By Elise Tabin
Beauty is expensive these days, but there is plenty of oh-my-gosh-this-is-the-best-product-ever for less than 30 bucks. Think everything that works or looks good on your face needs to break the bank? That’s hardly the case.
We rounded up 25 of our all-time favorite beauty products that each cost less than a round of drinks during girls’ night out. Oh, and speaking of gal pal time, consider these picks the gems to dish on and tell everyone about during your next get-together.
If the pretty factor of this dual-phase brightening skin cocktail doesn’t make you stop dead in your tracks, then what’s inside—and what those power ingredients do—most certainly will. Like a tall drink of water for super thirsty skin, this energizing berry-based oil is rich in vitamins C, E, and B5 plus omega fatty acids to restore a healthy, youthful glow to the skin while kicking dryness to the curb.
Multi-tasking makeup sits high at the top of our list, and this one never disappoints. We give the skincare-meets-powder formula major points for its ability to create smooth-looking skin while evening out dark spots and hyperpigmentation. But the fact that it stays put all day and lets your skin still show through for a natural finish is what we truly love about it.
You’ve probably spotted your favorite celeb or influencer sporting a pair of these metallic rose or yellow gold under-eye brightening patches, and for a good reason. Not only are they PERFECT for covering up any signs of a late night and tired morning on the ‘gram, but they actually work in a matter of mere minutes to de-puff and enliven tired-looking eyes and send those bags packing!
For less than the price of a Starbucks grande iced cappuccino, you can swathe your lips in shiny gloss and a buttery soft finish. Each juicy color—there are more than 25 shades to choose from—melts into lips for a kissable pucker. Once you try these glosses, we promise you’ll stockpile them in every shade and buy one for every purse.
Here’s the deal with makeup remover: if it irritates or burns your eyes, it most likely gets relegated to the back of the medicine cabinet and never sees the light of day again. Yet, this one is so gentle; even if you happen to get a drop or two into your eyes, it won’t sting or cause them to turn bloodshot and red. We give this gentle yet hard-working vegan formula two thumbs up for being oil-free (so it’s safe to use on lash extensions).
Lightweight sunscreens that are effective at staving off UVA and UVB rays and free radical damage that don’t leave a white cast on the skin are hard to find. But this European drugstore favorite (it’s available in every pharmacy on every corner in every major European city) absorbs fast and dries down to a matte finish, and leaves the skin free of any sunscreen residue so that you can safely layer makeup on top.
Does your body scrub even qualify as the best of the best if it isn’t Tik Tok famous? This mango-, peach-, and vanilla-scented exfoliator smells like a beach vacation in a jar. But its ability to remove dead skin—it makes for the perfect pre-self-tanner prep—and reveal healthy, glowing skin is what has us buying this oil-rich moisturizing scrub over and over again.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a hydrating body wash that rivals this pH-balanced one that leaves skin feeling like it is wrapped in a layer of silk after just one use. Dermatologists often recommend this creamy formulation, especially for dry skin, since it relies on naturally-derived plant-based cleansers along with lipids and glycerin that won’t disrupt the skin’s delicate balance in the least.
Thick, creamy, pudding-like hair masks are the ones to reach for when parched strands need a serious reboot. This ultra-gooey (in a good way!) one infuses dry, brittle locks with argan oil and plant protein for a luxurious experience that rivals your favorite in-salon treatment. We promise it doesn’t disappoint.
Every Miami ‘it’ girl swears by this locally-based beauty brand which makes, perhaps, the most natural-looking self-tanner for under 30 dollars. And unlike other tanners, application with this one is easy: apply it with a mitt and dial up the desired darkness by layering on more of the tanner. You will find nary a streak thanks to the argan oil, vitamins A, C, and D, and coconut, olive, and jojoba oils-rich formula that will have you looking like you just came back from a quick jaunt in St. Barths.
If you like the look of a soft, feathered brow that still has some definition to it, then this is a must-have for your beauty bag. Harnessing the power of a tinted fiber gel—you won’t see any suspect fibers sitting on top of the brows—this celeb makeup artist favorite is an easy, under-five-minute way to whip-thin and unruly brows into perfection with a natural finish.
Just one wash with this low pH cleanser (it comes in between 4.0 and 5.0 pH) is all it took for us to become completely addicted to the super-soft post-cleansing feeling this face wash provides. The relatively new skincare brand is rooted in Korean beauty practices and modern innovation, so it makes sense that this cleanser doesn’t irritate or strip the skin yet provides a mild exfoliating effect with tiny pieces of green tea leaf powder. Other nods to K-beauty include a 7-year aged vinegar, ten different botanical extracts, and a Chaga mushroom extract, making this formulation stand out from the pack.
Let’s be honest: creating that perfect winged eyeliner is not exactly the most straightforward task for some of us to achieve. But luckily, there’s this little helper, which lets you get that flawless flick with the press of a stamp. Here’s how it works: stamp the wing side onto the outer corner of the eye and then use the liquid liner side to connect the lash line to the wing. It’s so easy, and anyone can do it!
If there’s one palette that needs to call your makeup bag home, make it this one. A mélange of the brand’s best-selling bronzers—the matte powders are ideal for a chiseled contour—highlighters, powders, and blushes, it’s the color payoff coupled with the most delicious scents that does it for us.
Squeaking in just under the 30-dollar price tag comes this ultra-hydrating, does-it-all lip treatment that doubles as an alternative experience to lip fillers sans the needle. Counting hyaluronic acid and konjac sponge spheres as the main plumpers also provides a natural-looking shape to the lips. The result is a high-gloss finish (you can layer color under or over the booster) and long-lasting moisture while preventing the signs of an aging lip.
Everyone and their mother (including our moms and us) sings the praise of this cute little pot of lip-softening ingredients, like antioxidants vitamin C and a boatload of hyaluronic acid. Coat the lips in one of the six different flavors before hitting the sack and wake up to plump, soft, luscious lips.
There’s a big difference between good mascaras and great mascaras, and this formula qualifies amongst the latter. A few coats are all it takes to rival the look of false lashes and create expertly lifted, voluminous, dark flutters that last all day without any smearing or flaking.
Thirsty skin literally drinks up this extra-nourishing cream, one of the OG plant-based formulas. Use it anywhere dry skin exists—the legs, arms, feet, and even hands—and let the magic moisturizing power of sunflower and sweet almond oils and rosemary, chamomile, and pansy do their things.
Rather than constantly searching for a set of false lashes to pop on for a night out, keep a five-pack of these on hand. Not only do they create a pretty, wispy effect, but their lightweight doesn’t make eyes feel bogged down nor irritate. And they’re reusable, which is always a plus.
Big effect, little price tag, and major skin protection–isn’t that what we are all after these days? This oil-meets-serum formula hydrates, strengthens the skin’s delicate barrier, shields against environmental aggressors, takes down redness and signs of stress, and imparts the skin with a beautiful glow. Even though it’s an oil, it’s safe enough to use on all skin types—acne-prone skin included.
Super shiny, show-stopping lips ahead thanks to this non-sticky gloss that offers up the most beautiful-looking colors—the Magic shade, a clear gloss with flecks of gold shimmer, is nothing short of heaven. Whether you layer these on top of lipstick or opt to wear them solo, you’ll feel good knowing that there’s a bevy of skin-savvy oils inside to soothe, repair the damage, and protect against free radicals. Let’s call this gloss a win-win.
Want to get rid of an unexpected pimple fast? Dab this creamy formula, which counts succinic acid, sulfur, and salicylic acid as its blemish-busting superstars, and watch it start to fade away. It’s light enough to wear under makeup and promises not to dry out the skin, either.
Like a universal shampoo for literally every hair type out there—chemically-treated and colored included—this feel-good formula is infused with moringa oil for weightless shine sans the frizz. So stock it in your shower and watch it disappear fast since everyone in your home will want in on this one.
No time for a manicure? No problem. Pop on these modern-day press-on nails and shape and file them for a flattering fit. Unlike press-ons of yesteryear, these don’t feel heavy on the fingers, and they won’t come flying off in the middle of your next virtual presentation—they stay put until you remove them.
A pretty, pearlescent eye with lots of sparkle and shine, plus dramatic color, is always in. And to create that same look, you’ll want to reach for this dual-ended eyeshadow which boasts a bit of grown-up glitter and reflective pigments. Start by washing the lids and the lower lash line with the silky crayon side, then amp it up with the glittery side for a simply gorgeous look.