colors and wide variety of nudes. I honed in pretty quickly on this pretty pink shade in Baby Blossom. In fact, it reminded me of another cult favorite gloss….NARS Turkish Delight.

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Ten or Less: NYC Smooch Proof 16 Hour Lip Stain

I’m a little late to the NYC Smooch Proof 16 Hour Lip Stain party but I have finally arrived! It makes this Product Girl very happy to see more drugstore brands come up with lip stains. Sure, Cover Girl and Revlon have done them already but a lip stain you can get for under $5 is worth writing home about.  I was happy to see NYC have a nude brown shade in the bunch and one would think that I would head straight for it but in this case, my first pick was Persistent Pink. This is a great “your lips but better” shade and is just GORGEOUS with Pacifica’s Coconut Pearls Luminizing Lip Quench. The lip balm is like a luminizer for your lips that moisturizes and the light, long wearing pop of pink on the lips are magic together. I love the felt tip delivery here, my favorite in a lip stain, because I can line my lips with the tip and fill in with the side. This definitely did not come even close to the 16 hour mark in terms of wear but I don’t even mind that because I love the price so much… makes it easier for me to snag the rest of these!

Ten or Less: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

Besides a stain, there’s nothing I love more than a nice bold, matte lip and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream combines my two loves just $6 each, sometimes less depending where you go. These go on soft and creamy like a mousse but behave more like a stain. They remind me a lot of Becca’s Beach Tints because the shades I have tried dry down in a similar way, like an opaque lip stain, but still give lips color and coverage without feathering. The color dries down to a little less vibrant shade, which I appreciate. NYX says it is moisturizing but I don’t really find that to be true with my lips. However, compared to other long wearing lip colors, they are not nearly as drying and don’t have that stickiness we know and hate. None of the color flakes off of my lips with Lip Cream either. I get good wear out of these too, it clings to my lips throughout the day but does suffer a tiny bit with eating and drinking. The only caveat here is you MUST exfoliate your lips before wearing a Lip Cream. Otherwise every single flake and imperfection will be noticeable and there’s nothing worse than a flakey lip. Am I right?

If you want to play with bold color but are a little hesitant, give Milan a try. It’s the shade I’ve been wearing all this week. I’m now scrounging through my apartment for any Ulta coupons I can find, I need to try more of these!