47 Beauty Products That Seem Expensive But Are Actually So Damn Cheap – Bustle

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My hesitation to hop on beauty trends is powered by two things: lack of skill and lack of money. YouTube may be able to help me improve my skills, but when it comes to cost, I’m left frustrated. And is it just me or are these beauty products only getting more expensive as the years go by? Lucky for me, and you by extension, Amazon is a great place to find quality makeup with a thrifty price tag. Check out these 47 beauty products that seem expensive but are actually so damn cheap.
On this list, you’ll find plenty of at-home beauty treatments to replace the price of paying a professional. These easy-to-use products for shaving, deep cleansing, and moisturizing, to name a few, are surprisingly affordable and so effective you’ll wonder why you’ve been spending so much money at the salon. From a nutrient-rich face cream to a relaxing bubble bath, there’s something on this list for anyone looking to save some cash.
I’ve also included plenty of makeup products that are crowd favorites because of their quality and price. You’ll find powder and cream blushes, mascara and false lashes, as well as a versatile illuminating spray for an on-the-go glow. These brand-name and designer-inspired products are top of the line and loved by many, and best of all — they won’t break the bank.
You may be shocked by how much you can save by switching out your usual beauty products for some of these finds. From hair and skin care to makeup and self-care, I’ve packed this list with Amazon beauty gems that will save you a ton of money.
Skip the expensive treatment at the spa and snag this $12 brightening peeling gel instead. It gently exfoliates your skin, revealing a bright and smooth complexion. The formula is made with vitamin C, cellulose, and mushroom extract that naturally moisturize while you hang out at home. And it has plenty of fans, having earned nearly 4,000 reviews on Amazon.
This jade roller and gua sha set gained popularity on Instagram for its low price, and now it’s received more than 28,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating. Use it to give yourself a relaxing face massage that promotes blood flow and makes you feel ready to take on the day. The two-sided roller can relieve fatigued facial muscles and is designed with a larger roller on one side for your cheeks and forehead and a more compact roller on the other to target your under-eye area. A separate gua sha tool is also included for yet another way to offer a cooling and soothing facial massage.
This lip gloss has a plumping effect that makes your lips look fuller for just $7. The secret is hyaluronic acid which visibly smoothes your lips, emphasizes their shape, and adds an intense shine that will turn heads. The liquid lipstick comes with an extra-large wand that makes application a breeze. Choose from 15 shades.
Dry, dead skin can be tough to manage, but you don’t have to blow your budget trying. This nourishing facial mask deep cleans your skin and hydrates it for less than $10. This ice-cream-inspired face mask smells and feels like mint chip, except these chocolate chips are actually soft shea butter pieces that melt into your skin. It’s packed with peppermint, aloe vera, and bentonite clay for a cooling sensation that just feels like a deep clean.
This little tube of lip balm is packed with natural ingredients to hydrate and protect your lips. It’s made with sunflower and coconut oil, as well as beeswax that smells like a tropical drink (and probably costs less than one, too). One review noted, “Absolutely love this. It’s moisturizing without being greasy. And doesn’t stick to the inside of a mask. Makes my lips soft and hydrated.”
Looking for that dewy glow that only makeup artists seem to perfect? Just try this affordable jelly highlighter. The vegan formula is designed to be worn alone, over makeup, or mixed into your foundation. It gives you a luminous, rose gold glow that looks natural and fresh. It’s available in three shades.
Makeup removing wipes can be expensive, but washing your makeup off with soap and water is no fun. This budget-friendly green tea water makes it easy to cleanse your skin after a long day. The one-step cleanser removes makeup, dirt, and impurities, as well as dead skin for a smoother, brighter complexion. It’s even safe for sensitive skin.
Snag this budget-friendly makeup brush set instead of paying for individual brushes. The 15-piece set includes four sponge brushes, one makeup brush cleaner, four eyebrow tools, and 10 versatile, lightweight brushes for blush, eyeshadow, and setting powder. The brushes in this set feature super soft and thick bristles that are hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. Best of all? This set is just $10.
Hydrate your skin with this natural facial oil from Burt’s Bees that’s a steal at just $13. It’s made with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, as well as rosehip seed extract, that deeply moisturizes and smooths your skin. This bottle may seem small, but one reviewer noted that you only need a few drops to make a big impact. “[This] really hydrated my dry skin. My face felt smoother and softer after a couple of days. A little bit goes a long way.”
There are plenty of products on the market that claim to repair your hair — but you may have a bit of sticker shock. But this almond oil hair mist effectively hydrates damaged and frizzy hair for less than $10. It’s made with oats and avocado oil as well, which soothe your scalp and strands from root to tip. This blend works best on thick, coarse, or curly hair, especially for preventing frizz.
Cream blush is all the rage for its natural-looking color and texture, but it can get pretty pricy. This blush stick is inexpensive yet goes on your skin with a luxuriously soft finish. It’s made with African walnut oil and pistachio extract that makes it blend well and provides great coverage. 

This under-eye cream offers impressive results but is gentle on your eyes. It’s made with retinol to smooth the skin under your eyes and help eliminate dark circles. The hypoallergenic cream has earned more than 14,000 reviews and is Amazon’s Choice for “eye treatments,” especially at this price.
Cut costs and clutter with this multipurpose makeup that you can use as both blush and lipstick. The vegan formula melts into your skin for a dewy glow and comes in four shades. Plus, it’s free of parabens, paraffins, petrolatum, and talc.
Does your skin need rescuing, but your budget is tight? This six-pack of face masks is affordable and effective at replenishing your skin, no matter the issue. Each mask is designed to treat a different skin woe, such as controlling blemishes, brightening your skin, tightening your pores, or deeply moisturizing your face. This pack is inexpensive and has earned a 4.8-star rating.
It seems like inexpensive brow pencils always come off halfway through the day, but not this one. This waterproof brow color is easy to apply and creates natural-looking brows. It won’t run or smudge and keeps its matte finish until you’re ready to remove it. Choose from four shades, each with a precision tip that makes it easy to define your brows.
This bestselling vitamin C face serum is packed with vitamins and botanicals to give you glowing skin for less than you think. The serum is made with Vitamins C and E, as well as hyaluronic acid, witch hazel, and jojoba oil. Reviewers say this is the best choice for your budget, including one five-star review that cited, “ I am pleased with the results and highly recommend these lower-priced alternatives to the higher brand name items because they gave me the results I was seeking for a fraction of the cost.”
This inexpensive hair mist is hydrating and suitable for all types of hair including curly, coily, kinky, wavy, and straight. It’s made of plant-based ingredients that make the formula lightweight, yet nourishing. It helps to detangle hair, reduce dryness and damage, add shine, and control frizz. Spray it on your strands before styling or throughout the day to give it a refresh.
The right lip liner is key to a bold lip that lasts all day. This budget pick comes in rich, vibrant colors that stay on for up to eight hours. The pencil glides on easily thanks to the soft and creamy texture. It comes in 13 shades, each at just $6.
No need to buy a different face cream and body cream when this surprisingly affordable option can do both. The hydrating cream restores and protects your skin while soothing any irritation. Using hyaluronic acid, along with copper sulfate and grape seed extract, this formula leaves skin feeling soft and smooth without breaking the bank.
Taming your curls just got easier and the solution probably costs less than you’d expect. This air-dry curl cream is made with coconut oil and shea butter and encourages bouncy curls while eliminating frizz. This cream locks your curls in place without that typical crunchy feeling, plus it smells like a tropical oasis. This low-cost curl cream has earned more than 8,000 reviews and a 4.3-star review.
No one has time (or the money) to reapply makeup multiple times a day. That’s why reviewers love this fixing spray. It’s versatile enough to use as a primer before applying concealer and foundation, yet it’s also a setting spray for locking in your lock and a refresher that you can spritz on throughout the day to keep your skin glowing. The vegan formula dries super fast and is recommended for all skin types.
You don’t need to drop $30 on mascara to get clump-free, long lashes. This under-$10 pick adds both volume and length to your eyelashes without any flaking or smudging. The soft, wavy brush has more than 200 bristles that create a fuller, more natural look. It’s available in a few shades, as well as waterproof and washable options.
This hand cream has it all: a low price, a delicious scent, and fast-acting results. It’s made with shea butter to deeply moisturize your skin while leaving a floral smell you’ll love. This cream will even protect your hands from cold weather, dry climates, or other irritants that may cause your skin to crack.
This concealer will make you look like a million bucks for your next close-up, but get this — it’s only $6. This “photogenic” concealer is designed to make blemishes, dark circles, and discoloration disappear. It comes in 23 colors and the manufacturer even suggests buying a slightly darker shade for contouring and a slightly lighter shade for highlighting. At this price, it just makes sense.
Treat the sensitive skin underneath your eyes well with these vegan eye masks that make you look well-rested, even if you aren’t. Each gel pad reduces puffiness while moisturizing your skin. Plus, the gold leaf is great for stimulating blood flow while minimizing the appearance of dark circles. Made with natural ingredients like collagen, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid, you’ll feel refreshed after just one use. One review noted, “These make my under eyes feel like a newborn!”
No need to pay for lash extensions when you can order these $5 false lashes that are reusable. They have a natural length and volume to add to your lashes and are so easy to apply and remove. They’re lightweight and come with an invisible, clear lash glue that’s undetectable. This pair has earned more than 7,000 reviews and is Amazon’s Choice for “natural lashes.”
Skip the tanning bed or expensive spray tan by trying these self-tanning towelettes that are less than $10. Each wipe provides a streak-free, natural-looking tan that only takes up to four hours to develop. One rave review noted, “These are the easiest and best I have ever used. I have spent lots of money on different brands of this self-tanning. These make it look real, not yellow. So easy to apply. I won’t use anything else.”
Looking for just a little sparkle for your next nail color? This budget nail polish is both long-lasting and has a unique, holographic sparkle color. The chip-resistant polish provides a smooth and glossy finish that, unlike most glitter polishes, isn’t a nightmare to remove. It’s non-toxic, vegan, and has a creamy texture and nude color.
This scrunchie does more than just hold your hair back — it can prevent unwanted frizz and damage. It’s made of 100% mulberry silk and secures your hair while keeping frizz, bumps, or split ends at bay. The band is so gentle it won’t leave a crease in your hair, even overnight, plus it fights hair breakage. It’s available in more than 15 colors.
No need to buy new face makeup when you get a tan (or lose one) — instead stock up on this budget-friendly bronzer that features a mosaic of multiple colors. Throughout the changing of the seasons, you’ll always get a natural-looking color to add a little shimmer and shine to your complexion. This matte version comes in three shades and is just $10.
Sunscreen is an investment in your skin — but this top choice is still easy on your wallet. This daily SPF 45 sunscreen is non-sticky, non-greasy, and doesn’t leave a white cast on your skin. It absorbs quickly and won’t clog your pores. Use it in place of expensive lotions for moisturizing and protecting your skin all day long.
Stop replacing those cheap foam nail files and invest in something that will last longer: this pack of four glass nail files. These glass nail files will make your nails stronger and shinier, plus they’re much easier to clean and re-use. They buff and file nails of any shape or size. One five-star review cited, “This is my first time using a glass file and I am honestly bummed I didn’t find these sooner. My nails feel super smooth!!!”
Controlling shine is a common beauty quest, but Amazon has an affordable solution: a sebum soak pact. Tap this transparent mineral power onto your skin and hair and it will only absorb sebum and sweat that may make your makeup clump, retaining the natural oils in your face so that you stay moisturized. This pact comes with a built-in application puff. One rave review noted, “This is a terrific powder for finishing and touch-ups. I keep one on my vanity and use it as the final touch on my T-zone to keep the shine away.”
Fancy soap is a luxury usually reserved for hotel stays, but this French bar of soap is affordable enough to enjoy at home. Packed with one of 12 delicious scents (made by French perfumers), this soap makes the whole bathroom smell heavenly, while cleaning and hydrating your skin. It’s made with palm and argan oil, vitamin E, and calendula. Plus the wrapping is so pretty, you may want to buy a few to use as decor on your vanity.
If you prefer powder blush, check out this deal from Drew Barrymore’s makeup line. This glossy blush is designed for buildable color that blends easily. The superfine powder is high-quality (and super-star approved) without the usual price tag. It comes in four shades, each designed to look natural and enhance your glow.
This vitamin C lotion does more than just protect your skin — it adds a stunning glow. This two-in-one product provides SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection, plus it’s packed with vitamin C, which hydrates your skin and helps make it glow. This one budget-friendly cream will replace your expensive moisturizer and sunscreens. One reviewer notes that it “doesn’t leave a white film, even on darker skin tones.”
These reusable bamboo cotton rounds are a win-win: good for your skin and your wallet. They’re made from highly absorbent and soft bamboo velour. Use these rounds as a replacement for disposable cotton that you’d usually use to remove makeup, nail polish, or apply toner. Just toss used facial pads into the included mesh laundry bag and machine wash to use them again and again. They’ve earned more than 15,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating.
If you’re looking for intense moisture at a fraction of the typical cost, try this authentic Tsubaki oil from Japan. It’s made of 100% pure, cold-pressed, unrefined camellia seed oil, which is rich in omega-9 and vitamins A, B and E. Use it in your hair to strengthen and condition damaged locks or on your skin to stimulate your collagen production.
Achieve that post-facial clean feeling with the cost of a professional facial thanks to this deep-cleansing cream mask. It’s made with finely-ground, hardened volcanic lava, which absorbs oil, as well as lactic acid that exfoliates dead skin. It purifies and shrinks your pores, leaving your skin feeling like a million bucks — for just $15.
For me, if makeup is hard to remove, it’s probably not coming off before bed. That’s why all-star products like this micellar water are worth the hype. This cleanser has earned more than 13,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating. The $7 bottle removes makeup while cleansing your face and eliminating pollutant particles and grime. Plus, it feels really good on your skin and won’t strip it of much-needed moisture.
If you choose to get rid of facial hair, this small hair remover is the way to go. Its compact design looks like a tube of lipstick so you can discreetly carry it anywhere. Reviewers noted that it quickly removes unwanted peach fuzz without pain and the pack includes a cleaning brush and one AAA battery to operate the tool. It has more than 88,000 reviews, a 4.4-star rating, and it comes in six colors.
This hair protein treatment makes your hair look smoother and shinier even after just one use, thanks to ingredients like ceramides. Just ask one of the 18,000 reviewers who helped give this product a 4.4-star rating. The formula is designed for any type of hair and coats your locks to repair damaged and over-processed hair for a fraction of a salon treatment. One reviewer noted, “My hair is noticeably less frizzy after air drying and it feels moisturized, soft, and silky. It also smells really nice.”
You can create an endless number of looks with this one inexpensive eyeshadow palette. It comes with eight shades that work well together and include shimmer, matte, and metallic finishes. The highly pigmented colors stay on for up to 24 hours and look silky and smooth on your skin. This compact palette is only $6 and is the perfect size to keep in your purse.
Who says you can’t treat yourself without spending a ton of money? This lavender chamomile bubble bath costs less than $15 but will transport you to a much more expensive, luxurious spa. It’s made with shea butter, and coconut and argan oils, so it nourishes your skin while the intoxicating scent relaxes your mind. The manufacturer even noted that this formula is safe to use in jacuzzis.
This pre-shave exfoliant makes it easier and more comfortable to manage your bikini line at home. This inexpensive cream has fine exfoliants that get rid of dead skin, sebum, or oils that can lead to ingrown hairs. Use it before you shave to ensure smooth, happy skin. It’s pH-balanced so it’s safe to use on pubic hair — which means you can cut out expensive wax appointments.
Reviewers love this repairing shampoo and conditioner duo that’s good for the planet and less than you might expect. The vegan formulas are made with coconut oil and ylang ylang to deeply condition even the most damaged hair. It’s safe to use on color-treated hair — plus the bottles are made from 100% recycled materials.
This lightweight serum is gentle enough to use twice a day, and at this price, you won’t have to stress about cost. This propolis sparkle ampoule is made of 80% propolis, which hydrates and protects your skin. It is packed with nourishing minerals, citrus oils to brighten the skin and tighten the pores, and eucalyptus oil to gently exfoliate. Add this inexpensive serum to your skin routine for a major impact.
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