You know that feeling when you’re having a generally crappy day? One of those where you spill coffee on your shirt in the morning and don’t have a Tide Stick, where there are too many meetings and no one’s aligned or wants to pivot, you forget to eat lunch and get blisters on your heels and miss your ride home and get canceled on by a friend? Well, beauty can fix that.
There is something so unfailingly fun about beelining to the beauty aisle. Each product on the shelf is there to put on a brightly-colored, airbrushed performance for you and your discerning consumer eye. A mascara promising daddy-long-legs lashes that slide off in tubes! A mask as thick as buttercream that spins straw to silky hair! Imported sheet masks that turn your face into a panda’s face and then a very hydrated version of your face! Indulging in a day dream of a you who’s not quite you is literally free. Go do it right now! Much like deep frying, it just makes everything a little better for a sec. It can also reinvigorate your whole night. You might go home excited for a solo evening activity where you previously had nothing planned. Or get inspired to change up the vibe, go out, and actually enjoy yourself. Either way, a success.
But there’s a catch. The fantasy gets kind of smushed when that thing you’re impulse buying puts a strain on your budget. By our calculations, a small investment in a self-self-care gift sees its greatest return when it’s under 35 bucks. So if you buy beauty for the thrill of it, this one’s for you: What makes your heart flutter, without a price tag that’ll give you a heart attack? What’s the best, most satisfying beauty product you can buy for cheap, drugstore or not? We’ll see you in the comments.
Photo via ITG