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15 Drugstore Beauty Products I Actively Like Better Than the Pricey Stuff




There are drugstore beauty products you use even though they’re not as good as your luxury favorite simply because you’re trying to stick to a budget… and then there are the ones you use because they’re legitimately just as good. Sometimes $15-and-under beauty products beat the odds and just nail the formulations, colors, and packaging as well (if not better) than their pricier counterparts.

Over the years, I’ve come across a handful of these serums, mascaras, and shampoos—drugstore beauty products I continue to use even though I have access to the most luxurious brands in the world. This list is dedicated to those makeup, skincare, and haircare products (some new, some classic) I recommend giving a try. Below, find 15 high-end products I absolutely love, as well as 15 cheaper alternatives I stan just as much.

Every time I wash my blonde hair with this (delightfully non-stinky, non-drying) purple shampoo, people ask if I got my hair re-highlighted. As long as this beautifully packaged bottle is on the market, I’ll never spend more than $12 on toning shampoo again.
I swear by glycolic acid treatments to keep dull skin and breakouts at bay, and this $15 toner proves you don’t need to blow your budget to reap the ingredient’s benefits. The product smells like subtly like flowers, looks beautiful on my countertop, and leaves my skin consistently radiant (I use it about four times a week after cleansing and before moisturizing). Sold.
My nontoxic skincare guru Racheli (also a Who What Wear beauty writer) introduced me to this almost alarmingly affordable all-natural skincare trio, which is basically the perfect serum starter pack: a moisturizing hyaluronic acid serum, a retinol to fight wrinkles and breakouts, and a brightening vitamin C serum. These formulas are fast-absorbing and always leave my skin more radiant. 
I discovered this blush-highlighter hybrid from ’90s throwback brand Hard Candy a few years ago and keep coming back to it. The product is as pigmented as blushes four times the price, and the color gradient of bright coral to glowy pinkish-white leaves a luminous finish on the cheeks that I just can’t quit.
I’ve been dealing with the worst dry patches lately, and this new exfoliator from Bliss works shockingly well to clear dead skin and flakiness, leaving only plump, hydrated skin. The product, which has a jelly-like texture, is really gentle, though—no harsh, irritating ingredients. Just skin-loving goodies like fruit enzymes, cellulose, vitamin B5, niacinamide, and sodium hyaluronate (aka hyaluronic acid).
This sleeper hit dry shampoo has a super-fine mist that soaks up grease without leaving a thick white residue. I also love that it smells fresh but not too overpowering, so you don’t smell super strong all day like other pricier dry shampoos.
I exclusively use cream highlighters, and I’m super impressed by these sticks by Burt’s Bees (which come in both highlighter and blush form). They have a clear hydrating core in the middle, so they blend beautifully and allow for a natural, lit-from-within glow.
Makeup artists and beauty editors were all instantly obsessed when L’Oréal came out with this pretty pink tube of mascara last year. It leaves lashes fluffy and feathery thanks to its fiber wand, which delivers a ton of product to each lash without them looking clumpy.
More proof that nontoxic skincare doesn’t have to be expensive. I keep this vegan and 99% natural rosewater spray in my travel bag because it’s super versatile. I use it to dampen my Beautyblender for makeup, as a micellar water to take off my makeup, and as a refreshing mist throughout the day.
I basically only ever want to use liquid eye shadows that don’t require brushes to apply, and this unique pick is a favorite, drugstore or not. It’s essentially a lipgloss for your eye—apply it alone for a subtle wash of shimmer or on top of another eye shadow to make it glow. It goes on like a liquid but dries down for crease-free long wear. I’m obsessed with the shades, too, especially the luminescent yellow and pink.
This is a little pricier for a drugstore buy, but what can I say? It’s French. This gentle cleansing lotion is one of my all-time favorite face washes—it leaves my skin clean but also unbelievably soft.
Say hello to my holy-grail sunscreen (which, if you’ve read any of my SPF stories on Who What Wear before, you already know). This Japanese-made product is so thin, sheer, and fast-absorbing it’s hard to believe there’s any sunscreen in it at all (but trust me, there is!). Every time someone I know goes to Japan, I beg them to stock up. There’s simply no sunscreen in the U.S., not even the priciest ones, that I prefer over this.
It’s simply silly to spend more than $8 on falsies when so many makeup artists and beauty editors agree these are the best. I love the flexible strip and natural fluttery look of these lashes, which are easy to apply, comfortable to wear, and just plain pretty.
Expensive eye glosses, face glosses, and lipglosses are super trendy right now, but a $4 tube of Aquaphor will give you the same results. Not only does this stuff work wonders to heal dry lips, but you can also tap it on top of your cheekbones and over your eye shadow for that au courant dewy skin look everybody’s loving right now.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more sustainably made, nontoxic body lotion than EO’s. It’s made with 100% natural plant ingredients and fragrances (and smells incredible, like fresh lavender). It absorbs quicker than most natural lotions and leaves the skin impossibly smooth. Not to mention $15 for 32 ounces? Incredible. Next: I Never Used Eye Cream Until I Discovered This $7 One. Opening Image: Burt’s Bees

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Shop 23 of This Week's Best New Arrivals




It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for our weekly installment of new arrivals. For today’s roundup, I’ve searched high and low to find the best in designer and fast-fashion pieces—all of which just hit stores—so that you can be the first of your friends to wear them. After all, if you’re going to buy something, why not beat everyone else to it?

From summer tops to dresses for parties, brunch, and everything in between, there was a lot to love this week (not to mention something for every style type and price point). Now you just have to narrow down your favorites and make room in your closet—sorry! So what are you waiting for? Shop my picks of the week below and don’t forget to check back next Wednesday for another batch of fresh fashion finds.

This will become your favorite summer top, mark my words.

Leave it to Urban to make the perfect affordable floral top.

Just the right amount of sheerness and sparkle.

Never underestimate the power of a good ribbed tank.

Fruit prints are having a major moment.

Whether it’s with a pair of shorts or a satin skirt, this top is your brunch outfit solution.

Of-the-moment tie-dye is too good to pass up at this price.

You need this top and a vacation to wear it on.

Can Ganni do any wrong?

Did you know Anine Bing makes amazing bags, too?

The bag everyone will be Instagramming very soon.

The cage detail really has me intrigued.

I couldn’t settle on just one color.

Not your average wedding guest look, but it should be.

If a dress makes you feel like you’re in the French countryside, do you have to buy it?

The rainbow dress for the edgier girls.

Your summer LWD.

A throw-on-and-go dress for your rushed mornings.

Can you tell I’m here for party dresses?

Yes, you do need another white dress in your wardrobe. It’s summer, remember?

I don’t typically wear pants that aren’t jeans, but these are really speaking to me.

Your new non-basic work pants. 

Would this roundup really be complete without a strappy sandal?

Want more? Shop last week’s new arrivals.

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This Miami Fashion Girl's Look Is Screenshot-Worthy (and Under $100)




When I daydream about Miami style, I get excited: I immediately think bright colors (and even brighter whites), bold prints, and evening-ready looks that seem synonymous with both the tropical climate and electric vibe of the city. That being said, I actually find it even more exciting to discover someone who stays totally true to their unique personal style, no matter their location. Take Miami local and fashion girl Bianka Walker, for example. “I’d say I’m more a New Yorker soul stuck in Miami,” Walker tells me. “I’m not a dress-and-heels type of girl. I’m all about sneakers and platforms.”

Originally from Ecuador, Bianka has lived in Miami on and off since she was 16, and she feels at home in the city thanks to its large Latina community and gorgeous weather. When I noted that her personal style differs from her fellow locals, she conceded that the city definitely has a style that everyone follows, and she sometimes feels the pressure to conform.

Ultimately, though, she feels that it’s important to stay true to herself when creating an outfit. So what does a Miami girl with an NYC soul (and a knack for affordable finds) want you to buy this summer, you ask? For starters, this perfect straw bag and these platform dad sneakers, both of which she scored at Walmart. Scroll to shop her entire look, see her favorite summer trends, and discover the one touristy spot in Miami she actually enjoys.

What’s your summer vibe in one word?


What are the top trends for summer you’re looking forward to trying?

I’m looking forward to including bright colors in my outfits. Usually I wear nudes and blacks, but I’m ready to go out of my comfort zone this summer. I also want to try mixing textures more, like I did with the straw bag and jeans here.

Tell us a bit about the outfit…

This outfit screams my name. I love the black denim (especially the detailing), and the hat and shoes are such cute accessories. Plus the jacket. Fringe and metallics are two trends we’ll see a lot of this season, and what better way to display that than in this jacket? The top is super simple but cute, and while the shoes were originally a little crazy for my taste, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I chose this outfit because these pieces feel versatile enough to pair with other looks in my closet as well.

Do you believe in mixing high and low fashion?

Yes, I’m a big fan of mixing high and low! I think it’s the perfect combo. I tend to splurge most on staples like purses and shoes.

Name the one tourist destination that’s actually worth seeing in Miami.

Calle 8! Love the vibes, and the food is amazing. It’s the perfect mix of Miami and Cuba.

Next, 8 Basics That Deliver, No Matter Where in the World You Live

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The Affordable Cult Brands That Will Be All Over Your Instagram Feeds in 2019




The word “affordable” is one I’m always wary of using within my fashion writing, as one person’s bargain is always going to be another person’s splurge. The pieces I’m about to talk about below certainly aren’t cheap, however, unlike many of the brands on Net-a-Porter and MatchesFashion, they are potentially accessible to those of us who normally shop at Zara and Topshop

The contemporary market is one which has been growing significantly over the past two years. Back in 2017, I wrote about how brands like Ganni, Rixo, Staud and Réalisation are fighting to make your wardrobes brighter, better and more affordable. Instead of diffusion lines that mimic the aesthetic of a bigger design house at a lower price point, this new breed of labels are independent selling direct to consumer, with their own instantly identifiable design. Over the past two years, most of the cult buys that we have written about at Who What Wear are by these designers and priced around the $200-$350 mark.

This direct-to-consumer contemporary bracket is one that’s still hugely growing, and these are no longer just small Instagram-led businesses but a key priority for leading luxury retailers. In fact, buyers now scout for brands by scrolling. Net-a-Porter this summer is launching seven brands that were previously only direct-to-consumer, taking niche brands to a global audience. Keep scrolling to shop the new affordable cult brands that we at Who What Wear are championing in 2019.

Faithfull the Brand was founded in Bali in 2012, but this year, it has gone from an under-the-radar beach brand to a mainstay on our Instagram feeds. It specializes in holiday clothing with a zesty color palette and playful prints, but the dresses look just as good in your city as they do in Positano.

Kalda was founded three years ago by London College of Fashion graduate Kata Alda, however, this year it has really cranked its business up a notch, launching its own e-commerce site. These shoes are as comfortable as they are Instagrammable. 

The Frankie Shop has tiny stores in Le Marais and New York, however, this boutique is widening its reach this year, as it just launched on Net-a-Porter. This brand is getting a lot of love from power influencers and street style stars—the pleated skirts and boxy blazers are particularly popular.

Influencers are often responsible for items reaching cult status, and the Line by K was created by fashion blogger Karla Deras. This is another new name to Net-a-Porter, and it sold 500 items in its first week on the site. The lime-green slip skirt has been particularly popular with the Instagram crowd.

Rotate was launched by Danish fashion influencers Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Madsen last year and creates beautiful ’80s-inspired dresses, with bold colors and Dynasty-worthy shoulder pads.

Art Dealer is one of Net-a-Porter’s new direct-to-consumer brands that launched this year. It creates elegant co-ords for grown-ups and consist of printed blouses and matching pencil skirts. As the name would suggest, this brand creates beautiful prints with a nostalgic vintage feel. 

Sandals brand Studio Amelia only launched this year, but it made its debut on Net-a-Porter. Quite the entrance…

Next up, see our guide to the key trends for spring/summer 2019.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

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