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    26 Under-$40 Beauty Products To Help You Avoid Salon Prices

    A fan favorite hair treatment, the best lip mask you'll ever find, and other items to help you feel your best.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Olaplex No. 3 should be the first thing you reach for after you do something drastic to your hair. Why? Because it heals hair from within and refortifies the hair structure.


    Promising review: "Best Hair EVER! Olaplex No. 3 is a MIRACLE! The only word I can use is AMAZING! After two applications, I could IMMEDIATELY feel a difference in my hair. I color my hair and use heat daily to style, so it is very dry at the ends. After using the No. 3, my hair was silky and felt healthy. LOVE THIS PRODUCT!" —DHuff

    Get it from Sephora or Amazon for $28.

    2. Benefit Cosmetics Waterproof Brow Pomade is perfect for adding pigment to thin or light brows. All you need to do is apply it with a brush, and then blend it in.

    Sephora, Christine Forbes / Buzzfeed

    Promising review: "I have brows that are basically invisible without product, so I generally use three products: tinted wax, pencil and gel. My usual tinted wax was discontinued, so I gave this a shot, and OMG. I think it will replace the wax AND pencil. Powmade is super pigmented and provides filling and shaping. I just used the gel still to define the hairs, but wow. I am so impressed with this. Highly recommend." —ElizGB

    Get it from Sephora for $20 (available in eight shades).

    3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation boasts a larger shade range than most drug store brands. People love its buildable, matte formula because it's not drying and lasts all day.

    A reviewer's scarred skin before applying foundation / A reviewer's skin with no noticeable scarring after using the foundation

    Promising review: "I love this foundation. This is the first foundation I have tried that has matched my skin so closely. It gives me medium to light coverage, which I personally love since I like wearing this during the summertime. I have acne scars that I really don't love. They make me feel self-conscious about myself. But this product provided coverage over them. In the two photos linked I only used foundation, no concealer around my cheeks and forehead. The first pic is before and the second pic is after I applied foundation to problem areas. You can obviously see the coverage this foundation gave me. Also what tops it all is that this foundation is matte! I have very oily skin so this thing is my holy grail. If you are wondering whether to get it, just read this review. It goes on and blends flawlessly. I bought another bottle just because I love it so much! (BTW I got the color 330 Toffee Caramel)." —Simpleebekah

    Get it from Amazon for $3.15 (available in 40 shades).

    4. Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb has never done me dirty, and it won't fail you either. It's my favorite lightweight, water-gel day cream because it never leaves me too oily or dry.


    I have oily skin, and this product doesn't leave me looking like an oil slick. It's hydrating enough to keep my skin balanced all day. I've alternated between using this and Peter Thomas Roth's Cloud Cream for four years. Both are amazing, but Aqua Bomb works just as well for a lower price.

    Promising Review: "WOW!! MY FACE FEELS SO AMAZING!! One day I was like screw it — my face needs this! I bought the Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb. After drying, my face would feel so soft and moisturized (also, it doesn't get sticky like other products)! I do recommend this product for people with any skin type, due to the fact that it's a small moisturizer and it lasts a long time. It has also helped me clear my acne in a little over a month. I 110% recommend this product!!" —KiarasStuff

    Get it from Sephora or Amazon for $38.

    5. The ultra-moisturizing Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask showed me how soft my lips could be. At first, I was ashamed to spend almost $30 on a lip product — but this one is worth every cent.

    The lip mask

    My ex used to kiss me just to get some of this mask. It's that good. I recently put my roommate onto this, and she fell in love. Now she swears by it. This mask was originally introduced in a box set, but Tatcha started selling it individually because there was such huge demand.

    Promising review: "Best lip product I’ve ever gotten the pleasure of buying for my dry-a** lips. My lips always tend to crack and chap really badly, especially in the winter/fall time. So I started looking into lip masks and chapsticks, and this one is the only one I’ve noticed to make a big difference. It says night mask, but I use it more as chapstick 'cause it’s so addicting and not gross feeling when applied to the lips. This product is amazing. I definitely recommend it. I’ve gotten my mom and best friend hooked on this, and they love it just as much as I do!" —rissarose

    Get it from Sephora for $28.

    6. Beauty Bakerie's Butter Hydrasilk Primer + Antioxidants prevents your makeup from electric sliding off of your face before you even leave the house.

    A model wearing the primer
    Beauty Bakerie

    Promising reviewer: "The butter face primer glides on super smooth and isn't super sticky its good for makeup to cling to but not sticky like you dumped syrup on your face definitely recommend this product and very cute packaging 😊." —Rhoda H.

    Beauty Bakerie is a woman-owned, cruelty-free cosmetics company founded by Cashmere Nicole, and it's mastered the perfect shade range for people of color.

    Get it from Beauty Bakerie for $24.

    7. Solution may be a really vague name for a chemical exfoliator, but don't let that deter you. It's got salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids that are great for erasing acne scars.


    Promising review: "Although results may be different for everyone, this has worked wonders for my skin. I had been doing my skincare like normal, but it really just wasn’t doing much. Until I found this! Even after just two days, half of my bumps and pimples on my face were gone! It is quite strong though, so I would recommend starting with using it one to two days a week and working your way up. Personally, I found that three times a week has worked best for me." —Siena R.

    Get it from Glossier $24.

    Still not convinced that this cult-favorite product is worth the money? Read this article on Glossier's Solution to learn why it definitely is.

    8. NYX Epic Ink Liner, aka the queen of waterproof liners, can withstand the trials and tribulations of life, especially water and smudging. It'll stay put without fading all day until you're ready to take it off.

    A reviewer's eyeliner

    Promising review: "I have heavy lids that have deflated after major weight loss and now sit ON my lashline. Because of this, any eyeliner will transfer right? If I sweat or cry, I'll have a copy of the perfect line I made somewhere on the upper lid, right? Well, I was trying them all with NO luck no matter what they cost or claimed! Then I bought this one. Unfortunately, this one came just as I was about to give it the ultimate test. My husband of almost 40 years passed away after fighting cancer for four years. He was my everything and I still love him with everything I have. He died at home with me four weeks ago and I have worn this to the funeral and every day since. I've shed buckets of tears and because it's in the 90s with 100% humidity here in Ohio, I've sweat rivers too. But not one transfer, smudge, or fade away! I hope you NEVER have to worry about your liner under circumstances anything like this but if you cry happy tears or sweat, you can count on this one more than any other one I've tried!" —Maureen Spaulding

    Get it from Amazon for $8.93 (available in two sizes and colors).

    While I can't quite compete with this above reviewer's testimony, feel free to check out our full review of the NYX Epic Ink Liner.

    9. The potent La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment to empty out your pores (yes, including whiteheads and blackheads) with quickness.

    The squeezable product tube and a flower

    Promising Review: "I love this acne spot treatment! It helps my acne to go away in a day after using it. It has been the only acne treatment that has worked for me. Don’t use too much though or it will dry out your face. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for an acne treatment that works to get rid of acne." —Mackenzie D.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    10. Equinox Professional Barber Hair Cutting Shears are ideal for those who know what they're doing with a head of hair. The blades are so precise that they'll be the last shears you ever have to buy.

    A reviewer's hair that was cut with the shears

    Promising review: "Love these scissors! I wanted to buy some professional scissors to trim my ends without breaking the bank for a haircut. Usually I pay $50 plus tax and tip to “cut” my hair...which is usually a trim on the ends. My hair is very fine and straight, so there is not much to cut. I usually trim my hair every six months by a stylist, and I rarely heat-style (I blow-dry my hair maybe 4–5 times a year, as my hair dries super fast with it being fine, and maybe curl it on special occasions, so my hair is very healthy). Bought these scissors for under $20. I cut my hair today and am very pleased with the results. I would highly recommend buying these, especially if you have fine hair and just need a trim." —Becca Bear

    Get it from Amazon for $12.81 (available in three finishes).

    11. NYX makeup-setting spray keeps your makeup from clocking out early. No creasing, no running, and no oil — unless you want a little shine. This cruelty-free formula comes in matte and dewy finishes, so you can switch things up.

    Promising review: "I have a lot of acne and oily skin and I must say this setting spray is really the cherry on top! When I put this on after I finish applying makeup, I NEVER get oily! I have worn this through two shifts (I have two jobs), rode two buses to get home, and walked home, and I still looked flawless! This is a must-have." —Sasha

    Get it from Amazon for $6.72+ (available in two sizes and in matte, dewy, and radiant finishes).

    12. Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 literally goes ghost the minute you put it on — and that's why we love it. You'll be hard-pressed to find a scentless, invisible, weightless formula that blocks over 96% of harmful UV rays and blue light from your phone.,

    Promising review: "I was hesitant to purchase this because of how expensive it is for the amount you’re given but it was totally worth it! I usually have issues with sunscreens and moisturizers making my other skincare products peel (I use hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and alpha-arbutin) but this sunscreen is perfect! I experienced no peeling and no white caste like you would with mineral sunscreens. The texture feels like a foundation primer and doesn’t look or feel greasy. Highly recommend and definitely worth it." —Fran

    Get the standard size from Amazon for $34.

    13. CoverGirl matte concealer blurs pesky pimples, dark circles, and whatever else you may want to cover up. The doe-foot applicator picks up a LOT of product — you'll be amazed how easy it is to blend. Shoot, you may not even need more foundation.

    A bare-faced reviewer with uneven skin who applied the concealer to completely cover uneven skin tone

    AND it's available in 30 shades, so it's easier to find one that actually looks natural.

    Promising review: "For all of you lovely makeup lovers (like myself), this stuff is amazing! I honestly thought I was going to get ehh ok results especially because I usually conceal with a peach/orange color correcting concealer for my under eyes and acne scars, because they're quite a bit darker than the rest of my face. I also normally set with a powder before applying my foundation over the top but I wanted to see if this was good enough on its own and it is. I didn't set it or my foundation and after shopping for hours in the Texas heat, there weren't any creases or patchy blotches. I love it." —Kimber Rosee

    Get it from Amazon for $3.89+ (available in 30 shades).

    14. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Pore Exfoliating Treatment relies on lactic acid, fruit enzymes, and vitamin E to shimmy the dead cells and scarring off your skin. Start unclogging your pores with this treatment so that you don't break out.


    Promising Review: "This product is amazing! I have never used an exfoliating product that changed my skin after one use! Before I get into that, I am obsessed with the way this product smells, and the dark green color of the product makes my heart happy. I first used this in the shower, when I didn’t have any makeup to remove. The next day when I woke up, I was eager to check out my face. My skin was SO smooth, and the texture along my jawline was almost completely gone! I am so amazed. I never would have believed if I was told this product would get rid of my texture so quickly. Now I don’t know that I can be without this exfoliator! Don’t try this unless you want to fall in love — it’s pretty much guaranteed!" —PammyPajammie

    Get the travel size from Amazon or Sephora for $25 (also available in standard and 5-ounce sizes).

    15. Maybelline under-eye concealer fools everyone into thinking you're well-rested and didn't spend half the night binging your favorite shows. Its sponge applicator makes it ridiculously easy to blend without getting your hands dirty. You won't find a better concealer under $10!

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "This is the best under-eye concealer ever. I am 67 years old and have tried them all. It blends nicely with my foundation and has never caked. The sponge applicator is soft and makes application quick and easy. I will continue to use this product and hope, like many products I've used over the years, that it doesn't get discontinued." —Morty

    Get it from Amazon for $4.33+ (available in 18 shades).

    Check out a BuzzFeed editor's full review on why she loves this concealer in "Just 8 Maybelline Products We Really Love."

    16. NYX Born to Glow Naturally Radiant Foundation might just be the best contradiction you'll ever put on your face. For starters, it's got a matte finish that doesn't sacrifice luminosity. You'd expect a vegan foundation to break the bank, but this gem is only $10. With a lovely medium to buildable coverage, your skin will be the main attraction in all of your virtual meetings.

    Foundation swatches on four arms in different skin tones

    Promising review: "As someone who has to do a multi-step skin prep before putting on foundations because my skin is super dry, I hate when foundations still cling on to those ugly dry patches. This foundation does not do this as much as the other foundations I have tried does this. I am a deeper toned African-American woman, and this foundation (Cocoa) matched my skin tone beautifully with only a little adjustment needed for discolorations around my lower face. However, this foundation does not hold up against humid Georgia weather but it also did not have me looking like a oil slick. I believe because my skin is naturally dry, as this foundation started to wear down I looked more dewy than oily, so people with oily skin might want to powder more or avoid this radiant foundation. It transferred a little but the next time I wear it, I will wear more powder with it." —Chantia King

    Get it from Amazon for $9.97 (available in 45 shades).

    17. Or Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation since its hydrating formula makes it one of the best on the market. This'll also protect your skin, courtesy of SPF 18. Maybelline didn't skimp on the ingredients either — the product is dermatologist- and allergy-tested, noncomedogenic, AND fragrance-free.

    The foundation bottle

    Promising review: "This is my favorite foundation ever! You get such a great quality product at an amazing price. I normally wear foundation three to four times each week and this bottle ends up lasting me at lease four months. I would say the coverage is light to medium, so if you are just looking to even out your skin tone or cover up a few small spots, then this is the foundation for you. I have pretty pale skin and I have had a hard time finding a good foundation that didn't leave me looking orange and I finally found this one! It works really well with my skin tone and the color stays true and doesn't oxidize and get orangey like a lot of other foundations do. I have pretty dry skin and have found that this works best if you exfoliate a few times a week and moisturize first about 30 minutes before applying the foundation so it doesn't have any dry patches to stick to. I think that for the price, this is an amazing foundation. It applies smooth and the coverage lasts all day for me without having to reapply. I do recommend using a setting powder over top of the foundation if you like it a bit more matte because this foundation can tend to look a bit shiny if not." —britt

    Get it from Amazon for $3.15 (available in 24 shades).

    18. Urban Decay Naked 3 Mini Eyeshadow Palette is a cult favorite for its super blendable neutral shades. It includes three versatile shimmers and three stunning mattes.

    A person holding the palette

    Promising review: "LOVE these colors!! They are great for a no-makeup look but can be built up and is easily blended to be a bright or an evening look. This palette is especially great for blue eyes, as orange is the opposite of blue on the color wheel. I love the high pigment of the naked line, the last palettet I bought lasted over three years and I wore it almost every day." —Shawna Hathaway

    Get it from Amazon for $29.

    19. Tribe Afro Pick Comb features an eye-catching geometric pattern and is the easiest way to gently fluff your hair.

    A person using the pick

    AfroPick is a small, family-owned business that creates wood, plastic, and metal combs that pay homage to Black history and pop culture.

    Get it from AfroPick for $14.99 (originally $17.99).

    20. Glow By Daye Deep Conditioning Thermal Heat Cap makes deep conditioning easier than ever. It's microwaveable so you don't have to sit under a dryer to achieve pillowy curls.

    Glow By Daye

    My hair has been consistently soft since I began using this. If you heat it in the microwave for three minutes, it'll stay warm for up to half an hour. My roommate and I find every excuse to use these.

    Glow By Daye is a woman-owned small business founded by Ranay Daye and based in Los Angeles. She sells a variety of bonnets, as well as silk pillowcases.

    Get it from Amazon for $37.96+ (available in six colors) or from Glow By Daye for $39.96.

    21. Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Softening Leave In Conditioner is the answer to your low-porosity 4c hair woes. It's got ingredients Afro-textured hair can't get enough of, like aloe vera, argan oil, jojoba oil and more!

    Christine Forbes / Buzzfeed

    Trust me, I've bought five — and it's not because the bottle was embarrassingly small. You actually get quite a bit of product. This conditioner has changed my hair. It's longer, stronger, and more manageable.

    Promising review: "I've been natural since 2007 when there were so little products out there. Fast forward to now when there are soooo many; I've tried them all over the years but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING COMPARES to this leave in!!! My hair loves it! I have no negatives. I also appreciate the fact that I got every last drop out of the bottle. I'm neurotic and hate throwing out a bottle when there's still a tiny bit of product on the bottom. One bottle lasted me almost five months. Thanks a million Whitney!" —J.

    Melanin Haircare is a small, woman-owned business that makes conditioner, shampoo, oil, and other accessories for afro-textured hair.

    Get it from Ulta for $18.99.

    22. Hair Rules No Suds Cleansing Cream helps normalize oil production, reduces irritation, and cleanses hair without leaving it bone dry.

    The jar of cleansing cream
    Hair Rules

    I decided to try this because Anthony Dickey, the founder of Hair Rules, is brilliant. His approach to hair is so unique, but I wasn't completely sold. Nevertheless, I figured this product would be a good place to start. It did not disappoint. My hair is substantially less dry, fragile, and hard after I use this shampoo. Additionally, I like that it comes in a jar rather than a bottle so I can truly use every drop of product.

    Hair Rules is a brand owned by celebrity stylist and active industry influence Anthony Dickey.

    Get it from Hair Rules for $32+ (available in two sizes).

    23. Bread Beauty Supply Hair Mask works wonders on Types 3 and 4 hair because it's lightweight and ultra-nourishing. How? Bush plum and starflower super-fruit oils.

    Kayla Boyd / BuzzFeed

    "I recently started using Bread products and I really love how lightweight and easy they are to use. Since I have mixed textured hair that's been frequently dyed, it tends to get very dry. After using this deep conditioner my hair felt so much better and softer. In addition to that, the smell is A-MA-ZING. Definitely one of my new favorite wash day products." —Kayla Boyd

    Bread Beauty Supply is a woman-owned, Australia-based, business that was founded by Maeva Heim in 2020. This product works best for hair types 3a–4c.

    Get it from Sephora for $28.

    24. Mented Cosmetics Lipstick pictured below in the shade "Blacker the Berry," has a velvety matte finish will keep your lips poppin' all day without making them feel too dry.

    buzzfeed writer in dark red matte lipstick
    Jasmin Suknanan

    "I love a dark lip for the fall (my fave season). This lipstick is a beautiful deep cranberry color that I JUST CAN'T WAIT to pair with jewel-toned knit sweaters. It's from Mented, which is a Black-owned beauty brand. The lipstick is matte but it leaves a soft, comfortable feeling on your lips so I can't wait to order more of their shades! 💄" —Jasmin Suknanan

    Mented is a small, Black woman-owned business whose lipsticks are all vegan, paraben-free, nontoxic, and cruelty-free.

    Get it from Mented Cosmetics for $20 (available in five colors).

    25. Beauty Strike Rosewater Toner rebalances and hydrates your paper-tight skin. When you're done, recycle the bottle for 15% off of your next BeautyStrike purchase.

    A person holding the bottle of toner
    Beauty Strike

    My skin was about as tight as Kim K's Mugler dress when I decided to switch to this toner. It's non-irritating, and I love that the spray bottle doesn't require me to touch my face.

    Promising review: "I love the rose water & glycerin toner. It leaves my skin moisturized, dewy and soft. I just had to get used to how the spray comes out. It’s literally a fine mist which isn’t an issue but I do find myself spraying more to cover my whole face. Other than that it’s amazing." —Ariel G.

    Beauty Strike is a Brooklyn-based small business founded by Emani Mone Jeter, a third-generation beauty professional and licensed esthetician. She creates natural cleansers, toners, treatments, moisturizers, and more that are recyclable.

    Get it from Beauty Strike for $14+ (available in two sizes).

    26. Rosen Skincare Bright Citrus Serum uses vitamin C and mulberry extract to minimize discoloration and fight acne-causing bacteria. If you have acne-prone skin, you should definitely try this.

    The product bottle
    Rosen Skincare

    Promising review: "At first I was very skeptical because it just smelt and felt like you were rubbing lemon on you face. I have very (OILY) skin. This product has lightened my acne scars and controlled acne! I LOVE IT AND WILL BE ORDERING AGAIN! I will post results." —Ilyasha Eiland

    Rosen Skincare is a small business on a mission to make the acne space a cleaner, more enjoyable place to shop. Every product is informed by research.

    Get it from Rosen Skincare for $18.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated gift guide

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Looking for more great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.

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