The term "budget beauty" is so frequently tossed around that sometimes, we lose sight of what actually counts as being on a "budget." Maybe we've just become so numb to the high prices of our favorite brands (hello $60 for Armani foundation that I shell out without a second thought) that when we stumble on something even remotely less expensive, we're thrilled. And then occasionally, we stumble across those "are-you-kidding-me-this-is-only-how-much?!" buys that make us realize that great beauty products can indeed come in affordable packages. Keep scrolling for some of our favorite budget beauty buys.
1. Pixi Glow Tonic, $15, Target: This exfoliating toner has been called a "holy grail" product by quite a few prominent beauty bloggers. And while it used to only be available in London, you can now get it at Target of all places! With glycolic acid and aloe, this alcohol-free formulation is gentle and brightening, and totally worth $15.
2. Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap in Lavender, $16, Target: You can find this ubiquitous Dr. Bronner's soap at every corner CVS and Target. And though you may think that $16 is pricey for soap, this 32 oz bottle will last you forever. It smells amazing and doesn't leave you feeling stripped or dry.
3. Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray, $7, Ulta: We've talked about our fave everyday face spray before, and that's because it's only $7! Formulated with rosewater, aloe, and herbs, this simple alcohol-free spray is the perfect morning or midday pick-me-up.
4. Smith's Mint Rosebud Salve, $7, Sephora: This lip balm has literally been all the rage since high school, but if its not broke, don't fix it, right? Though we frequently sample other balms, we always come back to this super hydrating, minty fresh, affordable option.
5. L'Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara, $7, Target: Though I've tried Dior, Benefit, and every other mascara imaginable, I can't find anything that beats my favorite L'Oreal mascara. For $7, I get ridiculously long, thick lashes. I dare you to find me a better alternative!
6. Aquaphor, $5, Target: Considered the cure-all healing ointment, aquaphor is my go-to for slathering all over my lips before bed (and even on my hands when they're all dry and cracked). For $5, you get a tube that lasts you forever.
7. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Serum, $19, Ulta: Though this is one of the pricier items on our list, when you compare it to other serums on the market, it's certainly a budget a buy. Another one that was originally a UK beauty blogger favorite, this simple, hyaluronic acid-based serum is an easy way to stay moisturized during the winter months (and is now available at Ulta!).
8. Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist, $10, Urban Outfitters: An up-and-coming beauty brand that you can now find at UO's indie-centric beauty department, Herbivore Botanicals features this simple sea salt and lavender spray. Though they say it's for the whole body, it's a great, budget option to give you those coveted beachy tresses.
9. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, $8, Ulta: Often considered a dupe of the much-loved Bioderma Micellar Water, Garnier has finally released their brilliant make-up remover here in the states. Don't mistake this stuff for pricey water, though. Soak a cotton pad in this stuff and it will easily wipe off all of your make-up (yes, face too-- not just the eye make-up!), solving that eternal conundrum of using multiple make-up removers/cleansers for different parts of the face.