The Best Drugstore Beauty Products Under $15


Everyone says “beauty is pain,” (it doesn’t have to be, by the way!) but the saying really should be “beauty is expensive.” It’s something women know all too well and most men are still shocked at. However, you can get five great beauty products from the drugstore for the price of one luxury beauty item from Sephora. I love Sephora as much as the next girl, but it’s not the only place to score great beauty, haircare and skincare products.

Here are nine of my favorite drugstore buys under $15:

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links. If you end up making a purchase through them, I might make a little money.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer, $15

My friend recommended this to me when I was looking for a new water-based moisturizer because it’s very similar to a Clinique product, but a little less expensive. It is still on the higher end of drugstore beauty prices, but I think it’s definitely worth it. When I put this on, it feels like my skin is taking a nice, long drink of water.

NYX Lip Lingerie, $7

I have tried many liquid lipsticks, and this is still the best one. It stays on for hours! I like it a little bit more than the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, which I feel like more people talk about. My favorite shades are Exotic (a warm reddish brown) and Bedtime Flirt (a nudish-pink).

Essie Nail Polish, average $9/bottle

Essie has been a favorite of mine since high school. They have cute colors, a great formula and the company is female-owned! I’m sure everyone has heard of this brand, but just in case you’ve missed it, the nail polish is affordable, available at all drugstores and has a rainbow of perfect shades, including seasonal collections that are always very on trend.

Shea Moisture Hair Products

Shampoo, conditioner, hair dye, hair masks - I’ve used a variety of Shea Moisture products and I’ve loved them all. The hair dye is the only dye I’ve used that didn’t irritate my scalp and it came with a hair mask! The shampoos and conditioners don’t contain silicones and sulfates, which are horrible for your hair and there are different lines based on the problem you’re trying to solve - frizzy curls, dry and damaged hair, etc. Shea Moisture is also cruelty free! The brand makes skincare and makeup products, but my favorite are the hair products because Shea Moisture is among one of the few drugstore brands that are not really bad for your hair and scalp.

EOS Shaving Cream, $3

Just like the lip balm, this product makes everything smoother. As someone who used to nick their legs a lot while shaving and has sensitive skin, I have tried many shaving creams and been disappointed. When I found this one, my search was over. I wash my body and then once I’ve cleaned the areas I want to shave, I put this on and my legs are smooth and free of little cuts when I get out of the shower.

Thayer’s Rose Toner, $10

I put this toner on every morning before my makeup and it makes my skin feel refreshed and balanced. It also smells wonderful. So many big beauty brands have toners that cost over $30 for a bottle about the same size as this one, and they all have roughly the same ingredients. Some areas of skincare require splurging, but your toner doesn’t have to be one of those.

Garnier Micellar Water, $7

I mainly use makeup-removing wipes, but I’m starting to shift to 50/50 wipes and micellar water. Micellar water always gets the eyeliner and mascara off that my wipes can’t seem to reach. I was using a Micellar Water from Sephora’s signature collection that was inexpensive (probably the same as Garnier’s), but to my dismay, it got discontinued. My go-to for beauty recommendations, Ingrid Nilsen, swears by this Micellar Water and after using it for a few weeks, I do too!

Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shine Hair Oil, $7

This hair oil is a godsend for people with frizzy hair like myself. I use it every morning and it makes my hair soft and smooth. It also smells good, which is always a benefit. I haven’t used any fancy hair oils before, but with a cheap option like this that works so well, I don’t see the point in trying another one.

ChapStick Total Hydration Lip Scrub, $5

I was looking for a good lip scrub to keep my lips soft and all the recommendations I was finding online were a lot of money for very little product. I picked up this lip scrub on a whim at Target, and I’m so glad I did! It works very well, it’s inexpensive and it only takes a minute to apply and wash off.

Tara Caroline McNally
Caroline is a writer from San Francisco with a day job in Public Relations. She majored in journalism in college and is always writing something - from The X-Files fanfiction to lifestyle blog posts. She loves many things, including green tea, memes, classic rock music, true crime and Netflix binging. You can usually find her quoting pop culture, tweeting about intersectional feminism or hugging other people’s dogs on Twitter, Instagram or her blog.