The only thing better than a beloved, top-shelf beauty product is an affordable top-shelf beauty product — the type you can buy over and over and hoard in your home without fretting about the price tag. Sure, beauty editors get to try them all, including the most luxe and prestige bottles out there. Even so, we have our favorite, ride-or-die beauty products that cost less than $15.
Affordable beauty products used to be synonymous with the drugstore. And while there are a ton of drugstore gems, our editors are also sharing some picks from newer skin care and makeup brands that just happen to be (very) reasonably priced. Think eyeliner that’s cheaper than a cup of coffee, a Parisian-fave micellar water, a lip balm that doubles as a healing skin salve, and so many more.
Bustle’s editors have rummaged through the thousands of products taking up real estate in our minds to reveal our go-tos — behold, our favorite beauty products under $15.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
14 Under-$15 Beauty Products Our Editors Love
An Effortlessly Light Serum
Looking for a serum that's super light but effective? Look no further: This niacinamide-spiked formula, courtesy of The Inkey List, is an absolute game-changer. It absorbs nicely into the skin, effortlessly layers with other products in your routine, and gets the oil-controlling job done. — Kui Mwai, beauty writer
A Natural-Looking Concealer
This drugstore concealer blends in so naturally, it easily hides blemishes and dark spots without feeling heavy or looking too cakey. It's also oil-free and non-comedogenic, so need to worry about clogging pores. Bless. — Audrey Noble, beauty writer
A Smudge-Proof Eyeliner
If you have oily skin like me and your eye makeup tends to run, this liner is for you. It does not move — ever. I simply line my bottom waterline in the morning and it stays on all day, tears be damned. And, for $2.99, it's the best steal out there. — Audrey Noble, beauty writer
A Universal Salve
I have half a dozen of these in rotation at any given time, and there’s always one in my purse, the pocket of my go-to jacket, and on the table next to my couch. It’s basically like a slightly more deluxe Vaseline. I mostly use it on my lips as a hydrating salve that also provides a protective barrier, but I also apply it to dry elbow patches, scrapes, or on my nails as a cuticle oil. — Tamim Alnuweiri, beauty & wellness writer
A Foolproof Eyeshadow
Eyeshadow can get tricky, which is why I love eye makeup pens. I particularly like this one from Colourpop because it’s matte (which is rare for the makeup category), goes on like butter, and is cheap enough I can buy one in every shade. — Tamim Alnuweiri, beauty & wellness writer
A Calming Face Mask
I don’t always know what’s happening when my skin breaks out or gets irritated. But what I do know is that it’s painful and that my face just needs to chill out. This rubber Dr. Jart mask is the topical solution that cools things down and leaves my complexion soothed. — Tamim Alnuweiri, beauty & wellness writer
A Desert Island Mascara
Yes, I've tried the expensive stuff, but nothing beats this under-$10 drugstore gem of a mascara. I've been wearing Lash Stiletto since high school (which has been quite some time, FYI). The long, skinny brush coats every single lash perfectly, and they never, ever look clumpy. This mascara — and a good eyelash curler — is always in my makeup bag. — Hilary Shepherd, beauty writer
A Lotion-Like Cleanser
This is, hands down, my holy grail face wash. I love the texture (it has a lotion-like consistency) and the way it instantly removes makeup and that distinct New York City grit. A lot of cleansers leave my face feeling stripped and taut after washing, but with this stuff, my skin is soft and smooth — the perfect canvas for serums and moisturizers. — Hilary Shepherd, beauty writer
A Dependable Makeup Remover
Since my skin seems to lack hydration from time to time, I love using this OG micellar water as a gentle morning cleanser. It leaves my complexion feeling clean, but not stripped of any much-needed moisture. Another tip: A couple of drops of this on a Q-tip turn it into a makeup version of a Magic Eraser, allowing you to easily wipe away smudged eyeliner. — Erin Stovall, senior beauty editor
A Protective Lip Balm
If you’ve experienced the unpleasantness of having sun-burnt lips, then you already know the importance of protecting your pout. This delivers all the moisture I need with the added bonus of mineral SPF. And while a lot of watermelon-scented products tend to smell synthetic and sickly sweet, I find its sweet fragrance to be pretty subtle.— Erin Stovall, senior beauty editor
The Cutest Pimple Patches
I’m no longer pissed when I get a pimple, all thanks to Starface. The brand’s adorable star-shaped hydrocolloid acne patches suck the gunk out of zits overnight to speed up healing, and they also make you want to take selfies... something I would’ve never done in the past when dealing with breakouts. They’ve become a staple in my skin care cabinet. — Rachel Lapidos, senior lifestyle & beauty editor
A Refreshing Facial Mist
Whether I’m overheating, falling asleep at my desk, or just feel like giving myself a refreshing reset, I reach for this face mist. The staple French drugstore brand uses thermal spring water and its natural minerals to soothe any irritation or redness, and one spritz of the stuff feels like a fresh breeze — a must in the summer humidity. — Rachel Lapidos, senior lifestyle & beauty editor
An All-In-One Lip Product
This is my favorite lip product at the moment, and I love that it’s only $7. It's a hybrid between a stain, oil, and gloss, so it just makes your lips look slightly juicier, with a tint of color. I use the shade Softie, which is the perfect your-lips-but-better shade. — Faith Xue, executive beauty director
A Routine-Boosting Bakuchiol
I love that a few drops of this "booster serum" can be added to any skin care product to amp up its line-smoothing, brightening effects. It's a great option for when my complexion needs a more hydrating or calming serum instead of my go-to retinol, and I love that it can be mixed with anything else in my routine. — Faith Xue, executive beauty director