Last Days of Summer: Drugstore Beauty to Ring in the Fall

Published in: Beauty Tips, Drugstore Beauty Finds, Guest Post, Makeup Tips/How To


Written by Sam

We’re on the cusp of fall, watching summer sail off toward the horizon, but the sun hasn’t abandoned us yet. With the help of these sunny weather drugstore stars, soak up the last few weeks of sunshine safely, and look great without breaking the bank.

Last Days of Summer: Drugstore Beauty

As summer fades into the ethereal fog and smoky incense of autumn, we still have a few weeks of warm weather left (hopefully!). Check out these fantastic, cheap drugstore finds that work a treat for sunbathing on the beach or strolling down city sidewalks under the midday sun.


1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock ($9.49 for a 3-oz. tube in SPF 55)

You’ve been hearing it for years, so I won’t belabor the point — wear your sunscreen (even when it’s overcast)! There, it’s as simple as that. But it’s understandable why you might not want to with so many bad sunscreens on the market. Most are thick, viscous, and greasy, leaving behind a slick, shiny film that neither feels nor looks good.

Not the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch line. These emollient, creamy lotions (they’re available in a range of SPFs) sink into skin almost immediately, providing ample moisture for all but the driest among us, without that oily residue previously synonymous with “sunscreen.” Its chemical sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, and because it’s a chemical — rather than a physical — sunscreen, you won’t have to worry about looking ghostly in flash photography (like those impromptu shots at the beach bar after dark).

2. Yes to Carrots Conditioning Lip Butter with SPF 15 Pomegranate ($3.47)

Hands down one of my favorite lip balms ever! Unlike many inexpensive lip balms, this one’s neither slick nor waxy. It’s exactly what I think of when I think of good balms. It leaves lips with a satin finish (looks good on both men and women) that lasts for about four hours on me if I don’t eat or drink heavily over that time.

It may not smell exactly like pomegranates, but the faint, unobstrusive berry scent fades quickly, while still making the product taste pretty appealing to me. Most importantly, it contains SPF 15 to keep your lips soft and smooth even after hours in the sun.

3. Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray ($10.99 for a 5-oz. bottle in SPF 50)

Neutrogena has this whole sunscreen game down. This one’s for bodies and comes in an aerosol spray can. Just hold it about six inches away from the skin, and depress the tab. The super fine mist leaves a slight sheen on the skin that dries within minutes.

Keep the can moving in tight circles while applying to be sure you don’t miss a spot. You shouldn’t have to retrace your steps or worry about getting sand on your hands (LOVE those accidental exfoliating sand rubs).

And when it comes to reapplying after a couple of hours in the sun or surf, Wet Skin Sunblock makes it a cinch, even while swimming, as it cuts through water and still applies evenly on wet skin. You won’t even have to dry off completely after hopping out of the water to reapply.


4. St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub ($3.49 for a 6-oz. tube)

WARNING: This stuff is brutal on facial skin, as the exfoliants in it are actual shards of apricot pits with sharp, irregular edges that can tear pores and cause micro-cuts on the face; however, for the thicker, rougher skin on the rest of our bodies, I think it’s amazing!

Massage gently over damp skin (especially the legs, arms, feet, and stomach), and focus on areas where callouses and thick patches tend to form. You’ll have a glowing, soft, beach-ready bod in minutes (be sure to apply a nice moisturizer after).

5. L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold with UV Filter ($12.99 for an 11-oz. bottle)

Just as skin and nails are vulnerable to UV damage, so is color treated hair. Left unprotected, it can become dull, dry, and can even change shades. Elnett Satin Hairspray helps in two ways, by not only acting as one of the best hairsprays on the market, providing incredible hold that still allows for natural movement and never leaves hair crunchy, sticky, or weighed down (no wonder you always see the pros using it backstage at fashion shows), but it also shields delicate strands from the the sun’s harmful rays. Even virgin hair can benefit from a little extra UV protection.

Whether you’re planning one last long weekend of the season in St. Barts, going for a quick hike, or just running errands around town, these budget friendly products can keep you safe under the sun this fall and late summer. Find them at your nearest CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens, Target, or Duane Reede store.

Photo remixed from an original by darcyadelaide


Written by Sam

Sam is a 17-year-old, oddly tall guy whose love of all things skincare, makeup, and fashion started when he entered the modeling world at 14. Since then, he’s established himself as a freelance makeup artist in the theatre and fashion worlds, and started his own blog to preach the wonders of orange eyeshadow, Asian skincare, and designer fragrances to the masses.


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So far, 8 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi Sam!

    Love you and your posts! Do you ever do makeup consults? Where do you live? I am a woman of “a certain age” and would love to have an update/new look–I don’t think I look out-dated, but it seems I do the same thing and same colors all the time. By the way, you remind me of a young Kevyn Aucoin! Just so you know, my dear young fellow, getting older sucks!


  2. Julia says:

    Another drugstore find that I love is Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. I bought one about a month ago and carry it in my purse all the time now. It feels great on the lips, has just a hint of color, and smells nice. Unfortunately it’s $7, which isn’t a lot compared to all the other lip glosses and lipsticks I’ve bought but seems like a lot when compared to other lip balms.

    • Sarahc says:

      I’ll echo that, Julia. I recommend everything from Burt’s Bees and also from the Yes To line as far as drugstore goes. The icing on the cake is that they also happen to be natural.

  3. Ange says:

    I have a unrelated question– What does the first picture have to do with the rest of the post? : P
    (just, curious!)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ange,

      I think I can answer that one. Nothing really, except that I just really love the picture. It seems very summery and romantic to me. And then there’s the Target logo superimposed there on the left.

      What are you up to tonight?

  4. Shannon says:

    Spring/summer is just starting here in South Africa and I am going to Namibia this week on holiday–so I will be heading to the local drugstore to pick up some of these! Yay for summer! (SA winter is nothing to complain about, but it’s not beach weather and I’m ready for it to be over.)

  5. Jen says:

    I love Sam’s blogs! I’m especially interested in the Yes to Carrots lip balm, and the wet skin sunblock spray — I didn’t even know that existed!
    Jen recently posted … I need a new life

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