Ulta Beauty employees tell us the only products you should buy under $25

Rick Kern/Getty ImagesUlta Beauty employees picked their favourite affordable products.

The shelves of Ulta Beauty stores are lined with a variety of makeup and skin care items from both high-end and more affordable brands. With the additions of popular brands like Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty, the amount of options can make shopping a bit overwhelming – especially when on a budget.

INSIDER asked Ulta Beauty employees to pick out their favourite product in the store, and 14 of them were under the $US25 mark.


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42 Ulta Beauty employees tell us the only products you should buy

Here are Ulta Beauty employees’ favourite products in the store under $US25.


Anastasia Beverly Hills — Dipbrow Pomade

UltaThis fan-favourite pomade claims to be waterproof.

Cost: $US18

This brow pomade is one of Anastasia Beverly Hills’ most popular products, and it’s Ulta employee Bailey’s pick for her favourite item in the store. The pomade is meant to be applied with an angled brow brush to easily outline and fill brows.

Find out more about Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade here >


Urban Decay — Vice Lipstick Comfort Matte in Bad Blood

UltaBad Blood is a deep, bold shade of red.

Cost: $US18

Chloe pointed to Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick in the shade Bad Blood as her pick, since it provides a bold shade of red to the lips.

Find out more about Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Comfort Matte in Bad Blood here >


Mario Badescu — Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb and Rosewater

UltaThis spray can be used in your hair as well.

Cost: $US7

Marissa told INSIDER she loves all three Mario Badescu sprays, but the rosewater variety is the one she uses religiously. It’s formulated for all skin types and can be used to add a dewy finish.

Find out more about Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb and Rosewater here >


Real Techniques — Miracle Complexion Sponge

UltaThis one’s an affordable favourite.

Cost: $US4.99

This affordable beauty tool has developed quite a loyal following, and Ulta employee Valerie is one of its biggest fans.

“I use it everyday and will never not use one again,” she told us.

Find out more about Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge here >


Skyn Iceland — Face-Lift-In-A-Bag

UltaThe kit is a multi-step face treatment.
Cost: $US19.50

Miranda told us Skyn Iceland’s Face-Lift-In-A-Bag is her favourite skin-care item in the store. “It’s got everything you need in one bag,” she told us. “I’m turning 40 soon, so I love using good treatments like this.”

Find out more about Skyn Iceland Face-Lift-In-A-Bag here >


Sebastian — Whipped Creme

UltaThis hair product is meant to define curls.

Cost: $US19.95

The sometimes overlooked hair-care section is home to one of Lee’s favourite items. Her pick for the best product in the store goes to the Whipped Creme by Sebastian because “it works so well for curly or wavy hair.”

Find out more about Sebastian Whipped Creme here >


Batiste Dry Shampoo — Cheeky Cherry

UltaPerfect for those busy mornings.

Cost: $US7.99

Cassandra told us she loves Batiste’s line of dry shampoo since she’s always on the go. She specifically loves the Cheeky Cherry scent to add a little extra freshness to her hair throughout the day.

Find out more about Batiste Dry Shampoo here >


NYX — Matte Liquid Liner

Ulta BeautyThis liner has a unique brush.

Cost: $US7.49

Getting an even, smooth line with liquid eyeliner is always a challenge, but former employee and Reddit user Human_House_Cat thinks this product by NYX does the trick.

“I’ve tried several liquid liners, but felt tips just don’t lay down enough product for a smooth line,” the employee told INSIDER. “This small brush does the trick in a single stroke.”

Find out more about NYX Matte Liquid Liner here >


Eylure — Vegas Nay Grand Glamour Lashes

UltaThese will add some glamour to your look.

Cost: $US7.99

Ulta employee Ana says she “can’t go without” these glamorous lashes by Eylure, and it seems to be a customer favourite as well based on its positive reviews.

Find out more about Vegas Nay Grand Glamour Lashes here >


Tony Moly — Master Lab Hyaluronic Acid Mask Sheet

UltaOne of the most affordable options on this list.

Cost: $US4

Cierra told us she’s a big fan of the entire Master Lab line by Tony Moly, and the Hyaluronic Acid option comes especially recommended to anyone looking for some extra hydration.

Find out more about Tony Moly Master Lab Hyaluronic Acid Mask Sheet here >


E.L.F. Cosmetics — Blending Brush

UltaThis brush won’t break the bank.

Cost: $US3

If the tiny eye-shadow brush in your palette isn’t cutting it, Keisha recommends this super affordable full-sized option from E.L.F. Cosmetics.

Find out more about E.L.F. Cosmetics Blending Brush here >


L.A. Girl — HD Pro Concealer

UltaThis is one of the more affordable concealers in the store.

Cost: $US4.99

Keisha also recommends the L.A. Girl concealer as one of the best bangs for your buck at only $US4.99 for a tube.

Find out more about L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer here >


It’s a 10 — Miracle Leave-in Product

It’s a 10This leave-in spray is meant for both wet and dry hair.

Cost: $US18.52

This leave-in spray is meant to nourish and repair damaged hair, and Ulta Beauty employee Ileen can definitely see the effects.

“Upon use I’ve noticed a huge difference in the health of my hair and I am obsessed with how soft and bouncy this makes it feel,” she told us.

Find out more about It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product here >


Too Faced — Better Than Sex Mascara

UltaThe wand has a unique shape.

Cost: $US24

Sara-Beth immediately pointed to Better Than Sex Mascara by Two Faced when asked about her favourite product. “I just love the wand shape,” she said. “It helps make your lashes really voluminous.”

Find out more about Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara here >


Dermalogica — Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash

UltaThis foaming cleanser contains tea tree and lavender.

Cost: $US19.50

Natasha’s favourite is the Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash by Dermalogica, especially for those with acne-prone skin. “It’s the only thing I’ve used that gets rid of my acne without irritating my skin,” she said. “I noticed a difference within a few days.”

Find out more about Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash here >


Philosophy — Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser

UltaThis cleanser claims to clean, tone, and hydrate at the same time.

Cost: $US24

This is another product with a cult-classic status, and Nicole pairs it with her Clarisonic to easily melt away makeup at the end of the day.

Find out more about Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser here >


Benefit Cosmetics — Goof Proof Eye Pencil Easy Shape & Fill

UltaGoof Proof is another popular choice by Benefit.
Cost: $US24

Mastering the perfect brow technique can be a challenge, and Cassie told us this is “the perfect starter pencil since it blends so easily.”

Find out more about Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Eye Pencil Easy Shape & Fill here >


Benefit Cosmetics — Precisely, My Brow Pencil

UltaThe pencil comes in six different shades.

Cost: $US24

Ulta employee Chey told us, “I would definitely not be able to survive without my Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil.” It has a super fine tip to add more precise definition to the brows.

Find out more about Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil here >


Tarte — Maneater Voluptuous Mascara

UltaThis mascara has a ‘soft-flex’ brush.

Cost: $US23

If you want the fake eyelash look without actually applying them, Madi recommends the Tarte Maneater Voluptuous Mascara. This one contains jojoba oil and carnauba wax for a nourishing effect.

Find out more about Tarte Maneater Voluptuous Mascara here >


Benefit Cosmetics — ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Colour With Brush

UltaThis one has unique packaging.

Cost: $US24

“Brows are the one thing I can’t leave my house without,” Ulta employee Chelly told INSIDER. She reaches for this brow cream-gel to fill and hold her brows in place.

Find out more about Benefit Cosmetics ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Colour With Brush here >


IT Cosmetics — Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Ageing Micro-Powder

UltaThis powder is infused with vitamins.

Cost: $US24

This finishing powder is one of Ulta employee Tori’s favourites for setting makeup. It contains vitamins A, C, E, and K to offer some skin-care benefits as well.

Find out more about IT Cosmetics – Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Ageing Micro-Powder here >


Too Faced — Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Lady Balls

UltaThis matte lipstick comes in a deep shade of red.

Cost: $US21

Chloe says this deep red shade is one of the best matte lipsticks Ulta has to offer.

Find out more about Too Faced Lady Balls Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Lipstick here >


Living Proof — Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo

UltaLiving Proof’s dry shampoo has a ‘time-released fragrance.’

Cost: $US23

Andrea said it’s tough to choose one favourite, but she reaches for this one most often. “It absorbs oil, sweat, and odor, while actually cleaning the hair,” Andrea said. “It gives volume and doesn’t leave a residue on any hair type.”

Find out more about Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo here >


REDKEN — Colour Extend Vinegar Hair Rinse

UltaThis one comes recommended for colour-treated hair.

Cost: $US24

This versatile rinse can replace either your shampoo or conditioner – or you can simply apply it as a treatment – and Ulta Beauty employee Susanne loves the results. “It contains Apple Cider Vinegar to gently cleanse and re-balance the hair’s pH levels which gives an incredible shine and seals the cuticle,” she said.

Find out more about REDKEN Colour Extend Vinegar Hair Rinse here >

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