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I Gave Up Luxury Beauty Products for a Month. These Are the Drugstore Products I Loved

In the name of beauty, I ditched all my expensive products to find the drugstore ones that would make me swoon
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It will surprise none of my friends when I say that I have expensive taste. My boyfriend is in awe of my ability to unknowingly gravitate to the most costly glasses of wine on the list. While my job doesn't pay for my $35 glasses of Chateaneuf-du-Pape, it does allow me access to all the spendy beauty products my heart desires. But if I were forced to actually pay for the luxurious products that I love, I'd be broke in two seconds -- much like 99 percent of the world.

To help me get back in touch -- I don't want to start raving about $800 incense burners and 24k gold dumbbells, a la GOOP, which is where this could be headed -- I went on a beauty diet to find the best beauty bargains that could live up to my expensive taste. After a month of testing (and a couple of cheat days -- I'm only human, cut me some slack), these are the drugstore beauty products I fell for.

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A Highlighter That Made Me Rethink Everything
Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter, $6

Three weeks into my experiment, I had yet to find a drugstore highlighter that stands up to my pricey ones. And it's not for lack of trying -- I tested dozens, and none of them gave me that oh-so-glowy look I crave. Then I heard that Khloe Kardashian swears by this $6 highlighter. I tracked it down, because why the hell not? What's one more highlighter?

It was magical. Talk about cheekbones. Applied dry, it goes on creamy, blends easily and makes skin look generally amazing. At night, if I want to amp up the drama, I apply it wet to my cheekbones, under my brows, the inner corners of my eyes and above my Cupid's bow. I'm hooked -- and you will be too.

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A Duo of Glowy Skin Essentials
Sonia Kashuk Resurface Gentle Exfoliating Wash, $14.99 and Skin Detox Purifying Black Mask, $15.99

Sonia Kashuk's makeup line at Target is something I've been consistently impressed with, so I was excited to get my hands on her skin care line. And it did not disappoint. The creamy formula of the face wash has teeny hard-shell algae particles that gently exfoliate and leave my skin feeling superclean. And the mask -- at the risk of sounding basic, I can't even. It's made from Kaolin clay to absorb oil and suck out gunk in your pores, plus four alpha-hydroxy acids to exfoliate and even skin tone. It leaves my skin feeling and looking so good I have the urge to take a selfie and brag about how fantastic my skin looks.

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#BrowsOnFleek on the Cheap
L'Oréal Brow Stylist Plumper, $8.99

I'm particularly fond of a certain brow gel (that shall remain nameless) that costs almost twice the price of this product. But the fiber-infused formula of this tinted gel managed to win me over. The tint looks totally natural -- which is saying a lot, considering I have superblonde brows right now -- and helps make my brows look fuller and more Lily Collins-like. Plus, the small brush is easy to maneuver, and the gel has yet to clump on me.

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A Mascara That Gives You Lashes for Days
Maybelline New York The Colossal Spider Effect Mascara, $7.77

Along with my expensive tastes, I tend to have a flair for the dramatic. Which is probably why I fell head over heels for this mascara. The brush is spiky -- I feel like I'm wielding a weapon -- and the formula is a rich, glossy black. It gives a ton of volume and makes my lashes so long they can touch my eyebrows. Most mornings, this was the only eye makeup I wore.

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