20 Beauty Splurges vs Steals to Keep Your Budget Balanced

Budgeting is important, especially when it comes to beauty. You have to balance out those splurges you can’t live without by using more affordable products that you love just as much. Here are some spendy hair and skincare products made more affordable by a few great steals.


Splurge (but kind of a steal): La Mer Eye Concentrate

la mer eye cream

At $215, this splurge is a steal, especially if you’re considering getting filler under your eyes (I was). La Mer Eye Concentrate is literally the best eye cream I’ve ever tried. It helps with puffiness, lines and dark circles. It is a complete game changer. Worth every single penny!

Steal: Kopari Starry Eye Balm

kopari vegan eye balm

This hydrating vegan eye balm has caffeine to help de-puff as well as coconut oil and hyaluronic acid to infuse moisture. All of this for only $28.

Super steal: Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Gold Collagen Eye Masks

stella and grace eye patches

At under $22 for 12 pairs, these Grace & Stella eye masks are a big steal compared to similar products. Made with plant-based collagen, keep them in the fridge for when you need an extra pick me up.


Splurge: Phillip B Russian Amber Conditioner

philip b russell conditioner

This conditioner is very splurgy ($65 for a 2oz bottle) but changes your hair even after using it once. It has a blend of L-Amino acids and amber oil to give you that soft, smooth, dreamy, fantasy hair you thought you couldn’t have. Amber oil also smells like heaven.

Minor splurge: Kerastase Bain Magistral Shampoo


If your hair is desert dry and chemically treated, this gentle, but effective shampoo is a must. For $30, it really removes product and sweat without taking away any moisture. It’s magical!

Steal: NatureLab Smooth Shampoo

nature lab smooth shampoo

For just $14 NatureLab comes in a fancy pump bottle that looks way more expensive than it is. Formulated with clean ingredients, this Japanese shampoo moisturizes, tames and de-frizzes. It’s also free of parabens, sulfates and animal-derived ingredients. All while smelling of fresh yuzu.

Super steal: Kristin Ess Reconstructive Moisture Mask

Strand Strengthening Reconstructive Moisture Mask kristin ess

Kristin Ess is one of the top celebrity colorists in Los Angeles. Every product in her line is a super steal! For just $14, this mask softens hair and restores moisture without sulfates. The leak free tub is perfect for using on the go or at the gym.


Minor splurge: BeauteNotions Immaculash360

Have trouble choosing what mascara wand is best? Don’t! With this product you don’t have to. For $35, you get two attached wands—a large one for volume and a small one to lift and separate. It’s a very useful innovation.

Steal: W7 Absolutely Waterproof

At just $8.95, W7’s Absolutely Waterproof is perfect to wear to yoga class or to sweat it out at spin. Keep an extra tube in your gym bag.


Steal: Dollar Shave Club The Executive

dollar shave club

Razors should NEVER be a splurge! For $9 with a monthly subscription, you get four six-bladed cartridges and a free handle in your first box. Stop shaving (and nicking yourself) with dull blades and use a fresh one every week. Technically this is a men’s product, but the handle is super easy to grip (and hey, now you avoid paying the pink tax).


Steal: Innisfree Cotton Ink

inisfree cotton ink

For just $12, these just-launched little liquid mattes pack a big punch. Even a thin layer has high pigment, but it still feels light on your lips. Don’t feel bad if you want to buy multiples.


Splurge: SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense


SkinCeuticals has some of the best serums on the market. At $98, this serum contains kojic acid, tranexamic acid and vitamin B3 to brighten and even the skin tone. It’s a great way to fade freckles, dark spots and other discoloration.

Steal: Urban SkinRX Clean and Even Tone Clarifying Glycolic Pads

urban skin rx

Glycolic pads can be expensive but they don’t have to be. At just $17.99 for a jar of 30, these pads help clear acne and even skin tone. They also feel incredibly good after a long, sweaty workout.


Splurge: June Jacobs Green Tea And Cucumber Body Balm

june jacobs

This rich body lotion has a fresh scent perfect for after the shower. It absorbs quickly and easily for soft, smooth skin. Safely formulated without parabens or preservatives, it’s worth it to treat yourself for $40 without guilt.

Splurge-y steal: Go-To Exceptionoil

goto exception oil

For $39, a little goes a VERY long way. It’s also beautifully (and naturally) scented, so it doubles as a fragrance, making Exceptionoil somewhere between a splurge and steal. If you’re still dealing with winter skin, Exceptionoil is pretty much an instant cure.

Steal: frank body Original Coffee Scrub

frank body scrub

For just $16.95, this body scrub is packaged with a sense of humor. It also contains a variety of ingredients including coffee and cacao extract as well as sweet almond oil and macadamia nut oil. It’s essential before applying self tanner and helps your body lotion absorb better!

Skip Booking The Appointment

Splurge-y Steal: Go Smile Blu Professional Teeth Whitening

go smile

Skip the dentist appointment and whiten your teeth at home with this clinically proven system for just $99.99. Use for 2-5 minutes every day to clean and whiten your teeth with blue light! Even better—it doesn’t cause sensitivity like most whitening when products do.

Steal: Hyalogic Lush Lash and Brow Serum


Skip the prescription lash serum and go for this less expensive and co-pay free one instead. Clinically proven, it’s much safer than prescription serums and moisturizes your lashes with powder ingredient hyaluronic acid. For under $20!

Steal: Olive And June Poppy

the poppy

Part of the reason why we go to get manicures and pedicures is that it’s hard to apply polish. But a Poppy can fix all of that. This brilliant invention helps you grip the brush to make painting your own nails (especially with June and Olive’s pretty polishes) a total breeze. It’s only $16 and fits on any bottle!

Steal: Kristin Ess Signature Gloss

kristin ess mask

Don’t gloss at the salon! Do it at home instead for just $14! Different glosses for all hair shades as well as clear gloss is available. Each treatment lasts 3-4 weeks. Put all the money you save towards fresh highlights.


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About Amanda Lauren

Originally from New York City, Amanda Lauren currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two dogs Milo and Lulu. Rarely seen in an actual gym, she is a group fitness enthusiast who enjoys Pilates (both East Coast and West Coast styles), spin, barre, power plates, yoga and her newest obsession, versa climbing. She will try any group fitness class at least once. When Amanda isn’t working out or trying to find the perfect pair of pink sneakers, she blogs about her adventures in fitness as well as fashion, lifestyle and beauty on ItsAmandaLauren.com.