It’s no secret that the typical college-age beauty junkie has too little money and too much to buy. As trends evolve, lines roll out, and prices keep soaring higher, it is all too easy to find yourself standing hungrily in the UStore cookie aisle, realizing with growing dismay that your purse contains no money and all eyeliner. When constrained by a student budget and a biological need for sustenance, what is a conspicuous consumer to do?
My personal solution is simple: spend less! To be clear, I am not saying buy less makeup. I am simply advocating for cheaper makeup. Below are some affordable alternatives to common beauty staples that are so wonderful, you’ll wonder why you ever spent more.
Clay Masks: Fresh vs. Innisfree
Innisfree’s Clay Mask isn’t just good for freaking out friends with grey-faced Snaps. It’s the ultimate multipurpose tool for shrinking pores, controlling sebum, exfoliating, cleansing, toning, and cooling.
Nail Polish: Essie vs. Sinful Colors
Although my heart will always have a special place for Essie (I saved up all my allowance money when I was 9 to buy my very own vial of Bikini-So-Teeny), there is no denying that Sinful Colors offers an amazing bang for your buck. Their nail polish is fast-drying, long-lasting, and comes in every shade and texture imaginable.
Liquid Eyeliner: Stila vs. Wet N Wild
I always thought I hated drugstore eyeliner, until I found Wet n Wild’s MegaLiner. It’s smooth, heavily pigmented, and long-lasting. And, should you ever feel like switching it up, it comes in a surprisingly wide array of colors.
Sheet Masks: Dr.Jart vs. Tony Moly
As hard as it is to admit to ourselves, the effects of one sheet mask are pretty much the same as the effects of another. So why not swap out the expensive, “branded” masks for ones that are a little more cost efficient? Tony Moly has a line of fantastic sheet masks that hydrate, cleanse, and leave the face feeling fresh. Amazon carries a variety pack that sells for less than a dollar per mask!
Liquid Lipstick: Kylie vs. NYX
Don’t get me wrong, I adore Kylie. I just love lipstick too much to be able to spend $20 a tube! NYX Matte Lip Cream is not just smooth, lightweight, well-pigmented, and long lasting, but it is also a third of the cost of any other lipstick of equivalent quality.
Exfoliating Lip Scrub: Lush vs. Elf
Although it is an adorable color, Lush’s Bubblegum Lip Scrub is no match for Elf’s Lip Exfoliator. This lovely little steal gently buffs away chapped and dry skin, leaving lips soft and smooth.
Deep Conditioner: Bumble and bumble vs. Aussie
Don’t be fooled by its low price—Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner really is a miracle. It’s lightweight, smells incredible, and leaves hair soft, hydrated, and damage-free.