11 Cheap Beauty Products That Beat Fancy Ones

by Jessica Thomas

If you’re a beauty junkie, you know the pain of choosing between that serum you just have to have and paying rent is an all too real struggle. That’s why finding cheap beauty products you love is such a game-changer. I’ve spent basically the past 10+ years of my life scouring the aisles of Target and my favorite drugstores to find beauty products that emulate the quality of the stuff from department stores at a much easier to swallow price point, and there have definitely been a few standouts.

The beauty world is one that’s full of constant innovation, and that pays off for customers who see the rewards in the form of lower prices. From the affordable Korean skin care that’s sweeping the U.S. beauty world to relative newcomers like ColourPop that are offering incredible deals on products that fans are wild about, being a beauty junkie doesn’t necessarily have to mean you’re constantly broke.

This list of 11 products includes everything from makeup brushes to cosmetics to nail polish, and they’re all inexpensive products I can either personally vouch for or have heard enough good things about that I feel confident recommending them. Here are some of the best super-cheap products money can by.

1. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish, $7, Amazon

In my mind, spending $20+ on a bottle of designer nail polish is not the best use of money. After all, nail polish naturally dries out over time. That's why I love this drugstore option, which at less than $10 is a steal. The best part? It lasts for multiple days without a chip.

2. ColourPop Ultra Matte Lipstick

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick In Trap, $6, Colour Pop

I'm constantly amazed at how Colourpop manages to sell their crazy popular ultra matte lipsticks for such an incredible price. Seriously, compared to the other liquid lipsticks in the beauty arena, (looking at you Kylie Cosmetics), $6 is practically free. I've heard nothing but good things about these liquid lipsticks.

3. Morphe Brushes

Morphe Angled Contour Brush, $8, Morphe Brushes

Makeup brushes tend to be pretty outrageously priced, but I've always been impressed with how Morphe manages to make such a great product at such a low price point. If you're a makeup junkie who wants to build a sizable collection of brushes, Morphe is a great place to start your search.

4. Real Techniques Sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, $7, Amazon

I picked this sponge up on a whim during a Walmart run after my Beautyblender bit the dust, and I've been completely impressed with how well it works. It blends makeup flawlessly, and I love the flat edge for tapping concealer around my nose. If you're a germaphobe like me who hates the idea of using a blending sponge for too long, this option, with its less-than-$5 price point, is easy to replace every month or so.

5. ColourPop Pearlized Highlighter

Colourpop Pearlized Highlighter In Spoon, $8, Colour Pop

Colourpop strikes again, this time with a blendable highlighter that comes in a wide array of shades and is available at the very affordable price point of $8.

6. Garnier Cleansing Oil

Garnier Clean + Nourshing Cleansing Oil, $8, Amazon

If you've been wanting to jump on the cleansing oil bandwagon for awhile but don't want to invest a ton of money in a trend you're not sure you'll like, this Garnier bottle is a great place to start. It'll melt your makeup off without stripping your skin.

7. Maybelline Under Eye Concealer

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser, $8, Amazon

Dark circles, which are hereditary, are one of the most annoying flaws to cover. I've tried a bunch of products designed to diminish or cover under eye circles, but nothing works as well as this affordable drugstore option.

8. NYX Brow Mascara

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara, $7, Macy's

I've lost count of the number of times I've recommended this brow mascara, which I love almost as much as other high-end brow mascaras I've tried (ILYSM Boy Brow and Gimme Brow). But with a $7 price point, it's hard to resist this product for everyday use.

9. Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo, $8, Amazon

This dry shampoo is a cult favorite for a reason. If you use dry shampoo, you tend to use a lot of dry shampoo. That's why replacing a $26 bottle of dry shampoo every few weeks isn't exactly economical. This does the job, smells great and is easy on the wallet.

10. Maybelline Stick Foundation

Maybelline Shine-Free + Balance Foundation, $8, Amazon

Anastasia's stick foundation caused waves this year when it launched, but this drugstore alternative is a surprisingly great option.

11. CoverGirl Cheekers Blush

CoverGirl Cheekers Blush, $5, Amazon

If you're someone who constantly tries new blush colors, these fan-favorite pigmented ones are super affordable.

Images: Courtesy of Brands