Here on the Refinery29 Shopping team, we see it all. All the
new arrivals, all the top sellers, all the sales, and countless pitches on products ranging from snow boots to butt spas. We spend our days combing the inventory of retailers big and small, looking for the must-haves that will help our readers solve a problem, feel their best, or indulge in some self-care. (We also occasionally buy things for ourselves in the process.) All of this researching, browsing, and buying has given us a pretty good handle on what’s a good value and what isn’t — so you better believe that when we do see a stellar buy, much cross-cubicle chatter ensues.
We get so heated about these finds, in fact, that we decided it was time to start assembling them into a living, breathing, frequently-updated roundup of what we’re calling our “Shopping team MVPs” — those hands-down, no-foolin’ solid purchases that embody the much sought-after combination of competitive price, function, and sheer appeal. We put our heads together and assembled a list encompassing all of our shopping “beats” — fashion, lifestyle, home, and beauty (plus a few wild cards) — to create a short list of product suggestions that all clock in under $100. Click through to see what’s getting the Shopping team’s seal of approval this month.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Believe it or not, I stole these from my mom — who is clearly in the know on affordable and insanely comfy loungewear staples. This pair of sweats from Target-exclusive line
is what my perfectly cozy winter dreams are made of. I change into them as soon as I get home from work, and sources close to me can confirm that I've been seen wearing them all weekend long (in private and public).
— Liz Buxton, Lifestyle Market Editor Stars Above
Women's Perfectly Cozy Lounge Jogger Pants - Stars Above, $19.99
As far back as I can remember, "Santa" has tucked this drugstore secret weapon inside my Christmas stocking — and every year, without fail, it's my most coveted present. An all-season essential that's even better in winter, this cute little pot of balm keeps my pout hydrated with the subtle bonus of a creamy vanilla fragrance. And when I've applied too much, I like to rub the excess on the backs of my hands to keep them feeling smooth and smelling sweet too.
— Liz Vaseline
Lip Therapy Creme Brulee (Pack of 5), $9.08
I went on a month-long sabbatical
— visiting five different countries and staying in countless Airbnbs — and this travel-friendly bedding accessory absolutely saved my sleep. Essentially it's a miniature version of the brand's standard size pillow-inside-a-pillow but wielding the same support benefits plus a bonus packability. While friends and family tossed and turned, complaining of stiff necks in foreign beds, I slept like a restful rock on my personal pillow. Oh, and it also works great propped up against a plane, train, or automobile window too.
— Liz Casper
Nap Pillow, $35.00
While I'm not one to be easily swept up into emerging fashion trends (I skipped leopard midis and ugly sneakers with no regrets), I couldn't resist the freshwater siren song of the pearl. The luminous oceanic stone exudes effortless luxury without actually costing that much at all if you know where to shop. Case in point: these beauties designed by Leandra Medine for Mango that radiate a chic vintage style — I've worn them with everything from glistening New Year's Eve party dresses to jeans and a white tee.
— Liz Leandra x Mango
Pearl pendant earrings, $25.99
I did a
jewelry purge after Christmas, so of course, I’m now in the market for... more jewelry!
— I’m actually actively trying to streamline a bauble collection that was severely out of control. Now I’m in the market for pieces I’ll wear every single day, and this sterling silver stacking ring from British jewelry brand
definitely fits the bill. $85 is an excellent price for such a solid chunk of silver, and shipping costs to the US are
— Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer Otiumberg
Chunky Silver Twist Ring Sterling Silver, $85.00
With the holidays firmly behind us and a good 90 days of bleak winter weather to look forward to, the time for optimistic, endorphin-boosting knitwear is
. This true cerulean pullover in a fuzzy, touch-me fabrication will keep your bod cozy and your outlook bright as you count down the days until spring.
— Emily Lou & Grey
Fuzzed Mock Neck Sweater,
$79.50 $29.99 Buy
Per my observation above, this time of year requires a variety of coping mechanisms to stay sane and, almost more importantly, feel cute. If your itinerary for the next few weeks involves
and making a week’s worth of
Alison Roman’s Spiced Chickpea Stew
, we’ve got just the loungewear ticket: Richer Poorer’s are-they-shorts-or-are-they-underwear Femme Boxers, a brief that offers just enough coverage and style to function as an around-the-apartment staple.
— Emily Richer Poorer
Femme Boxer, $24.00
Wow. I never expected to find a color-blocked, patchworked boyfriend-fit shirt-jacket that could have easily cost $400 at Dover Street Market on Amazon, and yet, here we are. At less than $30, I am definitely taking this oddball layer for a spin.
— Emily Verdusa
Colorblock Corduroy Jacket, $29.99
"I waxed poetic about Drunk Elephant's brand new drop, the F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial already (click
for the full review!) and it's fully deserving of its MVP spot; I have oily skin, so hydrating masks have on occasion broken me out. This one did not — the lightweight yet potent formula absorbs with a non-greasy finish, and by morning, my skin was plump as this
Urban Outfitters Dumpling Light
that fellow R29 Shopping Team guru Liz keeps on her desk."
— Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer Drunk Elephant
F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask, $52.00
"I spent my holidays in Japan this past year, and after years of having little-to-no faith in compression socks, I'm finally eating my words. As I settled into the 13-hour flight to Tokyo, I slipped these Comrad socks on, and immediately, my coach-class seat felt like a serene oasis. Just kidding! But seriously, the socks made my feet feel amazingly supported and cushioned in a way I didn't know was possible. I know $30 for a single pair of socks might sound steep, but if you take long flights often for work or pleasure, then consider these an investment in your comfort — and weirdly enough, emotional wellbeing at 30,000 feet?"
— Karina Comrad
Companion Compression Socks | Indigo/White Stripe, $29.00
"Tarte's Shape Tape enjoys a certain level of name recognition that is matched by only a handful of other brands. (
Nars Orgasm blush, Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara
...you know the drill.) Naturally, that means that I (not to mention, the legion of extremely devoted fans) had very high hopes for Shape Tape's second act, the Shape Tape Glow Wand. The radiant, dewy-finish formula looks incredible on, and offers coverage that doesn't look dry or cakey. True to the name, the effect is so glowy that I even skipped highlighter. My only gripe is that it's available in just eight shades for now (the original has 36), but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that'll change in the coming months."
— Karina Tarte
Shape Tape Glow Wand, $25.00
"I made the switch to
around three or four years ago, and while the um,
came with some less-than-fresh smells, I'm happy to say that I haven't looked back since. In addition to making a healthier choice for my body, I love that the natural deo market has made space for new brands to come up with a whole universe of scents that aren't powdery nor flowery. Clean beauty brand Ursa Major won me over last month with its new sage-scented spray deodorant, which hasn't left my purse since it arrived on my desk. I keep it on-hand for mid-day spritzes, post-workout refreshes, and yes — for emergencies in the event I leave my apartment having forgotten to put on deodorant. It smells light and fresh, and best of all, the stuff
— Karina Ursa Major
Sublime Sage Spray Deodorant, $18.00
Right before I left for holiday break, I was visited by two inspiring women (one of which I knew from her swimsuit collection,
) to check out their new venture in legwear.
, a luxury collection of tights made in Italy, are just as posh as Wolford but with a modern edge, lower price point, and size range from petite to 2X. Are they still pricier than your nylons-in-an-egg variety? Well yes, but if you're on board with quality over quantity — this new brand needs to be on your radar.
Marissa Rosenblum, Senior Shopping Director Stems
'Caught up' Fishnet Tights, $33.00
Not sure if this should be filed under TMI, but I have switched over to Pact bikini undies. They're the Goldilocks of underwear — not too big, not too small, just right. They're also made with 95% organic cotton
and fair trade certified. *two thumbs up* As it goes, I got hooked with a deal — normally a Pact bikini cost $12, but you can buy 3 in any color for $27 plus there's free shipping. My sensible underwear drawer section is currently stacked for the new year.
— Marissa PACT
Classic Fit Bikini, $12.00
I first discovered
Blue Blue Japan
on my honeymoon. We were window shopping around Tokyo and inadvertently wandered into a Blue Blue sample sale where both of us purchased beautiful hand-dyed indigo sweatshirts (not matching). When I got back home and looked up the brand, I saw that it has a cult following and sold on sites like
but it's near impossible to find women's Blue Blue online, until now. Canadian streetwear-meets-luxury shop
stocks a curated selection of the goods and I just bought this turtleneck at 50% off. The plan is to wear it to death.
— Marissa Blue Blue Japan
Cotton Rib Slub Turtleneck,
$160.00 $77.00 Buy
Blue and white oversized button-downs are my uniform so when I see a really good one, I buy it. And this organic cotton, loose-fitting style fits the bill.
— Marissa & Other Stories
Oversized Organic Cotton Button Up Shirt, $89.00
At this point, I've realized that I'm on an organic cotton kick. Perhaps it's the feeling of starting a new year off clean and fresh. Without getting too Freudian while I'm spitballing my current favorite buys, let me turn your attention to these exquisitely simple Turkish towels (they come in both bath and hand towel sizes) currently on sale for 20% off at West Elm with checkout code SAVEMORE. They're made in Turkey of 100% organic cotton and certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard.
— Marissa West Elm
Organic Turkish Tassel Towels, $19.00
The elusive, influencer-loved
shoulder pad muscle tank
has popped up this month over at Reformation as part of their new "Strictly Business" collection. You might not be on board with this retro microtrend but you can't deny it's kinda boss.
— Marissa Reformation
Belfort Top, $68.00
“During a Shopping Team
best black-eyeliner for cat-eyes test
, I stumbled upon this unlikely (for me) product MVP! Although I am NOT a black-eyeliner (or cat-eye) wearer, this dual-tipped tool from Estée Lauder managed to convert me — it goes on so smoothly and easily with rich precision and an all-day, stay-on-your-lids wear. Although I don't don it every day, I still turn to it whenever my lids need a fast, easy, and effortlessly chic pick-me-up.”
— Liz Estée Lauder
Little Black Liner,
$33.00 $28.05 Buy