Best Beauty Buys Under $50

Raise your hand if you love to try new beauty products. If I like a product, I’m a bottom of the jar kind of woman but if it’s lousy, I’ll return or donate it. Gone are the days when I’m willing to spend hundreds of dollars on skin care products. My budget won’t allow it plus there are so many great alternatives that often have identical ingredients, so why pay more?

I prefer cruelty-free products that don’t have a lot of nasty chemicals in them. There’s no need to expose ourselves to questionable ingredients when there are safe and effective ones available.

Here are a few of my best beauty buys that are under $50.

Cosmetic Skin Solutions

I love this brand and have been ordering it for years. When my new dermatologist recommended this SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($126.98) as a better option, I bought it… exactly once. It’s a cult favorite for many but oxidized and turned orange too quickly. Once a Vitamin C oxidizes, it loses it’s potency so you’re wasting your time and money.

I also tried this cosmetic skin solutions vitamin c serums for a fresh complexion on A Well Styled Life

I prefer this  Supreme Serum C E which is a high-quality cruelty-free alternative at a fraction of the cost, ($39.95). It’s made in the USA with no oils, parabens or other nasty chemicals. I just ordered this Vitamin C Eye Gel that comes in at a whopping $29 and seems really nice so far. It contains Hyaluronic Acid (highly moisturizing) and Asiatic Acid which is a strong antioxidant. This Vitamin C is so affordable I feel comfortable spreading it down my neck and chest and on the backs of my hands.

Sign up to receive new posts delivered to your email with fresh style and exclusive content just for subscribers

The Ordinary

At one point I had an entire shelf of products from ordinary and Niod skin care products on A Well Styled LifeThey are a company out of Canada that is well known for its low priced products with cutting edge formulas. Some of their products work very well, other’s leave a lot to be desired.

This Ethylated Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) is a reasonable price and photostable but left an oily film on my skin. Their Azelaic acid is wonderful! I use it every morning to reduce inflammation and help keep my rosacea at bay. It’s non-greasy, brightens my complexion and helps keep my pores clear. I much prefer using this to the three prescriptions that my dermatologist prescribed.

Pur Body Naturals Dead Sea Mud

I don’t have many blackheads but I do have the white alternative. They’re called sebaceous filaments which clog the pores around my nose and eyes with sebum. Sebum is a natural product of our pores but that doesn’t mean I want to keep it. My skin is way too fragile for scrubs. When my daughter brought me some Dead Sea Mud from her trip to Israel I realized it was the answer. I also have some clay masks but mud just works better. This Dead Sea mask has a cult following for a good reason. It’s free of toxins and nasty chemicals. It’s made in the USA and filled with natural ingredients including shea butter and essential oils. This has become a Friday night ritual.

Lash and Brow Booster Serum

I’ve tried multiple eyelash serums with varying results. The latest one was stupidly expensive, stung my eyes, left them red the next morning, and darkened the skin along my lash line. It was reported to be totally safe but I have since learned it contained prostaglandins which have the ability to not only darken your skin but can also change the color of your Iris, which I don’t want.

This Organys Lash and Brows Booster Serum is prostaglandin, color, fragrance, paraben, sulfate, phthalates, SLS, PEG, and gluten-free. It’s not tested on animals and has great reviews on Amazon so I just ordered it and will keep you posted.

Rosehip Oil

I’ve been a fan of organic Rosehip oil for years. It’s available at all prices points. I’ve tried many versions but always go back to this one by Aura Cacia because you just can’t beat the price. I love what it does for my skin and the cost is totally affordable.

These are just a  few of my favorites.

Do you have some organic, cruelty-free products you love that are affordable?

Please share in the comments.


Thanks for reading and have a great day.





  1. Really enjoyed this post and the comments are helpful- a community of helpfulness! Please continue to keep us posted. What I especially like is that you recommend a variety of products and you are not a salesperson pushing a particular brand.

  2. I went on almost no carb diet for about 5 years. The rosacea, sensitive skin, and restless leg syndrome disappeared. Now, in retirement with my husband 24/7, it’s too hard to eat like that without being a PIA. Restless leg is returning but skin problems are not. Probably no sugar or I would have outgrown this anyway. But, Lord have mercy my skin is so dull and old looking. I don’t know what to do. I used some vitamin C serum and my skin felt wonderful but appearance was unchanged.

  3. I love this post. Thank you for the great information and I would love to read more about other products that work well for you.

  4. I agree with you, Jennifer, about The Ordinary products, as I too have tried quite a few. There are two I really like. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% leaves my skin soft and plumped and really minimizes the larger pores on my nose. HA Blur is a wonderful primer which disappears into my skin but provides a great base for makeup. Each cost under $10.

    My daily go-to products are the Toleriane line from La Roche Posay. Since I started using the Ultra Fluid, the Ultra Eye contour, and the Dermo Cleanser, my ultra-sensitive skin has completely calmed down — no more red, itchy patches on my face or eyelids. And these products are all under $30.

    1. I tried the Blur several years ago but was starting too many new things at the same time so couldn’t tell what was doing what. On average, it’s a great line!

  5. Thanks Jennifer for this post! I recently changed from the skinceutical vitamin c to a much cheaper product from Amazon that has the very same ingredients. It does a great job on my skin and I’m pleased and save the extra money for other things. I ordered the eye lash and brow serum hope it helps my almost bare eyebrows.

  6. Thank you for this! I have spent crazy amounts of money on skin care over the years. Now I do a lot of research to see what is worth it and where it is unnecessary. Always looking for recommendations!

  7. I am constantly trying different products for my skin. I’ll see something advertised and have to try it or I’ll read something online and buy it. I just don’t know what I should be using for my skin or in what order it should be used. I guess I should go to a dermatologist or an esthetician and see what they recommend. At 66, I have lots of age spots and those white spots around my nose. Oh, and would someone please explain why all the hair that used to be on my head has moved down to my chin! I really hate that.

    1. I’m with you Phylis. Sadly I’ve found dermatologists and esthetician’s recommend what they sell, which they make income from. After cutting myself shaving one too many times I now use an at home electrolysis.

    2. I’m with you Phylis. Sadly I’ve found dermatologists and esthetician’s only recommend what they sell. After cutting myself shaving one too many times I now use an at home electrolysis machine.

  8. Thank you for today’s subject and everyone’s recommendations.
    At 72, my husband suffers from later-life rosacea, and “exploded mine field” is an apt description for the appearance of his face. He no longer wears his hats, summer or winter, as they exacerbate the problem. I will read more about chemo cream and tell him about it. He does see a dermatologist and receives treatment lotions, having mediocre results.
    Myself, I’m a lot like you, Jennifer. I’m fair, have thin skin, am sensitive to products, and burn in the sun within 15 minutes. I’ve used LaMer for years and years and years and I love it! My 62nd birthday is two months away, and I frequently receive good comments on the condition of my skin. I’m open to new products, particularly “clean” products that work and have a good price point. I will be exploring lots of those listed today.
    I would love to see a follow-up or continuation of this subject in the future, hearing from others as well as yourself. Thank you, and enjoy Sunday!

    1. My rosacea just started at 62! That’s crazy. I have the type that breaks out into tiny pimples. Tons of them. Azeliac acid is very helpful for it and when things get crazy I take a very low dose of antibiotic.

  9. Eating only foods that are good for you and drinking plenty of water is the best thing you can do for your skin. A simple moisturizer and cleanser from the drug store like Aveeno is great if you are on a budget. Sometimes we just punish our skin with too many products. Homemade masks like egg whites, honey, lemon, avacoda etc will often work as good as the expensive products. Maybe I’m just cheap.?

  10. Thanks so much for the info and for featuring cruelty free products. I have put several of these on my list ( and will be on the lookout for your review of the lash serum. I am having terrible skin problems at 54 ( hormones…) I have been using drunk elephant products which are pricey but have calmed some of the inflammation. I’ll be looking for less expensive alternatives where I can. I love getting your new posts!

  11. Although I know I have ruined my skin due to sun exposure 50 years ago when I was a teen, (Sailing and swim team)- I have very good looking skin. My dermatologist tells me it’s genetics and the fact that I have never smoked. I find that everything from Target 7, and Oil of Olay to Lancome, Clinique, Nerium, and Melaleuca work great for a while and then I have to switch them up. Mostly I like how they make my face feel. Most importantly protect your skin from sun.

  12. I love the Thrive cosmetics - They produce products that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, plus they give back to organizations that empower women (the list of the organizations that they support is on their website. I particularly love their foundation and their eyeliner and mascara. They absolutely do not smudge during the day – amazing.

    Order online. Not an MLM. Located in the USA. Great customer service. Reasonably priced.

    1. I have not tried Thrive’s foundation, but love their mascara and especially the eyeliner! I’m super-sensitive when it comes to eye makeup.

    1. Eye creams with caffeine are reported to shrink swelling and I would also look for a great undereye cover. Be sure it’s not too thick or it makes bags look worse. I think layering and using a brush to blend is critical for good coverage around the eyes.

  13. Just looked on Amazon for the Dead Sea Mask. Was very interested however the first three ingredients are water, potato starch and corn starch. Was wondering if your bottle from Israel is the same selling on Amazon? Thanks Jennifer!

  14. After irritating my skin with too many products, I’ve pared my list down to Vitamin C serum from (25.95 and free U.S. shipping), a bit of organic coconut oil as a moisturizer, and Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen. I refrigerate the Vit C glass bottle inside another opaque container to keep out light and pour a little into an extra bottle to keep on my vanity for use each evening.

  15. Jennifer, thanks so much for this great information! Have you found a product that fades age spots (or age blotches in my case)?

    1. Both Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are natural bleaching agents. You simply dab some on with a cotton ball. Then, of course, remember to be diligent with sunscreen to prevent new ones from cropping up.

    1. The Rose hip oil is rich in the antioxidants, A, C, E and essential fatty acids. It’s a natural moisturizer that helps with scarring and fine lines.

  16. I’m apparently on the other end of the spectrum. After using mostly Estee Lauder products for 40-something years, I switched several months ago to Lancome. It is amazing how much better my skin looks and feels. In my youth, I was blessed with oily skin. When it changed to dry skin during menopause, it was very uncomfortable as it always felt tight and pulling. Since I switched to Lancome, my skin feels better and the natural moisture seems to be restored. Sometimes you do get what you pay for. Yes, it is expensive but it lasts a long time and really makes a difference.

    1. It sounds like you’ve found a great line for you. It’s amazing how individual our skin is. I can’t use anything with fragrance anymore. It burns. I agree, sometimes the price is justified by your results.

  17. The Environmental Working Group rates cosmetics and ingredients in cosmetics according to known risks. Of course, they don’t tell you how good/effective the product is and some of their information is not necessarily supported by the mainstream. But it’s my go-to to help me look for red-flag ingredients before purchasing something expensive.

    1. The EWG is one of my go-to sources for sunscreen information. I’ve got a post coming up on the latest updates and what I’m using now.

  18. I tended to slap on some moisturizer and call it a day. A couple of years ago my dermatologist prescribed topical creams for rosacea which really help. Currently I’m using a chemo cream to deal with all the basal cells growing (my face looks like an exploded mine field) but when that’s over I’d like to take a more proactive approach to my skin. Could you outline your morning and evening skin routines? In reading this post I realized I have no idea when to use what!

    1. That chemo cream should have great results for you. It’s rough during, but preferable to cutting and freezing zillions of spots off. I will put together a post on my
      Morning and evening routine.

      1. A routine would be great, Jennifer! I was thinking the same thing. What in the world does she do with rose hip oil!! Obviously, I need some suggestions too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.