Ask a beauty editor for their first point of call on a trip overseas and pharmacies are always top of the list. A guaranteed treasure trove of cult products you’d struggle to find at home; they’re also great for discovering new and effective (not to mention affordable) additions to your make-up bag. Here, Vogue breaks down the ultimate drugstore beauty buys to pick up on a trip to New York.
Cocokind, Turmeric Spot Treatment
The bestselling balm that was in every handbag in New York last summer lives up to its reputation. Its soothing blend of organic turmeric, ginger root, tea tree oil and beeswax is designed to help tackle breakouts, reduce pigmentation and redness, and finally keep inflammation at bay. The balm is super easy to apply – try mixing a little with your night moisturiser or applying underneath a mask for extra potency. Be warned though, it can leave a temporary turmeric-yellow mark – but it washes off easily and is worth it for the end result.
Heritage Store, Rosewater & Glycerin Spray
Rumour has it that noted American psychic – and Heritage Store inspiration – Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) came up with the formulation for this product while he was in a trance. Using electrolysed water, it’s designed to hydrate and cool the skin simultaneously and was developed for dry, harsh weather conditions (it’s also great when flying or in offices with over-zealous AC). Whether or not you buy into the magical properties of the key ingredient “vor-mag water” – water that has been vortexed and magnetised to raise the energy to a higher vibration – Vogue can confirm that a spritz of this leaves the skin thoroughly refreshed.
Eucerin, Eczema Relief Hand Cream
This extra-rich, balm-like hand cream is made to tackle everything from eczema to the after-effects of over-washing or freezing conditions (and if anyone knows about cold winters, it’s New Yorkers). For the best results, slather copious amounts on both sides of the hands, put on a pair of cotton gloves and leave to soak in overnight – you’ll wake up with the softest, smoothest skin.
Neutrogena, Hydroboost Hydrating Overnight Mask
Packed with hyaluronic acid, this deeply hydrating mask rejuvenates and moisturises the skin overnight – the time when skin cells naturally regenerate, so a good opportunity to boost this process. Wash off in the morning to reveal a plumper, bouncier complexion.
Sally Hansen, Gel Top Coat
This is the finishing touch for at-home manicures. Promising to give your nail polish extra longevity (up to 14 days), the thicker-than-your-average brush is great for easy application, especially if you don’t quite have the dexterity of a professional manicurist. The finish is super glossy, with just the right amount of density over the nail.
Aquaphor, Healing Ointment
This healing balm is a catch-all for skin that needs rehydrating and soothing: it works on cracked heels, weather-beaten hands, sore cuticles, chapped lips and pretty much any other areas of irritation. The applicator also means you can apply generously without leaving any residue on the hands. Made up of 41 per cent petroleum jelly (and free from fragrance and preservatives), it allows oxygen flow to the skin, while still providing a protective barrier to help heal. Vogue recommends using it to prep your feet – restoring smooth, supple soles in time for summer sandal weather.
EOS, Ultra Moisturising Shave Cream
Once you’ve used this product, you’ll never settle for anything less when shaving. It leaves the skin incredibly smooth, soft and hydrated, and it smells delicious too – one Vogue editor likened it to “face cream for the underarms”. Packed with shea butter, vitamins E and C, and enriched with aloe and oat extract; it can be used wet or dry, and all but eliminates any razor nicks. Your skin will thank you for it.
Crest, White Strips
One of the most effective at-home whitening treatments that Vogue has tried. Using the same enamel-safe technology that dentists use, it gives visible results after just a few applications (apply once a day for 30 minutes). It’s great for topping up between dentist visits, or to give your teeth a lift ahead of an event.
By no means sexy, but definitely practical, these antacids are the best antidote for a digestive system left out of sync by travel, food triggers, acid-inducing anxiety or even just a big meal. Handily, they also double up as breath mints.
Arm & Hammer, Essentials Deodorant in Fresh
This natural deodorant is a great alternative to less effective crystal sticks. The key ingredient is pure baking soda, which helps to reduce sweat and odour, it contains natural plant extract, and it’s free from aluminium, parabens, dyes and animal-derived ingredients. Plus, it has a good, clean, not-too-strong scent, and won’t stain your clothes.
Author: EMMA STRENNER AND CHRISTINE BANAWA