It’s important to know when to spend and when to save—and these beauty essentials, from tools to serums, are completely splurge-worthy.

By Katelyn Chef
Updated February 07, 2019
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When it comes to beauty essentials, your handy makeup bag probably has you covered with everything from your go-to mascara to your foundation blender safely zipped inside. You may have splurged on the designer lip liner and the top-of-the-line setting powder, sure, but less glamorous makeup and hair products are thrifty finds that may fall apart at any moment—it’s called balance, right? We’ve all been there. Spending $50 on a high-end hairbrush (or any beauty essential) can be daunting, especially when there are plenty of drugstore beauty products available at modest prices.

Like everything, though, when it comes to makeup essentials, haircare tools, and other beauty must-haves, there are particular items that are absolutely worth the splurge. (You can save on the rest of your beauty kit.) Consider this your go-to list of the beauty products and tools worth investing in, plus suggestions for top-notch products in each category. With these splurge-worthy essentials, you’ll look like a million bucks—even if you store it all in a $5 cosmetics bag.


Foundation can make or break a makeup routine. With so many options available, finding the right foundation for your skin type and color is a bit of a beauty conundrum.

The Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation is a favorite among beauty buffs and makeup artists alike, with vitamin E, salicylic acid, aloe vera, and grapeseed oil all packing a lot of power into one little white tube. Each of these key ingredients aims to improve the appearance of skin while reducing the appearance of acne scars, age spots, sun spots, and dryness.

To buy: Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation, $66;


A powerful hairdryer can make a blowout look salon-quality—while cutting down on dry time and reducing any arm aches. Mairead Gallagher, senior stylist at the Oscar Blandi Salon, recommends GHD. “Their focus is on the lightness of the hair dryer and the actual power of the dryer. It’s meant to give desired shine,” she says. (Plus, it’s hard to argue with more than 2,500 five-star reviews.)

To buy: GHD Air Hair Dryer, $199;


For ensuring that every day is a good hair day, investing in the right brush is key. Eimear Nestor, senior stylist at Bentley Hair & Beauty, recommends the Iconic Ceramic Thermal Brush, which allows for an even distribution of heat, cutting down on damage to hair for a smoother blow dry.

To buy: MoroccanOil Ionic Ceramic Thermal Brush, $30;


Heat is far from hair’s best friend—and skimping on heat tools you use every day (or close to it) can cause lasting damage to your strands. “The quality of this iron shows in the results,” Nestor says. “The hair is smoother and glossier, and stays smoother for longer, compared to other flat irons on the market.”

To buy: BabyLissPro Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron, $140;


All the effort you’re putting into your skin and hair care is paying off—and you’re going to want to see the results. Purchasing a pro LED makeup mirror is just the thing to cast every bit of your complexion in the best light. This particular option has the standard LED lights, plus Bluetooth and audio speaker capabilities and a USB phone charger.

To buy: Impressions Vanity Touch Pro LED Makeup Mirror, $120;


After you invest in a massaging facial cleanser, your skin care routine will never be the same. Multi-use massaging facial cleansers, like QYK SONIC’s, deep-cleans your skin, wards off signs of aging, and exfoliates–all in one compact, antimicrobial package.

To buy: QYK Sonic ZOE – Plus, $249;