Left to right: Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash, ColourPop All I See Is Magic Pressed Powder Shadow Palette, Bali Body Shimmering Body Oil, Glossier Lip Gloss

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

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Cup ‘o Coffee and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack close-up

Left to right: Cup ‘o Coffee, Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, Moisturizing Moon Mask, GRAVITYMUD™ Firming Treatment, Indian Healing Clay

Anyone who knows me (or has been following Haute Mess for a while) knows that I am a total mask junkie; I can’t go a week without masking. It’s just who I am. And because my readers requested I do more skincare posts in 2018, I decided to round up my favorite masks and tell you guys a little about them.

When it comes to finding a good mask, I look at the ingredients first; it is *so* important to be educated on everything you’re putting in your pores. Just like with food, ingredients are the first thing to look at when shopping for skincare.

It can get a little confusing, or at best, overwhelming, because most masks these days are multi-taskers jam-packed with ingredients that offer an array of benefits for our bodies’ largest organ: the skin.

From detoxifying clay masks to creamy hydrating masks and everything in between, I’ve tried so many different masks (including nearly the entire range from Lush)–and I definitely know which are my favs at this point. (Although I am by no means closed off the recommendations, so send me yours.)

In addition to the masks I listed here, I’m also a huge fan of hydrating sheet masks. Because they’re so affordable, I’ve tried countless different ones. And while I can’t even begin to narrow down my favs (or even remember which I’ve tried), I know that I love those formulated with red wine, collagen, hyaluronic acid and snail mucin.

Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack: Hands-down my favorite mask of all time, I really can’t get enough of this guy. It’s my go-to because I know I can trust it; it never breaks me out and it does its job time after time. Creamy kaolin clay detoxes, while bitter orange peel gently exfoliates.

As Glossier’s site states, Mega Greens, which is packed with powerful leafy green phytonutrients and superfruit antioxidants, is like a juice cleanse for your face. The ingredients work to cleanse the skin the same way juice cleanses you internally. And all that goodness protects the skin against pollution and other damage, too. $22, Glossier

Lush Brazened Honey: This mask from Lush is really similar to Glossier’s Mega Greens. The only differences are that you can pick it up IRL at your nearest shopping mall, and there’s much less of it per container.

It contains detoxifying kaolin clay and ground almonds, a gentle exfoliant, as well as honey (duh!), a superfood full of essential nutrients and antioxidants, that nourishes and fortifies the skin naturally.

Much like Glossier’s, Brazened Honey has never caused my skin any irritation, and it *always* does what it claims it will do: deliver smoother, brighter, more even skin that looks and feels clean and–most importantly–healthy. $9.95, Lush

Lush Cup ‘o Coffee: Another must-try from Lush, this face and body mask acts as a physical exfoliant while the kaolin clay gently detoxifies. Full disclaimer, though: I’ve never actually used this one on my face. But, I almost always have it in my medicine cabinet because I love using it from the neck down.

Caffeine wakes up the skin, leaving cellulite-prone areas looking perky. And of course, the ground coffee itself sloughs away dead cells so skin is soft, smooth and far from ashy. I love applying it before I shower, waiting 5-10 minutes, then hopping in to scrub myself clean. It’s an essential every season (and a must-have before any at-home tanning products) that leaves my bathroom smelling ah-mazing. $11.95-$22.95, Lush

Ulta Pollution Defense Pomegranate Peel-off Mask: I tried this one on a whim one time while shopping at Ulta and ended up falling in love. Although it’s not at all what I expected, it’s a really great, quick-and-easy affordable pick-me-up.

I was instantly drawn to this mask because it contains witch hazel, which is probably one of my favorite skincare remedies ever. It’s a natural astringent that removes excess oil, unclogging pores and purifying the skin.

Vitamins A and C, antioxidants found naturally in pomegranates, fight free radicals, which lead to signs of aging. It also contains soothing Vitamin E. The first time I used this mask, I noticed results as soon as I peeled it off.

This mask’s texture is really strange (and slightly difficult to work with), but the benefits (and price!) make it worth it. The slightly water-like formula drips like crazy before the mask is dry and ready to peel off, so I always make sure to throw on an old t-shirt or towel before I put it on. $3, Ulta

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: Okay, so I’m sure most of you guys have seen this deep pore cleansing mask all over the beauty blogosphere. But, I couldn’t leave it out of this post because I always have it on hand.

For those of you who don’t know much about this mask, it comes as a powder and you mix it with apple cider vinegar (available at grocers, health food stores and Amazon), smear it on your problem areas, then let it dry. I definitely don’t recommend using this mask on your entire face–at least not at once–because it is so harsh.

Nevertheless, this mask is a long-time favorite; I love how you can actually feel it working as it hardens–it definitely lives up to its “feel your face pulsate” slogan. I use it on my t-zone to tighten and detox my pores, and to dry up any problem breakouts or excess oil. But I’ll warn you: it gets *super* uncomfortable if you leave it on too long, and the smell of vinegar is strong. Prices vary, Amazon

Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask: Moisturizing Moon took me a couple tries to get the hang of, but once I did, it quickly became a staple in my routine.

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: I don’t use this guy as a mask, at least, not as a wash-off mask as it’s intended. Instead of smearing it on thick and rinsing it off after 20 minutes, I work a thin layer into my skin before bed, and by the time I wake-up, it’s fully absorbed–no need to rinse.

After continued use, I noticed visibly plumper, softer, brighter skin, as well as less dehydration overnight. It’s never caused my skin any sort of irritation whatsoever. In fact, it leaves my complexion with a Glossier-worthy shine in all the right places. $22, Glossier

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: So this is one of those social-media-made-me-do-it purchases. I had my eyes on this guy for a while before Sephora’s VIB sale, but held out for a few weeks to get the 20-percent off.

I hadn’t heard of the brand until a handful of my fellow Glossier Reps started trying this mask out. But, I’m a total sucker for Korean skincare, so I was instantly intrigued by Glow Recipe’s one-of-a-kind mask.

The color, scent and texture are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a mask before. Not only is it a gorgeous Glossier pink, it smells like a juicy, perfectly ripe watermelon. It has a weightless jelly–almost goopy–texture that sinks into the skin to brighten overnight. $22-$45, Sephora

GLAMGLOW GRAVITYMUD™ Firming Treatment: Because GLAMGLOW’s is the first anti-aging treatment I’ve ever tried, I was a little worried about how my skin would react. Thankfully, it hasn’t caused any type of reaction.

This easy-to-use peel-off mask delivers instant brightening and line-reducing results. Plus, the metallic silver sheen totally Insta-worthy. It has definitely made me eager to try more from GLAMGLOW. $24-$69, Sephora

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A cropped halter isn’t typically winter-wear, but since when have I cared about playing by fashion’s rules?

Although it is summer in Australia and winter here in the U.S., that definitely is not stopping me from wearing Aussie cult label I.Am.Gia’s warm weather pieces here in the Northern Hemisphere–including the new pink polaris set.

On this snowy day, I paired the Clueless-inspired top-and-pants combo with my very worn-in Doc Martens.

I’m typically the girl in a pullover sweater and athletic pants as soon as temperatures drop below freezing, so this look was slightly out of my comfort zone. But, I’ve been dying to wear this set ever since it came out, and I am *not* about to let it collect dust in my closet until the weather decides to warm up. It’s just too cute.

I.Am.Gia first made waves with polaris when mega-babe Emily Ratajkowski–aka Em Rata–sported the original orange set in September. (Is there anything she can’t pull off?!)

It was an instant hit for me. And a lot of others, too, apparently, because it sold out so quickly. But, the planets aligned: the day the pink polaris set made its debut I had store credit, so I scooped it up ASAP. (There is also a lime green set that’s giving me major heart eyes…)

Polaris is just as gorgeous IRL as it is online, although, I am no Em Rata in it. I am really impressed with the fabric; it’s thick, stretchy and comfortable. The colors are stunning, too. I love the Glossier pink base, and the soft gray plaid pattern is far from harsh or masculine. It’s Cher Horowitz for the new millennium–without looking like you tried too hard to be a Clueless clone (we’ve seen that too many times).

This set is smooth- and seamless-looking (though it isn’t technically seamless), but it does have a few little details; the most obvious being the zipper detail front and center on the pants. The top also has two ties for closure, one at the neck and another at the lower back.

I didn’t feel the need to accessorize at all because this set is statement-making enough on its own–it’s an instant outfit! Just add a coat and shoes, and you’re good to go.

Now that I’ve gotten my polaris fix for the winter, I’ll most likely be putting this set away until temps warm up and I can wear it without layering a coat on top and heavy boots underneath. Though if I swapped the Doc Martens for a pair of heeled booties and added a faux fur coat, I could definitely see this look working for a night out. Drinks, anyone?

Shop my look:

Top, I.Am.Gia

Pants, I.Am.Gia

Boots, Doc Martens, similar here

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Disclosure: I am a Glossier Rep, and I received this product as a gift from Glossier. All opinions are my own, and I am not required to post about the brand or its products at any time on any of my digital platforms. 

With normal-to-oily skin, I’m not immune to the occasional breakout–especially during “that time” or when I’ve been indulging a little too much.

Although my skin’s become a little drier and less prone to breakouts with age, they still pop up enough that I like to keep various, albeit trustworthy, remedies in my medicine cabinet.

Meet Glossier Solution, my lineups newest addition.

This 10-percent AHA/BHA/PHA salicylic acne solution does more than treat and prevent problem pimples. Yes, it is a powerful chemical exfoliator that treats acne, but it also minimizes pores and treats rough texture, uneven tone, redness and clogged pores. Because it’s Glossier, it leaves your skin glow-y, balanced and healthy (thanks to calming ingredients aloe and niacinamide).

Solution is the skincare hero with proven results! It improves the look and feel of skin in four weeks. Per Glossier,

In a poll of Solution daily users, 74 percent said skin looked transformed after four weeks.

In a poll of Solution daily users, 88 percent said skin looked clearer after four weeks.

In a poll of Solution daily users in a clinical trial, after four weeks 3 out of 4 people said it was the solution they were looking for.

Over a period of 15 months, Glossier’s chemist and development team worked to create a maximum efficiency solution that’s gentle enough for daily use. And it definitely delivers.

I have been using Solution every day for about a week now, and so far I am extremely happy with the results. Though it’s going to take another three weeks to see the full results (and I’ll have another review up then), I am really loving Solution so far. This is somewhat of a pleasant surprise, because I was slightly hesitant to add it to my routine–as I usually am with new products.

Thankfully, Solution hasn’t caused any problems for me whatsoever, and like I said, I’ve been using it daily for almost a week. (When a beauty product does cause side effects such as irritation or breakouts, that always happens to me within 24 to 48 hours, so I know I’m good to go with this one.)

It’s super easy to use. The liquid formula takes a little while to sink into the skin; I’d say somewhere between 30 seconds to a minute. I always apply it after removing makeup and cleansing. Afterwards I move onto toner, serum(s) and moisturizer. Because I do this routine at night, I hold off on sunscreen until morning (for obvious reasons).

Solution has a slightly tingly feeling to it, but that subsides as soon as it sinks fully into the skin. And it never stings me or leaves my face feeling overly dry or tight.

Like everything else Glossier, this product has a pleasant smell–it isn’t strong or chemical-y or alcohol-y at all. The scent reminds me a ton of Priming Moisturizer Rich, which has a lavender aroma.

Quite possibly the best thing about this product? It’s affordable! 4.4 fluid ounces costs $24. You can shop it, as well as the rest of Glossier’s skincare and makeup, through my Rep link. (P.S., Invisible Shield‘s price has been permanently reduced to $25, so stock up!)

I really look forward to the coming weeks, and seeing how my skin improves after using Solution long-term. The rightmost corner of my forehead/temple is a huge problem area for me, as is my chin, so I hope to see spots there fully disappear. If that happens, it will be a pretty big deal, because those areas haven’t been completely clear since April or May. It’s a tall order, but Glossier is always up for the challenge.

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I really cannot get enough of Aussie cult label I.Am.Gia! Thankfully I had a store credit when they launched a new collection a few weeks back.

The Cobain overalls are so on-trend right now; checks are popping up everywhere, and so is this relaxed silhouette. Still, the color palette is neutral enough that this piece doesn’t come off as over-the-top trendy or tacky. (At least not in my opinion!)

Flow-y legs are a nice change of pace from typical tapered overalls; they really help the look appear effortless. And the slate gray base really makes the black and white pattern pop.

For this casual look I paired them with a sporty cropped sweatshirt in a similar gray color. I’ve been loving cropped sweatshirts lately, and I’ve been seeing them a ton, too! Despite “athleisure” styles slowly fading out in 2018, I think pieces like this one are going to be really popular this year.

And to play up the grunge vibes the overalls give off, I added my worn-in Doc Martens.

Speaking of grunge, I wanted to quickly touch on a couple trends for the upcoming season. My forecast for 2018 includes grunge-luxe by day (think: faded, relaxed denim with minimal tears, plain white t’s, satin camisoles, lacy lingerie, plaid miniskirts, slinky maxi dresses and mixed metals) and a modern take on classic tailored pieces by night (think: fun separates, sexy blazer dresses, pinstripes, bold color combos like red/pink or black/denim, oxblood, shiny fabrics such as vinyl, PVC and satin, platform sneakers and glossy makeup).

These overalls definitely don’t skimp on details, so I kept accessories to the bare minimum. I love the bold buckle details on the back of the straps, as well as the oversized grommet-clasp combo that makes up the closure on the front.

Much like the label’s bestselling Cobain pants, the new Cobain overalls have an edgy chain detail on the hip. They also have three front pockets (including one with an exposed zipper), additional black straps at the waist for a customized fit and an open back for a sexy, feminine touch.

The only finishing touch I added were my everyday hoop earrings to avoid looking too busy.

Enjoy the two mood boards I created for 2018 via Polyvore below, and be sure to let me know what trends you’re looking forward to rocking this year! And for those of you who want to shop this look, scroll all the way down.

Daytime [source: Polyvore]

Evening [source: Polyvore]

What I’m wearing:

Sweatshirt, Free People (gray is no longer available, but black is still in stock–and on sale!)

Overalls, I.Am.Gia

Shoes, Doc Martens (not pictured), similar here

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