Even My Thriftiest Friends Splurge on These 38 Beauty Items, and They're on Sale

If you're sick and tired of underwhelming beauty products, welcome—you've come to the right place! Between now and May 30, the most luxurious of luxurious beauty retailers, Violet Grey, is having its highly anticipated Put It in the Bag Event. What does that mean exactly? Let me put it like this: Get ready and go, because you have a very exciting, albeit time-limited, window to shop the most expensive and highly coveted beauty brands and products in the biz for 20% off. We're talking about Augustinus Bader, Dr. Barbara Sturm, Tatcha, Tata Harper… I'll stop myself there so you don't start hyperventilating.

It's the most strategic time to stock up on all of your splurge-worthy favorites or finally slam down your credit card for that one item you've been convincing yourself you don't really need. If you're like me, you'll do a little bit of both. To whet your appetite, I've put together an A+ shopping list of beauty investments that are up for a discount at Violet Grey right now and are so good that even my thriftiest, most money-conscious friends throw all of their money toward them (after discovering them through me, of course). Ready or not, Violet Grey's Put It in the Bag Event is on, and things are already selling out. Move fast!

The Skincare Splurges

I guarantee there isn't a dreamier cleansing balm that exists on planet Earth. This formula from Chantecaille effortlessly removes stubborn makeup and sunscreen, and if you're concerned about fine lines or wrinkles, it's a far more strategic option than face wipes or other removers that force you to tug and pull at delicate skin. Plus, this decadent formula goes above and beyond thanks to luxurious, radiance-bolstering ingredients such as rose-flower water (the smell is heavenly), hyaluronic acid (for immediate and long-term hydration), raspberry stem cell extract (for soothing and redness reducing), and phytic acid (for a light dose of exfoliation). 

I have sung the praises of this two-in-one hydrating and cooling serum ever since not one but two celebrity facialists told me it would transform and soothe my sensitive, acne-prone skin. They weren't lying! It's lightweight and non-sticky, and I love that it absorbs instantly into my complexion for a non-detectable finish. That said, even though you might not be able to feel it sitting on your face, the impressive lineup of ingredients—hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, centella asiatica, and mushroom extract—get to work simultaneously moisturizing, plumping, softening, strengthening, and healing the skin and nixing hyperpigmentation. 

Meet the second member of my IS Clinical power couple, which also happens to be the most popular product within the IS Clinical family—a miracle, ultra-potent concoction that delivers an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink array of skin-boosting benefits. I actually use it in lieu of retinol since it has the fastest and most effective results when it comes to brightening and anti-aging. It features glycolic acid derived from sugar cane, lactic acid from bilberry, salicylic acid from white willow bark, plus arbutin and mushroom extract for lots of glow. Since it's potent, I only use it a couple of nights a week and have still noticed incredible results. That said, if your skin tolerates it, you can build up to a more regular cadence with your application.

This is very expensive, but trust me when I tell you absolutely no brand does an instantly skin-transforming sheet mask like 111Skin. It was concocted by a board-certified plastic surgeon, after all. It's so hard to choose a favorite mask out of the brand's cult-loved collection, but as far as instantaneous, super-noticeable results go, it just doesn't get any more inexplicable than this hydrating, puff-reducing, and tightening option. Try it pre-event or mid-hangover, and thank me later.

Are there cheaper acne dots out there? Sure. But will those cheaper alternatives absorb and extract the fluid from your zits (sorry for the visual), clear acne-causing dirt and debris, reduce and soothe away redness, and de-clog your pores all in one go? I don't think so. If you want to minimize current breakouts and expedite healing with bibbidi-bobbidi-boo speed, these are the ticket. 

You know a product is good when random strangers walk up to you at the airport to tell you how beautiful your Dewy Skin Cream–lathered, totally makeup-free complexion looks. My friends and I love this best-selling cream from Tatcha because, unlike other rich moisturizers out there, it's noncomedogenic and delivers the brightest, plumpest, healthiest-looking skin right before your eyes. It's a stunning product, it makes your makeup look expertly applied, and you'll 100% understand the hype once you try it for yourself. 

Everyone and their mother (aka beauty lovers, editors celebrities, and makeup artists) hoard this iconic French face cream from Embryolisse. It might be a controversial statement, but I liken it to an actually affordable dupe for Augustinus Bader's famed formula, especially when it's 20% off. If you're after that ineffable dewy-yet-clean skin aesthetic, you're looking at it, bottled. 

Sisley-Paris can really do no wrong as far as I'm concerned when it comes to its luxe array of skincare products. This brightening and tightening contour fluid, however, goes above and beyond. (Fun fact: Sydney Sweeney is also a fan!) The ingenious mix of caffeine and aqueous black rose lessens dark circles, illuminates the eye area, and even helps smooth and reduce fine lines with regular use. It's become a nonnegotiable before I go in with my foundation and/or concealer. 

I'll say it again louder for the people in the back: You should be wearing sunscreen every single day, regardless of the weather or time of year.  And thanks to this glow-inducing, makeup-gripping formula from Supergoop!, forming the habit has never been easier or more enjoyable. You'll love the subtle pearlescent finish, and it's even boosted with extra-credit skincare ingredients.

The Bodycare Splurges

Let's dismantle the stigma of talking about our vaginas, okay? There are so many Dr. Barbara Sturm products I love and would highly recommend picking up during Violet Grey's event, but this gentle cleansing wash for the intimate area is a new favorite that I feel everyone should have in their life. It's gynecologically tested and includes a variety of strategic ingredients to keep your skin and flora down there healthy, soft, and balanced—think hyaluronic acid, panthenol, glycerin, purslane, and a microbiome-balancing boost of pre- and probiotics. 

I'd been manifesting a body version of U Beauty's fantastic Super Hydrator ever since I first touched it to my face and my complexion quite literally turned to glass (in the best way possible, mind you). So you can imagine my excitement when the brand recently launched an iteration for every other body part from the neck down. Five different forms of hyaluronic acid (plus niacinamide, B-glucan, antioxidants, peptides, purified oat extract, and high-quality argan, grape-seed, and avocado oils) perform some kind of witchcraft that ensures the cream absorbs almost instantly while somehow lending the prettiest, longest-lasting glisten and hydration to your skin. Words cannot even describe my obsession. 

Yes, Augustinus Bader's face creams are amazing and totally up for grabs during the VG sale event, but as a plot twist, I'm revealing that the brand's body cream is actually the most viral within my friend group. And get this—we don't use it exactly how we're supposed to. Instead of slathering it all over our skin from head to toe, a celebrity facialist gave me the hot tip to use it as a mask for your breasts and décolletage. Give yourself a nice, thick application, let it sit and marinate, and then wipe off any excess with a damp towel. I guarantee the skin on your chest, neck, and boobs will look so plump, glowy, and supple. 

Sorry, not sorry for being a snob, but it's hard for me to look at any other body scrub since I discovered this Malibu-made concoction from C & the Moon. (Word on the street is that Kim Kardashian is also a fan.) Not only does it beat out other scrubs due to how silky and hydrated it leaves your skin, but it also has the most divine scent imaginable. It's like your junior high Warm Vanilla Sugar obsession but super elevated and not overly saccharine. If an angel touched Earth, this pot of golden sugar is exactly what I imagine they'd smell like. 

If you don't think you need to be using a separate oil for your breasts, this cult-loved oil from Dr. Janine Mahon will 100% change your mind. Inspired by Chinese medicine, it’s a unique product designed to bolster the flow of life force (qi) to the breast and lymph area while also helping to clear any harmful toxins, fibrous tissue, and even the tenderness that can come along at that time of the month. It's been my saving grace the week before my period, and I honestly just love the ritual of applying it and massaging it in pre-shower. While it might seem counterintuitive, the hot water and steam actually increase the absorption and won't wash off all of the amazing ingredients.

Come summertime, people are always shocked by my smooth, hairless bikini line because—wait for it—I don't wax, sugar, or get any other fancy-schmancy hair-removal treatment. That said, I did get the area lasered a few years ago, but I definitely still get regular hair growth, even if it's sparser than it would be normally. I truly regret the years I went without a separate cream for my sensitive areas. How much ingrown hair and super-uncomfy irritation could I have avoided if only I had had Fur's soothing and smoothing Stubble Cream? I apply it the second I get out of the shower or bathtub wherever I'm freshly shaven, and it's like a magic potion for preventing sensitivity, bumps, and any other ills. It's my secret for flawlessly smooth, soft, and even-looking skin down there. 

If you're unfamiliar with Kayo, there's no better time than Violet Grey's Put It in the Bag Event to change that. I recommend everything, but this intoxicating body cream is so next-level that I can't let you check out your cart without it. This is another product I'd buy for its scent alone (think vanilla meets green tea for the perfect sweet, clean, and earthy balance), but its nutrition label of ingredients is also hard to beat—hyaluronic acid, coenzyme Q10, Kayo's very own Omega Oil Blend (macadamia, kukui, açaí, avocado, and coconut oils), and the brand's special Antioxidant Blend (goji, açaí, noni, pomegranate, green tea, and mangosteen). You're left with glowing, bouncy, and ridiculously velvety skin. Give it a try, and you'll know I'm not being dramatic. 

There's a reason this body oil from Mutha is used by anyone who's anybody in the beauty industry. I don't know any other way to describe it other than elite with a capital E. It's a non-greasy dry oil that absorbs quickly while still providing hydration and incredibly luminous skin, so even the biggest body-oil hater will still fall head over heels. (Trust me—that was me!) It contains a lush variety of organic seed oils that are sourced directly from a plant's reproductive parts, including the buds, so you're getting them in their purest form. It's special, so don't sleep on it. 

The only thing better than using Mutha's Body Oil on its own? Slicking this match-made-in-heave body butter on immediately afterward. Of course, you can use it on its own, too, but combining the two locks in unparalleled hydration, and after double-dipping, I can quite literally shower multiple times and sweat and not need to top up again with any kind of body moisturizer for days. It's just that effective.

I'll just say this: If you thought bodywash was just bodywash and all formulas are the same, you definitely haven't sudsed up with Nécessaire's top-notch formula. It's filled with ingredients to keep your skin balanced, smooth, and healthy, and the eucalyptus scent, in particular, will transform your shower into a five-star spa experience. My parents love it, guys love it, and my friends love it. Think of it as a topical multivitamin for thirsty skin. 

Meet another body oil that converted me from my formerly oil-despising self. Costa Brazil has a cult following among celebs and beauty people, and this iconic firming oil is the gateway for discovering the magic yourself. It's an eco-friendly formula composed of a cold-pressed blend of rare Amazonian ingredients high in vitamins, omegas, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that tag team to tighten skin and stave off signs of aging. Even cooler? The brand's founder, Francisco Costa, discovered a handful of the oil's now key ingredients after working with a team of scientists and local agriculturists at the edge of the rainforest.

The Makeup Splurges

You're probably sick of hearing me talk myself blue in the face about this SPF-enriched lip-plumping gloss, but it's one of my favorite beauty products of all time. It's formulated by top plastic surgeon Lara Devgan, and it *almost* made me forget about my pre-pandemic lip-filler appointments.

I'll keep this short and sweet—yes, Charlotte Tilbury's iconic Lip Cheat is as great and life changing as everyone says it is.

There's nothing more disappointing than a hyped-up product that, well, disappoints. This oil-free formula is basically considered the holy-grail foundation among celebs, makeup artists, beauty editors, and facialists (hint: it won't break you out or clog your pores!), and if you haven't tried the magic for yourself yet, I'd suggest adding it to your beauty bucket list, stat.

I don't know if I have a co-worker, relative, or friend who wasn't influenced to buy this the second they first saw me wearing it—it's like mascara, lash extensions, and a lash lift in one itty-bitty tube. It's ridiculous! I know the bizarre rod shape has you suspicious, but I've never tried another lash product that lifted, lengthened, and curled so well with so little effort. This won't give you tons of volume, but if you're after a sky-high extension effect, this prismatic little tube is well worth the $50 plunge, especially when you can snag it at a discount. If I were you, I'd buy three. 

I probably shouldn't admit this since it's kind of part of my job to wear/try a new lipstick every dang day, but I'd say 90% of the time I'm wearing Tom Ford's Lip Color Matte Lipstick in Pussycat. I'm typically not a matte gal, but the finish of this one is very velvety and the antithesis of drying or chalky. This lipstick's formula wears forever and comes in a beautiful tube, and the shade itself is just so good. It's the perfect shade of mauve that doesn't veer too purple or ashy.

Gucci Westman's line of makeup is undeniably lovely, but I always have a hard time recommending her clan of clean, super-high-quality formulas because they're spectacularly expensive. That said, 20% off is the perfect opportunity for me to wax poetic about her Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks. I appreciate that they're multipurpose (which, again, makes the splurge feel more worthwhile to me), and they're superimposed with some luxurious ingredients that will actually help heal and improve the health and glow of your natural skin. Think rare actives extracted from raspberry cells, organic jojoba oil, and on and on.

The Haircare Splurges

I love a promising hair, skin, and nail supplement. The only problem is very few of them actually work! This one, however, is an exception. The MVP ingredients include pearl powder, which, when ingested, is said to help stimulate youth-giving collagen production, and high-quality marine collagen, which has also been shown to amp up hair and nail growth. Oh, but it doesn't stop there! The virtually tasteless mix also contains about 30 important trace minerals our bodies are often depleted in, including silica, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Simply pour a scoop into any of your favorite raw-food meals or beverages. 

If you're still using a regular towel, please use one of Aquis's holy-grail turbans instead—your hairdresser and I beg of you. You'll have less breakage and frizz and more shine. Plus, it dries your hair roughly 50% faster than whatever else you're using at the moment. 


Do you have savvier things to spend $29 on than a comb? Probably. But then again, you'll definitely have this incredibly chic and handy palm-size comb on your vanity—not only for its epic detangling abilities but also for the fact that it just so happens to be the perfect size for scalp and de-knotting massages. You're welcome!

If you've been on the hunt for shampoo and conditioner that simultaneously strengthen, moisturize, and dramatically plump and thicken limp locks in one fell swoop, you just found your new dynamic duo. It smells super lovely (like cardamom, pineapple, tangerine, lavender, bamboo, and blonde woods), and as it's part of R+Co's sustainable Bleu line, it also boasts the brand's proprietary Bleu Molecule Complex, which uses micro-encapsulated sugar molecules to gradually restore strands to practically virgin-level softness and shine. 

Obviously, if you get the shampoo, you'll need the matching conditioner!

Honestly, I would buy this effective, nourishing hair balm for its heavenly scent alone, so the fact that it can truly transform dry, damage-ravaged hair feels almost too exciting to handle. One of my absolute favorite tricks is to saturate my dry hair with this stuff before pulling my strands into a sleek, slicked-back style. Your hair, again, will smell next-level amazing, and no one will know your chic style is actually a damage-proofing plan stealthily at play. After you rinse it out and shampoo and condition your hair as normal, you'll be in awe of how much shinier, softer, and all-around more fabulous your strands look. 

The Fragrance, Tool & Accessory Splurges

Have you ever seen something so ingenious? It only took one weekend trip with my friends bearing witness to the brilliance of these sustainable, no-mess toothpaste bits before everyone in my gaggle ordered their very own jars. (If you're traveling, it just doesn't get more efficient than this!) Pop one in your mouth, bite down, and brush. You'll be nice and foamy in seconds, and the clean, vegan-friendly formula delivers noticeable whitening perks.

This isn't your average humidifier, folks. It's the Tesla of humidifiers, and here's why: Unlike most models on the market, it's mist-free, and cutting-edge airflow technology and UV lights kill 99.9% of bacteria, mold, and viruses in the water, so you're getting clean, damp-free moisture infused into your space at an even clip. There are a number of different settings, and the smart sensors maintain optimal moisture day and night. Plus, it doubles as a diffuser thanks to the cute little "puck" you place at the top, where you can add a few drops of your favorite blend of essential oils. This humidifier has quickly developed a cult following. It's the humidifier to own, and not surprisingly, it's selling like hotcakes and often sold out. If I were you, I'd try to get my hands on one ASAP.

My friends and I are the types of people who want the elevated version of everything in life—even hand sanitizer. I keep this yummy lavender sanitizing spray right by the door so both I and my guests can take a quick hit when we're coming or going. Plus, it's literally the only formula I've tried that's actually managed to soothe and soften my rough hands and not make them crack with dryness. 

I don't know about you, but I want any fragrance I wear to be subtle but also a little animalistic. And this iconic scent by perfumer Dominique Ropion for Frédéric Malle manages both. As my good friend and former co-editor Courtney Higgs once put it, this is really the only scent that matters if you want to smell rich and unbothered, and it's so hypnotizing. A UK beauty editor recounts here how she once smelled it on a woman in a train station and proceeded to chase said woman down to inquire about her perfume. It's velvety and romantic, and trust me when I say the heady mix of Turkish rose, black currant, raspberry, patchouli, benzoin, cinnamon, clove, white musk, frankincense, Ambroxan, and sandalwood will have you swatting people off like flies.

Trust me. Once you go pure silk, you'll never go back! I know so many people (myself included) who will physically never be able to return to a non-silk pillowcase after trying Slip's best-selling mulberry silk option. It's crease resistant and helps reduce skin and hair friction. Dermatologists, plastic surgeons, hairstylists, and all other manners of beauty experts are big, big fans. Your whole entire beauty aesthetic—from skin to hair—will thank you for the upgrade. 

I never really took the rise of skin-tightening devices seriously until a couple of years ago when I got my hands on ZIIP's ultra-coveted Nano Current Device. You can read the long story here, but the short story is that it pretty much lifted, toned, and contoured my face after the very first use, and when I'm consistent with the ritual, the results just get better and better. It's an investment piece, but I'm a firm believer it will save you money on unnecessary products and facial treatments in the long run. I've had multiple friends and co-workers take the plunge due to my positive testimony, and I've only ever received gushing feedback from them.