The best drugstore beauty buys for less than $5

There’s no need to spend an arm and a leg on quality beauty goodies. Many drugstore products are even outperforming some department store favorites, which helps us save some serious money while still looking like a million bucks. What’s really great about these picks in particular, is that they all cost less than your morning latte.

Check out some of our top, budget-friendly beauty must-haves!

1. Elf Hydrating Water Sheet Mask, $3, Elf


This mask does major wonders with ingredients like aloe, lavender oil, sodium hyaluronate (a molecule that attracts 1000 times it’s weight in water) and castor oil. Sheet masks can sometimes slide off of your face, but not this one; it fits snug as a rug. After 20 minutes, remove the mask and massage the excess serum right in. The results: Glowing, bright skin that would even make J.Lo jealous.

2. Neutrogena Makeup Removing Towelettes, $5 for 25 wipes, Amazon

If you wear makeup regularly, you know it can be a complete pain to get off at the end of a long day. These wipes are an Allure winner for Best of Beauty and are a bestseller on Amazon. They are proven to gently wipe away 99% of makeup without leaving any greasy residue.

3. Plastic Acrylic and Gel Polish Remover Nail Caps, $2, Amazon

Now here's something you probably didn't know existed! If you are tired of paying extra money at the nail salon for them to remove your gel or acrylic polish, try these out. You just put nail polish inside each cap, place them on your fingertips and let the nail soak for a few minute - voila!

4. Aveeno Positively Radiant Exfoliating Daily Scrub, $4, Amazon

This facial scrub is a rarity in that it's gentle enough to use every day. It helps improve skin tone, texture and clarity to reveal brighter skin. The great news is that it's gentle even on sensitive, acne prone skin and most users (read the 600+ positive Amazon reviews) saw positive results after a few weeks!

5. Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara, $4, Jet


The skinny brush doesn’t seem like it will do too much, but don’t let that fool you. It holds on to lashes and gives insane volume and curl with one simple swipe. And there are no clumps! The color is extremely black so lashes look really intense. Plus, after 13 hours of wear, there's no sign of smudging.

6. Etude House Eye Brow Pencil, $4, Amazon

These eye brow pencils have been called "amazing" by many reviewers on Amazon. With over 900 4-5 star reviews, these pencils are excellent at shading and filling in eyebrows. The pencil's special shape is thick enough to fill out your brows with larger strokes and the brush at the opposite end works to hold everything in place.

7. Revlon Balm Stain, $4, Amazon

This moisturizing lip balm could not be more perfect for a woman on the go. It's a lightweight lip stain that you just swipe on and go without worries about reapplying every hour or ending up with faded color. You can apply a light layer for a daytime look and then add more pressure for a bolder feel for date night.

8. Makeup Revolution The Matte Blush, $3, Ulta


Matte blushes can be tricky because they can amplify pores. But not these! The powder feels like silk on the skin and blends so easily. Plus, they come in six pigment-rich shades — from corals to deep pinks — that suit a variety of skin tones. They're also really buildable so you can go as soft or bold as you’d like.

9. NYX Suede Matte Lip Liner, $4, Target

MMLPR33 / Ulta

These are technically supposed to be lip liners, but the shades are so rich in pigment that you can apply them all over your lips and use them as lipsticks. The formula is also super creamy and long lasting.

10. Wet N Wild Photo Focus Setting Spray, $4, Jet


Setting sprays that promise longevity can often make skin feel dry and almost plastic. This was totally different. When we spritzed this formula on our oily skin, it felt refreshing and hydrating (probably because it contains aloe). After 11 hours outdoors, we glanced in the mirror and our makeup looked like we had just applied it.

11. Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Intense Mask $5, Target


Hydrating ingredients like coconut milk and glycerin keep strands looking shiny and feeling soft. The mask is intense, but it doesn’t weigh hair down or make it stringy. And the coconut scent is light but fades after a few minutes.

12. Dove Refresh Care Volumizing and Full Dry Shampoo $4, Target


Our biggest pet peeve with dry spray is that it leaves a white residue on our hair, making it look like we’ve got a head full of gray. Not with this one. It absorbs all of the oil, reviving your lifeless hair and adding volume, with a completely clear coat.

This article was originally published in January 2017 on

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