42 Beauty Products That Only Cost A *Little* (But You'll Use Them A *Lot*)
This affordable teeth whitening pen is making all those expensive strip treatments shake in their wrappers.
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. Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind concealer, an inexpensive lightweight concealer for anyone who wants to quickly touch up before Zoom calls or errand running, but doesn't want to commit to a whole layer of foundation. This also helps cover dark circles without caking and reduce puffiness.
TBH, last year I started using this myself (although this is BuzzFeed editor Kayla Suazo's lovely human face above), and I am mad that I wasted time with other concealers for so long. I am a deeply impatient person who likes to look good and does not like to put in effort in any way, shape, or form, and Maybelline created this so that people like me could gracelessly slap it on in the morning and be like "OKAY, REFLECTION, YOU GOT THIS" before being on their merry way. It never cakes, I look way more awake than I have any right to, and I never struggle to blend it the way I do with other concealers. 11/10 subscribe.
Promising review: "This is my all-time favorite concealer. It goes on creamy, covers under-eye circles without looking chalky. I hope they never stop making it." —YVonneM
Check out BuzzFeed's full review of Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Concealer for more deets.
Get it from Amazon for $4.33 (available in 17 shades).
2. A bottle of Elizavecca Hair Treatment, an Olaplex "dupe" repairing mask infused with collagen ingredients and protein extracts that will help restore hair health and reduce shedding. All you gotta do is apply it on wet hair after a shampoo, wait five minutes, and rinse it out.
This is designed to work on all hair types, with reviewers with 2b to 4c curls mentioning it worked for them!
Promising review: "Holy moly. This stuff is AH-mazing. To be free of bad stuff, smell amazing, leave my hair SMOOTH and SOFT (did I emphasize that enough), and leave my hair drying quicker with it looking near perfect. Well folks, what else is there to say? Buy it. Don’t think about it. Just do it. This coming from a super picky hair girl!" —Aubsmommmy
Check out BuzzFeed's full review of the Elizavecca hair treatment for more deets!
Get a bottle from Amazon for $12.31.
3. Essence's Lash Princess mascara, because TBH, we've all wasted too many years and too much money looking for the ~holy grail~ mascara. This one is less than $5 and will give you such instant length you'll feel like your eyelashes are about to pull a Butterfree and take flight.
4. A hair thinner and cutter that people swear by for all sorts of styling hacks, whether it's trimming their bangs, maintaining a cut, giving themselves natural looking layers, or trimming and styling wigs.
5. A painless, mint-flavored teeth-whitening pen for sensitive teeth and gums that can help lighten up years' worth of stains from coffee, tea, wine, or just ... you know. Existing as a human with teeth.
6. A suuuper popular Bio-Oil made with vitamins A and E, chamomile, and lavender — you may recognize it as a product a lot of people use to help fade scars (both old and new), soothe cracked and dry skin, and help moisturize without affecting your pores, but people are also using it to help with dry and painful skin on their hands from hand-washing and sanitizing.
FWIW re: scars, though, this stuff really works. I had thyroid surgery a few years ago and Bio-Oil took me from looking like I'd stumbled out of the Red Wedding to virtually no detectable scar within a few months. All I did was apply it once in the morning and once at night.
Promising review: "Five stars! I love it so much that I don't know what to do if they stop making it!" —Mary
*Another* promising review: "I noticed my skin started to get dry and tight after I took a shower, especially in the winter time. I used to use expensive creams like Clinique but it didn't seem like it was enough. I saw this at Costco at a very reasonable price compared to what I was paying at Macy's so I thought I'd try it out. Just a couple of drops and my face immediately felt soft and supple! This lasted throughout the day and two little drops covered my face and neck area. Gradually after a few months, friends and acquaintances would comment how pretty my skin was (I'm in my late forties and Native American). If you use more than two or three drops on your face and neck, you're using too much. One bottle lasted me six months or more. Costco no longer carries this and after making do with Aveeno facial moisturizer, it is no substitute to what Bio-Oil does for me." —Lynn La Pointe
Get it from Amazon for $8.92+ (available in four sizes).
7. A firming eye cream that uses vitamin C, vitamin E, rosehip seed oil, and hibiscus flower extract to brighten and firm that sensitive skin around your eyes and neck not just on a day-to-day basis, but a long-term one, too.
8. CeraVe's Hydrating cleanser made with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin — aka, all the good stuff to hydrate your face and remove makeup and oil without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Psst — a lot of reviewers with sensitive skin and acne swear by this, because it's super gentle *and* super effective.
Promising review: "I absolutely love this product! I spent so much money on expensive face wash and face creams and nothing worked like this. I always had breakouts on my chin and redness. No matter what products I used, it didn't fix my problem. I bought this cleanser two weeks ago and use every day. I noticed my redness and pimples clearing up in three days! It leaves my skin smooth, healthy, and clear. I just order another bottle in case they sell out. CeraVe, please never discontinue this product. I can't thank you enough for making me have confidence again 💕💕💕" —Adriana
Get it from Amazon for $10.99.
9. A bottle of Meltdown acne oil for anyone who's cycled through a bunch of harsh prescription acne treatments from dermatologists that never *quite* do the trick. With its soothing rosehip oil and its redness-combatting black cumin seed, literally *thousands* of reviewers swear by this stuff.
Blume is a women-owned, POC-owned small business based in Canada that specializes in cruelty-free, vegan, and environmentally friendly products for skin, body, and period care.
Psst — you can use this oil to either spot-treat acne or mix it with your moisturizer or a clay mask, *plus* you can wear it under your makeup, so it's super versatile to your needs, too.
Promising review: "I've had hormonal acne for years, and have been on the hunt for a more natural product without harsh ingredients. I was nervous to spend a good amount on yet another acne-fighting product that could ultimately be disappointing, but after reading the reviews here, I decided to give Meltdown a shot. Well, let me tell you that this stuff is the real deal and worth every penny! I seriously cannot believe what a difference this product has made! Seriously life-changing, and I hope you never stop making it!" —Melissa G.
Get it from Blume for $28.
10. A set of itty-bitty dermaplaning razors you can use to take care of those lil' unibrow hairs that keep dodging your tweezers or work whatever face fuzzies you might want to take care of in a gentle way.
This tool also helps soften skin by gently exfoliating as you use it!
Promising review: "I love these things. They get rid of all the peach fuzz on my face! My makeup goes on smoothly. They are great for exfoliating and help product get in the skin better. My skin looks great and I'm 45. I hope they never stop making these things! If skeptical about how to use them, watch some YouTube videos. Now I feel like a pro using them. Highly recommend." —crackalackin
Get a set of three from Amazon for $4.99.
11. Or a painless battery-charged hair remover you can simply glide over super fine hair like the hair above your lip or between your brows instead of going into a full "YIKES" mode with wax — no shaving cream required.
Promising review: "I likes the painless and effortless but effective results and the fact I can do this as often as I like. No more $40 monthly facial waxings at this time of shut down for indefinite future and this was my alternative, will save me a whole lot of money!" —Dreidel Collector
Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
12. A bottle of Peripera Ink Velvet Lip Tint that comes complete with an applicator shaped to your lip, so application is *that* much more foolproof. Reviewers love this for how buildable and long-lasting it is, and how it doesn't crack or leave skin feeling dry.
13. A set of six satin scrunchies designed to hold back your hair without damaging, pinching, or snagging. Your regular hair bands are shaking.
Promising review: "I’m never going back to regular ponytails again. These are absolutely perfect. I’m a dancer, and I need ponytails that 1. don’t rip out my African American hair and 2. actually hold my hair in place. These are so comfortable that I’ve fallen asleep with them in, but so secure that they didn’t move an inch throughout my entire dance practice. Absolutely iconic." —Taro
Get a set of six from Amazon for $6.99.
14. An internet-beloved set of makeup sponges for expert-level blending and coverage that reviewers have crowned a Beauty Blender dupe. It works for foundation, BB cream, powder, *and* concealer, plus wet or dry, so basically it's working harder than I have for *checks watch* my whole life.
15. An acne patch made with hydrocolloid, tea tree oil, and calendula oil to help draw out the gunk from acne like it's luring it into a sticky lil' trap, not only helping clear spots up faster, but making the redness and bumps less painful to deal with.
16. A reviewer-beloved Mane Club 10-in-1 leave-in spray that honestly deserves its own theme song, for the amount of work it's putting in. Its unique formula of cannabis sativa seed oil helps it condition, detangle, heat protect, prevent breakage, hydrate, smooth, soften, control frizz, boost shine, and strengthen your hair, and keeps it nongreasy to boot.
Mane Club is a New York City-based small business established in 2019 that specializes in affordable haircare products.
Promising review: "I’m a hairstylist, so I’ve tried just about every leave-in conditioner out there, and I was amazed at how soft my hair felt after one use. My curls were so happy! The smell is amazing too!! I will definitely be repurchasing." —Allison S.
Get it from Mane Club for $8.
17. A hydrating intense-therapy lip balm complete with SPF 25 to not only help repair dry, chapped lips, but continually protect 'em against the elements. Reviewers note that this wasn't just more effective than other brands, but it worked *fast*.
Promising review: "My lips usually crack and bleed in the winter no matter what I put on them. This is literally the first winter ever that my lips are perfect. This is the best product I've ever used! It's nice and soft, not greasy. I've bought it for several coworkers who also suffer like I do. I hope they never stop making this!" —Mel Belle
Get it from Amazon for $8 (available in six flavors and in packs of three).
18. A vitamin C-based face serum for brighter, firmer skin with muuuuch faster results than most of its competitors. A lot of reviewers could see a difference within just a few days of use.
19. A shampoo scalp massager you can use in the shower to massage and exfoliate your scalp, so you can get all of the relaxing decadence of feeling like someone is massaging your head without physically going to a salon. Psst — a lot of reviewers mention this has also helped with psoriasis, dandruff, and scalp tenderness!
20. A dual hair dryer and brush that'll dry your hair as you style it, cutting your prep time in half and giving your locks an incredible amount of volume and shine.
Unlike other hairdryers, this one can be held closer to the roots and scalp for a higher volume and lift, and helps you curl hair at the end while it dries. It comes with three heat settings and is designed to work on all hair textures — reviewers with 2a through 4c hair mentioned it working for them, and especially noted that it helps cut down on drying time!
Promising review: "I am not someone who normally writes reviews but I like this dryer so much I must give it a positive review. This dryer has been a game changer for my hair. I have a lot of hair and the strands are thick. I’ve been a flat iron user for many, many years but decided to try this on the recommendation of a friend. Not only is it easy to use, it gives my hair the closest thing to a professional blowout at home. There are tutorials online for maximizing the benefits of this dryer." —Jennifer G.
Get it from Amazon for $34.99 (available in three styles).
21. A bottle of nail and cuticle repair oil that you simply brush on your nail beds once a day to condition and strengthen all those brittle spots and painful hangnails, leaving you with thick, strong nails and nail beds you're not tempted to pick at all the livelong day.
22. Glossier's Cloud Paint, which I personally love because it feels like fingerpainting your face. It's thick enough for a noticeable glow, but subtle enough that you don't have to be super precise about it — basically every time I complained about makeup being too hard, a friend rec'd it to me, and I've neeeever looked back.
Promising review: "I used traditional powder blushes daily up until purchasing this product. My skin is super dry and I didn't know I could have such a natural blush look until Cloud Paint! It really is easy to blend and builds up in color without much effort. The packaging is beautiful and is the perfect size to take anywhere with you. Please never stop making this blush!!!" —:~)
Get it from Glossier for $18 (available in eight shades).
Check out BuzzFeed's full review of Glossier's Cloud Paint for more deets!
23. A Marshmallow Whip Maker, aka a TikTok beloved product that can turn a coin-sized amount of your favorite face cleanser into a cup full of light frothy foam.
24. Maybelline's Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil, an easy-to-use, subtle eyebrow filler just as effective as the ones triple its price.
25. Plus an Onset Eyebrow Soap Kit, an eyebrow pomade that doesn't just fluffy up your brows for a little extra ~drama~, but holds them in place all the live long day. It's basically like getting a whole bunch of extra eyebrow thickness without any effort!
26. A podiatrist-level toenail clipper to quickly and easily take care of thicker toenails and ingrown ones, so if you want to give yourself a pedicure and paint your toesies now that sandals are fair game again, you can do it right at home.
27. Plus a foot file that'll remove calluses and hard or cracked skin from your feet with some gentle, pain-free rubbing that will leave your heels feeling gloriously soft.
28. A set of satin pillowcases that create less friction for your hair, so you don't have to wake up every morning ten minutes early to work through your tangles. It's also ridiculously cooling on your skin in the summer months.
I got a set of these for my bed, and although my hair is baseline pretty wild no matter what state of existence I'm in, the overnight tangles have pretty much stopped. If I put my hair up in a scrunchie, I'll usually wake up with it more or less still intact, too (which is especially nice if I'm late for my ~morning power walk~ around the neighborhood). Most of all, though, it's soooo nice to sink your face into these in the hot summer, especially when your AC is subpar (*glares at mine from across the room*).
Promising review: "Couldn't afford silk so ordered these. I love them. I've heard that sleeping on cotton is like rubbing your face on steel wool all night since that's how delicate the skin there is. All I know is I shower and style my hair at night and after sleeping on these, my hair looked freshly blown dry the next morning. I'm not exaggerating, hair looked the exact same in morning as it did after I styled it the night before. So, if this material is that nurturing to my hair I can only imagine how my face is loving it. I'm hooked and will be buying more colors." —BinaryCode
Get a set of two from Amazon for $7.65+ (available in 22 colors and four sizes).
29. A facial ice roller you can stash in the fridge or freezer, then pull out whenever you want to take your face for a ~chill~ ride to help reduce puffiness and under eye circles.
30. A tin of Cirepil blue wax beads that use a gentle hard wax to easily remove both the coarsest and finest of hairs in a matter of minutes, leaving you with skin so smooth that you're going to have to sit on your hands to stop yourself from stroking your underarms and legs in public.
This stuff is used in a lot of high end salons, too, so this tin truly pays for itself in "trips not taken to get professional waxed."
Promising review: "This is the only wax that I can use on my va jay jay and I never have problems. I hope they never stop making this stuff." —K. Browning
*Another* promising review: "This is the best hard wax I have ever tried! I prefer to use hard wax over any other wax hands-down. I use it on myself and on my friends, family and clients. I have found that this works best for me when used on clean, oiled (lightly) skin. Using a light oil helps prevent the wax from sticking to and pulling on the skin, therefore only grabbing the hair. Easy to use and easy cleanup. I have found my holy grail hard wax and will be repurchasing every time I start getting low." —Stillkickin
Get it from Amazon for $24.99.
31. A moisturizing, sweat-resistant sunscreen designed not to leave a white cast on darker skin tones, so you can keep your cheeks safe from the sun without spending 20 minutes rubbing your sunscreen in first.
32. A set of natural bamboo charcoal oil-blotting strips to absorb up moisture and sweat, leaving your face breezy and your makeup in tact.
33. Plus a makeup setting spray with a matte finish to lock your look in place in just a few seconds, even on days when the sun is trying to melt you like a Popsicle.
34. A peachy sugar lip scrub to exfoliate your lips and leave them so soft and sweet you'll be blowing kisses all over like a Disney character on a float.
35. A jar of Aztec healing clay masks for "maskne" (read: acne you get after you sweat in your face mask) that might be coming out to play with the heat. This clay mask essentially sucks the gunk out of your pores like a vacuum, and will leave your skin feeling so smooth and firm you'll want to pet it.
36. A conditioning and healing castor oil full of vitamins and fatty-acids that won't just strengthen weak hair, but will help you maintain hair health over time. Reviewers mention seeing improvements in growth and strength within a week, with noticeable results within a few months.
FWIW, it also helps condition and strengthen eyelashes, eyebrows, and skin, so it really just shows up for you no matter what the task.
Promising review: "I started using this product as soon as I received it. My eyelashes and brows are already improving. It is so easy to use. When you put it on, it is a little globby but that's okay, it is fine that way. I put it on about 15 minutes before I go to bed and it is dry by the time I am ready for sleep. It doesn't get in my eyes at all. In the morning, I just wipe my lashes and brows with a cleansing cloth and use a lash comb. Perfect. I bought this product after doing some research. It had the most positive reviews so I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did." —Suzanne Harrington
Get it from Amazon for $15.99.
37. A microfiber towel for anyone who prefers to air dry or is dabbling in it for the first time — this helps prevent frizz and hair breakage, so you can maintain your hair's natural texture as you let it do its thing.
38. Organix Locking + Coconut Curls Decadent Creamy Mousse — a part foam, part cream, *full* effective hydrator for smoother, bouncier, and fuller curls that a lot of reviewers swear by in the humidity.
39. A smudge-proof Maybelline matte liquid lipstick so easy to apply that it won't even *feel* like you're dealing with a matte until voilà, it's on your lips with the kind of staying power that lasts the whole livelong day.
Personally, I absolutely swear by this lipstick to the point that I haven't used anything else in years (my favorite is the muted pink "Seductress"). I'm pretty bad at applying anything matte, but this formula and the applicator make it close to foolproof. It lasts a long time and my lips never feel chapped or dry. I also like that when it does fade, it does it in a gradual way that doesn't look obvious or patchy and require an immediate touch-up.
Promising review: "I love this liquid lipstick! It applies so smoothly. It's high pigment, doesn't dry out my lips, doesn't fade, and doesn't smudge! Once it dries, I don't have to give my lipstick a second thought. This is the best lipstick I have ever tried. I have five different shades now. I hope they never stop making this." —Enbear3
Check out our Maybelline liquid lipstick review for more.
Get it from Amazon for $6.64 (available in 45 colors).
40. A mesh body exfoliator from LuvScrub that'll take care of your whole human self — its large size and unique texture help smooth and clean skin all over your body, including hard-to-reach places like your back, so you can get that post-exfoliation glow all over.
41. A detangling brush with an easy-to-hold handle that's so effective on all hair types that it's amassed over 30,000 5-star reviews on Amazon — people swear by it for detangling fast without pulling and damaging hair, so you'll win back those ten minutes you usually spend going "ow OW ow ow" in front of the mirror each morning.
This brush is designed to work on all hair types, but reviewers with 2c through 4c hair say it has worked well for them. It also works on wet *and* dry hair, so you don't have to time out your brushing.
Promising review: "I was really skeptical when I bought this brush, wondering if it was really going to work on super curly, easy-to-get-tangled hair. It has exceeded my expectations and I can't believe how awesome it actually works. This is great for thick, curly, hard to untangle hair. It doesn't get caught in the snarls and it is so easy to brush hair now." —Kimber Burks
Get it from Amazon for $11.88 (available in six colors).