“All this shit is so expensive!” – something I hear a lot when reviewing products, either on here, Instagram, or other social medias.
I get it. Some of this “shit” truly is expensive. I know that not everyone can afford it – even if I’m saying “treat yourself.” Stuff like the Sunday Riley U.F. O. is just not in the budget for a lot of people…& that’s okay!! You don’t need $80 products to have a good face. I promise.
So, without further ado: a list of products that are cheap, effective, & will give you That Good Skin.
1. Glossier Milky Jelly – $18
Yup…I know. Milky Jelly…again. But this stuff works. It’s gentle, it’s effective, it can be used on damp or dry skin – & it doubles as a makeup remover (even on mascara, so long as it’s not waterproof). Works on all skin types, lasts me about 1.5-2 months (I use about 2 pumps on my face, morning & night). Get. It.
I wrote about why I love this so much here – but just in case you don’t want to scroll through another article, here’s a shortened version of why it’s so good: it’s cheap, it smells amazing, it’s hydrating, is multi-purpose (setting spray OR toner), & is especially if you stick it in your refridgerator. Oh! & if you’re allergic/sensitive to rose-scented products, never fear – MB has a facial spray with aloe, cucumber, & green tea – an Ulta exclusive (a permanent exclusive!). It’s just as good, just as soothing – & also smells great.
Comes in a 5% version & a 10% version. This will exfoliate gently & reduce breakouts – without the downsides of micro abrasions that physical exfoliants sometimes bring. I’d suggest starting with 5% (that’s what I did!) so you can be sure you’re not overdoing it on your face. If it feels good, work your way up to 10%! This is super similar to the famously expensive Sunday Riley Good Genes; it’ll make your skin clearer, more transluscent, & glowier – except it’s $6.50, rather than $125. Yup.
I know what you’re thinking – $12 for a lip balm???? There surely must be cheaper ones out there. You’re not wrong! You can get one for $2 at your local grocery checkout. These, however, have a special place in my heart. First of all…they last forever. I have a tube of the rose-scented one that I bought in January, I use it every night – as well as throughout the day – & have yet to finish it. Second of all…yes, they contain petroleum jelly, an ingredient found in Vaseline…but it works better than Vaseline. I’ve tried Vaseline on my lips & am always left feeling greasy but cracked. My lips are weird, but I’ve tried a lot of lip balms. The only one I can compare to BDC is the Bite Beauty Agave balm – & that’s still not as good (& more expensive). Plus – they come in various flavors/scents: cherry (amazing as a lip/cheek tint for summer!), rose (delicate but not powdery), mint (refreshing but not overwhelmingly tingly), coconut (need I say more? Perfect for summer), original (if you don’t like scented products, this is the one for you – plus it looks amazing on the eyelids/works well as a cuticle balm), &…BIRTHDAY CAKE! The latest addition to the collection, this holographic, shimmery, cake-scented BDC will be permanent – but there’s high demand, so if you want this one, hurry. Finally – this lip balm always works. Always. I promise.
I’m sure you’ve heard about them! But if you’re a newbie…say hello to the Tonymoly sheet masks! Affordable, effective, & a huge variety for various skin ailments, I have about 10 of these piled up at home – they’re that cheap. You can find them on their site, at Ulta, or at Urban Outfitters. My favorites? The pearl (glowing) the makgeolli (clarifying/makes skin more translucent), & the aloe (soothing). Especially amazing in summertime, if you stick these babies in the fridge. You’ll get an extra dose of cool along with your skin treatment.
Yup, the one you can find in any Walgreens or CVS! Sometimes even in your local grocery store. It looks simple & boring…but even high end gurus rave about CeraVe’s effects, especially their PM Moisturizer. As featured on Into The Gloss’s article titled “The Best Moisturizers under $40”, CeraVe PM was described as “providing moisture without being slick or shiny…great for sensitive skin.” “Healing and glow-ifying, for sure.” “Cured my dehydrated skin and left me gloriously acne free. Problem solved. For $15. Hallelujah.” Its ingredient list is impressive – & effective: ceramides to help repair damaged skin, restore & maintain the skin’s natural barrier; niacinamide, which reduces breakouts, also restores the skin’s natural barrier; & the old favorite: hyaluronic acid, which reduces redness & plumps/soothes the skin. You can’t really go wrong with any of CeraVe’s products – this particular moisturizer is for normal to dry/sensitive skin, but they have other versions for oily/combo skin, never fear. Cheap, effective, & you don’t have to wait for it to ship – just run into your corner drugstore.
7. Missha Sunscreen – $14
Lightweight, SPF 45, not greasy at all, doesn’t leave a white cast. This is a physical sunscreen, so if you’re not a fan of the “sunscreen smell” stay away – this definitely has it. HOWEVER! If you’re not about to buy a 40-50 dollar sunscreen but still have issues with stickiness, white cast, breakouts, or bad smells because the cheaper sunscreens you use don’t work as well as the more expensive ones – this is the screen for you. Oh! & it’s K-Beauty. Always trust the K-Beauty brands & sites when it comes to sunscreen – they have your back.
No other spot treatment works this well. Seriously. People talk about the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion like no other – this is the one that deserves the attention. Super small bottle – but you only need the tiniest of drops. Works overnight – & if it doesn’t, it’ll work within 48 hours for sure. No burning, stinging, or irritation. Truly a wonder product.
9. Jade Roller – $9.59
As some of you might know, I now really do love my FOREO Luna Mini – but the price tag isn’t for everyone, & the product was sent to me…I wouldn’t have been able to buy it for myself without some serious saving. The jade roller is similar – it provides lymphatic massage, improves blood circulation & tightens/brightens your skin – all for under $10. Some luxury ones exist out there, too – but this one that I got on Amazon serves me well. Extra points if you stick it in the fridge (most things are better when chilled. Trust me).
10. Aromatica Organic Aloe Vera Gel – $15
Amazing for the summer, the Aromatica gel is only $15 for 10 fluid ounces. That’s unheard of. This gel is cooling, soothing, & since it has aloe in it, is a major help for sunburns/sun damage. Plus, the pharmaceutical packaging & the air bubbles inside the actual product make it a fun, pretty, & CHEAP! addition to your top shelf.
That’s all, babies! I tried to cover most areas; be sure to check out the websites that I mentioned in general. Many of them (like The Ordinary) will have other options for just as cheap, if not cheaper. Here’s some discounts if you’re interested!
- Shop Glossier with me & I will forever be grateful (& you’ll get a discount! Win-win).
- $10 off a $50 Peach & Lily purchase – just in case you want to buy 20 of those aloe gels
- $10 off a Tonymoly purchase (on their site!)
What’re your favorite cheap (but amazingly effective!) products? Let me know!