My friend Nicole, owner of Brow and Arrow Esthetics (and the only person I trust with my eyebrows) recently launched a new website and has started blogging! We thought it would be fun to do a little collaboration post featuring some top beauty products available for less than $20. In this post you can see my top 10 picks, but be sure to visit Nicole’s page to read her recommendations too. She’s a beautiful person inside and out, with great taste in makeup and the most amazing skin. Plus some of her favourites and my favourites too! And if you’re shopping on a budget, both of our posts should be right up your alley.
Now onto my picks…
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer ($9.99)
I can’t tell you how many of these I have purchased. It is hands down the best concealer at the drugstore, in my opinion. It has great coverage to hide dark circles under the eyes and works well to spot conceal blemishes. It’s oil-free, so it’s fairly matte but it’s definitely not drying and can crease if you don’t set it. It’s pretty liquid-y, and a little goes a long way but it’s super easy to blend.
Sneaky Tip: It tends to go on sale for $6.99.
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water ($11.49)
When I was brainstorming for this list I tried to think about the products I’ve purchased over and over again. The Garnier Micellar Water is no exception. I’ve been through normal sized bottles, travel sized bottles and jumbo sized bottles. By this point I’m surprised I’m not drowning in it.
It may seem like a silly thing to buy – water in a bottle – but I promise you it’s magical! It removes makeup with ease and is great for touchups too (ie. when your liquid eyeliner gets wonky). Plus, if you were to ask Nicole, the one for waterproof makeup (with a blue cap) is great for those with eyelash extensions because it’s oil-free.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($14.97 – 2 count)
I fell victim to the original beautyblender craze way back in the day. However, the thought of spending $20+ dollars nowadays, on a sponge my dog will probably eat, makes me gag. I’m happy I tried it, but trust me, this one is just as good…if not better and a fraction of the price!
NYX Cream Blush ($10)
I’m having a moment with cream products and I just can’t seem to stop using this beautiful blush. I absolutely love the finish. It makes my cheeks look plump, hydrated, youthful and glow-y. As you can see, mine is looking pretty grim at the moment and I’ll be rushing out to buy a new one as soon as it’s gone.
If you have pale skin like me, I highly recommend the colour Boho Chic.
I’m shocked this powder costs less than $5. It’s really, really good and there’s a ton of product inside this seemingly bottomless jar. I have to use it sparingly because I have dry skin and it can look a little cake-y if I apply too much. But I think it would be an amazing option for anyone with oily skin. It mattifies while minimizing the appearance of pores at the same time. My only complaints are that the packaging kind of sucks (it can get pretty messy) and the product itself can sometimes make the face look ghostly white in flash photography (aka. flashback).
Essence Eye Liner ($3.99)
Essence is a hugely underrated brand at the drugstore! I love their lip pencils, lipsticks and blush. But for the sake of this blog post, I chose to focus on their gel eyeliner pencil. It has impressive lasting-power, which is surprising when worn along the water line. I love the brown because it’s not as harsh as black.
It’s also twist up, so there’s no need for a sharpener, which means no messy pencil shavings (thank goodness!).
e.l.f. Stipple Brush ($3.95)
I’m super lazy, so when I’m getting ready I typically use my fingers for the majority of my makeup. However, I grab for this brush no matter what. It’s great for blending both cream and powder bronzer and does so in a matter of minutes (seconds if I’m really quick). I’ve never had any problems with it shedding and despite being stained from my various terracotta coloured products, it’s in great shape. It’s also the perfect size for my little pea head and face.
Pink Sugar by Aquolina Perfume ($19.99)
I’m starting to think I’m getting a little too old for this sweet perfume, but I can’t help but be attracted to its $19.99 price tag. When compared to the cost of many other fragrances on the market, this is a bargain! The warm vanilla scent makes me feel so nostalgic and I’ve been through numerous bottles over the years. As you can see from the photo below, I’m in need of another.
Note: I typically spot it on sale at Rexall.
LUSH Sleepy Lotion ($9.95-19.95)
Come on…you can’t tell me you didn’t see this one coming…
I know $20 for a small tub of body lotion may sound crazy to some, but I swear it is worth every penny! Especially for those who have trouble sleeping at night. I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Grab yourself some of this “sleepy” cream and I promise you’ll be dreaming like a baby.
I should also note that the one I’ve pictured here is from a Christmas set I received. It’s the smallest version available. For $9.95 you get double the size and for $19.95 you get quadruple the size. A little goes a long way, so the normal tub should last a while. Just be cautious of the expiry date.
L’Oreal Face Mask(s) ($15.99)
L’Oreal changed the game when they introduced their line of Pure Clay Masks a few years ago. Up until then, the drugstore was lacking in affordable face masks. I’ve gone through numerous jars of the various masks, and recommend them to anyone.
The yellow one pictured here contains yuzu lemon and helps draw out impurities while brightening the skin and creating a more even complexion. My favourite, however, is the blue Clear & Comfort mask with seaweed. I’m also a big fan of the grey Detox & Brighten one too.
They don’t dry out – unlike a luxury brand product (that I shall not name…but I’m sure you could guess) I tried many years ago. Nor do they cause me to break out. After each use my skin feels soft and refreshed.
Dev’s a fan too! We often have masking dates where we sit on the couch, watch TV and don’t talk to each other for 20 minutes because we don’t want to cause our faces to crack. Romantic, eh? OK, maybe not. But my point is…this mask will be a hit for men too!
Well there you have it. My top 10 under $20 beauty products. Did you spot any of your favourites?
Don’t forget to check out Nicole’s post (here) to see her picks, which will round out this “Top 20 Under $20” feature. Also, let us know if you enjoyed our little collaboration. Would you like to see us do more? Leave a comment on either of our pages with your thoughts.