Welcome to Club Mom! Here's your goodie bag. It's filled with under-eye circles, a few fine lines you never noticed before, and a sticker for your back that says "Tell me I look tired. I love that!"
Ok, I'm kidding.
Kids have nothing to do with it. That's just part of adulthood (during a pandemic, no less.)
It's ok, my friend. There's comfort in numbers, and we're all feeling and looking a little extra tired these days. Luckily, there are plenty of products out there to help. And some of them cost less than that (also very necessary) latte. I've scoured the internet for the best beauty products under $5 that will help you look like you actually got a full night's sleep—even if you were awake nursing a baby or staring at the ceiling flipping through your "what to worry about" Rolodex.
From outrageously inexpensive (but awesome) mascaras to soothing eye masks that banish the blue in less than ten minutes, tired mamas need these cheap beauty products in their bathroom STAT.
The one, two punch of Yes To's soothing 2-step eye kit is an up-all-night mama's BFF. The gauzy under-eye masks are delightfully cooling (even more so if you pop those bad boys in the fridge first) and the follow-up lotion sinks in just right. Love it enough to go full size? No problem. They're super affordable and can be found here and here.
Promising review: "It works! The de-puff mask worked! Step 2 helped, dark circles not as bright."
Without a doubt, defined eyebrows contribute to a fresher, more awake appearance—and this little pot of magic is a top pick for brow experts and novices alike.
Promising review: "Better than products 5 times its price. Stays on the whole day with a little setting powder. The brush is an excellent application tool as well. You only need very little and it is likely that half the pot would dry up even before I can use it. Great buy!"
If a pomade is too intimidating or not your style, e.l.f.'s Instant Lift Brow Pencil might be more your speed. The creamy pencil goes on smooth while the brush on the other end tames and combs each hair into place.
Promising review: "THIS IS THE BEST EYEBROW PENCIL KNOWN TO MAN. For the price and the pencil itself... it's insane. The only downside is that the pencil can slide out so easily—but my brows ALWAYS come out natural."
If you indulge in holographic undereye masks and don't put them in your IG stories, did you even indulge? The Eye Got This foil eye masks from Bliss are as effective at banishing those dark circles as they are photogenic. Who says spa time has to look terrifying?
Promising review: "I am in LOVE with this product!! I work 7PM-7AM and during the days I'm off my eyes look horribly scary!! I've tried everything to help with the puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles. Bought this and after 20 minutes my entire household noticed how much brighter and younger my eyes looked!!! Now I can't find it anywhere locally. This is absolutely the BEST product I've recently purchased and will be purchasing more online!!! Thank you for helping me look ALIVE again ♥️"
Who's spent a small fortune trying to find the holy grail product for dark circles? 🙋 Well, pause your search here, my friend. The wide range of color-correcting formulas boasts over 13K ratings from people of all skin tones who have done battle with bags and WON.
Promising review: "After hearing so much about this product (peach) everywhere, and then reading the reviews I figured I would try it before repurchasing my usual dark/eye bag camo Dr.Brandt that's 10x more expensive.
I was shocked with how well it blends, and conceals with over-drying like DrBrandt tends to always do."
No matter how many times I'm tempted by high-end, beautifully packaged mascaras that promise all the length and volume money can buy, I always come back to this OG. That iconic pink tube has been at the top of make-up junkie lists for ages, and it's no surprise, really. The wand manages to coat every last lash and it stays put the entire day without flaking or giving raccoon eye.
Promising review: "I have use this product since I have been 18 years old, for 37 years now... I have never ever had a problem. Once someone gave another mascara as a gift and it was very expensive. She told me that mascara would change my life so I tried it. NOPE!!! The very next day I gave it back and told her no Thank You and went back to my Maybelline mascara never ever to stray again. This is a perfect mascara!!!! Gives you a perfect lash and washers off easy and doesn't smell and goes on smooth...."
Sheet masks are like the puffy stickers of the adult world. I've consistently got a stack of cheery, colorful packets in the bathroom closet that are being saved for just the right moment. The fun offerings from Korean beauty brand TonyMoly are a cult favorite, but for that freshly rested look, we recommend the brightening cherry blossom.
Promising review: "I've tried nearly all the different Tony Molly sheet masks and love them all. They make your skin GLOW! I've been using once or twice a week for the past 5 months. They have transformed my skin. I'll never go back."
Believe the hype! This super affordable mascara followed me around the internet for months, and TBH, I finally purchased just so I could check the box and say I bought, I tried, and so what? Another mascara in the discard pile. But, oh was I WRONG. Like my beloved Maybelline Great Lash mentioned above, the Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect mascara blow expensive options clear out of the water. With just a few coats you can achieve a truly impressive length and volume, no falsies required.
Promising review: "After using Lights, Camera, Lashes by Tarte for the past year, I got tired of breaking the bank over mascara. My sister suggested Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect and I IMMEDIATELY fell in love. It provides dramatic length and great volume. I can honestly say I can't stop looking at my eyelashes in the mirror every single day because of how awesome they look. Also, it is very long-wearing. I go from an 8-hour workday right to the gym and sweat like crazy...and this stuff doesn't budge! I love it!!"
Let's face it (heh!)—sometimes you gotta call in the big guns. With a mind-boggling 66K+ ratings, Maybelline's Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation is the most impressively effective formula for the price and with forty shades to choose from, there's a match for nearly every skin tone.
Promising review: "I have been using this product for many years now. It's always left my face smooth and had nice coverage, no complaints, I"m a repeat buyer. However, this time, when I used this foundation. WOW. I have NO words. The results were absolutely INCREDIBLE!! I mean they must have tweaked the formula because I kid you not, I put some on before work and when I looked in the mirror....I saw Shakira looking back! I didn't have much time to take it off so I had to go work like that. Yall!! When my co-workers saw me they lost their collective minds! They didn't know it was me! They asked for signatures and pictures for hours. When I finally explained what had happened, they finally let me work as myself (A girl still needs to pay the bills). There is one downside to all this. At the end of the day, I used up my entire pack of makeup wipes and I still look like Shakira so I guess this is my life now. I've included a picture of my transformation. True story.*"
(*There's no way this is true, but this review gets bonus points for creativity.)
Uplifting citrusy floral aromatherapy + hydrating coconut extract + lotus and hibiscus flower = refreshed face and spirit in five minutes flat. The jelly-like patches are easy to put in place and feel even better if you chill them before applying.
Promising review: "I bought 3 boxes of these to share with other moms in the neighborhood. Since spas are closed due to the quarantine, these little numbers sounded like the next best thing. They exceeded my expectations! They smell amazing and left me feeling great. My under eyes looked brighter after one use. Absolutely recommend these!"
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