These Things Under $30 Make Your Whole Look Seem So Much More Polished & Expensive

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by Sabrina Crews
Originally Published: 

Every fashion girl loves a statement piece. Sometimes, though, it’s the most subtle aspects of your wardrobe that make the rest shine and tie the whole look together. Whether it’s a versatile bodysuit, an elegant handbag, or a dainty pair of earrings, your most beloved go-to pieces are likely things that you didn’t come by easily — and they probably didn’t come cheap, either. With the products below, it’s a different story. These clothes and accessories are all under $30 and can make your whole look seem so much more polished and expensive.

After all, who doesn’t want a classic jacket, blouse, or accessory that delivers over and over — one that somehow doesn’t cost very much. And yet, who doesn’t struggle to find one? Fortunately for you, the struggle is over, because The Zoe Report’s editors have put in the strenuous work of unearthing cheap products that will instantly make you look more polished from head to toe — products that can (almost) instantly be yours thanks to two-day Prime shipping.

Have a scroll through these clever discoveries spanning jewelry, clothes, bags, makeup, and more. Looking (and feeling) luxe doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, bank-draining task now that we’ve made it easy. Go take a look and find out for yourself.


This Quilted Crossbody Bag That Comes In Over 25 Colors

This quilted, faux-leather crossbody comes with an adjustable, chainlink strap and a decorative tassel pull — overall, it looks so much more expensive than it really is. In addition to its main interior pocket — spacious enough to hold your wallet, smart phone, keys, and more — there’s a front pocket with a magnetic snap closure and an even smaller slip pocket inside for your skinniest valuables. Boasting a 4.6-star rating on Amazon, the $25 bag is a hit among Amazon customers for how affordable and lightweight it is. Just throw it on with a simple white tee and jeans, and you’ll be amazed by how much more stylish you look.

  • Available colors: 25


This Hair Mascara That Smooths Unwanted Flyaways & Frizz

This might not look any different from a regular tube of mascara, but it’s actually for your hair — particularly those unwanted strays, frizzies, and flyaways that can contribute to an overall less-than-polished appearance. Simply dip the petite, precision wand into the tube that houses the lightweight, non-greasy gel formula — which contains moisturizing botanical oils that nourish and strengthen your har — and swipe it along the areas you intend to smooth (it works wonders on high-ponies and glamorous up-dos). You’ll notice sleek, shiny results right away. Amazing.


A 6-Pack Of Soft, Velvet Headbands That Look So Regal

The great thing about these soft, velvet headbands is that each one is padded inside, so you can wear them all day without any discomfort. They’re super flexible too — no matter how you adjust and position them, you can still count on them to retain their shape. Suitable for all hair types, the retro-inspired headbands create a raised, tiara-like look often seen on celebrities and royals alike, past and present, and come in packs of six. Plus, they won’t even cost you $15.


This Nourishing Hair Mist That Delivers Intense Shine

Give your at-home blowouts a salon-worthy finish with this high-gloss hair mist. Suitable for both natural and color-treated hair, the finishing spray locks in moisture, enhances shine by smoothing away unwanted flyaways and frizz, and contains a cocktail of vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids that work to gently nourish your hair. When your hair’s looking a bit dull, just this spritz this on, brush it out, et voila: hair worthy of a Pantene commercial.


A Chunky Woven Belt That’ll Transform Your Dresses

Handmade woven accessories are having a serious moment, and you can get in on the aesthetic for less than $15 with this woven waist belt. Available in a range of unique designs, the vintage-inspired belt features an elastic, faux-leather strap and a prominent, wooden square buckle. It’ll transform your dresses so they look like completely different pieces, and it can also make your more casual dresses (and shirt dresses) look both more stylish and expensive.

  • Available colors: 22
  • Available sizes: Waist below 32” — Waist below 36”


These Illuminating Face Drops That Make Your Skin *Literally* Glow

Whether you didn’t get enough sleep or your skin is simply looking a bit dull, these Versed facial drops will add an instant hit of radiance so you look glowy and well-rested. The drops come in two buildable shades — sheer golden and sheer bronzed — that can be worn separately or mixed together. Packed with vitamin E, blackberry extract, and peptides, including polyglutamic acid, which the brand dubs hyaluronic acid’s “more powerful relative,” the drops are lightweight, moisturizing, and just the right amount of dewy. You can wear them alone on bare skin, mixed in with your favorite moisturizer, or under makeup — it’s up to you. Prepare to shine either way.


A Chic Silk Scarf That Comes In 35 Unique Prints

Made of soft and luxe mulberry silk, this lightweight scarf feels like heaven against your skin — and looks just as divine. It comes in 35 intricate patterns and can be worn in a variety of ways that exude sophistication and polish every time — around your neck, head, ponytail, or handbag for a dash of vintage-inspired glamor. Boasting an impressive 4.6-star rating on Amazon, the scarf is beloved among shoppers for how soft, cheap, and giftable it is.


This Versatile Bodysuit With Dramatic, Batwing Sleeves

With glamorous batwing sleeves and a plunging V-neckline, this bell sleeve bodysuit gives your look instant drama and that polished, tucked-in look. It’s super versatile, too, so you can pair it with everything from jeans to denim shorts to high-waisted pencil skirts, and still turn out a unique look (those flowy sleeves make such a statement) every time. Good thing the leotard rings up at less than $30 so you can snag a few in multiple colors.

  • Available colors: 13
  • Available sizes: X-Large Plus — 3X-Large Plus


A Pair Of Classic CZ Earrings For A Price That Can’t Be Beat

Sometimes, the secret to looking expensive is in the details. Take these delicate studs, for instance — they might seem super tiny, but when they peek out from beneath your hair and get their moment to sparkle, everyone will notice. Set in sterling silver, which has been specially coated for a shinier look, these cubic zirconia stones come in multiple shapes and sizes and were made to last well beyond their less-than-$15 price point suggests.


The Simple Beauty Tool That Makes A Big Difference

An instant way to look more alert, more polished, and generally, well, better? An eyelash curler. The simple tool makes a big difference, whether you’re going barefaced or doing a full face of makeup. Designed to fit a variety of eye shapes, and to distribute pressure perfectly across your lashes when clinched, this best-selling eyelash curler delivers an impeccable lift and curl that lasts all day long. It doesn’t tug or pinch, either, and it won’t miss a lash. For less than $15, the lash curler also comes with a pretty satin bag and two extra pads.


This Gorgeous Satin Button-Down You Can Wear Limitless Ways

You’d never know just by looking at it that this gorgeous satin top isn’t silk, or that it’s going for a mere $25 on Amazon. The versatile button-down — which comes in 60 colors — is the perfect polished piece to take you from the office to happy hour: when 5:00 rolls around, undo the top few buttons and you’ve got the perfect look for a night out. The best part is, it’ll look elegant and expensive even if you pair it with a simple pair of jeans. Just throw on a pair of stilettos and boom — the perfect effortless outfit.

  • Available colors: 60
  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large


A Sheer (& 10-Free) Nail Polish For That Clean Manicure Look

Everyone needs a bottle of sheer nail polish — and this one, from indie brand Cirque Colors, comes in sheer shades to suit every skin tone. It helps you achieve that clean, natural look that’s a staple among the “effortless” French beauty set — and since you don’t need to worry about super-noticeable smudges, you can swipe it on quickly when you’re in a rush and head right out the door. Plus, all of the brand’s nail polishes are 10-free and handmade in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Available shades: 5


This Trendy Quilted Sandals That Look So Much More Expensive Than They Are

Nobody will believe you got these trendy, square-toe sandals for less than $25 on Amazon. Featuring a comfy, thermoplastic rubber sole and slightly raised heel, the slip-on sandals come with a flexible, quilted band that not only looks adorable, but fits most feet. Choose from nine distinctive colors including baby blue, yellow, beige, and black. Meet your new favorite warm-weather shoe.

  • Available colors: 9
  • Available sizes: 5 — 11


A Breezy Cotton Shirt Dress That Exudes Preppy-Chic Vibes

Can you believe this shirt dress from Amazon Essentials costs less than $35? Featuring a button-down front, belt tie, and side slits, the lightweight cotton dress (with just a touch of spandex for stretch) is one of those game-changing pieces that’s easy to throw on in a pinch but still looks as if you spent plenty of time getting dressed. It comes in seven sunny colors and patterns, too.

  • Available colors: 7
  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


This Clever Powder To Touch-Up Your Roots Or Thicken Your Hairline

This handy touch-up kit is just the thing to reach for between salon visits when unwanted roots start to show. For as effective as it is, it’s super easy to use: You simply take the brush, dip it in the powder — there are five shades available, including brown, black, auburn, blonde, and light blonde — and glide it along your roots until voilà, they’ve vanished. Even if you don’t have any roots you’d like to conceal, powders like these are a hairstylist hack to faking a thicker, more even hairline when you’re doing ponies and up-dos.


The Classic Button-Down Shirt That Always Looks Polished

If there’s one piece that embodies expensive, polished style, it’s the classic Oxford shirt (it also happens to be one of the most timeless and versatile pieces a person could own). Fitted but not too fitted, this one exudes just enough polish to wear with confidence in more formal settings, but with a dash of laidback cool thanks to the tumbled poplin material. With nearly 20 unique patterns and colors to choose from at just $25 each, it’s clear that more than one of these shirts belong in your cart.

  • Available colors: 19
  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


This Hydrating Face Mist To Refresh & Perk Up Your Skin Anywhere, Anytime

The way your skin looks, and feels, can undeniably contribute to how polished you, yourself, feel. But just a spritz or two of this rosewater face mist will perk up your skin and make you feel instantly refreshed, whether you’re sitting at the office or stuck on a long flight. Made with minimal ingredients, like moisturizing glycerin and soothing rose oil, the mist can also be used to prep your face for your skin care routine, or to set your makeup and give it a dewy look. As a bonus, it smells like fresh roses.


A Pleated Midi Skirt That Looks So Chic With Just A Simple White Tee

This playful midi skirt features a ruffled hem, elastic bowtie waist, and pleats throughout. That’s such a charming and unique combination, you might just need to add more than one of the 14 variations of this skirt to your cart. They’re less than $30 each, after all — and rest assured that you’ll be raking in the compliments with whichever styles you choose. The best part, though? Even if you just pair this skirt with a white tee shirt and sneakers, you’ll look so polished and chic.

  • Available colors: 14
  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large


These Oversized, Cat-Eye Sunglasses That Radiate Glamor

Nothing oozes classic glamour quite like a pair of black, oversized sunglasses, especially if you throw in a retro-inspired cat-eye à la this pair. For less than $15, these chic shades come in 10 different colors and with non-polarized, UV-400 lenses that’ll protect your peepers all day long. It’s no easy feat, finding an affordable pair of sunglasses that make you look just as good as you feel looking out of them, but this dynamic pair has you covered on all fronts.


A Pair Of Elegant Backless Loafers That Make Any Outfit Seem More Expensive

Loafers and mules seem to be just about everywhere you look, and thanks to this hybrid shoe, you can now wear them both at once. With a durable outsole and comfy, memory foam padded insole, the backless loafers are well suited for all-day wear and complement a range of ensembles, from professional to preppy. The gleaming metal buckle across the top gives them an expensive touch — and their overall look will make any outfit you pair them with look five times more sophisticated.

  • Available colors: 5
  • Available sizes: 5 — 9.5


These Faux-Leather Belts That’ll Tie Your Whole Look Together

The only indication that these belts — which are sold in a budget-friendly two pack — aren’t made of real leather is their less-than-$20 price tag. Otherwise, they look and feel just like their animal hide counterparts — accessories that typically go for hundreds, if not more. Whether you pair one with a dress, denim cutoffs, or high-rise pants, it’ll tie the whole look together and make it seem so much more expensive.

  • Size: L — XXXL


A Beach-Chic Tote That Comes In So Many Cute Designs

This woven straw bag looks like it costs so much more than it really does. Made of an eco-friendly jute fabric, the spacious bag is well equipped to hold your towels, coverup, sunscreen, snacks, smart phone, and other beach essentials; it also features a waterproof lining to ensure that stuff stays dry while you’re off getting wet. The bag comes in over 25 prints like the minimalist green stripe pictured, all of which are so distinctive and head-turning, you’re definitely not going to want just one. No need to break the bank snapping up your favorite designs, though — each one rings up at less $30.


A Jar Of 1,000 Hair Ties That Blend Into Dark Hair Invisibly

These tiny-but-mighty hair elastics are super stretchy and can tackle just about any hairstyle, from half-ponies to top knots. Because they’re designed to blend in with your hair — they’re sold in brown, dark brown, silver, gold, and caramel colors — they’ll do away with chunky, noticeable elastics that can make your look seem decidedly unpolished. Pretty awesome that you can get a jar of 1,000 for just $6.


This Head-Turning Bodysuit With Dramatic Butterfly Sleeves

You won’t find statement-making sleeves like this on just any bodysuit, not to mention on one for less than $25. So go ahead and add this butterfly sleeve one-piece to your cart in the color and design of your choice — some, for instance, come in trendy cut-out patterns, while others have more of a classic leotard fit like the gorgeous Burgundy one pictured. Made of a soft and slightly stretchy polyester-and-spandex blend, the bodysuit features a mock neckline on top and a convenient snap closure below, and goes with just about any high-waisted bottom you own, from cropped jeans to pencil skirts. You won’t have to worry about any scrunching or wrinkles, either — aka the two most common culprits when it comes to looking the opposite of polished.

  • Available colors: 8
  • Available sizes: X-Small — 3X-Large


The Perfect Gold Hoops — & They’re Less Than $15

PAVOI has quickly become a favorite jewelry brand among Amazon shoppers for making pieces that look like that they could be worth hundreds, but often don’t cost more than $15, and these 14-karat gold-plated hoops are no exception. Available in three different sizes and colors — rose, white, and yellow gold — the hypoallergenic hoops are as equally suited for a casual day running errands as they are a VIP cocktail party. Either way, you’ll feel comfy and glamorous wearing them — no splurge required.


A Cult-Favorite Setting Spray That Locks In Your Look All Day (& Night)

The Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray has achieved legendary status in the beauty world, thanks to its ability to lock in any makeup look for hours on end — even amidst conditions like sweat and humidity that threaten to smear, smudge, or melt most makeup formulas. Just a few spritzes ensures your look will remain as fresh and put-together come evening as it did in the morning. The size pictured above clocks in at a travel-friendly 1 fluid ounce, so you can toss it in your bag if you feel like you need a touch-up mid-day (though you probably won’t need one!).


These Chic, H-Band Flats That Cost Just $20

Slide your feet into these lovely H-band sandals, and you won’t be sliding them off anytime soon. Featuring a firm, faux-leather lining and foam padding, the sandals provide enough grip, comfort, and traction to carry you so much farther than their less-than-$20 price tag suggests, and the sleek, minimalist band design — available in brown, black, white, and the fabulous gold pictured — makes any warm-weather ensemble feel so Mediterranean-chic.


The Tailored Blazer That Every Professional Woman Should Own

If you’re loving the resurgence of shoulder pads, you’ll definitely love this blazer. Blended with spandex for a slightly stretchy fit, the tailored blazer features removable shoulder pads — in case you’re not a fan of the look — ruched three-quarter sleeves, and a simple button in the front so you can wear it closed for a crisp, clean look at the office, or open over jeans and your favorite tee on the weekends. The curved lapel adds a dash of sophistication and femininity, too.

  • Available colors: 56
  • Available sizes: Small — 5X


A Sparkling Tennis Bracelet That Looks Like Real Diamonds

No wonder this cubic zirconia bracelet’s a best-seller: Lined with dainty, sparkling stones — which look just like real diamonds — set in four-prong baskets, it looks every bit as stunning as a top-dollar tennis bracelet for a fraction of the price. Available in 14-karat rose-, white-, or yellow-plated gold, for the price and the fanfare (13,000-plus positive ratings on Amazon), you’d be wise to snag all three — the bracelet owes its popularity on Amazon to how stylish, comfy, and giftable it is. “Such great quality at an affordable price,” one contented shopper raved. “I feel like a princess when wearing this.”


This Argan Oil Serum That Softens Your Ends & Adds Shine

If dry, damaged ends or unwanted frizz is making you feel less than polished, you can try an argan oil serum, like this one. Argan oil is rife with benefits for both your hair and skin, and for less than $10, this serum helps you harness them. Suitable for all hair types, the featherlight oil relies on a blend of organic argan oil, keratin, and other natural extracts to tame unwanted frizz, lock in moisture, and promote shine. You’ll love its refreshing floral scent — and how silky-soft it makes your ends look (and feel).


A Cute Sweater Tank That’s Ideal For Transitional Weather

This cute, crochet top playfully toes the line between being a warm-weather sweater and a cool-weather tank. Featuring a sheer knit fabric, a halter neckline, and matching side splits, it’s the perfect staple to reach for on a warm autumn day or cool summer night when you want to look polished, but don’t want to look too dressed up (just throw on a pair of blue or white jeans, and you’re good to go). It’s available in over 20 distinctive colors, too, so you won’t have any trouble finding the perfect shade.

  • Available colors: 21
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large


Double-Sided Tape So Your Clothes Always Look Like They Fit Perfectly

Loose fabric, stray hemlines, and clothing gaps can all make your outfit seem less expensive — and they’re issues even your favorite outfits can present. That’s why it’s crucial to keep some wardrobe tape nearby. This double-sided fashion tape in particular only costs $11, but can do the same job as a safety pin much more effectively and elegantly. Though super adhesive, it’s also super gentle — perfectly suited for sensitive skin. It works so seamlessly, in fact, you’ll forget it’s there. You’ll definitely notice when you run out though, so stock up.


These Cool Round Hairpins That’ll Transform Your Basic Half-Up Style

Clasp your hair back in one of these silver or gold hairpins and try not to get compliments. They may be dainty, but they add so much polish: The elegant, round design will give your hairstyle a little extra flare while the gentle snap closure holds every strand in place. Oh, and you get two for just $6.


This Illumanating Powder That You Can Use On Your Face & Body

Illuminate your skin with this highlighting powder from L’Oreal Paris — whether you use it on your face or body, it’ll make you look expensive and glamorous from head to toe. Available in two shimmery shades that complement all skin tones, the powder is lightweight enough to blend effortlessly into your skin and gently sparkles when it catches the light. Wear it on your cheeks, nose, eyes, chest, shoulders, or legs and prepare to glow all day — or night — long.


A Lip & Cheek Tint That Instantly Brightens Your Complexion

Anytime your complexion is looking a little meh, dab a bit of this multipurpose tint from K-beauty brand I’m Meme on your cheeks, lips, and even your lids for an instantly refreshed, dewy, just-bitten look. The creamy, balm-like formula blends like a dream, and the color payoff is intense, so just a small amount will work wonders to rejuvenate your entire complexion. Choose from five shades, varying from coral to dusty rose to the aptly named ‘Recharger,’ the vibrant cherry red pictured above.

  • Available shades: 5


A More Durable & Commuter-Friendly Take On The Classic Ballet Flat

Balletcore (dance-influenced fashion) is everywhere right now, so it’s probably time to start replenishing your supply of ballet flats. This pointed-toe flat from Amazon Essentials is the perfect place to start. Just as lightweight as it is durable, the versatile shoe comes with a padded, memory foam insole and a sweat-absorbent, faux-leather sock for all-day comfort. The soles provide terrific traction, while the slightly raised heel adds a hint of understated elegance. And no matter what you wear them with — a flowy skirt; cropped jeans; a sundress — they’ll always feel very Parisian chic.

  • Available colors: 16
  • Available sizes: 5 — 15


An Easy Way To Look Done Up In An Instant

It’s hard to find a full-coverage lipstick that’s super lightweight, but stila’s Stay All Day liquid lipstick is it. It’s good for you, too. Infused with vitamin E and moisturizing avocado oil, the creamy-matte formula is the rare liquid lipstick that won’t dry out your lips. Moreover, a bright-red shade — like the cult-favorite ‘Beso’ (beloved by the likes of AOC) — will add instant polish to your look, even if you’re just rocking a slicked-back bun and a white tee. It’s a beauty hack that never fails to work.


The Perfect One-&-Done Dress For Rushed Mornings

This bodycon pencil dress strikes just the right balance between fiery and elegant. Perfect for rushed mornings when you need to look polished and professional, but don’t have much time to put together an outfit, the dress features a form-hugging silhouette, midi length hem, three-quarter sleeves, and a high-neck collar. Because it’s so versatile and cheap — and comes in 10 pretty colors and patterns — you should definitely consider stocking up.

  • Available colors: 10
  • Available sizes: Large Plus — 4X-Large Plus


A Pair Of Fleece-Lined, Faux-Leather Pants — With Pockets

These tight, faux-leather pants definitely look sultry, but you might not guess that they also feel every bit as comfy. Despite the fact that they only cost $30, they look like a pair of real leather pants that could go for 10 times the price. Made of flexible, stretchy faux leather and lined with fleece, the pants come in three matchable colors (black, brown, and Burgundy) and with two functional front pockets. They also feature a high compression waist at the top and an ankle-length crop at the bottom. You’ll never have to choose between looking hot and feeling warm ever again — though styled with a chunky turtleneck sweater or button-down blouse, they’d work perfectly in an office setting.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: X-Small — 4X-Large


A Sleek Clutch — Sold In 16 Colors — That Makes Any Outfit Feel Dressier

This velvet clutch purse is a guaranteed compliment-generator (and it’ll make even your most casual outfits seem a lot more expensive). It comes in over 15 gorgeous colors and patterns outlined by sleek, gold-tone hardware, and with a removable, dainty chain strap that takes it from a clutch to an over-the-shoulder purse. The evening bag is also just as practical as it is pretty — you can pair it with your fanciest ensemble and still count on it to hold everything you need on an eventful night out, like your smartphone, cash, wallet, and makeup. Can you believe it’s less than $25?

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