DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE SMACKDOWN: SKINCARE

DEPARTMENT STORE DRUGSTORE SMACKDOWN: SKINCARE


6 minute read

 Cardi B. or Nicki? La Croix or Spindrift? Uptown or Downtown? Don’t you always feel like you need to choose?

But what if we thought of it more as...

Cardi B. AND Nicki. La Croix AND Spindrift. Uptown AND Downtown. Why choose when you can have both? That’s The Sunday Issue’s philosophy when it comes to Department Store AND Drugstore skincare and beauty. There’s an art to combining hero products from both categories and we’re here to share with you our years (and we mean...DECADES) of trying a cornucopia of creams, potions and lipsticks from our neighborhood Duane Reades and Sephoras.

We’ll admit it, when we began concepting this piece we were completely overwhelmed. We pooled our collective product reviews and results, read a lot of beauty guru and editorial opinions, reviewed past Top of the Towers and crowd sourced our readers and friends for their opinions. It quickly became clear we needed to devote separate posts to skincare and makeup to give each category the proper focus they deserve. It also became clear that while, in general, we believe one should spend on skincare and save on makeup, there are subcategories within each where this rule does NOT apply.

Without further chatter, we bring you the Department Store Drugstore Smackdown: Skincare. 


 CLEANSER

 DEPARTMENT STORE

DRUGSTORE

      WINNER: DRUGSTORE
      Here’s the thing, we think it’s kind of difficult to see efficacious, long-term results via facial cleanser alone. There are some amazing high-end face washes, but if there is a place you can opt to spend less money, this is the skincare category to do so. There are basic, workhorse cleansers at the drugstore that will do just what they’re designed to do: remove makeup and pollutants.

      FACIAL MOISTURIZER

      DEPARTMENT STORE

          DRUGSTORE

          WINNER: DEPENDS
          No, we’re not being wishy-washy here. We went back and forth about this and realized there is a bit of nuance that needed to be addressed. If your skin is without any serious dermatological conditions such as cystic acne, rosacea or sensitivity, then a straight-forward, drugstore brand moisturizer should suffice. However, if you’re looking to target a specific or chronic skin condition or are looking for anti-aging products, many of these specialized moisturizers require a little more money.

          EYE CREAM

          DEPARTMENT STORE

            DRUGSTORE

            WINNER: DEPARTMENT STORE

            We will admit we may be a bit biased, but here at Sunday Forever, well, we’re a group of sensitive humans and the skin around our eyes is no different. It requires super-hydrating but extremely gentle eye cream. We rarely find drugstore versions that work, so we had to award this one to the department store. May you be luckier than us!


            EXFOLIATING TONER

            DEPARTMENT STORE

              DRUGSTORE

                  WINNER: DEPARTMENT STORE

                  We’ve tried a lot of chemical exfoliants and the ones that show some serious results are the ones we can’t get at the corner Duane Reade. In fact, up until a few years ago, one of our favorites (Lotion P50 1970) had to be sent from Rescue Spa in Philadelphia, one of the only US retailers to sell this miracle broth.


                  SERUM & OILS

                  DEPARTMENT STORE

                    DRUGSTORE

                        WINNER: DEPARTMENT STORE

                        While The Ordinary has been a complete game-changer (also, as of press time, now sold at Sephora...again), we just can’t deny that there is a better selection of serums and oils at the department store. That isn’t to say our drugstore picks are not amazing (they are!), but let’s face it, our favorite affordable brands are not readily available at Target or Wal-Mart either.


                        MASKS

                        DEPARTMENT STORE

                            DRUGSTORE

                                  WINNER: DRUGSTORE

                                  The drugstore offers so many effective options at much lower prices. You can procure mud masks, sheet masks AND pimple patches FOR LESS THAN $20...COMBINED! WHAT?! Yep.


                                  MISTS

                                  DEPARTMENT STORE

                                      DRUGSTORE

                                          WINNER: DRAW

                                          Why are we not taking a side, once again? Because we love ALL of these mists!! While it’s clear there are so many spectacular drugstore options, we can’t dismiss that our two favorite department store picks are superheros. So, depending on your budget, you really can’t lose.


                                          BODY LOTION

                                          DEPARTMENT STORE

                                              DRUGSTORE

                                                  WINNER: DRUGSTORE

                                                  This is a no-brainer. If you want your skin to look human and not reptilian, you need a body lotion. Why spend more than needed? We can’t think of a reason, so *BOOM* the drugstore wins.


                                                  Catherine Spinley is a sometimes-writer and photographer based in New York. When not stalking other people’s dogs or yelling at people who refuse to walk up the left side of the escalator, she works in the beauty industry and practices yoga. You can read more from her at Worepaint.com.

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