(All of these products are $3. Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)

When’s the last time you spent $3?

Mine was probably two months ago at a Brooklyn bodega where I spent $2.99 on a quarter can of Pringles. With inflation at an ultimate high due to hurricane seasons, it’s safe to say that the dollar is shrinking and more goods are becoming more expensive (which explains why I paid $2.99 for like, 10 chips). So when I was sent an entire box of beauty products for $3 each I was completely floored.

SEE ALSO: Asos launched a beauty line for boys, too

A cleanser, shampoo & conditioner, hand soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, moisturizer, and more… ALL. FOR. $3?! I was in disbelief.

The brand is called, Brandless, and it’s a company that believes in selling all goods for an extremely affordable price, cutting out marketing, fluff an PR. Think of it like the Trader Joe’s or Aldi without the actual store. Its co-founders, Tina Sharkey from Johnson & Johnson, and Ido Leffler of the Yes To beauty brand, launched Brandless to alleviate costs in this pricey world. It makes sense. The packaging, much like Yes To’s is not so exciting. I could hear my sister, a beauty snob, totally muttering… “This feels CHEAP!” in the background. Well, because it is, sis! I yelped back. The goal for Brandless, I explained, was to create quality products without “brand tax,” that is, money that goes into making the product look and feel premium.

If you’re really into beautiful glass jars for your creams, heavy paper for packaging, as well as deliciously smelling fragrances for your cleansers (AKA Sister Yi), skip this post. Click out of it. Come back tomorrow. Brandless is not for you. If you’re into no frills, okay packaging, the ban of over 400 “harmful ingredients,” fragrance-free beauty, but a solid product for a ridiculously low price, read ahead to see what is ~actually~ something you should buy.

Cleanser

(Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)

Brandless beauty wants to make it known that its products are super safe to use. From their 400 ingredient ban list are: sulfates, parabens, phosphates, synthetic dyes and fragrances and more. One product we thought was really good was the brand’s facial cleanser. But before even testing the product, the bottle cap’s plug was stuck inside the dispenser, leaving me having to actually twist the cap open every time I wanted to use the cleanser. Annoying? Super. But for $3, I could live with that.

(It’s stuck!)

The cleanser comes in a pink bottle and has a few grapefruit properties, which is why the fragrance is pretty citrus-y, zest-y, and more or less beautiful. The website says that the cleanser can handle all dirt, makeup and sweat, which we didn’t find to be totally accurate. Will it cleanse your face from the day? Yep. Will it take off the foundation, mascara, and other makeup from your face? Nah. It’s definitely ~not~ a makeup remover. But we did find the product to be solid in the respect that it didn’t strip our skin of all oils and was pretty good at keeping it hydrated. Definitely spend that cash and buy this one. Buy it here. 

Moisturizer

When you look for a good moisturizer, the key is to find something that leaves your face supple, isn’t too greasy, and is gentle enough that it won’t cause any breakouts. I found that to be true for Brandless’s Facial Lotion. It contains moisturizing aloe, anti-oxidizing safflower oil, which contains linoleic acid (fights acne!), so it’s kind of something that will keep blemishes at bay. The fragrance isn’t anything that will inspire you, like, say, Huxley’s prickly pear cactus-inspired moisturizer, but it will do what it’s supposed to. Like we said, this is no-frills, and sometimes that means no fun as well. Buy this if you’re only looking to cut corners with your beauty routine to save some moolah. Buy it here. 

Body Wash

Sometimes, as a guy, you want something musky, heavy fragranced, with some charcoal properties to make you feel like you got rid of the stinky funk all over. After all, smelling good makes you feel clean. If you’re looking for something to make you smell like you just got out of the shower, this is definitely not the product for you. Again, Brandless’s products are fragrance free, and this one though mixed with green tea and aloe properties, is still pretty neutral. That being said, it lathers well, works hand in hand with your loofah, and is effective at doing its job. It also isn’t drying for your skin and I felt that its moisturizing properties worked pretty well. If you need fragrance, then skip. But if not, get it! Buy it here. 

Body lotion

There comes a time when you find a body lotion so good you are in awe. This is how I felt when I used Too Cool For School’s Egg Mellow Body Butter. Brandless’s body lotion is not that. I felt like I had to rub my elbows for an extra 20 seconds for it to melt into my skin. It went on thick, white, and definitely wasn’t too great at settling in. But when it did soak into my skin, I felt it wasn’t sticky, had moisturizing properties, for sure, and was perfectly okay. If you need a decent moisturizer and you’re not looking for anything fragranced, this is an okay buy. There are still others I’d suggest. But for $3, lol, just go for this. Buy it here. 

TLDR;

-Solid offerings from Brandless beauty launch.

-For $3 a piece you can get pretty good products.

-If you’re looking for beautiful packaging, inspiring copy, luxurious fragrances, this isn’t for you.

-For the rest of us, this is seriously a great value.