I admit I can be a bit snobby when it comes to my beauty products. It's not that I don't love a deal (believe me, I do), and it's not even that I haven't come across drugstore formulas in the past that worked just as well (if not better) than their prestige counterparts. I do, though, like a pretty-looking product. They're displayed all over my bedroom and bathroom like décor, mostly because I don't have the storage space to house them all out of site, so I like them to look pleasing to the eye.
When it comes down to it, the most beautifully packaged products are of the expensive variety. Or so I thought.
Recently, I tasked myself with finding the best drugstore products (all under $25) that work well and look expensive. Unbeknownst to me, it wasn't that hard to find a ton of great options. Below, find foundations, brow gels, highlighters, and more that offer up really great formulas and look good on your countertop. Keep scrolling for my 15 favorites.
With steampunk-inspired color combinations and 12 highly pigmented shades, Nyx's assortment of metallics, mattes, and a mixture of warm and cool tones provides practically every shade you need for a really cool eye look, with hundreds of different combinations. The colors are rich and velvety, and the texture is easily blendable and really luxe.
First of all, any French product already feels a step above in the chic-looking department, right? La Roche-Posay works and looks like products far higher in price. This foaming cleanser is a blend of prebiotic thermal water, ceramide-3, niacinamide, and glycerin for a clarifying, yet hydrating, wash that works best for oily skin types. It nixes dirt, oil, and breakout-causing bacteria with a gentle, sulfate-free foam that coats and comforts your skin.
Another French drugstore favorite is Avène's sheet mask, a product meant to soothe, calm, and moisturize your skin. It's infused with thermal spring water and adheres to your face like a second skin, immediately cooling and de-puffing any tired or irritated skin. My favorite trick? I keep them in the fridge for mornings when I need an extra pick-me-up and they're just the ticket to feeling better in 20 minutes or less.
Almay created this holographic, iridescent, glitter glow highlighter with a jelly texture, and I couldn't contain my excitement. It feels expensive—soft, blendable, and shape-shifting—while offering up a really beautiful, light-reflecting highlight on par with the more expensive options. Plus it looks like a gem.
It's not that this soap looks especially expensive (though, I'm definitely here for its natural, minimal aesthetic). It's more that every cool girl, actress, model, writer, and other notable human has touted it as their go-to body wash. Its reputation precedes it, certainly, and that's reason enough for my intrigue. The thing is, it's a really beautiful formula, too. It's scented with pure lavender and lavandin oils to calm your mind and soothe your body, all while remaining concentrated, biodegradable, and made with certified fair-trade ingredients.
Cushion compacts feel innovative and fancy, no matter the brand. However, it turns out L'Oréal's version is an incredible one. The cushion allows for the perfect amount of product to be dispensed every time, so ultimately, you're saving even more money. It's a luminous, refreshing formula that provides sheer but entirely customizable coverage. All you have to do is tap for a little refresh.
When Drew Barrymore makes a product, you buy it. You just do. And when Drew Barrymore makes a product as pretty as this one, you keep wearing it. This Poppy Pout offering, a bright-red lipstick, goes on creamy and stays put, keeping your lips hydrated throughout the day and night. It's housed in a gorgeous little bullet, complete with gold and white casing. It's perfect.
After Bliss relaunched, I became obsessed with practically every single one of its products. My favorite of the bunch, though, is this body oil. It's made to smooth and soften your pubic hair (if you choose to keep it) or soothe your skin and minimize bumps and irritation (if you choose to remove it). It's so lightweight, fast-absorbing, and silky. I use it post-shower when I want to feel fancy.
Maybelline's super-thin brow pencil allows you to create incredibly natural-looking, thick brows. One side houses the spoolie, a tool to brush up and feather your brows, while the other has the thin-tipped product. It's so handy, easy to use, and looks good in your makeup bag, too.
Speaking of great brow products, this one is iconic. It's my favorite of the bunch, as it allows for a natural-looking, defined brow shape with a sheer tint. It's never goopy or too much, but rather always exactly what I need. And it comes housed in this pretty little silver tube.
Burt's Bees is mostly known for its lip balm. However, I've heard from more than a few makeup artists that its lipsticks and crayons are the true hero products. This one, a chubby stick with great color payoff, is hydrating and matte at the same time (which is rare). It incorporates jojoba and kendi oils, as well as shea butter for that extra dose of velvety moisture.
Designed to give an intense surge of moisture (my favorite) and help keep moisture locked in (even better), No7's facial oil includes rose-hip and jojoba seed oils to nourish your skin and prevent future dryness. After you apply it, your face feels so soft and supple. With continued use, it helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles too.
Covergirl has the minimalist packaging down with this one—a stunning stick with neutrals and only a bit of copy in the middle. As a concealer, it rules. The soft-brush pen glides on smoothly and the vitamin-infused formula actually brightens your under-eyes for a big, doe-eyed, well-rested final product.
I pretty much always need a good hair mask. My hair is colored, thin, and dry. So when I found a less expensive version that does wonders for my curls, I went for it. This one helps restore your hair's natural integrity courtesy of its high concentration of proteins. It reinforces the hair fiber, hydrates, and leaves your hair silky smooth.
Talk about lit-from-within glow. Catrice's Candlelight shade serum primer offers a subtle golden shimmer to reflect light and illuminate underneath your foundation. I use just a drop (a little goes a long way) and concentrate on my cheekbones, Cupid's bow, and brow bones. You can even mix it in with your moisturizer if you want to forgo foundation all together.
FYI: These are the 15 anti-aging products estheticians recommend to all their clients.