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Drug Store Products Part II



Much to the Professor’s delight, I’m working on replacing expensive products with drug store products although it’s slow going since Aveda and Mac products typically last quite a long time. There are a few things, though, that I burn through like it is going out of style. I gotta say – so far I’m super impressed with a few products… and moderately embarrassed by how much I’ve spent on high-end items for all these years!

Simple Eye Makeup Remover & Reusable Breast Pads


I am so happy with the Simple Eye Make-up Remover! The skin around my eyes is super sensitive meaning I can’t use anything with fragrance or excessive ingredients. I also like to use my eye make-up remover to do a “pre wash” of my face to loosen the make-up and grime before washing. This does both perfectly and at $5.99 a bottle, the price just can’t be beat.

You might remember I ordered 24 reusable organic cotton breast pads a while back when my boobs started leaking. Unfortunately these were much too big for my tiny tatas and and made my boobs look like I was stuffing. Not attractive. The pads, however, were soft and perfect for using with make-up remover. I simply moisten the center of the pad with a little remover and then gently dab my eye make-up off. Once my eyes are clean, I turn the pad over and use the other side to wipe the rest of my face. I rinse the pad with a little bit of soap and water and then toss it into a laundry bag which now hangs from my over-the-door organizer. When I wash towels each week I unpin the bag, zip it closed and wash and dry my pads with the towel load! I love that I’m no longer purchasing and throwing away cotton swabs!

Laundry bag safety pinned to my over the door organizer. Organizer from Ikea, laundry bag and reusable breast pads from Amazon.

Laundry bag safety pinned to my over the door organizer. Organizer from Ikea, laundry bag and reusable breast pads from Amazon.

Simple Foaming Cleanser and Clarisonic Mia

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I’ve been forking out the big bucks for Aveda’s foaming face wash for years. It is a great product that always left my skin feeling clean but not dry. It is also an expensive product at $27 a bottle and did not make the cut. I loved the Simple make-up remover so much that I decided to try the new Simple Foaming Cleanser. I’m SO LEARY of new face soaps – a few days of bad product can lead to weeks of dry flaking skin or, worse, a mine field of pimples. Luckily, the Simple cleanser was an instant hit just like the eye make-up remover. Zero fragrance, a fantastic lather with just two pumps and it leaves my skin clean and soft, but never oily or dry. It is truly the perfect cleanser for me and, I hate to say it, leaves my skin looking better than the Aveda. At $7.99 a bottle, it definitely fits the new budget. Added bonus: the Professor will also use it once we are sharing a bathroom again in NYC.

I purchased my Clarisonic Mia two years ago and still consider it one of my best beauty purchases. Yes, it is a lot of money up front, but the results are well worth it. I also like that with one soap and one face brush I’m able to cleanse, exfoliate and deep clean my pores. Fewer steps in the morning and evening = more time for hugging cats! Clarisonic recommends you replace the brush head once a month. I’ve found this to be way more than necessary if you take care of the brush. I pop it off every week and clean the unit and bristles. I also set it out of the shower when I’m not using it so it can dry completely. A brush tends to last me 4-5 months with this kind of care. Different brush heads are also available based on your skin needs. I switch to a sensitive brush head in the winter when my skin is more dry and delicate.

Thayers Original Witch Hazel

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I’ve been using Thayers in place of a Clinique toner for six years and have never looked back. It’s gentle, cooling, leaves my skin refreshed, removes impurities and never dries it out. Witch Hazel can also be used for a zillion other things. I use it on burns, bug bites and scrapes regularly. I also hear it can soothe angry lady parts after a vaginal birth. I use a reusable breast pad with this, too, and after wiping my face I run it over the sink faucet to keep it shiny. Clean face, clean sink, everyone wins! One $7.99 bottle lasts me months.

Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Oil

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The Trader Joe’s coconut oil comes in a jar which is hard to get at when you are shoving your hand in there at 5 a.m. so I melt the oil and pour it into a very attractive old lunch meat container. Eventually I’ll get something pretty to keep it in. Right now, though, it serves me just fine! Situated next to it is my equally attractive stack of breast pads. The Professor has informed me that these need to be concealed in the next bathroom 🙂

I usually keep three bottles of lotion in my bathroom, each one with a different purpose. One for days when my skin is seriously dry, one for days when I just want light moisturizer and one of those ridiculous cellulite reducing creams that despite  knowing it does nothing to firm a rump, I clung to. Once pregnant, the collection grew when I added two anti-stretch mark products. The lotion explosion was ridiculous and expensive.

I’m pretty sure one of my readers recommended coconut oil during a discussion about stretch marks. Either way, I ran out of the Belly Butter one morning and wandered into the kitchen to find an alternative. I scooped some coconut oil into an old (WASHED!) lunch meat container and have been using it as my sole body moisturizer ever since! After a few weeks my lotion supply went to live with a friend as  I no longer have use for these store products – coconut oil is just that good. My skin is soft and looks so pretty that people have actually asked what I use. When I was getting my breech massage the masseuse asked what I had been using on my belly, remarking on how pretty and soft the skin was.

Word to the wise, coconut oil on the skin can be messy. I put it on right after toweling off from my shower and then do my hair and make-up a-la nude or in an old robe. After about 30 minutes I use a washcloth to dab off my skin and remove the excess oil before getting dressed. I’ve also been using a tiny bit in my hair at night and am really happy with how soft and silky it is after my morning showers. I just take whatever is left on my hands after greasing up the baby bump and then run them through my hair.

So that is where I stand today on my transition to cheaper beauty products. It is a slow shift as I use up the expensive stuff I have on hand, but I’m proud of my progress so far. I’ll keep you posted on other new products I find. Until then, feel free to share your favorite drug store, or all natural, beauty products with me!



Post a comment
  1. June 19, 2013

    Thank you for such great tips! I’ve never used the super expensive products but I enjoy hearing what products compare to them well!

  2. June 19, 2013

    My husband would be sooooo proud of you! He is totally into coconut oil for everything!

    good for you! This is a big change!

  3. SRB #
    June 19, 2013

    I SWEAR by witch hazel! Need to try coconut oil soon.

  4. June 19, 2013

    Yay! I’m glad you took the coconut oil suggestion! I also melted mine down to a more user-friendly container… Great minds, right? Just so you know, for a less greasy option I found was grapeseed oil, because I agree, coconut oil gets alittle messy! I’m totally looking into the breast pads 🙂

  5. June 19, 2013

    I love that you’re using the reusable breast pads for cosmetics and hygiene. Great idea.

  6. June 20, 2013

    Good for you! I love coconut oil — I actually think it works wonders as a makeup remover, too, so you may want to give it a shot. AND, I use it as deodorant, too (mixed with baking soda and a couple drops of grapefruit essential oil). I have that same witch hazel, too, except I never really find reasons to use it. I found I didn’t really need a toner and I guess I don’t scrape myself that much? Still, hate to throw it out because the packaging is so pretty and I like the concept of having witch hazel… haha 🙂

    • June 20, 2013

      Erm, please excuse the million times I’ve used the word “too” here…

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