47 Cheap Alternatives To Expensive Products You’ll Feel Like A Genius For Buying

Most of your favorite products come in much, much more affordable versions if you know where to look.
Pull-on cushioned boots, an affordable firming eye cream and a plush microfiber blanket
Pull-on cushioned boots, an affordable firming eye cream and a plush microfiber blanket

Popular items from this list:

  • A pair of ridiculously comfy pull-on cushioned boots
  • A delightfully affordable firming eye cream made with vitamin C
  • A plush microfiber blanket
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Emma Lord/BuzzFeed
Essence's Lash Princess mascara
Hello, that is my face, because I bought into the hype of all the 5-star reviews and now I will never look back!! Putting it on is like giving my eyelashes butterfly wings. It doesn't get clumpy, it stays put ALL the livelong day no matter how much you sweat, and you can apply it on very lightly if you don't want it to look so dramatic, or continue applying for longer lashes each time.

Promising review: "AWESOME. I’ve always bought overpriced mascara. I’m very picky and was extremely hesitant, but I saw some reviews saying how awesome this was. I’ll never go back to 'Better Than Sex' mascara because that’s what I always use, and I compare it to that. This is the best mascara!! I’ll never go back." — patrick hauk
Emma Lord/BuzzFeed
A "flossing toothbrush" with two layers of bristles
Mouthwatchers is a small business established by Ronald Plotka, DDS, that specializes in antimicrobial toothbrushes designed to get deeper cleans even patients with "great" dental hygiene might miss with traditional brush and floss routines.

I personally bought this and love it! I use an electric toothbrush usually, but I feel like I'm getting a much more satisfying clean from these?? Especially because I tend to get yellow stains between my teeth no matter *how* much I floss, and these bristles seem to actually target that a lot more effectively. I've switched to using this in the morning and the electric one at night and definitely see a difference in that area in particular.

Promising review: "A thorough cleaning. This toothbrush cleans my teeth better than my expensive electric one. You actually feel the bristles scrubbing between your gums!" — Shiva H.
Mega popular high-waisted leggings made with performance fabric
No joke, I checked my Amazon history and I own three pairs of these now because I just keep buying them every time I need a reliable pair of black leggings. They're compressive, squatproof, slide on very easily, and are quite comfy — and this is speaking as someone who uses them for everything from leisurely walks around the city to 10-mile runs. The pockets are perfectly-sized for phones and accessories with a nice depth to them, and don't stretch out over time like other ones do. They also wash up beautifully — I haven't noticed any wear in them, I just keep buying more because I was sick of waiting until laundry day to wear them when they got sweaty.

Promising review: "These are the best yoga pants, giving Lululemon a run for their money (at a quarter of the price). NOT EXAGGERATING! I first bought the capris and loved them so much I bought an extra pair and the long ones as well. So very comfortable. Pockets are perfectly placed and inconspicuous. I have washed many times, hanging to dry, and they hold up, with no fading. Perfect fit, and true to size. I have recommended to so many, who also now rave about these yoga pants...and thank me." — P. Bauman
Inkey List
A popular peptide moisturizer
Promising review: “I think I've gone through 6 bottles of this moisturizer. Reminds me of Drunk Elephant's Protini Polypeptide Cream except way more affordable. My only wish is that it came in a bulk size/ bigger bottle so I don't have to buy 2 bottles every few months.” – Brooke W.
A lil' polar bear hydrating eye stick
Promising review: "I have always had serious dark circles and bags under my eyes and this has really changed this for me. The results are incredible. The puffiness is gone. The dark circles are hardly noticeable. My sensitive skin has not broken out. I never write reviews, but this was so good that I had to write a review. This actually works." — Ben

"Better than Tula! I love this cooling stick!! It’s super easy, affordable and smells lovely." —Heather
An affordable cult-favorite luxury-scented candle
Lulu Candles is a US-based small business that specializes in scented candles and perfumes.

Promising review: "This is such a great candle that fills the room quickly with a really nice strong smell that is soothing and relaxing. I was looking for a less expensive Le Labo Santal 33 scent candle and this one is very very close! It's a bit stronger but I love it! The shipment arrived fast and I just love how fast it fills up the room without being lit for so long!" — Cristina Bertolotto
A bottle of Elizavecca hair treatment
This is designed to work on all hair types, with reviewers with 2b to 4c curls mentioning it worked for them!

Promising review: "Like many others, I tried this as a replacement for Olaplex. Honestly, Olaplex never had a great effect on my hair and certainly wasn’t worth the price. This did an unreal job on my hair!! I was skeptical (tried a little bit first because I was petrified it would burn off my hair and I would end up bald!) but, lo and behold, it was magic! My hair is so strong, silky, and healthy looking after just one use. Plus you can’t beat the price! Have already ordered another box. I should also add I have curly/wavy hair that’s been colored to a light brown. Buy it!!" — BB
A set of satin pillowcases
Promising review: "My hair has never been better! I got this because of TikTok and it has done wonders for my hair. My hair isn’t frizzy or dull-looking when I get up in the morning." — Aaron Key

"These are really nice — perfect price point too. There's no difference between these and the same pillowcases from Kitsch at three times the price." — Keri
A trio of hydrating lip sleeping masks
Promising review: "This is the most moisturizing lip treatment in the market. When my lips started getting dry due to the cold season I was thinking of buying the Laneige lip mask, but it’s soooo expensive. This is a fraction of the cost and feels just the same. Very good product." — Riya
A buildable Electric Glow Stick lipstick with a sheer, subtle glitter
Check out a TikTok of the Electric Glow lipstick in action.

Promising review: "Beautiful color lipstick that looks great with my skin tone. Not too bright but a rosy color that I love." — Faloli
A set of chic, highly popular wireless Bluetooth earbuds
These come with a wireless charging case that provides up to 14 hours of charge (with the earbuds able to play for four-plus hours with each full charge).

Promising review: "I previously had Beats headphones that broke within three months. I bought these to replace my Beats headphones and will never turn back. These headphones are amazing. They have a very long battery life. I love the case they come with. I use them in the gym four days a week and they have not become waterlogged. If you're looking for reliable headphones I would highly recommend these!" — Tiffany
Pure Instinct roll-on
Pure Instinct is a small business established in 1985 that specializes in personal fragrances and essential oils.

Promising review: "If you love Basic Instinct by Pure Romance, you will LOVE this affordable alternative! To me it smells almost exactly the same; there is an extremely slight difference in smell that I'm sure others around me wouldn't even pick up on, and I still LOVE the smell! I love Basic Instinct, but ran out awhile ago and just couldn't justify spending that much money on more. I'm so glad I found this alternative!" MN Tigerlily
An adorable, roomy duffel bag
Promising review: "This bag is amazing!! It’s the perfect size for all my gym stuff. Clothes, shoes, water bottle, pre-workout, headphones, toiletries, etc., and it can be made smaller or bigger height-wise with these little buttons they have on the side that you can snap down. Very cute. It also has some inside mesh pockets to help separate things better. If you thinking about it, just buy it! You won’t regret it." — Sarah Brackenrich
A longline sports bra
Promising review: "I love this shirt because it is very versatile. It fits great and true to size. It has built-in padding, which is great. I can wear this to work out or I can wear it under my flannels or even as a sports bra if I want to. It is very comfortable and good quality. I have bought many colors and am very satisfied with all of them! All of the colors I have received are true to the color shown in the pictures on Amazon. I will probably be buying even more in the future!" — Amazon Customer
A bottle of Nyx matte setting spray
Promising review: "Expensive isn't always better. I tried this spray before spending the day outdoors in 90-degree heat at Disneyland, and the only place my makeup moved was on the tip of my nose because I have allergies and use a lot of Kleenex. But otherwise it looked as fresh as it did when I put it on. I’ve used Mac and Urban Decay setting spray and they never worked as well as this stuff. I am completely amazed. Definitely give it a try." — Stephanie
A pair of ridiculously comfy pull-on cushioned boots
As an added bonus, there are no visible labels from the company on the shoe. (And reviewers say they're even easier to pull on than Uggs!)

Promising review: "I had these on my wishlist for a while but was skeptical. I’m glad I finally ordered them! They fit perfectly and SO much easier to put on than my real Ugg minis which I love. They’re very comfy and warm. Highly recommend! Glad I bought them to wear while I wait for Ugg to restock their tan ultra minis." — Kamryn
MVP-worthy stretchy faux leather leggings
Promising review: "I really like these leggings. I bought different pairs in the past that were much more expensive, and I wasn’t nearly as happy as I am with these leggings. Very stretchy and fit true to size. Great value for the price." — Kelly
A painless, mint-flavored teeth-whitening pen
Promising review: "This product actually works! Very affordable too. There are a lot of expensive teeth whitening products out there, but why spend extra money when you don't have too? Definitely worth trying!" — Mona L Cureton
Peach Slices Acne Spot Dots, a hydrocolloid sticker comparable
Peach & Lily is a skincare brand founded by celebrity esthetician Alicia Yoon that specializes in toxin-free, vegan beauty products made with recyclable packaging. The company plants a tree with each order, and a portion of its proceeds have gone to to Restore NYC since 2016.

Check out a TikTok of the acne spot dots in action.

Promising review: "This brand is so affordable and works just the same as the more expensive brands. I go through them so quickly so this is a plus! I’m generally a picker at my zits, but if I can get to one of these dots in time I save my face a lot of irritation and pain. I wear them at night and sometimes during the day, only takes about two to get rid of those pesky whiteheads, sometimes more for a big zit. They really suck everything out." — Savannah Wilson
An oh-so-chic Lululemon-inspired mini belted pack
Promising review: "TikTok told me this compared to Lululemon, and it’s true, it is. Love this little bag! And the price — you can’t beat it." — Jolie

BuzzFeeder Elizabeth Lilly also owns this — she packed it as her only bag for a trip to busy trip to Iceland, and not only did it hold a ton and keep her hands free, it easily fit around her waist over her outerwear.
A delightfully affordable firming eye cream made with vitamin C
Promising review: "I am super stoked that I purchased this product because it works — I was leery about it working but it does. I have used expensive eye creams that claimed to work which they did to some extent, but not like this one, I started using this about two weeks ago but I started seeing results in a couple of days of the first application. It makes my eyes look awake and the fine lines and wrinkles are diminishing. It makes my skin feel smooth and I can put my eye makeup on easier, my dark circles are lighter too." — Amazon Customer
Thank Me Later eyeshadow base
Promising review: "So let me start by saying I have used nearly every eyeshadow primer available. From high end to low...they don't hold a candle to Thank Me Later. I have very oily skin. Using this primer, shadow lasts a full eight hours or more. I could get maybe five or six out of the other brands if I was lucky. I got this as a sample in my Ipsy bag, and I had to buy the full-size product straight away! I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Thank you, Elizabeth Mott, for finally making a primer that lasts! I love this stuff!" — Melissa Mae
A ridiculously plush blanket
Promising review: "I saw this blanket on TikTok and I have to say I absolutely love it. I washed it several times now and it’s maintained its elasticity and softness after each wash. It’s warm enough but not too hot for a throw. Absolutely recommend this blanket!" — Amy
A set of sophisticated cylindrical wineglasses
Joy Jolt is a small business that specializes in modern and pop culture-themed drinkware and kitchen accessories.

Promising review: "Crate & Barrel look for less. These look and feel very high end — almost like a thin crystal." — Lauren
A slightly cropped half-zip pullover
Promising review: "I saw this sweatshirt advertised by an influencer on TikTok. I purchased almost immediately because everyone said it was a good comparison for the Lululemon jacket. I was blown away by the quality of this jacket!! It’s super soft. I purchased a size small and it fit perfectly." — Rebecca Slattery
A six-piece (!!) set of high-performance matte lipsticks
Promising review: "What can I say, I saw a TikTok about this lipstick and for $10 had to try it! The reviews are right, for some reason this lipstick is better than even $20 name brand ones bought from Ulta. Not only does it smell great, but dries in under a minute and survived eating a cupcake, a Starbucks drink, and an entire evening out, no smudging and had to be removed with a makeup wipe. Fantastic product!!" — Claire
First Aid Beauty's KP Bump Eraser body scrub exfoliant
First Aid Beauty is a US-based small business that specializes in clean, fragrance-free, cruelty-free personal care products.

Promising review: "My son has had a rash on both upper arms forever. You can see/feel difference after just one wash! Tried expensive prescription creams that did nothing. This stuff started working after first try. It really is amazing!" — Garcia
A Petcube, which is basically a Furbo without all the extra bells and whistles
Check out a TikTok of the Petcube in action.

Petcube is a California-based small business established in 2012 that specializes in interactive HD pet camera products.

It's also app enabled and can send you instant notifications, sync with Amazon Alexa, and even access a vet on demand if you notice any weird behaviors.

Promising review: "Unbeatable for the money. I needed a way to keep an eye on a new 4-month-old puppy who keeps digging holes in my yard. I didn't expect a lot for $39 but I was pleasantly surprised. The video is quick to get started and very clear, zoom is quick, and the night vision actually works. I haven't used any of the other features yet but these alone make this a great value! Far exceeding what I expected." — Rick Grisham
A Revlon one-step hair dryer and volumizer
Unlike other hair dryers, this one can be held closer to the roots and scalp for a higher volume and lift and helps you curl hair at the end while it dries. It comes with three heat settings and is designed to work on all hair textures — reviewers with 2a–4c hair mentioned it working for them, and especially noted that it helps cut down on drying time!

Promising reviews: "I've had my eye on a Dyson Airwrap, but given the cost, I figured I'd try this while I save up. This thing is fantastic. I have waist length hair that's naturally straight, but gets frizzy when damp. I've had salon blowouts that have left my hair looking great, but I simply can't manage a round brush without it getting tangled in my hair. This device has been a game changer. It works best if you air dry for a while before you use it, then use it to finish your style. My hair miraculously doesn't get snarled in it, and it leaves my hair looking like I've had it professionally styled. I love it, and I'm no longer interested in blowing $500 on a Dyson. Highly recommend!" — Ilsa
An internet-beloved set of makeup sponges
Promising review: "Don't hesitate, just buy these. I was using the Real Technique sponges for years and I bought these on a whim after seeing several TikToks praising these. I love these sponges and the price. I apply liquid foundation with a damp sponge and these work better than Real Techniques. They are dense but soft and 'bouncy.' I wash mine between each use and these hold up very well and much better than the RT. Very happy with my purchase and the price. Will definitely continue to buy." — chris
E.l.f. Power Grip Primer, an inexpensive alternative to Milk's Hydro Grip primer
Promising review: "I wanted to try this for the longest time and I finally got it and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend this product, especially if you have dry skin. This is my favorite primer to use now. Works so well and helps with making your makeup look almost flawless. Highly recommend it." — Megan Lindstrom

"I tried the Milk primer and it worked magic for my super oily skin. I came across this for a fraction of the cost. The milk primer was $34 this does the same job for way less. I am happy with my purchase." — Shenelle
A weightless liquid cream blush with some real Rare Beauty blush energy
Promising review: "Creamy and blendable. These are great blushes and have lots of pigmentation. Very creamy and a smooth application on the skin! It is a great [alternative] to the Rare Beauty blush. It lasted me the whole day and did not melt off. It has a lot of coverage and does not need too much when applying." — Harsh Argawal
Juno & Co.'s Clean 10 cleansing balm, a game-changing makeup remover
Juno & Co. is a small business specializing in personal care and skincare products.

Promising review: "I’ve loved the Farmacy Green Clean for many years, but at $30+ for a jar that lasts 1–2 months max, it was a pricey product to buy on a regular basis. I wanted something just as good at a lower price and I FOUND IT! This cleanser absolutely melts away makeup and deep cleans the skin without any drying or eye irritation! It smells great and a little goes a loooonng way — I’m in love!" — Amazon Customer
Nyx's Fat Oil Lip Drop, a Dior alternative
Promising review: "I’m so amazed by this! I usually get the Dior lip oil, but it’s way overpriced for the size, so I figured I would give this a try, and I’m not disappointed at all. It’s moisturizing, it feels and looks exactly like Dior lip oil on my lips, and for the price, it’s such a great deal. Definitely will purchase again and try different colors. It’s not too sticky." — Nouf
An illuminating moisturizer designed to enhance your skin's natural glow
Promising review: "I can’t believe how long this has been around! I tried Glossier’s Futuredew and realized it felt sort of too oily (and too expensive) for me. This product is SUCH an amazing duplicate that is slightly better! It’s not oily, but provides lightweight shimmer that I mix with my sunscreen for extra sun protection with some highlight effects. I love this! Does not make my super sensitive skin break out or feel oily like the Futuredew did." — e_whospends_money
A foundation brush with soft but firm bristles
Promising review: "I loved this brush so much I bought two more! It is the perfect blending brush for liquid, cream foundation, primers, concealers, and tinted sunscreen. I have brushes that were much more expensive, but I love this one best. I just ordered the eye brush set to try them out, too." — kyglo
Etude's delightfully multipurpose Dear Darling Water Tint
Promising review: "I bought the Benefit version a couple of months ago and was very underwhelmed by it, but this product is sooo soo much better than Benetint. The pigment is so good and natural at the same time. A 10/10 for sure. And at this price point what’s there not to like?" — Rachael
The Brow Glue, Nyx's extreme hold eyebrow gel
Here's what BuzzFeeder Chelsea Stuart has to say about it: "I wear very little makeup — especially on vacation — but there's something about doing my brows that makes me feel more put together. I recently went on a 12-day trip to the UK, Croatia, Montenegro, and Spain, and traveled carry-on only so I really had to pare down my toiletries — especially as the airports I traveled through made us condense all of our liquids into a single quart-size bag. This stuff is TINY but does the absolute most! I wouldn't say I have particularly thin or thick brows, but this really zhuzhed them up with next to no effort."

Promising review: "The Boy Brow from Glossier was my ride or die eyebrow product for years, but the tubes are so small and they raised the price so I could no longer justify it. This brow glue is the closest thing I’ve found to it and it’s half the price! Will definitely repurchase." — Alex
A standard set of colorful makeup brushes
Promising review: "I'm an experienced makeup user and have used all types of brushes. These brushes are so good. You’re able to pack on color, blend, or do whatever you want, and they work so well. I didn’t have super high hopes because of the price point but I think I’m going to buy more." — Norma
A pair of round circle sunglasses
Promising review: "For the money, you can’t beat 'em! These look amazing on my face, like a $300 pair of sunglasses. I have tried many pairs, and this brand looks and feels comparable to a pair of Ray-Bans and Pradas. I have a smaller face, and to me, this pair fits the best, perfect for my nose and brow line. I couldn’t be happier, just wish there were six stars so everyone would know how amazing they are. If you are questioning whether or not they will look as good on you as they do in the photos, yes...yes they do." — Christina
E.l.f.'s Poreless Putty Primer, a lightweight base primer
Promising review: "Finally able to get my hands on this and it absolutely lives up to the hype! This is an amazing primer and really does visibly smooth and blur pores. I use my beauty blender to apply it and a little goes a long way. It’s a perfect [alternative] for the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer at a fraction of the cost." — Rebecca
A pair of minimal teardrop earrings
Promising review: "I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly these earrings came and in such cute and safe packaging. They were so shiny and stylish, but I chose the ones that were quite large, but very comfortable and will go with everything!! These are lightweight so they won't pull on your earlobes, you can actually wear them all day and forget they're on, they're so comfy!!! Love them!!" — june d.
A loungewear set
Promising review: "No joke, these are pretty much exactly the same as my Skims lounge set for half the price. The pants graze the tops of my feet even when I wear them high-waisted at my belly button, so I think they’re plenty long. The robe is like wearing a blanket, but still looks put together. Anyway, I’m back here to buy a second color because I loved them so much!" — Jenna
Maybelline's Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer pencil, an easy-to-use, subtle eyebrow filler
The tool comes with two ends, one a small eyebrow brush and the other a specially edged eyebrow pencil.

Promising review: "I bought this because it looked like the Goof Proof brow pencil and I was tired of spending ridiculous amounts on that! I actually like it better than Goof Proof (and for a quarter of the price)! I find it even creamier and easier to use. The tip is perfect if you have a good amount of brow to fill in." — Liza T.
A rainbow eyeshadow palette
Promising reviews: "Clearly time I got a new eyeshadow palette. Sargent Freddie Mercury (my not-even 4-pound bunny) made it his mission to destroy my James Charles overpriced palette. This palette is the same quality, maybe even nicer. This eyeshadow was put on at around 3 p.m. and it's almost 1 a.m., the 'highlight' stayed on my nose even with my mask on through a whole day of work. That blew my mind." — Daniel T Adams
A bottle of Fanola "No Yellow" purple shampoo
Promising review: "I never write reviews, but this stuff is magic in a bottle. I'm a level 7 blonde with high level highlights and hair that loves to pull red. If my hair starts to look brassy I use this and voila — looks like I just came out of the salon again. I'd love it even if it didn't make my hair feel soft, but it does that too! Please don't ever stop making this!" — scooptwins

"Best bang for your buck! I’ve used several expensive purple shampoos before and this product is just as good if not better than expensive brands!" — monique
Amanda Davis / BuzzFeed
Nyx's delightfully loud Epic Wear Liquid Liner to announce your presence at a party
Check out a TikTok of the Nyx Epic Wear Liquid Liner in action.

Here's what BuzzFeeder Amanda Davis, pictured above, has to say about it: "I'm wearing the blue liner there on the left, and the reviews are 100% right. This liner LASTS. I love to throw it on top of my usual black liner when I want an extra pop on a night out or am just feeling a little "adventurous." The liner's super thin tip glides nicely and makes it easy to be precise, too!"

Promising review: "Guys, I have hella hooded eyes, and any time I tried those expensive Sephora or Ulta eyeliners, they would smudge or fade INSTANTLY. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!!!! The color pops, it's easy to use, and it NEVER SMUDGES, NEVER FLAKES, DOES NOT MOVE IN WATER!!! I fell asleep with it on, and it looked like I had just applied it when I woke up. ... Best eyeliner out there, take it from a girl who has tried ALL of those expensive eyeliners (Stila, Urban Decay, YOU NAME IT). I will never switch to anything else." — Jakjak

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