As a beauty editor, I get to try hundreds (yes, hundreds) of beauty products—from anti-aging face creams that cost more than my month's mortgage to small wonders that cost less than a latte. Here is a sampling of my favorite finds for under a Hamilton each.
Bastiste Hint of Color Dark & Deep Brown, $9; ulta.com.
How do I love dry shampoo? Let me count the ways: It helps my blowout last longer, freshens any odors, and gives my fine hair body and texture. But often I've found that cheaper versions can come off super ashy, and don't blend well into my brunette strands. This formula from Batiste does it all. Bonus: It comes in a tinted brown version so there are no white streaks.
Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick in Red-Light/Medium, $7; drugstore.com.
I’ll typically take a lip gloss over a lipstick, but Almay’s butter kiss lipsticks are like the perfect marriage of both a gloss, balm and lipstick. The formula slips on and hydrates, but also delivers a tint of color so I feel polished without being overdone.
NYX Skinny Black Liner, $6; ulta.com.
If someone were to ask me what my desert island beauty product would be, I’d answer eyeliner without any hesitation—I never leave home without rimming my lower waterlines. The Goldilocks of eyeliners, I want the perfect one that blends easily but settles down to be budge proof. Did I mention that it also has to be water-resistant and jet-black enough to make an impact? Well, my winner is the NYX Skinny Black Liner. The fine point allows me to line precisely, the dark cream formula glides on smoothly and doesn't stream down my face after one of my cry sessions during The Voice. (What can I say? I get weirdly choked up over the personal stories).