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Drugstore Finds

I love finding quality items, and I love it even more when they’re a good price. More often than not, I avoid drugstore items. It is not because they lack quality. Trying things before I buy them is just preferred, and I find it easier to get samples from mid range and high-end brands. If the deal is good enough, I will try drugstore items despite never sampling them first. The good news is even if they’re terrible, I am not out as much as I am when I buy terrible items from more expensive categories. This is the main reason I love samples.

I have also tried to get my hands on more drugstore samples lately. There are some cheap, and effective ways to do this. My subscription to the Wal-Mart Beauty Box ($5 a quarter) helped me discover gems. The Target Beauty Box ($5-$10) also helps. Sites covered on my Free Samples page also help with this endeavor. The Olay Regenerist sample I got recently came from P&G Everyday. has gifts with purchase I’ve redeemed to try new items when purchasing items I already know love. In other words, it is easier to sample drugstore items than I originally thought.

While Target shopping, I decided to take advantage of Cartwheel offers. Each of these brands were offering 10% off. The mini L’Oreal Advanced Haircare bottle was a gift with the purchase of the larger one. Gift with purchases from drugstore brands are harder to come by, so I jumped at this opportunity. This L’Oreal  Advanced Haircare Nutri-gloss shampoo retails for $5.99 at Target. After my mini freebie and 10% discount, I got both L’Oreal bottles for $5.39. Burt’s Bees is a brand I have had success with. I like that it is an affordable, natural brand. However, the scent is not always my favorite. Some products from this line smell like unappealing honey.

My goal was to get a new kid’s shampoo for my boys. The one they are using is nice. I bought two bottles during the last sale, but my husband stepped in to stop my hoarding tendencies from buying more. Now, they’re almost out, and the sale has long since passed. I purchased it on sale during a promotion. If I cannot get expensive shampoo on sale or with a great promotion, I look to drugstore items.


The funny thing about the mini L’Oreal Advanced Haircare Color Vibrancy shampoo is I had already ordered a foil sample of that exact kind direct from L’Oreal, and received it twice in a Wal-Mart box. It was the only one available or I would have picked another. Once I try the L’Oreal shampoos, I will report back on how they go.

I tried the Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & wash on my youngest son and decided it was better for his skin than his hair, prompting me to purchase another kids’ shampoo later. In my experience, two-in-one products almost always work better in one area than another. His skin is sensitive and certain products are worse for his eczema. This did not cause any extra eczema flare ups at all. While he has very little hair, so most shampoos work fine, I prefer shampoos that leave his hair shiny. His hair looks shinier with his current shampoo, so this was not a great fit for his hair.

One of the things I love about Target Beauty Boxes is the $3 off $15 beauty purchases coupons that come inside. I used two of those coupons to purchase the items below. My husband actually redeemed one of the coupons to purchase a new hair product recently, but he has not mentioned anything about the product.

The Wet Brush is not a new find, but it is an exceptional find I repurchased. I keep the original in my bathroom when I want to brush (not comb) wet hair. It brushes hair without pulling through the wet tangles the way a normal brush does. As someone with exceptionally tangled hair when it is wet, I appreciate this brush. Brushing wet, tangled hair is painful, even with a detangler.

L'Oreal Revitalift After

I also struggle with frizzy hair, and brushing wet hair is the worst thing you can do to frizzy hair. This tool is closer to a comb, so it does not create frizz as much as others. The brush retails for $8.99, and would have happily purchased it at full price if I did not have the $3 off coupon. We’ve had a lot of windy days lately, and the little brush I keep in my purse is no match for the tangles in damp hair the end creates. Because I mostly air dry my hair, it is usually still wet when I go out. This brush went into my car to help clean up wet fly aways.

Wet Brush

After I discovered the Burt’s Bees above was not what I hoped, I decided to buy a new shampoo for my boys. This $9.99 Attitude Shampoo is a little steep for an unknown brand, but I used my second $3 off coupon to soften the blow. When I got home I did a little research on the brand and discovered it is a chemical free brand sold at a few different stores. Of course, the price variation from store to store is huge, so look around before drugstore shopping. Once I try this on my son, I will report back on how it went.


Both coupons required a $15 minimum to activate the $3 off, so I went looking in the clearance section. Purchasing things on clearance is good and bad. If you love the item, you will have to find another place to buy it. Clearance usually means the items are on the way out of the store or being discontinued altogether. You’re not out too much money if you hate the item either. It is hard to resist the urge to buy multiples when you see a great price, but I like to try the product before I purchase duplicates. While it’s risky to assume the items will be there when you get back to the store, it is also risky to buy them all and discover you hate them.

I am pale, especially on my legs. This lack of pigment helps veins show more readily on my legs. My legs are also very dry, so I look forward to trying this Arnica Giocoeche moisturizer designed to improve the appearance of legs even with varicose veins. For $3.98, it is certainly worth a try.


I am already a fan of Orly polish, so this purchase was an easy decision. This Orly Color Amp’d Flawless Color duo includes a beautiful baby blue color called Art Walks and a Top coat called Sealcoat.


Whenever I see multiple clearance tags on an item, I like to peel the layers away to see what the previous price was. This one started at $14.99 and sold for $4.48. It was previously listed for $7.48. Most of the time, the new tag reflects a lower price. With some retailers (never Target, that I’ve noticed), the new tag reflects a higher price. I like to see not only that it goes down but by how much it goes down. Messing with the tags in the store could look bad, so I wait until I get home to look at them.

Orly 2

Orly Art Walks is a semi matte bluish green. Compare this to my other blue polishes.

Orly Art Walks

Orly Color Amp’d is mostly clear and semi matte. Compare this to my other treatments, base coats, and top coats.

Orly Color Amp'd Seal Coat

I’ve wanted to try these spray moisturizers since they first came on the market. The problem was they were way more expensive per ounce than their drugstore counterparts. In case they were flops, I did not want to chance it. Items go on clearance, because they’re not selling, the item is being discontinued, or the store has too much inventory. Sometimes the item is over-priced. Buying clearance items is a bit of a risk. There are times when quality items go on clearance, because not enough people gave the product a chance at full-price. Hopefully, the latter is true, because I refused to try this at full price myself.

Suave Lotion

At $2.98, the Sauve Silkening Spray Lotion seemed reasonable. I am glad I did not pick this up when it was $4.18 (not that I saw it then anyway). Once I try it, I will report back on how it goes.

Suave Lotion 2

I’ve received a lot of tanning products, and products that offer a slight pop of color. Only recently have I really started to explore them. So far, I am finding mixed results.

Suave Visible Glow

The Suave Visible Glow seems like a steal for $2.84, but I admit the selling point was the free 1oz Suave Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion attached. Even if the Visible Glow flopped, I had something I was almost certain I’d like. It started at $5.69, and I would have passed had I seen it when it was $4.89.

Suave Visible Glow 2

The best thing about items in clearance or when using a coupon is they combine with Cartwheel offers. Although none of my Cartwheel offers included clearance or coupon items, that is not always the case. Everything in this article technically included a discount, because the only two full-priced items are what I am considering the general coupons went toward. I love that the clearance items count toward the $15 minimums. Thanks to Cartwheel, coupons, and discounts, everything presented in this article was around $50 and purchased across three trips. Target had an offer for a flat discount on beauty items with the first purchase, but I found out kids items do not count toward that minimum unless you purchase them out of the beauty section as I did with the second shampoo.

Need to place a Target beauty order by the 19th? You can use code BEAUTY5 for $5 off a $20 purchase.

Remember to check all offers before placing an online order. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

Disclosure: Affiliate Links

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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.

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