The Best Under-$25 Hidden Gems At Sephora

·5 min read

Sephora is basically a beauty lover’s playground — and we all know it’s a little too easy to walk in there with plans to repurchase your go-to brow pencil and “accidentally” leave with $150 worth of products that you absolutely needed. However pricey the beauty behemoth is, there are plenty of affordable and highly effective products hidden among the La Mers and Augustinus Baders of the world — you just have to know where to look.

As a beauty writer, I’ve explored every facet of the industry’s price-point spectrum, from a $5 mascara with almost 230,000 reviews on Amazon to a $235 day cream that invokes the centuries-old healing properties of Eastern-European thermal water. Armed with a pretty good understanding of what makes a valuable beauty product, I rounded up 15 of my favorite under-$25 buys that are worth every penny. Whether you’re looking for a reasonably priced cleanser or life-changing eyelash curler, I’ve got you covered. From Sephora’s affordable in-house brands to pint-size versions of luxe products that will still go a long way, there are plenty of ways to squeeze maximum bang out of products that clock in at minimal bucks.

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Violet Voss Fun Sized Mini Eyeshadow Palette, $18

Is this travel-friendly, adorably mini eyeshadow palette by the brand famous for its rich pigment and bold colors really under $20? Yes, it really is. Featuring 10 matte, shimmer, foil, and satin purple-ish shades, there’s nothing neutral about any look you achieve with this palette.

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Bread Hair Oil Everyday Gloss, $24

Is it a bottle of hair oil, or an objet d’art? Bread’s sweet almond oil and kakadu plum-infused concoction is the ultimate pick-me-up for lackluster strands begging for shine and moisture.

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Smith’s Rosebud Salve, $7

This cult-favorite apothecary-inspired tinted balm is perfect for adding a hint of rosy flush to lips and cheeks, and it boasts a spa-like feel thanks to hydrating cottonseed oil and essential fragrances. At just $7, it’s one of the most valuable beauty buys out.

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Ouai Mini Melrose Place Eau De Parfum, $22

If you can’t get enough of that signature Ouai fresh-floral scent and wish to be showered in it 24/7, this mini perfume is for you. It features top notes of champagne, bergamot, and rose with bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, and white musk as base notes.

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Maude Soak — Vitamin-Rich Mineral Bath Salts, $18

Whether it’s for foreplay or after-care, soaking has never felt sexier. Featuring Maude’s classic scent of amber, cedar, and lemongrass, these Dead Sea bath salts are filled with natural properties that remove impurities.

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Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler, $23

Sure, you could pick up a basic eyelash curler at the drugstore, but I can almost guarantee it won’t give you the lash-maximizing results that this trusty Tweezerman one does. Plus, let’s be honest: The rose-gold finish is nothing short of gorgeous.

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Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm, $18

Rare Beauty’s plush glosses come in the prettiest neutral shades and feel as hydrating as your favorite lip balm, thanks to a trifecta of lotus, gardenia, and white waterlily. Plus, the packaging is a solid 11/10.

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Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel, $14

From the comb-like wand to the lamination-like effect, the properties of Benefit’s clear brow gel blow its competitors out of the water. Plus, it goes a long way — one tube lasted me a few months with near-daily wear.

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The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, $9

Nine dollars normally wouldn’t take you far at Sephora, but The Ordinary’s high-performance formulas are a rare exception. A choice winter skin-care pick, this pure plant-derived squalane serum is ideal for quenching dry skin.

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Ilia Mini Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara, $13

Pro tip: I low-key love mini mascaras since they force you to use them up within a few months’ time — which you’re supposed to be doing but probably aren’t. Ilia’s beloved clean formula bestows long, fluttery lashes within a matter of swipes.

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The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream, $9.99

The Inkey List’s entire assortment doesn’t exceed $20 per product, so they’re a great brand to check out if you’re ballin’ on a budget. One fan-fave skin-care MVP: This perk-me-up eye cream is infused with caffeine to brighten tired skin.

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Sephora Collection Clean Skin Gel Cleanser, $10

Sephora Collection offers everything from makeup to skin care at entry-level price points. One of my personal favorites is this extra-gentle gel cleanser, which leaves my skin feeling fresh and balanced — never dry. (Plus, prebiotics in the formula help support a healthy, happy skin barrier.)

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iNNBEAUTY PROJECT Next Level Moisturizer, $22

Don’t be fooled by Innbeauty Project’s bright, fun packaging (which is very good). The stuff inside is worth its weight in gold (and not just neon pink): A power cocktail of niacinamide and vitamin C leaves skin feeling bright, supple, and healthy.

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Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, $23

A classic. Whether you’re going for a subtle feline flick or a dramatic wing to rival Euphoria’s Maddy Perez, Stila’s ultra-precise felt-tip liquid eyeliner will get you there. (Need some convincing? Look no further than the 372,000 “Loves” that Sephora customers have awarded it.)

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Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Mini Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel, $17

Whenever my skin is feeling a little dull or texture-y, these are what I use to get my complexion back on the brightness track. The exfoliation power of the peel can be pretty intense, so I actually love this five-pack, which lasts me for a few weeks if I use them once or twice a week.

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