The Shopping Team’s January Under-$100 MVPs (That’s Most Valuable Products!)

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.

Stars Above Perfectly Cozy Lounge Jogger Pants

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 Stars Above 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 Buy

Vaseline Lip Therapy Crème Brûlée

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 Buy

Casper Nap Pillow

Last September 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 Buy

Leandra X Mango Pearl Pendant Earrings

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 Buy

Otiumberg Sterling Silver Twist Ring

I did a huge jewelry purge after Christmas, so of course, I’m now in the market for... more jewelry! Just kidding — 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 Otiumberg definitely fits the bill. $85 is an excellent price for such a solid chunk of silver, and shipping costs to the US are most reasonable.

— Emily Ruane, Fashion Market Writer
Otiumberg Chunky Silver Twist Ring Sterling Silver$85.00 Buy

Lou & Grey Fuzzed Mock Neck Sweater

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 now. 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

Richer Poorer Femme Boxer

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 finally starting Succession 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 Buy

Verdusa Colorblock Corduroy Shacket

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 Buy

Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial

"I waxed poetic about Drunk Elephant's brand new drop, the F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial already (click here 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 Buy

Comrad Companion Compression Socks

"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 Buy

Tarte Shape Tape Glow Wand

"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 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 Buy

Ursa Major Sublime Sage Spray Deodorant

"I made the switch to natural deodorants around three or four years ago, and while the um, adjustment period 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 works."

— Karina
Ursa Major Sublime Sage Spray Deodorant$18.00 Buy

Stems Fishnet Tights

Right before I left for holiday break, I was visited by two inspiring women (one of which I knew from her swimsuit collection, Rochelle Sara) to check out their new venture in legwear. Stems, 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 Buy

Pact Classic Fit Bikini

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 Buy

Blue Blue Japan Indigo Turtleneck

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 Grailed and End. but it's near impossible to find women's Blue Blue online, until now. Canadian streetwear-meets-luxury shop SSENSE 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

& Other Stories Oversized Organic Cotton Shirt

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 Buy

West Elm Organic Turkish Tassel Towels

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 Buy

Reformation Belfort Top

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 Buy

Estée Lauder Little Black Liner

“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
Load more...