My Favorite Budget Beauty Buys

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

I went to Target the other day and spent a boatload of money. You know how it goes: Go into Target for a few things. Leave with $100 worth of stuff. It happens every time.


Anyway, one of the things that I obviously needed to buy (and actually inspired this post) was a bottle of amazing-smelling coconut body wash, which only cost a couple of bucks. Awesome. I love finding awesome beauty products on the cheap. With that said, here are some of my favorite budget beauty buys!

Suave Naturals Creamy Tropical Coconut Body Wash

Here’s the coconut body wash that inspired this post. OMG, it smells so good, and it’s “creamy” and moisturizing, so it feels so nice. I actually think the bottle was on sale for just $2.33, which is quite a steal considering its size (18 ounces) and how wonderful it smells. Clearly, I’m a big fan of this stuff. I will definitely buy it again.

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Reviva 10% Glycolic Acid Night Cream and Reviva Collagen Night Cream

My sister got me hooked on these two products. She bought them around this time last year and raved about them to me. I had just purchased a bunch of face products, so I wasn’t really in the market for anything new. A good 6 months passed and my sister was still raving about them, so I finally bought them for myself. And, boy, was she right! Both of these products are awesome. I love the way they make my skin feel and the combination of glycolic acid and collagen makes my skin look so nice! And, the best part, they’re totally affordable!

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Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes

I love these things! Mal originally bought them for me back in February before our trip to Hawaii, but I have seriously fallen in love with them since. They’re perfect for travel, especially long flights, but they’re also great for removing make-up when I’m feeling too lazy to wash my face. They’re moisturizing, refreshing, and work really well.

Yes to Cucumbers

I’ve written about the next few products in the past, but they’re cheap and I love them, so I figured they’re worth another mention.

Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deeeeep Liquid Conditioner

I bought this product on a whim, but ended up loving it. It smells amazing (I’m coconut crazy), and it’s incredibly moisturizing. It’s supposed to be used as a deep conditioner, but it’s so affordable, I use it as an everyday conditioner. Even when I’ve abused my hair””like when I spend the day at the beach and it gets all gross and dry or when I come home from CrossFit and it’s a tangled mess, it always seems to work “miracles” and leaves my hair nice and soft.


Old Spice Fresh High Endurance Deodorant

Yup, I totally wear men’s deodorant. You guys know how much I sweat, so I don’t mess around when it comes to deodorant. I also wear tank tops a lot when I work out, and I don’t want that messy white residue all over my clothes. I know some deodorant brands say they go on “clear,” but they really don’t. It’s more like like sort of go on clear. Anyway, Old Spice works great and the “Fresh” scent is the least manly-smelling in my opinion. I’ve worn it for years. I love it.

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Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Gentle Scrub

This is an oldie, but goodie! I’ve actually blogged about this Nuetrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Gentle Scrub a couple of times in the past, and I think it’s the best face wash ever.

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Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunblock

I just blogged about this sunblock the other day, but it’s affordable and works really well.

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Red Carpet Professional LED Light

Ok, this Red Carpet Professional LED Light isn’t a budget buy upfront (LED light + kit = $80), but it’s WELL WORTH the investment. I always tell Mal it’s “the best $80 I’ve ever spent.” I use it all the time, and I have saved so much money on manicures. You can buy the Red Carpet Professional LED Light and Starter Kit at ULTA or (rumor has it) Target. I’ve blogged about this gel manicure system (and my obsession with it) in the past, so be sure to check out my review.


Tip: The Red Carpet nail polishes work fine, but the CND Shellac polishes work so much better. They’re more expensive, but they’re worth it. The Red Carpet stuff usually peels off in 5 or 6 days, but the CND polish lasts over a week, no problem.

Questions of the Day

What’s your favorite budget beauty buy?

What product have you been using for years and still love?



  1. Love this post! I need some new products so badly and my hair is currently begging me for that conditioner but I also absolutely love nutrogena face products.

  2. I’ve been using the Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask for years. I’ve used everything from prescription face washes to stuff from the drug store. Nothing compares. You can use it as an everyday facewash or a mask for extra deep cleansing. It’s great! The Neutrogena light sesame oil is also great! Used after a shower on your legs…. or even a few drops in a warm bath. The scent isn’t overwhelming, and it makes my skin so soft!

  3. Do you have a Dollar General in your area? I don’t but whenever I visit somewhere that does I stock up on their store brand 4 blade razors. 3 for $4! Cheap and they are the best! Always get a smooth shave. I also love Pond’s Foaming Face Cloths. I love that they provide a little bit of scrub while I cleanse. 🙂 The cloths are pretty big so I end up cutting them in half to make my supply last longer.

    I’m definitely trying men’s deodorant now and while I’ve used that body wash in the past, I haven’t recently. That will change especially with an upcoming trip to the beach. Coconut + beach = perfect companions. 🙂

  4. Oh, Target is the devil. My list: Neutrogena SPF20 pressed powder + eye concealer. Yes to Carrots body wash, Yes to Cucumber face wipes, Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. Must try the Aussie 3 minute miracle! My hair gets super dry from coloring and all the sweaty workouts. Oh, and the men’s deodorant, too. 🙂 Thanks!

  5. I’ve always wanted to try the “Yes to Carrots” stuff so this is good to know! Also I love the Aussie deep conditioner as well…now that my hair is getting really long and tangles all the time I feel like I put it thru the ringer every time I brush it. That stuff really really helps

  6. Love that Aussie deep conditioner! I actually tried it out after seeing it on your blog (I needed a good conditioner to store in my gym bag). One of my favorite beauty buys lately is 2Chic Avocado & Olive Oil leave-in conditioner/styling creme by Giovanni. I found it at Whole Foods and I believe it’s only around $9. Makes my hair so smooth after a shower and smells great (plus, I’m an avocado lover). Trader Joes also makes some great budget buys – the tea tree oil shampoo/conditioner and mango shave cream are both great!

  7. my partner, who is a make up artist, is going to kill me for saying this because she says it’s way too harsh and smells bad, but I love st. ives apricot face scrub (i know its not like super duper budget cost). ive been using it for years and it always makes my face feel so clean and fresh! and im with you all on the suave coconut, i actually just brought some home, it’s awesome in the summer!

  8. I started to use Old Spice Fresh after I read about it on your blog – great recommendation! My husband thinks it is funny that we use the same deodorant but I love it! 🙂

  9. I have been using Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash and Cera Ve Body Lotion for year. Also, since I was a teenager, about 3 nights/week, I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub on my face. I remember watching my mom use that stuff when I was a kid when it came in the large tub!

  10. i am EXACTLY the same way at target.
    and for beauty buys, i will never stop using cetaphil face lotion. cheap, gentle, moisturizing perfection. i also love Essie and OPI nail polishes – last so much longer than the $4-5 bottles and are much better bargains than department store brands!

  11. Random question: Do you use both Reviva creams each night (layering) or do you alternate one one night and the other cream the next night?

    1. It depends on how my skin feels. I usually layer them, but sometimes I just use the night cream. I also tend to layoff the glycolic cream when I know I’ll be in the sun a lot.

  12. I’m nuts for anything coconut too. My must-have is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. Not cheap but lasts forever. I’m still using a tube I’ve had for over three years. Nothing else moisturises my lips as well. Rimmel Hide The Blemish is still my favourite under eye concealer. A budget classic.

  13. Hi. It’s been fun reading your article. It was really interesting for me, and was really helpful with my needs. Maybe you could research more on this and share what you’ve found to us in the future. Keep it up!

  14. CeraVe face lotion is the best. It’s great for my uber sensitive skin and moisturizes perfectly every time without feeling greasy. I love how cheap it is and that it’s sold at every drugstore.

    I’ve been using the same Clearing Face Wash from Dermalogica for at least 8 years. It’s a little pricier than your average drugstore face wash (it’s $36), but still not breaking the budget by any means, especially for the size container you get. My skin always feels clear, clean, and I never feel any “soapy” residue leftover.

    On the pricier side, I absolutely love YSL’s Youth Serum. I feel like my skin gets tighter instantly.

  15. I am a sucker for the Neutrogena pink grapefruit face scrub. I even have my husband hooked on it, ha!

  16. So after reading this I went and bought the Old Spice deodorant, because I havent really found a deodorant I really liked, and after using it for 2 days, I LOVE IT! Thanks for the tip!!!

  17. I LOVE posts where I find out what products people use. I find it so interesting. I am sold on the Aussie product! When I head to Target, I try to avoid grabbing a cart or basket if I only need a thing to two. If I can only carry so much then I tend to buy less…

    …or else I walk around dropping things because my hands are so full and I end up looking like an idiot.

  18. I LOVE Old Spice and it is the only one that I use for this sweaty girl! I’ve been using it for years. Totally going to look for that Suave body wash the next time I need one. I’m a fan of anything coconut and for a good deal!

  19. I have been having south trouble with my skin since my second baby…so I went and bought those face wipes for after workouts and that neutrogena for the other times….I feel like I’m clearing up already! Thanks for sharing!!

  20. I’ve been using the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser for years now! It is an amazing make-up remover and makes my skin feel really clean and, well, fresh! There’s no acne medicine in it which I like because it doesn’t leave my skin tight although I still always put lotion on afterwards. I use the Curél Ultra Healing lotion. It does wonders for dry skin!

  21. I LOVE the smell (taste, etc.) of coconut too, and had no idea the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle smelled that way … will definitely have to try it. Great tip about the Old Spice too. Wonderful post … great tips!

  22. I have the sally hansen light, and have used the gelish polish colors, sensationail polish colors, and the sally hansen polish colors. They all work great,but never look good after 5-6 days. They start peeling up on the sides because I’m really rough on my nails too. I need to try the CND colors especially if they will last longer. Do you also use their base coat,etc or just their colors?

  23. I am with Juliette, I also love the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. My face feels so great afterwards and I am 54 years old and have been using it for years. It even allows me to go without foundation on most days, which I love because I live in hot, humid Louisiana. I just bought some more today and only paid $2.97, can’t beat that.

    Thanks for all of these great tips. I am definitely going to try out the cucumber wipes for those nights when the vodka, tonic and lime is going down a little to easy.

    Great Post!!!

    Mary Jean

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