The word “cheap” isn’t usually associated with quality beauty and hair care products, which is why you’re gonna want to keep reading. We talked to 12 professional makeup artists, hair colorists, and stylists to get the scoop on their favorite cheap tricks From tools and techniques to unexpected ways to use products, we’re passing their tricks of the trade along to you today — be prepared to add to cart.
1. Perk Up Your Undereye Area With A Brightening Pen
e.l.f. Flawless Brightening Concealer
To brighten the area under your eyes, New York-based makeup artist
Elisa Flowers suggests adding the following quick step to your makeup routine: “Top your favorite concealer with a brightening pen. Brightening pens like e.l.f. Flawless Brightening Concealer lighten sunken areas and give the illusion of bringing depth forward.” It’s under $10 and has a lightweight, buildable formula to prevent caking, and it’s infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to boost hydration and rejuvenate your undereye area.
2. Give Your Skin A Dewy Glow With A Liquid Illuminator
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator
For that fresh glow and dewy look, makeup artist
Elisa Flowers recommends trying a liquid highlighter. This NYX Born To Glow! illuminator has a lightweight, luxurious texture so that you can easily blend it with your foundation or body lotion to add a little extra shine. For best results, Flowers says, “Apply to tops of cheekbones, eyelids, corner of eyes, collarbones, and add it to body moisturizer to give legs and arms a dewy gleam.”
3. Perk Up Skin With A Touch Of This Powder Bronzer
Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer
The cold winter months can do a serious number on your skin, which is why makeup artist
Elisa Flowers’ cheap trick to perk up your winter skin is one you’ll definitely want to incorporate into your makeup routine. She says, “Try a powder bronzer. Bronzer creates the illusion of a sun-kissed look”. This Anastasia powder bronzer has a matte finish and is easy to build up depending on your desired depth. Flowers says, “Just sweep a light dusting across the nose, cheeks, forehead and jawline for a bit more color.”
4. Make Lipstick Last Longer By Layering A Lip Stain
Clarins Water Lip Stain
If you put lipstick on before leaving the house and find it’s pretty much gone by the time you get where you’re going, follow makeup artist
Elisa Flowers’ clever trick and use a hydrating lip stain. To keep your lips from looking colorless after your lipstick has worn off, Flowers says, “Add a lip stain under your lipstick.” This Clarins liquid lip stain has a matte finish and will actually save you a ton of money in the long run because you won’t constantly have to touch up your lipstick.
5. Relieve Eye Redness With These Cult-Fave Drops That Work In 1 Minute
Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops
Add brightness and relieve redness with just a single drop of these
Lumify eye drops that work in one minute — their effect lasts up to eight hours. Makeup artist Elisa Flowers uses this cheap trick to brighten eyes and says, “It works in 60 seconds and makes eyes look bright, fresh, and awake.” They also come highly recommended by Amazon shoppers who give it an overall near-perfect rating after more than 51,000 reviews.
6. Trim Hair Frequently & Always Use A Heat Protectant
Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Thermal Shine Spray
LA-based celebrity hair stylist
Christine Symonds explains, “Regular and frequent hair trims and limiting excessive heat styling is key. When you do use heat tools or a blow dryer always use a heat protector.” This Clairol thermal spray smooths and protects hair from heat damage, but you can also spray it on finished, styled hair to add extra shine. If you’re dealing with more severe damage caused by excessive chemical processing, Symonds says it may be time for a bigger trim and adds, “Healthy shorter hair will 100% of the time look better than damaged long hair, that’s a fact!”
7. Add Layers To Give Your Hair Movement — Then Keep Em In Check With A Leave-In Conditioner
Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Leave-in Styling Treatment
Celebrity hair stylist
Christine Symonds notes that fluid layers add movement and volume to your hair while drawing the eye up and framing your face. While one-length hair can be gorgeous, especially with shorter lengths, Symonds loves long fluid layers, saying, “It creates a softness to the hair in all lengths and textures” and adds, “To control layers, I use Shimmer Lights leave-in styling treatment for shine and manageability.” Apply it to damp hair before drying and styling or touch up styled hair to refresh shine during the day.
8. Spritz Curls For Definition & Longevity
Bronner Brothers Pump It Up Styling Spritz
Hair stylist, beauty instructor, and author
Darrius Peace shares his favorite trick for ultimate curl definition, explaining, “Enhancing your curls with a little styling spritz can enhance the longevity of your curl definition. I like using Pump It Up. It is a tried-and-true product.” The spray keeps hair in place without any flaking or residue for beautiful, long-lasting curls.
9. Put Foam Rollers In Your Hair For Voluminous Curls
BEAUTIYAND Jumbo Foam Sponge Hair Roller (24-Pieces)
To create voluminous curls without subjecting your hair to heat damage, hair stylist
Darrius Peace recommends foam sponge hair rollers. These 2-inch rollers come in a 24-pack and are comfortable enough to sleep in, so that you can wake up with bouncy curls. Peace notes, “Rolling blow dried hair on sponge rollers can create a beautiful and voluminous curly texture effect on the hair. This is a great way to avoid the harsh treatments of thermal curling irons on the hair.”
10. Sprinkle Baking Soda On Your Scalp For A Cheap Alternative To Dry Shampoo
Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the least expensive and most versatile things you could ever buy — you can use it for baking, cleaning, and you guessed it, even as a hair product. If your third-day hair could use a little refresh and you’re already running late, professional hair stylist Darrius Peace shares this genius tip: “Sprinkling a little baking soda on the scalp can serve as a more natural alternative to dry shampoo.”
11. Add Color To Roots Or A Hairline With This BuildablePowder
BOLDIFY Hairline Powder Root Touch Up Hair Powder
Follow hair stylist
Jerome Lordet’s trick for adding fullness to hair by using a buildable hairline powder. The NYC-based salon director at Pierre Michael Salon shares, “If you’re noticing sparse areas when your hair is in a sleek pony or bun, or just want day-to-day scalp coverage, using a scalp foundation that’s buildable, blendable, and waterproof can help you to achieve the most natural results.” This product comes in multiple shades and tightly locks to your hair follicles, providing lasting coverage until your next hair wash.
12. Using A Hair Diffuser To Create Lush Waves
The Curly Co. Collapsible Hair Diffuser
Create lush, salon-style waves using this
collapsible diffuser that attaches to your blow dryer and eliminates frizz as you dry your hair. Hair stylist Jerome Lordet suggests first applying soft gel to wet hair, then drying it using a diffuser to get defined waves or curls. If you’re nervous about that 90’s crunchy hair look, fear not Lordet says, “The gel won’t become too crunchy with styling but will tame flyaways and help the hair hold its shape.”
13. Use Dry Shampoo & A Teaser Brush To Create Volume
For a voluminous final look, style your hair using this cheap, professional-loved trick shared by NYC-based stylist
Jerome Lordet. “If you’re struggling to add volume to your hair, especially when styling it up or in a braid, add dry shampoo to the roots.” This vegan, organic dry shampoo absorbs oil and removes impurities while infusing your hair with a lovely rosemary-peppermint scent for a refreshing feel. Lordet gives us an additional tip to style dry shampooed hair, saying, “Grab a teaser brush to backcomb the hair. This technique will cause the hair to slightly tangle and create a voluminous final look.”
14. Go With A Wet Look For A Quick Short Hair Style
Alberto Balsam Wet Look Gel
If you have short hair and are looking for quick and easy styling tips, professional stylist
Jerome Lordet points out, “The easiest trick to make your short hair look good in seconds if you have no time to style after the shower is to go for the wet look.” This styling gel delivers a firm hold and Lordet says the best way to use it is to pat your hair with a towel to remove excess water before combing and styling it with the soft gel.
15. Make Your Eyes Sparkle With Shimmery Lip Gloss
Revlon Super Lustrous The Gloss
Revisit glittery lip gloss with a shimmery gloss that delivers high shine without any stickiness. Cosmetologist
Ghanima Abdullah explains that it’s a great way to pick up the light in your eyes and says, “Not everyone is used to the shimmer and shine, but try it and see how much better it makes you look.” This Revlon lip gloss has an oversized applicator so you can easily dab on a generous amount and Abdullah points out another plus to a glittery gloss: “If you have gray hairs coming in, the glitter gloss picks up on those too and makes them look glam.”
16. Line Your Eyes With Brown Liner
L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Satin Glide Eyeliner with Mineral Pigments
Ghanima Abdullah notes the importance of highlighting eyes and says, “Eyeliner is something no one should skip as it brings such a lovely look to almost anyone.” This L’Oreal satin glide eyeliner is easy to apply precisely and is smudge-resistant for all-day comfort. Abdullah also shares a good tip for anyone not used to wearing eyeliner:“Don’t start with black or colored liners, try brown instead. And instead of trying to draw your first cat eye, focus on covering the base of your bottom lashes with the liner. You can get more creative from there!”
17. Use Liquid Concealer All Around Your Eye Socket For Instant Brightness
Maybelline New York Fit Me Liquid Concealer
Ghanima Abdullah suggests using liquid concealer to lighten dark undereyes, but the trick is not to limit its application to your undereye area. “You can conceal tired eyes by wearing foundation or concealer all the way around the eye socket, not just underneath. Once you apply it, you’ll notice that dark under eyes can extend to the corners of the eyes and the lids as well.” For an even finish that won’t clog your pores, this under-$10 Maybelline concealer with over 41,000 perfect ratings is a beautiful choice offering multiple shades to match your complexion.
18. Brighten Your Face With This Unexpected Trick: A Necklace
Bling For Your Buck Thin Italian Box Chain Necklace
Don’t underestimate the power of accessories, not just when it comes to completing an outfit, but also brightening your makeup. Cosmetologist
Ghanima Abdullah says, “Necklaces are close enough to the face to make it light up, even if you’re just wearing a simple chain.” Add some bling on a budget with this 18-karat gold-plated chain that’s an Amazon fave with more than 7,000 perfect ratings. Abdullah adds, “(Chains) go with all types of clothing and are a simple step that can hype up your look regardless of how you wear your hair and clothes.”
19. Use A Powder Puff For A Smoother Makeup Finish
MOTZU Pure Cotton Powder Puff (6-Pieces)
Celebrity and bridal makeup artist
Cara Lovello recommends using powder puffs when you apply powder to achieve a smooth, poreless finish. This set includes six cotton puffs that are triangle-shaped for easy contouring and have a silk ribbon on the back so you can hold the clever makeup tool securely. The wedges are suitable for all skin types and their soft texture helps absorb extra oil.
20. Make Your Brows Fluffier With This Cheap Brow Gel
e.l.f Cosmetics Brow Lift
Give your brows a fuller, salon-style look using makeup artist
Cara Lovello’s cheap trick: potted brow gel. This clear e.l.f version is infused with shea butter and designed to sculpt your brows and keep them in place without the hassle and expense of having to go to a salon. To use this brow soap, dip a damp spoolie in it and brush the product into your brows, creating the desired shape.
21. Apply Moisturizer Under Your Foundation To Prevent Caking
Embryolisse Face Cream & Makeup Primer
Create a seamless makeup finish using professional makeup artist
Cara Lovello’s tip: use a good moisturizer under your foundation. This face cream acts as a makeup primer and is a simple extra step that’ll make a significant difference throughout your day. It smooths and softens skin to create an even base that helps with makeup application and longevity.
22. Prevent Hair Breakage With A Microfiber Towel
AQUIS Microfiber Hair Towel
microfiber hair towel to prevent breakage, smooth hair, and speed up drying time by up to 50%. Celebrity hair colorist Sharon Dorram recommends this technique and explains, “It gently removes moisture without over-drying and damaging the hair.” This towel is suitable for all hair types and it’s the smooth texture that prevents friction and therefore protects wet hair from breakage. “Wrap hair once you get out of the shower. The longer you leave the towel on the drier your hair will be before styling with a heat blow dryer,” Dorram adds.
23. Restore Over-Processed Hair With A Nourishing Vitamin E-Infused Oil
Jason Vitamin E Skin Oil
Celebrity hair colorist
Sharon Dorram shares a trick for restoring over-processed, damaged hair: a nourishing, vitamin E-infused oil. Dorram says, “The longer you leave this in your hair, the better the results,” and suggests leaving it in overnight and rinsing it out in the morning. This popular oil has garnered over 17,000 perfect reviews, it’s under $10, and Durram emphasizes the importance of the Vitamin E, saying it “actually feeds the hair and leaves hair super shiny!”
24. Enhance The Effects Of Leave-In Hair Treatments With This Luxurious Shower Cap
Glow by Daye Satin Lined Shower Cap
An overnight hair treatment is one of the best ways to add nourishment and restore shine, but getting said treatment all over your pillowcase is not exactly ideal. Hair colorist
Sharon Dorram shares that a hair mask is one of her favorite hacks to give relief to over-processed hair and says, “I even suggest my clients wrap their hair with a bandana or shower cap and sleep with this combination overnight for stellar results.” This luxurious satin-lined shower cap is reversible and its waterproof design is gentle on your hair and maintains moisture, which is perfect for leave-in hair treatments.
25. Refresh Blonde Hair With A Gentle Henna Rinse
The Henna Guys Henna Hair Color
Sharon Dorram’s trick to refresh blonder hair that needs a boost? Henna rinse. When using this hack, Dorram says, “Be careful not to leave this on too long. It should really be used as a watercolor rinse to warm up faded blonde or dull, ashy hair color.” Henna is a good alternative to other chemical-containing hair dyes, especially if your hair is damaged from years of heat styling and color processing.
26. Protect Hair From The Effects Of Chlorine With This Cheap & Surprising Trick: Baby Oil
Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil with Aloe & Vitamin E (3-Pack)
Anyone who loves to spend time in the pool knows the effects that chlorine can have on your hair. Celebrity hair stylish
Sharon Dorram has a cheap and clever hack to counteract the damage and it’s not what you’d expect. Dorram notes, “If you are a swimmer like me and hate what the chlorine does to your hair, then try cream baby oil!” Johnson’s baby oil is infused with aloe and vitamin E to make it super hydrating and as for applying it to your hair, Dorram says, “The cream is easy to apply to dry hair and creates a barrier to the water so that your hair stays protected. It is super easy to wash out, and it’s greaseless.”
27. Contour With A Cream Stick
Catrice | Shape & Define Contour Stick
Cream contour sticks are a great way to achieve that effortlessly chic “no-makeup makeup look.” Celebrity makeup artist
Emily Gray says they are one of her favorite products to use on celebrity clients and adds, “They are skin-like, very blendable, and photograph beautifully. I think these products are easier to use than people think and enhance your makeup look by a tenfold.” This dual-end Catrice contour stick is under $10 and to use it, Gray instructs, “Simply take the darker end of the stick and shape out the cheekbones, forehead, jawline, and nose. Then using a sponge or a dense brush blend up! I always say never blend down because it drags your face down.”
28. Don’t Skip The Gloss For A Dimensional Look
Catrice | Lip Jam Hydrating Lip Gloss
Celebrity makeup artist
Emily Gray stresses the importance of mixing different finishes in makeup to create a 3D look and shares that one of her tricks is using a little bit of lip gloss to finish off the lips. Gray explains, “As much as I love a good matte lipstick look, adding a beautiful gloss to just the center of the lip and blending out adds just the right amount of definition and amps up the makeup look.”
29. Give Hair Volumizing Texture With A Dry Shampoo Paste
R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste
If you like dry shampoo in theory but it never seems to
quite do the job, celebrity hair stylist Glenn Ellis suggests using it in a different form. Ellis says, “One of my favorite tricks is using a dry shampoo paste instead of an aerosol. It not only absorbs oils but it adds texture and volume to the hair that can be refreshed throughout the day.” Ellis shares a personal favorite: Badlands Dry Shampoo paste from R+Co., which doesn’t cause build-up and has a matte finish to add volumizing texture to third-day hair.
30. Style Your Hair Easily With These Flat Clips That Won’t Leave A Crease In Your Hair
Madholly No Bend Hair Clips
Flyaways, whether caused by hair damage or baby hairs growing in, can make styling practically impossible.
Glenn Ellis, who has worked with celebrities such as Olivia Wilde and Aubrey Plaza, says, “My favorite thing to recommend to clients with stubborn flyaways, or who have bangs, are flat clips. They are perfect for setting the pieces in place especially if you have a cowlick in the front.” This eight-piece flat clip set is creaseless, meaning the clips won’t leave any marks in your hair and they’re super lightweight for comfortable wear.
Get Salon-Style Voluminous Curls With Self-Grip Hair Rollers
Conair Self Grip Assorted Sizes and Colors Hair Rollers (31-Pack)
Rollers are a cheap and effective way to achieve a professional salon-style look at home. Celebrity hair stylist
Glenn Ellis says, “I love using rollers when I want to add volume to my blowout. It also helps give a polished 90s blowout feel.” This Conair set includes 31 self-grip hair rollers in five sizes that can be used on wet or dry hair to create gorgeous voluminous curls.
32. Use Weatherproof Spray To Stop Humidity From Messing Up Your Style
SexyHair Big Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Finishing Spray
Celebrity hair and makeup artist
Michaeline Becker points to weatherproof spray when it comes to humidity control, saying, “This special product keeps unwanted moisture out of your hair strands and locks in your style, whether you’ve used a curling iron or a flat iron.” The finishing spray works on all hair types and provides resistance to humidity as well as a longer-lasting style.
33. Create The Illusion Of Bigger Eyes With A Beige Eyeliner On Your Waterline
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner
Want to know a makeup artist’s favorite trick?
Michaeline Becker gives us the scoop and shares this amazing tip: “Want to give the illusion of bigger eyes? Try adding a waterproof beige eyeliner to your waterline.” Rimmel’s Scandaleyes waterproof liner comes highly recommended with over 18,000 five-star reviews and its creamy formula is easy to apply and stays put for all-day wear. Becker goes on to say, “This technique will give the appearance of bigger, brighter eyes while still having a natural look. It will also help cancel out redness in your waterline, so you look refreshed.”
34. Use A Blurring Loose Powder To Set Makeup
Honest Beauty Invisible Blurring Loose Powder
Celebrity makeup artist
Michaeline Becker has a simple way to counteract excessive oil and set your makeup that’s simple but super effective: “Use a fluffy brush to apply a little bit of blurring powder in the T-zone of your face to help mask texture and give a smooth finish to the skin.” This Honest Beauty loose powder has a lightweight feel and creates a matte finish, and to take your makeup routine to the next level, Becker shares another genius trick: “Skip the powder on the side of your face so you keep that natural skin glow.”
35. Never Skip A Lash Curler To Open Up The Eyes
Brilliant Beauty Eyelash Curler with Satin Bag & Refill Pads
lash curler is a cheap but powerful little makeup tool that can completely transform your look. Makeup artist Sarah Egan, who is the makeup department head for Late Night with Seth Meyers among other shows, emphasizes how much of a difference it makes. Egan stresses, “Don’t skip a lash curler! It really makes a difference, especially if your lashes are straight, or you don’t have voluminous lashes.” Use the curler to open up the eyes and instantly lift your lashes and make them look bigger and more voluminous.
36. Bend Your Mascara Wand To Get Close To The Lash Line
L’Oreal Paris Makeup Unlimited Lash Lifting and Lengthening Washable Mascara
This bendable mascara is inspired by a makeup artist’s favorite trick: bending the mascara wand. Professional makeup artist
Sarah Egan explains why the trick works, saying, “Sometimes bending the wand so the mascara applicator is horizontal to your lash line makes for an easier and cleaner application.” L’Oreal’s dual-position mascara is easy to build up without clumping and lengthens lashes with a smudge-resistant finish.
37. Hydrate Your Skin With Mask Sheets Before Applying Makeup
Glam Up Sheet Mask (12-Pack)
Enjoy a relaxing moment to yourself and hydrate your skin with one of these
sheet masks. Makeup artist Andrea Claire notes that sheet masks work amazingly well to really hydrate the skin before applying makeup. Claire adds, “Keep them in the fridge as the coldness will help to reduce any inflammation, redness and liven up the skin, while the active ingredients from the products will help with everything else that you’re targeting.”
38. Soften Your Lips With This Cheap, Makeup-Artist Recommended Cream
Homeoplasmine Magic Cream For Dry Skin
Use this soothing,
multi-purpose cream for everything from dry skin and acne, to small cuts, and even your lips. Makeup artist Andrea Claire shares this product as one of her cheap tricks and says, “Homeoplasmine is a gold star cream that I use for lip balm. It absorbs fast, is non-greasy and for everyone.” The cream is infused with calendula and smooths and softens skin, which is why lots of people also use it as a makeup primer before applying foundation.
39. Comb Through Your Conditioner With A Detangling Brush
Crave Naturals Detangling Brush
It doesn’t matter whether your hair is curly, straight, thick or super fine, a
detangling brush is a hair tool everyone should be using according to hair and makeup artist Andrea Claire. “One of the best things that you can do for hair health, regardless of type or length, is to comb through your conditioner with a flexible wide-toothed comb or shower brush before rinsing it out.” This brush has a unique design created to effortlessly glide through tangled hair to prevent pain and breakage, and is small enough to toss in your bag for travel. And it’s an undeniable fave with nearly 50,000 perfect ratings.
40. Replace Heat Styling Tools With This Silk Hair Curler
Elobara Heatless Hair Curler
Skip the heat styling tools and create voluminous curls using this
silk hair curler made from flexible rods that wrap around your hair. It’s designed with comfort in mind so that you can use the curler overnight and wake up with beautifully wavy hair. “So many of my clients are jumping on the heatless curls band wagon and the results are great. I do recommend this for those who want to minimize heat styling,” says hair and makeup artist Andrea Claire.