Monday, June 23, 2014

20 under 20: best budget beauty buys

I'll be the first to admit I'm a bargain shopper. While I love brands like J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Kate Spade, I hate paying full price (especially when items get marked down so quickly and can often be found on sites like eBay and Poshmark for much less). However, one of my favorite things is find lower priced items (Target, Forever 21, Old Navy, etc) that look nearly identical to some of their higher priced inspirations...and if that interests you take a look at my "this vs. that series" above :)

Likewise, I tend to follow this same train of thought when it comes to my beauty routine. While I do splurge here and there on a few beauty items (namely my Stila Illuminating Foundation and Mac Sheer Select Pressed Powder), most of my purchases can be found at Target, Walgreens, and similar drugstores.

Here is a list of 20 of my favorite budget beauty finds, all priced below $20! I use each and every one of these items on a regular basis, so feel free to shoot me an email or comment below with any questions!
  1. Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter ($4.99) - This is a recent discovery of mine and IT. IS. AMAZING. Super moisturizing yet not at all greasy, it has a great coconut scent so no need for a separate fragrance!
  2. Elf Jumbo Gloss Stick in Movie Star ($1.00) - This has become my everyday lip color. I have one in my clutch, one at home, one in my desk at work, and one in my car. It leaves you with the slightest hint of color and best's only a buck!
  3. Sephora Collection Blush in Romantic Rose ($15.00) - I've been using this blush for a few years now and it's great...the perfect shade of rosy pink. Super flattering in the winter as well as with my summer tan.
  4. Sonia Kashuk Brow Kit ($9.99) - A makeup artist friend introduced me to this brow kit years ago and I've used it ever since. It goes on a bit sheer so you're left with natural looking results. My only complaint about this brow kit is that you're left with three other colors you don't need but at only ten bucks, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
  5. Blistex Lip Medex ($2.99) - I've been using this lip balm since before I was wearing makeup! It's been my go to night lip balm for years...I love the tingly feeling when you out it on and you wake up with healthy, moisturized lips.
  6. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black ($4.99) - The all time classic mascara, this is my favorite mascara. If it ain't broke, don't fit it!
  7. Elf Wet Gloss Clear Mascara ($1.00) - I use this to set my brows after I use the Sonia Kashuk bow kit...and on the days I'm not wearing makeup but want to tame my brows!
  8. Loreal Sublime Self Tanning Gel ($8.99) - I've tried my share of self tanners, some with disastrous results but this is by far the best one I've used. It's tinted with bronzer so you're able to see any streaks and blend before it dries. It goes on a little sheer so you can build up your color over the course of a few days if needed.
  9. Milani Runway Eyeshadow in Golden Touch ($6.99) - This shimmery gold eyeshadow is perfect to layer over your everyday eyeshadows or to wear alone for a subtle look.
  10. Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Natural Bronze ($5.99) - This is my go to bronzer all year long for a little color across my cheeks, forehead, and chin. Very natural looking!
  11. Trader Joe's Coconut Oil ($5.99) - A friend of mine from work introduced me to this a few months back...I've primarily been using it as a makeup remover and it's fantastic...and much cheaper than some of the other options out there! Coconut oil has soooo many other uses though, read here for more!
  12. Elf Liquid Eyeliner ($1.00) - Probably my favorite item in my makeup bag, this is the best liquid eye line I've ever used...and I've tried just about every one out there. It goes on so incredibly smooth, which makes the application process much easier!
  13. Aussie Hi Hold + Hi Shine Spray - ($2.99) - I use this daily to take away any fly aways when my hair is down, to hold my beachy waves, or smooth my top knot. It says "hi hold," but I find it to be more flexible, which I prefer.
  14. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire + Ice ($4.99) - I own probably 5 or 6 shades of this lipstick, though my favorite is currently Fire + Ice. It's a reddish/orange poppy shade, very similar to the classic red you might see on a model in a J. Crew catalog!
  15. St. Ives Sensitive Skin Apricot Scrub ($3.99) - I've heard multiple theories that you should exfoliate/you shouldn't exfoliate...but I'm a firm believer in exfoliating a few times a week. This sensitive skin version is a little more gentle and can be used daily. 
  16. Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar ($1.99) - This is the soap I use to wash my face and body...I have really sensitive skin and this is pretty much the only soap I've ever used!
  17. Clearasil Daily Pore Cleansing Pads ($3.99) - Whenever I feel a blemish coming on, I use one of these pads all over my face after I shower...they're great at drying up any current blemishes too.
  18. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion ($10.99) -  For years I used the Dove Sensitive Skin Face Lotion...and then it was discontinued (seriously Dove, WHY???). Thankfully, I discovered this Neutrogena version and it's a great replacement...and it contains SPF 15!
  19. Mac Eyeshadows in Vanilla and Cork ($15.00) - You probably doesn't think "budget" when you think of Mac, but their eyeshadows are actually pretty affordable and they stay on longer than any other I've tried. These two shades are my favorites for everyday, topped off with my shimmery Milani gold powder!
  20. New York Color Quick Dry Nail Polish ($1.99) - I saved the best for last! NYC nail polishes have been around forever...and these quick dry polishes are THE BEST. Seriously, the go on super shiny, dry in less than a minute, and come in so many great colors. I know everyone is partial to brands like Essie and OPI (and no disrespect to them), but this nail polish is just as good...dare I say better?!?
Well, that's my list...I hope you've found it helpful! Happy Monday!



  1. I love Loreal Sublime self tanner! I use it all the time! I need to try that Trader Joe's Coconut body butter!! This is a great list Andrea :)

    1. Thanks Kate! Let me know what you think when you try's my new fave!

  2. Fab finds, Andrea!! Definitely going to need to test some of these out!

    Jenna from Visions of Vogue

    1. Let me know what you think Jenna!

  3. used to be totally obsessed with that brozer - totally agree!

    mon |

    1. Do you use a different one these days Monica?

  4. These are fabulous picks! Thanks for sharing!

    Heidi D.