Affordable Beauty Collections

Laura Tolentino

An expensive vanity full of beauty products may cost a bundle, but high quality cosmetics don’t need to break the bank. From legacy brands such as Clinique to new skincare-makeup hybrids made famous through TikTokers, affordable cosmetic collections are revolutionizing the industry.

From makeup and skincare essentials, to hair tools and storage solutions, below you will find our favourite budget buys.


Sephora has long been considered an icon in beauty retailing and tech-enabled commerce, serving consumers by using technology-enabled solutions that address specific consumer pain points ranging from finding their foundation color match to booking services seamlessly. Their customer-centric approach has even expanded beyond beauty retail to help other retailers improve services and drive revenue growth. Unfortunately, Sephora faces competition from personal care conglomerates, niche clean beauty retailers, big box retailers that capitalize on beauty’s high margins as well as online marketplaces like Amazon that rival their customer experience.

Sephora is expanding their digital offerings and testing smaller store formats in order to stay competitive, including “Sephora Studios.” These specialty boutiques focus on cultivating personal connections between customers and beauty associates and create an unforgettable customer experience. Furthermore, Klarna payment and shopping provider is helping Sephora implement Reserve Online/Pick Up In Store services through both their app and portal.

Sephora offers its customers a range of rewards programs in addition to its products. Beauty Insider features three tiers – Insider, VIB and Rouge. Each level provides access to early product releases or events; for instance if you spend over $1000 annually, becoming a VIB member entitles you to exclusive product releases.

Sephora’s digital platforms enable customers to engage with makeup artists and other beauty enthusiasts in an unsponsored, real-time social setting. Its Beauty Insider Community boasts more than 3 million members; users can share ideas and get advice from beauty experts in an unsponsored environment; it has even become a platform for indie beauty brands looking to increase awareness for their products.

Sephora Collection is the brand name for their own line of cosmetics, skincare and beauty tools under their own label. Their packaging previously featured their elongated flame logo printed in standard black print; now however, it features their new slogan of “Sephora Quality, Really Good Price”.

By Beauty Bay

Beauty Bay is an online-only retailer offering an expansive selection of makeup, hair care and skincare products ranging from British brands to internationally known ones. Their large catalogue makes it simple for customers to find what they are searching for; while tutorial-oriented Edited blogs help maximize customer returns.

Beauty Bay may not offer as comprehensive of an offering as Ulta, but they do provide makeup and beauty products at competitive prices at an affordable price point. Their customer service is also impeccable with prompt deliveries.

Beauty Bay provides more than makeup and beauty supplies; they also carry an assortment of accessories like makeup bags, hair brushes and more – many available in multiple colors to match with your outfit perfectly! Additionally, Beauty Bay carries a great range of nail polishes perfect for fashionistas.

Beauty Bay skincare lineup boasts essentials that will help you attain flawless skin. Some of their most sought-after items, like their Flawless Face Mask, help even out skin tone and decrease acne for an unblemished complexion. In addition, it contains antioxidants and peptides to fight free radical damage.

Blood Lust Eyeshadow Palette is another must-have, boasting 18 diverse shades that span mattes, metallics, foil finishes and wet looks. There is something unique and eye-catching about its funky contrasts – such as Vile Serpent a reptilian green and Bleeding Heart an intense red.

Though Beauty Bay doesn’t operate physical stores, they have earned their place as a trusted brand by selling over 400 different products from their online platform. Their flagship line of skincare, makeup, and haircare items is cruelty-free and vegan friendly.

Beauty Bay is a thriving international business and their e-commerce store relies heavily on an advanced infrastructure. They utilize multiple data centers across the world for high levels of uptime, invest heavily in technology upgrades that improve performance for seamless customer experiences and commit to continuously improve their customer support and training processes.


Glossier is a beauty company established in 2014 that quickly rose to popularity after it released minimalist makeup and skincare products with Instagrammable packaging that earned them a loyal fan base. They sell pink bubble wrap pouches as collectible items. Their aesthetic draws inspiration from internet culture and modern fashion trends while its founders believe in building communities connected via social media.

Glossier products are available both online and at their showrooms in New York City and Los Angeles, in addition to pop-up stores. Glossier uses its online community as an input into product development and sales strategies; customers become the biggest ambassadors for Glossier.

The company website is user-friendly and intuitive to navigate, offering an efficient search bar to quickly locate what they’re searching for quickly and effortlessly. Furthermore, customers can create profiles which track their purchases history as well as receive personalized recommendations tailored just to them. Plus there’s free shipping and returns available to them too!

Glossier may have found great success, yet even it faces the difficulties associated with living in an increasingly digital-centric era. Like many beauty brands, Glossier risks losing its niche to competitors that offer similar products at lower prices.

Glossier must innovate its products and invest in customer experience to maintain its competitive advantage, engaging daily with its most engaged customers by offering rewards such as free samples or discounts. To do this, it must identify its most engaged customers and engage them on a regular basis; additionally offering incentives like discounts.

Glossier may be struggling to remain relevant, yet still stands as an excellent example of how a brand can succeed by prioritizing its community and providing quality products. Glossier’s founders place importance on hiring those with potential over pedigree; they encourage autonomy and idea sharing while providing junior employees with fast tracks to leadership opportunities so that they gain valuable experience while developing skills quickly – these practices have resulted in Glossier attracting an exceptional team of young professionals who share its mission and culture.


You’ve likely observed prices increasing, sometimes subtly and sometimes more obviously, since inflation and freight and shipping costs continue to drive up costs in all industries – however when it comes to beauty products e.l.f is committed to keeping their products affordable for you!

Brand is best-known for offering affordable makeup and skincare through an omnichannel model, along with beauty kits that allow customers to explore products without overspending.

According to its CEO Tarang Amin, e.l.f is not afraid to sacrifice revenue in order to provide its products at more affordable prices. With a “deep commitment to inclusive, accessible, cruelty-free beauty” in mind, e.l.f’s multibrand portfolio features namesake elf Cosmetics; pioneering clean beauty brand W3LL People; Keys Soulcare created in collaboration with Alicia Keys.

Even as costs rise, the company plans to maintain prices of some of their most sought-after items like lip lacquers, eye shadow palettes and eyebrow pencils that remain popular with customers. They have also taken steps to cut packaging waste in an effort to further cut costs and waste.

Inflation has reached its highest levels since 1974, driving up costs across products and services and prompting many consumers to reduce discretionary spending. Companies have since increased prices or cut inventory accordingly – as evidenced by an upsurge in lipstick sales post price increase (known as the “lipstick effect”).

However, e.l.f is able to keep its prices lower than most of its competitors because manufacturing is outsourced to China, giving it more pricing flexibility than most.

Inflation has had an enormously detrimental effect on the beauty industry, and its ripple effects will likely reverberate throughout consumer spending habits. While this period can be daunting for beauty brands, e.l.f.’s commitment to its customers and willingness to gradually raise prices will ensure its future success.