The Beauty Items You Should Always Buy at Dollar Stores

Beauty doesn't always have to be a splurge. Save big on these dollar store beauty items, and stretch your beauty budget.

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Dollar store beauty items to buy

Shopping for beauty items at dollar stores is one smart money-saving strategy. Sure, there should be room in your beauty budget for lipsticks that perfectly match your skin tone and skincare with proven ingredients like retinol and vitamin C. But, there are loads of beauty deals at dollar stores for everyday items that you don’t want to miss. Shop smart today on dollar store beauty finds and you’ll have more money leftover for beauty splurges. These are the best beauty deals we found on a recent trip to Dollar General. On the flip side, find out the 21 things you never want to buy at dollar stores.

Note that pricing and availability are subject to change.

Makeup organizers

Clear acrylic makeup tray organizers can cost $15 and up on Amazon and at Target. But we found them for $8 at Dollar General. These organizers also make for chic storage for cotton rounds, Q-tips, and your makeup brushes. Tuck them in a drawer, or display them on your vanity. Beauty influencers color code the items in their organizers to make the overall look more sophisticated and intentional. If you’ve ever wondered why—and how—dollar stores are so cheap, we’ve got the answer.

Makeup removing wipes and face wash

While we don’t recommend buying generic makeup removing wipes and face wash at dollar stores, you should be on the lookout for trusted brands like Neutrogena and Cetaphil. A recent peek at the skin-care aisle at our local dollar store found Neutrogena Hydroboost cleansing wipes for $6 (that’s a two dollar savings from Target). Cetaphil daily cleanser and Cetaphil moisturizing cream were $3 cheaper than at Walmart. We also spotted Ponds, Gold Bond, Aquaphor, Clean & Clear, St. Ives, Biore, and Lubriderm products. Just be sure to check expiration dates to be super cautious—and make sure you avoid these dollar store rip-offs while you’re at it.

Nail-care and foot-care tools

When’s the last time you bought a new pumice stone? How about a nail file, nail brush, nail clipper, cuticle nipper, nail scissors, tweezers, or emory board? Many of these nail- and foot-care tools cost as little as a buck or two at dollar stores. And items like nail files should be replaced pretty often anyway. Stock up on a budget.

Nail art and some nail polishes

Want to up your at-home manicure and pedicure game without shelling out for fancy nail polish and accessories? We recently found pretty nail art stickers and decals for $4 at Dollar General. Metallic and burgundy press-on nails with glue went for $5. They also had tons of bold nail polish colors for as little as $1 a bottle. Cheaper nail polish won’t last as long as salon quality brands like Essie ($9 for a bottle at Walmart) and OPI. But dollar store finds are perfect for practicing your technique and trying out brighter and wilder colors than you’d want to pay full price for since you probably won’t wear them as often—and nail polish dries up over time.

While we’re on the subject of practicing nail art, nail polish remover is $1.50 for a 10-ounce bottle at Dollar General. They also sell bottles of 100 percent acetone for removing stubborn glitter and nail polish remover pads which are perfect for travel.

Hair accessories

Scrunchies and headbands and hair ties, oh my! The Dollar General sells name brand Scunci hair accessories between $1 and $4. They even sell trendy hair items like velvet-inspired scrunchies and coil hair ties for cheaper than you’ll find them at Walmart and Target. Who couldn’t use a 50-pack of black hair elastics for $1.75?

Conair detangling combs, lifting combs, and wide-tooth combs were available between $2 and $3. Wet Brush detangling brushes were also slightly cheaper at Dollar General.

Cotton rounds and makeup wedges

Disposable cotton products and makeup applicators are a no-brainer when it comes to beauty shopping on a budget. Cotton balls and rounds are as low as $1 at dollar stores (that’s half what they cost at Walmart), and can be used for everything from removing nail polish to applying micellar water. Makeup wedges are good for applying foundation and used as a stamp for doing ombre nail art at home.

Trendy palettes and glitter

L.A. colors glitter and neon eyeshadow palettes cost around $5 at Walmart, but we spotted them for $2.50 at Dollar General. Much like with bold nail polish, you don’t want to overspend on makeup colors you won’t wear often. It’s fun to experiment with neon green and sparkly blue, but unless your day-to-day look calls for that much glamour—go for the cheaper stuff.

L.A. Colors also has a contour palette for $3 that’s perfect for practicing the art of drawing on cheekbones. Or, wet n wild sells their cult-favorite bronzers for $4 at Dollar General. Once you master the technique, splurge on contour products with more pigment that will last. Again, check the expiration date on any makeup you buy at dollar stores, and stay away from brands you don’t know.

False eyelashes

In case you haven’t noticed, false eyelashes have entered the mainstream. Want in on the eye-opening look? Dollar General has Kiss full eyelash sets starting at $2, and individual lashes for $4. Kiss waterproof glue runs between $2 and $4. At Walmart, Kiss lashes and glue are almost double the price. Practice really does make perfect when it comes to false eyelashes. Pros recommend starting with the individual lashes and building out with more lashes as you get comfortable. Now that you know what beauty products to snatch up, learn what else you should have been buying at the dollar store this whole time.

Megan Wood
As Deputy Affiliate eCommerce Editor, Megan Wood helps Reader's Digest readers find the best products to make their lives better, easier, and more joyful. She has 10 years of service journalism and product review experience across a variety of national websites. When she’s not tracking down the best sales and deals, you can probably find her walking her dog.