Your Hair & Makeup Could Look So Much Better If You Tried Any Of These Clever Things Under $25

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by Sabrina Crews
Originally Published: 

Shaking up your hair and beauty routine is just one of those things that’s easier said than done. Even when you know it’s time for a change, you might find yourself clinging to the same styles and techniques for comfort’s sake. So, if you’re stuck in a beauty rut and aren’t exactly sure where to go from here, don’t panic — just know that your hair and makeup could look so much better if you tried any of these clever things under $25.

It can be challenging to incorporate new looks into your day-to-day routine, because not everything that’s trendy is something that necessarily works for everyone, and other changes can be an adjustment. It takes time to get used to a new habit — whether that’s drawing on ‘90s-inspired brown lip liner or styling your hair part down the middle — and ultimately decide if you like it. Fortunately, our editors, as well as your fellow online shoppers, have eliminated the trial-and-error part of venturing outside of your comfort zone by testing these foolproof hair and makeup products. You won’t have to worry about wasting money by purchasing any of these clever things, because they’re just as cheap as they are effective, practical, and easy to implement. Keep scrolling to see for yourself.


A Light-Up Vanity Mirror For Flawless Makeup Every Time

This backlit vanity mirror may be super lightweight and portable, but it’s also super powerful. You can rely on its 180-degree positioning, LED lighting (which you can power with batteries or charge with a USB cable), and multiple magnifying mirrors to ensure your makeup looks flawless every time. It mimics natural daylight, which is the exact type of lighting you want to apply your makeup in to ensure it looks just as good outside as it does inside. Plus, there are miniature compartments built into the base for your tiniest hair and makeup accessories.


These Under-Eye Shields That Act As A Guide For Your Liner (Or Shadow)

These clever, half-moon patches don’t just shield your under-eye area from eyeshadow fallout when you’re applying your makeup — they also help you create cleaner lines when you’re applying your eyeshadow or liner, making the application process both speedy and flawless. You can even use them below your mouth to ensure your lipstick never veers outside of the lines. Also pretty amazing that you get 120 of these patches for just $6.


A Popular Conditioning Cleanser That Keeps Your Hair Color Bright & Fresh

Keep your color-treated hair looking brighter and better than ever with this best-selling conditioning cleanser. It comes in nearly 20 bold and natural shades, from mint green and light pink to brown, gray, platinum, and copper. Simply apply the conditioning treatment to your wet or dry hair, let it sit for up to 15 minutes, and rinse. For less than $25, the conditioner will have you looking like you just stepped out of the salon, even it’s been ages since your last color or touch up. Can’t beat that.

  • Available shades: 19


This Smooth Putty Primer That’ll Totally Amp Up Your Makeup Game

This innovative putty primer from e.l.f. is designed to mitigate the appearance of pores and give your skin a soft, flawless finish. The primer goes on smooth — you don’t need a ton of it, just a light layer after moisturizing — and creates an ideal base for your makeup. Hard to believe that for less than $10, you can achieve a soft-focus complexion worthy of a professional makeup artist.


A Hair-Smoothing Stick For Up-Dos That’ve Never Looked Better

Mascara for your hair? Clever. This hair finishing stick is just the thing to reach for when you’re gathering your hair into a pony or up-do. Simply dip the mascara wand into the tube of clear, plant-based gel and then gently run it along any split ends or unwanted frizzies and flyaways. Seriously, you won’t believe how much better your hair looks when it’s up.


The Trendy Technique That Gives You Fluffy, Feathery Brows Sans Pigment

If you love the look of full, feathery brows, you need to try the “soap brow” method. While standard soap might be an efficient and cost-effective way for you to skip brow gel altogether, for less than $10, this soap brow kit (which comes with two spoolies and two soap containers) offers a nourishing, leave-on substitute that’s specifically designed for your brows. Better yet, the technique ensures your brows stay fluffy and in place all day long, even when exposed to water.


A Five-Piece Brush Set For A More Meticulous Approach To Your Makeup

The quality of your makeup often depends on the quality of the tools you use — and you can count on this five-piece brush set to perform meticulously. The shiny, rose gold brushes come with easy-to-grip handles and oval-shaped brush heads of varying sizes so you’re never without the ideal tool to achieve your desired look or technique. They’re designed to hold creams, liquids, and powders alike, and to give your face a super smooth, soft finish every time. You’ll notice a difference as soon as you start using them. Plus, you get five for less than $10.


This Best-Selling Primer For Bold, Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Every Time

The secret to making your eyeshadow look even better? Eyeshadow primer — and if its 20,000-plus five-star ratings on Amazon are any indication, you can’t go wrong with this one from Elizabeth Mott. The best-selling primer allows for ultra-smooth eyeshadow application, all the while evening out your skin tone, reducing any unwanted creases, and boldening the color of your eye makeup. Its cruelty-free formula is also non-greasy, featherlight, and designed to last. Good thing it’s less than $15, because this stuff is a game-changer — your eyeshadow just won’t look quite as good without it.


A Blue Shampoo That Eliminates Brassy Tones For Brown Hair

Doesn’t matter if you’re a natural brunette or a color-treated one: brassy undertones can still pop up. Fortunately, with John Frieda’s blue shampoo, you can rest easy. The blue toning shampoo acts as a color corrector, neutralizing unwanted brassiness and leaving you with warmer, healthier brown hair. “Definitely love the soft hair feel and moisturizer it adds,” one reviewer raved. “It smells amazing and adds vibrancy to my hair color!” That’s high praise — especially for a shampoo that’s less than $25.


These Mini Makeup Sponges That Are So Much More Useful Than You’d Think

You can depend on these small-but-mighty beauty sponges to make your makeup look flawless, especially when it comes to tricky areas like your under eyes and corners of your nose. Compatible with cream, liquid, and powder products, the latex-free mini-sponges — which are especially handy for “baking” and applying concealer — tout a “three-in-one” multifunctional design: use the rounded side to blend, the pointed side to conceal, and the flat slide to contour. For as much as you can do with them, and for as immaculate as they leave your face, the fact that you get four of these for just $6 is simply amazing.


A Colorless Lip Primer That Makes Your Lipstick Look Better & Last Longer

“Well worth the money,” a fan of this lip primer from Anastasia Beverly Hills raved on Amazon. “It makes whatever lipstick you're wearing look better.” All it takes is one swipe across your lips to reap the benefits: You’ll notice a smoother, hydrated pout right away, and your lipstick will stay on for much longer than you thought possible. It’s great for prepping your lips for lip liner, too.


This 3-Piece Hot Air Kit For Salon-Grade Blowouts At Home

Achieve better at-home blowouts with this three-piece hot air kit from Revlon. The 1200-watt hot tool comes with two detachable barrel brush heads that deliver either a fluffy, ‘90s-style blowout or loose ringlets. In both cases, you can expect intense shine and minimal frizz. Priced at less than $25 (how?), this is one salon-grade styling kit worth picking up.


A Lightweight, Yummy-Smelling Spray That Smooths & Refreshes Your Curls

Better, bouncier curls can be yours for less than $15 thanks to this curl refreshing spray from the Black-owned, natural haircare brand Mielle Organics. The light-hold spray hydrates, adds shine, and refreshes your curls while simultaneously mitigating tangles and unwanted frizz. Boasting an impressive 4.6-star score on Amazon, the spray is winning over shoppers on Amazon for how lovely and hydrating it is — and how amazing it smells (like coconuts).


These Wispy Faux Lashes That Look Natural & Are Easy To Use

These DIY lash wisps are just the thing to give your eyelashes an easy upgrade. They’re so natural-looking, you can’t really call them falsies, and since they’re not an entire strip of lashes, they’re easy to customize to achieve your desired result. Each tray includes 72 clusters and rings up at $10. The brand recommends using a little glue — something like this KISS lash adhesive — to reinforce the adhesive wisps under your lashes rather than above, for a look that’s fuller but not too dramatic. It’s never taken so little to make your lashes look so much better.


A Makeup Setting Spray That Plumps & Hydrates Your Skin

There are so many ways in which this setting spray from NYX will make your makeup look even better: It’s infused with nourishing electrolytes that’ll give you longer wear, it’ll keep your makeup from smearing and smudging, and it’ll make your skin look dewy and plump. “This is one of my top three favorite products ever,” a fan of the spray — there are over 65,000 and counting on Amazon alone — gushed. “My makeup stays put all day and evening until I remove it.” Who wouldn’t want that — and for a mere $10?


These Cute Velvet Scrunchies That Elevate The Simplest Hair Styles

There’s something so romantic about these velvet bow hair scrunchies. Plus, they can make a simple, pulled-back hairstyle look 10 times better. Each of the scrunchies comes with an elastic band and a pre-tied bow you can adjust as you see fit; they’re also gentle on your hair, and won’t crease or pull. Amazon shoppers love how soft, stretchy, and comfy they are — and that you can get six for just $12.


The (Organic) Lip Scrub That’s The Key To Smooth, Flawless Lipstick

Infused with smoothing vitamin E, this popular, organic lip scrub is sure to work wonders on your pout. Available in three delicious flavors — berry, mint, and vanilla — the lip scrub simultaneously exfoliates and moisturizes your lips, leaving them soft, plump, and prepped for flawless lipstick application. Scrubbing away flaky skin not only makes your lipstick go on more smoothly, but makes it look better, too.


A Clever Toning Spray That Keeps Your Blonde Looking Icy & Cool

This Sun Bum toning spray is a simple, cheap, and effective way for natural and color-treated blondes to combat unwanted brassiness. Infused with soothing violet extract and blue spirulina, the leave-in treatment not only neutralizes brassiness with a cooler tone, but also conditions and mitigates unwanted frizz. (Plus, it smells like pineapples.) Simply apply a spritz or two of the spray into your hands, then run it through your freshly washed and conditioned hair for optimal results. Your blonde will never have looked better.


A Color-Correcting Palette That’ll Change Your Concealer Game Forever

The pro secret to flawless concealer? Using color theory to address any underlying concerns, such as unwanted redness or sallowness, by way of a color-correcting palette. This one from SHANY not only contains color-correcting shades, but several concealer, contour, and highlighter shades for different skin tones, too. It’ll take your concealer game to the next level, and like all SHANY products, it’s PETA-certified cruelty-free.


This Clever Eyeliner Stamp For Perfect Cat Eyes Without Any Effort

Get a better grip on your eye makeup with this clever, winged eyeliner stamp. The double-sided tool — you stamp with one end and then define with the other — helps you achieve a professional-grade look for just $15, and no matter how late you stay out, it won’t smudge or fade. “I love winged liner but i don’t have the steady hand for it without mistakes,” one of the stamp’s 20,000-plus fans on Amazon explained. “This makes the perfect and consistent wing every time. Love it!”


A Convenient Touch-Up Kit To Make Your Roots Look Natural & Thick

You won’t regret spending a mere $20 on this handy, dual-purpose touch-up kit. If you’re in between salon visits and notice any unwanted roots showing, simply dip the kit’s precision brush into the mineral-based powder and glide it along your hairline to make them virtually disappear. You can also use the powder to give your hairline a thicker, fuller appearance, which is a pro hack for creating flawless ponies and up-dos. Either way, this kit will ensure your hair looks so much better than it did before.

  • Available shades: 4


This Clever Hair Tool That Gives You Perfect Beachy Waves Every Time

With its clever barrel design and multiple heat settings that make it suitable for all hair types, this styling tool from Bed Head instantly (and effortlessly) creates perfect beachy waves, and gives already texturized hair even better movement. To use, clamp a small section of your hair between the barrels, starting at the roots, and then release after a few seconds — couldn’t be easier. You’ll love the salon-grade waves it delivers — and that the hot tool, which comes with automatic shut-off for safety, costs less than $25 on Amazon.


The Microfiber Hair Towel That Cuts Down On Breakage & Frizz

If your hair’s thick and slow to dry, you’ll love this quick-dry hair towel. Made of absorbent, heavy-duty microfiber, the towel immediately gets to work on cutting down your drying time by up to 50%, ultimately leaving your hair damp instead of soaking, and making the styling process quicker, easier, and so much better. Since it’s so soft and gentle, it also helps cut down on breakage and unwanted frizz, and its thin, light design means you can travel with it easily.


A Cult-Favorite Primer That Makes Your Skin As Smooth As Velvet

For less than $20, this primer from popular J-beauty brand DHC promises to give you a smooth, flawless canvas with its unique, powder-gel formula. Use the mattifying gel, which goes on super smooth, to prep your face for makeup, or wear it by itself to flaunt your clear, baby-soft skin. You only need to use a small amount to achieve the finish you want — and you’ll be amazed at how much better your skin looks and feels right away.


The Makeup Artist Secret To Perfecting Precision Eyeliner Looks

Painters’ brushes, like these, are a favorite among celebrity makeup artists for applying flawless eyeliner and other precise detail work. For less than $10, you can score a nine-piece set of detailing brushes so you can nail even the most complicated eye-makeup looks and techniques like a pro. Bonus: If you’re a DIY nail art enthusiast, these will definitely come in handy for your at-home manicures, too.


A Satin Hair Bonnet To Protect Your Style While You Sleep

Go to sleep in this satin hair bonnet and wake up with your style still perfectly in tact. Made of a comfy, breathable, soft satin fabric, the bonnet is designed to lock in your hair’s moisture and natural oils, all the while mitigating dryness, breakage, and unwanted frizz while you catch your ZZZs. For just $15, how could you refuse?


These Exfoliating Razors For Flawless Brows & Super-Smooth Skin

You can do so much with these clever, Schick Hydro Silk razors, including brow shaping, hair removal, and exfoliating (or dermaplaning, a buzzy technique that involves shaving your face for a smoother look and feel — something that makes your makeup look a lot better). Plus, they’re so small, you can take them with you wherever you go for whenever you need a touch-up.


The Underrated Beauty Tool That Makes A Surprisingly Big Difference

A lot of people skip the step of curling their eyelashes, but it actually makes a huge difference. Available in four striking colors, this best-selling eyelash curler is designed to fit a range of eye shapes and to apply an even amount of pressure to effectively lift your lashes without any tugging or pinching. For less than $15, the curler comes with a satin storage bag and two refill pads, too. Steal.


A Volumizing Powder That’ll Take Your Hair From Limp To Lustrous

Is your hair looking a little flat between washes? For less than $10, this volumizing powder from Biosilk can make it look so much better. The powder absorbs your natural oils at the roots, leaving it voluminous and safe from the sun with its built-in UV protection. You won’t get over the lightning-fast transformation — or how soft and refreshed it makes your scalp feel.


This Moisturizing Lip Cream That Prevents Your Lipstick From Feathering & Bleeding

Even the driest lips can look and feel better with this lip cream from Elizabeth Arden. After you’re done washing your face in the morning, and before you apply your lipstick, rub a dot of the moisturizing cream into your lips and around your lip area. It’ll immediately get to work mitigating dryness, but as far as improving your makeup goes, it also prevents your lipstick from feathering and bleeding (and makes it go on more smoothly, too).


An 8-Second In-Shower Treatment That Makes Your Hair Soft As Silk

Did you know that one bottle of L’Oreal’s world-famous Wonder Water is sold every minute? Of course, that’s no surprise, considering it only takes a mere eight seconds for the rinse-out treatment to transform your hair. Infused with moisturizing properties and damage-defying amino acids, the treatment leaves hair of all textures looking (and feeling) silky-soft and smooth. You’ll notice the difference after just one use, and would be hard pressed to find a faster way to make your hair look better.


This Eyelash Brush Comb Separator For Smoother, Sky-High Lashes

Even your favorite, clump-free mascara is prone to, well, clump. It’s an inevitable part of the application process, but one for which there’s an easy workaround: an eyelash separating comb. This one in particular comes in three different colors, is specifically designed to fit the curve of your eyes, and only costs $6. It also features evenly spaced metal teeth that, when compared to other brush separators, are positioned closer together to give you better results. Plus, it’s super lightweight and won’t take up much room in your cosmetic bag.


A Keratin Hair Oil That Smooths Frizz, Adds Shine, & Softens Dry Ends

Made with a powerhouse combination of keratin and argan oil, this weightless, floral-scented hair oil does it all — protects, restores, hydrates, and smoothes — and is suitable for all hair types. Work it into the ends of your wet or dry hair, and be amazed at just how much better your hair looks and feels — especially if you’re dealing with pesky split ends. As a bonus, it gives you incredible shine.


This Flat-Top Foundation Brush That Makes For Better Blending & Buffing

This Kabuki foundation brush is made of durable, synthetic fibers designed to feel just as soft as real hair. Ideal for blending and buffing, it endeavors to outperform your beauty sponges with its flat-top construction and non-absorbent, easy-to-clean bristles that’ve undergone thorough testing to resist shedding. With over 25,000 fans on Amazon and an impressive 4.6-star rating, the brush is winning over customers for how compact, soft, and cheap it is. “Best foundation brush I have ever owned,” one contented shopper raved. “It's a complete steal for around $10 and I'm never buying a $50+ foundation brush ever again!”


A Jar Of 1,000 Elastic Hair Ties That Blend In With Your Hair Color

These natural-looking, elastic hair ties blend right into your hair so you can’t even tell they’re there, making your hair style look so much more polished. They’re super stretchy and durable, too. You can count on them to hold your up-dos and half-ponies in place all day long without leaving any irritating creases behind. Pretty amazing that you can get a jar of 1,000 for just $6.

  • Available colors: 7


This Spa-Grade Gel Mask That Soothes & Depuffs Tired Skin

Now here’s an at-home face treatment that, for less than $25, will have you looking and feeling as if you just stepped out of the spa. Though it can be heated up in the microwave, for beauty purposes, you’ll want to use it cold — throw it in the freezer and savor the benefits: a calming and luxurious experience that soothes your skin and eliminates any unwanted puffiness. The cooling effect can help alleviate allergy symptoms, tensions headaches, and other related ailments, too.


The Best-Selling Detangling Brush That Combs Through Knots Painlessly

If your hair is prone to tangles and knots, this best-selling detangling brush will definitely make tackling them a whole lot easier. Made with gentle, cone-shaped bristles that use a clever, sideways approach to work through your hair— massaging your scalp and stimulating circulation at the same time — the brush leaves all hair types smoother, softer, and shinier. It’s less than $15 and comes in lots of fun colors, too — like purple, pink, coral, and the pretty turquoise pictured.


A Set Of Satin Pillow Cases That Protect Your Skin & Hair

For less than $10, you can ensure that your skin and hair get a better night’s sleep with these satin pillowcases from Bedsure. Available in over 20 colors including champagne, Burgundy, and this silver gray pictured, the zipper-free, envelope-shaped pillowcases — which are more durable than silk pillowcases and gentler than regular cotton ones — help prevent hair breakage, tangles, skin irritation, and more. “I have seen a noticeable difference in my hair in the mornings and overall they are so smooth and comfortable to sleep on,” one of 175,000-plus (!!) fans of the pillowcases raved on Amazon. “Life changing!”


This Hot Air Brush That Smooths, Dries, & Straightens Your Hair At Once

You can use this clever hot air brush on your wet head after a shower, or on hair that’s between washes and could use a pick-me-up. Either way, this handy tool is about to make your at-home styling process so much easier. Featuring two heat settings and a cool shot option, the 600-watt brush relies on its heat-activated, detangling bristles to speed up drying time and deliver intense shine. What’s more, its built-in ionic generator helps to smooth your hair and eliminate any unwanted frizz. How is it only $20?


An ACV Rinse That’ll Keep Your Hair Shiny, Healthy, & Strong

Use this gentle, soothing apple cider vinegar rinse — which is suitable for all hair types and made with a restorative combination of vitamin E and rice water — twice a week, and be amazed at how quickly it takes your hair from dull and tired to soft, shiny, and healthy. It’s a great way to clarify and refresh your scalp, which will help contribute to better hair all around.

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