Best cheap beauty products of 2012

NYC New York Color Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer

These Allure beauty product winners shine above the rest, and boast rock-bottom price tags (all are $10 or less).



NYC New York Color Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer, $4, sears.com.

The Spanx of primers: It firms, evens, and is so lightweight you won't even notice that you're wearing it.

WHAT IT IS:
A liquid primer for the face

HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS:
The creamy, lightweight lotion disappears into skin.

WHY WE LIKE IT:
The primer creates a smooth canvas for foundation and extends wear by hours.

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Sunscreen

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Sunscreen, $9, ulta.com

Five self-adjusting shades, SPF 30—and did we mention five shades? This multitasker helps women of all skin tones get even.


WHAT IT IS:
A tinted moisturizer with sunscreen

KEY INGREDIENTS:
Titanium dioxide (sunscreen)

HOW IT FEELS/LOOKS:
The oil-free formula is lightweight and provides sheer coverage.

WHY WE LIKE IT:
This BB cream is a great multitasker: It protects against damaging UV rays, masks minor imperfections, and evens out skin tone. It's available in five shades.



Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating PowderWet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Powder, $4, drugstore.com

Swirled together, the ribbons create a rose-gold blush; used individually (wet or dry), they make lids glisten.

WHAT IT IS:
A powder highlighter

HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS:
The highlighter comes in shades ranging from pink to bronze; each circular tin contains four individual colors.

WHY WE LIKE IT:
Blended together, the four powders create an all-over glow; used individually, wet or dry, they give cheeks a touch of color.

(See also: Lip plumpers that actually work.)



NYX Matte Bronzer

NYX Matte Bronzer, $9, nyxcosmetics.com

Shimmer-free and available in five sun-kissed shades, the powder makes it easy for every woman to have a believable bronze. The extra-large pan means you can keep the charade going year-round.

WHAT IT IS:
A pressed-powder bronzer

HOW IT FEELS/LOOKS:
The bronzer is shimmer-free and comes in a mirrored compact.

WHY WE LIKE IT:
This highly pigmented matte bronzer warms up all complexions, giving a beachy glow without any orange undertones or tacky glitter.



Mark Just Pinched Instant Blush Tint in BerryMark Just Pinched Instant Blush Tint in Berry, $8, shop.meetmark.com

This cool raspberry sinks into skin for that proverbial glow from within, and doesn't go MIA like so many cream blushes.

WHAT IT IS:
A cool raspberry-colored cream blush stick

HOW IT LOOKS/FEELS:
The creamy formula blends into a sheer, lightweight tint.

WHY WE LIKE IT:
The beautiful berry hue gives cheeks a natural flush that sinks into skin but doesn't disappear like some other cream blushes.




Essence Liquid Ink Eyeliner

Essence Liquid Ink Eyeliner, $3, ulta.com

The laser-sharp point is easy for amateurs to maneuver. Pros love that the jet-black line doesn't budge or crease.

WHAT IT IS:
A black liquid eyeliner

HOW IT FEELS/LOOKS:
The tapered brush tip draws lines smoothly without skipping or tugging on the lids.

WHY WE LIKE IT:
The richly pigmented formula goes on inky and stays glossy for hours after application. The tapered brush tip makes it easy to paint on a thin or thick line that won't smudge or flake.



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