Boy, oh boy how would it be to be the girl with a vanity crammed full of Drunk Elephant and La Prairie. But at the rate I go through them, I’d be spending half my paycheck on beauty products—no thanks. Here is, eight budget-friendly swaps that work just as well as all the cult-favorite high-end creams and serums but are way easier on the wallet. How about that ladies?
IF YOU LIKE REVITALASH ADVANCED SERUM, YOU’LL LOVE GRANDELASH-MD
Duchess Meghan may swear by RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner, but we can’t look our S.O. in the face and honestly say a $100 eyelash serum is worth every penny. GrandeLash-MD eyelash enhancing serum does the same thing (and hey, ByJenniferlynn swears by it) and guarantees you’ll see longer, fuller lashes in just six weeks. Bonus: The two-milliliter size is $26 cheaper on Walmart than at other online retailers.
IF YOU LIKE LA MER’S CREME DE LA MER, YOU’LL LOVE MARIO BADESCU’S SEAWEED NIGHT CREAM
The La Mer is made with deep sea kelp hand harvested off the coast of Vancouver and takes nearly four months to ferment, which may justify the $90 price tag for a tiny 0.5-ounce tub. But plenty of other cult-fave moisturizers can also restore skin’s elasticity and heal dry skin overnight. Mario Badescu’s Seaweed Night Cream uses the exact same essential ingredient as the fancy French product (seaweed) and costs far less for double the amount. “Ladies, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say yes to this one.”
IF YOU LIKE ESTÉE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR STAY-IN-PLACE MAKEUP, YOU’LL LOVE L’ORÉAL PARIS INFALLIBLE PRO-MATTE FOUNDATION
When it comes to liquid foundations, spending $43 on something you use daily can feel like a splurge, especially when there are more affordable options with same texture, finish and shade coverage. One option I love: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. The demi-matte finish lasts 24 hours, and the liquid goes on super lightweight and non-cakey (more than 1,600 five-star reviews back us up too).
IF YOU LIKE DRUNK ELEPHANT T.L.C. SUKARI BABY FACIAL, YOU’LL LOVE THE ORDINARY PEELING SOLUTION
With a mix of AHA and BHA (acids that chemically exfoliate dead skin and clogged pores), the high-end version of this weekly mask is said to work wonders on dull, uneven skin. But with its $80 price tag, I’d rather swap it for Toronto-based clean skin care line The Ordinary and its beloved Peeling Solution. For just $14, you get virtually the same weighty combo of hydroxy acids to help erase blemishes and restore your skin’s radiance—not to mention preserve your bank account.
IF YOU LIKE ORIBE GOLD LUST DRY SHAMPOO, YOU’LL LOVE BATISTE ORIGINAL DRY SHAMPOO
Listen, I love a post-workout hair refresh as much as the next gal, but our money is better spent on Batiste Original Dry Shampoo. At $6 for the same size as the Oribe Gold Lust version (which costs almost $50), this one does what it’s meant to do: It dries excess oil, leaves hair smelling clean and adds a bit of volume to limp strands. Case closed.
IF YOU LIKE BY TERRY BAUME DE ROSE, YOU’LL LOVE SMITH’S ROSEBUD SALVE
I’m not claiming a $60 tin of vitamin-rich rose blossom wax isn’t the “Rolls-Royce of lip care,” as the brand says. All I’m saying is that I don’t live on a Rolls-Royce budget. But a rosebud salve from cult-favorite 127-year-old Smith’s will do the trick. I use it throughout the day and always apply it right before I go to bed, and I never wake up with dry lips. I also love the tin, which can be recycled or reused, versus a plastic tube. Bottom line: It hydrates your chapped kisser (and any winter-weary patch of skin, for that matter) for less.
IF YOU LIKE NARS RADIANT CREAMY CONCEALER, YOU’LL LOVE L.A. GIRL PRO CONCEAL
For less than your Starbucks coffee, you can get a tube of the raved-about full-coverage L.A. Girl concealer that’s taken the beauty world by storm (Walmart even confirmed it was their top-selling color product of 2017). The buildable and blendable formula comes in 25 shades, so no more off-color smears. Or, for ten times the price, you can have the same concealer your BFF has. Up to you, but I think the choice is pretty obvious.
IF YOU LIKE SKINCEUTICALS C E FERULIC VITAMIN C SERUM, YOU’LL LOVE VICHY LIFTACTIV VITAMIN C SERUM
Dear Vitamin C: We love your ability to brighten, smooth and neutralize the free radicals that could rapidly age our skin. But do we love you $166 worth? Hard to say. With Vichy’s LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum’s 15% pure vitamin C extract (the same amount used in the pricey SkinCeuticals version) and vitamin E (also in the SkinCeuticals product) at a less cringe-inducing price point, you’d be hard-pressed to change our mind.