A vanity stocked with the latest and greatest can cost a pretty penny — scratch that, boatloads of pretty pennies. There's nothing wrong with shelling out the big bucks for quality products, but cosmetics don't have to cost an arm and a leg. Some of the best beauty buys that only cost $1 make incredible dupes for high-end favorites.
When you need to release your wallet from a chokehold, look to affordable, but effective cosmetics to stop you from blowing an entire paycheck. Often getting the job done just as well (or better) as pricer makeup brands, super affordable beauty products don't always get the praise they deserve. Hidden online and at drugstores, $1 beauty gems can easily become the prized possessions of your collection. Even if a purchase turned out to be a total flop, the ridiculously low price tag means the loss won't hit your wallet hard.
So scrape up a few spare quarters, make it rain in ones, or even feel free to throw out a $20 bill. These 21 cheaper alternatives to expensive makeup will get you glam for less without any major beauty discounts necessary.
1. AOA Wonder Skin Poreless Face Primer
Poreless Face Primer, $1, Shop Miss A
Use this budget-friendly primer to fill pores and fine lines, setting up a smooth canvas for flawless face makeup.
2. L.A. Colors Liquid Makeup Foundation
"Beautiful Bronze" Liquid Makeup Foundation, $1, Shop Miss A
If you never thought it was possible to find an affordable foundation, this $1 liquid base will make you a believer.
3. Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Single
"Nutty" Color Icon Eye Shadow Single, $1, wetnwildbeauty
The perfect transition shade for any eye look, replacing this shadow again and again won't break the bank.
4. E.l.f. Regular & Waterproof Mascara Duo
Regular & Waterproof Mascara Duo, $1, Elf Cosmetics
Getting two mascaras in one for $1 is a major steal. This double-ended e.l.f. mascara features both traditional and waterproof formulas.
5. NYC Kohl Brow/Eyeliner Pencil
"Dark Brown" Kohl Brow/Eyeliner Pencil, $1, KMart
Take this multipurpose pencil from your waterline to your brows for a polished and complete makeup look.
6. E.l.f. Concealer Brush
Concealer Brush, $1, e.l.f. Cosmetics
Affordable beauty tools are just too good to pass up. Banish dark under eye circles, cover blemishes, define your brow arch and more with this handy e.l.f concealer brush.
7. E.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip
"Golden Peach" Shimmering Facial Whip, $1, e.l.f. Cosmetics
Available in three neutral, shimmering tones, this liquid highlighter is packed with Vitamin E to soothe and brighten your skin with a pop of color.
8. Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Brush
Eyeshadow Brush, $1, Walgreens
This unicorn-esque eyeshadow brush featuring frosted pink bristles looks pricier than it is. Its cheap price point is almost too good to be true.
9. AOA Wonder Blender
Wonder Blender, $1, Shop Miss A
Hold off on investing in $20 blenders. This purple beveled makeup sponge has a flat base for blending foundation, and a pointed tip for precise contour and concealer application.
10. E.l.f Essential Lipstick
"Fearless" Essential Lipstick, $1, e.l.f. Cosmetics
Meet your next favorite power red. E.l.f's Essential Lipstick adds long-lasting color and shine to your pout.
11. L.A. Colors 4 Color Matte Eyeshadow
4 Color Matte Eyeshadow, $1, Shop Miss A
Featuring the perfect mix of soft brown earth tones, this $1 eyeshadow palette has everything you need to nail everyday neutral looks.
12. AOA Brush Cleaning Egg
Brush Cleaning Egg, $1, Shop Miss A
It slides onto your finders for convenience, features a mix of grooves for deep cleaning, and it barely costs anything. There's not much more you could ask of a brush cleaning pad.
13. E.l.f. Eyebrow Stencil Kit
Eyebrow Stencil Kit, $1, e.l.f. Cosmetics
Don't fret if you're no arch expert. These eyebrow stencil shave your back with a mix of arch styles ready to be filled in with your favorite powder or pomade.
14. Wet n Wild Shutter Shock Falsies
Shutter Shock Falsies, $1, wetnwildbeauty.com
Give yourself a glam makeover with these dramatic wispies. They're the perfect accessory for a night out.
15. AOA Scrubby Facial Cleansing Pad
Scrubby Facial Cleansing Pad, $1, Shop Miss A
A flexible pad with tiny bristles for exfoliation, this facial cleansing pad needs to make its way into your daily beauty routine ASAP.
16. L.A. Colors Lipliner Pencil
"Cappuccino" Lipliner Pencil, $1, Shop Miss A
Enriched with shea butter to nourish and protect, this smooth gliding lip liner is the key to a perfectly defined pout.
17. E.l.f. Slant Tweezer
Slant Tweezer, $1, e.l.f. Cosmetics
Choose these stainless steel tweezers as your go-to for removing pesky, unwanted hairs. Slanted tips make for easy and accurate gripping.
18. Wet n Wild Contour Brush
Counter Brush, $1, Walgreens
Wet n Wild's selection of $1 makeup brushes just gets better and better. You'll even find an angled contour brush with the gorgeous, signature white and pink tipped bristles.
19. NYC Long Wearing Nail Color
"Burgundy" Long Wearing Nail Color, $1, Target
Vampy beauties beware. You'll instantly fall in love with this rich burgundy shade. Just shy of $1, it's totally worth trying on your nails.
20. L.A. Colors 5 Color Metallic Muave Eyeshadow
"Wine & Roses" 5 Color Metallic Mauve Eyeshadow, $1, Shop Miss A
If rose tones are more your cup of tea, this metallic eyeshadow palette will appeal to your inner artist. These varying mauve hues pair together oh so well.
21. L.A. Colors Tinted Cheek & Lips
"Fever" Tinted Cheek & Lips, $1, Shop Miss A
Sweep this soft coral shade onto your lips and cheeks for a subtle pop of color to warm up your facade. You just can't beat two-in-one beauty products.
The next time you're itching to get your hands on new cosmetics, make a minor investment in $1 beauty gems. You'll get your beauty fix without nearly going broke, a definite win-win.
Images: Courtesy of Brands (21)