Affordable Beauty Buys for College Students

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Makeup and skincare products can get pretty expensive. As a college student or recent grad, you may be envious of influencers promoting pricey products in pretty packaging. But you don’t have to break your budget to take care of your skin and find makeup you love. Luckily, there are highly-rated affordable beauty products on the market for cash-strapped college students or new grads. Below, some best-selling inexpensive beauty products to consider.*


Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Face Gel Moisturizer for Dry Skin

If you’re in your teens or 20’s, moisturizing may not be a top skincare priority. But regularly moisturizing your skin can prevent signs of aging and give the skin a healthier appearance. While there are pricey skincare creams on the market, you don’t have to splurge for a quality moisturizer. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Face Gel is oil-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free. It’s dermatologist recommended, absorbs quickly, and won’t clog pores.

Neutrogena Oil Free Daily Long Lasting Facial Moisturizer & Neck Cream – SPF 35 Sunscreen

Sun protection should be your number one skincare concern no matter what your age or skin type. In fact, you should wear sun protection every day, even when it’s cloudy. Neutrogena’s Oil Free Daily Moisturizer with SPF won’t clog pores and provides all day moisture without a greasy feel.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for All Skin Types

There’s no need to spend a lot of money on cleanser, as it doesn’t remain on the skin for very long. Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is a perfect option no matter what your skin type. It rinses easily without stripping the skin of natural oils, is hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and won’t clog pores.

Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes

Even if you don’t have time or energy for a full skincare routine before bed, commit to removing your makeup every night. Leaving makeup on can cause acne and clogged pores. Neutrogena’s Makeup Removing Wipes even remove waterproof eye makeup and are alcohol-free and ophthalmologist-, dermatologist-, and allergy-tested.

The skin around the eyes is more delicate than facial skin. As a result, signs of aging usually appear in the eye area first. Therefore, having a specific product for eye skincare is important. Although eye creams can be very expensive, there are affordable options with high ratings that offer comparable results and ingredients. Again, Neutrogena is a great choice as it’s dermatologist recommended and fragrance-free.


ACURE Brightening Facial Scrub
Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, revealing brighter and smoother skin. Acure’s brightening scrub is suitable for all skin types and contains antioxidants and chlorella brighten and refresh. It’s is vegan and certified cruelty-free. Finally, it’s free of parabens, sulfates, petroleum, mineral oil, and silicone.


JACK BLACK – Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

Just as you should protect your face and body from the sun, your lips need sun protection as well. Jack Black’s Intense Lip Therapy Balm with SPF 25 is the perfect solution for those looking to moisturize as well as protect. This $8 lip balm contains antioxidants, vitamin E and green tea to help moisturize and guard against extreme weather.


Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation has a wide range of shades, so you’re sure to find a perfect fit. It’s also buildable and oil-free, offering a poreless smooth finish that looks natural. With four and a half star rating and over 3,000 reviews on Amazon, it’s a safe bet for those wanting an affordable foundation that performs well.

Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

My personal favorite, Maybelline’s Insant Age Rewind Concealer, hides dark circles without creasing or drying. It also corrects redness and brightens dull skin. With most high end concealers costing over twenty dollars, this eight dollar concealer is a steal.

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer

For a healthy glow without the sun damage, bronzer is a great beauty buy. Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer is made with Murumuru, Cupuaçu, and Tucuma Butters from nutrient-rich Amazon. And at only eight dollars, it’s a great bargain when compared to other bronzers of similar quality.

Maybelline Makeup Facestudio Master Strobing Stick

Have you been wanting to try highlighter but are reluctant to put down the thirty or more dollars some popular brands charge? Maybelline’s Master Strobing Stick highlighter is not only under five dollars, but is also made with micro-fine pearls and suitable for sensitive skin. It’s easy to apply and a perfect choice for those wanting to experiment with highlighter without making a big investment.

Milani Baked Blush – Luminoso

Milani’s Baked Blush in Luminoso is a cult favorite among beauty influencers. But unlike a lot of other popular beauty products, it’s under ten dollars. Plus it’s vegan and cruelty free.

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara

Another popular yet affordable beauty product is L’Oreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise mascara. It adds both length and volume without clumping or flaking. Due to it’s ease of application and removal, it’s a great choice for first-time mascara users.

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour

For a low-cost lipstick that keeps lips hydrated, try L’Oreal Colour Riche lipsticks. They offer a wide range of shades for any skin tone or occasion. And at only around five dollars, you can afford to try out a few different colors.

Affordable beauty doesn’t have to mean lower quality. The items above all have great reviews and won’t break your budget. If you don’t want to spend on all of the product types listed, prioritize purchases based on your skincare concerns. You can slowly build your collection over time as you discover what beauty products are essential and which products you can do without.

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