I don’t typically regard myself as a bargain hunter. I don’t clip coupons. I don’t patronize deal sites. In fact, I think of myself as a pay-more-if-you-can-save-an-ounce-of-time kinda girl. So, when my editor at the St. Pete Times challenged me to find $5 beauty products and services that I’d be willing to recommend for their $5 edition, I set out to test products that I could pick up for a fraction of my normal budget, without sacrificing quality.
A collection that won’t break the bank
The Eyes Lips Face (e.l.f.) collection has been famously, and erroneously, called an off-label Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s brand sold without the high-brow branding. And while this beauty urban legend is decidedly untrue, the sentiment is spot on: The e.l.f. cosmetic collection boasts department store-quality products at bargain-basement prices.
I recommend Super Glossy Lip Shine, which sells for $1 in a variety of hues, from Pink Kiss to Iced Latte. e.l.f.’s Essential Eyelid Primer is just $1 and pairs perfectly with Brightening Eye Color quads that sell for, you guessed it, a buck. No, there’s no department store connection, but there are hundreds of high-quality cosmetics, many priced at $1, $3 or $5, online at eyeslipsface.com.
Brush up on affordable skin care
You may have heard the buzz about the latest and greatest battery-powered facial cleansing brushes. Years ago, Clarisonic created this category single-handedly when they created their Sonic cleansing system, now named Clarisonic Classic ($195). Less pricey options abound, such as Olay’s Professional Pro-X Facial Cleansing Brush, sold for as little as $25 at local drugstores.
But this is the $5 issue, ladies, so Olay’s product is a whopping $20 over budget. Thankfully, a friend introduced me to a beauty secret of sorts, right on the shelves of your local Sephora. It’s the $5 Sephora Collection Face Complexion Brush, and it even comes in fuchsia. True, you power it with your own muscles, but similar to its battery-powered counterparts, this brush does an amazing job of exfoliating dead skin cells, leaving your skin all aglow.
Celebrity beauty bargains at Walmart
The joy you derive from a Sunday night episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey or Bethenny Ever After may be priceless, but thankfully, you can primp like a reality star for less than $5.
Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel recently launched the Skinnygirl Face & Body Collection, a line of skin care, body care and cosmetics available at Walmart. Prices start at $4.97 and include items such as Shimmer Lip Balm and tinted lip balm for under five bucks.
Feel like pulling a Real Housewife diva act and going over budget? Splurge on the most expensive item in the collection, the Skinnygirl Gift Set Body Solutions Kit, including smoothing and firming body wash, smoothing and firming body lotion, and body shimmer for $15.97.
After all, aren’t budgets meant to be broken?
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