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

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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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Fashion

I Tried on 21 Dresses From Reformation, Topshop, and Zara—These 10 Made the Cut

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If there’s one type of email I love to receive in my inbox this time of year, it’s a summer invitation. Whether it’s for a wedding, a barbecue, brunch, or bridal shower, seeing a Paperless Post pop up in my inbox never fails to excite. This is followed closely by my second favorite email: a travel confirmation from an airline. (It’s true. I get giddy at the sight of a booking reference number.) Why? Because both emails signify the start of fun summer is finally here.

It also signifies the need to get my summer wardrobe into gear. And lots of summer events call for lots of gorgeous summer dresses (or at least a small handful to see me through the season).

So this week, I went to some of my favorite retailers—Reformation, Zara, and Topshop (all known for their chic selections of dresses)—to seek out cool summer frocks that will see me through laid-back summer weekends, an upcoming Italian vacation, a wedding, an engagement party, and a bridal shower—all taking place in the next few months. I tried on a plethora of dresses (21 to be exact), but these 10 made the final cut. From floral minidresses to polka-dot slip dresses, scroll below to whet your appetite for a brand-new season of summer dressing.

An effortless white dress is high on my wish list for weekend summer getaways. I’m obsessed with this lace and linen midi dress from Reformation. Just add espadrille wedges, a straw hat, and the Italian Riviera for good measure.
This is such a fun little floral frock. The neckline and puff sleeves are super flattering and utterly charming. I do wish the hemline was one or two inches longer, but I’ll definitely be wearing these with kitten-heel sandals or chic flats once summer rolls around.
I’ll be wearing this stunner for an elegant outdoor summer wedding with black sandals and statement earrings. The fitted bodice is exquisite.
This relaxed floral slip can easily be dressed up or down with strappy sandals or flats and is the perfect option for those laid-back summer days.
My penchant for white dresses continues. I love the delicate details on this chic frock—from the deep-V neckline lined with lace to the pleated drop-waist silhouette.
Consider this your day-to-night wardrobe savior. The romantic ruffles and elegant, short puff sleeves add a charming touch to the ditsy floral-print frock.
A lightweight knit dress looks super chic for casual summer days. I’m particularly fond of the elegant neckline and longer length.
Garden-party chic! This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m head over heels for this vintage-style silhouette and bold floral print. Perfect for, oh you know, that polo match or that garden tea party, dahling.
I’ve been looking for a slip dress with a draped neckline and delicate spaghetti straps for some time, and this gorgeous silky frock fits the bill perfectly. It looks much more expensive than its price tag.
I’ve been in need of a couple of simple, easy, and relaxed knit dresses for weekends at the beach and brunching on the balcony with friends, and this soft yellow midi is the perfect not-too-precious option.

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The Best Maternity Bras to Get You Through Your Pregnancy (and After)

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If you’re a pregnant bra wearer and asking yourself if you need to buy a new one, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I am currently six months along and have swiftly transitioned from a B cup to a D cup in the blink of an eye. Breasts increase in size pretty early during pregnancy (around 6 to 8 weeks), and many will find they outgrow their bras rather quickly. The hormonal shifts, weight gain, and expanding rib cage associated with pregnancy contribute to this growth, as will mammary glands preparing to make milk later in pregnancy.

I was tempted to squeeze into my regular bras for as long as possible, but I quickly realized how uncomfortable my pre-pregnancy lacy bras were becoming, and they simply couldn’t support my heavy (and itchy) breasts. Time for an upgrade. There are a few options as you’re growing. 1) Buy a larger size of your normal pre-pregnancy bra. 2) Switch to a maternity bra. 3) If you’re somewhere in the middle of your third trimester, buy a nursing bra. Many, like me, prefer a combination of the two or three.

So how are maternity and nursing bras different from regular bras? Think of a maternity bra as an improved version of a regular bra—designed specifically for comfort as your breasts grow during pregnancy. Some features include a soft cotton lining, wider straps, extra latches on the band, etc., and they tend not to be underwired. Many regular bras offer these features too, which will work just fine during pregnancy.

Nursing bras differ in one way from maternity bras: They feature clasps on the straps that allow for easy breastfeeding access. If you buy a nursing bra to wear during pregnancy make sure there is enough room for you to grow as your breasts tend to go up another cup size or more after your baby arrives. Many of the bras available are maternity/nursing hybrids, which provide support throughout pregnancy and after.

Officially ready for a new bra? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite maternity and nursing bras that will get you through and beyond your pregnancy. And remember: If it feels tight, then it isn’t right. Find your correct size by getting measured at the lingerie department or do it yourself.

With its soft fabric and seamless design, this seamless bra is a customer favorite for during pregnancy and after.
Smooth stretchy fabric and lightly padded cups make this ultra-comfortable throughout the day and night.
Designed to move with you from pregnancy and beyond, this minimalistic bra features stretchy, nursing-friendly surplice cups.
This silky-soft, stretchy bra is supportive enough for day wear and comfortable enough to sleep in.
If you’re looking for a comfortable strapless bra throughout your pregnancy, then look no further.
Made of a cotton-modal blend, this soft and breathable bra is designed for comfort and support throughout pregnancy or after as a daily nursing bra or cozy nursing sleep bra.
Although this is technically not a maternity or nursing bra, I’ve found it extremely comfortable and supportive through my first six months of pregnancy.
A good choice when you’re exercising. This wire-free maternity/nursing bra with removable foam cups accommodates your changing figure.
Pretty and comfortable. The wide back enhances support.
You’d never be able to tell this is a nursing bra. Gorgeous lace adds romance while clips are easily unfastened for breastfeeding.
Your beautiful bralette just got an upgrade. This meets all the specific needs of a nursing mother. Plus, it’s so pretty.
Lightweight and easy to maneuver, Chantelle’s nursing bra fits best 3 weeks before your due date or later.
Your everyday bra, found. Available in black and beige, this maternity and nursing bra is designed for maximum support.
I already wear these under my casual tees for support and comfort.
Customers love this bra for its ultra-soft feeling fabric and comfort. Available in sizes S to XL.

This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated by Judith Jones.

Up next, these are the summer maternity outfits to try right now.

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Fashion

Don't Visit New York Without Stopping By These 6 Stores

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As someone who quite literally shops online for a living—and loves it—it takes a lot to get me out of my e-comfort zone and into an actual store. After all, I pride myself on being able to track down pretty much any item on the internet within seconds and have a weekly excuse to peruse all my favorite sites’ new-arrivals sections—making me pretty familiar with all that’s out there.

However, once in a while it does happen, mostly thanks to a handful of boutiques that have managed to curate such a good selection, it’s worth the trip every time. So which are the stores one simply must visit when in New York? Just keep scrolling to read about all six and (because I couldn’t help myself) do a little online shopping along the way.

Up next? The surprising new It bag I couldn’t even get my hands on.

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