The Broke Girl's Guide To Fall Beauty

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
The time has come again to update our makeup bags with the latest and greatest beauty buys for fall. Trouble is, not all of us have a couple hundred dollars to spare on high-end products, especially when there are so many new trends we want to try. Thankfully, a new wave of affordable beauty goods just hit shelves, and we're already counting on them to see us through all the moody lips and metallic eyes we sport this season.

Ahead, find 30 fall beauty picks from our editors and trusted experts — all under $30. They're so good, you might find yourself unpacking your fall wardrobe a little early this year.
Advertisement
1 of 31
"I'm pretty obsessed with Dior Lip Glow, and this is the closest drugstore dupe I've found. The sheer balm enhances the natural color of your lips, while drenching them in moisture." — Cat Quinn, deputy beauty director
2 of 31
"I'm not usually one for gray tones on the eyes, but I'll make an exception for Pixi's latest eyeliner. It's a beautiful slate-gray that I swear enhances my brown eyes. It's less stark than full-on black, but still gives me the definition I want." — Mi-Anne Chan, beauty editorial assistant
Advertisement
3 of 31
"Fall is my favorite season, but there is one thing I absolutely despise about it: my skin's major meltdown. So when I saw that Aveeno was rolling out a night cream that aligned with its Ultra-Calming line, I was on board. The cream is oil- and fragrance-free, and soothes redness overnight. I like to keep it in my fridge for an even better calming effect." — Maria Del Russo, beauty editor
4 of 31
"This primer keeps my eyeshadow looking vibrant and crease-free for hours. Plus, the doe-foot applicator makes it a breeze to swipe on in the morning when I'm still waking up." — Mi-Anne Chan
5 of 31
"That name is a mouthful, and the packaging is kind of cheesy. However, this tinted brow gel, recommended to me by my brow guru, Bob Scott, is pure magic. As Scott points out, the gel has fibers in the formula, so the way it clings to the hairs is really natural, unlike a gel that goes over them and can run off throughout the day,' he says. I brushed some on with a skeptical attitude and, after one swipe, was an immediate convert. My brows looked full and fabulous — almost as if they had been professionally tinted. I plan on hoarding tubes of this in the event of brow-pocalypse." — Megan McIntyre, beauty director
6 of 31
"This is one of those products that you get excited about just by looking at the damn thing. It's a beautiful highlighter that changes from pink to gold to Champagne when you look at it from different angles. It's gorgeous on the cheeks, but I personally love tapping it onto my eyelids with my ring finger for a subtle wash of pearly color." — Mi-Anne Chan
7 of 31
"If something has cool packaging, I'm down to try it. And if it turns out to be awesome quality, too, you can assume it'll be in my makeup bag for months. These futuristic-looking lipsticks checked both boxes and they're cheaper than most of the lip prods in my collection. I'm particularly obsessed with the fuchsia shade, which gives me an instant lift on mornings when I'm feeling 'meh,' but need to look polished." — Kaleigh Fasanella, beauty intern
Advertisement
8 of 31
"This seven-piece brush set has a bunch of different eyeshadow brushes, a multipurpose dual-fiber brush, and an amazing blending brush that I use for my base makeup. It's basically every single brush you'd ever need, in one convenient kit. And the brushes are absolutely gorgeous — I mean, look at 'em!" — Mi-Anne Chan

Sonia Kashuk Ombré Obsessed Seven-Piece Brush Set, $25.99, available August 23 at Target.
9 of 31
"Kat Von D's latest foray into eyeshadow is a major winner. These Metal Crush shadows have the best texture, ever; they're silky powders that smooth on easily, but deliver a powerful punch of color in a single swipe. I love this mahogany hue; it's a fun alternative to your typical black smoky eye." — Maria Del Russo
10 of 31
"I wear waterproof eye makeup every single day, and this removes it in one easy step without irritating my sensitive eyes. I simply massage the product onto dry skin, add water, and watch the cleanser turn into a milky 'lather' that nourishes the skin without leaving it greasy." — Mi-Anne Chan
11 of 31
"I have never been a glitter kind of girl — I like things matte, or maybe a little dewy. But lately, I’ve been drawn to a bit of shimmer. Did glitter get an upgrade, or is it just me? I’m especially into these natural shadows, which come in deep jewel tones and are perfect for fall. I’m already thinking of throwing on a classic black turtleneck and accessorizing with a few swipes of the amethyst shadow." — Megan Cahn, senior beauty editor
12 of 31
"I'll admit it — I'm kind of a snob about my lipsticks. My problem with most drugstore lipsticks, especially mattes, is that they feel dry and do that weird thing when you get a gross ring of dead skin around your mouth. This new lipstick by L'Oréal is not that kind of drugstore matte. The formula has a powdery — but not dry! — and silky texture that effortlessly glides onto my lips. I'm currently enraptured by the She's So Matte shade. It's a pinky-brown neutral that is rich but not obnoxious, for those days when you're just not feeling a full-on red, but aren't willing to go totally bare. And, most importantly, no gross white mouth ring halfway through the day. All of the claps, L'Oréal — this is drugstore lipstick done right." — Megan McIntyre
Advertisement
13 of 31
"This bronze shade is definitely going to be my go-to nail color for fall. It's opaque, long-lasting, and reminds me of pumpkin spice and other lovely, holiday-themed things." — Mi-Anne Chan
14 of 31
"The Queen B herself teamed up with everybody's favorite temporary tattoo company, Flash Tattoos, for a collection of her own. The five-sheet, 57-piece pack includes gold beehive-inspired designs, naturally, and affirming name-plate necklaces that we're crazy in love with. Festival season may be winding down, but that definitely won't stop me from channeling my inner Sasha Fierce well into the colder months." — Taylor Bryant, beauty news editor
15 of 31
"I'm not a fan of body oil because it's usually a mess to apply. But & Other Stories solves this problem by slapping a spray nozzle on its sweet-almond body oil. A few spritzes of this product deposit the perfect amount of oil, which sinks into the skin, leaving a delightfully sweet, but mysterious, aroma." — Mi-Anne Chan
16 of 31
"Chlorine, salt water, and the sun's rays take a serious toll on all hair types, but they're particularly hard on those with curlier textures. Kinky-Curly's new Sea, Sand & Sun mask is formulated with coconut oil and aloe. It's specifically designed to reboot and rehydrate summer-damaged locks, so you can go into fall with healthy strands." — Taylor Bryant
17 of 31
"You know that perfect shimmery, nude eyeshadow that's always the first shade you run out of in a palette? This is it — for eight bucks, flat. The silky formula and black-and-gold packaging make it feel like a prestige makeup product." — Cat Quinn
Advertisement
18 of 31
"This mask is everything. Seriously, it has kaolin to detox the skin, and calamine and Turkish rose to calm it. It makes my skin feel super-balanced and fresh after I use it, which is always a good thing." — Mi-Anne Chan
19 of 31
"This MAC lip gloss is absolutely amazing and loaded with saturated pigments. One swipe is all you need for gorgeous, moist color; two coats and you have a glossy, dramatic lip. There are 17 gorgeous shades, but my favorite color is Spanking Haute for its sexy, soft nude color. For a more dramatic lip, I adore Push Some Buttons, a fabulous orangey-red that can be sheered down to a soft stain." — Elisa Flowers, makeup artist

MAC
Vamplify Lip Gloss in Spanking Haute, $24, available August 26 at MAC Cosmetics.
20 of 31
"Using this body scrub transports me to an island where I imagine I could rub this onto my skin while being bathed by ocean waves. Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but this scrub is pretty damn luxurious. It's jam-packed with exfoliating sea salt to slough away dead skin. Sweet-almond and jojoba oils leave a slight residue on the skin, which doesn't bother me at all because it means I don't have to moisturize once I get out of the shower." — Mi-Anne Chan
21 of 31
"The cheesy name, coupled with the killer silver glitter, completely won me over. Plus, the entire fall line from China Glaze is formulated with a nail-hardening ingredient, so these act as mini treatments as well. It's a win-win." — Maria Del Russo
22 of 31
"François Nars himself told me that his favorite makeup color is green, so I've been looking at the oft-ignored shade with a newfound appreciation. Nars also told me that one of his favorite products right now is the brand's new Velvet Shadow Sticks. 'It's almost like a Crayola! You just put it on and blend it with your finger. Very easy,' he said. Those two, makeup legend-approved concepts combine in this breathtaking shadow pencil. The forest-green shade alone is stunning, but what I really love is its duo-chrome effect, thanks to a plum-purple undertone. It is such a unique shade, glides on like a dream, and stays in place literally all day. Forget pink — green is my favorite color. Sorry, Aerosmith." — Megan McIntyre
Advertisement
23 of 31
"These new hydrogel eye masks from Boscia are perfect for those weeknights when you go a little too hard and have to crawl into work the next day. (We've all been there, don't lie.) Infused with sake, antioxidants, and plant extracts, they make those dark circles and any remnants of last night's bad decisions disappear before you even step out of the subway." — Taylor Bryant
24 of 31
"This matte lip crayon is my go-to for a bold, fuchsia lip. And when I want to take the color down a notch, the cool blurring tool is a great alternative to my permanently lipstick-stained fingertips." — Cat Quinn
25 of 31
"A few weeks ago, I gave this shower gel to my boyfriend — but, after smelling it, I had to try it for myself. It smells like lavender and rosemary, and feels really refreshing on the skin. Seeing as I haven't really exercised since my last free SoulCycle class (which was three months ago), I can safely say that this product works even if you're not the sporty type." — Mi-Anne Chan
26 of 31
"The five new colors — deep black, rich violet, dark teal, navy, and oxblood — of Clinique's Chubby Lash Mascara are beautiful. The chubby applicator coats lashes in one go, and builds the color and volume up to a dramatic, jewel-toned effect. My favorite color is Two Ton Teal, which is perfect for enhancing all eye colors." — Elisa Flowers
27 of 31
"Not going to lie, I was immediately lured into this product based on the name alone. Sparkling mineral powder? That sounds like my version of skin-care heaven. The unique cleanser is meant to be applied as an immersion — you pour the contents of the two packets into a two-liter bowl of water and, once they've commenced their 'sparkling' process (read: carbonation-like bubbling), you either scoop the water into your hands and splash it on your face or dip your face into the bowl of water for a few minutes. Besides the spa-like experience of dipping your face in bubbles, I loved how soft and glowy my skin looked immediately after rinsing, and the fact that it really got in there and cleaned out my pores and blackheads." — Megan McIntyre
Advertisement
28 of 31
"Though I am always super-sad when summer ends, the idea of wearing my go-to fall colors again cheers me up a bit. I love a dark nail, but find black a little too Goth and purply-maroon a little too basic. This gray is just right, and I’ll be wearing it until my warm-weather winter escape." — Megan Cahn

Smith & Cul
t Nailed Lacquer in No Poem, $18, available September 1 at Neiman Marcus.
29 of 31
"A few coats of this white primer prep my lashes for mascara application by beefing them up and fanning them out. And did I mention it comes with a sample of Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara?" — Mi-Anne Chan
30 of 31
"My boyfriend has a strong aversion to sticky body lotion — and so do I. But when I sweep this on in the shower and towel-dry it off, he's none the wiser and my skin feels so much softer." — Cat Quinn
31 of 31
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement