8 Under $20: My Favorite Beauty Buys

Being a girl has its perks, especially when it comes to scoring free drinks at the bar. But being a girl also takes a lot of work and costs a whole lot o’ cashola. Just think about all the things we need to pay for that guys don’t: waxing, haircare, makeup, Spanx, the list goes on.

Yeah, keeping ourselves groomed and primped is not easy on the wallet, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg (or a month’s rent).  Here are some of my favorite beauty products that all come in under 20 buckaroos. These things are just as fabulous as the expensive stuff and, hey, anything that’ll make me feel purty without making me cringe at the price is good by me. (Side Note:  You can get a lot of this stuff on Drugstore.com, an awesome website that carries nearly every beauty item you can imagine and has great deals on ’em too.)

I am one of those girls who looks dead without a little gloss smeared across my lips and MAC’s lipglass is one of my personal faves. It’s ultra glossy, which is ultra sexy, and it lasts a really long time. There are tons of color options but  “Looks Like Sin” and “Lust” are by far my favorites.

Okay, so maybe you’re thinking, “This is supposed to be an article about beauty products, what is chafing gel doing on the list?”  Well, here’s a tip: this chafing gel does the exact same job as those super expensive-o make-up primers (like Smashbox’s oh-so-popular Photo Finish, which costs at least $36), and it costs under $8!  And – bonus! – for us curvy girls, it does its job and works wonderfully against that frustrating and painful chafing you can get in the summertime.

After years of buying uber-expensive mascaras and still having a hard time finding one I totally love, I discovered Lash Blast by Covergirl.  For under $10, it gives you gorgeous thick lashes without clumping. It even won an Allure Editor’s Choice Award, so you know it’s gonna rock your socks.

Unless I’m going out on the town, I usually only put on powder to smooth out my skin, rather than clogging my pores with foundation on a daily basis, and I love Loreal’s True Match.  They have a wide array of colors and it gives great coverage without feeling thick.

Blush is another one of my daily essentials; it gives me just enough color so I look so fresh and so clean and, you know, alive. I love Sephora’s line; it goes on nicely and naturally, there are a number of colors perfect for different skin tones, and it’s totally budget-friendly.

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical when I first heard of this product a few years back. I mean, the ’80s-looking bottle is enough to scare anyone off. But I decided to give it a go (my legs looked nearly transparent) and I loooooved it.  It’s not like self-tanner so if you end up streaked, it easily washes off. Really, though, it’s quite easy to do without looking streaky or blotchy, and it truly does smooth out my legs significantly.  Perfect for short shorts, skirts and dresses in the summertime.

There’s really not much that makes me happier after a long week than going to get a mani-pedi with the latest OPI shade. They definitely have the highest quality polish (the stuff lasts over a week) and an insanely large collection of colors ranging from the most basic nudes to gorgeous reds to everything fun & funky in between.  This season they introduced the Hong Kong collection, which I’m totes feelin’, especially this beautiful blue that looks splendid on my freshly pedicured toes.

I will never understand how companies can charge up to $30 for a shine spray. I mean, how hard is it to make?! That’s why I’m head over heels for this Matrix Shine Mist. It gives my hair a lovely shine, helps with frizz and fly-aways, and is made especially for all of us color-treated ladies out there. Oh, and it’s under $10.

It may not always be easy being a girl, but these products certainly help. And with all the money you save, you won’t even need boys to buy you drinks at the bar.

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