Whether you’re on a budget or are unsure about investing in an expensive skincare or makeup item, there’s a number of affordable products on the market that feel so high-end. The beauty industry has made a ton of innovations over the past couple years, and luckily for us, that means better quality products at a more affordable price.
I’ve narrowed it down to 12 of my favorites, but I hope to have a second part on the blog within the next few months. Be sure to leave your favorite affordable beauty must-haves in the comments down below–I cannot wait to check them all out!
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: Made with the same cleaning agent found in contact solution, this cleanser is super gentle and safe to use on the eye area. Glossier also replaced 1/4 of the water in this formula with soothing, aromatic rosewater that smells almost identical the brand’s Manhattan showroom.
Milky Jelly Cleanser works on wet skin to–duh!–cleanse, but it also works on dry skin to melt away makeup and grime. And it’s great for every single skin type, including sensitive. $18, glossier.com
Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich: This is the product that inspired me to put together this list in the first place. You already know and love Glossier’s original Priming Moisturizer, but have you met Rich? Think of it as PM’s more luxe sister.
It contains a red algae complex, Ceramides 3 and 6, five key fatty acids and murumuru butter to deeply nourish and moisturize the skin, as well as an anti-redness complex and an oxygenating agent improve tone and texture so skin is prepped for makeup (or not).
I looove how luxurious, yet weightless, Rich feels on the skin; it’s truly feels like a daily indulgence. The murumuru butter feels super dense, while the other ingredients fortify skin’s moisture barrier, locking moisture in. $35, glossier.com
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Wipes: I’ve used a ton of makeup remover wipes throughout the years, and these are by far my favorite. Neutrogena’s seem to be the most commonly used, but they have always left a weird, greasy film on my skin that I don’t like.
There are some high-end makeup wipes–such as Koh Gen Do’s–that are great, but who wants to spend that much on something that’s getting thrown in the trash in a matter of seconds? Not me.
Simple’s Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes are a trustworthy and affordable option, but when using these I almost always need two to remove a full face of makeup, so I end up going through a pack of them really quickly.
That’s why I am so happy I discovered Bioderma’s last year. They have the gentle and effective micellar formula that I love, but they’re super saturated, so just one does the job. $9.90, beautylish.com
Mario Badescu Facial Sprays: Refresh your face throughout the day and soothe your skin after cleansing with one of these cult-favorite, super affordable sprays.
My personal fav is the one with aloe, cucumber and green tea–I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my skin’s tone and texture after a month of using it daily. Now, I always keep backup so I’m never without its comforting hydration.
There’s also an aloe, herbs and rosewater formula, as well as an aloe, chamomile and lavender option. $5-$12, ulta.com
Frank Body Lip Scrub: Everyone needs a lip scrub in their medicine cabinet, but sadly this product often goes forgotten.
For me, a lip scrub is essential both for removing stubborn lip colors, as well as prepping the lips for lipstick or gloss. There are some great DIY lip scrubs on Pinterest, and Lush also has a few affordable, natural lip scrubs, but lately I’ve been loving this one from Aussie skincare label Frank Body.
It’s loaded with coffee and raw sugar to gently and evenly exfoliate, as well as coffee seed oil to naturally plump lips. Cold-pressed macadamia oil and ethically sourced beeswax soften and soothe your pout. $12.95, ulta.com
Glossier Lip Gloss: Remember MAC’s pricey Lip Glass from middle school? Glossier’s got a less costly formula that won’t make your lips peel like crazy the way MAC’s did.
This kirakira-worthy clear lip gloss is formulated with a mixture of emollients so it’s long-lasting, conditioning polymers so it’s never goopy or sticky, as well as Vitamin E so lips are moisturized and look cushiony soft. $14, glossier.com
L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise: Drugstore mascara is the way to go; I just haven’t found any high-end mascaras to be worth their price points. My favorite by far is L’Oreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise. I never bought the same mascara more than once until the Paris-based beauty giant debuted this formula last year. Available at drugstores
ColourPop Pressed Powder Eyeshadow: Keep just one or two on hand, create your own palette or choose from any of the gorgeous palettes ColourPop has to offer. I really cannot get enough of these pressed powder shadows because they’re so pigmented, silky and blend-able–and they last all day on the lids. Prices vary, colourpop.com
ColourPop Lippie Pencil: ColourPop is known for its liquid lipsticks; at least, that’s how the company rose to massive fame. But, I prefer their lesser known (and super under-appreciated) Lippie Pencils.
Every makeup lover needs a few lip liners, but who wants to spend $15+ on something thinner than the No. 2 pencils we used in grade school? ColourPop’s liners are creamy, long-lasting and available in a ton of shades. Oh, and did I mention they cost $5 each? $5, colourpop.com
NYX Butter Gloss/Intense Butter Gloss: Ultra-pigmented, ultra-shiny gloss without any of the glitter? Yes, please.
NYX Butter Glosses and Intense Butter Glosses plump up the lips, look sophisticated and smell like dessert. With a combined 58 shades between the two formulas on Ulta’s website, there’s something for everyone when it comes to NYX’s buttery-soft and affordable Butter Glosses. $4.99-$6.49, ulta.com
Bali Body Shimmering Body Oil: I’m just as guilty of lusting over that bronze body oil from NARS on Sephora’s shelves as the next girl. Thankfully, Bali Body has our backs (quite literally) with an bronze body oil that’s half the cost!
BB’s natural skincare and tanning range is a long-time favorite of mine; I’ve been using their tanning oils for years, and their BB Cream for nearly as long. So, when they launched Shimmering Body Oil just before the holidays, I scooped it up as soon as it was available and instantly fell in love.
Not only does this formula smell even better than their original tanning oil, it’s loaded with gold and bronze shimmer particles. Shimmering Body Oil is formulated with coconut, jojoba and grape seed for a nourishing, moisturized glow that absorbs quickly into the skin. It gives the skin an instant streak-free bronzing day or night. $29.95, us.balibodyco.com
Glossier Body Hero Duo: So, this is technically two products, but who’s counting? If you want to treat yourself to an at-home spa day but bath’s aren’t your thing, or you want to make every shower–even the shortest, most rushed ones–feel like a mini pamper sesh, Body Hero Daily Oil Wash and Daily Perfecting Cream are the products for you. Learn more here. $35, glossier.com