There are certain beauty products that are worth the money. Cheap foundation, for example, never looks as good as the expensive brands and cheap conditioner can often dry out the hair instead of nourishing it. Some of those pricey makeup brushes do function better than the budget-friendly, inexpensive ones. On the other hand, sometimes a simple home ingredient can do the same trick as a store-bought product. And, some of the cheap drug-store-brand beauty products such as drug-store eyeliners and drug-store lipsticks work just as great as (sometimes better than) the fancy brands. While I’m certainly not knocking the luxury brands, I do think it’s fair to say that if you’re at a stage in your life where money is tight, you should choose cheaper options. That’s why I’m going to tell you about 10 awesome beauty products or at-home substitutions that work wonders without draining your bank account:

1. Maybelline – The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette – $12

When you compare this $12 eyeshadow palette next to the $60 neutral palettes at luxury makeup stores, you’ll wonder why you never considered Maybelline before. The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette from Maybelline is very versatile with shades of rose gold, sultry taupes, sunkissed bronze shades and highlighters.

2. Baby Powder as Dry Shampoo and as Eyelash Enhancer – $4

For thicker eyelashes, use a Q-tip to apply a coat of baby powder onto your lashes to thicken and plump them before applying mascara! Baby powder also works as a dry shampoo, as it absorbs excess oil in the hair and gives hair a nice fresh fragrance. Sprinkle some onto your roots, and comb it through until it blends in. Just make sure read the ingredients and buy baby powder that is free of talcum powder. This pretty serious baby powder lawsuit proves that there are dangers that come with exposing yourself to talcum powder. Luckily, there are a lot of brands of baby powder that are talc-free alternatives so there’s nothing to worry about.

3. NYX Lipsticks in Velvet Matte – $7

NYX’s Velvet Matte lipsticks are super pigmented, available in a variety of stand-out, ultra-pigmented shades. This luxurious lipstick glides on smoothly and never dries out your lips or feels dry. These $7 lipsticks will make you lips look sexy as all hell, and they’re even better than some of those $25 lipsticks at fancy department stores.

4. Olive Oil as Makeup Remover – $5

Beauty blogger Michelle Phan explains here how to make an economical and functional makeup remover using simple home ingredients such as olive oil and aloe vera water. It might sound weird to put olive oil on your face, but it’s simply a great way to remove your makeup without buying expensive makeup remover. Afterwards, you can wash off the olive oil and freshen up your face with your night cream.

5. GOSH Lumi Drops Liquid Illuminator – $10

GOSH Lumi Drops are the secret weapon to youthful, radiant skin that glows. Mix a few drops of this liquid highlighter in with your regular foundation or BB cream for extra radiance, or use it as a stand-alone on cheekbones as an illuminator. One $10 bottle of this illuminator goes a long way, as the squeeze-bottle design allows you to ensure you don’t use too much.

6. NYXContour Pro Singles in Tan – $6

Have you ever bought one of those $60 contour palettes from Sephora, and noticed that you only really used one or two of the six shades it came with? That’s why you should just by a $6 single contouring shade from NYX cosmetics. Most of us only really use one dark shade to slim the jaw line or enhance the cheek bones. Even though those fancy and expensive contour palettes come with highlighters, they’re not as good as liquid highlighters or illuminators so what’s the point?

7. Brown Sugar as Exfoliator – $3

It’s crucial to exfoliate your skin to keep it soft, smooth, moisturized and radiant. But, why buy a skin exfoliator when you can make one using ingredients you already have at home? Simply mix some brown sugar and sea salt in with your regular body wash or soap, and you’ll have a nice body exfoliant to use in the shower. I guarantee your skin will feel soft and smooth afterwards.

8. Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner – $8

This liquid eyeliner feels more like a gel liner, and it goes on smoothly for a precise, perfect line across your lids. It’s waterproof, smudge-proof, and features an ultra-fine tip for easy application.

9. Revlon Balm Stain for Lips – $8

This lightweight lip stain somehow goes on with an impact, dressing your lips up in fully pigmented colour. What blows my mind is that I can spend $30 on a lip stain at a name-brand store and it doesn’t actually stay on, and yet this $8 chubby crayon stains my lips all day. Revlon Balm Stains come in tons of awesome shades and are also very moisturizing and soft. Win-win-win!

10. Maybelline – The Colossal Mascara in Glam Black – $8

Beauty bloggers swear by this mascara. Maybelline’s The Colossal Mascara in Glam Black is a smooth, clump-free, dramatic formula complete with a mega brush for extra volume and thickness.

11. Greek Yoghurt or Coconut Oil as a Hair Mask – $5

A simple Greek yoghurt hair mask left on for 30 minutes will add a ton of shine to your hair, and a coconut oil hair mask left on for a few hours will moisturize and enrich your hair. No need to spend a bunch of money on a store-bought hair mask when you can make your own using ingredients you probably already have at home.

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