We’re definitely the kind of people who are willing to try a new beauty product no matter what. And hands down, one of our favorite things is finding more affordable options that hold a candle to another more expensive beauty product. Though these drugstore or more affordable look-alikes might not be an exact replica of the more expensive product, they typically work just as well (or even better) and can help you achieve your beauty goals without as much post-buy regret.
With this in mind, check out our roundup of the best affordable beauty products from Amazon — all of which are under $40 — that are just as good as their cult-favorite counterparts.
e.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer ($6; amazon.com)
E.l.f. 16HR Camo Concealer
If you’re looking for a lightweight, full-coverage concealer for less than $10, the e.l.f 16HR Camo Concealer might catch your attention. Available in 18 shades on Amazon, this concealer is highly pigmented and dries quickly to a matte finish. If you prefer a more satin finish, opt for e.l.f’s Hydrating Camo Concealer instead for the same great results.
This cruelty-free and vegan concealer has generated nearly 1,900 reviews on Amazon, where customers rave that the product works as well as Tarte’s infamous Shape Tape Concealer ($29; tartecosmetics.com and ulta.com).
Sacha Buttercup Setting Powder ($29; amazon.com)
Sacha Buttercup Setting Powder
There aren’t many things worse to a makeup fanatic than terrible makeup flashback. No matter how flawless you may look, if you set your face with a powder that doesn’t complement your skin, you may end up looking chalky or become victim to camera flash.
With more than 7,800 reviews, this Sacha alternative has people ditching their Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($39; sephora.com).
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($14.95; amazon.com)
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay is a deep-pore-cleansing mask made of 100% natural calcium bentonite clay that reviewers can’t get enough of. You mix the clay with water and apple cider vinegar to create a paste that you then put on your face, your body or even your hair as a mask. Many reviewers share that this has worked wonders on their acne or super-clogged pores. (Seriously, check out the customer before-and-after pictures.)
This might be a great option for you if you’re interested in a deep-cleaning mask but don’t want to pay for the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask ($28; sephora.com) or the Glamglow Supermud Charcoal Instant Treatment Mask ($60; sephora.com).
L’Oréal Paris Makeup Lash Paradise Mascara ($9.51; amazon.com)
L’Oreal Paris Makeup Lash Paradise Mascara
Finding the right mascara is a game changer. With so many on the market, however, both drugstore and high-end, it can be daunting to decide which ones to give the time of day. Reviewers are obsessed with L’Oréal’s Lash Paradise Mascara, which is waterproof, long-lasting mascara that features hourglass bristles that deliver volume and length for a clump-free, full-lash look.
This is known to be a great look-alike of Too Faced’s cult-favorite Better Than Sex Mascara ($27; sephora.com), even down to the design of the tube it comes in.
Maybelline New York Baby Lips Glow Lip Balm ($2.98, originally $4.49; amazon.com)
Maybelline New York Baby Lips Glow Lip Balm
We’ve been fans of Maybelline’s Baby Lip Balm since it launched. We loved the moisturizing formula and the sheer lip color it provided. Over the years, its many fans have noted that this lip balm is a good budget-friendly alternative to the popular Dior Lip Glow ($35; sephora.com). For less than $3, pick your favorite Baby Lips shade and try it out for your next dinner date or Instagram selfie.
Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush ($5.98; amazon.com)
Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush
Gel or cream blushes are gaining popularity, thanks to how easy they blend and create a natural flush look. Once you learn a method of applying the blush in a way that complements your makeup and skin care routine, you may never use powder blush again.
Many of us were introduced to the world of gel-cream blushes with Glossier’s Cloud Paint ($18; glossier.com), but now Maybelline’s Cheek Heat has entered the scene. For less than a third of the cost of Cloud Paint, you can get the same beautiful glow in this pigmented, buildable cream blush.
NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner ($8.03, originally $9; amazon.com)
NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner
Creating the perfect winged eye look requires an exceptional liner that’s precise, that’s highly pigmented and that won’t smudge. When we tested the best liquid eyeliners of 2021, the NYX Epic Ink Liner came out on top as our best budget buy, scoring the highest of all the liners we tested in application and precision. For less than $10, you can achieve the cat-eye of your dreams with a liner that users say rivals KVD Vegan Beauty’s Tattoo Eyeliner ($21; sephora.com).
Thayers Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner ($10.95; amazon.com)
Thayers Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner
People love witch hazel to tone the skin after cleansing because it’s known to help decrease inflammation and soothe sensitive skin. If you’re looking for a witch hazel toner without alcohol, fragrance and parabens, try this one from Thayers. Many users opt for this over Mario Badescu’s Witch Hazel Toner ($14; nordstrom.com) because it’s a little cheaper for more product and doesn’t include synthetic ingredients.
BS-Mall 14-Piece Synthetic Makeup Brush Set ($9.99, originally $11.49; amazon.com)
BS-Mall 14-Piece Synthetic Makeup Brush Set
A good set of makeup brushes can significantly improve your makeup application, so it’s important to find tools that work best for your routine. If you’re looking for an amazing deal on brushes that some users think stack up to Sigma’s ($160; nordstrom.com), you should give these a try. This set features 14 brushes, is available in four colors and is a No. 1 Amazon bestseller.
Ezbasics Facial Cleansing Brush ($24.99; amazon.com)
Ezbasics Facial Cleansing Brush
Sometimes cleaning your face with your hands doesn’t quite achieve that thorough cleansing you desire, but when you use a spin brush it may feel too harsh — especially if you have sensitive skin. If you’re looking for a next-level cleansing experience somewhere in the middle, a silicone brush might work for you. Foreo is widely known for its popular silicone brushes, such as the Luna 3 ($199; foreo.com and sephora.com) that effectively cleanses deep below the skin’s surface.
We get it: It’s a big commitment to spend $200 on a facial tool. So check out the much more affordable Ezbasics Silicone Face Cleanser Brush, which uses pulsations to cleanse the skin and remove makeup residue and skin cells, just like the Foreo. Because the bristles are silicone, you’ll get a good clean that isn’t too abrasive.
NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil ($9.03, originally $10; amazon.com)
NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil
The NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil is hands down one of our favorite drugstore beauty products that truly rivals its more expensive counterpart. Don’t get us wrong, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($23; sephora.com) is an amazing pencil that creates precise, natural-looking brows using only one tool.
However, for those times when we’re not willing to spend more than a few bucks on a brow product, we opt for the NYX version without hesitation. The Brow Wiz glides on easier and creamier than the Micro Brow Pencil, but the end result is the same: a simple snatched eyebrow. Read our full review of the Nyx brow pencil here.
Pond’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm ($25.08; amazon.com)
Pond’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm
Cleansing balms are a popular method of removing makeup and cleansing skin in a way that’s more effective (and eco-friendly) than makeup wipes and that leaves skin feeling nourished. Pond’s is known for its iconic Cold Cream Cleanser, but it’s now giving Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($34; sephora.com) a run for its money with its Makeup Remover Cleansing Balm. For only $10, you can melt your makeup away while infusing your skin with moisture to reveal softer, more radiant skin.
e.l.f. Liquid Glitter Eye Shadow ($5; amazon.com)
e.l.f. Liquid Glitter Eye Shadow
When you want to spice up your makeup look on the go but are pressed for time or space in your makeup bag, a liquid eye shadow is the way to go. Stila’s Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow ($24; sephora.com) is a serious winner for a stay-on, lightweight, liquid shadow with beautiful pigment. Luckily for us, e.l.f. has given us another amazing option — for under $5 — with its liquid glitter eye shadows. Choose from eight shades to add some shimmer over your eye, or rock it on its own.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($29.50; amazon.com)
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
When it comes to exfoliants, Biologique Recherche’s P50 Lotion ($101; shoprescuespa.com) is easily one of the most popular. The exfoliating toner is known to be effective in its mission to cleanse, purify and balance pH by basically removing dead skin in a way that’s better for your face than physical exfoliants.
All of this sounds phenomenal and worth cult status, but an over-$100 price point can be a stretch. Although Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant doesn’t contain the same ingredients as the renowned P50, reviewers say it still does wonders to unclog pores, exfoliate dead skin cells and even out skin tone — for glowing and radiant skin without the guilt.
Tula Skin Care Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm ($28; amazon.com)
Tula Skin Care Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm
If you’re looking for an eye balm that feels amazing going on, go for the Tula Skin Care Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm. It has a lovely cooling sensation that works to hydrate, brighten and help dark circles and puffiness.
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick ($7.65; amazon.com)
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick
The Maybelline SuperStay Matte Liquid Lipstick is a high-pigment matte finish lip that’s formulated to last up to 16 hours. In fact, we named it the best budget matte lipstick. We found that it really did stay put all day long, despite being a drugstore beauty find. Even better: We experienced little to no transfer on everything from masks to coffee glasses.
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin ($18.40; amazon.com)
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin
This lotion comes at the recommendation of dermatologists and estheticians alike, along with being top rated on Amazon with nearly 47,000 5-star ratings. The lightweight lotion is formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to leave skin feeling moisturized and hydrated for normal to dry skin types. It’s also noncomedogenic and fragrance-free, so it’s known to work for sensitive skin too.
Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original ($12.99; amazon.com)
Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original
The iconic Mighty Patch is essentially a hydrocolloid sticker patch meant to improve the look of pimples overnight. Who doesn’t want to get rid of their zits during their beauty sleep? Not to mention these are super thin and practically translucent, so they blend into your skin for the most part. For less than $15, get your hands on a pack to have on hand for your next breakout.
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($41.88, originally $59.99; amazon.com)
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer
We will rave about the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer forever and ever — it’s that great. In fact, we think it’s the best budget hair dryer we’ve ever tried. If you haven’t heard of it yet, get your hands on it ASAP to get a salon-quality blowout right at home. It seamlessly distributes hot air onto the hair to dry and style it at the same time.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation ($5.28, originally $7.99; amazon.com)
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
The Maybelline Fit Me foundation is a must-try, whether you’re on a budget or just like to try every foundation in the market. Available in a matte or dewy finish, this foundation is offered in 40 shades for buildable coverage. The matte finish is best for normal to oily skin, and has generated nearly 52,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Just apply with your fingers, favorite brush or sponge.
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($37; amazon.com)
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Yes, you need sunscreen every day — no matter your age, skin tone or whatever other factor comes to mind. Experts will tell you that it’s important to shield yourself from the sun’s harmful rays to avoid damage, including skin cancer. Of all the sunscreens on the market, we reach for the EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen to apply daily on the face. It’s lightweight, noncomedogenic and fragrance-free, and it won’t give you a white cast.
Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector ($28; amazon.com)
Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
Olaplex No. 3, the brand’s bestseller, is an at-home hair treatment that is meant to visibly strengthen your hair and reduce breakage. Just apply this once to three times a week to repair damage from within for healthier-looking hair. Better yet: The formula is vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free and suitable for all hair types.
Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash ($18.39, originally $25.96; amazon.com)
Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash
We can always count on Dove to deliver a nourishing body wash that will thoroughly cleanse the skin without stripping it of the moisture it craves. Stock your beauty pantry with this Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash that’s rated 4.9 stars on Amazon for being effective, thick, creamy and a great value.
Gillette SkinGuard ($9.25, originally $9.99; amazon.com)
We spent a month testing men’s razors and found that the Gillette SkinGuard is the best overall. We found that it makes for a super-comfortable and easy shave without tugging or irritation. In fact, the razor is designed to minimize blade contact with sensitive skin despite it having five blades, which makes it great for those who suffer from razor bumps or burn. It’s totally worth noting too that this one razor and two cartridges will last you for a while, depending on how often you shave.
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