Sephora is—as everyone who has ever walked into the store just to browse and walked out with a bag holding a $100 dollar lactic acid serum that promises to change your face and your life knows—a minefield. There are tons of amazing products to be had, from the extremely high-end luxury brands to the quirky cult favorites, making it hard to know just what to buy. And while it can be tempting to splurge on some of the fancier products on offer (which we're totally guilty of doing), it's also worth noting that Sephora's house brand is home to a bevy of amazing beauty products, which can all be had at price points that won't leave you an anxious mess when you look at your next credit card statement.
But Sephora isn't the only retail outlet that offers an exciting house beauty brand. Fellow beauty powerhouse Bluemercury also has an impressive house line, that's got at least one of our editors forgoing spa experiences because she loves its peel so much. And speaking of spas, Bliss has a great house line of its own, beyond the luxe skin-care lines they offer. And let's not forget Old Navy's new beauty line that just launched a few months ago. Its scents are dreamily seductive, with a price point that's equally as pleasing. And this is just scratching the surface.
But what to buy? The sheer number of products can leave even the most seasoned shopper overwhelmed. The tyranny of too many choices is real! Here then, we've narrowed down some of the all-time best house brand beauty products, the ones that are as widely loved as they are reasonably priced. So the next time you're thinking about restocking your vanity, feel like you're on a mission rather than just aimlessly picking up whatever is the new, hot thing. Your wallet—and your skin—will thank you.
Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Luminizer, $14, available at Sephora
We're all about that glowy look and Sephora's luminizer is a really amazing dupe of the more expensive ones out there. Plus, it lasts forever.
Kindred Goods, 3-Piece Mini Set, $15, available at Old Navy
Having launched just in September, Old Navy’s beauty brand, Kindred Goods, has quickly established a name of its own. The Sea Salt and Fig set, containing body scrub, lotion, and bar soap, smells heavenly and leaves the body feeling pampered and soft.
M-61, Power Glow Peel, from $28, available at Bluemercury
We’ve said it once, but we’ll say it again: We’ve skipped our share of facial appointments thanks to Bluemercury skin-care brand M-61’s on the go peel. It’s fast, easy, and instantly clears up skin, reduces pores, and lights up complexion.
Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil Waterproof, $12, available at Sephora
At just about half the cost of our beloved Urban Decay eyeliner, Sephora's Waterproof version comes in a host of amazing colors (as well as the classics, naturally). And, to be honest, all of Sephora's eyeliners are really great; the liquid precision eyeliner won't budge and will help you create the perfect cat eye.
Lune + Aster, Vitamin C and E Lipgloss, $18, available at Bluemercury
M-61 vegan sister makeup brand, Lune + Aster, has launched last year and instantly established a following among beauty junkies. As the name suggest, the lip glosses are jam-packed with vitamins C and E, which moisturize and nourish the lips, and boast fun monikers like President, Angel Investor, CEO, and Changemaker, with equally can't-miss shades to match.
Shobha, Exfoliating Cloth, $15, available at Shobha
For anyone who’s been to a Shobha hair removal salon knows that you can get lost in the selection of beauty products that they carry while waiting for your appointment. Not surprisingly, the salon’s own exfoliating cloth is one of the best out there for post-wax care. Made from all-natural plant fibers, it helps exfoliate and shed dead skin, and, more crucially to those who've been waxed, prevents ingrown hairs from occurring.
Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 'Always Red,' $14, available at Sephora
Every shade in the Sephora Lip Stain line is brilliant, but Always Red is a standout for being extremely versatile. And, according to NYLON editor Keryce Henry: "If I had to choose between food and Sephora Cream Lip Stain, I'd be a hungry girl with flawless lip color." When asked what her favorite color is, Henry replied, "Always Red, hands down. It works for virtually every skin tone, and I may or may not have tested this theory with my friends. Blackberry Sorbet is a super-close second, though."
Bliss Mask A-Peel Radiance Revealing Rubberizing Mask (3 Treatments), $30, available at Bliss
Bliss Spa sells some of the most sought-after beauty brands on the planet, but many of their most effective products are what they utilize in their in-house spa. Not all of these are particularly cheap, but there are some pretty great deals to be found, and one of our favorites is this face mask, which not only leaves skin glowy and soft but is also super fun to pull off, like peeling away sunburned skin. (Although, you know: Don't get a sunburn! They're so bad for you.)
Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, $7.50, available at Sephora
NYLON's Tina Vaden says: "With all the weirdo eye makeup moves I make, this is the move when it comes time to take them off. I can use it with my contacts in, and literally just close my eyes and wipe, with no fear of burning, because it's oil-based and lovely. Also, it feels like it might moisturize a little thanks to that oil, which is an added bonus because #LifeAfter30 eye creasing is a sweet, low-key new feature occurring upon mon facade."
Lune + Aster, Stratosphere Volumizing Mascara, $20, available at Bluemercury
As the name suggests, this mascara lifts your lashes to new heights, with other benefits to boot. The peptides encourage lash regrowth while vitamin C lengthens and strengthens the curtains adorning the windows to your soul.
Shobha, Rosewater Freshening Cloths, $9, available at Shobha
Shobha’s multipurpose wipes (intended for face, body, and bikini) are perfect for the girl on the move, whether she’s freshening up after a non-sweaty pilates class, before applying makeup, or after the dreaded bikini wax. Made with essential rose oil, the scent is familiar to anyone who’s stepped inside the bright orange walls that adorn the beloved waxing salons.
Sephora Collection Super Supreme Body Butter, $26, available at Sephora
Do yourself a favor and buy a tub of this stuff right now. Winter is coming, and unless you want super-dry skin to come with it, you'll want to liberally douse yourself with this unbelievably (especially for the price) luxe and effective body moisturizer.
Sephora Formula X The System XCel Customizable Gel-Like Nail Polish Set, $32, available at Sephora
All of Sephora's Formula X nail polishes are pretty great—and so much more affordable than their high-end label counterparts. But we're super partial to this kit which allows us to get salon-style nails (so even! so glossy!) that will last a solid 10 days without showing a chip. Seriously, our nails grow faster than this nail polish can keep up with. And, because it's not a real gel manicure, this stuff is super easy to get off. Particularly with Sephora's Formula X Delete All.
M-61, Hydraboost Body Butter, $24, available at Bluemercury
If you dislike scented lotions, you will love this body butter. The completely scent-free and peptide- and vitamin B5-packed miracle product locks in moisture like no other and leaves your skin smooth and firm thanks to hyaluronic acid and tamarind seed extract.
RickyCare, Backstage Cleansing Wipes, $6.99, available at Ricky’s
Another cheap thrill, these wipes remove makeup while ridding you of impurities and cleansing your face with aloe, Vitamin E, and chamomile flower extract.
Sephora Collection Face Mask Set, $25, available at Sephora
Who doesn't love to wear a sheet mask and look, if only for a little while, like a creepy serial killer? Especially when that serial killer look disappears, leaving dewy and soft skin behind? Nobody doesn't like that. Plus, Sephora's sheet masks are super-effective and come at a price that won't break the bank. What's not to love?
RickyCare, Blotting Papers, $3.49, available at Ricky’s
You would be hard-pressed to find cheaper blotting papers than these ones. Designed to eliminate dirt and oil, these papers are perfect for when you want to remove shine from perspiration or your T-zone without disturbing your makeup.
Sephora Collection The Perfectionist Airbrush Sponge, $12, available at Sephora
You all know about the importance of blending your makeup with sponges, right? It's very important! Well, it is if you want your makeup to blend seamlessly into your skin and help you look impossibly fresh-faced, like—no matter how much concealer you're sporting—and like you just woke up like this.
Sephora Collection Eyebrow Editor Complete Brow Kit, $19, available at Sephora
This little kit contains everything you need to keep your brows looking tip-top (which is so, so essential; they frame the face, after all!), and is really easy to use, even for brow novices.
Bliss, Blood Orange + White Pepper Sugar Scrub, $36, available at Bliss
This tub of body polish lasts forever, and you'll want it to because the scent is downright intoxicating (and invigorating). Beyond that, though, this exfoliator really gets the job done and will leave your skin super smooth after using it. Plus, you'll smell so good.