The 40 Best Ways To Make Yourself Look Good For Under $30, According To The Experts

Expert picks that won’t break the bank.

The 40 Best Ways To Make Yourself Look Good For Under $30, According To The Experts
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Has anyone else’s TikTok feed turned into a makeup marketplace? In one 15-minute scrolling session, you see so many beauty products, it’s hard to keep up. It can be tough to block out the noise, but this curated list is a great place to start. Each item is vetted by an industry expert, so you can shop smarter with zero effort — and even better, every single expert pick is $30 or less.


Find A Go-To Concealer That Gives Great Coverage

Makeup artist Laura Kay calls this product “the best under-eye concealer [I've] ever found,” adding that it “literally does not crease and has an amazing coverage”. With its full coverage formula, it stays put for 24 hours, and it’s completely waterproof, so you can get sweaty on the dance floor. You’ll love its wide shade range, and the brand is completely cruelty-free.


Keep Your Hair Is Protected From Both The Sun & Heat Damage

Celebrity hairstylist Clyde Haygood calls this heat protectant spray his “go-to for so many reasons.” With the healing and hydrating power of argan oil, it withstands heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and it doubles as a leave-in conditioner for extra nourishment. Spritz it on hair before sunbathing for “a great barrier from [the] summer sun, chlorinated pools, and salty oceans, all of which can strip color from hair.”


Find The Right Hair Products To Treat An Itchy & Flaky Scalp

Haygood also recommends this scalp therapy shampoo to any client who complains of itchiness, dryness, or flaking. He appreciates its “host of amazing ingredients such as tea tree, peppermint, & Argan oil,” all of which will soothe irritation fast. With just three weeks of use, you might start to notice a visible improvement in your hair and scalp. “It also improves hair texture by reducing frizz and static,” Haygood notes.


Use Smaller Makeup Applicators For Your Eye Area

Since your under-eye area can be especially sensitive, add these mini makeup sponges to your beauty routine. Jackie Alves, founder of The Beauty Bar Makeup Artist Academy, says they’re “like little cooling sponges,” calling them “perfect for right under the eyes.” They’re just like the beauty sponges you already have on hand, so they’ll seamlessly apply cream, liquid, and powder products. “And since you get a ton of them in each order, you don't have to feel bad about throwing them out after a couple of uses,” Alves adds.


Don’t Depend On Just Your Hands To Remove Makeup

Alves adores these cosmetic sponges because “they’re wafer-thin,” but “once you run them under water they expand, and voila!” As Alves states, “I love having a stack of these by the bathroom sink so I can cleanse my face using something other than my hands.” Taking off your makeup before bed helps your skin stay healthy, and these soft cellulose sponges pick up every last smudge. They come in a pack of 50, and they’re fully biodegradable, so they’re more eco-friendly than your average sponge.


Take Proper Care Of Your Skin When It Comes To Sun Exposure

Eve Dawes, fashion editor and founder of Dawes Custom Cosmetics, knows the importance of a great sunscreen. She loves the Supergoop! Glowscreen, a primer and sunscreen “that also helps to filter blue light and boost hydration with hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B5, and niacinamide.” Its subtle tint is great for lighter makeup days, and it takes care of your skin in the long run.


Have A Variety Of Makeup Brushes On Hand For All Types Of Products

Ghanima Abdullah, cosmetologist at, has a piece of advice: “Get a decent makeup brush set. It will save you so much frustration.” This brush kit has all the tools you need for a stunning application every time, from elaborate smokey eyes to touchups on the go. “The big angled brush is perfect for applying highlight. You need the small fluffy brush to blend eyeshadow. And the flat kabuki brush is the one for blush,” advises Abdullah. Made with soft synthetic bristles, each brush is cruelty-free.


Invest In A Quality Detangling Hairbrush That Won’t Snag Or Break Your Hair

“There’s a reason this [detangling hairbrush] is $18,” says Abdullah. “Someone took the time to make a brush that's good for all hair textures and can be used on wet or dry hair or when you blow dry. How unique is that?” It’s worth every penny. Use it when you step out of the shower or to style second-day hair; it’s designed for everyone and its gentle bristles detangle without tugging or pulling. Abdullah also loves that “the cushion is vented” which makes blowing out your hair even easier.


Create Show-Stopping Curls Without Heat Damage

Maybe your mom was onto something — when it comes to curls, you can’t go wrong with these rollers. “It's difficult to get curls wrong with these curlers. They are velcro, so you don't need any extra attachments to keep them in place,” says Abdullah. When you buy, you’ll receive 31 rollers in all shapes and sizes, and their self-grip texture keeps them securely in place. Here’s what Abdullah recommends: “Wrap the tips onto the roller and roll down. Then apply a little mousse to give hold. Once the mousse is dry, you'll have lovely curls sans heat.”


Stick To Gentle Makeup Removers To Avoid Damaging Your Skin

Celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo creates eye looks that steal the show and wipes them away with this cleansing water. “This formula cleanses, moisturizes, and brightens skin, and causes less lash breakage during makeup removal. It’s super gentle for around the delicate eye area,” Oquendo says. Often, Oquendo uses long-wearing or waterproof products, and he says this remover “helps soothe and remove make up after a long day of press and/or events.”


Invest In The Right Undergarments To Feel Supported From Day To Night

Tie your outfit together with this shapewear, which adds extra support from day to night and comes in plenty of different configurations to best fit your needs. Its flat seams keep it hidden, even under tight or bodycon clothing, so panty lines will be no more than a distant memory. Personal stylist Soneca Guadara calls it “great to wear under almost anything, from jeans to a dress."

  • Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large
  • Available varieties: 29


Consider Swapping Bras For Camisoles With Built-In Support

Guadara loves to style this scoop neck cami — “many of [her] clients,” she says, “don't even need to wear a bra with this, because it gives enough support.” Its soft fabric feels amazing on the skin, and its adjustable straps are supportive without digging into the shoulders. Wear it with a cozy cardigan or under a sheer dress with spandex shorts.

  • Available colors: 11
  • Available sizes: Small — 4X-Large


Use A Rinse-Out Lengthening Hair Treatments For A Boost Of Fullness

Garen Tolkin, a celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist, highly recommends Soapbox’s hair growth treatment as a quick way to “[give] your hair some extra TLC”. It’s packed with potent ingredients like vegan collagen and biotin. This is a product that Tolkin likes to take on the road, since “it fits in my carry-on and is under $8 on Amazon.”


Incorporate A Caffeine-Rich Eye Cream To Help Relieve Tired Eyes

Long nights are no match for this repairing eye fortifier, which rejuvenates in seconds. It’s formulated with caffeine, which comes highly recommended by Valerie Aparovich, a certified cosmetologist-esthetician at OnSkin. “Caffeine is shown to improve blood circulation and constrict the capillaries helping to reduce the appearance of discoloration. With regular use, dark circles can become way lighter, making your eyes brighter and more open and, generally, bringing your face a rested, healthy look,” Aparovich states.


Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo, Especially If You Have Curly Hair

This restoring shampoo is a must-have in your curl care routine. According to Aparovich, “sulfate-free shampoos help prevent the strands from getting dull and desert-dry,” so “curls look more shaped, defined, and moisturized.” It’s packed with powerful botanicals, including jojoba oil and organic agave, for hair that’s so soft and smooth.


Apply An Aloe Vera-Heavy Sheet Mask To Help Alleviate Skin Irritation

Aparovich recommends these aloe vera sheet masks when you want to “hydrate, plump, and smooth the skin, strengthen its moisture barrier, alleviate irritation and inflammation, and overall, refresh.” Its lightweight hydration works equally well on dry and oily skin, and each pack comes with 24 masks, so you can share with friends and family (or, stockpile them for yourself).


Treat Your Hair With A Hydrating Oil Mask

If you’re in a love/hate relationship with your hair dryer, try this hydrating oil mask. Rachel Lozina, founder of Blue Water Spa, says it “reverts chemically processed hair to its former glory with hydrating Argan, grapeseed and avocado oils.” With its sulfate and paraben-free formula, it’s suitable for all hair types, and it smells so good.


Add A Touch Of Shimmer With Products That Will Also Help Add Hydration

This shimmering body oil, formulated with melanin-rich skin in mind, gives your skin a gorgeously hydrated glow — and it’s made with responsibly sourced mica. According to Lozina, “the shimmer in this formulation is subtle, but the hydration is epic;” plus, it “smells really good with a light cocoa butter scent.” The best part? It’s pretty inexpensive, making it quite the budget-friendly beauty staple.


Consider Simplifying Your Routine With Multi-Tasking Beauty Products

Pop this monochromatic multi-stick in your purse to touch up your look anytime, anywhere. Its luxurious formula goes on smooth and leaves a light shimmer on the skin, so you'll glow from day to night. Plus, it’s completely vegan and cruelty-free. Lozina calls it “nongreasy and lightweight for easy application and buildable color.”


Cover Up Roots With A Formula That’s Peroxide-Free For Less Damage

Between trips to the salon, refresh your mane with this root concealer spray. Its lightweight formula conceals roots and grays in seconds, so you can have full coverage for a fraction of the cost. Lozina adds that “it’s ammonia and peroxide free so it won’t damage your hair,” and “it doesn’t smudge, transfer or leave a sticky residue behind.”


Use A Long-Lasting Lip Stain That Tints But Doesn’t Dry Out Your Lips

This velvet lip tint adds a flawless finishing touch to any makeup look, and it stays in place all day. Available in 20 stunning shades, its precision tip makes it easy to apply, so anyone can pull it off. It's formulated with a double-layer elastomer that sticks to lips without drying them out. “With 2,000 4.5-star reviews,” says Lozina, “you can’t go wrong with this K beauty purchase.”


Keep An Eye On How Much Product You Use With The Help Of Cotton Rounds

Lozina calls these versatile cotton rounds “essential in your skin care routine” since “they allow you to not overuse product, such as toner and eye makeup remover but ensure you properly remove your face makeup and leave no traces behind”. Their absorbent material lifts every last drop of makeup, and their hypoallergenic cotton is gentle enough for sensitive skin. As Lozina says, “I reach for these often as a professional esthetician and you should too.”


Don’t Forget To Moisturize Around Your Eyes

After a long, sleepless night, these pink under-eye patches are just what you need. According to Lozina, they’re “infused with hyaluronic acid to moisturize under your eyes and hydrolyzed vegetable protein to plump skin.” They’ll reduce swelling and soothe dryness for an instant refresh, no matter how late you stay up scrolling.


Find An Easy-To-Use Mascara That’ll Mimic The Look Of False Lashes

False lashes can make your eyes pop, but when you’re in a rush, this easy-to-use mascara is just as effective. Lozina lauds its “lengthening and curling formula,” calling this product “a standout” among Maybelline’s product selection. It’s safe for sensitive eyes and contact wearers, and it’s smudge-proof — but still comes off flawlessly when you wash your face at night.


Keep A Sunscreen Stick With You For On-The-Go Protection

Sunscreen has evolved far beyond the white goop of your childhood, and this SPF stick is no exception. Dr. Serena Mraz, a certified dermatologist at Solano Dermatology and Associates, “[loves] using a stick formula that combines skin care and SPF benefits so [she] can always apply on the go.” It's vegan and cruelty-free, and it's infused with seaweed to brighten and nourish skin. It’s easy enough to throw in your purse if you forgot to apply before leaving the house.


Preserve Blowouts With The Right Overnight Hair Accessories

This silk scrunchie keeps your hair strong and hydrated while you wear your favorite updos. They’re an especially smart choice for overnight wear, according to stylist Raven Hurtado at Maxine Salon: “Instead of using heat to re-curl some strands, you can simply throw this in your hair to protect your style and when you take it down the next morning, your style is still in place with volume and some curl. To use this, gather the hair into a high ponytail, put it on with the loop facing front, and wrap the hair around the arch. This also makes it comfortable to sleep with,” Hurtado notes.


Use A Lip Gloss That Can Help Create The Illusion Of Fuller Lips

Dr. Tiffany Libby, a dermatologist, loves this hydrating lip gloss for a pop of color that protects delicate skin. “Formulated with a prebiotic complex, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, this hypoallergenic gloss is the ideal solution for protecting the delicate lip skin and restoring the moisture barrier while providing fuller-looking lips,” Dr. Libby says. Plus, it’s dermatologist-tested — but never on animals.


Tame Minor Skin Irritations While Simultaneously Covering Them Up

Instead of smothering acne in a thick layer of makeup, try this clear complexion concealer, which heals blemishes as it hides them. Dr. Libby says it best: “Not only does it seamlessly cover spots, but it also has salicylic acid... to clear out oil and prevent breakouts!” Its derm-approved formula also includes prebiotics and aloe vera for happier skin.


Level Up Any Formal Look With A Cute Hair Clip

ChicSew founder Mia Anderson recommends these butterfly claw clips for any occasion. With dazzling embellishments, chic chains, and beautiful butterfly shapes, they’ll keep hair out of your face in style. Anderson calls them “strong enough to keep even thick hair in place” and “perfect for weddings, parties, or elevating your everyday style.”


Wear Classic Earrings To Give Your Look More Sophistication

"These earrings add a touch of luxury to any outfit with their silver-tone accents. They also feature cubic zirconia stones. They are lightweight and comfortable, with a lever back clasp that is secure,” says Anderson. While they’re great for everyday wear and shine like genuine diamonds, they also add a little something special to your formalwear collection.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available styles: 2


Use A Layered Illusion Necklace To Help Your Outfit Make A Statement

"This stylish layered necklace features a mix of beads, stone accents and charms in a variety of colors, including hearts and flowers,” says Anderson. Betsey Johnson is such an iconic designer, and this necklace is the perfect way to dress up a casual or basic outfit. Pair it with jeans and a T-shirt, or make it the centerpiece of a more formal look.

  • Available colors: 4


Apply A High-Impact Highlighter For A Camera-Ready Look

Jodi Blodgett is a professional photographer, so she knows more than a thing or two about camera-ready makeup. She recommends this shimmery highlighting powder, which is infused with pearl pigments that look good on any complexion. “Priced under $5, this highlighter offers a radiant, luminous finish that complements any skin tone, enhancing features beautifully under studio or natural light,” says Blodgett. “It's a small investment for a product that packs a significant punch in photos."


Treat Your Brows With Castor Oil, Especially After Overprocessing

If your brows have been through the wringer, bring them back to life with this castor oil serum. Robin Evans, a brow and beauty expert, says its “formula is great for conditioning the brows and lashes, as well as repairing dry brittle brow and lash hairs from over processing.” She also shouts out its double-sided applicator, which delivers vitamins and minerals to every strand.


Find Tweezers That Offer The Best In Precision

Evans has been using this stainless steel slant tweezer for over 25 years and calls it “hands down [her] number one tool,” saying its “precision is matched by no other.” Its slanted tip is at a 25-degree angle, which works beautifully against the brow bone.


Use Brow Razors To Help Eliminate Smaller Hairs You’re Not A Fan Of

“These are the perfect little brow razors to use in combination with tweezing to remove the finer and fuzzier brow hairs,” says Evans. Their ultra-sharp stainless steel blades let you go the extra mile when shaping and styling, and they’re also easy to throw in a travel makeup bag on the go. Evans suggests that you “Tweeze first, then follow with the razor.”


Invest In Beauty Products With Calming Scents That Can (Temporarily) Transport Your Mind

If you’ve ever smelled a familiar scent and felt instantly comforted, you know the power of aromatherapy. Not only does this lid tint make your eyes pop, but its coconut scent takes you on a tropical trip to the beach. Evans says its “creamy bronzy finish reminds [her] of summer,” and it’s versatile enough to wear on eyes, lips, and cheeks. “I love it so much that I just ordered it in Dew which is a shade like an eyelid gloss,” notes Evans.


Use A Heated Eyelash Curler To Get More Long-Lasting Lift

Susannah Dellinger, founder and CEO of Bright Beauty Collective, tells the world a beauty guru secret by sharing this heated eyelash curler. It “locks in some serious lash lift to make you look instantly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even amidst allergy season and moving that clock up,” per Dellinger, so it’s essential for spring. Choose between black or pink, depending on your vibe.

  • Available colors: 2


Revive Your Face With An Ice Treatment You Can Customize

This mini ice roller instantly refreshes tired skin, so you’ll look and feel more awake in seconds. According to Dellinger, it’s “customizable, so that you can add cucumbers, rose petals, or anything you choose.” It’s made of reusable food-grade silicone, and it also provides relief from sunburns and headaches.


Apply Vitamin C To Your Face Through A Resurfacing Clay Mask

"Filled with natural sources of vitamin C, such as mango and wintergreen AHA, this [clay mask] gently exfoliates the dry, dull skin,” says Dellinger. Made with kaolin and bentonite clays, it helps clear pores and reduce excess sebum, leaving behind a luminous glow. It’s formulated for all skin types.


Don’t Forget To Treat Your Chest, Too

“With temperatures warming up, don't forget about your chest,” advises Dellinger. These silicone pads improve circulation in your chest and neck, showing some love to the areas that are often overlooked. They're made of a medical-grade silicone gel, and over 90% of users said their skin felt smoother and more hydrated after use.