I haven't always had the budget for fancy beauty products, but I've always been a beauty product junkie, starting with my prized collection of Lip Smackers at an early age. Even though I do invest in higher-end products on occasion now, there are quite a few under-$20 ones that I'm sticking with, many of which I discovered in my teenage and 20s years. They may not have fancy packaging or chic Instagram accounts but what they lack in aesthetics, they make up for in effectiveness, and many of them can easily be found on Amazon or at the drugstore.
When choosing the items I wanted to include in this list, I selected items that I've purchased multiple times over the years. These items start at just $2 and have yet to let me down. In a world where new products debut on practically a daily basis, loyalty to certain ones can be challenging (especially when you're a beauty junkie like I am), so you know that these are good. Keep scrolling to shop my favorite cheap—but not necessarily chic—beauty best bets.
Most of my moisturizers have a lot going on, but sometimes, you just need something simple for when your skin is just plain dry or you just applied an overnight peel and need to layer something on top. This has always done the trick for me, so I have no reason to splurge on pricier face lotions when I just want something no-frills.
I first became a fan of Aveeno products when I was younger, as I've always had dry, sensitive skin, and it's what my parents used. This body wash has become one of my favorite products from the brand. The lather is so luxurious and the coconut smell makes me feel like I'm on vacation.
I used to buy all of my hair products at the drugstore, and I consider this mask to be one of my best cheap hair discoveries. I don't really have damaged hair, so I don't care to invest a lot in hair masks, but when my split ends are getting out of hand and I'm due for a cut, I always reach for this $3 tube.
I've lost count of how many stories I've put this in but it's just that epic. My hands were in a constant state of extreme dryness until I discovered this. It sinks in quickly and I wake up the next morning with far fewer cracks, flakes, and ragged cuticles.
As someone who is perennially sleep-deprived, I use these redness-reducing eye drops almost every morning. It's the first product I've found that whitens my eyes instantly and does so without burning.
Body sunscreen is one of those things I hate spending a lot of money on, as I use it up so quickly. I love that Neutrogena's is light and non-sticky and stays water-resistant for 80 minutes. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of high SPFs.
These little tweezers are so sharp. I've had the same pair for years without resharpening them and they still work as though they're brand-new. I prefer the mini pair, as they provide greater control.
This huge bottle of face cleanser lasts for months and months. It effectively removes makeup and never leaves my skin feeling tight. Oh, and the French bottle looks pretty chic in my medicine cabinet.
I usually agree with the "you get what you pay for" adage, but not with EcoTools brushes. The bristles are soft yet firm and they have a brush for every need. As someone who hates spending a lot of money on makeup brushes, I'm very happy to have found this under-$10 gem.
I actually prefer this in brown but it's recently been discontinued, much to my dismay, but if you're a black eyeliner wearer, this is the best pencil eyeliner I've found, even compared to its pricey counterparts. It goes on very smoothly and you only need one swipe, which isn't the case for so many eyeliners on the market.
The OG Glossier product is still a favorite of mine. The multiuse salve heals chapped skin and can, of course, be used as a lip balm or even an eye gloss. I always throw it in my bag when I travel.
Since I discovered this, I stopped using drugstore deodorants and haven't looked back since. Yes, there are certainly cheaper options out there but this one smells and looks nice and it works. Plus, I only have to buy it a couple of times a year—a little goes a long way.
This has a 5-star rating at Target, so I guess I'm not the only fan. I use this firm wand every day after applying brow pencil and it does the trick. It never breaks but it's so cheap that I stock up just in case.
In addition to the hand cream, I'm also a big fan of O'Keeffe's foot cream. I don't even have to apply it every single night, as the results last through several days of even sandal wearing.
After spotting this on my boss's (who always has perfect nails) desk several years ago, I tried it and have repurchased it over and over since then. It extends the wear of a manicure and gives a glass-like finish.
Another CeraVe gem! I hate the feeling of sticky body lotion when I'm trying to fall asleep but I don't have to worry about that with this lotion. It's saved my dry, itchy skin on so many occasions and it doesn't feel heavy in the humid summer months.
I'm skeptical about products that claim to impede hair growth, but I swear that this shave gel does. It's also super gentle and my razor burn has basically become nonexistent since I started using it.
The uses for Aquaphor are pretty infinite, but I most often use it as a remedy for cracked skin (which I get on my hands), and as a makeshift cuticle moisturizer). This 7 oz. tube will last for ages.
I don't usually need eye makeup remover, but I like to have it on hand just in case. These cheap little pads don't burn my sensitive eye area and they do a good job of removing even waterproof products.