2021 Winners The Best Beauty Products Under $25 Our Byrdie Beauty Awards
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The Best Beauty Products Under $25

Keep scrolling to see which products are best for your body and your budget.

It's no secret we're devoted to finding the best formulas on the market—and that includes the most affordable ones as well. Accessibility is paramount when it comes to building out a consistent beauty routine. The age-old myth that beauty products have to be expensive to be effective is obsolete (it's right up there with the idea they have to hurt to work, right?). So, we're excited to offer up the best in affordable beauty with product picks that are all under $25. There's an exciting mix of skincare, makeup, and haircare for everyone, so go ahead and dig in. Below, take a look at our 2021 Under-$25 Beauty Award Winners.

01 of 07

Best Hydrating Skincare Product

Best Hydrating Skincare Product
Peach Slices Citrus-Honey Aqua Glow $12
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Highlights

  • Lightweight moisturizer-serum hybrid
  • Safe for most skin types
  • Offers ceramides, glycerin, and honey extract
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Cruelty-Free
  3. AAPI-Owned

Learn more: Here's why honey can help acne-prone skin.

"I have combination skin that needs a Goldilocks moisturizer of sorts—not too heavy, not too lightweight; somewhere right in the middle. This ultra-hydrating blend of glycerin and honey extract plumps my often parched skin while ceramides help lock in the moisture. It's also got citrus oils to brighten my skin and protect it against free radicals. Bonus: The honey also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which quells congestion." - Lindsey Metrus, project director

02 of 07

Best Curl-Enhancing Product

Best Curl-Enhancing Product
The Doux Big Poppa Defining Gel $13
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Highlights

  • Non-flaking, non-drying formula
  • Leaves curls defined and bouncy
  • Adds extra shine
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Cruelty-Free
  4. Black-Owned

Learn more: Here's why team Byrdie loves using products from The Doux.

"When I began wearing my hair curly back in 2012, I encountered quite a few gels that left my textured tresses crunchy and dry. Thankfully, there are now curl-enhancing options like The Doux's Big Poppa Defining Gel on the market. The Doux's founder Maya Smith is a licensed cosmetologist who has worked with textured hair for decades. Her natural hair prowess allowed her to develop highly effective products like this gel. It defines my curls, leaving them with a touchable and non-flaking hold. If you're looking for one product to enhance definition, look no further." - Olivia Hancock, associate editor

03 of 07

Best Skincare Mask

Best Skincare Mask
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask $25
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Highlights

  • Made of hydrogel to hold more essence than a standard sheet mask
  • Infused with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and smooth your skin
  • Comes in a pack of 12

Learn more: Here are the benefits of using Hyaluronic Acid on your skin.

"There is nothing better than the soothing, hydrating burst of freshness a good sheet mask can provide. This one is made of hydrogel (which holds up to 50% more essence than a standard paper face mask) and infused with good old-fashioned hyaluronic acid to add moisture and make your skin super supple. The price is another asset, as the set comes in under $25 for 12 masks." - Hallie Gould, associate editorial director

04 of 07

Best Anti-Aging Product

Best Anti-Aging Cream
Burt's Bees Renewal Firming Moisturizing Cream $16
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Highlights

  • Utilizes bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol
  • Clinically shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve firmness, and brighten skin 
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Cruelty-Free

Learn more: Here's why vitamin E can do wonders for your skin. 

"I've noticed volume loss and fine lines over the last year (I blame pandemic stress), so I've been leaning on retinoids more than ever. Though, because the winter months leave my skin quite dry, a great alternative has been this rich cream from Burt's Bees. It's made wtih bakuchiol, a skin-firming ingredient that's been tested (albeit limitedly) against retinol and has been found to produce similar results. It's also got vitamin E and sunflower seed oil to nourish chapped skin, making it an amazing cold-weather moisturizer. It soaks right in with no greasy aftermath, so I can apply before bedtime knowing my pillowcase won't suffer from any residue." - Lindsey Metrus, project director

05 of 07

Best Clarifying Product

Best Clarifying Product
Atticus Mineral Cleanser $15
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Highlights

  • Atticus seeks to demystify skincare for men
  • Kaolin and Bentonite clay control oil throughout the day
  • Refreshing, clean feeling without harsh actives or stripped skin
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Black-Owned
  3. Cruelty-Free

Learn more: Here's why kaolin could be great for oily skin. 

"I have oily and sensitive skin, and because I use retinol and acids throughout my routine, most oil-control cleansers leave my skin feeling irritated. When I tried Atticus's formula, the cleanser became my new holy grail. Upon contact, there's an immediate soothing feeling. After I pat dry, my skin feels fresh and looks matte. Though Atticus's products are targeted to men, the founders do so because they believe skincare shouldn't be gendered. I recommended this cleanser to my brother, too, and now he uses their full C.E.O. Routine Set." - Kathryn Vandervalk, strategy director

06 of 07

Best Protective Spray

Best Protective Spray
Waterless Heat Shield Hair Protectant $7
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Highlights

  • Seals and protects hair from heat up to 450-degrees
  • Suitable for most hair types
  1. Byrdie Clean
  2. Vegan
  3. Cruelty-Free

Learn more: Here are the benefits of citric acid.

"My hairstyling is never complete without some sort of detangler/heat protectant situation. I have really dry strands from balayage and styling tools, so I depend on a little something extra after I wash my hair so I can a. get my brush through it and b. protect it from the heat of my blowdryer and curling iron. This lightweight formula spritzes on evenly leaving my hair feeling soft, hydrated, and noticeably smoother. I don't style my hair without it." - Lindsey Metrus, project director

07 of 07

Best Foundation

Best Foundation
CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation $5
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Highlights

  • Creates a dewy, hydrated finish  
  • Infused with moisturizing coconut milk and aloe extract 
  • Feels light as air on the skin
  1. Cruelty-Free
  2. Vegan

Learn more: Here's Byrdie's full review of CoverGirl's Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation.

"I am all about lightweight coverage. Whether it’s a skin tint, tinted moisturizer, or serum-foundation hybrid, I’m willing to try just about anything that promises a dewy, sheer finish. So when I saw this affordable 'skin milk' from CoverGirl all over my TikTok FYP, I was beyond excited to give it a go. Spoiler: It lives up to the viral hype. The airy formula blends in seamlessly, so my skin still looks like skin, albeit with a glowy, even finish. And unlike some of the other foundation alternatives I’ve tried, CoverGirl’s offering doesn’t melt off my skin after a few hours. The formula is infused with hydrating ingredients like coconut milk and aloe extract, so even though it feels light as air, it packs a potent moisture punch. And you can’t beat the drugstore price point." - Karli Bendlin, senior editor

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