Bargain Beauty – Going Drugstore, Generic Beauty, and Learning When to Save

One of the few things I miss about southern California is CVS/Pharmacy, which is a national drugstore chain, but there just aren’t many locations (I think there is just one or two) in northern California.  Let me first rave about CVS’ fabulous return policy–all beauty products are refundable, any time, no matter what; there is a 100% money back guarantee on all beauty products.  This is one of the crucial reasons why I have preferred shopping at a department store beauty counter, because I could try and not worry about whether or not I can return.  Well, times are changing, and CVS has made it easier to go drugstore by making returns easy as pie.

Why should you go store brand?

These days, CVS is coming out with their versions of so many popular items, and of course, they are always just a bit cheaper than the name brand.  If there is anything I’ve learned from my dad, it’s that generic doesn’t mean worse, it means savings.  Aside from coming out with generic alternatives to popular name brand products, CVS comes out with new products as well, like Continuous Spray Aloe and Aftersun Cloth Wipes.

The store brand use similar/identical ingredients that are of the same quality as the name brand, but often for 20 to 30% less in price.  What’s cool about CVS is that they have employees called beauty advisors that are trained to help you choose the right beauty products.  Have you been to the drugstore beauty aisles lately?  They are growing!  There are so many brands in the market, and it is so difficult (not to mention overwhelming) to figure out what’s worth trying or what may work best for you.

Personally, I always opt for store brand for many of my beauty essentials like cotton balls, swabs, polish remover, makeup removing wipes, etc.  Even on my non-beauty items, I’ll always hunt for the store brand!  I use Neosporin all of the time, but it’s pricey, so I opt for the store brand to save a few bucks.  I have pretty nasty allergies come spring, and although I used name brand allergic medicine for years, I’ve finally taken the plunge to store brand, and can you believe it?  They work just as well.

And hey, if it doesn’t impress you?  Return or exchange it.  No problem says CVS!

What are your drugstore staples?  When do you save?  When do you splurge?