ten beauty products under ten dollars

by Sophie Anderson

After writing last week’s post, I could not stop thinking about how much damn money I spend on beauty products, and how, all too often, I am tricked into believing that the more money I spend, the better/ more effective/ more likely to be crafted by angels the product will be. But, when it comes down to it, you can get some really incredible skincare for CHEAP – less than $10 to be exact. Read on for my list of 10 miracle-workers that will only set you back $10 a piece.  

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1. St. Ives Blackhead Green Tea Clearing Face Scrub
St. Ives is one of those brands that looks like any other normal, chemical-filled, readily-available, drugstore brands… BUT IT’S NOT. This face scrub is low-key loaded with antioxidants, like olive leaf extract, 100% natural exfoliants, and it’s hypoallergenic and paraben-free. Better yet, it’s a really amazing consistency – finely-milled, not too abrasive at all – and smells incredible. All for just a couple of bucks!

2. Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve
Speaking of stuff that smells incredible, this salve is super moisturizing, and feels like a luxury lip product – all for just a couple of bucks. The packaging is also adorable and vintage-feeling, which I love in general but especially appreciate in the context of beauty products. Don’t we all just want to feel like a 1950s movie star getting ready for her big debut?

3. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
This shit is actually a miracle in powdered clay form. Packed with over 50 natural minerals, it offers one of the most intense and invigorating facials you will have ever have in the comfort of your own home. And you get A POUND of it. If this doesn’t last you at least a year, you need to cool it with the face masks. Just mix about half a tablespoon of clay with equal parts water or apple cider vinegar, stir into a paste, and apply a thick layer to clean skin. You will feel a slight tingling sensation as the secret Aztec magic begins to heal your tired, dull skin. Then, when you wash it off, you will be gifted with a brand-new soft and nourished face. It is seriously that effective. WARNING, though, your skin WILL be red for about half an hour after you use this, so don’t make any big, post-face-mask plans.

4. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
This is a classic staple product for me. I’ve been using it for years. When I think of cartoon characters in sludgy, green face masks with cucumbers on their eyes, I imagine they were probably wearing Queen Helene. It’s a quintessential clay mask that does exactly what it’s supposed to: absorbs oil, extracts impurities, minimizes pores, and leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed. I use this whenever I feel like my skin needs a little extra love, but nothing too intense – and it never fails me.

5. J.R. Watkins Sugar and Shea Grapefruit Body Scrub
Okay, sorry this is 19 cents over our lil’ budget, but I promise it is worth every penny. I have the kind of dry skin that forms Sahara-desert-like patches during the summer months and this body scrub makes them disappear almost instantly. I have never found anything else able to do this. Plus, it smells really refreshing!

6. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
I’ve tried a lot of fancy cleansers, complete with miraculous-sounding ingredients like activated charcoal, jojoba seed extract, greek yogurt, glycolic acid, etc., but I always come back to this one. It’s cheap, it’s gentle, and it does the job. No gimmicks, no over-powering scents. It just looks, smells, and feels clean – which makes it the perfect base to any skincare routine. It’s not going to compete with any of the other products you put on your face. It’s just going to do what it’s meant to – leaving you with fresh, soft skin. I went for the hydrating version because I have dry skin, but I’m sure the same could be said for any variation of this cleanser.

7. Witch Hazel Toner
A really gentle, soothing toner, Witch Hazel is perfect for oily skin, sensitive skin, and everything in between. I noticed an improvement in my skin’s clarity and texture as soon as I started using this. Plus, the name Witch Hazel is just so great. I like to imagine that it was brewed in a cauldron by one of the Sanderson Sisters or maybe Ron and Hermione’s eldest child…

8. Heritage Store Rosewater with Atomizer
I know what you’re thinking… Why does anyone need Rosewater? That is the bougiest, most unnecessary shit I have ever heard of. Well okay, simmer down. Rosewater has many benefits! It’s hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and aids in removing all that oil and dirt that accumulates in clogged pores. But alright yeah, I’ll be honest, this doesn’t really do anything that noteworthy for my skin. It mostly just smells and feels great! And on a hot summer day in my stuffy, LA apartment, a few sprits can trick me into thinking that I am not swimming in a puddle of my own sweat, but instead a tub of nourishing rose petals. 

9. Garnier SKINACTIVE Clearly Brighter Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller
This is the one product that I constantly recommend to friends and I wear even on days that I don’t wear any other makeup. Formulated with Vitamin C, caffeine, and tinted mineral pigments, this eye roller soothes, de-puffs, and brightens your under-eyes all at once, making you look much more awake. Which is great because one of my main goals in life is to somehow make people believe that I’m not tired.  

10. Bio-Oil Multiuse Skincare Oil
Another multi-year staple for me, bio-oil is a must-have in your medicine cabinet. Slather it daily on scars, stretch marks, or cellulite for a few weeks and it will noticeably diminish the appearance of all the above. It’s kind of unreal. Not sure why they don’t charge more for this stuff. Even Kim Kardashian has admitted to using it, which makes me think they could bump up the price at least another 40 bucks. And yet, this continues to be priced at a mere $10… I’m not complaining!