Dolly Parton: Cheaper products are just as good as expensive ones, sometimes better

Dolly Parton is consistently one of the best interviews in the world, but I would be remiss if I didn’t remind people of her iconic Marie Claire interview a few years ago, conducted by RuPaul. Go back and look at those quotes and laugh. She out-drag-queen’d RuPaul, she talked about her antique wigs, she confessed to getting up at 3 am and starting to work crazy-early. She also talked about feeling like she needed to be “street-ready” at all times, meaning that she always has her “face” on (makeup) and a wig ready. She always has heels ready to go too. It was an amazing interview. Well, Dolly recently chatted with Insider and she’s still talking about how she’s a crazy early-riser and how she loves cheap products. When I say I stan…

Dolly Parton may be working “9 to 5,” but she’s actually getting up much earlier than that! During an interview with Insider that published on Sunday, the country music legend opened up about the simplicity of her morning routine, revealing that she hops out of bed at 3 a.m. every day.

“I don’t need a whole lot of sleep,” Parton, 76, told the outlet. “I go to bed pretty early, but even if I’ve been up late — it’s just kind of like a little clock inside of me that says ‘it’s 3 o’clock!’ ”

“I do some of my best work there, but I get enough sleep,” the country music legend added. “I don’t require as much sleep as a lot of other people do, that’s kind of a Parton family trait.”

Parton went on to explain that she starts her morning like most people, with a skin-care routine. However, she doesn’t have any tips or tricks to looking energized throughout the day, admitting, “I don’t do any big rituals with my skin or anything.”

“I don’t think you have to pay a ton of money to have good products,” she said. “Most of the products that cost less are just as good, and sometimes better than the ones that cost a fortune. I don’t buy for fame. I just buy the ones that work for me.”

The “Jolene” singer simply attributed her good skin to her inability to tan when she was younger.

“I never got out in the sun,” Parton told Insider. “I don’t have a lot of the same problems that women my age do ’cause I never baked myself in the sun. I would’ve if I’d been able to tan but I couldn’t, so now I’m glad!”

[From People]

It drives me crazy that there are people in this world who can wear a full face of makeup all day, every day and still have good skin. Like, I would break out like crazy if I wore makeup with any regularity, much less every day. But the other stuff… I use cheap drug store products too. I’m not paying $200 for a nightcream, I’m sorry. I’m convinced that the $30 stuff works just as well, if not better. As for Dolly being an early riser… I am too. I only get up at 3 am if my cats wake me (which they do, often). But I can wake up at 4 am or 4:30 and be pretty functional. I can write coherent posts within minutes of waking up too. I can’t really explain it. But even though I’m an early riser, that means I do try to go to bed earlier and earlier. I need a good six or seven hours of sleep most of the time.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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33 Responses to “Dolly Parton: Cheaper products are just as good as expensive ones, sometimes better”

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  1. Silent Star says:

    So true. Same goes wine!

    One of my favorite mascaras is from the very cheap Essence brand, and I’ve tried most of the high end mascaras (although admittedly my most favorite is a bit expensive).

    My favorite face moisturizer is Jergen’s body lotion.

    • B says:

      @SS I LOVE Essence Lash Princess as as well! In fact, I tried it after buying through a Celebitchy Amazon link. The price is amazing. I shared it with a couple of friends who are very “selective & particular” and they liked it too. (Reg & waterproof are great).

  2. Kari says:

    I wish I was a year round early riser, but honestly my body only wants to do that when it’s summertime. I am a night owl and agree that some of my best work is sometimes done between midnight and 4am when I can just be alone with my thoughts.

    I love what she says about skincare products. I think we have gotten to a place where there are so many great affordable options for skincare that you really can find some products in drugstores that are just as good, if not better than high end. Ultimately I think do what works for you, I personally have combo high end/low end routine (most of which I can only maintain due to my Ipsy subscription) but the more I try out products the more I focus on ingredients. It’s ridiculous how some of these Luxury brands will roll out products that are nothing more than glorified fragranced water.

  3. DiegoInSF says:

    I’m one of those people, always wear a full face but my skin is flawless. A friend that I shared a hotel room with was shocked she said she thought I had bad skin because I wear makeup all the time, I was offended, I was like well my skin is flawless, I just love makeup ok???
    Im with Dolly on affordable products, shout-out to the ordinary and the inkey list. Paulas choice used to be cheap but prices keep creeping up ever since Paula sold it. I never buy it without a discount , they always have one going on btw!

    • Laura Johnsen says:

      No ones skin is flawless

      • NotSoSocialB says:

        A person can feel that their own skin is flawless/ very good. That definition is pretty subjective, since we are not made of plastic. I think in this instance flawless means looks pretty great, since we are imperfect humans.

      • DiegoInSF says:

        Thanks notsosocialb!
        When I got my eyebrows done a couple weeks ago, all the technicians came to see at my face as they couldn’t believe I wasn’t wearing any makeup (it’s just across the street from me) and we’re asking me for my skincare routine.

      • fishface says:

        I have seen many women with flawless skin. Many Asian women in particular have the most beautiful skin – it’s like they have no pores.

  4. Jessica says:

    Dove, Aveeno, Vanicream, and Neutrogena with hyaluronic acid has been working for me. I also will use any kind of serum with vitamin C that I find at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Doing something is better than nothing.

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      There’s an app, I think it’s called Beauty Calculator, that uses your camera app for the SKU and adjacent batch code that tells you when that product was created. Be careful with purchases at those discount stores, the products may be quite old.

  5. Colby says:

    I went down a YouTube hole of dermatologist skincare routines one day, and I was shocked at how many use drugstore brands almost exclusively. That told me everything I needed to know – no need to spend big bucks.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Colby this is so true. My favorite brand Cereve is now a drug store brand, but I used to buy it at the dermatologist office before it went into the drug stores. The same dermatologist gives out samples of Eucerin and other well known drug store brands. I buy a few more expensive items to mix in, but my basic routine is Amazon/Target ready.

  6. Case says:

    I used to try all these different products from Sephora to try to get my skin looking nice — it only ever made it worse. Now I use La Roche Posay lotion from Target — no oils, vitamin serums, or special creams, etc. — and my skin looks better than ever.

  7. Jo says:

    Not only cheap products are as good as expensive ones but most of the time it is down to genetics. My dad has never ever moisturized his skin and yet he looks 60 at 81. He washes his face with soap. My brother-in-law in his 40s has more wrinkles than him. He’s a surfer so of course the second thing is lifestyle. I believe less and less in cosmetics and more and more in acceptance, lifestyle and joy.
    Or cosmetic surgery which I don’t understand but to each their own.
    Honestly, did you ever see such a drastic change that you asked what product had done it? I mean drastic?

  8. Twin Falls says:

    Seems like a lot of productive/successful people just don’t need as much sleep to still be able to function well.

    There are so many products out there. It gets expensive to keep trying different even inexpensive ones.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      I think it’s more that people who don’t need as much sleep can be more successful because they can fit more work in.

  9. FHMom says:

    I’m sure there are some differences between expensive or drugstore brands. To me, the most notable is the smell. I remember my aunt saying that if she is going to spend a lot of money on lipstick, it better smell good. That said, I rarely buy expensive cosmetics. Every so often when they offer bonuses, I will buy Clinique or Lancôme.

    • Betsy says:

      Smell is so subjective though. Maybelline lipsticks are great, but the smell is just too much for me. Revlon has a great formula but they took the perfume out years ago and it no longer has a smell. Lancome has a smell but it smells like it came from a flower itself. Scents are all over the board.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      Stuff that smells good isn’t actually good for you, fragrance whether synthetic or natural and “clean” irritates your skin! I learned this from Paula Begoun.

      • Grant says:

        Actually, fragrance CAN irritate your skin but doesn’t always. It just depends on your skin type. My friend can’t wear anything with a fragrance or essential oil. I never have problems with fragrance and love stuff that has scents.

  10. VivaAviva says:

    I’m a product snob, in the sense that I won’t use things that don’t work. I have a mix of high-end and low-end products for my skincare. For my makeup, I have a weird skin tone—medium to deep with neutral undertones. Most foundation is either too yellow or two red for me, so I use high end foundation because there’s usually more shades.

    • Fig says:

      I am the same med to deep with neutral undertones! So many foundations i tried made me look yellow until Fenty came along. I’m 300 in her foundation (which says warm undertones on the Sephora site but neutral undertones on the actual Fenty site)

  11. Fig says:

    Well I’m VIB at Sephora so I do buy some high end stuff but I never ever buy high end mascara. Drugstore mascara always gets the job done (L’Oréal lash paradise is my fave, right now I’m trying LA Girl plush mascara and it’s great). Also one of my favorite products at Sephora is The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% which is around $10.

  12. C says:

    I love The Ordinary, I have a ton of their products. I will usually splurge on sunscreen, a decent French/Japanese/Korean one with better UVA filters for daily wear (right now I love the Avene Solaire UV MIneral Tinted Defense SPF 50+ which is around $32 but I also like the Beauty of Joseon SPF 50+ which is $18 or the Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ which is like $14 on Amazon).
    I’ve tried tons of high end hair care and my hair looks the same as with drugstore, so I stopped blowing money on that. Same with body products.
    You can get decent lower-price dupes for everything except perfume IMO.

    • KASalvy says:

      I used to love the ordinary as well until Estée Lauder bought the majority of Deciem. The formulas started changing and my skin couldn’t take it anymore. Had to switch to a cleaner ingredient brand.

  13. Mrs. Smith says:

    @Celebitchy posted Hannah Waddingham’s skincare routine here a few months ago. I gave it a try since it it seemed like a good fit for my skin. It’s a mix of some higher priced items with lower ones. The Skin Food moisturizer she used has been fantastic and it’s about $15 at Target. Her routine has made my skin look pretty good!

  14. Me says:

    I’ve never worn makeup and I credit my good skin to that (my brothers and my sister both had acne, so I think bad skin runs in my family, and I’m just the lucky one). I unfortunately do have some forehead creases, which I blame on early smoking (10-20 years old) and my mom encouraging me to use tanning booths in my teens.

  15. SomeChick says:

    mascara is one of the best places to economize. there’s really not that much difference. I used to recommend loreal as they are owned by lancome, but I’m boycotting both now because they support russia. but hell, elf or even wet n wild mascara is probably fine. it’s all the same stuff.

    I go really simple with a body brush before bathing, then aloe gel after, and then moisturizer over that. coconut oil occasionally as a hair or deep moisturizing skin treatment. (you can also use coconut oil to oil wooden or bamboo cooking implements and to moisturize leather items!)

  16. Cleancut Flower says:

    You guys would go nuts if you ever visited Germany and ended up at one of the DM store’s, a kind of a drugstore, or beauty shop, that’s so cheap they don’t sell their products online. Pick up is possible, if you have a German address. It’s normal to drive from Belgium or The Netherlands to stock up.

    The products are very, very, and again VERY good for the skin.

  17. Nicegirl says:

    Dolly is a national Treasure. I love her cool be ready to go plan also.

    Thank you all for these amazing product and skincare tips!