Here’s What The R29 Shopping Team Actually Bought For Under $100 This Month

If we had $100 to spend, what would we buy? Our answers to this question look decidedly different than they did at the beginning of March. Finances are tight, and not everyone can afford to drop a Benjamin on non-essentials, we get it. Which is why this month's edition of our Shopping team's MVPs is not a guide to what you should be buying — it's simply a list of items that helped us find a small slice of comfort during these uncertain times. We hope maybe one or two can do the same for you.

Ahead, the under-$100 products we actually bought, used, and came to rely on over the past 30+ days: from a gem-toned nine-pack of satin scrunchies that only costs $6 to an oversized fleece shirt hiding in Uniqlo's men's section and a "Nice Buns" bath mat purchased on a serendipitous whim. Scroll on to web-window shop, feel seen, inspired, fatigued, or just connected — all emotions are valid. And be sure to holler out what you've carted for under one hundo that's made these stay-at-home days feel a little bit better.


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. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Everlane Cotton Crew

"ICYMI, Everlane’s hiding-in-plain-sight sale section is a gold mine of treasures. My most recent conquest: its fan-fave crewneck sweater in deliciously soft cotton, which is 30% off for a limited time. I love the slightly cropped, boxy fit, and the fact that it’s not too heavy for this transitional weather. I went for the muted pistachio colorway (swoon!), but am seriously debating snapping up my size in the other available hues while it’s at a palatable under-$40 price point. (You can never have too many black sweaters, right?)" – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market Writer

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Everlane The Soft Cotton Crew - Heathered Spearmint, $50.00 $35.00 Buy

Brandless Coconut Water Body Butter

"I never thought I wanted to smell like a walking bakery, but Brandless made me realize it's all I've ever wished for. Their creamy body butter is made without dyes or parabens and smells like a fresh, buttery dream. I use it every night after a hot bath and it instantly makes my skin feel smooth, soft, and tended to." – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market Writer

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Brandless Coconut Water Body Butter, $8.00 Buy

Room Essentials Hair Pin Writing Desk

"After many months of quarantining with my SO's parents, I was finally able (and fortunate enough) to reunite with my own mom and dad. The only hitch in this family fairytale was the lack of usable workspace available inside my new home base. So, after two weeks of sitting with my shoulders up to my ears, I finally took matters into my own hands by hunting down the most affordable non-eyesore desk option I could get my hands on ASAP: aka this $80 Target gem. This thing literally took me ten minutes to put together (I timed myself) — all I had to do was screw the legs on. It's sturdy, stylish, and spacious without being cumbersome. I 10/10 recommend this to those looking for a fast fix for their lacking WFH setups. It's makeshift, but make it MCM. Now, I just need a better chair..." – Elizabeth Buxton, Market Editor

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Room Essentials Hair Pin Writing Desk, $80.00 Buy

9-Pack Of Satin Scrunchies

"I usually wear my natural hair in a big puff puff on top of my head every day for work, and at the end of the day, I'm too lazy to carefully free it from a normal hair tie. With these, I can just rip them out of my hair and it leaves absolutely no damage. It's great. These scrunchies also lessen the puff-puff headache I get when I wear my hair up for hours on end which, despite my hair dresser's disapproval, I do all the time." – Alexandra Polk, Deals Writer

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FANNI SHOP Satin Scrunchies (Pack of 9), $8.99 Buy

UNIQLO U Men's Fleece Shirt Jacket

"I am a big Uniqlo fan, especially when the weather starts turning and you can feel the fall (and impending doom of winter) starting to creep in. When I saw the new Uniqlo U collection drop the other week, I immediately bought this men's shirt jacket in an XXS. It's the perfect oversized 'shacket' for this weather transition and the brown color is just right." – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates Editor

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Space Mask

"Now that I've had about six months to get acquainted with an accessory I've never considered before 2020, I can report that I have found the one. The elusive face mask that can be worn for long periods of time that doesn't make me feel like I am going drown in a heavy mist of my own breath. And it's not flimsy either! The Space Mask (cue: 2001: A Space Odyssey theme song) uses impressive-sounding (and feeling) nanotechnology for its tightly woven filters and is made of three layers including an antibacterial filter, soft cotton, and another nano filter. It's CDC-approved and comes in three sizes (the size small fit my tiny peanut head — hurrah!). But back to the main event, no sweaty face." – Marissa Rosenblum, Shopping Director

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Space Mask Space Mask, $19.00 Buy

Vaseline Lip Therapy Creme Brulee

"Every year for my stocking stuffers and for every care package my (very nice) mom sends me, I always ask that one specific item be included (please): Vaseline's Lip Therapy Creme Brulee pots — aka the teeny-tiny versions of regular-sized jars of Vaseline. (For smol-ness reference, I have one pictured here with my 15 lb. dog who occasionally models for me.) If you've yet to try one of these lil' BBs, now's the time. They smell like a sweet-creamy-vanilla-dessert dream, are insanely hydrating (a little goes a long way), can be used pretty much anywhere on your bod that needs some extra nourishment or shine, are affordable (a three-pack on Amazon costs $7), and, most importantly, are freaking cute." – Elizabeth Buxton, Market Editor

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Vaseline Vaseline Lip Therapy, Creme Brulee 0.25 Oz (3 Pack), $6.99 Buy

Bottled Joy Hydration Motivation Bottle

"Even as a vegan, I'm terrible at consuming enough water during the day. I know, I know; grow up already. I've never been a big water drinker (perhaps because I'm always sipping coffee) but this bottle has changed my life this month. Not only is it easy to tote around the apartment, but it's also detailed with time frames and motivational words to encourage proper hydration. I've never downed so much water in my life." – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Market Writer

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BOTTLED JOY Half Gallon Water Bottle with Straw Lid, BPA Free 75oz, $22.99 $5.99 Buy

Supergoop CC Cream

"I can’t remember the last time I did a full beat, but I can remember the last time I applied this magic Supergoop stuff — this morning. Even if I’m not working from R29 HQ or attending work events, I love to play with makeup to help look and feel my best. Supergoop newly-relaunched CC Cream has me covered with SPF protection, which is important since my WFH desk is directly in front of my bedroom window, and the shade 226W is a near-perfect match for my light-medium olive skin without being full-coverage. In other words, it’s the Zoom 'Touch Up My Appearance' feature in a tube." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market Writer

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Supergoop! CC Screen 100% Mineral CC Cream SPF 50 PA++++, $39.00 Buy

Down Alternative King Size Pillow Set

"Did I accidentally buy king size pillows for my queen size bed? Yes. Do I regret it? No. When I unboxed these pillows and noticed that they were more than half the size of my bed, I semi-panicked. But, they're so fluffy and squishy that they fit right in. I wouldn't buy these if you're not into soft pillows –– I already have a firm pillow so I don't rely on these two for that kind of support. If you want that cloud-like pillow fantasy, I recommend these." – Alexandra Polk, Deals Writer

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downluxe Down Alternative King Size Pillows (2 Pack), $85.99 $39.99 Buy

Cole Haan Odette Driverina Flat

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: these shoes are good. Cole Haan's not-quite-a-loafer loafer — or, as I like to think of it, baby of a stretchy-backed ballet flat and classic driving shoe — have been on sale for just under 50 bucks for what's seemed like forever with ample sizing stock to boot (so cart them while you still can!!). I purchased these beauties in both the black and brown styles and did not live to regret it: they run true to size, are very comfortable with a slipper-like fit for inside wear yet enough sole structure to still be durable for outside, and they look *chefs kiss*. At this point, my outfit plans have come to fruition and I have indeed worn them with everything from straight-up PJs to wide-legs jeans (pictured here) and chunky knit sweaters." – Elizabeth Buxton, Market Editor

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Cole Haan Odette Driverina Braided Flat, $130.00 $49.97 Buy

KNC Beauty Supa Balm

"I always have really chapped lips because unfortunately, it’s where my stress manifests, so I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect (NOT STICKY) lip balm. This one by KNC Beauty is really great! It’s not super glossy but has a nice sheen, the perfect sweet mint scent, and the bright tube makes it easy to spot at the bottom of my tote bag." – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates Editor

Shop KNC Beauty
KNC Beauty Supa Balm, $22.00 Buy

Outdoor Voices 7/8 Tri-Tone Leggings

"I received this TODAY after ordering it just two days ago (OV shipping is apparently lightning speed), and threw it on for a quick self-timer shot of my best 'Doing Things' pose (pictured here). This is the second Outdoor Voices' set I've purchased since the brand first launched back in 2013 — their stuff really lasts and isn't cheap, so I've leaned into getting good wear out of my first one (plus, the material gets softer overtime). I've just included the sports bra ($58) for reference and am highlighting the leggings ($88) as the main under-$100 MVP. I don't impulse-buy workout clothes but, when I opened OV's latest newsletter with its new Tri-Tone color drop, I hit add-to-cart so quickly that the next thing I knew I was wearing it. Aside from its durable and formfitting-in-a-comfy-way material (I'm wearing a small here), the eye-catching colorways (this is Tangerine/Grapefruit/Snapdragon) with artful seaming details make OV's pieces a standout wardrobe staple that you can layer and wear way beyond working out. I love their high-waist fit of and plant to pair them with actual sports bras, chunky knits, and oversized button-downs, etc." – Elizabeth Buxton, Market Editor

Shop Outdoor Voices
Outdoor Voices 7/8 Tri-Tone Leggings, $88.00 Buy
Outdoor Voices Slashback Crop Top, $58.00 Buy

Urban Outfitters Nice Buns Bath Mat

"I bought this on a whim and thought that I might return it, but it really brightens up my day. I just think it's so cute! I'm not an interior design queen, so my apartment definitely needed a pick me up and this totally did it for me." – Alexandra Polk, Deals Writer

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Urban Outfitters Nice Buns Bath Mat, $34.00 Buy

Allbirds Wool Piper Sneaker

"I know these babies are pretty close to our $100 price cap, but Allbirds’ new wool Piper offers so much shoe for your buck. You can read my detailed review here, but suffice it to say, these eco-friendly kicks live up to the brand’s established super high standards of both sustainability and superior comfort. I'll be hoofing around town in these breathable wool sneakers well into the fall." – Emily Ruane, Fashion Writer

Shop Allbirds
Allbirds Wool Pipers True Black, $95.00 Buy

Hanky Panky Thong Five-Pack

"I could probably wear Hanky Panky’s super soft, (and super cute) lace thongs as my exclusive underwear of choice for the rest of my life. They are insanely comfortable in ways I never thought a thong could be, and I’m head over heels in love with the cute colors in this five-pack of 'petite size' thongs. A shopping pro tip: You get a pretty sweet deal with this value set, so skip the à la carte ones in lieu of an underwear-drawer-refresh-in-a-box." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market Writer

Shop Hanky Panky
Hanky Panky 5 Pack *Petite Size* Low Rise Thongs, $98.00 Buy

Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, 1897-1922

"Another entertainment-related purchase is Hugh Mangum’s Where We Find Ourselves. A self-taught, itinerant portrait photographer who traveled the American South at the turn of the century, Mangum photographed sitters both Black and white from all walks of life, showcasing a diversity of that was rare during the segregated post-Civil War era. Not only is his monograph an important historical object, but the Victorian-era fashion that the book depicts can only be described as FIRE! I comb it daily for fall fashion inspiration." – Emily Ruane, Fashion Writer

Shop Bookshop
The University of North Carolina Press Where We Find Ourselves: The Photographs of Hugh Mangum, $45.00 Buy

Raw Generation Immunity Shots

"Flu season is just around the corner (*insert Kim K hiding GIF here*), and in addition to getting my vaccine this year, I’m also making an effort to avoid germs by 1) staying at home and 2) making or buying ginger-turmeric concoctions to help support my immune system. Oh, and 30 wearing a mask and washing my hands! I love to make a DIY ginger tisane with lemon, honey, and turmeric, but if I’m in a rush, these yummy shots — which come out to just $3.50 each — from Raw Generation also get the job done." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market Writer

Shop Raw Generation
Raw Generation Immunity Shots, $140.00 $69.99 Buy

Catbird Barnes Ring

"My mom recently gave me one of her old signet rings that I love, but is just a little too big and just barely slips off my finger. I decided to get this silver ring from Catbird to stack on top to hold it in place. I love that it’s great quality without breaking the bank and it has a unique domed shape so it’s not just your average silver band." – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates Editor

Shop Catbird

Catbird Barnes Ring, Silver, $68.00 Buy

Dermalogica Precleanse Cleansing Oil

"My favorite way to remove make-up is with a cleansing oil — I love the feeling of the oil sopping up all of the make-up on my face and rinsing it off for a squeaky clean complexion. Dermalogica's cleansing oil is one of my favorites! I use 1-2 pumps, massage my face for 1 minute, and it gets everything from my foundation to my mascara off my face. Sometimes I even use it on my make-up free face to unclog my pores." – Alexandra Polk, Deals Writer

Shop Dermalogica
Dermalogica Precleanse Cleansing Oil, $45.00 Buy

Buckingham Nicks On Vinyl

"Rumours is in pretty constant rotation in our household, but I have to limit my consumption of Fleetwood Mac’s blockbuster opus so that I don’t get completely sick of it. My fallback is Buckingham Nicks, an album that Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham recorded in 1973, right before they joined Fleetwood Mac. I normally just stream the album on YouTube, but I finally bit the bullet and found a used vinyl copy on Amazon. (You can also check Discogs for options in the under-$100 range.) I know that $70 for a record sounds insane in the era of Spotify and Apple Music, but I know this album is going to be played hundreds of times in the coming year — to me, it’s a worthwhile investment in my precious personal time." – Emily Ruane, Fashion Writer

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Buckingham Nicks Buckingham Nicks, $68.68 Buy

Mercury Row Ladder Bookcase

Last Month's Top MVP:
"I recently moved, which is a special form of torture if you live in New York City. Throw in a pandemic, and it’s well, probably shaved five years off my life. However, the one silver lining is that it did allow me a fresh start to refresh my space with some new furniture. Like many other Brooklyn twenty-somethings, my home décor kryptonite is anything that combines “affordable” and “small space”. Enter, this simple ladder bookshelf that I copped for under $100. It is surprisingly roomy despite taking up very little wall space, and it doubles as a way to display some of my more sentimental possessions, like my vintage Royal typewriter that I received from my boyfriend early in our relationship." – Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty Market Writer

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Mercury Row Almanzar Ladder Bookcase, $89.99 $78.90 Buy

Patrick Ta Beauty Major Brow Shaping Wax

Last Month's Top MVP:
"I've tried just about every product and treatment on the market (even tried microblading many moons ago) in an attempt to give my very fine, sparse, and light brow hairs some extra oomph — nothing gave me the full, fast, affordable, and lasting results I was longing for. Until Patrick Ta, who I've now decided is some sort of beauty Willy Wonka. After being smartly targeted on Instagram by the brand's brow-shaping wax and watching in awe as the mesmerizing product was applied with bountiful results, I had to try it. You may not think they look like much here, BUT: the results from one spoolie swoop are, as the name suggests, major for my pair of lackluster brows that I usually have to fill in with a pencil and then apply a wax to in order to get anywhere close to a bushy brushed-up look. The best part? My limited brow hairs actually stayed brushed up in place all day! Hot Tip: you need to activate the wax by either spraying it with a setting mist or wetting it with a few drops of water so that you can work it into a tacky consistency that will properly transfer from the brush to your brows. Otherwise, you can join the ranks of the nonplussed reviewers who claim this miracle product 'doesn't work. It does!" – Elizabeth Buxton, Market Editor

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Also available at Sephora
Patrick Ta Beauty Major Brow Shaping Wax, $22.00 Buy

Bala Weighted Bangle Set

Last Month's Top MVP:
"When lockdown first began, I had a full-on meltdown. Why, might you ask? I had been going to pilates and barre classes for eight months beforehand; finally getting my butt in shape and focusing on my mental health. Of course, with stay-home orders, all studios ceased to exist on ClassPass and Equinox. After a few weeks of wallowing in my megaformer despair, I found Bala Bangles. These ankle and/or arm weights increase the efficiency of my at-home virtual workouts and give me the burn that soothes my anxiety and calms my nerves after a long workday. " – Cortne Bonilla, Lifestyle Writer

Shop Bala
Bala Weighted Bangle Set, $49.00 Buy

Naturium Niancinamide Serum

Last Month's Top MVP:
"I found this niacinamide serum after searching 'how to get rid of forehead bumps' on Youtube…and let me tell you, just 2 weeks of use and there isn’t a forehead bump to be seen. I. Am. Serious." – Kate Spencer, Deals & Updates Editor

Shop Amazon
Natrium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2%, $16.00 $12.80 Buy

Lee All Cotton Straight Leg Jean

“I also snagged these sweet mom jeans for $30 — they are high-waisted, straight-legged, and totally stretch-free. (In other words, jeans as God intended them.) I opted for the extra-long pant hem so I could cuff them, cut them off, or let them be floor-length. (I haven’t decided yet.) I am very much looking forward to wearing them to death. I find the sizing to be true — I normally wear a size 4 but opted for a 6, and they have an appropriately just-too-big boyfriend fit.” – Emily Ruane, Fashion Writer

Shop Lee
Lee All Cotton Straight Leg Jean, $34.60 Buy

Public Goods Membership

Last Month's Top MVP:
I rented an eco-cabin for my birthday a few months ago, and not only was the small space a low footprint home, it was also furnished impeccably down to the minimalist outfitting of Public Goods products. From the bathroom to the kitchen, and many pantry items in between — Public Goods filled the space instead of name-brand and drugstore products. I had never heard of Public Goods and my first response was to the pleasing black & white, minimal aesthetic. I loved how it all matched and just blended into the living space. As my interest was piqued, I was pleased to find out that the brand is sustainable, subjectively very low cost, and offers tons of high-quality products to stock your home with.

This is a membership model so it costs $59 a year in addition to the price of the goods, but there is a free two-week trial which is well worth testing out (don't forget to add a calendar reminder before the two weeks ends in case you don't want to be charged the membership!) some new sustainable items that are incredibly pleasing to the eye. – Marissa Rosenblum, Shopping Director

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