The Under-$25 Guide To Winter Beauty

Well, it's officially snowed in New York City, and holiday vacations are beckoning us — nay, taunting us — with the promise of fireplaces, hot chocolate, Netflix, and sleep. Yes, winter is in full gear. Naturally, that means you may be looking to make a few beauty purchases to soothe common cold-weather woes, like redness, a lack of glow, or dry skin.
That's why we, your loving beauty team, collaborated with a couple of our favorite experts to deliver you a list of legit affordable (read: under $25) products that we actually trust and recommend. Here, you'll find a can't-quit cuticle balm, a shampoo that's safe for color-treated hair, and a lipstick that makes us think of rainbows and unicorns.
Click through to check out our favorites, and be sure to let us know yours in the comments. (Seriously — we'll take your advice and try 'em out for next time.)
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"This is the perfect time to adapt a cleansing oil into your routine. DHC’s will melt away your makeup (yep, even eye stuff) and give your pores a gentle, hydrating cleanse. I put two pumps all over my face and neck, and then I brush my teeth to let it settle. Next, I massage it deeply into my skin, and then rinse it off using hot water. (For a deeper cleanse, use a muslin cloth!)" — Phillip Picardi, senior beauty editor

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, $14, available at DHC.
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Photo: Via Mario Badescu.
“Even though it’s super important to keep up your exfoliating regimen during the colder months, physical exfoliants can sometimes be harsh — especially on sensitive skin. But, the glycolic acid in Mario Badescu’s toner acts as a chemical alternative. It sloughs off dead skin without the harsh bite of sugar or seeds." — Maria Del Russo, beauty writer

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, $18, available at Nordstrom.
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Photo: Via Acure Organics.
"I love Acure Organics' facial serum. It has all of the ingredients that sound so delicious, and it feeds your skin the essential oils needed to maintain a youthful glow." — Gloria Noto, celebrity makeup artist

Acure Organics Seriously Firming Facial Serum, $22.99, available at Acure Organics.
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Photo: Via Boots Botanics.
"Drugstore moisturizers make me nervous because, let’s be real: This is the stuff that’s sitting on our damn faces all day. But, I found an unlikely companion in Boots’ Skin Calming Day Cream, which has a lightweight texture and a little bit of SPF." — Phillip Picardi

Boots Botanics Ultra Calm Skin Calming Day Cream, $13.99, available at Walgreens.
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Photo: Via Now.
Facial Oil
"I use rosehip oil to indulge in a calming, yet reparative, night treatment. Rose has regenerative qualities that are great for old scars and premature aging." — Gloria Noto

Now Rose Hip Seed Oil, $4.99, available at WholeHealth.
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Photo: Via Weleda.
Night Cream
"Weleda is the organic beauty brand that’s sold at Target, but delivers luxury results. I’ve been keeping its day and night creams on constant rotation for the past five years — they're genius for under makeup, they settle into the skin so beautifully, and they smell like heaven. You will love this product and the way your skin looks when you wake up — trust." — Phillip Picardi

Weleda Iris Hydrating Night Cream, $21.50, available at Weleda.
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Photo: Via Korres.
Dry-Skin Mask
"This new mask by Korres really gets the job done for dry skin. My big problem in the winter is that my skin gets painfully dry, but any product I put on to try to treat it ends up stinging and burning my already traumatized complexion. This mask went on like a cream, smelled heavenly, didn't sting, and made my face feel velvety-soft after just a few uses." — Megan McIntyre, beauty director

Korres Nectarine Velvet Moisturizing Mask, $18, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Via Bioré.
Mask For Sensitive Or Acne-Prone Skin
“I’m not exactly the most patient individual in the world. While the idea of a luxurious mask seems totally blissful to me, sometimes I just want the damn thing to dry super quickly and do its job. Bioré answered my prayers with this self-heating mask. It draws out impurities in a minute flat, and your skin feels so insanely clean after the fact. Nothing I love more than an overachiever.” — Maria Del Russo

Bioré Self Heating Mask, $6.99, available at Ulta.
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Photo: Via Yes to Carrots.
Lip Balm
"I use Yes to Carrots lip butter. It is made with great ingredients and actually corrects dry skin, instead of just coating it." — Gloria Noto

Yes To Carrots Lip Butter in Melon, $3.27, available at
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Photo: Via Jane Iredale.
Facial Mist
"I love Jane Iredale D20 Hydration mist for its skin-yummy qualities and the moisturizing effect it has. If you have naturally oily skin, you could use this as just a moisturizer, or as a great pick-me-up for makeup in the middle of the day." — Gloria Noto

Jane Iredale D20 Hydration Spray, $21.60, available at Amazon.
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Photo: Via Dove.
Body Wash
"Nobody does body wash like Dove." — Phillip Picardi

Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash, $5.49, available at Target.
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Photo: Via Weleda.
Body Oil
"I'm unfortunate enough to live in an old NYC building, the kind with those really charming, hissing old radiators that like to spew out heat at random intervals throughout the day (and night — gotta love that 2 a.m. screaming-radiator wake-up call). Ever since moving into the building, my skin has been so parched, and it feels like no lotion was able to remedy the flakes, dryness, and painful tightness. But, the minute I switched from lotions to oils, it was sweet, sweet relief. I love this one from Weleda because it uses a blend of natural oils — sweet almond, sesame, and lavender — smells light and fresh, and doesn't cost an absolute fortune." — Megan McIntyre

Weleda Lavender Body Oil, $14.39, available at Target.
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Photo: Via 100% Pure.
Body Lotion
"Shailene Woodley is a fan of 100% Pure, which I am embarrassed to admit prompted me to request the products in bulk. The body lotions and butters are absolutely delicious, and I feel so great about layering them all over myself because of the minimal ingredients list. These are great for everyday hydration, but if you suffer from more serious skin conditions in the winter, I also recommend looking into Dove's DermaSeries collection." — Phillip Picardi

100% Pure Eucalyptus Nourishing Body Cream, $17, available at 100% Pure.
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Photo: Via Heel to Toe.
Foot Product
"I love a good old-fashioned pumice-stone scrubbing on my feet at the end of my shower or bath. It allows your skin time to soak, and the stone scrubs off dead skin, leaving you soft and smooth." — Gloria Noto

Heel to Toe Pumice Stone, $2.99, available at Sally Beauty.
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Photo: Via NYX.
"NYX’s entire HD line is well worth scooping up. I love this primer because it blurs lines and pores, and creates a hydrated base for foundation." — Phillip Picardi

NYX High Definition Primer, $15, available at Urban Outfitters.
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Photo: Via Sonia Kashuk.
Tinted Moisturizer
"I actually could not believe how gorgeous this product was on the skin — mostly because I’ve been using a Barneys-brand tinted [moisturizer] for a year now that I’m in love with. As always, Sonia completely and totally impressed — and the shade range is pretty great, too." — Phillip Picardi

Sonia Kashuk Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, $13.69, available at Target.
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Courtesy of Maybelline.

During winter months, look for a hydrating liquid foundation, like this one by Maybelline. It goes on easy with a dropper applicator and leaves a smooth, dewy finish while concealing any redness and dark spots.

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Photo: Via Almay.
"I love Almay Clear Complexion Concealer for hiding small pimples, because it dries out the blemish while neutralizing the redness from the breakout." — Gloria Noto

Almay Clear Complexion Concealer, $8.49, available at Ulta.
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Photo: Via Rituel De Fille.
"Rituel De Fille has the most beautiful cream-color blushes. They are super sheer and buildable, and come in shades from deep, bold flushes to soft, glowy bronzes and peaches." — Gloria Noto

Rituel De Fille Inner Glow Cream Blush in Desire, $24, available at Rituel De Fille.
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Photo: Via Flower Bomb.
"Drew Barrymore herself told me she was inspired by Pat McGrath’s go-to highlighter, the Madina Chic & Shine Stick, when she created her highlighter chubby. Let me just tell you: Drew did the cult-classic (and, to my knowledge, currently unavailable) product some serious justice. This is gorgeous under tinted moisturizer for a believable glow, or patted on top of the skin with fingertips for an effortless gleam." — Phillip Picardi

Flower Glisten Up Highlighter Chubby, $9.98, available at Walgreens.
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Photo: Via Rimmel London.
"Somehow, Rimmel manages to create formulas that aren’t ruddy-red or Jersey Shore orange: just the great, coveted in-between — a rarity in the drugstore aisle. Buy them in matte for sculpting or shimmer to replace your blush for a believable glow." — Phillip Picardi

Rimmel London Natural Bronzer, $4.99, available at Ulta.
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Photo: Via CoverGirl.
“Whenever someone asks my favorite mascara, I always, always tell them this one. It’s true. Coat after coat, the brush in this tube keeps my lashes separated and totally clump-free. I’ve even reapplied it hours after the initial coat has dried, and the pigment still doesn’t clump or flake. CoverGirl is a classic for a reason!” — Maria Del Russo

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara, $6.49, available at
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Photo: Via MAC.
"MAC makes great eyeshadows. They're affordable, and you can mix and match, and make your own palettes — or just use them individually. The color payoff is always very true to its looks in the container, and they always blend smoothly." — Gloria Noto

MAC Eye Shadow, $16, available at MAC.
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Photo: Via Sephora Collection.
Brow Pencil
"This product is awesome because it comes in so many shades, and has a soft yet slightly waxy finish that holds onto the skin. I also love the little attached comb it has to brush your brow into place — it's great to soften up the shape you make with the pencil." — Gloria Noto

Sephora Collection Retractable Brow Pencil, $13, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Courtesy of L'Oréal.
"The goal is always to get a pencil that glides on your skin, not something you feel like you're 'etching' into your eye. L'Oréal's velvety pencils are so divine, because you can smudge them out for a smoky look or you can simply let them set for a more precise finish. The black is great, but the blue is also so special — this is an easy way to update your look for a fun night out." — Phillip Picardi

L'Oréal Infallible Silkissime Pencil Eyeliner, $8.99, available at
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Photo: Via Lime Crime.
"Whenever I'm looking for a lipstick that I know is going to deliver a real punch of color, I reach for Lime Crime. One coat is all I need, and then I can forget it for the rest of the day. It's my magical unicorn of lipsticks (sorry, had to)." — Maria Del Russo

Lime Crime Unicorn Lipstick in Retrofuturist, $18, available at Lime Crime.
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Photo: Via NYX.
"Benjamin Puckey, one of my favorite makeup artists, told me that this foundation is comparable to some of the luxury formulas that are currently on the market. It delivers a satiny, almost velvet-like finish that's smooth and budge-proof, especially when you mix it in with your favorite luminizer." — Phillip Picardi

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation, $18, available at NYX.
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Photo: Via Flower.
Makeup Brush
"Ms. Barrymore also created a really nice, luxury-looking set of synthetic brushes that are affordable and perform well. I love this one for blending foundations and concealers — it feels like a teddy bear." – Phillip Picardi

Flower Ultimate Liquid Foundation Makeup Brush, $10.98, available at Walmart.
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Photo: Via Sally Hershberger.
Shampoo, Overall
"This Sally range really does the job for most hair types in the winter because it tames frizz and hydrates, unlike its more stripping counterparts. " — Glenn Ellis, hairstylist

Sally Hershberger Super Keratin Shampoo, $8.99, available at Sally Hershberger.
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Photo: Via Sally Hershberger.
"The follow-up conditioner is lightweight enough to use as a leave-in before you blowdry." — Glenn Ellis

Sally Hershberger Super Keratin Conditioner, $8.99, available at Sally Hershberger.
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Photo: Via Hair Rules.
Curly Shampoo
"Hair Rules founder Anthony Dickey created a line of products that are especially for the curly ladies out there. Meaning, they're free of sulfates, parabens, keratin, and other harming ingredients that would otherwise be very damaging to those with more textured tresses. The cleansing cream is one of my favorite products from the line, as it doesn't suds up (or run into your eyes) and provides a ton of much-needed moisture." — Taylor Bryant, beauty production assistant

Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream, $24, available at Hair Rules.
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Photo: Via DevaCurl.
Curly Conditioner
"Devachan's One Condition product from its DevaCurl line is great as a leave-in hydrator and can also be used for frequent wash-and-go's (depending on your moisturizing needs). The best part? It includes ingredients that you actually recognize, like olive oil and rosemary." — Taylor Bryant

DevaCurl One Condition, $20, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Via L'Oreal.
Color-Treated Hair Shampoo
"Here's the thing about the drugstore aisle: Most shampoos are still packed with sulfates, which is pretty much a no-no for anyone who's got bleached or dyed hair. Instead of washing your color down the drain, grab a cleansing conditioner and kiss suds goodbye. Put a couple of pumps into your hand and go right at your scalp, running this all the way through to the ends of your hair, and then rinse. You'll be surprised at how gorgeous your hair feels." — Phillip Picardi

L'Oreal EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner, $7, available at
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Photo: Via Phyto.
Color-Treated Hair Conditioner
"I will allow cost-saving measures when it comes to shampooing, but I leave conditioner in my double-processed strands all day, even adding more before I blowdry. This is well worth spending almost $25 on." — Phillip Picardi

Phyto Phytobaume Color Protect Express Conditioner, $22, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Via Dr. Bronner's.
Hair Oil
"I cannot say enough about Dr. Bronner's products — I am obsessed with their soaps, but this is a really wonderful coconut oil that you can apply to hair prior to shampooing, allowing it to penetrate for at least 10 minutes (ideally with a shower cap on to trap heat and really get that oil into the hair shaft). Then, shampoo and condition gently, and voilà!" — Charlie Taylor, hairstylist

Dr. Bronner's Magic Fresh Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil, $11.33, available at
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Photo: Via Batiste.
Dry Shampoo
"I had my assistant run to the store one day when I had run out of Klorane dry shampoo, and she came back with this. I was pleasantly surprised by how dry it really was, and that it didn't deposit any color cast (some dry shampoos look pink in certain lighting) nor any gray." — Charlie Taylor

Batiste Dry Shampoo, $7.99, available at Ulta.
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Photo: Via Nuance.
Hair Mask
"Salma had a mission to bring affordable hair care to all, and she has really succeeded — this is well worth a try, and it smells lovely." — Charlie Taylor

Nuance Salma Hayek Intense Hydration Hair Mask Blackcurrant, $9.99, available at CVS.
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Photo: Via TRESemmé.
Thermal Protectant
"I was introduced to this spray when I was working a lot with wigs, and it really performs well. Spray onto dry hair lightly and style as desired. I also blowdried it into the hair and then used heat, and it worked like a charm. Go easy, though — a little goes a long way." — Charlie Taylor

TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray, $3.99, available at Target.
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Photo: Via Shea Moisture.
Curl Cream
"This curl-enhancing product from SheaMoisture receives such high praise for a reason. Ideal for any type of curl, it helps to flawlessly define coils without weighing them down or leaving them crinkly (it also contains the holy-grail ingredient coconut oil)." — Taylor Bryant

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, $12.99, available at SheaMoisture.
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Photo: Via MoroccanOil.
Round Brush
"I love MoroccanOil, and I was given a set of these brushes, which are surprisingly affordable. I still have them in my kit because they are great for a smooth blowout with lots of volume and minimal flyaways."— Charlie Taylor

MoroccanOil Ceramic Round Brush, $20.81, available at Amazon.
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Photo: Via T3.
Styling Brush
"I love T3 products, and this is a great price for this styling brush and it's very versatile. You can style even shorter lengths with it for a nice, smooth, polished look." — Charlie Taylor

T3 Freeflow Brush, $20, available at Bloomingdale's.
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Photo: Via Tocca Beauty.
Hand Cream
"This hand cream is infused with olive oil, shea butter, aloe, and milk for a fortifying dose of nourishment. Plus, it smells like heaven." — Taryn Multack, nail artist and founder of Miss Ladyfinger

Tocca Beauty Stella Latte Da Mano Hand Milk, $20, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Via Medicine Mama's.
Cuticle Balm
"Forget everything you've ever known, because this multipurpose balm is a miracle. I think all of us in the beauty department have it at our desks and apply it to our eyelids, cuticles, and even cheekbones throughout the day." — Phillip Picardi

Medicine Mama's Bee Magic Wand, $12.99, available at Medicine Mama's.
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Photo: VIA OPI.
Dark Nail Polish
"This deep eggplant hue has amazing golden-shimmer undertones that will get you through winter with a bit of flair." — Taryn Multack

OPI Nail Lacquer in First Class Desires, $9.50, available at Macy's.
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Photo: Via Ginger + Liz.
Red Nail Polish
"I tend to gravitate toward bright reds during the holiday season for a punch of color. Boss Lady is a bold tomato hue that commands attention." — Taryn Multack

Ginger + Liz Nail Polish in Boss Lady, $12, available at Ginger + Liz.
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Photo: Via Essie.
Glitter Nail Polish
"Glitter is a foolproof way to extend your manicure while jazzing it up a couple notches. This bronze looks amazing on top of lighter colors and warm neutrals." — Taryn Multack

Essie Nail Polish in Summit of Style, $8.50, available at DermStore.
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