Best Bargain Beauty Buys
1. Nail Polish and Topcoat
With polish on one end and a chip-resistant topcoat on the other, this handy wand is as close as we’ll ever get to being ambidextrous. The best part? It peels right off. No remover required.
Sula Paint amp Peel Duos, $9; ulta.com.
Who has time to hang out with their piggies in a UV dryer all day? This quick-dry polish shaves precious minutes off your wait time. Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat, $10; ulta.com.
3. Nail Buffer
Just a few quick strokes with this two-sided buffer leave nails so smooth and shiny, you may see your reflection.Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer, $4 each; revlon.com.
4. Cuticle Oil
Loaded with hydrating essential oils and vitamins, this blend is just what the manicurist ordered.Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail amp Cuticle Oil, $6; cvs.com.
5. Nail Polish Remover
We love dark nail polishes, but not the stains they leave behind. This strong elixir restores nails to their bare essence.Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover, $10; zoya.com.
6. Exfoliating Bar
Look, Ma-no loofah! This grainy soap eliminates the need for a separate scrubber. Made with walnut shells and lemongrass oil, it left our dry, cracked feet as soft as a baby’s tush.
Collective Wellbeing Buffing Bar for Feet, $7; collectivewellbeing.com.
7. Foot Tool
Talk about a good egg: with tiny stainless steel microfiles that slough away dead skin, this gadget is like a sandblaster for callused feet.
Ped Egg File, $10; pedegg.com.
8. Eye Shadow
Purple, teal, cobalt blue-fun to try, but there’s no need to blow your beauty budget on lids alone. Makeup pro Karen Kawahara swears by these crease-free shadows because they pack a major punch (to your eyes, not your wallet).L’Oreal Paris HIP Shadow Duo, $8; drugstore.com.
9. Makeup Brushes
The bristles on these cute synthetic-blend brushes feel so soft, we’d swear they were made of goat hair. Makeup pro Kristofer Buckle likes them so much he snapped up two sets.Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Five-Piece Set, $15; target.com.
10. Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown nearly doubled the size of her iconic lip gloss, but raised the price by only a dollar. Other makeup companies, take note.Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss, $23; bobbibrown.com.
We used to think we had to splurge on base-until now. “This goes on
super-sheer, gives good coverage, and never cakes up,” says L.A. makeup artist Byron Williams.L’Oreal Paris True Match Makeup Foundation, $11; drugstore.com.
A jet-black formula that darkens, thickens and lengthens lashes without the dreaded tarantula legs? We’ll take one for every bag, please.
Cover Girl Lash Blast Length Mascara, $8; drugstore.com.
The shimmer particles in many luminizers can leave you looking like an extra from Cirque du Soleil. With just a hint of iridescence, this one blends seamlessly into skin for a “sparkle-free, candlelit glow,” says L.A. makeup artist Fiona Stiles.Revlon Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator, $14; revlon.com.
14. Eye Makeup Remover
Our favorite way to tidy up in a flash: One swipe of this gentle yet powerful remover dissolves every trace of makeup-even waterproof mascara-without any tugging.Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye-Makeup Remover, $6; ulta.com.
15. Facial Towelettes
Infused with cucumber and aloe vera, this delicately scented wipe removes a day’s worth of grime in one refreshing swipe. “They’re great for those muggy days when you need to freshen up,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. Yes to Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes, $6; drugstore.com.
16. Pore Strips
Consider them a Hoover for your clogged pores. These sticky strips soak up oil and gunk with a blend of charcoal, witch hazel, and silica. Bye-bye, blackheads!
Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips, $15 for six; sephora.com.
Like a cool glass of water for your face, this luscious gel formula transforms dry, flaky skin in an instant. The secret? A hydrating blend of antioxidants that restores the skin’s moisture barrier without a trace of grease.Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream, $8; walgreens.com.
18. Facial Sunscreen
With stable UVA filter Helioplex 360, this potent sunscreen makes your average
broad-spectrum block seem like a weakling. ?It?s also nongreasy and absorbs
great,? says dermatologist Arielle Kauvar.
Neutrogena Spectrum+ Sunblock SPF 100+, $13; neutrogena.com.
19. Body Cream
When it comes to body lotion, you can never have too much of a good thing. This one is the perfect size (and price) to slip into every purse, gym bag, and travel tote you own.
Nivea Creme, $1; target.com.
20. Exfoliating Cleanser
This soap-free cleanser effectively removes dead skin cells, leaving skin squeaky clean, not scratched up. “It’s gentle but strong enough to get the job done,” says N.Y.C. dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton.
Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Exfoliating Cleanser, $9; drugstore.com.
21. Mini Flat Iron
Don’t let its playful pink design deceive you: This little tool is a powerful beast. The ceramic plates heat up to 392 degrees but won’t scorch locks.Remington Be You Adventure Mini Flatiron, $15; remingtonproducts.com.
Call it a gift from the hair gods: One drop of this nourishing argan and rice-bran serum turns bleached-out, crispy strands into silk.Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Super Argan Serum, $15; ulta.com.
23. Flyaway Tamer
Psst! Your mascara wand is cheating on your lashes with your hair. And why not? This tiny tamer smooths out hairline frizz better than any other product we’ve seen in a long time. John Frieda Full Repair Touch-Up Flyaway Tamer, $10; drugstore.com.
24. Blow Dryer
This lean, green frizz-fighting machine blasts strands with the same mighty gust as much pricier dryers, thanks to its AC motor. Bonus: “The handle flips up, so it’s great for travel,” says hairstylist Rita Hazan.
Infiniti Pro by Conair Folding-Handle Dryer, $35; drugstore.com.
This lightweight, flexible hairspray answers our styling prayers. “It’s not sticky, it doesn’t flake, and the scent is nice and mild,” says N.Y.C. stylist Denine Smith.
Sebastian Professional Re-Shaper Hairspray, $17; sebastianprofessional.com for salons.
If you’re looking to boost volume, you really need a shampoo that gets hair clean. This no-nonsense wash “produces a great lather yet won’t dry out your hair,” says L.A. hairstylist John D.Pantene Pro-V Flat to Volume Shampoo, $5; drugstore.com.