I don’t usually celebrate my birthday – not because I hate the number, I hate the attention – but if I were ever going to acknowledge, it had to be this one. So I decided to give my Instagram followers a present – my favorite frugal beauty product recommendations.
I know, I know, I shouldn’t have. But I did. And, yes, there is much to be said for high-quality products and shopping local…. but sometimes, you need that cheap go-to that makes everything that much more magical.
In case you missed it, here they are, all under $10 and available at your favorite bigbox or drugstore. Keep reading for more details.
ACURE Brightening Facial Scrub: I got a sample of this in a Target beautybox and fell in love! Made with sea kelp and French green clay, this scrub gently removes all those dull old skin cells to leave a fresh and glowy surface. Exfoliation is a great tool! ….when used properly. This scrub is $10 a tube and will probably last for over a year, based on how long it took me to use up the trial size.
Softsheen-Carson’s Razorless Cream Shave: Pretty darn close to magic for *ahem* multiple delicate areas of the body. I’m not going to get into too many details because I’m sure you can figure it out, but it’s a great little secret weapon from the men’s shaving section. I’ll spare you a #pinktax rant and just let you know that a tube is less than $5 and generally in stock at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and CVS. FWIW, as of this moment, the extra strength version, as seen here, isn’t at Target or Amazon, but the regular strength and “bald head” formulas are.
Coconut Oil: You didn’t think any “favorite frugal beauty products” list would leave off coconut oil, did you?
Just in case, a few of its many uses:
• makeup remover (even mascara!)
• hair deep conditioner (I sleep with it on the night before I wash)
• skin moisturizer
• base for sugar scrubs.
One use that’s a little less known — if you’re planning to wear a short skirt or otherwise show some skin, slather on coconut oil before your shower and you’ll have a soft and natural glow when you get out.
Glycolic Acid: If you’re like me, the idea of chemical exfoliation is a bit scary – too many horror stories of people with bad peels and burns. Glycolic acid is not that. Ok, well, maybe if you poured it undiluted on your face, but it’s *usually* a gentle toner that has seriously made my pores smaller than they have been since, um, ever.
Target’s Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a great place to start your chemical exfoliation journey. They even have this cute little trial if you don’t want to commit to the $15 full-sized first. I predict you’ll be a convert by the time you finish it!
Microfiber Hair Turban: Protip — use an old cotton t-shirt to wrap your hair after a shower. It will soak up more water while being less abrasive than a towel so you have less frizz.
Pro-er tip — spend the $4.99 on a microfiber turban at TJ Maxx (or Marshalls or Ross). I was a doubter – I so loved my tee tip! But one day when I needed cheap retail therapy and $5 sounded about right, I decided to bite. And “they” were right. This sucker sucks up even more water so my hair dries faster so my weird waves are weighted down less and do their thing more. I admit I was wrong and am a total convert.
CoverGirl LashBlast Volume mascara and Essence Make Me Brow: Say what you will about your favorite premium mascara, I will give up my CoverGirl LashBlast Volume when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. Or they stop making it, at which point I will cry and whine a LOT. As a primarily bespectacled person, this mascara provides volume and definition behind the glass without adding enough length to smudge all over it.
I wish I were one of those women with perfectly groomed and shaped brows…. but I am lazy. It’s one major reason I have bangs. #thingsaintnobodygottimefor. Essence Makeup’s Make Me Brow is a gel formula with a tiny spoolie that you swipe over your brows for an instant fill-in and polish. Some people with real beauty blogs might say that the shades are too limited to be a proper dupe for more expensive brow gels, but if your budget is anything like mine, the shades are perfect for $2.99.
A Reusable Water Bottle: If you didn’t think this would be the last AND BEST tip on this list, we have probably never met in person. I may be a human hamster, lugging around my precious Nalgene, but there is one good reason (besides genetics – hi, Ma!) people don’t believe I’m turning 40, and that’s because I drink plenty of water. It plumps your skin to avoid fine lines and wrinkles, helps you avoid brain drag, and keeps your insides running regularly, among its many benefits. Go pour a glass Right Now.