42 Cheap Beauty Products Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists *Swear* By

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Do you ever get overwhelmed when you walk into a makeup store? Because I do. With aisles and aisles packed floor to ceiling with different lipsticks, eyeshadows, hair products, and more, I rarely know where to start shopping. In that moment, I usually wish I had a beauty expert with me to lead the way. If you’re on the same boat, don’t worry: Bustle reached out to dozens of makeup artists and hair stylists with hopes that they would show us the products they swear by — and they didn’t disappoint.

Here on this list, you’ll find various beauty products that’ve been recommended by the pros. There are cleansing shampoos, long-lasting tubes of mascara, easy-to-apply eyeshadows, and even a nourishing jojoba oil-infused hair oil. In fact, celebrity hairstylist Jillian Halouska recommended that oil — and she says that it’s “incredibly nourishing.” And about that mascara? Meredith Boyd, a celebrity hair and makeup artist for TV, says that her pick is “one of the best.” Bonus? It’s available on Amazon for $5.

Yes, that $5 mascara can be yours — along with so many more makeup and hair products included in this roundup. They’re all stylist-approved and ready for your vanity.


This Eyebrow Pencil That Works As Well As Designer Brands

“[This is] such a great brow pencil, and I always go back to it,” celebrity makeup artist Alexandria Gilleo says about this waterproof L’Oreal eyebrow pencil. Available in 10 different shades, this eyebrow pencil has an ultra-fine tip on one end to fill in your brows with natural-looking lines, and a spoolie on the other end helps to shape your brows. Reviewers liken this pencil to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz at a fraction of the price.

  • Available colors: 10


These Glam Under Eye Masks That Hydrate Your Skin

These gold-lined patches are Gilleo’s favorite under eye masks, and Amazon reviewers love them too, giving them an overall 4.5-star rating. These masks are vegan, BPA-free, cruelty-free, and paraben-free all while looking totally luxe thanks to their gold-lined foils. They use hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf extract, calendula extract, and other clean ingredients to hydrate and soothe your skin.


These Makeup Sponges That Are A Beauty Blender Dupe

Gilleo uses these Real Techniques makeup sponges “all the time” and calls them a “great dupe for Beauty Blender at a much more affordable price.” Users agree that these are a must-have product – they have an astonishing 4.8-star rating on Amazon thanks to their smart design with a round end, pointed end, and flat end that help you apply foundation easily and evenly.


An Affordable Hairbrush One Celebrity Stylist Uses Every Day

“I use a Wet Brush every day on my clients and cannot live without them! I never leave the studio without them; I swear by these hair brushes!” raves Meredith Boyd, an Atlanta-based celebrity hair and makeup artist for TV. This hairbrush works well for thick hair, fine hair, curly hair, wavy hair, and straight hair because of its evenly-spaced bristles, which detangle hair without breaking it. The rubberized grip and finger rests also make it a comfortable item to hold while brushing your hair.


This Mascara With 143,000 Five-Star Reviews On Amazon

Boyd calls essence’s cult-favorite mascara “one of the best mascaras I’ve used.” And she’s not alone. This super affordable mascara has over 143,000 five-star reviews on Amazon thanks to its ability to add “dramatic” length and volume to your lashes. Bonus: it’s cruelty-free.


A Six-Pack Of Facial Razors That Are So Easy To Use

Boyd also recommends these Tinkle facial razors which allow you to remove fine hairs from your eyebrows and the rest of your face. These are an easier-to-use and less painful alternative to tweezers or waxing, and the technique is easy enough for even beginners to handle. Amazon reviewers also note using these razors for at-home dermaplaning to remove dead skin.


This Serum That Promises To Add Length To Your Lashes

Suzy Gerstein, a New York City-based celebrity makeup artist, recommends Babe Lash Essential Serum. Available at a fraction of the price of similar products, this serum promises to add volume and length to your eyelashes in as little as four to six weeks. It’s super easy to use too — just apply one line to your lash line, let it dry for two minutes, and you’ll be on your way to lush lashes.


This Styling Wax That Will Give You Trendy, Fluffy Eyebrows

Amanda Cassese-Maruszak, makeup artist and owner of A Beauty by Amanda, raves about this eyebrow wax. “iMethod Brow Wax for the win! It’s not sticky or difficult to work with,” she says. “The look of fluffy brows is in right now and my go-to to achieve that look on myself and on my clients is with this gem of a product I found on Amazon.” The product promises to keep your fluffed-up brows in place all day without leaving waxy residue on your face or flaking off.


A Sulfate-Free Shampoo That’s Lightweight Yet Effective

Michelle Kelly (MK), Advanced Stylist at Lennon Brooks Salon, swears by Bumble and Bumble products, including this sulfate-free shampoo. “The Hairdressers Invisible Oil has a lightweight feel but enough moisture to tame any frizz, while also being sulfate-free, which is great for color-treated hair,” she says. This shampoo will leave your hair feeling soft, smooth, and silky. Amazon reviewers say this shampoo smells great too, which is always an added bonus.


This Hairbrush That Won’t Miss A Single Strand

Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, a celebrity hairstylist, recommends this hairbrush, which is especially great for detangling. “Traditionally a wide tooth comb would be the choice for natural, textured hair but the teeth on the Tangle Teezer means there aren’t any gaps meaning no strand of hair is missed when brushing,” she says. Easy to clean and with soft bristles that won’t irritate your scalp, this brush also comes in a wide variety of colors, which adds a splash of fun to your hair routine.

  • Available colors: 16


This Hair Treatment That Gives You Shiner, Brighter Locks In Three Minutes

Andrea Claire, a celebrity hair and makeup artist calls this pre-shampoo spray treatment “ideal for lackluster hair that’s been dulled by mineral buildup.” It uses a unique blend of molecular filters and polymeric filters to remove minerals and metals found in tap water, which results in hair that’s shiner, brighter, and healthier. The best part? It does all of that in just three minutes. Just spray on dry hair before shampooing.


This Super Glittery Eye Shadow That’s Worthy Of The Stage

Celebrity makeup and hair artist Monique Mazer likes to add this glittery Bodyography eye shadow to her clients to add a little bit of pizzaz. “[This] elevates every eye look to something special,” she says. “I love to use this on clients performing on stage or under bright lights for an amazing sparkle. It also has no hassle packaging that doesn't make a mess.” This hyper-pigmented shadow doesn’t fall off and end up all over your face, and it’ll stay put for a long time. Use it all over your eyelids for a dramatic look or brush it over a matte shadow for just a bit of shimmer.

  • Available colors: 9


This Hairspray That Keeps Your Hair Touchable And Brushable

Mazer uses this Alterna Caviar hairspray on herself. “[It] gives a ton of volume without being sticky; I can’t do my hair without it,” she says. This sulfate-free, paraben-free spray gives you light hold and volume while still keeping your hair brushable and touchable. The key is caviar extract, which is said to restore moisture, elasticity, and shine to hair.


This Nail Primer And Top Coat That Lasts For Two Weeks

Mazer also swears by this OPI primer and top coat set that promises 11 days of nail color. Yeah, that’s the length of a gel mani — all done with polish you can use at home without UV lights. “This has been a game changer for my nail game,” Mazer says. “I no longer go to the salon with this kit my nails don’t chip and last two weeks.” Just pair with your favorite OPI polish and enjoy professional style for pennies.


This Mega-Pack Of Bobby And Hair Pins In A Carrying Case

A favorite of Raven Hurtado, a stylist at Maxine Salon , the 360 pieces in this kit are enough to keep you stocked for years (or to be a hairpin fairy godmother). Made of durable metal with soft rounded tips to protect hair and scalp, there are 216 bobby pins and 144 U hairpins — the wider ones for updos — in black, brown, and gold. The handy storage case ensures they’re always neat and ready for action.


A Leave-In That Protects And Repairs Curls And Frizz

Devon Ramirez, a colorist and curl expert at Goodbody Salon, swears by the manageability boost from Mizani’s Miracle Milk. Spritz on this lightweight leave-in conditioner for heat protection during styling, or to detangle, repair damage, treat dryness, and control any unwanted frizz. Made for use on all hair textures, Miracle Milk is also excellent for wigs, weaves, and relaxed and colored hair.


This Hair And Scalp Serum That’s Lightweight Yet Ultra Hydrating

Made by Pattern Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross, this jojoba oil hair serum is a go-to for celebrity hairstylist Jillian Halouska. Packed with oils of jojoba, rosehip, olive, and lavender, Halouska informs, “This hair oil is incredibly nourishing and helps fight frizz and breakage.” Amazon reviewers agree, with several simply noting, “Amazing.”


A Fine-Mist Hairspray That Lasts

Fast-drying and humidity resistant, this multi-benefit finishing spray is the hairspray of choice for Halouska. She says, “I love that this hairspray is so buildable. You can lightly mist for a soft hold, or add more for a sleek vibe. Brushes through incredibly easy and great for holding down baby hairs and flyaways.”


This Absorbent Pillow Cover That Lets You Sleep After Showering

Made of thirsty microfiber fabric, this cushy pillow cover slides over your standard pillowcase so you can put your feet up and dry your hair at the same time. Another favorite of stylist Halouska, she describes this as, “Brilliant for anyone that likes to lounge after a shower,” and that it “help[s] create natural waves while you relax.” Made by a woman-owned, LA-based company, too.


This Moisture-Packed Lip Balm With A Subtly Sheer Tint

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm is beloved by many, including professional makeup artist and beauty influencer Spencer. Made with shea butter and botanical waxes, the Red Dahlia shade is a soft, berry-brown tint that subtly accentuates and nourishes your lips. A single swipe can condition for up to eight hours.


A Serum That’s Ultra Hydrating And Also Soothes Acne

This multipurpose serum softens, smoothes, soothes, and rejuvenates skin, and also earns Spencer’s seal of approval. It’s made of 100% centella asiatica extract, which is a plant known for its intense hydration and ability to soothe acne and dry patches. It’s also said to reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots, lending to a more balanced complexion overall.


These Long-Lasting And Buildable Shimmer Eyeshadows

Coming from Haus Laboratories, aka Lady Gaga’s beauty brand, this shimmering liquid eyeshadow is another favorite of Spencer’s. It’s easily blendable and long-lasting, with 13 shimmers and four metallic shades to choose from. Transforming from liquid to powder, the buildable shadows add depth, dimension, and highlight to your look — all with a fallout and smear-proof formula.


These Organic Face Masks That Are Perfect For Sensitive Skin

These Inna face masks come from Taiwan, makers of “some of the best sheet masks I’ve ever tried,” says celebrity makeup artist Alexis Oakley. She adds that they help that “waken” and “prep” skin for beauty looks. Made with sea grapes, sea chamomile, and snow mushroom extract to calm and soothe, these are fragrance- and essential-oil free, which is ideal for sensitive skin.


A Delicate Yet Pampering Body Oil

A fan favorite for decades, JAFRA’s iconic Royal Almond body oil is intensely nourishing without being too heavy. Celebrity makeup artist Jay Artistry shares, “You can’t go wrong with a body oil. After traveling and dealing with the weather, it’s always important to treat your skin like royalty.” Made of almond oil enriched with Vitamin E, this supple moisturizer ensures your bod feels positively regal.


This Protein-Packed Leave-In That Revitalizes Damaged Hair

SH-RD’s Protein Cream is made with silk protein to smooth and seal the hair cuticle. “The best way you can truly protect your locks are with leave-in treatments,” says celebrity hair artist Jazmine Harris. This is because “they [seep] into scalp and into the cuticle.” She adds that protein treatments like this one are “a great option for those with high porosity hair” (aka hair that easily absorbs and loses moisture).


This Multi-Benefit Leave-In Conditioner Made With Caviar

Silas Baiden, a hairstylist and barber of Ama Hair Salon, calls Black Caviar by Mon Platin “the product we love.” This sprayable leave-in conditioner is luxuriously infused with black caviar — packed with essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, it’s said to promote keratin and collagen production. Made to de-frizz, moisturize, repair, and protect, Baiden says this product is “so good for natural hair.”


A Conditioner That Boosts The Brilliance Of Colored And Non-Colored Hair

Vickie Vidov, a celebrity hairstylist and the owner of Vidov West Salon, counts herself a fan of Goldwell’s COLOR Brilliance Conditioner. Made with pomegranate extract, this conditioner uses proprietary Luminescine technology that transforms non-visible UV light into visible light for a boost of color brilliance. Best for fine to normal hair, it instantly detangles, too.


This Gently Cleansing Shampoo That Is Also A Liquid Hair Vitamin

Created by Hair La Vie, founded by stylist Carla Rivas, this premium shampoo uses a blend of 19 naturally-derived oils, extracts, vitamins, proteins and amino acids to revitalize hair and scalp. Among the ingredients are oils of marula, coconut, and peppermint, along with keratin protein and silk amino acid. It’s designed to gently cleanse, defrizz, and strengthen hair, and can be applied directly to the scalp for quick absorption.

Carla says, “Hair La Vie Shampoo’s natural and clarifying aspects alone, is pretty impressive.” She continues, Having a good shampoo that wasn't going to be stripping and damaging for hair that was already prone to chemotherapy and damage from the sun. It's the only shampoo that's been able to keep my hair healthy and I can wash it twice a week instead of every day.”


A Plant-Based Dry Shampoo That Detoxifies And Smells Delicious

Another premium product from Hair La Vie, this sheer dry shampoo quickly absorbs oil and impurities, and becomes translucent as it locks them away. Black clay and bamboo are combined with natural cornstarch in a formula that doesn’t strip hair like traditional dry shampoos. It absorbs quickly while also adding volume, and is delicately scented with peach, coconut, lavender sage, and honey botanical oils. Rivas says, “And the fact that it all disappears into your hair is a gamechanger and it's all natural so it’s not damaging to your scalp.”


This Moisturizing & Healing Salve You Can Use In So Many Ways

There’s always room in your makeup kit (whether professional or otherwise) for a multipurpose salve. Lindsay Kastuk, a New York City-based commercial makeup artist, favors this classic Lucas Papaw Ointment. It harnesses Australian papaw (aka papaya) for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, along with protective, pharmaceutical-grade petroleum jelly. Together, those potent ingredients create a healing and moisturizing ointment that’s useful for everything from frayed cuticles, to sunburns, to rough patches anywhere on your face and body. Or, keep it simple and slather it on as a rich lip balm, both for its hydrating properties and its subtle, glossy sheen.


The All-Purpose Cream That MUAs Always Swear By

Look inside any professional MUA’s kit (including Kastuk’s), and you’ll likely find an iconic green tube of Weleda Skin Food. This rich, decadent cream is yet another multifunctional product with nearly endless possible applications: It can be used as a moisturizer on very dry skin, both on your face and body; an overnight lip mask; a nail and cuticle ointment; or even as a colorless, dewy highlighter patted on your cheekbones, as just a few ideas. Another selling point? The plant-based formula is certified organic by NATRUE.


A More Dramatic Version Of The Cult-Classic Ardell Demi Wispies

Ardell Demi Wispies are the industry standard for false lashes, and Kastuk’s recommended style — but since they’re so popular, they sell out constantly on Amazon. While they restock, consider the brand’s Wispies style instead, which are slightly longer and more dramatic than the Demis. Otherwise, they boast the same lightweight feel and natural, multi-dimensional effect, plus an invisible band that disappears into your lash line. With proper care and storage, you can reuse these lashes several times over.


This Surprisingly Affordable Makeup Brush Set From A Prestige Brand

Makeup application is mostly dependent on technique and practice, but using the right tools can make a major difference, too. And if you’re in the market for a reliable starter kit, you can’t do much better than this brush set from Real Techniques, the cult-favorite, prestige cosmetics brand co-created by celebrity makeup artists Sam and Nic Chapman. A favorite of Kastuk’s, this set comes with a blush brush, a setting brush, a foundation brush, an eyeshadow brush, and one of the brand’s now-legendary makeup sponges — all the tools you need to create any makeup look you want. At just $15, the value is unbeatable.


A Cleansing & Soothing Toner Made With Botanical Ingredients

Unlike old-school toners that can strip the skin, this all-natural, mostly-organic Ursa Major toner, which Kastuk recommends, strikes the ideal balance between clarifying and hydrating. Natural chemical exfoliants, like willow bark and sugar cane, promote a clearer, brighter complexion, while aloe and green tea leaf extract temper unwanted redness and inflammation. A few swipes with a soaked cotton ball will leave your skin calm, clean, and matte — the ideal canvas for makeup application, or for any other skin-care products you layer over the top.


These Gentle Makeup Wipes Infused With Nourishing Coconut Oil

Kastuk also recommends these RMS Beauty makeup remover wipes. These gentle, non-abrasive wipes are made with organic coconut oil to effectively break down sunscreen and stubborn makeup while infusing the skin with nourishing fatty acids. Throw these individually wrapped makeup wipes in your purse for touch-ups or sleepovers, or in your carry-on bag when traveling.


An Eye Primer That Gives Your Eyeshadow “Serious Longevity”

Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist Michaeline swears by this cult-classic Urban Decay eyeshadow primer, which makes any eyeshadow you layer over the top — including slippery formulas, like creams and liquids — totally budge- and crease-proof. For best results, Michaeline recommends applying a light coat of this heavy-duty primer then letting it dry completely before following it up with the shadow of your choice.


The Smooth, Long-Lasting Liquid Liner That One MUA Calls A “Kit Staple”

Michaeline dubs this Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner “a kit staple for many pro makeup artists.” “The formula offers great opacity for perfect eye definition and dries down quickly so it won't budge [and] smudge,” she says, and the precise felt-tip applicator is easy to control. Although Michaeline prefers the jet-black shade, it’s available in a wide variety of hues, like white, gunmetal, and chocolate brown.

  • Available shades: 8


A Volumizing Hairspray That Leaves Your Hair Touchable & Soft

This Calista Embellish Volume Finishing Spray is a favorite of Maria McCool, a professional hair stylist and the haircare brand’s owner. “I always say the best styling products are products that act like tools. Embellish is exactly that — it’s a buildable hairspray that gives you the volume you’d expect from a blowout,” McCool says. “It’s buildable, which means you can continually spray to thicken and plump up hair strands. It gives you that all-day hold, so you don’t have to worry about hair falling flat. And best of all, it leaves no sticky residue behind.” McCool says that her clients are “obsessed” with this stuff for its best-of-both worlds effects: The hold and volume of a hairspray, with the softness of a conditioning product.


The Perfect Alternative To Expensive Blushes

If its 21,000+ ratings and reviews are any indication, Milani Baked Blush is customer favorite — but it’s also a favorite among professional MUAs, too: “I reach for this blush exclusively at the moment,” Theresa Novicky, a Raleigh-based licensed makeup artist, tells Bustle of the cult-favorite blush. It’s available in over 15 glistening powder shades, all of which are cruelty-free.

  • Available shades: 16


A Medium-Coverage Foundation That Looks Natural, Not Cakey

“I reach for this foundation just as much as I reach for my high end foundation,” Novicky says of this Revlon foundation. She particularly loves its lightweight feel and natural finish — a rarity for buildable, medium-coverage foundations like this, which can get cakey. Its 31-shade range is quite generous for a drugstore foundation, too.

  • Available shades: 31


The TikTok-Viral Concealer That Professional MUAs Love, Too

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok lately, you’re likely familiar with this viral Maybelline concealer. Fans are obsessed with its creamy, crease-free formula and dewy finish, plus that comfy cushion tip that makes application a breeze. Novicky puts this to work as a contour in addition to a concealer, corrector, and under-eye brightener.

  • Available shades: 17


A Matte Eyeshadow Palette You’ll Reach For Every Day

This e.l.f. powder eyeshadow palette is “great for everyday looks,” Novicky says, and the rare affordable palette that’s entirely matte. Amazon shoppers are also pleased with these 10 pretty, warm-toned shades, and the buttery-soft consistency that “glides on easily,” as one customer commented.


This 3-in-1 Makeup Palette With An Ethereal Ombre Effect

It’s not hard to see why Erin B. Guth, an Emmy-nominated celebrity makeup artist, loves this gorgeous, three-in-one Pixi palette. Its gradient hues range from a neutral highlight shade on one end to a bronzer on the other, intercepted by pink blush shades in the middle. The whole brick is infused with gentle, light-reflecting particles that impart a natural-looking radiance.