Quality doesn't always come with a high price tag. Some great beauty buys for your face, hair and body can cost less than $10 at the drugstore. Here are a few of the best, and what's the most amazing: you can snag all 12 for a combined total of under $100!
Garnier The Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($5.99): One of the worst things you can do to your face is hit the sheets before taking off your makeup. Not only does it clog pores, but many of the ingredients found in foundations turn into sugars that can create inflammation and irritation. So on the nights when you’re too exhausted to even think about sudsing up, keep a pack of these makeup remover towelettes in your nightstand. They’re oil-free, and loaded with grape water extract to refresh, tone and deeply hydrate tired skin. Plus, they somehow manage to remove even caked-on waterproof makeup without leaving behind a residue.
L'Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara in Blackest Black ($7.29): L'Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara delivers some serious plumping, building lashes to five times their natural thickness. Plus, this blacker than black shade is the darkest you'll find to accentuate eyes.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3‑Day Straight Semi‑Permanent Styling Spray for Curly Hair ($8.99): This product is about as close to a miracle worker as you’ll find, especially at this price. Just spray it 7 to 15 times throughout damp or wet hair (depending on your hair length). Then comb it through, blow your hair dry and, most important, flat-iron your hair in sections. The proprietary blend of polymers and keratin protein helps fight frizz and unruly waves. As long as you’re not getting your hair wet (or sweating profusely), it really will stay straight for three whole days.
L’Oréal EverPure Sulfate-Free Shampoos & Conditioners ($6.99 each): Finding sulfate-free products usually means spending more money. That's not the case with this collection of gentle alternatives, which either add deep hydration, smoothes and defrizzes strands or injects volume—all without any of the harsh detergents that can make hair brittle and cause color to fade much faster. They’re a no-brainer for anyone who wants to extend the life of their highlights.
Essie Nail Polish ($8): This nail polish line is one of the best around. Period. In fact, Essie is usually the gold standard for polish. The massive array of available colors means you can choose virtually any shade under the rainbow, and the professional long-lasting formula means you get supreme bang for your (minute) buck.
Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick ($5.19): It's helpful to have a lipstick or two in every bag. After all, it’s the fastest, easiest way to add a pop of color to your look. While you can find a huge array of great lip products under $10, Rimmel’s Lasting Finish really delivers rich, concentrated pigment so the color looks saturated and beautiful like more expensive brands. The creamy formula goes on smoother than other long-lasting lipsticks, and stays put for hours. Two of the most universally flattering shades are Airy Fairy, a pretty pink that’s not overwhelming or too much like the shade of cotton candy, and Jet Set Red, the perfect true rouge.
Max Factor Pan-Stik Ultra Creamy Makeup ($8.99): While some women will find this creamy foundation stick a bit heavy for allover coverage, it does make for an amazing concealer, especially under the eyes. It covers dark circles seamlessly and can be used to erase redness around the nose or to camouflage blemishes. The silky texture makes it super easy to blend, and you can apply it with a damp sponge for more sheer coverage.
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($9.99): This long-wearing gel formula will take you from the early morning meeting to happy hour, and then some. It’s waterproof, smudge-proof and oil-free, so it’s a must for oily skin that loses all traces of liner within hours. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that you have to draw it on using a brush. It will take a few tries to get the hang of it, but it ultimately gives you so much more freedom to create different looks—from basic to dramatic. The neutral shades, like Blackest Black, Brown and Charcoal, are classics, but the dark purple Eggplant hue is a perfect choice for fall.
E.L.F. Bronzer in Golden Bronzer ($3): Natural-looking bronzer for under $5? Yes, please! This versatile blend of ultrafine shimmers has four quadrants—pink blush, cream-colored highlighter, golden tan and brown—that you swirl together to create the perfect bronze glow for your unique skin tone. Because you can control how much you get of each color, you can go darker or lighter depending on your complexion and the time of year. It also multitasks as eye shadow, saving you even more money (and space in your makeup bag).
Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash ($6.49): Body scrubs don’t have to be pricey. This combination of burnt brown sugar, a natural exfoliator and humectant, and hydrating karite butter can be used daily to remove dead skin from head to toe. It smells delicious and leaves a soft layer of moisture behind so it’s perfect for those mornings when you don’t have time to slather on lotion before getting dressed. Try it before shaving so your razor glides over your skin easily without shaving cream.
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush ($7.99): Lots of powder blushes can look cakey, while cream ones tend to look streaky. But this innovative powder-gel version virtually melts into skin and feels pillow soft, kissing cheeks with just the subtlest of buildable color. Plus, just touching the springy formula has an addictive quality to it that makes it quite the simple pleasure.
Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream ($5.99):Now that we’re heading into the time of year where the brisk outside air and dry indoor heat can sap skin of its moisture, most of us are reaching for a heavier hydrator for our face. The only problem is that many richer products can cause breakouts or midday shine. Not so with this oil-free gel-cream fusion, which relies on dimethicone—a powerful silicone that locks in moisture for a full day without clogging pores. It’s lightweight enough to be the perfect pre-makeup primer while keeping flaky skin at bay.
About the Author:Karina Giglio is a lifestyle, beauty and health writer whose work has appeared in numerous national publications including Women’s Health, Washingtonian, Ladies Home Journal, OK!, Allure, Fitness, Marie Claire, Bride’s and The New York Post. She was a regular contributor to makeup.com, and her articles and blog posts can be found on prevention.com, dailyglow.com, yahoo.com and huffingtonpost.com. Karina has worked onstaff at Cosmopolitan and YM, as well as being part of the original Sephora.com launch team