I know this sounds either really stupid or really weird but hear me out. It’s almost impossible to walk around any neighborhood in LA without coming across a giant CVS. Like a huge CVS- have you seen the one on Whittier and Atlantic? Is this a Cathedral? Am I in Rome? Didn’t I just buy horchata from the cart around the corner?

CVS got your everyday groceries now. CVS got your eggs, your milk, your toilet plunger, Need slippers? Got em. Need a space heater? Got em. You need women’s comfort socks in assorted colors- CVS has yah back boo. But since this is LA, we are all paying way too much for rent. We’re all tryna find some way to save extra cash. I’m tryna help all y'all out. Behold: The best 10 under 10 you can find at your local CVS.


1. Kiss Brush on Nail Glue: being a baller on a budget doesn't mean you can’t splurge here and there and get your nails done. If you’re like me, you have a spiritual connection with your nail lady (S/O to Wendy at Pamper Nail’s in Culver City you a real one.) Sometimes, disaster strikes and they pop off. Usually, when this happens you end up crying in your room tryna figure out if you’ll even have the time to get them re-done. This nail glue changed my life, paint a little on your real nail, pop that acrylic right back on and BOOM! Good as new. Now your full set is back and you ready to get back to ballin.



2. NYX Butter Gloss: I’m a girl with two-toned lips. I’m a girl who’s always eating. I’m a girl who may not be able to touch up her makeup at all during a 10 hour day. I need a formula that looks good, stays on, doesn't run, and can handle some pad thai or pizza. This shit is a life saver. I have it in the shade titled “Devil’s Food Cake” and it mixes so well with my matte lippies. I especially love to pair it with the Glossier Lippie in Leo for a super sultry summer look. At 5 bucks, you can even pick up a few more shades!



3. Philippine Mangos:  I know more about mangoes than I do about some family members. I’m used to having more mangoes in my house than actual food. Be them dried, diced, pureed, pulped, frozen- a girl always got those mangoes on deck. The CVS brand candied mango is the BEST mango you can eat. This is the best on the go snack. It's not junk food, it’s hella satisfying, and the best part, it costs less than 10 bucks! Healthy snacks really be costing you a kidney these days, but all these mangoes do is keep yah kidneys, and the rest of you, healthy and carefree.



  1. Raspberry and Cream Shortbread Cookies: I know I just talked about healthy mangoes and it may sound like a betrayal that my ass is bringing up cookies next but hear me out…life is about balance. I grew up with a dad who could eat a box of cookies a day. We a mango family and a cookie family. I love me a good cookie with some black tea to end my night- these raspberry babies are too good. Like I can eat a ton of these in one sitting. Not to say that's my advice to y’all but…live your life to the fullest okay.


  1. Dead Sea Minerals Face Mask: Back to stuff that makes you pretty (although in my opinion ain’t nothing finer than a girl who eats a whole box of cookies by herself) this mask is LIFE y’all. I’ve done the mask rounds; Clinique, Lush, The Face Shop, all that shit. Nothing has beat this for me. Even the one time use packet can honestly last you 3 or 4 sessions. Use it as a spot treatment on troublesome acne! Put this stuff on a pimple for 20 minutes and you’ll see that thing calm down like crazy. The big bottle is a great investment to just keep in your drawer. Pair with a glass of wine on a slow Sunday night: you straight chillin.


  1. Malibu Strawberry Kiwi: Speaking of alcohol. We really need to talk about how CVS has a liquor section more stalked than a frat star’s dad out in Beverly Hills. This shit is INSANE. This is thousands of dollars worth of alcohol! One shelve costs more than my rent! But we ain't tryna drop 100 bucks on a bottle in aisle 10.  Malibu Rum and CVS got you covered for that bad and bougie hook up. They're cute, they’re fun sized, shareable too. Just what you should be buying when you run in for paper towels and eggs.


  1. CVS Brand Cetaphil: I’m really tryna have my brown skin be as hydrated as possible in this dry heat. I also do not want to pay the price Cetaphil is tryna get me to throw down. Who do they think they are? This is lotion. I can buy 5 in and out burgers for the price of the brand name ish, I’d rather not. The off brand version is great. I put that stuff everywhere. It last like a year. It’s a necessity. Don’t be caught out here in these streets ashy okay! I warned you!


8. CVS Brand Nair: I have mentioned I'm a brown girl several times here and that basically translates to “I am hairy.” Like not just some leg hair- I'm talking that when these shits grow back my legs can bleed. Shaving is a hassle. Nair doesn't always work. But on the real. This stuff leaves my legs GORGEOUS. I leave it on for 5 minutes more than recommended because like I said- Brown Girl here- but when it comes off I am always shedding happy tears. Plus it lasts for SO long. A shave will only last for maybe a few days, this Nair got my legs hairless for a week and a half almost. Hands down one of the best things in my beauty cabinet.



9. Cantu Coconut Cream: I think all us curly haired girls have a serious love-hate relationship with our hair. I moved to LA to see my hair texture take a complete 180. I have tried ALL the products. Miss Jessies, Mixed Chicks, three kids of Deva Curl, Ores, and Shea Moisture. Nothing worked to get my hair back to its proper healthy texture. But Cantu, y’all, this stuff really saved my life, wallet, and my hair. I got my ringlets back, and I didn’t spend 30 or 40 dollars in the process. Not to mention the size of the container it comes in- I’ma have curls for days. Bless you CVS.



  1. Charcoal Capsules: So it’s pretty hard to know which beauty trend is really good for you and which is fake. Charcoal though- that stuff is bomb. You can take these pills as vitamins or you can get creative. Mix one into a morning smoothie or acai bowl. Sprinkle it on ice-cream to be angsty OR mix it with glue for a pore cleansing face mask. This little bottle is magical. You can have clear skin, a cleansed body, and a cool black smoothie- what's not to love?


There y’all have it. I hope this list changes your life. Consider it your “treat yo’ self list.” If anything it makes it apparent I’m at CVS way too often. I’m aware of this. I know. But if anything this proves you should slide through CVS more often! No, they aren’t paying me to say that. I really am just so grateful to CVS. Happy drug store adventures y’all!

- Suraiya Ali