10 Instant Upgrades to Your Makeup Collection for Under $20
From the original beauty blender to a Sephora makeup brush cleaner, these affordable beauty products are the best buys around.
Have you ever gotten sucked into a vortex when looking for new makeup and beauty products, only to get spit out the other side tired, overwhelmed, and muttering about balms and beads? Maybe you've only experienced a portion of that outcome because you can hold it together better than I can, but you still know what I'm talking about.
It can be overwhelming to navigate the world of beauty and skincare, with infinite influencers touting infinite things and new trends popping up left and right that make seemingly unrelated worlds collide (looking at you, scented eyeshadow).
If you want to update your makeup bag in a way that won't make your head spin, these 10 products will help you get a new subtle shimmer, spick-and-span makeup brushes, and everything in-between.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil
NYX is one of the edgier drug-store favorites that uses a lot of bright colors and bold elements in its makeup. The Jumbo Eye Pencil is an easy tool to add some shimmer to your lids without going too outside the box, and it goes on in a smooth line that you can use either as a thick liner or a shadow.
To buy: $4.49; Target.com.
Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub
Ever wondered why your matte lipstick doesn't look quite like the promo images online? Well, for one, those photos are probably touched up because no one's natural lips are completely smooth—but two, you're probably skipping a lip-care step. Try scrubbing off the flakey bits of your lips with Tony Moly's Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub before adding color, which should help buff wrinkles and lines and create a smoother starting point.
To buy: $10; Revolve.com.
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Clear
Maybelline's clear Great Stuff Mascara has been a secret weapon of mine for years. I use the gel to shape my eyebrows when I want to go more natural than a colored brow gel, and I tame fly aways by combing hair strands down from my part down. If you use clear mascara, then this is pretty much a one-stop, hair-taming shop.
To buy: $4.39; Target.com.
Evian Brumisateur Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray
If you've ever had a long day with your makeup on, you know it can be difficult to freshen it up in a way that actually makes you feel fresh. Evian's Water Facial Spray is a hydrating mist that you can use whenever, wherever, to perk up your tired skin (and mood). A little spritz spritz goes a long way.
To buy: $12.50; Sephora.com.
e.l.f. Cosmetics High Definition Powder in Sheer
White makeup powder is great for giving your skin an overall matte finish and setting the rest of your makeup. Another drugstore favorite, e.l.f. Cosmetics offers this High Definition powder in three colors; if you're looking for a finishing touch to smooth out and solidify your look, stick with sheer.
To buy: $6; e.l.f. Cosmetics.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Lash & Brow Brush
As hard as I try to get the best mascaras and apply them with a careful twirl of the brush, eyelash clumps happen, and it's pretty hard to separate congealed lashes using just your fingers. At most drugstores, you can get one of these handy little eyelash and brow combs that works miracles separating your lashes post-clump. As the e.l.f. Cosmetics' version shows, most will be double sided so you can be dually prepared for any lash or brow snafu rather than ending up with smudged raccoon eyes.
To buy: $3; Target.com.
If you don't have a BeautyBlender yet, where have you been? For some reason the makeup sponge in its original pink shade is $1 off on Amazon, so there's no better time to step up your foundation application game than the present.
To buy: $19; Amazon.com.
Sephora Collection Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray
I’d be willing to wager money, without knowing anything about you, that you don’t clean your makeup brushes often enough. I don’t know anyone who does except for professionals. The Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray from Sephora Collection makes it really easy, though. You don't need water and it's not a messy process, so this "dry" makeup brush cleaner is makeup-brush-cleaning savior for the lazy makeup lover in all of us.
To buy: $14; Sephora.com.
Rohto Lycée Eye Drops
There seem to be a million reasons your eyes could be red. Didn't get enough sleep? Red eyes. Been staring at your computer for a while? Red eyes. Coming down with something? Red eyes. Just generally existing? Red eyes. You don't necessarily need these eye drops from Japan to rectify that, but they come in a cute pink square container and do wonders to brighten the whites of your eyes.
To buy: $18.90 for a two-pack; Amazon.com.
Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain
While not quite no-makeup makeup, lip and cheek stains and paints can provide a more natural look than a lot of lipsticks, glosses and powders that sit on top of your skin. Benefit now makes its classic Benetint in a mini size so you can try the liquid, which goes on like a diluted nail polish, rather than blindly going all-in on liquid blushes and lip colors.
To buy: $12; Sephora.com.