You're Overpaying For These 30 Beauty & Hair Products, According To Experts

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.

Originally Published: 

Every time I give in and buy one of those hyped beauty products, I wonder if it’s actually worth the price. I mean, I’m not an expert, but a lot of them seem super overpriced, am I right? Do you really need to spend half your paycheck on serums, lipsticks, and oils? Maybe not. According to some beauty experts, you're unfortunately overpaying for a lot of beauty and hair products. Don’t worry — in this list, these experts share their favorite holy-grail inexpensive options so we can all stop overpaying.

Kendall Dorsey, a celebrity hair artist who has worked with Alicia Keys and Solange, solves all of our overpriced hair product problems. Instead of wasting extra hair treatment, Dorsey recommends a hair maintenance kit that has a pre-measured product. For flyaways, Seven Yu, the chief beauty and creative director of Glam Set Go, has two favorite products on this list, including a max hold flyaway gel and a moisturizing argan oil cream.

If you’re looking for makeup recommendations, New York City-based celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein shares all of her favorites on this list. There’s a handmade cheek and lip balm, a biotin-enhanced brow gel, and even an eyeliner that conditions your eyelashes on her list of must-haves.

There are so many more experts and inexpensive go-to products on this list. Just keep scrolling and replace all of those overpriced beauty products with these expert-approved favorites.


This Micro-Tip Brow Pen That Provides Detailed Brows

According to New York City-based celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein, this NYX brow pen with a micro-tip brush is highly recommended because it has a finer tip than a lot of prestigious brands. “It’s hard to overdo this product, particularly when you’ve chosen the right shade,” she remarks, praising the fine tip. This lifting pen comes in eight shades, and it lasts for up to 16 hours.


A Sheer Plumping Lip Jelly That Feels Cooling

Also on Gerstein’s favorites list? This Babe Lash plumping lip jelly, which is moisturizing and comes in clear, red, or mauve. She says: “It maximizes my lips’ volume without that harsh burning sensation that many products in its category can create.” In fact, this sheer lip jelly creates a soothing and cooling sensation as it hydrates and plumps.


This Flower-Shaped Blush That's "Easy To Play With"

Gerstein notes that Flower Beauty products are "fun and easy to play with," and this petal-shaped blush is no exception. It has a smooth application, a satin-finish, and you can experiment with blending it or building it for more color. Plus, it comes in four colors, and it has an adorable flower petal design.


A Handmade Lip & Cheek Balm That Works On So Many Skin Tones

This shade of the Olio E Osso natural lip and cheek balm is Gerstein's favorite. “Olio E Osso is an oft copied but never duplicated lip and cheek tint that gives that desired flush. Every single shade is beautiful,” she praises. “I am partial to the No. 5 Currant; [it] works on so many skin tones from the fairest to the deepest for that just-made-out flush.” It's made of nourishing, natural ingredients like beeswax, olive oil, grapefruit essential oil, and more. Plus, each stick of moisturizing balm is made by hand and can be used on all skin types.


This Rose Facial Roller That Comes In A Portable Miniature Size

Gerstein suggests this miniature Jenny Patinkin Rose on Rose facial roller because it's small enough to fit under your cheekbones or next to your nose. Even though it's smaller, this roller still gives you all the cooling and massaging benefits. Plus, it comes with a vegan pouch with a chic soft pink faux-crocodile fabric, making it easy to take with you wherever you may go.


A Biotin-Enhanced Gel That Gives You Voluminous Brows

Gerstein also swears by the Babe Lash flake-proof tinted brow gel because it's formulated with biotin and peptides. That means super full and voluminous brows. “It finds even the tiniest brow hairs and pumps them up while also conditioning the brows so I find that they are softer when I remove it than they were beforehand,” Gerstein raves. Plus, it creates trendy textured brows for a modern look.


This Long-Lasting Eyeliner That Conditions Your Lashes

According to Gerstein, this eyeliner with peptides is a go-to. Why? It is water-resistant, has a precision tip, and it actually moisturizes your lashes. Gerstein says: "It does not move until you want it to and it is a rich pitch black that gives a perfect frame to eyes while conditioning lashes, a welcome bonus particularly when many long wearing liners dry out the lids."


An Anti-Residue Scalp & Hair Spray With SPF

Lauren Udoh, the hair creative director of WigReports, recommends this organic scalp spray with SPF 30 for so many reasons. She especially loves that it doesn’t leave an annoying sticky residue in your hair. “Traditional creams typically contain chemical blockers such as octisalate and oxybenzone, which can be harsh on the hair and scalp,” she says. “COOLA contains physical blockers such as zinc oxide and avobenzone that create a physical barrier against the UV rays.” In addition to providing waterproof, reef safe SPF coverage, this product also nourishes and strengthens your locks, allowing you to skip pricey salon treatments.


This Dry Shampoo That Hydrates Your Hair

Maria McCool, a professional hairstylist and the owner of Calista, recommends the brand’s Day Off dry shampoo with tapioca, rice starch, and zero white residue if you’re looking to wash a little less often. The rice starch helps with hydration for soft hair, and McCool says, “My clients always say it’s the best dry shampoo they’ve ever used, and that’s why I swear by it!”


This Eye Cream That Prevents Damage In The Future

Mélanie Inglessis is a French makeup artist and educator who highly suggests this Wonderskin Purevoc brightening eye cream that moisturizes for up to 30 hours. Inglessis loves that this formula has caffeine, and she says, “It also illuminates the under eyes and prepares it for concealer.” Plus, heptapeptide protects and prevents under-eye damage.


An Organic Marula Oil That Is More Affordable Than Most Brands

Gabrielle Richens is the creator of The Rich Skin Club, an NVQ certified skin therapist, a beauty blogger, and an anti-aging skin coach. She loves suggesting this SVA Organics marula oil because it’s “just as good” as higher-priced options, and it’s only $17. This 4-ounce bottle for your hair and skin will make both softer and healthier without making your body oily. Plus, it is USDA-certified organic and will last you way longer than smaller, pricier options.


This Bold Mascara That’s Practically Weightless

Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Dorman recommends this practically weightless mascara. Dorman says: “I love Westmore beauty Red Carpet Lashes. This mascara makes lashes look soft and fluttery while still adding volume and fullness.” Plus, it won’t smudge or flake and comes in chic gold-tone packaging.


A Hair Maintainance Kit With Easy Pre-Measured Packaging

Kendall Dorsey, a celebrity hair artist who has worked with Alicia Keys and Solange, suggests this hair maintenance kit that’s built to help your hair between color treatments. “It actually performs at the molecular level, there’s no shifting of the color or lowering the volume process in any kind of way,” Dorsey explains. “It does exactly what it says: It’s going to protect and rebuild.” Plus, each treatment is measured out and individually packaged.


These 24K Gold Eye Masks That Are Full Of Premium Ingredients

Celebrity makeup artist and ShikSona Beauty’s creative director, Victoria Stiles, recommends these Demora 24K gold eye masks with castor oil, glycerin, collagen, and other premium ingredients. Stiles loves that these “can be used daily prior to applying makeup” for brightening and hydration.


A Pack Of Comfy False Eyelashes With Thousands Of Five-Star Reviews

Stiles also stocks up on these false eyelashes. These skin-friendly, comfortable falsies can be re-worn up to 15 times each. “As a makeup artist, I go through false lashes fast. I also wear falsies daily myself, so having the option of buying in bulk from Amazon is key,” she says. This bulk pack is great for everyday use, because it comes with 14 pairs for only $10 and has over 7,000 five-star reviews.


An Invisible Lash Glue That Holds Strong All Day Long

Stiles recommends this DUO lash glue to pair with your long-lasting false eyelashes. It’s understandable why this cruelty-free glue is her “favorite” — it dries quickly, and it’s water-resistant. Plus, it comes in a completely invisible clear option or a dark tone to match your eyelashes.


This Hydrating Leave-In Spray With Tons Of Benefits In 1 Bottle

Samantha Gradilone, a stylist at Fabio Scalia, suggests this 10 Minute Miracle leave-in spray. At $15 for 4 ounces, Gradilone says it's "a great affordable alternative for a person who needs deep hydration." You only have to buy one product, but you get a bunch of benefits like smoothing, anti-frizz hydration, color protection, natural sunscreen, and more. In addition to this stylist’s glowing review, this leave-in spray has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon.


A 3-Step Hair Care Routine That Keeps Curls Moisturized And Frizz-Free

For a luxurious three-step hair routine, Gradilone recommends this Shea Moisture coconut and hibiscus set. This leave-in curl treatment, shampoo, and conditioner set is filled with organic, sulfate-free ingredients that hydrate and repair your hair. Gradilone says this line “delivers great frizz and curl control for clients with textured & curly hair. It enhances your curls and keeps them locked and moisturized.”


This Extra-Hold Hairspray That You Can’t Spray Too Much Of

Gradilone’s go-to inexpensive hairspray is this L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray. It’s humidity-resistant and if you spray a little too much, just brush it through for soft hair. Gradilone says, “This affordable hairspray is a great option for clients who are looking to lock their blowout and styling with a strong hold.”


This “Secret Weapon” Texturizing & Lifting Hair Powder

Seven Yu, chief beauty and creative director of Glam Set Go, calls this SexyHair lifting hair powder “a hairstylist’s secret weapon.” It’s odorless, and you can even apply it throughout your hair — not just at the root. Yu says: “This easy-to-use spray powder instantly adds volume to even the finest hairs. Best of all? It’s long-lasting and doesn’t leave any residue!”


This Max Hold & Shine-Enhancing Gel For Flyaways

Yu also suggests this max edge control flyaway gel that doesn’t flake or cause buildup on your hairline. Yu says taming flyaways is “easy with this non-flaking gel,” and it’s “great for all hair types.” Plus, it enhances shine, and you don’t even have to wet your hair before application.


The Spiral Hair Ties That Can Even Support Thick Hair

For a non-creasing hair tie, Yu recommends these Kitsch spiral hair ties that also prevent breakage. “Never get creasing again when tying your hair back,” Yu states. “These hair ties have a ton of stretch to support even the thickest of hairs.” Plus, they don’t hold water if they get wet, which is way more hygienic than a fabric hair tie.


A Styling Cream With Argan Oil & An Easy-To-Wear Soft Hold

Yu also recommends this hydrating styling cream for weather-related hair problem fro, winter dryness to summertime sun damage, because it moisturizes dry hair. It has a soft hold, so you can even apply it daily. Yu says: “One of its main active ingredients is Argan Oil, which helps to moisturize and hydrate the hair while taming flyaways, reducing breakage, and controlling static.”


A Moisturizing Lip Pencil Packed With Vitamin E & Coconut Oil

Lori Leib, a professional makeup artist and the creative director and co-founder of Bodyography, suggests this moisturizing Bodyography lip pencil as one of her “must-haves” on Amazon. These pencils are packed with coconut oil and vitamin E, come in eight colors, and Leib says they’re “so creamy and act as mini lipsticks you can toss in your bag on the go.”


This Incredibly Glittery Eye Shadow That’s Infused With Antioxidants

Another Amazon “must-have” for Leib is this Bodyography glitter pigment with a pearlescent finish. This eyeshadow is infused with antioxidants, comes in 14 colors, and is free of plastic particles. “The Glitter Pigments don’t need much introduction,” Leib says. “They are the absolute best one and done eyeshadows, they can take any look to the next level with just one swipe.”


These Exfoliating & Refining Glycolic Acid Facial Pads

For an inexpensive resurfacing facial pad, Leib recommends the Nip + Fab Night Pads. They’re formulated with glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid and more. Leib says: “The pads work overnight to resurface your skin and truly work to give you glowing and smooth skin when you wake up!” This pack is under $15 and comes with 60 exfoliating pads.


This Invisible Brow Glue That Holds Strong For 16 Hours

Leib also suggests this NYX brow glue for brows that seriously stay put. Think of this glue as a stronger version of your favorite brow gel. It shapes, dries invisible, doesn’t flake, and it lasts for 16 hours, so you don’t have to worry about an out-of-place brow hair midday.


These 3D Helix Design Hairpins That Are The Best For Working Out

Bi-coastal hairstylist and groomer Cynthia Alvarez suggests these metal-free hairpins with a unique twist design, and she especially loves them for working out. “Traceless Waver Clip lets you stay active without having to constantly fix your hair from falling on your forehead,” she says. “This clip perfectly holds thin as well as thick hair in a ponytail, braid, or messy bun.”


These Velvety Scrunchies With Fan-Favorite Spiral Hair Ties Hidden Inside

Alvarez also recommends these scrunchies because of what’s hidden underneath their velvety fabric. You know those fan-favorite Invisibobble spiral hair ties? Each of these scrunchies has a hidden spiral hair tie inside, so you get twice the protective benefits. Plus, they come in a two-pack with black and leopard print styles for a wild or neutral look.


A Bulk Pack Of Makeup Sponges That Are Great For Stocking Up On

Molly Thomspon-Tubridy, makeup artist & skincare specialist, recommends this bulk pack of makeup sponges. She always “stocks up” on them for her makeup kit because you get 10 for under $10. Plus, they’re reusable, can be used dry or damp, and come in three colors.

This article was originally published on