Now that a carton of eggs costs seven bucks, there’s a good chance your skincare budget isn’t what it used to be. But I’m here to tell you it’s going to be ok.

As Motherly’s Senior Commerce Editor, I’m fortunate to be able to test more beauty products than I have actual skin for. Unfortunately it has turned me on to many costly, bougie products that I never want to be without. However, it has also taught me that paying more doesn’t always mean getting more–and that some inexpensive beauty products can check all the same boxes. (Case in point–my favorite drug store moisturizer.)

A fresh, healthy face doesn’t require a monthly facial and Gwyneth-approved makeup and skincare. (But it does require hydrating, so this is your reminder to go get a glass of water.) Luckily, there are plenty of products out there that cost less than that (also very necessary) latte. I’ve scoured the internet for the best beauty products under $5* that will keep you looking and feeling like your best self, and even offer a few minutes of pampering in the process.

From outrageously inexpensive (but awesome) mascaras to soothing eye masks that banish the blue in less than ten minutes, mamas need these cheap beauty products in their bathroom STAT.

*Two products are just a hair over but given that everything costs a bazillion dollars these days, I made an exception.

Best beauty products under $5

acure Radically Rejuvenating Under Eye Hydrogel Mask


Radically Rejuvenating Under Eye Hydrogel Mask


The one, two punch of Acure’s Radically Rejuvenating Under Eye Hydrogel Mask is an up-all-night mama’s BFF. The under-eye gels are delightfully cooling (even more so if you pop those bad boys in the fridge first) thanks to soothing cucumber and Persian Silk Tree extract that helps de-puff and hydrate.

Promising review: “I bought these the first time and my daughter and I were doing facials. I took them off and my 20-year old daughter was shocked at how well they worked on the puffiness under my eyes. I was too. They are worth the money-they really work!”

Wet n Wild Breakup Proof Liquid Eyeliner

Wet n Wild

Breakup Proof Liquid Eyeliner


A good liquid eyeliner is hard to find–and definitely a category where spending more doesn’t always pay off. This highly-rated bargain comes recommended by make up artists and makeup enthusiasts alike who rave about everything from the precision tip to the cry-proof formula itself.

Promising review: “Let’s just start off by saying I was skeptical because I haven’t regularly worn eyeliner until recently and the first one I got was absolutely terrible. BUT THIS EYELINER! Although I didn’t go through a breakup I did watch the series finale of The Walking Dead and I sure cried more than a breakup could ever make me. I 100% recommend this eyeliner, although the occasional small smudge due to my forgetfulness that I was wearing it is annoying, but just a small wipe away is necessary! It’s affordable! And simple! I love it and hope you’ll love it too! (And hope it’ll save your eyes from the series finale of your longest running favorite show)”

Elf wow brow


Wow Brow


Without a doubt, defined eyebrows contribute to a fresher, more awake appearance—and this magic wand is a top pick for brow experts and novices alike.

Promising review: “This product performs better than other tinted brow gels that cost 3-4, even 5 times as much, which is pretty impressive at this price. I will probably buy two at a time now, to ensure I have it. It looks very natural, which is my preferred brow look. You can also apply multiple coats with no flaking or stiffness. I buy the darkest shade (black brown). My only issue is that I wish it came in black. Otherwise, this is pretty impressive. It’s on par with Glossier Boy Brow (Black was my color, but it’s not a vegetarian product, which deeply annoys me), and Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows gel. And it’s way better than Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow gel (in the vial, which I thought would be my new veg holy grail, but the applicator isn’t great which I find shocking for a brand that was built on eyebrow products). I think E. L. F, and to a lesser extent, NYX, represent the true cost of makeup. This is particularly true of E. L. F.”

e.l.f. Instant Lift Brow Pencil


Instant Lift Brow Pencil


If a mascara 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.”

Bliss Eye Got This Holographic Eye Masks


Eye Got This Holographic Eye Masks


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 ♥️”

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal High Definition Concealer

L.A. Girl

Pro Conceal High Definition Concealer


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 27K 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.”

maybelline great lash mascara


Great Lash Mascara


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….”

Tony Moly I'm Real Sheet Mask

Tony Moly

I'm Real Sheet Mask


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.”

essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara


Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara


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!!”

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation


Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation


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. (It’s also a touch over $5 but I’m making an exception due to inflation. Don’t @ me.)

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.)

Patchology Rejuvenating Under Eye Gels


Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels


In your cup or on your face, caffeine is truly an elixir of the goddesses. Along with Hydrolyzed Collagen, these little miracle workers defend against wrinkles and puff by soothing and hydrating in just 5 minutes.

Promising review: “I felt like my eyes got instantly brighter after using these. I suffer from dark under eyes and also puffy and this really helped me look less tired and more glowy!”

Neutrogena Moisturizing Hydro Boost Hydrating Face Mask


Moisturizing Hydro Boost Hydrating Face Mask


Hyaluronic acid is one of my desert island skin care ingredients. There’s nothing like it to blast your face with hydration, plumping out the look of fine lines and contributing to an overall glowy, healthy appearance. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost line offers it in spades, but for a seriously concentrated well, boost, pick up some of these gel masks. Yes, they look kind of frightening in the process, but the result is nothing short of perfection.

Promising review: “I have very dry skin and I swear I heard my skin whisper “thank you” as soon as I put this sucker on. I hope they make a chest, hand and even a leg one in the future!”

A version of this article was originally published on May 13, 2021. It has been updated.