They say you’re never supposed to play favorites, but when it comes to beauty products, I can’t help myself (especially when items also happen to be budget-friendly!). In the spirit of sharing the love, I’m highlighting seven of my go-tos, which range from a life-changing dermaplaning tool to a lip mask that will have you feeling nice and hydrated each morning. Oh, and the best part? Everything featured here is under $30.
"This razor gave me the silkiest, smoothest shave I've ever had! I never get any cuts or scrapes, even on those hard-to-shave places."
Lip Sleeping Mask
A bunch of my friends began posting about their love for this product last winter, so of course I had to snag a tube of my own (all in the name of ~research~, right?!). I’ve truly been hooked ever since. Each night that I apply the mask, I wake up with incredibly soft, hydrated lips. I love starting off the day feeling nice and moisturized, especially in the winter. Don’t estimate the jar’s small size; a little goes a long way, and you won’t need to re-purchase this again for many months! So while there’s no real need to go ahead and stock up on any refills, I will note that there are a whole array of shades available (a girl’s gotta have variety after all!). That said, having tried out Apple Lime and Mint Choco, the original Berry is my fave (it smells great!).
Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer
A year ago, I never would’ve considered hand sanitizer to be a go-to product let alone view it as such a hot commodity, but alas, here we are. Honestly, over the past 11 months, I’ve probably purchased more travel-sized bottles than I have in my entire life. I don’t know whether I became hyper aware of the various scents due to frequent use, but I was majorly struggling to find a sanitizer that didn’t give me a major headache (some of them smell pretty unpleasant). During a recent trip to Ulta, I spotted a shelf of Megababe products, and having heard good things about the hand sanitizer, decided to purchase a pocket-sized bottle on a whim. Well, consider me sold. Not only is the sanitizer’s scent bearable, it actually smells quite good (it’s kind of fruity, if you ask me?!). I’m almost out of my first travel-sized bottle, and you can bet I’ll be grabbing a replacement soon (it’s definitely worth it, coming in at under $8!).
Lavender Salt Scrub
Let’s talk about Trader Joe’s, a place that is home to many of my impulse buys. Truthfully, I don’t spend as much time scoping out the TJ’s beauty section as I should, but whenever I do take a moment to peek at their selections, I’m always intrigued. During one of my last visits to the store, I decided to snag a jar of the lavender body scrub for a mere $5.99 (if you don’t have a TJ’s near you, the product is available on Amazon for roughly $18). I figured it was certainly worth a try, as my skin needs a bit more attention during the winter and I can’t resist a soothing scent. And, uh, wow. This scrub makes my skin feel baby soft and smells so darn good too. Pick it up immediately; you will thank me!
Ultra-Rich Body Cream
This lotion isn’t for those sensitive to smells, as it is pretty pungent (I once heard someone describe it as a gin and tonic-like scent, which isn’t untrue… but I promise it isn’t repulsive by any means!). This lotion is basically the full-body equivalent of the Laneige lip mask. It’s incredibly hydrating and will make you feel nice and moisturized ASAP. Pre-pandemic, I kept a tube of this in my desk at work and another in my medicine cabinet. I always recommend it to friends experiencing dryness, and I’m by no means the product’s biggest fan: it truly has a cult following!
Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
I’ve written a whole review! singing the praises of this $5 mascara, so I’m going to keep this blurb short, but all in all, this is a gem of a beauty product. It’s cheaper than a latte, will make your eyelashes pop, and is a perfect dark black hue that will make even the lightest of lashes stand out. There’s a reason it has thousands upon thousands of rave reviews!
Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
My lip gloss is popping--is yours?! No but seriously, having a little color on my lips during Zoom calls is giving me life these days. My go-to fave? Fenty Beauty’s Sweet Mouth, which is the perfect shade of pink (I’m personally not one for a bold red lip during 9-5 hours!). I’m now eagerly awaiting the day I can wear it on a date once again.
Glowscreen SPF 40
This was a blogger-influenced purchase, but I’m so glad I clicked on that swipe-up, because this glowy sunscreen is truly life changing. I’m very fair-skinned and don’t tan easily, so I’ve never achieved that relaxed, sunbathed look naturally. This product has helped me fake it (and look a bit more lively on Zoom calls) and comes with SPF, making it ideal to apply before my afternoon walks. I’ve tried out several Supergoop products at this point, but the Glowscreen will remain in my rotation as it always invigorates my skin when it’s looking a little dull and tired. The mini sized tube is perfect if you’re like me and appreciate trying out products before handing over more than $20 of your hard-earned cash.
Exfoliating Dermaplaning Tool
OK, don’t get me wrong--I know that the idea of giving yourself a dermaplaning facial at home may seem a bit odd. However, these little razors are magic and will remove that pesky peach fuzz in seconds. While there’s nothing like going to the spa, these guys get the job done and will leave your skin feeling nice and smooth to boot. Plus, at such a low price point for a pack of three, you can’t go wrong with at least trying this DIY beauty regimen and saving some major cash in the process. Not fully sold yet? Well, not only are there over 85,000 reviews (uh, what?!), but as one happy buyer notes, “the amount of peach fuzz--and to my surprise, dead skin--that came off was shocking and oh-so-satisfying.” Not fully sold yet? You’ll feel reassured instantly after scrolling through the tens of thousands of rave reviews.