Karen Belz
March 07, 2014 9:00 am

I entered the working world at the ripe old age of 16. For my job interview, I wore a tank top and a pair of shorts. The manager took a look at my pretty bare application and decided to give me a shot. Maybe he saw the glimmer of promise in my bright eyes, or maybe it was just because I lived close – but in me, he saw a winner. Or at least, someone who’d show up on time to make sure the vitamins were facing the right direction.

That first job was at CVS. That next summer, I switched teams and worked for Walgreens. I learned a lot about drugstores, and cherish those fine summers that gave me the amazing opportunity to purchase my own iced coffee with my own money. I also spent a ton of money at CVS and Walgreens, because I was there all the time. When you work in retail, it’s amazing how much of your paycheck goes right back to your company.

That being said, here’s what your typical drugstore purchase says about you.

Makeup – In High Quantities

You don’t just buy a fun tube of bright red Wet ‘N Wild for a Halloween costume – you purchase all of your makeup from the drugstore. You’ve learned that the individual prices pull out from the plastic display, and can get a good sense for when your favorites will be marked down due to clearance. When you come face to face with the Walgreens Beauty Manager, you can’t help but wonder how much fun her job is.

What This Says About You: You like looking nice, but you know how to do it on a budget. You scoff at any kind of makeup over 20 bucks, even if it promises miracles. You don’t need miracles – you’re comfortable and confident in your routine. You’re also great at finding a close foundation match in a pinch, but admit that you’ve been off once or twice before.

Candy – In High Quantities

No matter what you buy, your hand will always reach down to get a few Kit Kats by the register. And you’re not alone – after all, the candy is placed there simply for spontaneous purchases. Yet while you’re grazing, the items you have in your hand cart include like, 5 bags of gummy worms and those circus peanuts. Because you either love or hate those things, and need to solve that mystery once and for all.

What This Says About You: You might be a bit stressed out. Or really hungry. Know how they say to never buy groceries while you’re hungry? It’s true. You end up spending more on things that look amazing during that trip, and then regret the high credit card bill later in the month. It’s super important to treat yourself every once in awhile, but don’t stock up on candy for the sake of needing candy. And here’s some good news – a recent Australian study suggests that gum can increase your alertness and reduce stress and anxiety. So maybe grabbing the Wrigleys over the Milky Way might make you feel better.

Wrinkle Creams and Face Masks

It’s an amazing feeling to slather your face up in something green, which is why everyone should experience a good face mask. (My personal favorite is the drug store classic Mint Julep by Queen Helene.) For you, no product is off limits. If it’ll stop those wrinkles before they start, all the better.

What This Says About You: You’re very concerned about how others perceive you. In fact, you might be a little too hard on yourself. Think about the last time you noticed someone’s clogged pore. Probably never, right?

It’s important to have healthy skin, but the best way to achieve it is pretty simple. According to Dr. Laila Almeida, a dermatologist based out of New Jersey, “If you want to combat wrinkles, avoid sun exposure and smoking and moisturize your skin with any kind of moisturizer.”

Tabloids and Other Magazines

If you want to try a pixie cut, the first step for you is to load up on a bunch of magazines for inspiration. You’ll examine each style about 50 times, and bring it at least five photos to your hair stylist.

You also can’t get enough celebrity gossip. Sure, some of it might be fake (since Jennifer Aniston hasn’t been pregnant for 4 years, right?) but it’s entertaining.

What This Says About You: You love to be well informed. Even if it’s pointless trivia, you still like to be in the know in case it comes up during a night out with your friends. Even if you’ve never watched The Bachelor, you like to learn about the contestants just in case their name pops up somewhere after the show.

You also like to start conversations, and are probably one of the chattiest coworkers around the water cooler. I mean, can you believe what’s happening on this season of Idol?

Hair Dye

Speaking of hair, you never go to the salon for a new hue. You’re loyal to your box brands, and know exactly what you’ll get even before you put the conditioner in. Maybe you’re just addicted to the conditioner, since it smells amazing and seems to work way better than anything else you can find at the store. When a friend asks you for a recommendation, you can steer them in the right direction both by brand and by number.

What This Says About You: You like to mix it up, and get bored with a routine. Sure, you know it might not be the best thing for your follicles, but it’s fun. Chances are, you can recall certain events simply by knowing if they fell into a “red” year or a “deep chestnut” year. You’ve also got an independent streak. Since you’re such a pro, you can dye it all by yourself without splattering red all over the bathroom and making it look like a crime scene.

Greeting Cards

The drugstore is the best place to pick up those small mementos that say “Get Well Soon”, or “Just Thinkin’ About You!” You often pick up a few cards at a time, since you have a packed month of friend birthdays and anniversaries coming up.

What This Says About You: You’re extremely thoughtful. Think of it this way – some people don’t even send thank you cards to their wedding guests anymore. (If you’re a bride to be, please don’t ditch this step after the reception! Even if it takes awhile, it’s still polite.) Most people have ditched the art of handwritten mail years ago, thus most of their mailboxes are filled with ads and bills.

However, you’re aware of how a good card can brighten someone’s day. It’s more personal than a sloppy message of “HB” on someone’s Facebook wall, or even a text. You care about your friends and family, and are willing to spend postage on something tangible that’ll stay on their mantle for months to come.


Even though there are just a few sections dedicated to Cheerios and Coca Cola, you decide to pick them up because – hey, you’re already there. Might as well make the most of your visit, right?

What This Says About You: You’ve got a lot on your plate. Sure, that cereal won’t be expired, and it might even be on sale. But you just don’t have time to make a formal stop to a full fledged grocery store. You’re fine with surviving on the basics if it means you have an extra hour to study, work out, or tend to family matters. Chances are, you’re also pretty easy to please.

Birth Control/Feminine Products

You came in for one thing, and one thing only. You’re not going to pad it (er – no pun intended) with other items, just to ease some of the embarrassment you feel with the cashier – after all, they’re not going to remember you in five minutes, unless you make it awkward.

What This Says About You: You go, girl. If you’re ready to have sex, you’re ready to buy all the stuff you need to be safe. Don’t ever be embarrassed by taking this health precaution. And trust me – as a former cashier who has run into many nervous 20-somethings, I thought absolutely nothing of it. I didn’t go home and recollect on the condom purchase of a stranger, nor did I think they were gross or perverted. I’d have felt the same way if they bought toilet paper.

As for pads and tampons, realize that every woman who is at least 13+ needs them. (Even late bloomers should probably have a supply.) They’re a common purchase, and absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. If you can purchase them with ease, you are quite the confident individual.

Anything In The Seasonal Aisle

When it’s spring, it’s plastic cups and martini glasses. During Valentine’s Day, it’s the gigantic box of chocolates and a bear holding a heart that says “I Love You Beary Much”. There’s always a season present at the drugstore, and you are all about it. I mean, you can’t celebrate Halloween without a few tacky decorations, right?

What This Says About You: You’re a kid at heart, and you can never turn down 75% chocolate, despite the container it’s in. Also, something about those awkwardly sewn stuffed animals speaks to you. You’re not sure why, but you need to give that thing a home. It’s sweet, but try not to make a habit of it. And don’t gift them to your significant other during Valentine’s Day. I’ll let SNL explain it for you.

Your Prescriptions. Nothing More, Nothing Less.

After all, you’re at a drugstore – shouldn’t your medications be your key purchase? You don’t get distracted by the shiny objects around you. You pop in, pick up, and drive away.

What This Says About You: You’re a no-nonsense individual. You also probably keep a tight budget, which is probably very helpful in your household. While you barely allow days to Treat Yo Self, sometimes it’s okay to pick up some glittery nailpolish while you’re waiting for your prescription to be filled. You deserve to do something for yourself on occasion – even if it’s something small.

What’s your drugstore shopping style?

Image Credits: , Candy, Mask, Dye, Cereal, Seasonal