One of the best ways to find great beauty products is to figure out what everyone else has tried and tested. Many cult-favorite beauty products are expensive purchases, but just as many are surprisingly affordable. In fact, we’ve found a few that you can pick up for $25 or under. Each of these products is beloved by tons of makeup lovers the world over. Read on to check out the tried-and-true products that hordes of Sephora shoppers, Birchbox subscribers, and beauty counter addicts have given their stamp of approval.
1. Smith’s Rosebud Salve: $6
Smith’s Rosebud Salve has reached cult-favorite status thanks to its multitasking ability. It’s a lip balm that can also soothe dry skin and heal irritation. This salve is perfect for chapped lips, plus dry elbows and knees. It’s even useful for calming minor burns.
2. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara: $4
Many cult-favorite beauty products are pretty expensive. But not so for Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara, in its signature green and pink tube. The waterproof formula goes on smooth and dries to a smudge-proof finish. Plus, it’s available in both waterproof and washable formulas.
3. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Water: $7
Cleansing your skin and removing your makeup is a crucial step in your beauty regimen. So why not try a favorite makeup remover like Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O Water? It’s a perfect cleanser for sensitive skin, and is capable of taking on even stubborn waterproof mascara.
4. Essie Nail Color: $9
Want an award-winning nail polish in a classic shade? Then you can’t go wrong with Essie Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers, a sheer, pale pink. This nail polish occupies a place of honor on any beauty lover’s vanity, since there’s no outfit that a light pink manicure won’t look great with.
5. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: $9
Not every award-winning beauty product is on the shelves at Sephora or high-end department stores. Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is a mild cleanser that was formulated by dermatologists — and it’s easy to find at your local drugstore or Target. It’s noncomedogenic and fragrance-free, and is great for both face and body.
6. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: $13
Even the most minimalist of makeup routines has room for a great concealer. And the Radiant Creamy Concealer from NARS is definitely a great choice. It’s offered in a wide range of colors, and offers medium to full coverage. Plus, in a travel-size tube, it comes in at just $12.
7. Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder: $13
Bumble and Bumble’s Prêt-à-Powder is the perfect multitasking hair product. This all-in-one powder can act as a dry shampoo, is able to extend your style, and can add volume to your hair. Despite its ability to absorb oil and impart major volume, it’s just about invisible in your hair.
8. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: $10
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay claims to offer “the world’s most powerful facial,” and many beauty addicts love it. This jar of natural calcium bentonite clay packs some serious pore-cleaning capabilities. This is the kind of mask that just about anybody can use, including those who only want natural products in their regimen.
9. Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer: $15
Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer is an award-winning bronzer that can give you a natural-looking tan year-round. It features a shade that flatters a wide range of skin tones. And people who aren’t a fan of shimmer and sparkles will be happy to learn that it delivers pure matte color, perfect for contouring and sculpting your features.
10. Pixi Glow Tonic: $15
Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a perennial favorite. It’s a great toner that features 5% glycolic acid, plus aloe vera and ginseng. It gently exfoliates your skin to remove dead cells. Its formula is alcohol-free and hypoallergenic, plus paraben-free so you don’t need to worry about hurting your skin.
11. Grown Alchemist Hand Cream: $15
A non-greasy moisturizer is a staple not only for your face and neck, but also for your hands. Grown Alchemist’s Hand Cream in Vanilla and Orange Peel features a variety of botanical ingredients — including grapeseed, wheatgerm, and rosehip oil — to soothe and hydrate your hands and cuticles.
12. Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre: $16
Many beauty fans have a weakness for French pharmacy products. If you’re among them, then the Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre may be the perfect moisturizer for you. It’s formulated especially for dry skin, and can be used on your face as well as on your neck, where it can reduce fine lines.
13. Glossier Boy Brow: $16
Glossier’s Boy Brow has been cited as the perfect brow product. It can thicken, fill in, and groom your brows, all in a single step. It features a creamy wax formula that’s inspired by traditional hair pomade. And its sheer pigment makes your brows look fuller and more even.
14. Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil: $16
Facial oils occupy a special place of honor on the cult beauty product shelf. Josie Maran’s 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil is a surprisingly affordable way to test out an oil. This cold-pressed oil, which contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, can deeply hydrate and nourish your skin, and is perfect for sensitive or even acne-prone skin.
15. MAC Matte Lipstick: $25
MAC’s Matte Lipstick is the very definition of a cult favorite, especially in the iconic Ruby Woo color. Despite its affordable price tag, this formula offers rich and saturated color, plus a flattering matte finish. It’s the perfect red lipstick for a wide variety of skin tones.
16. SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: $17
A mask is the perfect way to relax, indulge, and give your skin a little boost, especially when you choose the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask. This iconic product is formulated to help with dryness, dullness, and uneven skin tone. Plus, it’s packed with vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids to replenish dehydrated skin.
17. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade: $18
Anyone who’s serious about getting Instagram-worthy brows has heard of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade. This smudge-free, creamy product is the perfect way to sculpt your brows. It enables you to create precisely the shape you want, regardless of oily skin or humid climates.
18. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps: $18
Creme de Corps from Kiehl’s Since 1851 is a cult-favorite body cream. You owe it to yourself to give this formula a try if you have dry or flaky skin. And if you love this product as much as some of its most devoted fans, you can also purchase it in a travel size for when you’re on the road and in a giant bottle to make sure you’re always covered at home.
19. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: $20
Dry shampoo is an important staple for anyone who doesn’t love washing their hair every day. Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is a favorite for many people, since it easily cleans and refreshes hair, while adding volume and texture. It leaves hair soft and and revitalized — perfect for when you don’t have the time to wash and style.
20. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner: $20
It can be tough to find the right eyeliner, but you can’t go wrong with Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner. It’s a cult-favorite liquid eyeliner with a brush tip. This product makes it easy to achieve precisely the right look with a waterproof and long-lasting finish.
21. Malin+Goetz Acne Treatment Nighttime: $22
Acne may be one of the least glamorous skin care concerns, but the fact that there are some cult-favorite acne treatments may help the situation just a little. The Malin+Goetz Acne Treatment Nighttime offers a potent formula, with sulfur to address blemishes, balance oily skin, and help minimize breakouts.
22. Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream: $24
Want an all-natural skin cream that’s still extremely moisturizing? Then you’ll love Egyptian Magic’s All Purpose Skin Cream. This is a moisturizer that you can use on your face, body, and hair. It features an array of natural ingredients, including olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly extract, and propolis.
23. Agent Nateur N°3 Deodorant: $21
Deodorant won’t be on your radar as a product you could upgrade to a high-end version until you try Agent Nateur’s N°3 Deodorant. This formula is perfect for sensitive skin. It features pesticide-free, food-grade ingredients, and is scented lightly with honey, lavender, and eucalyptus.