5 Budget Beauty Buys to Try

5 Budget Beauty Buys to Try

Hue News: John Frieda Colour Gloss
Whether you have your hair professionally colored or do it yourself at home, that just-colored look is luxurious. To minimize damage on my hair I’ve taken to coloring less often and using a root touch-up kit in between colorings. But the John Frieda line has introduced yet another color booster for tresses for in between colorings: a Colour Refreshing Gloss, designed to be used weekly to enhance tones in hair. I’ve used the gloss for warm blondes and indeed my color was bumped up slightly to a richer blonde hue. I’m all for quick and easy solutions (and saving money, too) and this gloss will be a regular part of my hair-care routine. $12.99, Walgreens

Sexy Shimmer: L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish
As a certified magpie I’m constantly on the hunt for sparkly stuff. Even if I can’t don sequins and sparkles every day, I figure my nails can at least represent. L’Oreal just came out with an amazing collection of rich, sparkly colors with names like Too Dimensional? and Rough Around the Edges. Shades range from glittery rose gold to deep violet-gold. All of them offer serious shine and a bit of playfulness to your digits. $5.99, CVS

Brighten and Tighten: Burt’s Bee’s Brightening Eye Treatment
I’m a big fan of Burt’s Bees products: I love that they’re all ninety-nine percent natural and don’t contain any parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals. Their new Brightening line is infused with Daisy extract and has a moisturizer, toner, cleanser, serum and more that claim to lighten dark spots and even skin tone. I picked up the Brightening Eye Treatment to give it a try. With winter’s serious chilly temps it’s important to have an eye cream that plumps up under the eye to avoid crepiness. I tested this cream against my previous eye cream and so far, I like it. It absorbs quickly but still leaves my eyes feeling hydrated and refreshed. $19.99, Walgreens

Excellent Eyes: NYC HD Trio Eye Shadow
The past few years I had become jaded about drugstore eye shadows—I had found their pigment to be lacking and the color never quite turned out how it looked in the package. Because I couldn’t sample them in-store, I had taken to buying shadows exclusively at Sephora because the quality is always there. But I needed a revamp—and I didn’t want to spend a lot for colors I wouldn’t wear as often, so off to Target I went. I happened upon New York Color’s eyeshadows and picked up a trio consisting of white, silver and charcoal shades for only $2.99. I was pleasantly surprised that the color didn’t disappoint, and gave me a sophisticated smoky eye for a song. A definite must-buy again! $2.99, Target

A Polished Pucker: NYX Lip Gloss
NYX bills itself as a “professional quality cosmetics” line—yet is sold at Target for astonishingly low prices—under $10 for their lipsticks and glosses, for example. Having used the Soft Matte Lip Cream for a photo shoot before, I was intrigued by their offerings and checked out the line. I discovered I like their Butter Gloss and yes, the Soft Matte Lip Cream. Frequently lip glosses are formulated to be sheer—but I prefer my gloss to have some punch to it. Both of these lip enhancers have plenty of pigment yet are natural looking enough for everyday use. If you like a bit of shine I’d recommend the Butter Gloss, and if you want more of a lipstick look but in gloss/lipstick hybrid, check out the lip cream. $4.99 and $5.99, Target