40 Cheap Things Beauty Experts Secretly Rely On To Make People Look 10x Better

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.

by Amanda Fama and Ileana Morales Valentine
Originally Published: 

In my opinion, you look your best when you feel your best. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to some new beauty products once in a while. Shopping for makeup is fun, especially if you’re shopping for makeup that was recommended by the pros. If that’s the case, you’re in the right spot. Bustle reached out to a handful of beauty experts about secrets they rely on to make people look 10 times better, and they suggested their go-to picks. Whether you’re trying to change your look or add a few new items to your vanity, this list has you covered.

Take these blending sponges, for example. They were recommended by makeup artist, hair stylist, and beauty writer Sarah Redzikowski — and she uses them damp combined with settings spray for a long-lasting hold while blending and applying cream or liquid makeup. Jewellee Williams, LE, esthetician and MedSpa owner, suggests using these stainless steel facial tools that are filled with cooling gel. After they’re frozen, they can be glided across your complexion to soothe your skin and help reduce unwanted puffiness.

Those are just two expert-recommended products that can help you look and feel your best, but there are many more to be explored on this list. Get your vanity ready for some new products.


This Liquid Color Corrector That’s Vegan-Friendly

Gargi Patel, makeup artist for Vasanti Cosmetics, recommends this color corrector by Vasanti. She says, “This will instantly brighten the eyes, and you will look like you got many hours of sleep!” The pigmented orange formula can be blended with a makeup brush underneath your eyes to help alleviate shadows. Patel continues, “It is the first step before applying a concealer and foundation.” Plus, it’s both vegan as well as cruelty-free.


The Hair-Coloring Conditioner That Doesn’t Use Bleach Or Ammonia

Sarah Potempa, celebrity stylist and the creator of Beachwaver, recommends using this deep-coloring conditioner. It’s a simple way to give your hair a new hue without bleach or ammonia. Simply apply it to your dry strands, let it sit for up to 15 minutes, and wash it out. Potempa says, “To keep color looking fresh in between salon visits, I recommend grabbing oVertone Coloring Conditioner from Amazon which deep-treats hair as it adds semipermanent color — unlike many dyes, which only focus on changing the color.”


A Quality Makeup Brush Set That Comes With A Travel Case

Erin Graybill, founder and CEO of Niré Beauty, recommends this 15-piece makeup brush set. It truly comes with everything you need to apply your cosmetics, from blush to eyeshadow and even foundation (thanks to the bonus blending sponge). All of it can be stored in the included case, and it’s available in two color combinations: black and rose gold or black and silver.


This Setting Mist Made With Aloe Vera & Hyaluronic Acid

Brittany Lo, professional makeup artist and founder of Beautini as well as Beia, suggests using this vegan setting mist. Unlike many others on the market, it’s made with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid for a truly moisturizing effect. Not to mention, it’s been tested by dermatologists, per the brand. One reviewer wrote, “I loved this product — it was light and refreshing and a really nice way to freshen my skin in hot weather.”


This Gentle, Battery-Powered Facial Hair Trimmer That’s Angle-Adjustable

Sasha Wichita, makeup artist and beauty content creator, suggests this facial hair trimmer. It’s cordless and battery-powered, and its head is angle-adjustable to help you remove unwanted hair across your complexion with ease. Not to mention, the stainless steel blades are hypoallergenic — and two eyebrow-trimming attachments come with the purchase. Wichita says, “Great for photoshoots and bridal makeup.”


A Micro-Needle Derma Roller That Helps Facial Serums Absorb Better

Gabrielle Richens, NVQ certified skin therapist, beauty blogger, and anti-aging skin coach for The Rich Skin Club, suggests this micro-needle derma roller. The roller itself is covered in tiny needles which help increase the effectiveness of facial serums after rolled over your complexion. Richens says, “It provides a short window of opportunity for post-treatment products to permeate the skin through fresh channels, reaching levels of the epidermis, at concentrations otherwise impossible.”


The Liquid Facial Exfoliant That Stays On Like A Primer

Ashley Guthrie, fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon, recommends using this facial exfoliant. Unlike many other exfoliants that need to be washed off, this one stays on like a toner while it helps cleanse your pores and refresh your complexion. It’s made with 2% beta hydroxy acid (BHA), along with other ingredients including green tea extract.


This Eyelash Curler That’s Simple To Use

Hair and makeup artist Andrea Claire suggests using this eyelash curler. Not only is it super compact and simple to keep in your makeup bag, but it’s easy to use by adjusting the back easel up and down before applying mascara. Claire says, “Eyelash curler, this compact curler is the bee’s knees. In my 30 years as a pro artist, this is one I like in my kit.”


These Eyebrow Razors With Over 63,000 Five-Star Ratings

Claire also recommends these eyebrow razors, which over 63,000 customers have given five-star ratings to. They can also be used to remove unwanted facial hair, and the stainless steel blades come with a protective covering. Plus, three come in each pack.


A Cleansing Balm That Also Helps Remove Makeup

Kryz Uy, beauty expert and beauty and lifestyle blogger, suggests using this cleansing balm by Clinique. Not only does it help cleanse, your skin, but it also helps remove makeup at the end of the day. It’s even fragrance-free and has a 4.8-star rating. Uy said, “It also helps moisturize the skin, making the skin appear more supple after every use.”


This Long-Lasting Waterproof Bronzer With SPF-15 Protection

Beauty expert and beauty and lifestyle blogger Uy also suggests this natural bronzer, which is available in four different shades. Not only is the powder waterproof, but it also contains SPF-15 protection against the sun. Plus, it’ll stay in place for up to 10 hours. One customer wrote, “Love this bronzer. I gives me a natural glow and blends with my skin tone so well!”


This Vibrant Plant-Based Shampoo That Cleanses & Colors Your Hair

Leland Hirsch, CEO of Celeb Luxury, suggests using this hair-coloring shampoo. In addition to adding a new hue to your strands, it also cleanses them. The plant-based formula is sulfate-free, and tons of colors are available that range from bright shades to neutral hues. So many reviewers wrote that they “highly recommend” it.


The Lipstick-Shaped Tool That Helps Remove Unwanted Peach Fuzz

Wichita also suggests this facial hair remover. It’s shaped like a lipstick container, so it’s simple to keep in your makeup bag. The hypoallergenic tool is also plated with 24-karat gold and comes in various colors, and it can help remove unwanted peach fuzz from your complexion. Wichita says, “I discovered this when looking for ways to take the best possible macro makeup photos, but loved the finish so I use it all the time now.”


A Skin Therapy Oil Packed With Cocoa Butter & Vitamin C

Another recommendation by Uy is this moisturizing skin therapy oil, which can help moisturize your complexion. A few main ingredients including cocoa butter and vitamin C to help hydrate and nourish your complexion. It’s also been tested by dermatologists and is hypoallergenic.


These Cooling Sticks That’ll Help Soothe Your Complexion

Jewellee Williams, LE, esthetician and MedSpa owner, suggests these facial freeze tools. They’re made with stainless steel and are filled with cooling gel, and they can be swept over your face for chilly relief and to help alleviate unwanted puffiness. Williams says, “These are amazing for helping to calm and depuff the skin! Perfect way to start the morning grab your coffee and gently massage the face with cryo sticks.”


This Velvety Blush That’s Super Easy To Blend

Maria Juvakka, founder of Chic Pursuit, suggests this blush. It goes on smooth and is easy to blend, and it’s available in four shades ranging from pink-toned to neutral hues. Juvakka says, “This blush has a gorgeous natural finish that creates a 'barely there' look. It's a rosy, glowy color that's perfect for everyday wear.”


A Nourishing Sunscreen Infused With Green Tea, Sunflower Seed Oil & More

Juvakka suggests using this moisturizing sunscreen, which is infused with green tea, cica, and sunflower seed oil. She says, “I recommend using it as the last step in your skincare routine before applying makeup.” Not only is this lotion nourishing and hydrating, but it also offers SPF-36 protection from the sun.


This Mascara That Offers Smudge-Proof Coverage & Extra Volume

Juvakka also suggests this mascara by INK, saying, “People will think you have falsies on — it's that good!” The formula is non-clumping and long-lasting, and it’ll help add volume to your lashes with ease. It’s even smudge-proof, per the brand, and creates an upward curl when applied. One customer wrote, “This mascara is amazing. My friends thought I had false lashes on. It is one of the best mascaras I've purchased.”


A Classic Pair Of Aviator Sunglasses That Look Good On Anyone

Aviators are classics for a reason, and this pair recommended by Amy Zunzunegui, founder of WLDKAT, is a must-have for under $20. They provide UV protection, and the lenses are scratch-resistant, polarized, and anti-glare. Stick with goes-with-everything black or try one of the pairs with metallic details.


These Oversized Sunnies For A Stylish Accent On Your OOTD

For a more glam look, Zunzunegui also recommends this pair of oversized square sunnies. This pair protects against UVA and UVB rays, and the scratch-resistant lenses stand out with a gradient effect that’s emphasized by the large lens size. These rose-colored glasses are irresistibly pretty, but they also come in more than a dozen other varieties so you might also want to pick up a second pair.


A Pro-Level Set Of Teeth Whitening Strips That Remove Years Of Stains

For results similar to a professional whitening, Michelle Bareid, style and beauty expert as well as the founder of Hair Extensions Advisor, recommends this Crest dental whitening kit. It’s a clear shopper favorite, too, with over 38,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and its results can last at least one year. Here’s what you do: apply the strips to your teeth once daily for 30 minutes; results will begin to show in a few days and full whitening is complete in 20 days, including the removal of up to 14 years of tooth stains. The kit also includes express treatments for same-day whitening.


This Serum For Longer, Thicker Eyelashes Or Filling In Brows

If mascara is your must-have, you know the visual impact of lush lashes. That’s why Bareid also recommends this eyelash growth serum. The formula’s use of arginine hydrates and fortifies hairs so they can grow, and you can also use this tube on eyebrows. “I’m also a big fan of well-done lashes,” Bareid said, “and a lash growth serum can help you develop healthy and noticeable lashes.”


This Under-Eye Serum That Uses Black Tea & Copper Peptides

For a powerful eye cream with a satiny feel, Bareid recommends Drunk Elephant’s Shaba Complex Eye Serum. With a slew of ingredients, black tea ferment stands out for evening out skin texture and copper peptides for plumping up the delicate undereye area and surrounding skin. One shopper remarked, “I've only been using it for two weeks but can't believe the noticeable difference already!”


A Deep Cleanser With Purifying Charcoal

To deeply clean your pores, Bareid points to this cleanser. The foaming formula draws out impurities with charcoal, removes excess oil, and leaves your face feeling deeply clean. One shopper commented, “It literally works like it cost tons of money. I'm now hooked on Biore products.”


This Color-Correcting Cream That’s Hydrating & Offers SPF

This one little tube packs so much in: the color-correcting cream works as full-coverage foundation, hydrates with hyaluronic acid, and protects skin with SPF 50. It’s no wonder it’s a favorite of Shawnda Dorantes, MSN, FNP-C, family nurse practitioner and owner of Beauty Lounge Medical Spa. The formula was developed with plastic surgeons and dermatologists, and it leaves a radiant finish available in 12 shades.


This Ice Facial Roller For A Refreshing Start To Each Day

Keep this ice roller in the freezer and bust it out whenever you need a refresh or have a migraine or sunburn — it’ll bring soothing, cooling relief as your work it across your face, temples, or elsewhere. NeeziieBabiie, celebrity permanent makeup artist and owner of NeeziieBabiieBeauty, raves, “It feels so good on your skin and is so easy to clean. It's my morning go-to, especially being a busy working mom on the go.”


A Celebrity Aesthetician-Recommended Moisturizing Mist

“For a daytime moisturizer you really just need something basic with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid or a seed oil that you can apply liberally,” Joshua Ross, celebrity aesthetician of Skin Lab, tells Bustle. And he recommends this moisture-locking mist to stay hydrated all day. The toner and essence features ingredients like lotus and spring camellia to soothe skin and keep it hydrated with a formula that’s potent yet feels lightweight.


This Tinted Lip Balm That Moisturizes With Manuka Honey Beeswax

Your lips will be moisturized and lightly tinted with this rose lip balm recommended by Ross. “I love that this balm has rose-flavored essential oil and is a clean formula,” he said. The balm uses Manuka honey beeswax, vitamin E, and extra-virgin olive oil for a hydrating formula that soothes dry, cracked lips.


A Three-Step Treatment That Protects & Repairs Hair From Coloring — And It’s Less Than $15

Kendall Dorsey, a celebrity hairstylist, loves this multi-step kit for protecting and repairing hair from the harsh treatment of coloring or bleaching. It’s suitable for all hair types. “It actually performs at the level, there’s no shifting of the color or lowering the volume process in any kind of way. It does exactly what it says: It’s going to protect and rebuild,” Dorsey said.


A Set Of Four Tweezers For Grabbing Every Hair

For shaping eyebrows, removing other facial hair, or applying lashes, you’re all set with this tweezer kit recommended by beauty influencer Kenny Screven. The flat-tip tweezer works well for larger applications, the angled-tip tweezer is designed for brow shaping, the slant tip helps you get arches just right, and the point-end tip works on stubborn or ingrown hairs.


A Serum That Uses Bee Venom To Instantly Refresh Eyes

Dab some of this serum around your eyes and in just 90 seconds, it’ll increase blood circulation to plump and firm the skin. This one is recommended by beauty influencer Screven. The bee venom also stimulates the production of collagen, and the effects last for up to eight hours.


A Nourishing Mask That Goes on Your Neck, Not Your Face

You’ve probably tried a face mask, but Screven wants you to give this neck mask a try. The mask is super hydrating with a base of aloe and glycerin, and it features hibiscus, which nourishes and refreshes, and argan for a smoothing, plumping effect on the neck.


Go For A Soak With This Highly-Rated Bag Of Epsom Salts

With over 28,000 five-star ratings and another recommendation from Screven, this is a no-brainer for your next bath at home. Dissolve the crystals into a warm bath, and they’ll relax your muscles and soothe. And with an 8-pound bag for just $8, you’ll be set for a while.


This 10-Pack Of Makeup-Blending Sponges

For seamlessly blending your makeup, Sarah Redzikowski, beauty influencer and professional makeup artist, recommends this set of makeup sponges. “I start by getting mine wet with water and squeezing out any excess, then spraying setting spray onto the sponge before blending out cream or liquid product with it for extra staying power,” she advises. And with 10 in the set, you’ll never be without your new trusty makeup sidekick.


These Classic Claw Clips With Tortoiseshell Patterns

With a rounded shape and tortoiseshell design, these claw clips look more chic than other clips out there. Redzikowski recommends them and says, “Hair accessories can elevate a style and claw clips can completely save it!” What a cute and easy way to keep your hair out of your face.


These Spot Treatment Patches That Heal With Tea Tree Oil

When you feel a zit or blemish brewing, cover it with one of these acne healing patches recommended by Redzikowski. They’re designed to treat cystic acne aka those painful pimples that don’t quite come to a head and are difficult to treat; the microneedling design of the patch gets tea tree oil and willow bark extract deep into the skin for treatment. “The small microneedles help get into those deep pimples and get them drained quickly!” Redzikowski exclaims.


These Cotton Powder Puffs For Gentle Makeup Application

Use these gentle puff pads to apply your makeup, advises Redzikowski. Each one in the 10-pack is super-soft, washable, and easy to hold onto thanks to a ribbon on the backs. “Press your puff into a a small amount of translucent setting powder (not finishing powder) and press and roll across the skin,” Redzikowski says.


These Eyelash Extension Applicators That Can Be Used To Remove Makeup Residue

Redzikowski also suggests these eyelash extension applicators, which she often uses to clean excess eye makeup (such as mascara flakes). One pack comes with 500 of them, and they come in three colors: pink, blue, and green. Redzikowski says, “I use these with a little bit of makeup remover to clean up an excess glob of mascara on the lashes, brow pomade on brow hairs, brushing away loose powder residue on the lashes, used dry they can even gently ‘flake away’ mascara on the skin.”


This Elastic Hair Tie String That Lets You Make Your Own Ponytail Holders

Instead of searching the house for your next hair tie, you can make your own with this stretchy string. Redzikowski recommends using it and says, “I use this elastic cord for the best snug ponytails!” One roll comes with 50 yards of elastic.


The Eye Masks Made With 24-Karat Gold

For a luxe experience that’s surprisingly reasonable, Denise Dixon, BIPOC female beauty entrepreneur and owner of Cosmetology Institute of Las Vegas, offers these 24-karat gold eye masks. With gold, hyaluronic acid, and collagen to hydrate and refresh, they’re designed to instantly brighten the skin around your eyes and over time provide more dramatic results.

This article was originally published on