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Everyday Beauty Products That Balance Quality & Affordability

Above and beyond clothes, the stakes are highest in the hunt for affordability and quality when it comes to skincare and makeup.


A woman’s wardrobe is usually referred to as one of her biggest shopping challenges. Above and beyond clothes, the stakes are highest in the hunt for affordability and quality when it comes to skincare and makeup.

Beauty products are a killer—whether it be your wallet or your skin. When you save some bucks with drug store products, you may experience an allergic reaction, discomfort, or just plain disappointment from the products.

Although they may not be ideal for everyone, I have compiled some of my favorite beauty products that walk the affordable and quality tightrope.

Bio Oil

If you looked up ‘life saver’ in a dictionary, you would find a photo of a bottle of Bio Oil. This stuff is liquid gold (not actually—I know that is a beauty trend as of late).

They combine a multitude of oils including sunflower seed oil, lavender oil, and rosemary leaf oil to create the product.

Whether it be stretch marks, dry skin, scars, or any other skin imperfection you can imagine: Bio Oil has you covered. They do have a variety of products that are tailored to different needs, but I have personally found their Skincare Oil for scars and stretch marks to be incredibly versatile and have unequivocal results.

Bio Oil was first recommended to me by a nurse to treat eczema*. She claimed the oil had drastically improved the appearance of her own scars. Given that not even the most potent prescription topical steroid was of any use, I decided to give Bio Oil a shot—and I am glad I did.

It has been the only product—including the prescription steroids—to consistently improve my condition.

Although it does not heal the open wounds, it certainly helps soothe them and improve their appearance. In addition, it helps to moisturize my skin. I even use it on my face on occasion instead of buying a jumble of fancy oils and serums.

*Please consult your doctor prior to using Bio Oil as a treatment for medical conditions, particularly those involving open wounds. I was lucky it never stung, burned, or irritated my flesh. Always double check with a medical professional! Every case is different. It is also important you eliminate the possibility it may interfere with any current topical treatments you are using.

Kiko Milano Skin Tone Concealer

Do not write this product off simply because they only have nine shades to chose from…including two color correctors. This concealer is my go-to.

For only eight dollars (hurry–it is on sale for five) the Kiko Milano Skin Tone Concealer is a must-have.

This product checks all the boxes: affordable, blends well, great coverage, and natural look. There are many times I simply throw this on under my eyes and over blemishes with some setting powder and run out the door. I have not found it to be cake-y or spotty—always natural and smooth.

Garnier SkinActive Rose Water Products

I love this line of products—and I cannot emphasize this enough. I use the micellar water, facial mist, and twenty-four hour moisture gel daily. This is coming from someone who, for the first nearly two decades of my life, never put any product void of makeup on my face.

After consistent use of the products, there is visible improvement in my skin. In addition, I feel it is healthier and softer. Even my mom commented on how my skin had improved—which is quite the endorsement (love you, Mom☺️).

I chose the rose water line over the basic products because of their soothing quality. My skin is very prone to inflammation. Having everything from my cleanser to a quick mist actively soothing my skin is very important to me.

Kiko Milano Unmeasurable Length Waterproof Mascara

This mascara is legitimately waterproof.

I am not talking three-pints-of-Ben-and-Jerry’s-after-you-were-dumped-over-text waterproof. I am talking all of that…in the middle of a hurricane. This shit does not budge.

It is almost annoying how long this lasts. I am not exaggerating when I say I have exercised, swam, showered, and slept with this on—without using primer or a setting spray—and l saw little to no product under my eyes. And I do not even have to reapply in the morning; I just run a clean spoolie through my lashes to separate them.

Kiko’s Unmeasurable Length Mascara also gives your lashes a fuller, longer look—without a lash lift, primer, or curler.

Recently, I have begun using Kiko’s Base Coat Mascara. But full transparency: I usually couple it with a different product. The Base Coat and Unmeasurable Length give your lashes almost too much body when used together. It can be done and still look good, but it is all too easy to cross over into the ‘Russian hooker’ look.

I hope these products help on the hunt to balance the affordability and quality scale. It is a tricky one that has seen far too many causalities.

That being said, drug store products should not be overlooked nor discredited because of their price or what shelves they sit on. Some of these products have been able to do what hundreds of dollars of prescribed medication and multiple doctors appointments could not.

Sometimes the perfect product is closer—and cheaper—than you think.

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