There are two categories of beauty products: the high-end, high-dollar ones that are super indulgent and oh-so-luxurious. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the cost-effective and just as awesome beauty products found at the local drug store or big box retailer. These are the purchases that you don’t feel guilty buying and you tell everyone about them because they’re just SO fabulous!
We put out the APB to the StyleBlueprint staff to divulge their favorite cheap beauty thrills, and within no time, the inbox was FULL with favorites ranging from pore strips to self-tanner. Take a look at these tried and true beauty buys that are the tops with StyleBlueprint staffers.
FOR THE FACE & BODY
Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips
“These things changed my life recently,” boasts StyleBlueprint Atlanta account executive Kelly Sanders, about Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips. “Since the strips are black, it’s pretty satisfying — and also somewhat gross — to see all the oils and blackheads that are picked up by just one strip. Definitely recommend!” Find them at Ulta and other retailers for $7.49 (includes six strips).
Little Seed Farm Goat’s Milk Soap
For super-soft skin with a feel-good factor, StyleBlueprint Nashville Associate Editor Alex Hendrickson swears by Little Seed Farm‘s Goat’s Milk Soap. “There are no regulations in place for soap companies to list all the ingredients they are using. Little Seed Farm only uses goat’s milk (from their goat farm), lye and organic olive, coconut and essential oils in their soaps,” she shares. “In addition to being a family-run business with a focus on sustainability and chemical-free soap, the product is amazing. My skin is soft, moisturized and clear.” She cites her favorites as the activated charcoal and oat bars, which are available at several Nashville Kroger stores, Nashville specialty retailers and online for $7. Find a store or order at littleseedfarm.com.
We are big fans of micellar water at StyleBlueprint, and StyleBlueprint’s business coordinator, Cleo De Laney, is no exception. “I use the off brand at my CVS (but Garnier is great too!) for removing mascara and makeup,” she shares. “I do that at night, but it’s also great for in the morning if you are in a rush. I think it works better than traditional makeup removers and it comes in a hefty size.” Find Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water at Target for $6.99 for a 13.5-oz bottle, or hit up the national drugstore in your city to see if they have a store brand for a smaller cost.
Rimmel London Natural Bronzer
To bring pale skin to life, StyleBlueprint Associate Editor at Large Anna Marchetti swears by Rimmel London Natural Bronzer, in the shade of “sun,” to be exact. “It gives you a natural, sun-kissed glow even in your pastiest days of winter, without making you look orange,” she shares. Find it at most major drug store chains or at Ulta for $4.99.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
StyleBlueprint’s Digital Media Specialist Beth Brooks and Account Executive Connie Prince both swear by Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. “You can use it with a washcloth, a Clarisonic or as a good ole wash,” says Beth. Connie adds, “It’s great for sensitive skin, it’s soap-free (in a pinch you can use it without water to remove makeup) and dermatologists recommend it frequently.” Available at Target, Walgreens and Walmart; prices vary depending on size. Visit the Cetaphil site to learn more.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
Touted for its ability to cleanse the skin without disrupting its natural moisture, Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is the go-to for StyleBlueprint’s Director of Sales, Ginny Staggs. “It pampers my sensitive skin, and it smells great,” she shares. Find it at Ulta for $9.99 for a 12-oz bottle.
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
Ideal for morning and evening use, CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is another recommendation of Cleo De Laney’s. “It’s the best for sensitive, problematic skin,” she says. “It doesn’t dry you out at all and is so gentle.” Find it for $14.99 at Ulta.
Olay Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask
Perhaps more of an indulgent cheap thrill compared to the rest of the list, when you run the price of Olay’s Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask against the high-end competitors, it definitely feels like a steal! “It’s basically a big pot of jelly to slap all over your face at night immediately after washing it,” shares StyleBlueprint Social Media Manager Linda Reeve. “It’s great for putting on your face when you have a big night or occasion too, but you have to use it after getting face wet.” Find it at Ulta for $29.99.
FOR THE LIPS
Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm
“I am a lipstick addict,” divulges StyleBlueprint Louisville Editor Natalie Harris, “so I love an all-in-one product that can line, tint and do its lipstick job perfectly.” And with a variety of colors to choose from, there’s likely a perfect color for everyone. Find Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balms at Target for $14.
Trubee Honey Lip Balm
For a lip balm that wakes up your lips like nothing else, StyleBlueprint Cofounder Liza Graves swears by Trubee Honey Lip Balm. “While $4 for a lip balm is not the cheapest out there, this will be your favorite one. Buy at least five or ten at once and put one in each car and each purse and maybe even one at your desk, hidden in a drawer in the powder room … everywhere! It’s slightly tingly and makes the blood flow so that you don’t need added color (if you don’t want added color!) and it moisturizes for hours. It’s the best! I like it over a lip pencil as well.” They are sold throughout America as well as online.
FOR THE HAIR
OGX Coconut Curls Frizz-Defying Moisture Mousse
For the curly-haired among us, StyleBlueprint Account Executive Connie Prince recommends OGX Frizz-Defying Moisture Mousse. “It’s a must in the ‘curly hair cocktail’ of styling products,” she says. “It delivers moisture and definition to parched curls, and it keeps frizz at bay, especially during the summer humidity.” Find it at Ulta for $7.99.
Batiste Dry Shampoo
Ladies love their dry shampoo, but when it pulls double-duty, it’s a total keeper. StyleBlueprint Atlanta Account Executive Kelly Sanders has found just that in Batiste Dry Shampoo. “It’s life-changing, cheap and works great for lazy mornings or after the gym,” she shares. “I use the deep brown color, which is perfect for dark hair and covers any stubborn grays that are lurking.” Find it at Ulta for $7.99.
Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner
“I have curly, yet fine hair, so it is a challenge to find a product that delivers the moisture my hair needs without weighing it down and making it look wet or greasy,” shares StyleBlueprint Regional Editor Lauren Helmer. “My hairdresser told me about Carol’s Daughter, a new all-natural line that originated from a Brooklyn kitchen. She designs different levels of moisture-richness, from her ‘puddings’ to her ‘milks,’ meeting the diverse needs of the curly-haired world.” Find Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk at Target for $11.99.
“You know how the Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was obsessed with Windex and used it to cure all skin ailments from poison ivy to pimples?” asks StyleBlueprint Marketing Director Megan Casey. “Aquaphor is the real life, legit equivalent for all skincare issues.” Whether it’s used as a lip balm, burn treatment, on cuts to prevent scars or on your cuticles, Aquaphor has endless uses. Find it at Ulta for $9.96.
Beauty 360 Vitamin E Moisturizing Cream
For scars, burns and general skin flaws, StyleBlueprint Charlotte Editor Amy Trainum swears by vitamin E moisturizing cream. “Growing up I played a lot of sports and always hung with the boys, so I always loved showing off all my scars,” she shares. “Now that I’m older, not so much, so I use this Vitamin E Cream on any scrapes or burns to keep my skin flawless.” Find it at CVS for $6.49.
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
StyleBlueprint Birmingham Account Executive Mary Holland Ellis has tried them all, but her favorite mascara is CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara. “I have tried many different expensive mascaras,” she says, “but I always come back to this one because it does not smudge under your eyes, makes your lashes look full and long, and comes off super easy with face wash.” Find it at major drug stores nationwide or at Ulta for $8.99.
e.l.f. Baked Eyeshadow Palette
I don’t always wear eyeshadow, but when I do, this palette is perfect because it’s not too heavy,” shares StyleBlueprint Louisville Client Success Rep Elizabeth Gerber. “I love a smoky eye, so I can create one with this palette without feeling like I should be walking into a bar instead of meeting with my co-workers or with clients.” Find it at Target for $6.99.
CoverGirl Professional Natural Lash Mascara
In true double-duty fashion, this next product serves different needs. “Love love love this one!” shares StyleBlueprint Nashville’s Client Success Rep Margaret McClintock. “It’s like hair gel for your eyebrows.” Yes, she called this mascara hair gel for the eyebrows. “For those of us who inherited Dad’s brows,” she continues, “this is a nice way to keep them from getting unruly without adding any additional bulk.” Find it at Ulta for $5.49.
Wet n Wild megaglo Highlighting Powder
StyleBlueprint Birmingham Client Success Rep Bailey Torkelson is a self-described drug store beauty buyer, but one of her favorite cheap thrills is Wet n Wild megaglo Highlighting Powder. “They’re the exact same as high-end highlighters, but for only around $5,” she says. “Precious Petals is a really flattering color!” Find it for $4.99 at CVS.
Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes
Another product that pulls double-duty is suggested by StyleBlueprint Louisville Account Executive Allison Ostrader: Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes. “My evening cleansing routine begins with a towelette to remove all makeup, including waterproof mascara,” she says, “but the towelettes also function as spot removers for any makeup that has transferred to clothing.” Find them for $8.99/case or $6.99 for a 25-pack at Ulta.
There you have it! We bet there are some products on here you recognize as well as a few new ones — give some of these a try and enjoy the thrill of finding something effective and affordable!
If you’re a health & beauty fan, then check out all of our related articles here.